Post by Category : Blog

Peace Within  0

There are moments when the heart is full and moments when the heart aches.

Giving oneself permission to feel is a great gift that few possess. We have grown accustomed to forging ahead, moving through, letting go and living on. In helping others we convince ourselves that we help “us.”


Grief is an enormous curse yet a gift.

The gift: Grief teaches us empathy, love and compassion.

The Curse: Grief  teaches us to hold the heartache within, grieve in silence and fear the tears.


On some days we survive by helping others to find comfort and moments of peace in order to sustain us.

On some days the “lump” in ones throat feels as if it has taken up a permanent residence and will forever be a “lodge” that will remain always.


Grief is the overwhelming feeling that nothing will ever be the same again. Grief can sneak up on one on any given time or day, no matter if it has been 13 hours or 13 years.
Once grief enters ones being it will never go away. It is what you do with “it” that will make a difference at the end of your days.


Today as I was looking for peace-within, searching for the life that I once LOVED and never wanting to say good bye to it, I heard a “whisper” in a song and then was immediately reminded of a note that my husband left behind.

Lost treasures that I found to sustain me for another day.

The note was written 1 year prior to my husbands passing and the song, by the “Escape Club, I’ll Be There,” woke me up from a restless sleep the very first night I came home to an empty bed. This song was not playing on the radio it was truly playing in my head – a true message, I believe, to this day was my husband reminding me through it all he and God would carry me through my most challenging days. 


Hold on in your grief. There is light in your day, somedays are just harder to find that “light.” Love who you are , who you have become and who you are yet to be. Do not give up and do not harden your heart. Feel the beauty that resides all around you and maybe some of it will seep into you.

By sharing my experience today my hope is that your loneliness will subside long enough for you to catch your breath, lessen the “lump” and feel again.  Take a moment to be still…your sustaining treasure awaits…

Celebrating Hope  0

IMG_6180aabbBORDERn[2]Madisyn GreyFathers day.. a beautiful day full of celebration and contentment. A day of downtime and remembrance. For others it is a day where there is hopelessness, sadness, looking for guidance that is no longer there – a day full of remembrance that you can no longer “touch” and a day of remembrance that you wish you would not “feel.” It is just too painful, too real, to “in your face” on a day that is about celebration. It is a day among happiness where you wish you were invisible, you hope that people do not see your jealousy, your anger and gut wrenching sadness that will consume you if you let it. But know that you have greater power than that; YES! Acknowledge this feelings: be angry, be sad, weep, shout but then move through it. Move through it because as in everyday, today you will EMBRACE THE LOVE MORE THAN THE LOSS! You will find hope in those you love the most. If you are a #Widow you will let your children know that you will mourn with them but that today forward you will have your special day to celebrate this great hero in both your life and theirs. You will find your special way, together because thats what we do -as much as we are our children’s support system they are ours! Together we will shine on and move through this life remembering that beautiful being that taught us such valuable lessons in the time we had together on this earth. And to all of the sons and daughters missing their dads, the grandpas that are no longer with us that maybe raised us – shine on – no one can take away their spirit that resides deep inside your heart.
Our loved ones “being” can only be removed from our souls if we allow it! They will always be with us. Great contentment, joy and love reside in our “space” when we go towards our “grief” versus running away from it. I know this because I am a work in progress. Its hard work but together we’ve got this. So today find hope. My hope today is this song that I want to share, that I have shared several times. She is my strength, she is my “will” to keep going, she is my “light” and more than anything she is her daddy’s daughter and this song exemplifies who she is to me and how everyday I will keep working through my grief in the hopes of inspiring us all to “shine bright” even in the midst of great loss. Happy Fathers Day, Mark! – Our love “sparked” beauty way beyond the physical.

Technology teaches and aids…  1



IMG_1428-marker 4 blogSarasota Red-Light Safety Camera Footage Leads to Surrender of Fatal Hit-and-Run Suspect

According to this June 12 report from First Coast News:

Malik Clyburn bonded out of the Sarasota County jail. He stared straight ahead despite a barrage of questions from reporters.

