Friday, November 13, 2015

Recovery yoga night Friday

Hey ya'll!

Yoga has meant everything to my healing, in body, spirit and mind.  Those of you who have been to Camp Scabs or to our recent retreat collaboration with Bloom you have experienced the kind of yoga I'm talking about.

Two lovely ladies I know, camp alumni, have put together a yoga self-care night...TONIGHT near Salt Lake City.  Wish I didn't live so far away... but please go for me and tell me all about it.


Monday, November 9, 2015


recipe here
At the Bloom Retreat we spent the whole week eating well. When our bodies, minds and spirits are in trauma we sometimes lean toward too much or too little too junky. I know I spent loads of time noshing whole bags of oreos while I lounged on the couch and when I got off the couch it was fast food and not caring for my body. Food can be such an issue.

Post retreat, here's one simple crock pot recipe to help feed, nurture and care for ourselves with food. My family is eating this for dinner tonight but I don't make meatballs. I take it one step simpler by just cutting up some nitrate free sausage links and adding it to the pot. yum!


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Scholarship Giveaway


I love being able to do this!  

Sometimes these issues in our marriages and relationships can cause financial difficulties or maybe you're a single mom and the idea of paying and traveling to a retreat like the one I'm hosting with Bloom for Women is utterly out of the picture but also so desperately needed.

Well, guess what?  
Some scholarship money just came in and I'm thrilled to be able to give it to you!!

Things with Camp Scabs have been getting bigger and so I decided that literally pulling a name out of a hat was no longer the right way to do this.  I signed up for one of those fancy online raffle generators.  Click the link below and you'll see three ways to enter your name.  And truly, I understand the sensitivity we sometimes feel, so if none of these feel good to you, just email me and I'll enter you manually.  

People are asking, "What's the difference between Camp Scabs and the Bloom Retreat?"

The main difference is the 12 hours of facetime you will have with Dr. Kevin Skinner, betrayal trauma expert and therapist.  You'll be able ask him your pressing questions and get the tools you're searching.  He's created a curriculum just for this retreat focusing on getting "unstuck".  We've all been there, haven't we?  I can't wait to learn from him!

Here are the quick retreat details but you can get all the info here

What: Gain the tools support, and the therapeutic help you need to become "unstuck", move forward and make the right decisions for your life. 

What's Included?
  • 4 nights at "The Gorgeous Creekside Chateau" (rooms are given on a first-buy, first-choice basis):
    • Checkin is Tuesday 11/3 at 4:00pm Mountain Time
    • Checkout is Saturday 11/7 at 11:00am Mountain Time
    • Your choice of a shared room (Private rooms can be made available by personal request. Call or text us and we can accommodate you.)
    • Transportation is provided to and from the airport and throughout the week.
  • 12 hours of therapy with Dr. Kevin Skinner
  • Your own "Survival Kit":
    • One Year Membership to Bloom
    • Turkish Towel
    • Yoga Mat
    • Eye Pillow
    • "Well Fed 2: More Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat" Cookbook
    • Bloom T-Shirt
    • A Special Token Gift
    • A Journal
  • Meals (dietary restrictions will be accommodated). All meals will follow a clean eating, Paleo diet:
    • Welcome dinner on 11/3
    • Breakfast, lunch and dinner on 11/4
    • Breakfast, lunch and dinner on 11/5
    • Breakfast, lunch and dinner on 11/6
    • Farewell breakfast on 11/7
    • Drinks and snacks

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Bloom for Women Retreat


Ladies!  I'm so excited to tell you about this.
This is what we have been looking for.

Bloom for Women and I have teamed up to create the most amazing retreat.  It will be life changing and magical, with a dash of Camp Scabs wildness and the tool building skills of Dr. Skinner, therapist and betrayal trauma expert.  

Can't wait to see you!
Get the all details and register here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Rise Up

Rise Up

This voice!  This woman!  This style!
I {heart} her new release Rise play it loud
This one is for some lovely ladies who put their hearts into The Togetherness Project.  Despite whatever life brings (and it always brings a lot) these ladies know how to Rise Up and get stuff done. 

