Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies

Almond Flour Cookies

It’s Day 4 and I’m saving some of the best for last! I discovered these cookies while we were stuck at home during the recent snowstorm and they were a HUGE hit. In fact, my husband said he thinks they’re some of the BEST cookies I’ve ever made, which is a huge compliment since he’s a “cookie guy.”

Like I said, we’ve been experimenting with gluten free and Paleo recipes and I was determined to find a chocolate chip cookie recipe that used almond flour. I took my chances and did a Google search and just happened to come across these on Meaningful Eats, a blog that focuses on gluten free foods. The original recipe doesn’t call for coconut, but I LOVE coconut – the taste, smell – you name it, so I added some unsweetened flakes and was thrilled with how they turned out! But, if you don’t like coconut, you don’t have to use it. Instead, you could add chopped nuts or you could add both!

Okay, so a few tips before you get started. To simplify things, I melt the butter and coconut oil together in the microwave for about a minute. This is especially helpful if your butter is coming straight out of the fridge. The batter seems a bit softer than “normal” cookie dough, but don’t worry, it’s fine. Also, to get the nice little round cookies, I like to use a medium-size melon baller (is that what they’re called?) or small ice cream scoop. And, because these cookies taste best the day of, I bake half a batch and then scoop the rest, freeze them on a cookie sheet and transfer them to a freezer bag. When you’re ready to bake them, just take them out and add a couple minutes to the bake time. I did this and they turned out perfect!

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, softened
  • ¾ cup brown sugar (or coconut palm sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1¼ cups chocolate chips of choice
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (optional)
  • ⅔ cup toasted walnuts (optional)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or I used my silpat mat).
  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter, coconut oil and brown sugar. Add the vanilla and eggs, mixing until incorporated.
  • Mix in the baking soda and salt. Add the almond flour, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold in the chocolate chips and coconut and/or walnuts with a wooden spoon.
  • Form the dough into tablespoon rounds and place on the lined baking sheet about 3 inches apart. Bake for 11-13 minutes, or until golden brown around edges. (I typically bake them for 11 minutes, but it will depend on your oven).

Enjoy! And, don’t forget to stop by tomorrow for a celebration!

Tasty Taco Chili

Taco Chili

Welcome to Day 3 of my “healthy eating-but tastes good” week of recipes!

Maybe I’m preaching to the choir and you already have your favorite chili recipe, but I wanted to share mine because it’s SO easy and it’s my go-to quick, tasty and healthy weeknight meal. In fact, my five-year-old son who is somewhat picky (at least pickier than the rest of us), loves this chili and regularly requests it for dinner!

The ingredients are pretty straightforward, however, you can add or subtract ingredients as you like. I will often add frozen corn or diced garlic, or you can just make it according to the following directions!

IMG_3059 (2)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb lean hamburger meat
  • 1 small sweet onion, diced
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can black beans
  • 2 cans red kidney beans
  • 1 package taco seasoning (I like to use mild and reduced sodium)

* I try to use grass fed beef and organic ingredients whenever possible.

Directions:

  • Cook hamburger meat and diced onion in pan on medium-high heat until hamburger is brown.
  • Add 1 cup water and taco seasoning to hamburger and onion mix and sauté for a few minutes on low.
  • Add remaining ingredients (do not rinse beans).
  • Stir, cover and let simmer on low heat for 30 min. (you can serve right away if you’re in a hurry, but if I have time I like to let it simmer).
  • Serve in bowls and top with grated cheese, light sour cream and diced avocado.

My daughter loves cornbread, and, to be honest, most of the time I’m too lazy to make it from scratch, so sometimes a package of Marie Callender’s cornbread does the trick! I’ve also served it with corn tortilla chips, which the kids love!

This recipe typically serves our family of four with a container of leftovers for lunch!

Experiment, have fun and enjoy!

 

AMAZING Paleo Granola

IMG_3073

A few things before I tell you about this amazing recipe! First, considering that this isn’t a “foodie” blog, I find it funny that my most consistently viewed post continues to be my “Easy Peasy” Chicken Enchilada recipe thanks to Bembu – I’m forever grateful! Second, I LOVE food – all kinds, so I’m thrilled to have an outlet to share that love; and lastly, I regained my love for food and cooking when I got sober, which is truly a gift in my mind. While I don’t focus on writing about food, it’s always on my mind and once in awhile I’ll come across some recipes that I MUST share!

