The Power of a Friend

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I’ve just returned home from the Grant County YMCA after doing 45 minutes in the pool with one on my friends.  We get up at an hour that is usually reserved for emergency services, shift workers and bakers and take ourselves to the local pool to work out our aging joints—oh, and our mouths.  We talk and laugh and share advice as we stretch, walk and swim through our workout.

I’ve traditionally been a more solo exercise individual—until now.  I am ...

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Rediscovering My Ground

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It’s been 19 months since our son had his stem cell transplant for acute lymphoblastic leukemia and yesterday he texted me:

“How am I alive? Was just reflecting on everything we have been through.  It’s crazy.”

I occasionally look at the photos and videos from that timeframe and frankly, I don’t know the answer to his question.  Some will want to invoke God’s will; some will recognize Will’s innate drive ...

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Settling

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I’m super strong willed—have been since birth and my mom has the stories to prove it.  As a three year old, I remember my lily white Easter dress with the wide yellow ribbon tied at the waist, my white tights and my white patent leather Mary Jane shoes.  I also remember my mother telling me, in no uncertain terms, to stay out of the creek.  I’m sure my eyes twinkled as I immediately headed for the creek to catch frogs ...

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Moving Forward

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Recently I had the unfortunate honor of attending the funeral of a close friend’s brother.  A man who died, too young, of brain cancer.  And during that time I got to thinking about how even amidst his diagnosis, he continued to move forward and live.  Shockingly, what was a six to 12 weeks life expectancy, turned out to be just over a year—and during a pandemic as a pile on.  He loved hard and lived hard for 12+ glorious months ...

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The Good Stuff

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My in-laws were visiting from Nebraska over the weekend and while catching up on all the family news, my mother-in-law, Pat, told me a story worth repeating.

My husband and his family are from a small (pop. 1000) rural farming community in Northeast Nebraska.  Pat is a hairdresser and my father-in-law, Gary, drives trucks for farmers.  The smallest of towns have the most amazing way of taking care of their neighbors and Randolph is no exception.  There’s a retirement aged gentlemen, ...

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Children’s Mental Health and Telehealth

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This is Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week and at Family Service Society, Inc. the majority of our clients are children and youth aged 0 to 20.  For FSSI, the mental wellness of our young clients is of primary importance because of the downstream impacts of poor mental health—lower economic achievement, lower academic achievement, relationship issues, poor physical health.

The Child Mind Institute has published its 2020 Children’s Mental Health Report: Telehealth in an Increasingly Virtual World.  There are both disturbing and hopeful ...

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Mothers: You Are Enough

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This one is for all the mothers out there.  We’re just coming off of the holidays that each of us in our own way worked really hard to make magical on a budget.  There’s the added pressure of living through a pandemic and making sure our families are safe and well.  Many of us are working mothers and our kids are returning to school or e-learning.  We’re trying to execute everything perfectly so that our families and friends don’t see ...

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Elevate Your Rituals for Better Mental Health

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The first skiff of snow is on the ground and greedy birds are vying for position at the bird feeders outside my window.  The morning coffee ritual has begun and the smell wafts through the air signaling morning has arrived even if the sun isn’t quite ready to make herself known.  My youngest has overslept for school and is scrambling to consume a bowl of cereal and find the perfect sweatshirt, her hair in a messy bun that looks effortlessly ...

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Reclaim your Power: Build a Healthy Immune System

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, I have spent a significant amount of time thinking about how to build a healthy immune system for everyone in my family.  I recently found an article from Plant Based News out of London that provided an excellent and easy list that I’ve paraphrased here:

  1. Eat a plant based diet—at our house we call it a Plant Strong diet because not everyone is all in (basically, eat your veggies folks).
  2. Exercise—30 minutes of purposeful exercise per day that ...
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Brave Space

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Recently my son, Will, who is recovering from a bone marrow transplant had a full on come apart over a burrito at dinner. He became completely overwhelmed by the swirling of emotions inside and finally there was no more space for them—those emotions had to come out. I reached across the table and placed my hand on his arm for comfort and just sat with him as he purged. His body quickly calmed and relaxed as it embraced the relief ...

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