Why did he turn himself in? Sarasota Police Detective Kevin Schafer said, “After he saw the video we put out to you guys and you shared he said that’s when he knew he couldn’t live with himself.”

The red light camera video showing Clyburn’s 2012 gray Kia Optima striking the man in the wheelchair. The accident happened around 8:45 p.m. Tuesday at the intersection of U.S. 301 and 17th Street.

Continue to article:


No Matter how you look at this article it is a very sad and sensitive subject. This person made a devastating decision that will be with him for the rest of his life. This crash was not his fault BUT because he left the scene of an accident where a fatality occured he will now face felony charges.   He is young and had his whole life ahead of him. He is really going to need support to figure out how to maneuver this decision that will affect him for the rest of his life.


The Red light safety Camera Law in Florida, otherwise known as The Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act was established in 2010 to illustrate the solution to Red Light running and help to curb and combat this deadly behavior that is taking the life of our most precious loved ones. Contrary to the critics these cameras are doing what they were designed to do. They are saving lives and preventing negligent crashes.

This article is obvious and points out how effective these camera systems are in relation to helping law enforcement combat crime as well.

A note from ATS:
“American Traffic Solutions (ATS) is pleased that video evidence from one of its
red-light safety cameras assisted the Sarasota Police Department in their investigation of this tragic fatal collision. Authorities say the quick sharing of the video from ATS with the police, the media and the public proved to be a contributing factor in the suspect’s decision to come forward. ATS offers its condolences to all family members touched by this tragedy.

Since July 2010, Florida law enforcement agencies have requested red-light safety camera video from ATS on more than 8,000 occasions as part of official investigations ranging from hit-and-runs and kidnapping, to murder and sexual assault.”


This article does a great job of letting the public know that in no way did this young man run a red light. Just because the video footage was captured does not mean that this individual would receive a red light running violation. In fact the spokesperson for the Sarasota Police department says, “”The light turned yellow which we saw in the video. He did not run the red light or commit any traffic infraction,” said Schafer. I point this out because numerous times the critics believe that the cameras systems are a scam and that people are being ticketed for going on yellow. ” A money grabber, they say.” You will only get a ticket if your front tires go over the white line on red! This means you are blatantly ignoring a safety law that could result in death.

I personally believe that people need a reality check. Unfortunately we have proved as a society that we no longer know how to STOP ON RED. We need technology to provide us “training” so that lives can be saved! We live in a reckless and righteous society where risky behavior is occuring and people are paying the ultimate price.  People are  actually blaming a system for  “invading their privacy.”  We live in this society where people actually believe that negativity, anger and yelling loudly about their rights WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

My husband died at the hands of a negligent red light runner. He is not coming home! He will never be a father to my daughter and we will never know the beautiful life as a family we “could” of had. Instead of being angry, yelling loudly or spewing negativity towards people I made the decision to take action in hopes of preventing this type of negligent behavior that resulted in death for our family. With conviction, compassion and common sense I WANTED TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Law enforcement, Education and Red Light Safety Cameras take part in saving lives and preventing deep heartache, they illustrate a step towards curbing this deadly behavior.  As motorists we have a responsibility to obey traffic safety laws so that we can keep each other safe. Technology is here to stay as long as we, as a society continue to grossly neglect that responsibility.


