Saturday, March 31, 2012

Outward Appearances

I am curious as to how many of you will admit to judging people based on their outward appearances? I have spent the last couple of hours wasting plenty of time on pinterest looking at a variety of things (mainly shoes and clothing) and it got me thinking about how our outward appearances can create an image in people's mind of what we are like. For example if you were to see someone wearing these shoes what would you think (besides that their feet are going to be hurting!) ?

What about these?
I am using shoes here for the simple reason that I have been looking at shoes for about 2 hours.....

To often to much emphasis is placed on what we are wearing (or not wearing) and it doesn't allow us to be able to get to know each other as people. Often people will look like they have it together when in reality on the inside they are crying out in pain or vice versa. So the point of this post is this...don't judge people based on how they look...simple as that :)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Keeping it real people...a day in my life

I am not getting enough sleep right now and I am really tired and cranky beyond belief. I honestly feel sorry for my husband the last few days because I have been overly cranky. I have been having those days where nothing goes right and I feel like I never have time to myself. Take today for example.

Woke up to the dog digging and pushing cushions off of the couch to get to most likely cheerios that Greyson hid under the cushions to prove that he "ate all his breakfast" to get his daily treat. After this I decided to get dressed and ready for the day and asked Greyson to do the same..of course he couldn't listen and so got sent to his room so I didn't scream at him....true story. Then I decided I would paint my nails a sheer cotton color by Revlon and then decided I would put black polish towards the disaster.

Finally made it out of the house to go to McDonald's which was the only peace I felt I had all day only to have to hear someone kid do the high pitch scream that makes you want to pierce your own ear drums to make it stop and to hear Greyson whine about how they had the same toy from last send him up to ask for something else only to have him come back whining and at this point in near tears because it is the same toy as the week before that.....after that melt down was avoided we came back home.

Greyson went to his room only to ask me at least 3x in 20 minutes if his rest time was up and another 4x if he could have a rest time snack because you know resting uses so much energy. During this time I re-did my nails (because the first go looked like crap) and all was well...added my top coat 35 minutes before we needed to leave the house to pick up S to drive to the eye doctor...apparently 35minutes it not enough time for Essie no chip top coat to freaking dry because I completely destroyed my nails getting Greyson in his car seat.

Eye doctor and dinner went a little better but today is just a crappy day for me and with that....

It is now 9:39pm and I am going to take a shower and go to bed....with crappy painted nails.

Google image 1 and 2

Monday, March 26, 2012

School work this week

Just thought I would do a quick post letting you know what I have going on this week in my courses.

Discussion post
2 discussion post responses
Lying on the couch paper

Discussion post
2 discussions post responses
Exam 2

Discussion post
2 discussion post responses

Personally I am not looking forward to taking an exam....I would rather write 10 papers than take a darn exam. I am no good at them. Ask me verbally what you want me to know and I am good but something about an exam form that I don't normally do great at. So wish me luck!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Advice Giving

Jen over at The Pursuit of Sassiness made a post about advice giving that got me thinking. Oh my goodness I am so guilty of giving advice to my friends! As I was reading through her post I was struck with how often I do this when my friends are talking about their issues. Now I am not saying that I always do this but there are some instances in which a friend has been talking non stop about the same issue/problem and I have resorted to "giving advice" mainly because I was tired of hearing the same issue over and over again without seeing any action on the part of the person to make changes (lord I am sure they can say this about me as well!). Just think about how easy it is to give advice. Most of us do this automatically without really thinking about the what we are saying, basically we are on auto pilot and we assume that our friends want to hear what we have to say......they probably don't. Instead they probably wish we would just let them vent as sometimes just verbalizing a problem can help. I know it does with me.

Thinking about advice giving and what separates a counselor from some person on the street who is willing to offer advice at the drop of a hat I came upon this illustration:

I wonder how many counselors would agree with this? Does this make it seem to simple? As counselors should we never really give advice? The article that this illustration came from located here actually helps with these questions. Bascially it boils down to giving advice is basically telling the person what they should do instead of letting them figure it out for themselves and feeling empowered that they do have choices.

