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I'm a mom of five awesome kids, two girls and three boys. I even have a grandson now who will be one next month. I guess looking back, others would say four of my kids had disabilities or disorders of some sort and my 2nd daughter was overweight no matter what we tried, but we never saw what the outside world did. My life as a mommy was a very involved one, a very active, and at times, overwhelming one. Since my own life had been full of demons and haunts growing up, my kids were my world. I never saw them as anything but perfect even through all the glasses appointments, surgeries, shoes fittings, and ER visits. It was our normal and if anything, as a family, we reached out to parents and kids at children's hospitals, Ronald McDonald houses, and track Special Olympics to try to make them feel like we did…blessed and loved as a unit.
One of my deepest wounds was acceptance throughout my life, and I could see this in the adults around me and my children and their friends as well. I could see I was not the only one very clearly. I was, and have always been, genuine and sincere, to all I meet. My kids followed suit. We have always reached out to all around us in kindness. Not simply because we wish it returned, but it is our mantra in life.
To some, I'm a bit eccentric in my kindness. My friends have accepted I'm really not a weirdo like everyone else thinks but a special kind of weirdo just for them who can be a bit snarky.
Five years ago, I found myself moving from Ohio to the state of Washington with my youngest son. My older kids wished to finish high school there and would visit for summers. It was the first time I had EVER been away from my kids. It was not a smooth transition at all. I found myself spiraling and feeling lost away from my loved ones for two years, lying in a void of nightmares. I found myself regretting the move, new adventures and opportunities gone.
I walked into a library one day, I don't even remember why I left the house, and the first book I saw was, "Why Your Like Sucks!" by Alan H. Cohen. I cracked a grin and shook my head. My word. How did such a book get to be in a library and who in their right mind would read it?! I did. I'm so thrilled I did. It started to change my outlook, my life. I created an inspirational page, Inspirational Me, on Facebook to help me share what motivated me daily. Before I knew it, within a month I had 10,000 fans. There were so many people who needed to know they were okay, that they were going to be okay! Today, it is just shy of 33,000 amazing people I call my family.
I have always been one who uplifted other people, a people person. All my life I was a yes person and a no to me person. Through the dark days, I lost everything but I found myself. I now live right outside Mesquite, Nevada, where the sun shines nearly every day. Three of my children have graduated high school, one will this year, and my baby boy just started high school and is already over 6' tall and quite the ladies’ man. My goodness!! I shoot photography part time when I'm not engrossed in writing or creating somehow. My biggest goal is to reach as many people I can who need something they didn't know they necessarily needed but knew they were searching for something. Not sure if that makes sense, but I know if you are one of them, you will *wink.
I long for a day when there's no boundaries to the giving I can do on all levels, and if the only thanks received is the one I give for that moment, I am perfect with that. Sounds corny, huh? But, not to me. Ask any of my friends. I am like this all the time, my head in the clouds, my heart has wings, and my unicorn is parked in the back ;)
So where does Cali and the BF Crew come in? She's more than a children's series. She's a movement of the heart. It may not be clearly seen in the first book, but it will become more prevalent in books to come. Cali is how I feel and react to friends. She's sincere and caring, she's funny and a bit of a comedian, but most of all, she accepts who she is and knows that makes her pretty super, and her super power you might say, is to show each she interacts with the glow she sees within them too. My wish is that for all who read her stories, children to 99, they each can relate whether in their present day or remembering back to when they were 4-5-6. Cali is so needed and I can't wait for everyone to know her. She truly does look at everyone as a potential Bestie and I wouldn't have it any other way because I do too.
And so, I leave you with my three favorite quotes I live by daily:
Be the change you wish to see in the world. –Gandhi
"If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough." - Meister Eckhar
“Keep your face to the sun and you will never see the shadows.” ― Helen Keller