It’s been a while. Again. I have found this blog to be more difficult to keep up with than I anticipated, but worth it when I need an outlet. I refuse to add more deadlines to my life so instead of stressing about getting something out weekly, I try my best to only cram your inbox or your news feed when I have something halfway important to say. Or, in this case, bare my soul unlike I never have before.

As Thanksgiving approaches, I have found myself a bit emotional. It’s due in part to the chaos in our country, the negative narrative that hangs like a dark cloud around us every day. It’s partly due to the fact that winter and cold weather make me a little less cheery and a little more melancholy. But it’s mainly due to the fact that I am getting older and my daughter is getting older and my parents are getting older. And I cherish every second we have together – even when it seems rushed and busy between games and events and LIFE.

If you take the time to watch this video you will know why Thanksgiving took on a different meaning for me when my mom was gone. And it’s meant even more since she’s been home. This speech is from the graduation ceremony of what was a life-changing experience as a JustLeadershipUSA Fellow in 2018. I had a friend take this video (sorry for the quality – but he did his best!) so that I could show it to my mom. I had no intention of showing it publicly – ever. But in the spirit of being vulnerable so that others in my same shoes might feel strength, I feel the need to share it for Thanksgiving this year.

And thankful I am.

With a full and grateful heart and, as always, hope for the future –


Founder, Ava’s Grace Scholarship Program
Mom – CEO – Justice Warrior

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