So what I am going to do with this information? I am going to make a conscious effort to not give advice of course! If your a friend of mine and your reading this post...please remind me (gently of course) if we are talking and you feel like I am giving you advice and not really "hearing" what your saying.

All images from

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Life decisions

"Listen to the quietest whispers of your mind. They are telling you the choices that will help you the most." Author Unknown (I had this in a quote document that I add to constantly).

Does anyone else get amazed at how hard decisions can be? I have been struggling with the same decision for months now and I can almost guarantee you that my friends are tired of hearing me talk about the same issue in twenty two different ways. You see this decisions is huge and will make changes within our family and the thought of some of the outcomes scares me. If one can say that their heart is telling them to do one thing while their head is telling them to do another I think it would fit my situation.
I have mulled over my decisions and the choices I have as well as their impacts and yet I still can't make it. I have talked to my counselor about it, my husband and countless friends and yet I still can't make it. Maybe this is how it is supposed to be so that I can learn just how hard decisions can be because in the past they have always came easy to me. Life lesson maybe? I have made a pro's/con's list, talked about until I don't know what else to say and yet the process I am using is not working for me or maybe it is but fear is getting the better of me. Fear of the is terrifying.

Perhaps this is a life lesson one that has me stop and think about how many people who have sat in a counseling chair/life chair and had this very same feeling. Let's hope that I will be a bit more understanding in the future because of my own experience and I am understanding of how change in any form is a process of choices and decisions to get to the end goal.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


All Images in this post are from

Since this is my blog and I can talk about what I want I am going to talk about Trayvon Martin the 17 year old Florida kid who was shot and killed by someone who was part of a unregistered neighbor watch. If you haven't heard about this story just do a Google search and you will come up with tons of information on the case and if you head on over to and search there you can listen to all the 911 tapes etc pertaining to the case. Here is a link to ABC news showing a few videos as well.

This just baffles me. I understand that our justice system is a process and that all police departments must follow those processes however this boy was shot and killed on February 26th and here it is March 20th and George Zimmerman still remains a free man when he should be taking up space here:

The police have had plenty of time to make an arrest in this case yet they keep citing self defense and "standing your ground" as reasons why George Zimmerman is breathing fresh air. Standing your ground does not mean chasing someone when the police SPECIFICALLY tell you not to and then shooting them as they stand there holding a pack of skittles and iced tea. Standing your ground does not mean that you can CHASE someone to use the force this very thing states you can but instead that you stand your ground if someone comes at you so why this is even a question is beyond me.

Something else I want to touch on....there are many 911 tapes with the horrifying sounds of Trayvon Martin screaming as loud as a person probably could as they lay there bleeding from a gunshot wound for someone to help him yet as far as I know not one person went to help...why ? Was it because they had heard a gunshot? I get being freaked out and I can honestly say that I probably would have been as well, but I would have least looked out my window to see if it was safe to go help. What is our country coming to when we hear this sound and we do nothing?

As someone who aspires to be a counselor I can say that if George Zimmerman came to me for counseling it would be a test of my abilities however I would provide him with counseling. Clearly based on his past actions he needs it and has needed it for quite some time and I have to wonder if the outcome would be the same if he had gotten it.

That is all...........I am baffled and saddened by this for many reasons and I feel sad for Trayvons parents and I hope that one day they will see the justice their family clearly deserves and find peace in their hearts.

My last day of down time/self care

Since it is so important for everyone to have downtime I took that literally this last week....I don't know the last time that I didn't read some type of textbook even when I didn't have to! My mother in law and her friend have been with us since the 12th (they are leaving Tuesday) so we have spent the last week visiting various sites around Washington. Today was a trip to Seattle--pikes place market and the space needle of course since they had not been to either. Here are a few pictures from that and I will be posting school related things tomorrow :)

A got a great shot of the Seattle skyline from the observation deck of the space needle!!!

Greyson and his Nona on a beach in Deception Pass State park.

