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Hello and thanks for stopping by! 

If you're new, here's what you need to now about this blog...

My blog is my life story (that I fantasize about one day turning into a book). Actually, my biggest hope is to print it all out, tie a pretty ribbon around it, and give it to my kids when they are adults. Because my mom died when I was 16, I think I am traumatized that I never got to know her as an adult and hear all of her life-stories. So I do my best to chronicle my life for my kids so that one day they will know and hopefully understand who I was and what I'm all about. (They will also find out someday that mommy curses like a sailor. So if you're sensitive to that, just know that my writing is peppered with profanity.)

Why the title of blog, you ask?

Long before I discovered Brene Brown or Iyanla Vanzant, I discovered I have courage. As I was wrapping up four consecutive years of therapy, I felt like I was graduating and wrote a "commencement" speech (well, not really a speech, just something I wrote for myself to read out loud to the therapist) reflecting on who I was when I started therapy and who I had become four years later. The characteristic I had developed through the hard work of therapy that stood out above all others was "courage". I realized that I had courage like I had never had before; courage to stand in my truth. From that point forward, whenever I am confronted with something scary, I tell myself "I have courage." It has become my life's mantra. A couple of years ago, when I came upon Brene Brown and Iyanla Vanzant, I was super excited to hear them refer to courage a lot in their work. 

What is my story, you ask?

In a nutshell, my story is about losing a mother, gaining a mother, losing a mother again, wishing to be a mother, learning about a mother, becoming a mother, becoming a childless mother, longing to be a mother again, meeting a mother, becoming a mother again, searching for a mother, finding a mother, losing a mother again, meeting another mother, becoming a mother again, and searching for another mother.

It's a mother of a story, as I like to say. 

But no, really, what's my story about (and not all this mother mumbo-jumbo), you ask?

My stories are about enduring embarassing (and funny) situations that resulted in being bullied  as a child; of losing my mother when I was 16; of finding my soulmate when I was 20; of the trials and tribulations of my 20's; of suffering a second-trimester miscarriage at the age of 30; of seven years total of infertility; of becoming an adoptive mother at the age of 34 and again at 41; of being an adult adoptee who didn't find out she was adopted until she was 30; of finding my birth-family when I was 38; and how all of these experiences shaped me into who I am today.

My stories are about being human; about being a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, and a student of life.

My stories are of lessons learned and wisdom found. They are stories of courage, hope, and resilience.

And why is it a story worth telling, you ask?

Well, I think it's worth telling because it contains life experiences that transcend age, race, religion, class, sexuality, and everything else in between.

So, welcome and I hope you find some inspiration and resonance in my beautifully messy, complicated story.

All my best,


P.S. None of the names I use are real, with the exception of mine. I really am Jackie.

And off you go...

I am currently telling my story in chronological order - starting from childhood. (That may change someday, but for now, that's how I feel I can tell it best.) Sometimes though, I have things to write about that don't pertain to my story, so from time to time there are unrelated posts that break up the story.

I started this blog in May 2014 and in order to really understand (if you are just starting to read), is to start at the beginning. I try my best to include links in all of my current posts to relevant, past posts. But sometimes I forget.  

To get you started...This was my first post...The Little Voice

I think Expressive Superpower Activate is the post that best explains the purpose of my blogging.

My fourth post...Coming To America (Part 1)...Tioga Times is where I started telling about my childhood. Actually, all four of my "Coming To America" posts are (I think) my funniest ones... 
Coming To America (Part 2)...Child Accordionist For Hire 
Coming To America (Part 3)...Customs R Not Us
Coming To America (Part 4)...The Other Holly Hobbie
So, if you need a good those.


Wood plaque by Kelly Rae Roberts


Hello Dear Reader:

If you comment, I will buy you a cookie. Not really. But we can both pretend I gave you one. To get you started...what's your favorite kind of cookie? Mine is chocolate chip. I especially crave them when I'm PMS'ing.