So, this week I’ve decided to change things up and do a little “healthy eating, but still tastes good” themed week of posts. And, on Friday I’ll end the week with a not-so-healthy look at my very favorite treat in honor of a special day. So, just roll with it and hopefully you’ll get something out of it along the way!

Okay, so onward to Paleo Granola. Please, please don’t let the name scare you away! I know the whole “Paleo” thing has been all the rage lately, and to be honest, I was a little skeptical at first. However, a number of family members and friends have had GREAT success with the Paleo lifestyle – and, really, that’s what it is – a lifestyle. While I admire those who can do strictly Paleo, I’m afraid that I enjoy a few non-Paleo items just too much. And, really, I already gave up alcohol, so in many ways I feel like I’ve done my “duty” in the area of giving up things for health-related reasons – at least, that’s the excuse I’m using for now! But, that still doesn’t mean I won’t incorporate some yummy recipes into our daily living.

Recently, we were visiting my husband’s aunt and uncle, who practice a Paleo lifestyle, and his aunt had made this wonderful – seriously-out-of-this-world granola. Disclaimer: I could live off of Greek yogurt, fruit and granola. I’m pretty sure I’ve had every variety of granola out there (hello, my parents were hippies!) and this was the BEST. Turns out it’s Paleo and comes from Stacy at Paleo Parents (oh, and my kids love it!). I prefer mine over plain Greek yogurt with a little honey and fruit, but you can eat it however you like – right out of the container it great too!

IMG_3043

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 C sliced almonds
  • 1 1/2 C unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 C walnuts, finely chopped or pureed
  • 1 C macadamia nuts, finely chopped or pureed
  • 1 C dried cranberries
  • 1/2 C fresh dates, diced
  • 1/2 C coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 C honey
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

  • Combine almonds, coconut flakes, nuts and fruit in a bowl
  • Whisk together oil, honey and cinnamon
  • Pour oil-honey mixture over nuts and fruit and mix, mix well (hands work best)
  • Spread onto a single layer on lightly oiled baking sheet
  • Bake for one hour at 275 degrees, stirring every 15 minutes to prevent burning (this is important or it will have a burnt taste to it)

Enjoy!

 

 

 

When the One You Love Is Gone

Grief Process

Yesterday afternoon, in between rain showers, I took a walk around our neighborhood. I walked quickly, knowing that I only had a short time before leaving to pick my son up from school. The fresh air felt good, and I let my thoughts drift as I walked and listened to my music.

I thought about some of the things that had been weighing heavy on my heart and how more than anything I wished I could see and talk to my mom. I wanted to hear her soothing voice, telling me everything was going to be okay. I just wanted her.

As I began to walk the steep part of the road close to our home, I found myself gasping for air. Tears started streaming down my face and as I tried to catch my breath, I began crying harder. A couple of cars drove towards me and I did my best to hold it together, walking as fast as I could to get home. Once home, I collapsed onto our entryway bench and sobbed. I wanted my mom more than anything, but she wasn’t there.

I went into the house, knowing I needed to find something. I needed to see her, hear her – something. In my bedroom, I keep a box filled with letters and cards I have received over the years. I hastily opened it, as if I were looking for some lost treasure. I sorted through the cards and letters, opening them up, looking for her distinctive handwriting. And, finally, I found them. Towards the bottom, I found the card she had sent to me when I was in high school and she was away taking care of my grandpa; the card she had given me when I graduated with my master’s degree; all the cards and letters she had written me over the years. And, they all expressed the same thing – how much she loved me, how proud she was of me and the happiness she wished for me.

And, I felt myself breathe. I felt my body relax because this is what I had been looking for. This is what I had needed from her. She wasn’t physically there to give it to me, but she was there in spirit and memory. Her words spoke what she couldn’t physically say to me. And, I knew everything was going to be okay. I knew I was truly loved. And, I knew that she had loved me more in those short 27 years of my life before she died, than most people experience in a lifetime.

I am so grateful for those years.

