Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Join Me At My New Website

In my process of “coming alive” I have created a new website.  I invite you to visit, follow along, leave you comments, and join me on the journey.  I will no longer be posting to this site.  For those who started with me from the beginning, your encouragement has been a gift.  Words cannot express my gratitude.

I began this blog with two of my favorite quotes, and I will leave them with you here as a reminder of the possibilities…………

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  -Marianne Willamson

Don’t ask what the world needs.  Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it.  Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.”  -Howard Thurman.

I look forward to having you with me at

Together as ONE,


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Random Thoughts While Driving 6 Hours Alone in the Car

Yesterday I was able to hit the road solo.  My husband cleaned up his car for me to drive and took the day off to shuttle the kids to and from school.  I had my tea, GPS, and music.  I was all set for the drive—time to organize my thoughts and reflect on the direction my life is taking me.  What I found was not an organized list, but rather a smash-up of many things.  Welcome to the World of my random thoughts…….

*)  The wildflowers along I-40 from Wilmington to Greensboro bring me joy.  They remind me so much of my wedding bouquet from 17 years ago.  That was a good day!

*)  The Women and Men of the United Way of Greensboro are doing some incredible work to promote community resources that advance family issues.  Attending their Women in Philanthropy event left me inspired.  It is always uplifting to travel other places and see individuals coming together to do good.

*) Everyone needs to buy a copy of The Beauty of Different by Karen Walrond to be reminded of their superpowers and how they can use them for good.

*)  I wonder how iTunes determines the genius list.  It just does not seem right that Erotic City by Prince would be followed by the Phineas and Ferb theme song.

*)  Our tour guide at the International Civil Rights Center & Museum radiated passion.  To be standing in the room of the lunch counter sit-in was a little surreal.  We need to fill ourselves with the courage from these men and women to continue being a voice for social justice for everyone everywhere!!

*)  I love meeting remarkable woman.  Confidence and poise are words to describe Valda Boyd Ford.  I look forward to connecting again with her.

*)  It is time to take my life menu (bucket list) out of my head and put it on paper.  I would like to take singing lessons—my kids would agree.  I want to add piano lessons to that too and visiting San Francisco, New York, Australia, France, Spain, Italy, Greece…..ok I need to share these thoughts in a different post on a different day!!

*)  We need to start dropping more Love Bombs to change the World.

To wrap up and be honest, there were MANY more thoughts that went through my head on this trip and are continuing today.  I feel like I am “coming alive” at lightning pace.  But the thought I want you to hold with you came from Karen’s dad: 

“The World is a small place.  You have to help where you can.”

We all have superpowers and the ability to come alive.  Find your power, find you voice, and use it to help where you can.

Peace and love,


Monday, May 21, 2012

Not What I Was Expecting: A Family Full of Bloggers

Not What I Was Expecting:

A Family Full of Bloggers!!!

            A few weeks ago I attended the Mom 2.0 Summit in Miami—my first ever social media conference.  It was time I learned about the online world I had found myself in since visiting Kenya with the ONE Moms last July.  Yes, I left there with a clearer understanding of the inner workings of this dynamic field, but more importantly I walked away with an awakened sense of my own self-confidence.  Again, it was another “coming alive” moment.  What I didn’t expect to happen was to come home to a family full of bloggers!

            While listening to Brene Brown during her keynote address at the conference I wrote big across my paper: “We cannot give our kids what we don’t have”.  Over the last several years (probably more than several) I have struggled to find my purpose outside of motherhood.  It is now becoming apparent to me more and more everyday—and it’s obvious by what I am witnessing in my family.  I came home from Miami to my husband more inspired than I have seen him in years to start writing again, a daughter with an incredible idea for a blog, a son working through struggles of being a teenage boy and wanting to write about it so that it might help others, and a son that the World better watch out for—I am not sure it is ready for his copious ways!!! 

Needless to say, I am SUPER impressed, empowered, moved, elated, and proud of each one of them and want to share their blogs here……… 

            Please be patient as we fine tune all of our sites, we will continue writing through the process.  Join us for our journey……….It should be a great ride!!

