FAMILY COLUMNS

 

Family

Alisha Land - FamilyAlisha LandThe Fun & Frenzy of Raising a Family – Are your days as a mom filled with working, either in or out of the home, grocery shopping, cooking, chores, errands, running the kids here and there, keeping the household together, being a wife/partner, and so much more?  It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and to forget some days a family can be FUN!  Mother of 8, Alisha Land works from home with her family focused business, home schools, and is pursuing her writing career. She is very passionate about helping moms feel their greatest enjoyment in raising their families. Alisha shares strategies and resources to help moms run their homes smoothly from fun and games with the kids to the most cost effective way to feed your family each month even if you’re on a tight budget, and everything in between.

Altese Cabiness - FamilyAltese CabinessStanding at Ease – For soldiers “standing at ease” defines standing at a more relaxed position but not leaving formation.  For civilians “being at ease” means letting go and becoming free from stress, difficulties or constraints. Altese Cabiness grew up in a military family, is a former military officer and combat veteran, and is now a military spouse and mother of two beautiful girls. She looks back on her military background and shares her experiences and lessons that allow her to accept challenges, stop and reflect on what’s going on around her, free herself from constraints and just “stand at ease” during times of many uncertainties and constant transitions.  Altese illustrates how military families work to remain resilient through love, laughter, tears, lifelong friendships and support.  She has good days and bad, but there’s nothing she would change about her unique military family. She proclaims, “We are a family of one!”

Anna James - FamilyAnna Sternad JamesFamily Searches – A look into the search for family including through having your own children, within the family you already have, within your circle of best friends, looking for a birth family by an adoptee, or a birth family searching for a baby given up in adoption years ago.  Anna Sternad James, Founder and CEO of International Adoption Search Birth Families, LLC, also gives tips on the adoption process from the decision to adapt, to searching for a birth family, to finding a birth family in the U.S. or by traveling to meet them in a foreign birth country.

Arlene Switzer Flynn - Family rArlene Switzer FlynnBack in Grandma’s Arms – Have you ever had a day, or even a week, when you wished you could go visit your grandma, or go back in time in your memories, and be in her loving arms reassuring you everything will be ok?  Do you wish you could hear her words advising you with wisdom always reaffirming life is indeed good?  Maybe you just need to slow down a bit, unplug for an hour or a day, and simply sit on the porch with her and smell the forest in the air.  Do you remember having fun in the kitchen, eating dinner as a family, only being attracted to the good guys who treated you right, and feeling safe and happy?  Are you thankful for the women who came before you in your family and in the world?  Popular author Arlene Switzer Flynn shares her thoughts and humor with us all offering a much needed break on any given day with being “Back in Grandma’s Arms” once again.

Doretha Yvette Somerville - FamilyDoretha Yvette SomervilleWe are All Related –Have you ever had a sister, cousin, or aunt who wasn’t really related by blood, but you treated them as such?  Well, Doretha is that sister, cousin, or aunt!  Why do you ask?  Because, after you read some of her life’s’ journeys and experiences, I am sure you will say, “There has to be a camera in my house, because we went through the same exact thing!”  Being a military spouse, she holds down the fort while raising the kids, walking the dogs, and watching the finances.  She is also a full time student and part time teacher assistant for 20 kindergarten children.  How does she do it?!  It’s with the help of family, her “born into” one and her “blessed to have been given” along life’s journeys one.  Join Doretha as she travels down the road of unexpected voyages, through the passing of her mom to cancer, identifying who she is after being a soldier for 20 years, raising the kids that seem to already be raised, and living the life of a wife of a soldier.  With 5 kids (a set of fraternal middle school twins, 2 college students and a 10 year old), a dad who is learning how to text on his cell phone, 2 dogs (1 Shih Tzu and 1 chocolate lab), and a husband who is a Senior Special Ops Logistician, things are bound to be interesting.

Elizabeth Newlin - FamilyElizabeth NewlinIt’s Not Just You – Are you having a bad parenting day?  Don’t worry, everyone can relate.  Lucky for you Elizabeth Newlin is here to confess her bad choices, humiliating moments and unfortunate consequences so you feel better about yours.  She is the mother of three smart and handsome boys, if she does say so herself. Unless you’re looking for money to fix something they broke, and then she’s not sure who their clearly negligent mother is. Elizabeth is also a full-time Realtor in hot and wacky Arizona, but please don’t hold it against her. She’s an OK wife, a decent cook and an utterly appalling housekeeper. She likes wine, preferably white and boxed (it’s easier to pour) and hobbies of all sorts.