And, this one is also for all the brave ladies who are attending the project this Saturday, Oct 17.   
Especially the ladies who will wake up early Saturday morning, put on their lip gloss, grab something to eat and drive to the venue alone.  And, to the ladies who park in the back and sit in their car gathering the courage to walk through the doors and enter the world of The Togetherness Project.  And quietly praying that no one recognizes them and at the same time praying that someone will recognize them.  To you, I say this: 

While you sit in your car gathering courage, blast this song, then walk confidently into the project and find your tribe.  
Rise Up ladies!  

Wish I could be there with you!  
Have the best weekend.


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

the letter


This letter is a repost, but I read it again last night and realized that years later, it still holds true.  I especially held on and felt the feels when I wrote about my daughter.  She is thirteen now but she was eight on d-day.  The other night, I had a moment with her that is one of my brightest.  The question many of us ask is how to we walk our children through this path?  How do we talk to them?  What do we say?  How does a child understand such things?  I will post the story of how it is working for my daughter and I on Thursday.  I have a feeling that it is very possible for our children to come out of this stronger, happier and more secure about themselves than before.  There is an incredible amount of hope!


Letter to myself
Please deliver November 27, 2010

Dear Self,

I know you are screaming, your eyes are bloodshot and your mind is exploding at the impossible truth you see in front of you.  You're teeter-tottering between denial, dry stomach heaves and melting onto the floor in an inconsolable heap.  But, as you look into his emptiness you see the truth.  I know you want to punch him in the face but take a step backward.

Good.  Take another step.

Now walk away.  Go to the kitchen, get a drink of water and stare out the window into the black night for a minute...

Strengthen yourself, because you are about to enter the storm of your life.

It's ok to be afraid.  And angry.  And pissed.  And it's ok to throw all his belongings out of your room and spit on them.  It's ok to hunker down and cry on your sofa and not know what to do.  It's ok to feel numb.  Press into the numbness as it's Gods way of protecting you and as a good friend pointed out, possibly protecting him as well.  It's ok to feel bitter and sallow disrespect.  It's ok to doubt and hold mistrust.  It's ok to disconnect from him.  And, oddly it's ok to connect with him.  It's ok to hate him.  It's ok to banish him from your home and life.  It's ok to feel humiliated by his actions.  It's ok to wonder what the hell you did wrong.  It's ok to tell no one and then everyone.  It's ok to question your sexuality.  It's ok to squeeze your eyes shut and wish this terrible mess away.  It's ok to wear the same sweatpants for days, forget to wash your hair and call in sick to work.  It's ok to pretend.  And, it's ok to be utterly raw.  It's ok to stay up all night watching Divorce Court.  It's ok to text your sponsor in the middle of the night.  It's ok to try and manipulate and control him.  It's ok to puke in your mouth every time you see him.  It's ok to be racked by triggers and terrible thoughts.  It's ok to feel betrayal and want revenge.  It's ok to be lost and confused and question God.  All these and more are ok.  Not because it's what you should do and should feel but because it's what you do feel.  This is trauma.  There is no doubt it will scar and change you.

But, it is not ok to wallow or dwell on any of these.  There is a time to get up off the couch and get to work.

Do not be afraid of the unfamiliar emotions that are coming your way.  You can do this.  You will find an untapped strength and discover that you are oddly well-prepared to move through this pain.  These emotions will be your lighthouse.  They will guide you through this storm.  Through the squall.  Through the screaming white walls of shame and fear.   For each ugly emotion you feel you must also feel your way out of it.  Everything has it's opposite.  And, at the end of all this is deep forgiveness.

Take your time.  Be patient with yourself.  Make sure you are ok.  But do this.  This is how you will be able to let go of the hurt and replace it with love.   Love is everything.  You're daughter will teach you this.

It's ok to talk to your daughter about it in a gentle age-appropriate way.  It's ok to involve her in the healing process.  Recognize that even if you don't tell her, she will feel the pain.  So open this door of love and learning for both of you.