The space needle :)
A Seattle Ferry

Overall we had a great day today and I am looking forward to getting back to doing homework....who am I kidding :)

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Image from
My husband just showed me this guys work and told me they were response was no way... take a look for yourself and let me know what you think... His name is Paul Cadden (Click on his name to go to his website) and he apparently draws using pencil and they really do look like photographs!



Friday, March 16, 2012

Bipolar disorder and the show Private Practice

All images are from

Like many of you I spent the evening last night watching Grey's anatomy followed by Private Practice which I am addicted to. I love the show and what I love even more is the interplay of issues of all the people on the show and I love seeing various things play out. Last nights show was no different and we got to see more of one of the characters battle with Bipolar disorder and family reactions to the disease. So I thought a blog post about bipolar disorder was in order......

There are many definitions for Bipolar disorder (both 1, 2 & Cyclothymia) so I will give you a very simplified definition---Bipolar disorder is characterized by mood swings where a person will cycle between depression and mania often very rapidly although either can last days or months. The illustration below gives you a good idea of the symptoms.

On the last few episodes of Private Practice we have gotten to see Sam's sister suffering with the disorder and the beginning of treatment and family interaction and although I have yet to personally work with or know someone who suffers from bipolar I have read various books and articles on the topic and the show seems to be fairly accurate in its portrayal and I appreciate the show being real and showing it in a positive manner instead of the usual portrayal of someone being down right scary crazy which seems to be standard on television. If you are interested in learning more about Bipolar disorder click here.

I wonder how the show is affecting all those who watch it in their understanding of Bipolar disorder and other mental health issues that are featured on the show and I would love to hear your feedback on what you think of the show???

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A little down time....

We all need it right? I have spent the last few days having some down time where I didn't do any homework or read anything related to school...I have to say it was so nice! I have decided that I will start reading for next week tomorrow night so that I am not behind when the week hits. I also spent the last few days shopping which I tend to do every time my mother in law comes into town... ;) I think my husband hears cha ching every time she comes into town.

So today I decided that Greyson and I would paint this evening. He painted something for his Nona and then painted something for Pat (his Nona's friend) so that they could have a pretty picture for their wall back in Kansas. So here he is painting for his Nona. She loves sunflower anything so he wanted to paint her one.
I decided once he went to bed this evening that I was going to give painting a go...I have never done it before so here is my very first painting. We used acrylic paint because it dries much faster than oil paints do and it is much safer for a 4.5 year old to use ;) .

I love owls so of course I decided to paint one....

So besides shopping this is what I have been up to the last few days...I will be back to regular posting in a few days ;)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Family and a date night

This week my husbands mother and her best friend are in town staying with us until the 20th. I am going to try to keep up with my posting but because they are here and because next week is spring break (HECK YES!) I might not be posting as much next week ;) but instead enjoying my mini break from school.

Image from

Tell me how many of you wouldn't want to spend time in that man's company? The hubs and I went down to Seattle on Friday evening to attend a Blake Shelton concert...come on now who wouldn't want to go see this handsome guy singing: youtube video . He was awesome...AWESOME! He spent about 2 hours on stage and it was well worth the money we paid. Justin Moore was also there and he was really good as well but I didn't know many of his songs and Dia Frampton was also there and she was pretty good although I couldn't hear her that well because the music overpowered her voice. My favorite Miranda Lambert also made an appearance as I was hoping she would! Overall it was an AWESOME concert and I would recommend seeing either of them if you get the chance.

Before the concert we had the chance to have dinner alone....ahhhhhhh. It was so nice to be able to eat without a small person in tow and the food was great! We had dinner at Seatown in downtown Seattle close to Pikes Place Market the hubs had their Friday special of roasted steak and his review was that it was fabulous, I stuck with the roasted chicken and it was really good but it was not really warm enough for me. I would eat here again though as long as I didn't have a kid in tow!