Eva Stokes "An Unvarnished Truth"Eva StokesAn Unvarnished Truth – The thoughts of the everyday life of single working class mom of three and up and coming Seattle writer Eva Stokes which are often raw but always thought-provoking and honest.  A look at life from the perspective of what is most often an exhausting struggle of feeling alone as so many single moms do, especially those with no child support or rich parents.  Yet, the story can also be uplifting in its triumphs of overcoming sadness and fear in addition to working through the feelings of anger and feeling judged.

Heather Telford - FamilyHeather TelfordLife of Lily – A look at the adventures, challenges and truths of being a new mom. Heather Telford is not only a new mom, but she is transitioning into the role of a “stay at home mom” too.  She is anything but a traditional woman in the eyes of some, for her and her husband are from the Rock and Alternative music world.  They see their numerous tattoos as an artful expression.  Her love for Lily, like the majority of moms, is traditional though!  Join Heather for an honest, revealing look at her new adventure with her baby girl.

Dr Lori Hobson - FamilyDr. Lori M. Hobson – Momma Sayings – Do you remember those things your mother, father, aunt, uncle, or friend used to say all the time… their favorite expression? Sometimes they said them so often you wished they would stop. As life went on, and you became more experienced, you understood why those sayings were repeated over and over. Using her expertise as a Counselor, Life Coach, and Trainer, Dr. Lori has taken those expressions and created a down-to-earth collection of wisdom and knowledge. She is transparent and courageous in her willingness to share her own experiences as well as those of others. Her witty and genuine style of storytelling will take you from laughter to tears and back again. “Momma Sayings” will validate many of the things you’ve always believed while also challenging you to think in new and different ways.

Megan Cyrulewski - FamilyMegan CyrulewskiWho Are You? – Have you had a period in your life when you wondered what on earth is going on in my life? Did you think, “How am I going to get through all of this? Why is this happening to me? Will I make it through to the other side of this? Will my life ever be normal again… be happy again?” Believe it or not, and it’s hard to believe when you are in the midst of it all, but y0u are strong.  And, you are not alone. During a three-year period, Megan experienced post-partum depression, anxiety disorder, panic attacks, visits to the psych ward, divorce, domestic violence, and law school. She not only survived with her sanity intact, she flourished with her beautiful little girl who emerged from all of this chaos.  Megan feels she is just an ordinary, everyday person who has faced extraordinary challenges, and now she wants to inspire you. She wants to show you that hope gives you the power to survive anything.

Merle Huerta - FamilyMerle Huerta – Family Strong… No Matter What – Do people tell you, “Wow, you’re a really strong woman. I don’t know how you do it. I’m not sure I could.” And, you look at them incredulously, because the truth is all you’re doing is surviving, because failing simply isn’t an option. So, like Merle, do you keep your head down, evaluate the problem at hand, and work through it all step-by-step? A former single mom now stepmom to a blended family of 13 and a retired army wife, Merle knows what it is like to face daunting odds and monumental tragedy. She has picked up the pieces and started over again more than once. She did it after losing custody of her children and when her daughter had to be hospitalized with bipolar disorder. She did it when her husband, a combat veteran, returned home with PTSD and other injuries. And, she continues to do it. Many tell her she’s resilient. She knows it’s true. She doesn’t give up. She can’t give up. Her children and her family are depending on her. Be inspired by her journey, because in the end, as every mom knows, you have to be Family Strong… No Matter What.