My husband, My forever friend

My youngest son (who gets tired of being last—so has his blog here first!), My sunshine

My middle son, My sage

My daughter, My inspiration

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Too Late To Go Back To Sleep

Too Late To Go Back To Sleep

            Last weekend, my son and I went to see Wicked for his birthday—and yes, I am still “defying gravity”.  I was ready to stand up a sing, “It’s time to trust my instincts…..close my eyes and leap”.  Henry probably would have run from the theatre horrified, but it is how I am feeling these days!

So much is always going on in my head and I feel like I am always trying to sort it out, when I know that is never necessary.  There is no need to ask why all of these experiences are happening or what I am supposed “to do” with them.  My blog is called Coming Alive for a reason.  I know my voice has been in me all along and I have known what to do with it--for some reason I have just been sleeping.  Well not anymore! 

            This week I have freshened up my blog, added a few pages, and changed my twitter and email.  My design is a nifty template and still a work in progress; however I definitely know I am moving in the right direction.  I am especially excited about: What I Have to Offer and Shining Moments.  I would love for you to take a look and let me know what you think.

            As always I invite you to join me in this leap.  There is so much that can be accomplished when we do it together.  It is too late for us to go back to sleep.  We have a World that needs some changing!!

With peace and gratitude,


Monday, April 23, 2012

Rise Up and Walk

Rise Up and Walk

“We owe it to the present and future generations of all species to rise up and walk!”  ~Wangari Maathi

And walk is what we did!  This year the Wilmington UN Women Walk to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls fell on Earth Day, National Immunization Week (, and during the ONE THRIVE Campaign (   There was so much information to share and so many people there ready to take action.  When I read the above quote from the late Professor Wangari Maathi, winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize and founder of The Green Belt Movement in  her  2006 memoir, Unbowed, I was struck with that feeling of how we are all connected.  Not just to one another, but to this Earth.  Professor Maathi was not just a steward of the Earth, she was a powerhouse for social justice and equal rights for women.  Her fearless dedication to being a voice for justice left me thinking I have to do more!! 

The Sunday forecast called for heavy rains here in Wilmington, NC.   I sent a tweet the evening before to our local weatherman asking him to please make a window for our walk.  Well he must be magic—there was no rain and almost 100 people came to participate.  They were there to make a statement that gender based violence must come to an end!  The fact that up to 70% of women and girls will be beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in their lifetime was on the minds of the walkers as they made their way around a 3k or 5k course.  Seeing the compassion and energy in these participants was uplifting!  They raised money and gave their time for this important cause.  This is still a new event for the community, and with the labor of love put into it I know it is only going to grow larger year by year. 

Participants also took the time to stop by the ONE table and fill out their carrot seed postcards to the White House urging President Obama to work with the G8 leaders to sow the seeds of change and lift 50 million people out of extreme poverty.  It is in these impoverished areas where violence breeds.  To end violence against women and girls we MUST end extreme poverty!!!

What actions can we take?  Here are a few:
*visit  and learn the facts, then look for a local chapter to donate your time or resources. 
*sign petitions and send letters to your Members of Congress……when you sign these petitions you are making your voice heard!!
*shop with a conscious—I wrote a post last December with several links for shopping with a heart:  I am also a HUGE advocate for The Body Shop!!! Read about their values campaign here to stop sex trafficking:
*and of course.....sign up to be a ONE Mom right here!!!  ONE Moms and ONE Dad are in Ghana this week for the launch of two new vaccines for rotavirus and pneumococcal thanks to GAVI.  No mother should have to watch her child die because of a preventable disease.  Let’s support women all ways that we can!
Professor Wangari Maathi faced these challenges and more remaining unbowed.  We must honor her by doing the same.  “RISE UP and WALK” for women everywhere……………………

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Without a Fight

Without a Fight

            I have three kids in three schools this year; elementary, middle, and high school.  It is a challenge to say the least!  As parents we always hope to hear they make it through the day without a fight.  I am talking about the fights concerning who is sitting next to who or who told someone your secret.  In the slum of Kibera we are talking about much more than that.  After the 2008 presidential elections violence erupted along tribal lines with thousands being killed.  That is what makes the story of the Champions Soccer League, a program within the Sports Association of Carolina for Kibera, so powerful.  After watching the documentary Without a Fight  you will be left with an overwhelming feeling of optimism of what can be accomplished when we come together as a community.