A “light” to love- Congratulations my Madisyn  1

IMG_2852In the midst of my beautiful journey heartache hit me with vengeance. No one is exempt. Taken in less than an instant; my one true love. Mark I will miss you for the rest of my life but I am in gratitude for the gift that we were so privy to create.
Yet in the midst of this horrific pain came light. A very bright light, our little ball of fire was born just 19 days later, thank you Madisyn Grace.
She is the bright light than entered my life and motivates me on a daily basis. She would not tell you this but she is beautiful, gifted, kind, funny as hell, stubborn as a Jack Ass at times, has a pure heart and has a calmness around her that soothes my soul just like her dear daddy did.
Today she will walk down the halls of Braden River Elementary School for the last time! Thank you BRE! We have had the most incredible staff take care of “our girl” as she is known by so many. They have loved her and I, nurtured us, and been there with us for all of our emotions! We truly would not have made it this far without your love, understanding and support! Thank you seems so boring! We love you all and will carry us with you always in our hearts!
Madisyn is going on to her dream school; the Out of Door Academy! I could not be more proud of her! All of her hard work and accomplishments has lead her to this next phase of her life. I know she will be accepted, nurtured and loved at ODA as well.
This beacon of beauty has filled my soul when it has felt empty. She has broken my heart with her heartaches; she has loved me and forgiven me through all of my single parenting screw-ups. She has laughed with me and loved me completely. How could I ask for more?
To my Madisyn Grace you will accomplish all that you desire. You have spirit, you have spark, and you have greatness running through your veins. Never take yourself too seriously, continue to strive to do your best and always be content and happy with who you are! You have already taught and changed the world by simply holding my hand in this life. I am who I am today because I have simply been loved. As Uncle Joe said the day you were born; Madisyn Grace you are your “daddy’s highest Mark and your Mommy’s Saving Grace.”
Thank you for your love, your light and lifting me up in this life. I will always walk beside you and from the side lines your daddy will always be watching you, you will never be alone and we will always be proud of you!
I love you to your daddy and back! Mamma

Not your Mamma’s Smorez’  1

IMG_2744-smores in jar for blogIMG_2752-Smores w:TopIt has been a while since I have blogged and a very long time since I have blogged a recipe! It is about that time! FIrst, let me tell you what I have been up to!

I have been on the road this last month! Every week I found myself in a different State and on a different airline! I have to say my travels were very “smooth.” I found myself in Philadelphia twice, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona and my last trip took me to DC! I loved every minute of those travels because I was able to do what I love! I am a speaker, spokesperson and the President of the National Coalition for Safer Roads ( My last trip to DC allowed me to utilize my voice to share with the motoring public the most dangerous times to be on our roads. To educate on the value of being Mindful while driving and encourage if we all work together we can achieve a safer day on our highways and in turn save lives!
It turns out that summer is the most dangerous times when motorists are making negligent decisions and beautiful lives are being affected! I know that we can all do better!


WIth the travels behind me and the summer ahead I have been trying to come up with a dessert that I can take to a picnic for a few people that we have coming up! Everyone loves smores but this is an afternoon picnic- no fire here!
SO I decided to make “Smorez in a Jar” as an experiment! What I love about utilizing jars is you can put a top on them, stack them and pack them in ones picnic basket! Easy! And cute!


We love dark chocolate in this family but you can utilize any chocolate to make it work for you!


Building the Smorez: This specific recipe makes 4 Smorez in a Jar

Broil 8 Jet-Puffed S’moreMallows (Rectangle Marshmallows) – set them aside

Simple Graham Cracker Crust!
1 cup of Crushed Graham Crackers
1/3 cup Organic White Sugar in the Raw
4 Tablespoons of melted butter!
I pressed this mixture into a pie pan and baked on 350 for 10 minutes.
I let it cool for at least 15 minutes.

Hersheys Dark Chocolate Instant Pudding mix! YUMM!
Follow directions on package


4 pieces of Chocolate Bar for topper
(A mini Hersheys bar would be great! I used Godiva 70% Dark Chocolate Bar since I already had this in my pantry!)


4 Glass Jars with tops
Crumble the Graham Cracker crust and lay in bottom of jar
Add 1 large tablespoon of Dark Chocolate Pudding
Add 1 toasted Marshmallow
Add another large tablespoon of Dark Chocolate Pudding
Add Graham Cracker Crust over entire pudding mixture
Add 1 toasted Marshmallow and top with a piece of Chocolate!


This recipe can be modified anyway you want to! My daughter loved it! We ended up taking this sample down to watch the sunset! It was a fabulous treat!


Enjoy your kick off to summer! Share great recipes, laughter and love with friends and family alike!
What you can also share is the road! We have way too many fatalities on our highways that are negligent and preventable! The great news is that we all have the power to keep each other safe! We’ve got this!

This recipe goes out to my husband Mark whose life was taken by a red light runner! He would have LOVED this dark chocolate, gooey dessert!


Here’s to a great summer! To happiness, health, great food and nothing less than love!

Enjoy your Smorez in a jar! I know we did!