Friday, March 20, 2015


We are very thankful for our '5 Star' book review rating from :

Currently there is a lot of controversy around packaging vaccines and mandatory administration of vaccines to children entering kindergarten and up to a certain age. The purpose of the vaccines is to ensure that there is some type of safeguard, not only for your child but against diseases and sicknesses that other children could be carrying. Flu Shot Gone Wrong: The Life Changing Story of Maurice Lamkin, Jr by Michelle Mouille gives a touching account about how a flu shot given to her son Maurice caused him to experience an adverse effect to it which placed him in intensive care. Despite being a Christian, can Michelle’s faith overcome her emotions and what she sees is happening to her son?

Flu Shot Gone Wrong: The Life Changing Story of Maurice Lamkin, Jr by Michelle Mouille was not only a great story, but provided a wealth of information about the vaccination industry. It educated me on so much that is involved with these types of cases, such as: 1) The CDC and FDA monitor these cases and collect information when an adverse effect happens due to the vaccines and 2) The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program is designed to handle these types of injury cases. Now I know that nothing is perfect but the question is: should it be mandatory for children entering kindergarten to be vaccinated?

Yes, people are raised differently with different morals and ethics, different economics create different household environments, but there is such a thing as being allergic and having the inability to suppress foreign objects that enter the body. I am astounded as to the bravery that Michelle Mouille weathered to make sure that her son's story was heard, despite the outcome. “Through reading this book, my hopes are for you to have become more informed when deciding whether the flu shot is right for your child,” says Michelle Mouille. She truly has me convinced to pay more attention about what is being administered to our children - what about you?


Thursday, March 19, 2015


See the light in others, and treat them as if it is all you can see”- Dr. Wayne Dwyer
Somedays, you feel as if you’ve reached the end of your rope. You spilled coffee as you herded your children out the door, simultaneously leaving your lunch on the counter, getting cut off in traffic when you were already running late…And all these little things add up, draining you of your patience and overall goodwill. By the time you get to work, or class, or wherever it is you need to be, you have officially decided “It’s going to be a terrible day.” And, because of this decision, you may take it out on others who you encounter through the rest of the day.
It probably doesn’t come as a surprise, but once you have mentally taken on the attitude that it will be a terrible day, guess what? You have just vastly increased your odds of having a terrible day. But what’s a person to do when it feels as though the world is conspiring to put you in a terrible mood and derail you? Perhaps practicing compassion, as crazy as it may seem!
First and foremost, remember to be compassionate towards yourself on these days. After all, you are human and cannot be expected to have perfect days all the time! If you lost your temper or said something unkind, try not to let it be a dark cloud on the remainder of your day. Take a breath, apologize to anyone you need to, and forgive yourself. When we think of compassion, we often overlook ourselves. Some might think it is selfish, but think about it: you cannot feed others from an empty cupboard. If you don’t practice compassion towards yourself, you can’t truly give it to others.
Second, if it is another person who is testing you (perhaps the person who cut you off in traffic earlier in the morning), remember that they are humans too, and for all we know, they could be having a rough morning as well. So, before you fly off the handle at the next person who rubs you the wrong way, take another deep breath (or two or three- there’s no such thing as too many deep breaths). Remind yourself that this person has thoughts and feelings too, and is fighting a battle that you cannot see or know about. Just as the quote at the beginning of the post suggests, this person has an inner light and redeeming qualities that make them lovable. Remind yourself of this, and love them in spite of their limits. Eventually, the anger or resentment you feel towards them in that moment will leave. It may take some time, but you will feel all the better knowing that you acted from a place of compassion rather than anger.
When we practice compassion in our daily lives, no matter how trying or difficult the day may seem, we become better people and the world becomes a better place for it. Some final words of wisdom to take with you today: “Let us fill our hearts with our own compassion- towards ourselves and towards all living beings” Thich Nhat Hanh

