I’m married for almost 30 years to the love of my life.   I have two sons and one daughter in love and I will soon be a grandmother.. or a Nana, possibly even a Mimi…  I’m thinking I’m going to let baby decide, because  that child will be brilliant and will certainly know best.  

I am a dog person who had her heart stolen by a couple of cats. When my son moved out and took those sweet kitties, I found a couple more and I completely and willingly gave my heart to them.   I have gone from fearing cats and all their sharp parts to standing on the ledge of becoming a crazy cat lady.  

I had big dreams for my life and they haven’t quite turned out the way I planned, but I can honestly say my life is amazing and better than I could have imagined.   That’s not to say it’s perfect and it’s not to say it hasn’t been messy.   My life is perfectly messy!  

I have lived in plenty and I have lived where I had to trust God.   I have lived to protect my kids, and have been crushed when I couldn’t take their pain away.   I have had a marriage that rocked, until it hit the rocks and now, by the grace of God and lots of hard work, it’s rock solid again.  

I have watched cancer do it’s best to destroy both my mom and dad and I have held their hands as they left cancer and this world behind, dancing into the arms of Jesus.  

And then, on the 9th anniversary of my mom’s passing, I started my own fight with cancer.   

And I’m winning.   I’m a warrior, y’all.    

Through it all, joy has been illuminated — never eliminated.   

That’s why I call this site”Illuminating Joy”    Because I’m hoping to help you see the joy around you, despite the circumstances you  find yourself in.   And then that same joy can  illuminate the path out of the valley… out of the shadows.   I will never tell you not to feel.  Your grief, your anger, your fear…. they are all valid.  I just want you to know that there is joy there too.  

So what do you say?  You wanna hang out?   

Let’s climb out of the valley together and once we are back on the mountaintop, we can look down and enjoy the view… 

Because the truth is…..beautiful flowers grow in the valley.