Monday, December 28, 2015

Retreats and Fresh Starts

The post Christmas lull always has me thinking about fresh starts.

There's something wonderfully, disgustingly gluttonous about sitting knee-deep in wrapping paper watching the bows and ribbons fly while I stuff my face with chocolate and reach for another handful of carmels all before the sun rises on Christmas morning.  Don't get me wrong, we indulge deeply in the true Spirit of Christmas and I also enjoy giving gifts and watching those I love squeal as they rip paper off a shiny red rider bb gun.  How can I not bow down with incredible thanks for all I have been given?

But after all the paper has been cleared away, the new toys have found a place on the shelf and the needles begin to shed from the tree, I feel the anxious need for a fresh start.

Sometimes this fresh start just means cleaning out the garage and other times it means a life overhaul. And really, a life overhaul is a lot like cleaning out the garage, isn't it?

If you're anything like me, we are in the life overhaul category this year.  Actually, I think I might be in the life overhaul category every year... I love metamorphosis!  Time for a fresh start and new wings!

So, it's time to get up, tie our frizzy hair in a top knot, don our favorite cherry lip gloss and sign up for Bloom's new retreat this February near Park City Utah!  I'll be there, telling stories and giving out hugs.  Sariah will be there, leading yoga and making food.  Dr. Skinner will be there, with tools and experience.

This is our year, darling!

Click here for more details and to sign up for the Bloom Retreat

Monday, November 30, 2015


Bisbee wall mural inspiration

In the sticky month of July I called Mr. Scabs mother and announced that I would bring the kids for Thanksgiving!  I love their house, full of love and fun and cousins and baked things.  But most of all, I have fallen in love Mr. Scabs family, who over the years has come to feel like my very own blood. We've held hands through this trauma which rocked all our worlds.  Salt of the earth.

The last few years, Thanksgiving has held some kind of hostage over me.  Shadows of D-day and nightmares and painful wedding anniversaries and paralyzed legs, ya know, just the usual holiday anxiety.  

Some years Thanksgiving floated by without so much as an anxious flutter of my heart.  Other years it passed by as heavily and thickly as any terrible trauma does.  Other times I've felt a simple sense of honor and peace for these experiences.  Ahhh are my achilles heal.  

This year...

10 hours before our flights engine roared and took to the November sky, I called his family and tearfully explained that I couldn't do it this year.  We all cried.  It's painful for everyone, but they understand.  And, the sickness I felt in my gut lifted the moment I decided to stay.  While we ate breakfast, I explained to my kids that they were about to have the greatest vacation with Dad at Grandma's house and that I was so excited for them to go and have fun!  I told them I couldn't wait to hear all about it (attitude is everything when explaining these difficult things to kids)!  They got excited and that made me happy. 

Mr. Scabs said it wasn't fair and that he is so sorry.  More than once he offered to stay home and let me go, but my heart knew I needed to stay.  

And so, I balked all tradition and put Mr. Scabs and the kids on a plane.

Thank the powers that be for Airbnb!  My search found the most adorable last minute "tiny" bungalow for rent in the little hippy town of Bisbee, AZ.  I spent the next day maxing out my house, mopping floors, doing all the laundry, making pet arrangements, baking a ham and rolls and a big fat pumpkin pie.  It was kinda fun cooking for my solo Thanksgiving dinner.  That night my head hit the pillow and I slept.  

Word must have spread around the neighborhood about my tradition balking because the pies started flooding in.  My neighbors are so kind and I had a million invitations to join their meals.  Some expressions clearly couldn't understand why I'd choose to be alone much less alone on Thanksgiving. Others wished they could join me.  

I gathered all my pies, my yoga mat and my books and began my roadtrip.  

At the gas station I met an older man dressed in a plaid shirt and cuffed jeans with a wooden cross hanging from his neck.  He was filling the tank of his dark red VW bus.  I looked over with envy. The only thing missing from this trip was a bus.  We talked for a minute, he blessed my trip and I blessed his. We said our goodbyes over our insanely gigantic road trip style cokes.  

This year my non-traditional Thanksgiving included, used book stores, eating pumpkin pie in my bed, yoga on the third floor of a Odd Fellows lodge built in 1910, a ghost story tour, reading and praying and being and eating the yummiest corned beef hash from the Breakfast Club.

Later today, I'll pack up the "tiny" bungalow and fill my non-VW bus with gas and drive north.  I'll pass through some pretty fascinating Arizona history and probably stop at all the historical markers because that's what I like to do.  

Many of us ask, how can we pass through the difficult days, memories and family traditions? How do we walk through holidays that may now hold a different meaning?  

This is what I learned: No matter what plans I made in the sticky months of summer,  my new tradition is to honor my gut feelings and follow my instincts, always.

