Weekly Photo Challenge: Delta

“This week, share a photograph that signifies transitions and change to you. It can be the very beginning of a phase, or the very end. As you pick up your lens, explore the ways in which a single photograph can express time, while only showing us a small portion of any given moment.” – Erica V.

I kept returning to this spot over and over again. I was in Punta Gorda, Florida for about 18 hours back in April as part of my Coach training. I took this picture as a reminder of all I learned there, and that I was leaving that place with a new calling to answer.

The bridge on the left is southbound…from where I came and who I once was.

The bridge on the left is northbound…where I would be going and who I would become.

My spot for my transition, my change, my delta.


One-Month Follow-Up


Well, it’s been a month since I posted some thoughts on here.

Here are a few things I have figured out since May:

  1. I did decide to relaunch my Juice Plus business. It just doesn’t make sense to drop it when I know how great it is for my health and well-being. It is one of the only consistent things in my life that is actually helping me be a better version of me.
  2. I quit biting my nails!!! It’s been about a week and a half… a rough week and a half!! Really rough, but I’m getting through it.
  3. I have finally started to figure out where all my time goes. Now I’m starting to reconfigure my routine to fit in the things that are most important to me.

My next steps:

  1. Host some kind of Juice Plus event online and at my house. I’m thinking info session online and salad party at home.
  2. Cut down on my Pepsi intake some more. This is a big one…please pray for me. 😉
  3. Write more than once a month!!!
  4. Begin implementing simple changes to reach my health and weight goals.
  5. Work through all of our financial crap…more on that later.

There’s a lot to do but I am determined to get through it.

Daily Prompt: Lovingly

So here I am again…trying one more time to get my thoughts into words. I still don’t know what exactly I want to do with this blog but I have to get started (again) or just delete it and move on to something else.

Today’s Daily Prompt is Lovingly.  I can work with this. I do try to approach everything in a lovingly way. For example, Facebook must be approached with love and grace. If not, I would probably reprimand many of my friends and family for what they post. Then, of course, I remember that we all live different lives and come at things with different perspectives. Plus, I don’t have the time to defend my perspective and opinion all day. I have a life to live too.

The babies I take care of at work are another great example. Each one needs love and nurturing from me every time they’re in my care. This one is pretty easy because they are awesome kids and I love watching them grow and learn! The opportunity to be a part of that just fills my heart with so much joy – unlike some of the political posts I have to scroll through.

One thing I need to work on is how I react to my own flaws and short-comings. I need to treat myself in a lovingly way. I have some bad habits I need to work on and some baggage to drop (dropping a few pounds wouldn’t hurt either). 😉

I’m working on it and fortunately, I am surrounded by family and friends to help me along the way!

Okay, I did it! I wrote something! Yay me!

I’ll try this again tomorrow but no promises…lol.


Day 3 – Meaning of My Business Name

Well, today’s prompt was “candle” and that has nothing to do with what I’m writing about today. So, let’s just move on then…

Day 3 – Meaning of My Business Name

The answer to this one comes in two parts. I do actually own a business name or fictitious name as they call it. However, I closed up shop on that earlier this year and created this site which has its own special meaning.

Under the Monkey Tree

When I finished my first degree, Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, I decided to start writing. At that point I had written more than 100,000 words in academic papers and taken a liking to the art. I started by creating a blog called Under the Monkey Tree. It took me forever to come up with the name because so many of my other choices were already taken.

Once I found Under the Monkey Tree available, I really began to like it because it really summed up everything that was going on in my life. Everything I wanted to write about could fit under the umbrella of that name. By the way, monkeys are my favorite animals – especially the chimps and apes. Anyhow, it didn’t matter if I was writing about religion or working on website descriptions and other people’s blogs – it fit under the monkey tree.

Eventually, I started doing some work for World Vision and I had to obtain a business license. During that process I decided to make Under the Monkey Tree official. I already had the domain registered but I needed to register the name in the State of Florida and acquire a tax id.

Shortly after getting that done, we moved out of Florida and my work with World Vision came to an end. Basically, they changed the process and just didn’t need me to do that work anymore. Although I missed it, I was okay because we didn’t have any internet access where we were staying and that made working impossible anyway. Once we got back to Florida, my whole focus and outlook had changed, so I closed the business officially. I still hold the rights to the name for another few years but I don’t know if I’ll do anything with it. I did close down the site so I doubt I’ll ever start it up again but it’s still an option.

Crusty Monkeys

My current site has an interesting origin story. One night, the family was getting ready for dinner and the guys were hanging out and talking in the kitchen. Dylan said something about crusty monks, I don’t remember why but in my head it registered as crusty monkeys. It got me thinking about all of the crap we had been through and how all of that stress had been weighing on me. I started picturing monkeys covered in layers of dirt, dried and crusty gunk, and thought it was kind of a perfect description of how I was feeling. I immediately opened up my laptop and grabbed the site.

Since then I’ve been trying to remove those layers of gunk and find myself again. Not only am I digging through the crusty layers of moving across the country and back, but I’m starting to dig through the crust of growing up in Nokomis – my hometown that I feel little to no connection with. It’s been an interesting process but a good one.