When you think about taking your daughter to Disneyland, do it.  Don't hesitate.  You will both love it and need it.  Spend two days instead of one and spend all of Mr. Scabs money.  Buy those $8 churros.  You won't regret it.

Time will pass and you will begin to see shadows and silhouettes in the storm.  You will see the outline of an orange life vest.  Reach out.  Paddle toward her.  You need each other.  Her rescue boat may be shattered and sinking but she has an extra life vest.  Share with each other.  Do not be afraid to tell your story.

Listen to your mind.  What does it tell you?  Then listen to your heart.  What does it tell you?  When that small voice in your heart matches the small voice in your mind you will have the courage to take another step forward.  You will be led not knowing beforehand the things you should do or what the future will hold.  The only way out of this storm is to keep paddling.  You will come to know that the strength of your paddle is not your own.

There is one truth you must learn to accept.  This is a painful and difficult truth.  It's something you will struggle with but once you accept it, it will change everything.

This is it:
There are no guarantees.  Mr. Scabs is a free agent.  He may or may not change.  You cannot force it. Wish it. Be sexy enough for it.  Or beg it to happen.  Only he will decide.  And you must step back and let him do it, or not do it.

There is also one last thing I want to tell you.  And, it might be the most important of all.

I am from your future.  I know what happens.  I know the outcome.  Right this very moment I'm sitting on your living room floor, drinking hot chocolate and typing you this letter.  I have been through the storm.  My heart is full of happiness, love, compassion and forgiveness.  I feel more depth and understanding of life's purpose.  I am here to tell you that the storm of your life does not steal or waste you.  It builds you.

You can do this.


Challenge: Write a letter to yourself.  If you blog, be sure to link back.  
If you don't blog and want to share your letter, email me.

Monday, October 5, 2015


Carl Bloch


Ms. Kimberly is weird, really weird.  The kind of weird where she birthed her 9th child in her bathroom with no one but herself to catch the baby girl she would name Crystal.  The child's cord was wrapped around her neck and Ms. Kimberly simply unwrapped it and continued to birth her child, as if it was the most normal thing.  She is earthy and unattached.  She would take crystal rocks into the desert and sing to the moon.  She would invite me to chew mushrooms and have a psychedelic experience, I never did (psychedelic isn't my thing).  She might be a witch and a hippie and the product of freedom after an abusive marriage, but these are the reasons I like her.  I'm fascinated by her stories, but mostly, her questions.

I worked with a small, loud Italian woman who's nails were long and perfectly manicured.  When she talked in her lilting Italian accent she would wave and explain everything with her hands.  One day while telling me something and waving her hands she poked me in the eye.  More than poked me. Her perfectly manicured nail scraped my eyeball.  I know, it's gross and you're cringing right now. But, I tell you this because I want to explain why there was a patch on my eye when I saw Ms. Kimberly that day.

She took my hand, led me to the kitchen, poured me a bowl of miso soup and asked about my eye. Of course, I animatedly told her about the small Italian lady with wicked fingernails.  Ms. Kimberly always had a different way of looking at things.  She asked, "What is it in you life that you don't want to see?"

"Uhhhh," I staggered.  She dug deep.

At that time, my life felt messy and there were lots of things I didn't want to see.  Mr. Scabs hadn't yet become Mr. Scabs but things still felt uneasy.   Our marriage felt young and new although, at the same time it felt difficult and confusing. Things I had solidly believed in were fading.  My once strong faith felt like a puff of pixy dust.  Our love felt thinner than rice paper. My heart knew the direction an unnurtured relationship takes but I couldn't quite mend it or grasp why this was happening.  And so, I kept on being hesitant and confused.

I'm not sure why this story is spilling out on the page today except that it leads up to one solid event that seeded itself in my chest.  The moment is small and brief but it has the most incredible and powerful impact.  Let me be clear, the impact wasn't immediate. This small event is a seed that took it's sweet time growing.  The memory of this moment is still fresh.

