Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis


One of my favorite places in St. Louis is the Cathedral Basilica of Lindell in the Central West End. There’s something about huge, beautiful Catholic churches that leave me in awe and breathless. It has something to do with the dedication and grandeur of it all; can you believe that people built this huge, beautiful church as a house for God? It’s really special and crazy all rolled into one.

I grew up in the Catholic faith, and so I’ve always been drawn to these types of churches. I’m no longer a “real” practicing Catholic, although, we do attend Mass every now and then. These days I focus on Spiritualism, rather than the teachings of Catholicism. I still believe in God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Angels, and Saints, but I have hard time dealing with some Catholic views, teachings & rules. I do believe that many of the teachings cross over, it’s just in a different language. But I think it’s safe to say that we should be kind to one another, be of service, and to love. I try to merge it all together and just show up in a good, positive, helpful, nonjudgemental, compassionate way; with the help of my God, spirit & angels of course! So, in a way I have created my own thing, and I consider myself a spiritualist. It works and I’m totally a-ok with it. For years I was not.

Anyway, I digress. I do find this building quite lovely and peaceful. It’s a wonderful space to feel love and to spend some quiet time reflecting. I could probably spend hours here. I often think of it as a hidden gem. Do many people come here to visit from out of town? They should. What spots do like to go to when you are in STL?IMG_1294 IMG_1292 IMG_1295 IMG_1296 IMG_1297 IMG_1299 IMG_1291 IMG_1302



Last Day of Whole30

Today is the day; I am finally done with the Whole30! Hubs made it one day, and opted out. I think changing his diet, in addition to the lifestyle changes he was making, was just too much. But I can proudly say that both he and I haven’t had an alcoholic beverage for over a month, so that’s pretty awesome. I’m especially proud of him! I’m also thankful for his support while doing the Whole30. He was the one to push me at home and remind me that I could do this. He was there questioning the things I ate; and while it was annoying at times, I’m glad he was around to do it. Lord knows, I may not have made it as far without him. Sometimes I need a swift kick in the ass when I get super intense cravings. Heck, I need that sometimes when food is not even the matter at hand! ;)

So, I’m finished with Whole30 and I have seen some significant changes, the main one being that the pain I felt almost daily with my digestive system has eased up a bit. I have also noticed that my clothes are a little looser, I have more energy, and my taste buds have changed big time. I had some sunflower butter that had added sugar- bleah… too sweet! It appears some things are too sugary for me. (I’m still craving a 1pump white mocha espresso drink from Starbucks, however!) I didn’t exactly do the reintroduction part of the program the right way, and I’m ok with that. I seriously believe that from here on out I will follow a primarily paleo/primal diet; it just seems to work.

So here is to Whole30…YAY! Thanks for helping me realize how much diet factors in on the journey to healing myself and others.

New Blog & Letters From Ryan

It has been a LONG time since I have been on here. Like, a really long time. I’m currently in the process of starting a new blog. Some days I wonder why I decided to change. Who knows. My brain has a bunch of weird thoughts always running through it. In hindsight, my actions never make sense and I don’t know why I think the things I do half the time. Oh well…

Anyway, until I get this sorted out, visit me at Young and Strange Adventures! There you will find me blogging about some unimportant things and some VERY important things. The main important thing being letter’s from my baby brother Ryan. Please read his story here. I’ll be posting regularly on his ongoing struggle, so please keep an eye out for updates!



REPOST- A Veteran’s Letter

Original post found here and reposted below.


First and foremost I want to say thank you to all those who have served and continue to serve our country. My dad was in the Air Force, so most of my childhood was spent living on a military base. My ex, who is my kiddos dad, is a Navy Seabee, and because of our marriage I had the privilege of traveling and meeting many fabulous mil-spouses. I also have two brothers who are Army Veterans. My brother Ryan was Army Infantry and spent several tours defending our country and freedom. So a big thank you to my family and all those I call my family & friends.

However, I won’t say Happy Veteran’s Day, because I know for many being a veteran also carries many wounds, scars, and injustices. Unfortunately, our family has experienced this first hand.

The VA system has shown time and time again on how they have failed our service members when they become a civilian. Type in “veteran injustice” into Google and a host of articles pop up. I’m sure there are some who get the treatment they deserve, but I very rarely hear of those stories.

This is my brother Ryan.


Ryan has been screwed over big time by the VA program and Veteran’s Court.

He is currently serving a 4 year sentence for a charge that, if he had gone through the regular FL justice system, would have only been 9 months. His new sentence is now 2 years in PRISON and 2 years probation. We strongly believe he got this because he is being made an example of, by speaking up & voicing his thoughts on the program and the unfairness in not being able to attend our brother’s funeral. He was in the correctional facility for violation of probation (which was not attending VA counseling & not taking meds) when my brother Adrian passed, and our family (and many friends we learned…THANK YOU) tried to get him a furlough for the funeral. We were denied. Two facts: 1- the lady basically yelled at my mom saying that the judge denied the petition and then hung up on her; and 2- another guy was given furlough the same week we asked for one. This guy had a violent charge of waving a gun in a nightclub, and he was let out to sign paperwork and pay a bill!! For the record, my brother’s original charge is illegal possession of controlled substance under 1/2 gram.

I have currently been receiving letters from him and writing on his behalf while he is in; and in his own words, “I was sentenced to almost 6 times the normal punishment for my crime, 4 times the state recommendation, and 2 times the state maximum, all because I am a Veteran. I was sentenced by a judge who is an Army Veteran himself and a wounded warrior, as well as a Brigadier General. I was a participant in a new program called Veterans Court, which was started by this Judge, and because of my inability to complete the program I was judged more harshly than a regular citizen would have been in a regular courtroom.” He writes that he was “promised help instead of punishment but received punishment instead of help.” He writes to me so I can put his thoughts on a blog, and in hopes that he can bring to light the major problems with the program, so that another Veteran does not have to fall subject to the injustices that he has had.

We thought he would have been out by now. Most of the guys who he was with in the correctional facility, and who had a similar charge, have actually gotten out already. Other men with harsher chargers and more serious crimes even have shorter sentences. In fact, there is a guy my brother met who is in for forcing his nephew to give him a blow job. I know, disgusting right? So how is he almost out and my brother is now transferred to a prison serving a longer sentence? Injustice.

So, while I thank our Veterans for their service, I do not forget that some service members need more than our thanks. They need us to advocate for them, because I’m sick and tired of hearing of our vets not getting the benefits they deserve. I’m tired of hearing of how they die waiting to get an appointment into a VA medical clinic. I’m tired of hearing of how they cannot get the help they need for PTSD (so true in Ryan’s case.) I’m tired of seeing them living on the streets and being treated like scum. I’m so sick and tired of the injustice…everywhere. We have to do better.

*For the record, and as a side note- my brother, nor I, disregard the fact that he committed a crime. There is no excuse for what he did. However, the sentence does not fit the crime. We thought this judge would understand that, having been in my brother’s shoes once. PTSD is a serious matter. Locking these guys up doesn’t always help.*

Welcome 2015!


It is the start of a new year and naturally I want to kick things off on the right foot and create new habits, find the passion to continue some forgotten habits that were good for my body and soul, but most importantly, get rid of bad ones.
I definitely will blog more this year. I will! Looking forward to 2015 and can’t wait to see what is on store. What are your new year resolutions?