image1 (2)I have not lived at home in about 10 years (wow, yep my 10 year high school reunion is this year!) It’s really during these 10 years that I truly discovered how important family is and how much they truly mean to me.

My parents are two of the most supportive people I know. I have made some pretty crazy decisions that may not have been the ones they would have made for me (ex: moving to St. Croix), but they have always been 100% behind me. I don’t know that I could be so comfortable traveling throughout the past few years, moving every few months, had I not had such strong familial support. I know that  I can always go home and will be welcomed with open arms…and that’s one comforting feeling. Thank you for listening for hours on end about my day, my dilemmas, my success, my failures. Thank you for teaching me the value of a dollar, the importance of hard work, and the courage to do anything. 

I am the middle child, the only girl, the rose between two thorns if you will. Those two thorns happen to be my brothers. When I was little, I would never have said having two brothers was a positive thing. Now, however, I am so grateful my parents blessed me with two extremely different, but amazing, brothers. My brothers have become my good friends. Siblings are the only people who truly know why you turned out the way you did. They are the only people that share the same life-shaping experiences. They are the only people who know what’s it like to have your parents. Siblings are also the people that still get to call you out for doing stupid stuff and not get in trouble for it. Do we still fight? Absolutely. The cool thing is, the three of us have been instilled with such strong family value, at the end of the day, we are still friends. Thank you mom and dad for my siblings.

Grandparents. Unfortunately, I never met one of my grandmothers. I hear she was an amazing lady, I am sure she has been watching over me my entire life. One of my grandfathers was also taken much too soon. He was a kind, generous man, I wish we had had more time in my adult years together. I am, however, extremely fortunate enough to have grown up with my other set of grandparents. They made it to almost every dance recital (15 years), too many sporting events to count, every graduation (I had quite a few). They have never missed a birthday, a holiday, or any day that may have been even just a little bit special to me.  Being married nearly 60 years, they have shown me what lasting marriage looks like, the work it takes to make it last, and the family that can grow from just two people. Calling them my grandparents isn’t a big enough word to describe what these two people are to me. They provide me with constant, unwavering support each and every day.  I may not tell you enough, but believe me, I know how blessed I am.

My best friend. Boy am I lucky that we were two little brats that decided to be brats together one day in 4th grade. Calling us friends is almost insulting. You are my sister, my confidant, my partner in crime, my secret keeper, my clown, my cheerleader. You are my person and that is all that needs to be said.

I am grateful for the family I have acquired over the years through my many travels. I have fully learned that family does not always mean by blood. It is this family that gets me through my day to day life. Thank you.

I have so much other family that this blog post would become a book if I wrote about everyone. Know that each family member has shaped me in some way and each member means something different to me. I am so excited my brother is getting married, giving us so many excuses to bring the whole family together for something positive.

I don’t get home nearly as much as I want to or wish I could. My heart breaks a little every time a miss a birthday, a holiday, and a family dinner. I may not get to be there for everything, but I have learned to make the absolute most of the time we do get.

On that note, I get to go home in SIX DAYS to see so much family; both given and chosen. I cannot wait.



Do you live to work or work to live?

Why do you do the job you do?

Is it because…
You’re passionate about it?
You make good money?
You feel you have to?
There is nothing else to do?
It pays the bills?
You have no idea?

I fall under a few of these categories…and sometimes my answer changes, depending on how my  I feel on any given day.

I have been in a bit of a rut lately with work. I assume this happens with most people and hopefully..something happens that reminds you of why you entered your chosen career path.

I hit a milestone with one of patients last week. This patient is a unique situation, definitely not one you learn about in school. I have had to come up with all sorts of “out of the box” ideas on how to help. I find myself looking forward to my sessions, and Friday we achieved something that made me, the patient’s family member and the patient jump for joy, high five, and hoot and holler.

THAT is why I do what I do.


A few days have occurred between when I started this post and now. Since then, I’ve had another session with the patient and hit another HUGE milestone.

I am grateful that I still find patients that excite me even when I am not feeling great about my job as a whole.

Back when I was living in Greenville, South Carolina, I had a patient’s family member (not from the United States) say something that resonates with me quite often.

“You Americans…you live to work…in my country…we work to live”

A large part of my move to the island was to “cease life” and “follow a feeling” rather than follow the “rules” of life I thought I had to follow. I knew I was living to work and hoped moving to the island would help me switch to “working to live”.

I was faced with the hard truth, that with hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans…I may need to spend some time living to work before I got the luxury of working to live. I’ve discovered that you pay a price to live in paradise…my price was taking a paycut. I am more stressed on this island working several jobs, making less money than I have ever made in the states…but I think my hard work will pay  off…and I will make the switch to “working to live” long before many people ever get to.

(SIDENOTE: I feel I need to add…that while my work life may be more challenging on the island, many facets of my life have greatly improved.)


SO, I ask you. Do you live to work or work to live? Is your path leading you to where you eventually want to be? Are you at a roadblock? If so, evaluate what you are doing and how you can change it.