I don’t share this because I want you to feel sorry for me. Far from it. I share this because this is what grief looks like. No matter how much time has gone by, it sneaks up on you and punches you in the gut when you’re least expecting it. I share this because this is the type of thing I used to drink over. I didn’t want to feel the pain and sadness and loneliness. I didn’t want to feel anything.

But, now, I don’t have to drink. I don’t have to keep shoving my feelings down, deeper and deeper. Because, the truth is, they never go away. Those feelings are always there. Now, I let myself feel. I cry because I’m sad and pissed off that my mom’s not here.

And, then I find ways to feel close to her. Because, she’s always with me; I just have to open myself up and look for her. And, there she is – just waiting to tell me she loves me.

 

 

 

And, God Said Be Still

Snow

On the 7th of this month, God said, be still. He said stop your busyness, throw away your to-do list, spend time with your family and just be. How did He do this? He sent snow. Lots and lots of snow. More snow than we’ve had in over five years. And, then He sent freezing rain. And, we were stuck. We were snowed in for three days. And, we were together.

On the first day, in the midst of my kids arguing, I said, God I don’t know if I can do this. And, I went downstairs (we have a daylight basement) and locked the door. I took some deep breathes and I prayed for patience. And, God said, you’ve got this. And, I did. That’s the thing about my God, He’s usually right.

The next day, it snowed a lot. As I stood in the kitchen cooking a big breakfast, looking out at the snow falling, I felt peace. Peace in the simplicity of a morning where we weren’t rushing out the door; or barking orders at each other. Peace in my children’s laughter and excitement over the new fallen snow. Peace in sitting with my husband, drinking our coffee and just being.

IMG_2996

IMG_3001

We played, built snowmen and sledded down my in-law’s driveway. We didn’t need fancy sleds. Boxes worked just fine. We used my husband’s childhood sled to walk around the neighborhood, visiting friends along the way. It could have been anywhere; at any point in time. We were just a family – sledding, laughing and being together.

IMG_2916

IMG_2939

IMG_2945

IMG_2992

Sledding

And, God said, Chenoa, I know you’re not a big board game player, but you’re going to play a game as a family, because, really, what else do you have to do that’s more important? And, so we played a game of Chutes and Ladders and we laughed. And, I said, okay God, that was fun but I’m pretty sure that game is rigged because every time you get to the top, you have to slide down one of those damn chutes and it’s impossible to win. And, He laughed, because He knows it’s true.

IMG_3005

We baked cookies, watched movies, did puzzles, danced and sang (I’m pretty sure my husband and I could both sing that “Frozen” song word for word). And, I didn’t worry about running out of wine – because before, that’s what I would’ve worried about. Because, before, that’s how I “coped” with my kids. Now, the only thing I worried about running out of was my coffee and Prozac. Because, God knows I need both of those to function. Yes, my God has a sense of humor.

And, in the silence of the snow, God said, this was good. This was good because it made you be still. That’s what I love about my God. He knows what I need, when I need it most.

Finding Joy in the Silence

IMG_2849

I grew up in the fog on the coast of California, but nothing compares to the thick, cold fog that has engulfed us over the past few weeks in the Oregon valley where we live. It’s hard to tell whether it’s 7 am or 4 pm, each day rolling into night only to repeat itself the next day. To say it’s depressing is an understatement. It’s why so many of us (despite the cancer warnings) are often tempted to find refuge in a tanning bed. I won’t, but, as I write this, it sounds absolutely amazing.

Today, despite the frigid temperatures and thick, white fog, I decided to bundle up and get some much needed yard work done. I was beginning to feel suffocated inside, surrounded by the stale air and constant buzz of the forced air heater. The air was cold and crisp, and hung low covering the yard like a thick blanket. It reminded me of the English moors that I’ve so often read about in the Secret Garden or Wuthering Heights, eerily enchanting.

My outfit on the other hand, was anything but enchanting.

IMG_2852

As I worked my arms back and forth, cutting down the grasses that had become brown and wilted, I felt a surge of energy pulse through my body. I could feel the blood flowing through my veins, heating my body up and giving me a burst of energy. As I breathed the cold, thick air in and out, I felt my lungs come alive, grateful for the fresh air.