We had a much needed date night and I really enjoyed spending the better part of a day alone with my husband....a must do again before the grandparents go home :)

Saturday, March 10, 2012


I'll post an update later but last night the hubs and I went down to Seattle to a Blake Shelton concert and dinner without the 4.5 year old in tow. :)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Self Value

All images are from

Would it surprise you to know that the majority of the people you know most likely suffer at least a little from having low self value. Even the ones who look as if they have it all, are doing it all probably have little self value. It is something that is easily faked by slapping a smile on your face and moving forward everyday all the while people assume that all is well. Too often what others see of us is not how we see ourselves for example....

So how does this happen you say? Well it happens because to often we feel we are not good enough, don't do this good enough, don't say that good enough, we are just not good at insert any number of things here. We constantly tell ourselves that we are is just not good enough and it doesn't take long before our actions start to match our thoughts. We allow others to treat us as if we don't matter and over time it slowly erodes any feelings of self value that we might have had.

Often as mental health counselors working in various fields we see clients who have little self value. You would be amazed at what having no self value can cause a person to choose to do. Notice I said choose to do because I believe that we all have choices and we make choices in everything we do, it doesn't simply happen, we choose to let it happen. Clients will come to us and say that they feel they have no choice but they are simply choosing not to choose. Once we can help them understand that they do indeed have a choice then change begins to happen. Feeling like you have a choice to change your own situation is powerful and opens up a whole world of options. So the next person you come into contact with try to say a nice comment about them.......this just might help them understand and feel valued.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Personal Counseling

Psychotherapy tree image from

So if I haven't posted this before (I think I have) I attend personal counseling sessions weekly. Part of this is to work on my own issues and part of this is to work on my own counseling skills and to experience counseling from a clients perspective. It wouldn't be fair for me to become a counselor without ever experiencing counseling don't you think?

I am a self professed control freak...yes you read that right I am a control freak and I plan everything to the point where if I can't plan I seriously flip out. When I can't plan or control is causes me anxiety. My whole point in this self confession is to help people understand that everyone has issues. My issue just happens to be that I am a control freak (although I am sure my counselor would pin point out some more!).

So I plan to stay in counseling for a little bit longer although I do think my counseling program is going to help me work on A LOT of my issues! I can honestly say that I never really expected that I would be working on so many self issues in my program. Every week I learn, evaluate, search, and determine something new about myself because it is required of me in my counseling program and I honestly can't wait to see where this journey takes me...hopefully you will stay along for the ride ;)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Yell it to the mountain top...its addictions

Do you ever feel like something is just right for you and you always come back to that one thing even when you try to focus your mind on something completely different? For me this one thing is working in addiction treatment and counseling. A while ago my interest in working with those suffering from addiction peaked after attending a few weekend courses at my local community college as part of my undergraduate program and learning so much from my instructor who had spent the last 20 years working in addiction counseling. The last year I have dipped my toe into other areas as far as research/reading etc on other topics and yet I always feel myself being pulled to addictions. So there folks I think at this point I am going to focus my attention and learning on working with those who suffer from addictions.

I am excited and nervous at the same time for this journey and I can't wait until I can begin my internships and really get in there and see if this is the right track for me. So wish me luck!!!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

My tattoo & my week ahead

So I did it... I finally after waiting for 10 years or so got a tattoo. I waited so long because I could never find anything I liked or think of anything that I wanted on my body for the rest of my life. So the other day as I was doodling I came up with this idea and went with it.

Here it is without the color:
As soon as it was done:
The morning after:
It is very simple but has a lot of meaning. The 3 colored hearts are for Seth, Zach, and Greyson and the word love you see is Greyson's handwriting. After a little coaxing I got him to write it neat enough to read ;). He informed me this morning he wanted it on my

Now for those of you reading who have never had a tattoo....I was REALLY nervous and I worked myself into thinking it was going to hurt pretty bad. It didn't. Did it hurt? At times yes but not anywhere near that I thought it was going to. This could be due to a number of reasons and each person experiences pain differently and I happen to have a high pain tolerance. Your foot is a spot that typically does hurt most people. For me I didn't even really feel him do the word and most of the heart.