I don’t know if I’ll try to turn Crusty Monkeys into a business or keep it as just a blog. I guess it could potentially fall Under the Monkey Tree umbrella, but I’m not ready to go through all of that yet.

  1. Introduction
  2. 20 Facts About Me
  3. Meaning of My Business Name
  4. Earliest Childhood Memory
  5. My Guilty Pleasure
  6. 3 Personality Traits I am Proud of
  7. 10 Favorite Foods
  8. Old Photo of Me
  9. Piercings and Tattoos?
  10. First Celebrity Crush
  11. Most Proud Moment
  12. If I Won the Lottery…
  13. Favorite Quote
  14. What is in My Handbag?
  15. Timeline of My Day
  16. Dream Job
  17. Favorite Childhood Book
  18. What am I Afraid of?
  19. My Worst Habits
  20. Where I Want to be in 10 Years
  21. Something I Miss
  22. 10 Favorite Songs
  23. Pet Peeves
  24. A Difficult Time in My Life
  25. Best Physical Features
  26. 5 Favorite Blogs
  27. What Makes Me Feel Better, Always
  28. Last Time I Cried
  29. Top Things on My Bucket List
  30. Favorite Comfort Food
  31. Weird Quirk of Mine

Daily Prompt: Expert

Am I an expert on anything? I guess it depends on who you’re asking?

Parenting? No, but some look at my awesome kids and think I have some kind of magic trick that I used to make them be as awesome as they are. My oldest daughter is taking some early childhood development classes in high school and her teacher will ask her what it is I did to make my kids so cool. The best answer I have – common sense and a lot of logic. I had my own childhood and it was filled with ups and downs just like everyone else. I figured out what seemed to work and what didn’t and applied that knowledge to their upbringing. There’s my big magic trick.

Writing? Definitely not, but I had to do so much of it while I was earning my degrees it just made sense to keep going. I still struggle with vocabulary usage, where to put a comma, and finding my niche in the writing world. Just because I’m known as the walking dictionary around here doesn’t mean I know all there is to know about the art. I often find myself directing the kids to Google to find the answer they’re seeking. Nonetheless, I’ve found a love for writing and will continue to develop it as long as I am able to do so.

Healthy Living? Hardly, but I’m working on that one…probably more than the others. What I mean is, I’m not sitting around reading up on how to be a better mom or how to spit out the next best-seller, but I am learning more and more about living a healthier life everyday and figuring out how to apply what I’ve learned to my daily routine. I’m systematically increasing the amounts of exercising I’m doing and pay more attention to what I’m putting into my body –  more than I ever have before. Maybe one day I’ll be able to say I’m an expert on healthy living – at least as much as it applies to me.

Out of all the various facets of my life, there is one thing that I do think I’m an expert at – listening. I can listen to anyone’s “side of the story” and at least empathize with their unique situation. It can be difficult at times, but I can always see things from someone else’s point of view once I’ve heard it. With that, I have been able to defend most positions, even when they are on the opposite side of the spectrum from my own. It’s one of the main ways I’m able to ignore and avoid conflict…especially on social media. Election seasons are the worst, particularly the one we are currently in, and it can sometimes be overwhelming to keep my mouth shut. However, I do and I will because I know that each of those posts reflect feelings and thoughts that are based on so many factors that are foreign or unfamiliar to me like life experience, race, socioeconomic status, age and gender. Many people have come to me for advice and I will give it to them when I have something for them, but if nothing else…I will always be there to listen. Sometimes, that’s all someone needs.

My Five Journeys

When I thought about today’s prompt, I found some difficulty thinking about my life as just one single journey. Maybe that’s because there are five major things I’m focusing on right now and each one affects the others yet all of them are equally journeys on their own.

  1. Living – Trying to improve some major areas of my life. There are things I’ve been doing for a long time and I need to quit. There are just as many things that I haven’t been doing that I should be. This of course, would be the main lane of travel on this journey, but it’s more than just existing and moving forward. I need to be specific and intentional and that’s where the next four “journeys” fit in.
  2. Juice Plus – It’s giving me the opportunity to focus my time and energy on what matters most to me – my family. I love the freedom to choose my own hours and still be here when my family needs me. Plus, it is a product that actually does what it says it does – bridging the gap between what I’m eating and what my body needs. I’m also forming some major bonds with my youngest daughter as we make simple changes in how we do life that will lead to healthier versions of ourselves.
  3. World Vision – Ten years with the Child Ambassador Team this November! It is such a blessing to see people here (U.S.), get to connect to people there (in over 100 countries). The fact that I’ve been able to connect more than 80 children to caring and loving sponsors amazes me and inspires me to continue. The things I’ve learned and the places I’ve traveled to make up a huge part of who I am. I know God called me to this and I’m excited to see where else He takes me!
  4. CoastLife – “The best is yet to come!” That phrase is said a lot at my church and for the first time in a long time…I believe it! We are a growing community of believers and I love to serve alongside them to reach more people in our area.
  5. Writing – Trying to get more of this stuff out of my head…lol. I still have so many words stuck in my brain and now that I have the opportunity to work on getting them out, I’m excited to see what makes the cut.