Despite the silence and starkness of the yard, I heard birds chirping nearby, perhaps cheerfully optimistic of the upcoming Spring. As I pulled the remaining growth from the raised garden beds, I found great satisfaction in the flat, emptiness of the beds. Instead of seeing them as sad and empty, I saw the great potential for next season’s crops. I thought of the parallels between those garden beds and my life and an upcoming panel I’ve been asked to be part of where I will share my story of recovery. I saw those empty beds as my life when I made the decision to get sober – sparse and barren, yet so full of potential. I’ve been nervous and apprehensive about sharing my story in a panel-like format, but today I realized the power that a once empty, but now overflowing garden bed could have on one looking in from the outside. To see potential is to have hope.

As I walked through the yard, picking up debris from the recent windstorm, I thought of my mom who I often feel closest to while I’m gardening or doing yard work. I felt her presence all around me and pictured her in her robe and slippers working in her yard as I would so often find her growing up. I imagined her pointing out all the new growth on the camellias or the first glimpses of Spring in the daffodils pushing up through the hard, cold dirt. And, I realized no matter how much time passes, I still miss her just as much now as I did back then.

Yet, regardless of the sadness and longing I felt, I found a deep sense of peace and joy in the silence of the cold, thick fog – and hope in the new signs of life growing up all around me.

IMG_2851

What I Wish I Knew About Marriage Before I Got Married

Marriage

Nothing like a little controversy to get people talking!

A couple of authors/bloggers I follow have really pushed some buttons lately in regards to their opinions on marriage. Candece Cameron Bure (former Full House actress) has shaken things up with her recent book, Balancing It All: My Story of Juggling Priorities and Purpose, where she talks about her “submissive” role as a wife (okay, just calm down and keep reading). She explains her use of the word “submissive” by saying, “My husband is a natural born leader. I quickly learned that I had to find a way of honoring his take-charge personality and not get frustrated about his desire to have the final decision on just about everything. I am not a passive person, but I chose to fall into a more submissive role in our relationship because I wanted to do everything in my power to make my marriage and family work.” In addition, Glennon Doyle Melton, author of the blog Momastery, created a stir when she posted about the realities of marriage in her post 5 Ways to Secure Your Happyish Ever After.

While I haven’t read Candece’s new book, I do follow her blog and respect her views on marriage, religion and parenting – just as I do Glennon’s. After reading about both controversies, what I realized is that people aren’t reacting to the author’s themselves, they’re reacting to their brutal honesty about marriage.

As young girls and women, we grow up with this romantic view of what marriage is supposed to look like – candles, flowers, white dress, big wedding and so on. What we neglect to think about (or even talk about) is what marriage looks like after two, five and ten years of marriage. What happens when that initial passion and lust and the excitement of “getting married” goes away? When you wake up one day and look at your husband and think, “Now what?” That’s when the marriage really starts. That’s when we begin to figure out what works and what doesn’t work. And, that’s when we realize no matter what, if we want the marriage to last, it’s going to require A LOT of work and negotiation on both parts.

Tyler and I just celebrated nine years of marriage and let me tell you – it’s been a LONG nine years. I don’t say that in a bad way; I say that in a honest, matter-of-the-fact way. Right now, we’re at a really good place, but I know without a doubt that there will be more challenges down the road. However, along the way we’ve learned what works for us – and I think that’s key in any marriage. What works for you? And, how can you practice those things each and every day of your marriage? So what if Candece describes herself as a “submissive” wife? Her and her husband have been married for 17 years – obviously, something is working. In their marriage, she has found that allowing her husband to take the lead on certain issues and decisions works for them. Great! More power to them!

And, Glennon talks about the realities of navigating sex in marriage and going to therapy. Yes, it’s true, sex is a HUGE issue in most marriages. I learned a long time ago that even if you don’t feel like doing it, just get off your ass and DO IT! There will ALWAYS be an excuse not to have sex, but really, how hard is it?! No, it’s not always going to be soft music and candlelight (most often it’s not), but a little quickie here and there will do wonders for your marriage – trust me!

Marriage. It’s hard stuff. In my opinion, most people give up before figuring out what really works for them. Like my mother-in-law says, there will be many deserts throughout a marriage. But, I like to believe that throughout the deserts, there will also be deep wells of water where we will always be able to replenish ourselves.