Priscilla Stone Sharp - FamilyPriscilla Stone Sharp – Search Angels – Were you adopted as a child?  Did a parent leave, and you never saw them or that side of your family again?  Did you give up a child at birth?  Do you have identity questions as a result of lost family ties?  “Who am I?  What is my family history?   What is my biological medical history? Do I have living blood relatives… siblings?  Is there anyone out there in my family who looks like me or cares about me?”  These questions are not unique to adoptees, as many millions of people have become disconnected from family members due to divorce, foster care, and even alienation.  Did you know there are 6 to 7 million adopted persons in the U.S., and most of them are precluded by “sealed records” laws from knowing their heritage and the identity of those to whom they are blood?  Join Search Angel Priscilla Stone Sharp as she shares her experience in helping people answer lifelong questions using 21st century technology and DNA testing… free of charge.  She is also an advocate to reform the archaic laws in some states in hopes of eliminating the discrimination felt by those searching for their heritage.   For years, Search Angels, independently and in cooperation with search and support groups all over the country, have been working to right this wrong.

Robin Smyers - FamilyRobin L. SmyersThe Unexpected Journey – As our family dynamics change, there may come a time when you, or someone you know, will find yourself in the necessary position to reverse your role within the family and assume the caregiver role to your parents or other elderly member(s).  Robin Smyers was a fun-loving, community volunteer and sales professional, living in Virginia.  She moved her life to Texas to give back to her family when her parents moved her grandparents to live with them.  After the passing of both grandparents this past year, this is Robin’s real-life experiences of her ever changing role and identity and the insights she continues to gain.

Shey OShey - FamilyShey O’Shey – The Soulmate Project… A Journey to Finding Love – Are you having trouble finding Mr. Right? Do most of your relationships end badly or in heartache? Are you still yearning over your ex? Do you feel that you will never find a loving and lasting relationship? Or, are you looking for tips to rekindle your romance? Shey O’Shey, author of two relationship books, began writing about relationships years ago when she saw news reports of relationships ending in tragedy. She believes everyone deserves a loving and lasting relationship. Shey is constantly researching and learning methods and comprising her findings into relationship enhancers. She does not condone nor teach gimmicks or manipulation techniques. Follow her column and let her advice be a jump start to your own soulmate project… your own journey to finding love.

Molly Skyar - FamilyDr. Susan Rutherford & Molly SkyarConversations with My Mother – Molly Skyar, mom of two young kids, faces the same parenting challenges we all do, but luckily Molly’s mom is a Clinical Psychologist with more than thirty years experience and an exceptional mom role model to follow. Together they tackle tough questions from readers covering all aspects of parenting with lively and opinionated dialog and a focus on how not to screw up your kids. In their mother-daughter/doctor-layperson conversations, they examine common parenting dilemmas such as handling behavior issues, discipline, marriage, divorce and separation, education, emotional issues, siblings, relationships, socialization and any other topics about raising kids. WVM readers are encouraged to send in questions seeking expert advice. Join Dr. Rutherford and Molly each month as they discuss how the parenting decisions you make today can shape your kids into happy and emotionally healthy adults.

Wilhelmina Ryan - FamilyWilhelmina RyanAvelist… Mothers Helping Mothers – Is this your first pregnancy?  Or, are you the mom of two, three, or more?  New moms have a life full of firsts, and experienced moms are still constantly being thrown into new situations.  Moms know every day can bring questions from, “What do I pack in my hospital bag,” to ‘How do I plan a birthday party for a 2 year old?”  Wilhelmina Ryan from the popular Avelist shares top quality advice on navigating life transitions.  In her role as Avelist’s Marketing Director, she sees unaccustomed moms and practiced moms asking for and giving each other guidance on an array of topics.  Each helps the other navigate motherhood, maximizing the joys and minimizing the confusion.  Learn from mothers just like you who have been in your shoes.  Have fun while receiving time and money saving insights too!

Family Talk r1Leon, Linda, Anna, Brenda, Jay, Sarah, Kelly, Will, JasonFamily Talk – Remember when American families lived closer together and even sat down to dinner once a month or so?  Remember when you knew your aunts and uncles, your nieces and nephews, your cousins, and everyone enjoyed getting together, kidding around, and talking to each other?  Join this family’s 5 women and 5 men from 2 generations as they share their thoughts on life, love, family, home, pop culture and other just-for-fun topics of the day.  Life is good, and a crazy aunt, funny uncle, thoughtful niece, insightful nephew, and/or a teasing sister, brother-in-law, or cousin makes it even better.  You know what makes family time memorable? … Love and laughter!  Have fun with this family every month, and hopefully they will inspire you to get to know your extended family better too just by asking questions!