            Last summer during our ONE Moms trip to Kenya we were able to visit Carolina for Kibera, a partner of the ONE organization. I instantly resonated with the strong emphasis on programs being community lead.  With our North Carolina connection I knew I wanted to bring my experience back home to not only encourage support of CFK, but to initiate conversations around strengthening our own community.  A few days after returning from our trip my family and I participated in the 26 Day Challenge and—WOW, what an experience!  Sharing it on social media ignited discussions and inspired others to join the challenge.

            When I heard that Without a Fight premiered last month at the 11mm Film Festival in Berlin, Germany, I reached out to the producer, Beth-Ann Kutchma, to see how we could bring it here to Wilmington, NC.  Imagine my excitement, when I learned we were not only screening it, but Kennedy Juma, featured in the film would be visiting from Kibera as well.  The film follows the personal lives of Nicholas and Adan as their teams prepare to meet in the title match of the Champions League, a soccer league started 11 years ago by Carolina for Kibera founder Rye Barcott.  It is based on an experiment to see if putting rival tribes on the same team could help stop ethnic violence.  The end result—over 20,000 games ending “without a fight”.

The reaction from my middle school son after the screening:  “That was REALLY awesome!”.  My youngest son recalls his favorite quote: “There are opportunities out there for you, but you have to look for those opportunities for they are not going to be handed to you on a silver platter.”  And the photos of the event are credited to my teenage daughter, who was eager and engaged in capturing every angle of the evening.  Many in the audience wanted to know how to get a copy (it is really that good!) and was directed to join the email list to get your DVD when they are available and host your own screening.  In a media world that is focused on the darkness, it is uplifting to showcase the good.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Woo!! Hoo!! Fax Machines are Making a Comeback!!!

I was so excited to learn that fax machines were making a comeback this morning!  Maybe we can go back to landline phones as well.  The idea of sitting in one place and having an intimate conversation with a friend knowing that neither one of us was folding laundry, doing dishes, answering emails, or better yet using the restroom.  When I heard the news on this morning I was thrilled!!  There are some other great predictions as well.  Take a look……….

            How awesome is that?  A little April Fools mixed in with a LOT of good news.  The beginning of the end of AIDS is welcome news to the millions of people living with this horrific virus.  Think about no child being born with HIV by 2015.  Our generation is responsible for this accomplishment.  Our scientists, physicians, leaders, and US!  But, we cannot stop now.  We are making progress and have to keep the momentum going.  Please take a moment, sign the petition, and add your voice.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Three Months to Ponder

Three Months to Ponder

So I have had three months to ponder what to write in this post--that means the pressure is on!  What I find so difficult is that every single day something worth writing about happens.  I have the most inspiring conversations, read intriguing articles, hear interesting facts, participate in uplifting events, and meet human beings everyday that are living life minute by minute making a difference.  When the days turn to weeks and the weeks to months then I have trouble simplifying a topic.  I really need to post more!!!  Since my last post on December 11 there has been Christmas, New Year, a new job, ONE meet ups, basketball, soccer, DREAMS, battle of books, theatre, date nights, UN Women Walk meetings, science fair, a teenage bonfire birthday bash, Rotary presentation, husband to Italy, polar plunge, UNA events, sick guinea pig, author lunch, orchestra, Links Luncheon, dinners and morning tea with friends, and the list could go on and on.  So what do I write about?

            My blog is called Coming Alive because prior to being a CDL for ONE I was quite content spending my evenings and weekends at home not doing any of the things above.  Our first year living in NC I spent every Saturday reading my Time magazine and playing scrabble or cards with my kids.  I was relaxed, but could feel a little stirring inside of me.  My husband and I were (and are) always telling our kids to put themselves out there and make things happen, yet here I was talking but not doing.  Then in September 2010 I was called upon to start a new life….and as one of my favorite authors Barbara Kingsolver continues….”and onward full tilt we go, pitched and wrecked and absurdly resolute, driven in spite of everything to make good on a new shore.  To be hopeful, to embrace one possibility after another—that is surely the basic instinct….Crying out:  High tide! Time to move out into the glorious debris.  Time to take this life for what it is.” (excerpt from High Tide in Tucson)  I know that these many things are happening because I decided to “take life for what it is”. 

            I am not sure where these opportunities are all leading me.  What I do know is that you can put yourself out there, you can be a voice for good things in the world, and you can make a difference!  My life—like everyone’s—is every changing and if anything I hope my post inspires others to take what is right in front of them and embrace it.  “Onward full tilt we go!”