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.


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.

Sunday, January 25, 2015



Sometimes I like to tell my kids bedtimes stories. Here's a favorite.

My dear children, I want to tell you a story about the Universe and stardust and about the unique creation of you.

Many years ago, before you were born and even years before your Dad and I fell in love,  I wanted to be an astronaut.  I wanted talk with the man in the moon and bounce between the stars.  I wanted sail in the Carina and search for the Golden Fleece, come face to face with comets and stardust.  I wanted float through space and marvel at the great vastness of the inky forever of the universe.  I fell in love with the stories the Universe tells.

When I was a kid, math didn't interest me.  Which is sad because math is the language of creation and space.  Math is how we've discovered what the Universe is made from.  Isn't that strange?  Numbers and symbols and formulas have opened the window to understanding space!  Do you ever wonder how scientists know what the sun is made from?  Especially when we can't visit and land on it's surface and take samples of its fiery heat?   I always wonder this.

There are many ideas explaining the beginning of the Universe but theidea I love most begins with an itty-bitty, hot, dense speck of pure energy.  Dense is a weird word but this simply means that this speck was extremely heavy.  Imagine all you see squished and smashed so small that it fits onto the tiny tip-top of your finger, this gives you and idea of what dense means.   This itty-bitty, hot, dense speck of pure energy was smaller than an atom which is even smaller than an invisible piece of dust floating around your room.

You know that time of night when I've kissed you, gotten you another drink, tucked you in bed and kissed you again?  That is the time of night you get most excited and you want to play and jump on the bed and bounce off the walls and giggle.  Well this is how the itty-bitty, hot, dense speck of pure energy felt.  It was so whirled up in a tizzy that it felt like exploding! And so it did.  There was once a famous scientist who explained it this way E=mc2. This just means that energy can turn into stuff and stuff can turn into energy.  This idea explains how all the planets and stars were made from one tiny speck of energy.  It is incredible, isn't it?

But the most incredible thing about this explosion is that you and I and all the things we see are made from similar explosions.  We are literally made from stardust!

When a star is young it burns bright and eats energy ferociously, just like when you come home from playing all day!  But, when a star is old and has used all its energy to shine it gives us one more gift; it creates a stupendous explosion and cooks atoms into all the elements.  These elements are simply the parts that everything is made from, like the blocks of your Legos.  The explosion starts out small but in nanoseconds it expands and as it expands it creates waves of elements like copper, zinc, iron, calcium and even gold!  Did you know that your body is made of these elements?  We are made from the dust of stars!

Aren't the stars grand and wonderful?  Next time we lay on the lawn during the late spring nights and tell the story of Orion eternally chasing the seven sisters, remember you are just as grand and unique and wonderful!  I love you.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The rebuild



February 2012 

I haven't known how to tell the next part of my story.

The part that comes after the drama of discovering Mr. Scabs disloyalty,
kicking him out of the house,
buring all his underwear,
having tourettes,
asking him to eat the scab,
the mysterious paralysis of my legs and then the healing of those legs,
the disipating fog of limbo,
bits of hope
and the conscience decision to work on our marriage.

As my legs healed and grew stronger I began to walk and ride my bike and practice yoga again. Life felt slow.  I was careful and observant.  I watched mr scabs tear down walls and gut our 50's style kitchen and tinker, rebuild and remodel.  We were both incredibly vulnerable; just like the kitchen, we were being gutted.

I handed him nails and hammers and drew outlines and consulteed with experts on our new kitchen. All the while, not knowing what to do about the disaster that had become our life.  Advice, opinions and stories filtering over my ears into my gut shaped my thoguhts and so i did what i have always done; move forward and take another step in the direction my feet were pointed.

I had to trust that.

I had to trust the ups and downs.  I had to invest in discovering, exploring, understanding and studying the ins and outs of this new life with Mr. Scabs ...we had an uneasy agreement to work on ourselves and see what would happen.

There were times we slept in the same bed and sometimes the guest room became Mr. Scabs room. Sometimes we went on vacation together and other times we left Mr. Scabs at home.  Sometimes I was in and other times I was out. There were times I contemplated shaving off one of his eyebrows while he slept and other insane times I'd ransack his truck certain I'd find evidence.  And then, there were times we'd take the family to the dog park and run and play like we were the couple that fell in love years ago!

But mostly, I carefully observed.  I watched him from the safety of my boundaries.  I watched him rebuild those kitchen walls.

P.S.  Our friends at ADDO have been up to some pretty rad things!  Free Speaker Series!

Provide your email to get a FREE, no strings attached link to 
Dr. Skinner's presentation:

When he says "intimacy" he doesn't 
mean just sex.  

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