As Glennon says, “Marriage starts over again every.single.day.”

Amen to that!

Searching for You

Faithful God

As I sat in the church pew on Christmas morning, I noticed a young woman sitting alone in front of me to my left. I didn’t recognize her and she seemed a bit uncomfortable, maybe even nervous. She followed along with the mass, perhaps at one point in her life being familiar with it. She quietly sang along to the music, yet there was a sadness about her – a loneliness. To her right, sat a young woman and man in their early to mid-30s. I recognized the older woman they were sitting with as I knew she was a regular parishioner. I assumed it was her son and daughter or son and girlfriend. I couldn’t tell. They seemed disconnected, even bored. They went through the motions, but it was obvious they were there out of obligation. Probably in town for the holidays and fulfilling their obligatory “duty” to their mom.

As I observed both the young woman and the “couple” in front of me, I remembered having both those feelings of loneliness and disconnect. Only two years before I had sat in that same church feeling alone, empty and desperate. At the time, I had everything to live for – husband, children, family, friends – yet, inside I was like an empty vessel. I was searching and grasping for everything around me that I thought could fill the emptiness and silence the desperation I felt. I wanted so badly to feel on the inside the way people perceived me from the outside, but in reality I was sinking quietly into the loneliness and emptiness.

It wasn’t until two months later I would realize that what I had been searching for all along was right in front of me. My husband who would stand by me and hold me up when I couldn’t hold myself up, my children who would love me unconditionally and my church that would allow me to explore and question the God I had always been so scared of.

Now, almost two years later, as I sat in that church pew next to my daughter holding her new “Frozen” dolls and my husband holding our sleeping son, I felt the serenity, peace and joy that we often refer to as “The Promises” in recovery. I no longer felt alone, empty or disconnected from my life. I was filled with love, gratitude and gratefulness for a God who could make a broken person like myself whole again.

On New Year’s Eve, my husband and I will celebrate nine years of marriage – a marriage which could have easily ended two years ago.  In all my years of searching for happiness and contentment elsewhere, I was fortunate enough to find a man who would lay down his life for me, forgive me, love me when I was unlovable and walk with me through the pain, grief, anger and healing that it took to get to where we are now. I know he is a true gift from God. But, like all valuable gifts, I must treasure, protect and respect him and his love for me.

And that’s when I was searching, I’m not searching anymore
And that’s when I was learning about the things worth living for
Before I was open, before I knew I couldn’t live a day
Without you
Without you

Without you in the morning, to love me another day
Without you in the evening, when the colors start to fade
Without you on the plane ride to hold my hand and pray
Without you standing here when you could’ve walked away

Now I’m not searching, I’m not searching anymore
But I’m, I’m still learning ’bout the things worth living for
I am here, I am open, and now I know I couldn’t live a day
Without you
Without you

– From Holly Williams’ song “Without You”

Permission to Feel

A Time to Weep and Laugh

It’s been a while, but I’m still here – sober and living life! Now that the birthdays are over (until December!) and school has started, I find myself easing back into that predictable routine that by the end of summer I so desperately miss. I’m hoping a new routine also means a little more writing time for me. I don’t realize how much I depend on my writing for my own sanity until I’m not doing it anymore!

I heard the above scripture read out loud the other day while driving and it really hit me. Usually, I only hear it spoken out loud when I’m watching Footloose and Kevin Bacon’s character is speaking at the town hall meeting trying to convince the community to reinstate dancing…but that’s a whole different story. Way off topic.

When I heard this scripture the other day, it made me think of my life now – my sober life- and how I navigate the reality of living life on life’s terms. For the most part, life is good. It’s really good. I’m the best version of myself that I’ve ever been, but that doesn’t mean I don’t struggle. And, the struggles are just as important as the happy and joyous parts of my life. The difference now, is that instead of trying to numb or guard myself from those struggles by drinking, I have to move through them.

