God Bless My Southern Heart: Reflecting on Charleston

I really didn’t want to write this post.  I don’t like to get political here, and I’m sure some of you will disagree with my honest and heartfelt opinion, but here it is…God bless my Southern heartWith a blog called For the Love of Dixie (and a mother named Dixie), I kind of feel like I should weigh in on the Confederate battle flag controversy.  My Southern heart has been so conflicted over that stupid flag, trying to wrap my brain around the fact that a crazy person killed 9 people and now, somehow, a flag is to blame....more

It Is Well with My Soul: Two Years Later

I struggle with contentment.  I’m a perfectionist, firstborn, type A, always looking for something better, worried about the future, and a slave to my own expectations.The week of my mother’s death was much more difficult than I had anticipated.  I was just sure that after years of watching my mother suffer and decline in the grips of early onset Alzheimer’s disease, her passing would be the easy part.  But when it came down to it actually happening, I was 4 months pregnant with my second child, exhausted, emotional and terrified....more

#texasstrong Fundraiser for Hays County Flood Relief

Update as of 6-3-15 at 9:30 am:  We raised over $10,000 in just the first 24 hours of this fundraiser and have now raised over $55,000 (and counting) since Saturday for Texas Hill Country flood victims!...more
Denise Thank you!  We're up to $55K raised now!!! And an interview with People Magazine today!more

Progression of My Mother's Early Onset Alzheimer's in Photos

After watching Still Alice with my husband recently, I began looking through photos of my mom in old blog posts–photos of her living with the enemy, early onset Alzheimer’s disease.  I pieced together the pictures in chronological order, trying to create a visual timeline of her decline....more

Choosing Joy: 10 Ways to Bring Sunshine to Your Soul

I have struggled with depression, anxiety and even panic attacks since adolescence.Some of this has been hormonal, some has been situational.  My mental health affects my physical health, zapping my energy, my appetite and my immune system, and I end up plagued by weight loss, frequent illness and chronic sinusitis.And, inevitably, it affects my marriage and my parenting....more

When Mother's Day is Hard

This Sunday will be my second Mother’s Day since my mother died.When Mother’s Day is hardEvery day has felt like Mother’s Day since my mother’s diagnosis with Alzheimer’s disease in May 9 years ago.  Honoring and protecting her became my life’s work during her illness....more

Dear Mom, You Gave Me A Voice

How do loss and grief become a blessing? I’ve said before that writing is how I heal. And never is the weight of grief more lifted than when I’m writing letters to my mom. Dear Mom, ...more
This is so poignantly beautiful, Lauren.  Made me cry for my own mom, and for you and yours. ...more

2nd Annual Favorite Things Birthday Giveaway

I had so much fun giving away a few of my favorite things in honor of my 30th birthday last year that I just had to do it again!Four different giveaway prizes!I kind of feel like Oprah, because this year, I’ve teamed up with some awesome friends to have, not one, but FOUR different giveaway prizes for four lovely readers:...more
My friend uses essential oils and likes them a lot. I would love to win those!more

40 Easter Basket Ideas for Preschoolers

Being an Easter baby, Easter baskets are one of my most favorite traditions!  I had a lot of fun coming up with this list of Easter basket ideas for toddlers and preschoolers.This list is as much for me as it is for you, my readers, because I want the “Easter Bunny” to remember to fill my toddler and preschool age daughters’ baskets with fun, useful, healthy (and affordable!) goodies each year....more

Loving Myself, Not Perfecting Myself

I have struggled with loving myself for as long as I can remember.As a teenager, I longed to be taller and curvier, prettier and more athletic.  When I finally hit a growth spurt towards the end of high school, I gained male attention and, in turn, a small boost in self confidence....more