Saturday, March 14, 2015


“When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. When life is bitter, say thank you and grow” - Shauna Niequist
One of the greatest components of building a happy life is gratitude. No matter how fast paced or unmanageable our lives may feel, it’s important to take a few minutes out of each day and find something to be grateful for. It’s amazing how generating a mental gratitude list can snap you out of a funk, and it’s almost guaranteed to make you feel positive once you’re done! As with most things, the hardest part is getting started.
When you’re in a difficult or trying place in life, starting a gratitude list may seem pointless or like a waste of time. Put these negative thoughts aside, even if only for a minute at first. Start with the very basic elements, no matter how “obvious” or “silly” they may seem at first. For instance, being thankful for: your life, the opportunity for the blank slate of a new day, your family, your friends, the sun, the earth, the ocean, rain, modern technology- anything that surrounds you or makes you happy. You can be grateful for a certain childhood memory or a favorite book. And, if you really want to dig deep into the core of gratitude and it’s potential for happiness, express gratitude for your adversities and obstacles. Pain is temporary, after all, and challenges offer an opportunity for growth. They are merely a push in the right direction, a catalyst for action that we may not take if left to our own devices. And, once the challenge is overcome, are we not often the better people because of it? Even sadness is worthy of gratitude, because without it, what would we have to compare happiness with?
Mentally listing what you are grateful for is a great way to start your day, but there’s even more work that you can do! Gratitude is an action word. It is defined as “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.”  There are three verbs in this definition: “being,” “show” and “return.” The quote at the beginning of the post also emphasizes the action-oriented nature of gratitude: it’s a matter of saying “thank you AND “ celebrating or “thank you AND” growing. The work begins with a thank you, but ends with an action.  
This means gratitude is more than a mere feeling, or saying “Thank you” to the open air (although it’s a great start). If you have specific people in your gratitude list, make sure to take some time to thank them in person, if you can. I’m sure they would love to hear it, and it will make you feel good, too. As William Arthur Ward points out, “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” Expression can, and often does, involve simply telling a person, “Hey, thank you for being in my life!”
Some final food for thought as you pave your way to happiness through gratitude: “It is not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy.” No matter where you are in your journey, whether you feel that life has given you a bounty of lemons or that it has backed you into a temporary corner, say thank you and be happy!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


       "Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity, but in doing”- Greg Anderson.
As many of you know, this blog began as a way to share the personal journey of my family in overcoming adversity and appreciating the many blessings we have been given. It was also a way to open dialogue about my novel, “Flu Shot Gone Wrong.” In just one week, my story, “Flu Shot Gone Wrong,” will be published. It’s a long awaited time that has at last arrived. I’ve been dreading and anticipating it in equal measure. But why? Is it because I’m viewing publication as my “destination”? Or is it perhaps dread of the unknown, the “what happens next” of releasing a very personal story to millions of people?
The anticipation makes sense, after all- this is the result of years of work. Navigating the world of writing, finding the courage and strength to not only share our story but feel that I’ve done it justice, in between raising four children and maintaining faith has been hard work, but it was my calling. I have strong hopes that others will read our story and find the inspiration and strength within the pages to continue their own personal journeys. We never have to walk alone. In many ways, my anticipation is the equivalent of seeing the finish line after running a physically taxing race. The end is in sight, and I am eager to cross that line, taking some time to catch my breath and rest afterward.
The dread is a more difficult feeling to explain. Perhaps it is because all writing is a work that comes from within, it’s an opening of heart and soul. This particular bit of work exposes a huge piece of my own life, laying it bare for all to see. It’s opening up, and, as with any type of opening, it leaves an exposed, vulnerable place. Vulnerability, as Brene Brown says, “is about showing up and being seen. It’s tough to do that when we’re terrified about what people might see or think.” In writing my son’s story, I am opening our lives to the eyes of many: “This is real, this is me, this is us.” It is an invitation to exposure. In many ways, publishing is a gigantic leap of faith.
As March 10 draws ever closer, I try to push aside the dread, fear and anticipation, and remember instead that this is only one leg of a journey. The overarching theme in this particular journey is without a doubt love. When I remember that “Flu Shot Gone Wrong” began as an act of love for my children, all my strength returns. No matter what comes next in this journey of life, they will always be the most important part. It is their love and faith that keeps me afloat through the ups and downs. In fact, they gave me my voice. The truth is, in spite of the difficulties, I have experienced a vast amount of joy during this journey. Here’s to the ending of a chapter and the beginning of a new one!