So what does it feel like? Honestly it feels sort of like a hot burning sensation but not one in which you feel like your skin is on fire....hard to describe really. The first pass was fine but I can tell you when he went back over spots he already did that hurt worse than the first time around. So did it hurt? Yes in certain spots but it was nothing I couldn't handle ;)

My upcoming week for homework looks like this:

Lifespan-Discussion post and 2 responses & Keep working on personal narrative 2
Theories-Discussion post and 2 responses
Ethics-Discussion post x2 and 4 response and dual relationship article post due

So that's it for this week as far as homework is concerned :)

Saturday, March 3, 2012


On the agenda this evening is that I am going to get a tattoo. Something very personal and very very simple that I drew that has a lot of meaning to me. Of course I will post a picture on here once I do it! I got a sitter for a couple of hours tonight so that my husband can come along with me to get it ;). I am a bit worried as I plan to get it on the top of my foot and have heard that it hurts pretty bad. The good thing is though that as simple as what I want to get it shouldn't take 15-20minutes once he gets going. Would you all laugh at me if I got this tattoo that I found on

One of the reasons that I decided to get the tattoo on my foot is so that I can cover it up when needed. I am thinking ahead to once I become a counselor/therapist and at how some clients might be put off by a tattoo. I am curious if you would be put off by a therapist with a tattoo even if it was small and nothing offensive?

I think people should do what they want with their bodies obviously but I personally wouldn't think of getting large or multiple tattoos in places that can't be covered up with the current feelings and attitudes many have towards tattoos. My sister in law said that at her work place she has to wear some type of sleeve cover up for the large one she has on her lower arm. Sounds silly to me because I have seen the tattoo and it is nothing offensive but that is the way it is. I was also told by someone else who daughter is a nurse that they won't hire any nurse who have visible tattoos.

So if any of you reading this are thinking about getting tattoos stop and think twice about the location and what your getting and how this might impact your future career. There are MANY people who are put off by tattoos and if you have one or more that can't be covered you might see the impact.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Random thoughts

A few days ago Greyson and I met a friend for lunch at the spot in the picture you see above. Its beautiful right? I can't believe how perfect the setting looks in this picture and it makes me smile to think that that location is about a 20minute drive from my house (this is not the beach 5 minutes from my house!). I am hoping this weekend is going to give a break from the rain and colder weather as there is a walking trail that goes around the water that I hope we can go walk on this weekend but the weather is supposed to be rainy as usual.

I have been back to trying to lose about 30lbs again and so I have been trying to get to the gym 5 days per week but this week I haven't made it 5 although the week isn't over right? So unlike most people who watch TV, people watch, or listen to music while they work out I do this:

Yep I read. Somehow I manage to tune out the music in the background and the people talking and I get a lot of good reading done on the treadmill! So tell me what do you do at the gym?

As I am sitting here typing this I am really wishing we could take a vacation.....Seth's mom and good friend are coming out to visit for almost 2 weeks next Thursday so company and familiar faces will be a nice change but that doesn't stop me from wishing to be here:

Image from
Or here overnight with my husband without the little guy as this has yet to happen in almost 5 years........

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The power of words

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A friend of mine on Facebook posted a link to a video on Youtube about the power of words (video here) and this video got me thinking (which could be dangerous!) about how powerful our words really are. The spoken word is the most powerful because those once said can never be taken back even if we say were sorry/didn't mean it/that wasn't what I meant etc. The written word at least can be thrown away but once read they too can't be taken back. Do you see the power of words?

The power with words lies in the fact that they can encourage or discourage, hurt or heal, they can break or make a person, and they can lift up or tear down. Think about that. Think about the interactions you have with loved ones in your life and think about how your choice of words might have impacted the perception of the situation and how your words either helped or harmed the interaction. Think about how your choice of words could have given a different outcome.

As a person who wants to be a counselor I understand the power of words as words coupled with action create change. Words are powerful and simplistic at the same time. So the next time you use words (what in about 2 seconds!) stop and think about the impact of those words and recognize that they can make greatness if you choose them wisely they can lift someone up and inspire them to do the same. Can something as simple as words really change the world?