For years, I had been doubting faith.  Doubting marriage.  Doubting myself. Doubting purpose.  Faith has never been natural to me.  It is far easier to fill my mind with doubt, alternative thinking and logic.  When faith has filled me, it has been the result of brow-sweating hard work, humility and searching.

One day, while standing in Ms. Kimberly's grassy backyard, I felt fire blaze through my chest answering the question I was asking, "Is Christ really real?"

All it took was that one brief, seeding moment, to know that He is.

Monday, September 21, 2015

{camp photo album}

the classic camp photo

Alright, all you mathematicians and problem solving whizzes, here's an equation for you:

What do you get when you hunker down in a secluded cabin in the woods + 15 strangers + paintball guns and a midnight dance party and other unmentionable things?

You get Camp Scabs of course!!

I thought ya'll might like a sneak peek into the camp photo album...

Disclaimer: Photos and visual content are copyrighted and owned by Eat My Scabs blog.  
Photos may be used with Camps Scabs credit and link.  Photos by Jill Candland Photography.
Photos were all used with permission of campers.

First, the food.  It was yummy, clean, nourishing.  Thanks to our top secret yoga ninja chef we were 

Wyoming is the most beautiful wild country.  
A perfect place to {become}.

 ...and then there was the yoga, the boating, the paintball, the 3-hours of silence and gut-busting giggles, the starlight meditation (insert a run-in with the Ranger) and lantern ceremony.  

There was, of course, the epic burning of shit and a midnight dance party (with a little whip and a little nae nae but I can't show any pictures of that).

So when is the next Camp Scabs?
We are in the planning process for two upcoming camps!

Upcoming pending dates:

Dec 30, 2015-Jan 2 2016, Phoenix AZ
New Years Bash: Camp Scabs Style
Yes, that's New Years weekend.   And, I know, we usually spend it with family and friends, but what better way to be reborn into the new year 2016 than at Camp Scabs?  
As usual, scholarships will be available. 

November 2015 (dates pending), SLC, UT
Such a lucky partnership!  Bloom for Women and I have decided to raises glasses and combine efforts to give you a retreat.  I'm excited about the details but for now, know that we are planning luxury, relaxation, food, yoga, 
laughing and work with lead therapist Dr. Skinner from Addo Recovery.  This will be a Bloom Retreat for Women hosted by Scabs.

If you're interested and want more details

Friday, September 11, 2015

weird cool aid

I've been nursing my Camp Scabs hangover.  No, not drug, alcohol or even chocolate induced...this is the kind of hangover where coming back to real life smacks you on the head and you have to run carpools, fold last weeks laundry and pull weeds.  Why can't everyday be like Camps Scabs and Christmas?

If you haven't seen the gorgeousness that is summer in Wyoming, you should!  I miss it!  And I'm terribly heartsick for brave ladies who camped with me.   But, most of all, I miss the wild west park ranger (with a mustache and a billy club) who tried to interrupt the chi of our starlight meditation.  I miss him so much, I left him a present--or at least the birthday girl left him a present (sorry, sorry, camp joke...bahaha!).

I can't wait to show you pictures and tell you more about camp but that will have to wait till Monday. For now, I feel like telling more of my story.  It's been almost five years since those nightmares woke me to the world I now walk.  It's time to put more pen to paper and tell the rest.

April 2012

Mr. Scabs takes a sledge hammer to my kitchen cabinets and counter tops and then to the wall. Everything is a disaster.  Destruction is always so much easier than creation.  Always.

Sitting on my stool I watch and then complain he isn't doing it right.  Especially when it comes to knocking out the load bearing wall.  I'm nervous.   Whether I'm awake or asleep my mind plays a reel of wood splintering crashes, ceilings caving in, plaster cracking and my house falling into a pile of earthquake worthy rubble.  Mr Scabs destructive force in my life and in my house is trauma inducing! I talk about it with my shrink.  It unsettles me while I try to ground my yoga practice.  It follows me to 12-step.  I second-guess everything.  Nothing feels solid.  At any moment my marriage and my house could be a pile of broken bricks and splintered two-by-fours.

