stone altar

It’s my birthday!

(As well as, Caralyn’s Wedding Day & Fr. Dan’s Marathon too!!)

Those of you who know me personally already understand that

I LOVE my birth DAY!

But even more so this year!

Because it provides me ONE full DAY to partake in all manners of my 2023 Word of the Year:


Yes, there will be great merriment today!

Some quiet & some loud,

but regardless the volume level it shall be made


Traditionally, in the days or weeks leading up to my birthday I will take time to look back on what has occurred over the course of the past year of my life. I look through my journal writings from the previous year to discover: What great moments have I experienced? What was postponed? What new knowledge have I gained? What was lost? More importantly what should I take with me into this next year?

THIS year’s re-examination was exceptionally rich with collected wisdom & self-discovery!

As a consequence, MY BIRTHDAY WISH is that perhaps by sharing some of it today there’s a nugget of wisdom YOU are meant to receive too! Just like a piece of the cake, if you will. Which is exactly why I will be praying for YOU as I blow out my 2023 birthday candles!

Dear Birthday-Self,

Not long ago I remember asking myself “Can life get any better than this? WILL life get any better?” It’s been quite a process for me to answer this question fully. Despite the brokenness of the World and yes, even within my own family unit, it actually is better! Over the course of this past year Cuppycake and I have deepened our commitment to one another, we’ve grown in our prayer life and my personal relationship with the Lord is deeper than ever and my hunger for God’s Word is the greatest it has been in 50+++++++ years. Yes, it has gotten better than I’d ever hoped for!

My wonderful Spiritual Director & a friendly therapist clarified how, sometimes painfully, we realize that our sufferings, deep and wrenching at times, are an integral part of our story. After all, we must be ‘crucified with Christ’ (Gal 2:20) in order for Him to live in us. And, we see too, that the little things of life are also so very important, for nothing has been left untouched in our human experience and everything has been given a role to play in the reconciling of the world – all of creation and every human heart back to God himself. And I have discovered that if I need to suffer a little bit – so that other’s are brought back to Him – I am strong enough to do so…for love of Him.

See what I mean? Truly, some BIG stuff pulled-together for me this year! Which I will undoubtedly carry into the next year, along with some other smaller (yet equally as life-giving) nuggets too. Here’s a few of my favorites…

*It isn’t my responsibility to rebuild a bond I didn’t break.

*I use to think drawing away from other’s and becoming introverted was because I liked being alone, but it turns out I just like being at peace. I am very extroverted when I am around people who bring me peace.

(Therefore,) if I become distant it is because I learned my place with you.

*So many people love me. God does not want me to focus on those who do not. Because that is not what He does. God loves us ALL. Equally. (Me too!) But He always gives us the free-will to choose what we want. We each have the freedom to choose Him or to choose what-ever else we love more in the World. (Me too!) We must give everyone the freedom to choose; accepting it is their free will, but we must at the same time move forward – reclaiming our own peace while continuing to love & pray for them. Made in His image & likeness – me too!

*The best conversations are the ones where you don’t have to worry about what you say, you can just be you. Turd and all. Giggles.

*Hold your eyes on God and leave the doing to Him. That is all the doing you have to worry about.

And if you do all of this dear Birthday-Self – at the end of the day your feet should be dirty, your hair messy, and your eyes sparkling! Which has been one of the best lessons of all!

These are the impactful lessons learned through an open heart guiding me more & more toward Him. I do hope anyone reading will please take as much as is helpful or discard what is not, as my personal birthday gift for you.along with that slice of cake!

hugs n’ blessings to another wonderful year of learning and living!!

taking the rainbow back…

For many years I collected Noah’s Arks.

Large, small, manufactured or carved – many of which were given to me as gifts.

Our home was littered with them!

When we moved to our current home in 2014 it felt like it was time to pare the collection down & let many of them go. It was a wonderful opportunity to share the mutual love of God’s covenant with others – not to mention all the littles, who were so eager to play with the many miniature animals! However, a few do still remain in my possession – a beautiful print gifted to me by my sister & her family along with a hand-carved rendition that my grandchildren now play with, given by my mother.

I collected them because of the “Promise.”

Rainbows are a sign of hope from God.

He isn’t a police God, but a Father who pledged to be patient and offer His grace.

Whether others know it or not, every rainbow they use means God hasn’t given up on them.

Don’t give up on those who do not know, understand or remember Who it is that gave us the rainbow. Or why.

I know I haven’t.

And my prayer is that one day the One who gifted it to us will be embraced by all. But for today I’m taking it back! While looking for the opportunity to share it with any who wish to receive the Promise now.

hugs n’ blessings because His promise still stands!

the mission doesn’t stop

In 48 hours summertime items will begin to be dusted-off and the sounds of baseballs being hit, footballs being tossed and corn-hole bags smacking the boards will be heard in backyards everywhere. Right alongside the smells of a BBQ & beer with family & close friends gathered around.

However, in the midst of celebrating the start of another summer please won’t you take a moment to remember what this time together is really about and honor the fallen, recognize their sacrifice, & lift up a prayer – especially for those who hold a special sacredness to the word…


Casualty evacuation, also known as CASEVAC or by the callsign Dustoff or colloquially Dust Off, is a military term for the emergency patient evacuation of casualties from a combat zone. Casevac can be done by both ground and air. “DUSTOFF” is the callsign specific to U.S. Army Air Ambulance units.

On March 29th, 2023, the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade experienced a tragic training accident during which two HH-60M MEDEVAC Black Hawks collided mid-air, resulting in the death of nine aircrew members. With all of the fallen having come from Charlie Company, 6-101st Aviation Regiment “Eagle DUSTOFF”, they have become collectively known as the “Nine Eagles”. This memorial video was produced to screen at the memorial event in which thousands attended in person and tuned in live to remember the fallen. Video produced by Austin Lachance.

hugs n’ blessings to all those “really great people” lost, but NEVER forgotten…and those who loved them most.


1st Lt. Stephen “Chase” Prasnicki and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Daniel Prial