A couple of weeks ago, I had a really crappy day. I woke up feeling fine, but by mid-morning I found myself losing it. My husband had taken the kids to the gym, and as I stood cleaning the stove, I felt this tremendous sense of grief hit me. Tears started streaming down my face and I thought, “I miss my mom SO much right now.” My mom passed away over seven years ago from pancreatic cancer, but sometimes it feels like yesterday. And, then I found myself in the bedroom cleaning, and once again the grief hit me and before I knew it I was sitting on the floor, leaning up against the bed, sobbing. All at once I felt so much loss. The loss of my mom, the loss of my friend Sadie, the loss of relationships with those I was once close to. It was heavy and suffocating and I all I could do was sit there and cry. I wanted the pain and hurt to go away – oh how I prayed for it to go away – but I knew, despite the heart wrenching pain, I had to move through it.  This was me, living life on life’s terms. It’s not easy, but it’s what I do now. I know it’s what I HAVE to do if I don’t want to go back to that horrible place I came from – the drinking and numbing.

I have FINALLY learned (not always the easy way) to give myself permission to “weep” and to “mourn.” And, part of this is also learning how to be honest with those around me and ask for help. When my husband got home, I told him what had happened and said, “I’m having a really hard day. I’m going to be okay, but I need to work through it.” He knows. He knows I will have hard days where the grief of losing my mom and my friends will hit me out of nowhere. But, he isn’t a mind reader (as much as I would like to assume he is) and he needs me to be open and honest so he can step in and give the kids some extra attention or whatever is helpful in that moment. My husband, my sponsor, my friends – these are my lifelines. I reach out, I ask for help – this is what I have learned in sobriety.

The next day I felt better. I went to church, I talked to God – I fed my soul and I continued to move through the grief and depression I had been feeling the day before. By Monday, I felt better. I now know it’s a process, but I didn’t always “get” it. Before, I would stuff it all in, pack it down, put a smile on my face and pretend it was “okay.” I would try to numb it away with multiple glasses of wine, hoping that “one more” would make it all go away. And, it did for a while – until I woke up the next morning and went through the whole cycle over again.

I laugh a lot now. I laugh with my kids, with my husband, with friends – at myself! I laugh a lot more than I weep or mourn. I even dance now – sober! However, my dancing usually leads to even more laughing – if you know me, you’ll understand. For those that don’t, lets just say I’ve perfected the “white girl” moves!

Thank God for my sobriety, which has taught me to live life on life’s terms. Feel it, deal with it and move on. Easy? Not always. Worth it? Definitely!

Reflections on a Year Sober

Endurance

For some reason I’ve been putting off writing this post. While I’m happy about celebrating one year sober, I’m emotionally drained. Last week I attended two memorial services for young women who were taken too soon – both mothers. And, in the middle of that I celebrated one year sober. It was bittersweet in so many ways.

After driving back from attending Sadie’s service in California, while tired, I went to my home group meeting that evening to get my one year coin. My sponsor was planning to be there and it was important for me to be with the people who had been with me from the beginning – those who loved me when I couldn’t love myself.

Ironically, the topic of the meeting that night was “love.” If there was one word to describe Sadie’s service and Malia’s service it would be “love.” The love that shown through their bright smiles and the love displayed by those who came to celebrate and honor their lives was immense. While I was saddened by their loss, my heart was full.

In reflecting on the past year, I realized that the love I have received and the love I am able to now give is what matters most. I am not cut off from the world anymore, instead I am able to receive all that it has to offer and to finally give back after so many years of taking.

Sadie and Malia both loved deeply. They loved their children, their faith, their families and friends. I am more grateful than ever to have the ability to love like they did. To live my life not for me alone, but to live as God intended me to live – honest, joyous, peaceful and loving to those around me.

So, now what? It seems like a year sober is a pivotal time for me. I will never be a fully “recovered” alcoholic. I will always be “recovering.” I might not feel the anxiety that I felt in early sobriety, but I continue to be challenged with new situations that I must learn to “walk through” sober. It’s not easy, but no one ever said it was.

I will continue to write about my sobriety and my journey living sober, however, I might delve into other topics along the way. Next week, I start the process to become Catholic. This has been a long time coming and I’m excited. My husband will be my “sponsor” (yes, they have them there too!) and I’m grateful for that. He has been an example of faith when I didn’t even know what faith was. It will be a new journey for me, but it will also be a journey for us together.

Sobriety has taught me a lot of things, but most of all it has taught me the willingness to change, to follow my heart, to be okay with the unknown and to be at peace with my life – just the way it is. Nothing more, nothing less.