If you've never walked into a 12-step group it's like landing on another planet.  Not a familiar planet in our galaxy like Jupiter or Venus, but some outrageous planet found on the other side of a black hole where up is down and down is up.  Even the air is different.  No matter how many times I go, it still feels like another planet.  The 12-step culture is so strange and so foreign.

What's said here, stays here.

Then the group cheers HERE! HERE!

I didn't understood the cheering bit and so I didn't add my voice.  Life makes more sense to me when it's buffet style: choosing what interests me and leaving what doesn't.  The chants didn't interest me but the challenge did.

Step One: Admit powerlessness

Powerlessness seems like the opposite of what I should do in the wake of Mr. Scabs destruction of my kitchen.  What the hell does powerlessness even mean?  It sounds seriously dangerous.  A horrible idea.  When can I get started?

This is the moment.  Among the faces and tears of women I didn't know but already trusted, among the chants and weirdness of this other planet I decided to search.  I didn't know what I was searching for but I did feel the wanderlust of a fresh way to live.

And so, every week, I got in my car turned spaceship and landed on planet 12-step and breathed the strange air and drank the weird cool aid.  Here! Here! 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Camp Scabs Aug 2015


I will make this short and sweet, only because it's almost midnight!

First off, I hear you.  I know many of you have sent me letters and notes that deserve a response.  I'm working on them, thanks for your patience and your love.

Second, it's camp time again!!  This year has been a little hairy-carrie with so many things on my plate but, I'm working to slow things down.  And, camp has been on the agenda for awhile.  Here are some basic deets and I'll post more in a few days when I get some extra time. (Here are the updated details)

Where: Glendo Wyoming

When: Aug 27-30 (Thursday-Sunday), We will have a van driving from Denver to Glendo (3hr drive).  If you're flying you'll want to plan to fly to Denver before noon.  Our carpool van will leave between 12-12:30 for the cabin.

What: We have a cabin by the reservoir.  We will be boating and tubing and paintball gunning.  We will have an in house yoga teacher, do some meditations and eat healthy, clean meals.  We will perform old and new camp rituals.  We will do some meaningful service to meet the needs of other women like us.  We will face a few triggers, and come out on top.  We will journal and work on an art project.  We will tell some stories, but mostly we will work on rediscovering ourselves.  This camp will be a bit different from the other camps with a focus on healing, changing the future of our stories and thriving with tools to take home.  CAMP SCABS version 2.0.  More details later.

Cost: We are still working out the price but it will be around $250.  And as always, there will be scholarships for both camp tuition and/or travel.  Generosity abounds!

Email me with questions, comments and desires to go.


Monday, March 30, 2015

our kids!!!

Our kids!! Don't you worry about them?  I do.  All the time.

We had just come in from walking the dogs and the night was cool and crisp, so were our hands and our feet.  It was the kind of night that makes the moon seem wise and the stars bright and alive. We laughed cause we could almost see our breath {I heart Arizona winters}.  My daughter burried her cold little toes under the feather comforter as she snuggled into her bed.

The quiet calmness of bedtime makes sense, like the day is wraping itself up, tying up loose ends and surrending the things that don't make sense.  It had been a hard day and as my daughter lay silently in bed, I scratched her back and began to tell her a story.

It was the magnificent story of her birth!  I shared the excitment and deep love that was her father's and mine.  And how the morning she was born a deer and her fawn came to eat grass in our front yard.  I told her how she came into the world wide-eyed and curious.  Her father and I were so entirely happy to watch her first breath and how she ravenously drank her first meal.  Pages hadn't been written yet and we wanted to give her every good thing.  

The truth is, I feel sad that this addiction has woven itself into my daughters childhood.  I feel a loss for her.  I know that you know what I mean.  I know that many of you feel this loss too.  

The cost of addiction is terribly high.  And terribly unfair to our children.

