April 22, 2017

I’m going to tell the story of how I ended up at Modern Vintage Tattoo in Gettysburg, PA on April 22, 2017.

Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly #inspiration #quotes #strength:
I have this exact image in magnet form at work.


Tattoo Artist: David Hoover – Thank you for making this experience amazing and giving me exactly what I wanted.

2016- After years of struggling with depression and anxiety, I made the decision to better my mental health. This was after many events piling up and having a breakdown at work. When my “I’m fine.” face and response and other strategies failed me- I knew I had to seek professional support.

For many years I would joke with my mother and tell her how I was surprised I was never put in therapy.  I went on to take many courses on psychology and counseling skills in college and told myself that I knew what a therapist would tell me.
During my senior year in college I had to write a paper for my Family Dynamics course. That paper stirred up so many mixed emotions. So I decided to try and talk to someone at the school’s wellness center.
The counselor on staff was away for vacation, so I saw one of the interns.
That didn’t get me anywhere. This individual said nothing.
After that I told myself that I wasn’t doing that again.
Flash forward to 2016 and I ended up saying the same things I did then to 2 additional professionals, and they have been there guiding me along this journey to a better version of myself.

I still have days when smiling isn’t easy. I have days when my body and mind are exhausted. But now I learned that it’s OK to not do it all. My mental health is just as important as my physical health.

Having this butterfly tattoo is more than something pretty to look at.
It’s my reminder of the positive that comes with the negative. As well as my reminder of my transformation.

To my support system: THANK YOU.


November 9, 2016

Give thanks & be kind.


I am thankful for my parents:

Their support and guidance has shaped me into the woman I am today. There were times I know I needed to hear the truth, and they gave it to me. There were times they let me figure out the answers to my many questions on my own. My parents taught me to be strong, no matter the situation. They taught me to be a leader and not a follower. They taught me to be kind. They also taught me the importance of a real smile.

I am thankful for my job:

I can’t tell you how thankful I am to be in the position I am today. I remember being in 3rd grade, struggling with math and getting extra support from my teacher in order to advance in the fall. Her support planted the seed. As the years went on my passion and talents in art led me to starting college as an art major. Six weeks later I changed my mind. Flash forward through the many nights of “What am I doing with my life?! Will I even have a job when I graduate?! I should of gone to community college!” – I got a full time job a month after graduation. I am a teacher. I teach reading to students with dyslexia and other language based learning differences. Every day is a new day. Every day I am making a difference in the lives of the young minds that walk into my room for their daily lesson. I am the person they look to for support and guidance. I’m also the person they call for when a toilet is overflowing… Like I said, every day is a new adventure.

I am thankful for my past:

We all make mistakes. No one is perfect. I have spent many nights wondering what my life would be if I took a different path. Said yes to some things and no to others. I’ve lost people that I thought would be standing by me at my wedding. I said goodbye to people I thought would be in my life for many more years than they were. My past has taught me to be open to what comes after the pain.

I am thankful for my present:

My present is not my past. I’ve had to repeat that over and over again. My present brings me so much happiness. I am surrounded by an incredible support system. I enjoy the little things in life. I laugh more, and I smile more. Those that play a part in this- you all mean more than you know. For those that have just listened- thank you.

I am thankful for the unknown:

I remember the nights when I’d dream about what my life would be like when I turned 25. Now I start to question what the next five and ten years will bring. Whatever is in store for me I can handle it. I’ve made it this far.

I am thankful for failure:

I didn’t let falling off my bike stop me from learning. I didn’t let not getting the part stop me from acting (middle school). I didn’t let rejection stop me from asking my next crush out. I didn’t let the man at PCAD ruin my love of drawing and painting. I didn’t let “we regret to inform you letters” stop me from applying for jobs. I asked for help, and learned how to be more flexible.

I am thankful for my strengths:

Kind, loving, responsible, dependable, patient, photographer, difference maker.
Those things make me- ME.

I am thankful for my weaknesses:

I’m not perfect. I can’t touch my toes. I can’t do a cartwheel. Spiders and snakes scare me. Don’t ask me to ride a roller coaster. When someone cries around me there is a high chance I will cry with them. I am afraid of asking for help. I hate when I’m talked down to. All of these things don’t make me a bad person. It shows I’m human.

I am thankful for sunrises, and sunsets:

A sunrise means, it’s a new day with new adventures to embrace.
A sunset means, I made it through the adventure and more is on the way.