So, as I scratched her back, I told her how I felt sad that I can't give her all the things I want to. That many times life has another plan and doesn't give guarantees.  But, life had given me her and that she was made because of love and that her value was wider and deeper than any ocean.  I told her that a mothers love for her child never dies and that she will always have my heart.  I explained how I want to teach her to be happy, kind and of course, brave.  Because, although we cannot steer the boats of those around us, we can steer our own boats to safe harbors.  

Today I listened to Kathy's presentation on how to improve our parenting while dealing with betrayal trauma.  Tonight I listened again.  Something clicked!  

Kids and moms...of course we all have damage to heal.  It so hard to know what to do or say to help our kids navigate this "new normal".  But, Kathy's presentation has given me some clear direction and confidence. In fact, I signed up for her online class that starts April 16th because I want to learn more.  

It's one thing for us as mothers to live through trauma, but it is entirely different for us to watch our children suffer and feel pain.  I've always thought whether our kids know or don't know about the addiction, they can feel a difference in our homes.  More than anything, I want to be a safe person for my two kids. 

Sign up and we can learn together!

If you want to watch her free video register here.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Scabby Update

this might be the place where i study and learn
(my legs are uber white!)

I'm in the weeds ya'll!  It's been a busy spring.  

Just a little update:

There's something in the air, something in my life that has turned me into a sponge.  I want to learn, discover and explore everything.  Seriously, everything!  I bought a desk and a pair of glasses and decided to return to acadamia and pursue a graduate degree.  So many of you have found the same power in your inspire me!

My children.  We've been talking and playing UNO a lot.  We've been meditating and making mind jars.  We've been experimenting in the kitchen.  We've been focusing on how we speak and listen. Occationally we clean rooms and vaccuum dog hair.

There were three things that really broke me after the trauma of infidelity passed.  1)  That he was willing to put the health and life of my children and I at risk.  2)  The grief and loss of future children we wouldn't have.  3) That he used and abused prostituted women.

I have had my ways of processing these things but #3 has become an undercurrent to my experience here on scabs.  Next week, hand in hand with a small bunch of rad women, I'll attend the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations as a delegate representing the fight against sexual exploitation.  This is where the sponge kicks in again...I'll be soaking up everything I see, hear and feel and I'll try and keep things updated on Instagram.  Pray for me.

Camp Scabs!  Camp Scabs, I haven't forgotten you.  I love you and you are evolving but this year things may be a bit different because I'm in the weeds and working to slow things down by summer time.  Instead of multiple camps this year.  We will hold one camp this summer.  I'm ironing out details but possibly the last week of June near SLC.  We have scholarship money for flights!  People are fabulous and generous. xo

The woman I am now is so different from the woman I was five years ago (pre-d day).  I love them both but I'm incredibly thankful for the steps that brought me here.  Break free from whatever binds you.  Keep going.  Your life, your breath, your heart and brain are valuable beyond comprehension.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

the way we love


In my heart, I truly belive we can heal anything.  I really do.

Even the things that seem irrevocably broken.  Even the way we love and care about the people in our lives.  This speaker series about Intimacy from ADDO has just been released!  Let's get it!  I signed up for free here and can't wait to get it in my inbox.


Monday, February 16, 2015


She's my tomboy daughter (we've always called her mini-buns) who is walking along side the rest of our family discovering what life means to her. I am so proud. This is what she wrote today:

"Today I realized that you can't pray to God for the exact answer to your problems. You have to ask him for something that will help you with your problems. Not for something to automatically solve them. And I also realized that friends are more important then they may seem. That they may appear to be people that you just hang out with, nothing more. But they are much more than whatever they may seem to be. They help your ship to not sink, they keep you company on your long journey home. But most importantly they are there when you need to blab on and on about your storm. They are and always will be there when you most need them. How this ties into asking God for something, is that I've got lots of friend on my boat to help me on my journey home to the sky."

I adore every bit of her, she is a gyser of amazingness and I am in awe.

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