Voice & Vision Blog

Underpasses: Finding Moments of Peace in the Storm

I’ve never liked driving in the rain. I’ve always found it to be very stressful. Ever since the day I was driving home from high school and the driver ahead of me (also a teenager on her way home from school) suddenly stopped to make a sharp turn without signaling. I was following at a safe distance (one car length for each ten miles of speed—yes, I  paid attention in Driver Ed Class!), but when I applied the brakes, my car hydroplaned into the back of hers. For the first time in my young life...

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The Convergence of Hanukkah and Christmas!

As I sat in a Christmas Eve Candlelight Service last night, I thought of my Jewish brothers and sisters at the same time celebrating the beginning of Hanukkah also called the Festival of Lights. Hanukkah commemorates the celebration of the great miracle when a one day’s supply of oil lasted eight days as the Jewish people rededicated the Temple over 2,100 years ago. Christmas remembers the birth of Jesus Christ of Nazareth born over 2,000 years ago – who the Bible declares came as the light...

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Turkey Soup: A Bowlful of Memories

This year, over the course of the 9 days following Thanksgiving, I ate 13 large bowls of homemade turkey soup. I ate it for lunch every day and I also ate it for dinner on the evenings when my husband was at work. I actually would have eaten it a few more times, but I’d already frozen what I didn’t think we’d use quickly and I resisted thawing it by telling myself: enough is enough!  After about the 10th bowl I jokingly told Bill that if he looked over to my side of the bed the following morning...

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College Plus: Instilling Hope for a Brighter Future

I recently had the privilege to hear the inspiring story of Cindy, a woman with a mental illness, who overcame many obstacles in order to earn her college degree.    It made me think back to when I decided to attend college. I was a lost, 17-year-old high school graduate then, working a retail job for which I felt no passion.   I desperately wanted to feel like I had purpose and college offered hope for a brighter future.  Unfortunately, anxiety prevented me from going back to college for over...

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The Mysterious Power of Giving Thanks

About 9 years ago my husband and I began seriously talking about selling our house, quitting our jobs and leaving the life we knew, to make a move of 4,000 miles to spend more time with our mothers—while we still could. It was a scary proposition. There were so many uncertainties. Where would we live? Would we find meaningful work? Would we make new friends? How would we pare down our possessions and pack up and move the rest? How would we adjust to the hectic pace of the East Coast after so many...

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A College Plus Story

This week, we have the pleasure of introducing our guest blogger Emily, who is a College Plus alumnus.   She has been a great advocate for the program and wanted to share how the support and encouragement has helped her narrow in on her career choice.  She is now transitioning from community college to Rosemont College and we are so proud of her achievements.  Enjoy! Emily’s Story  I had already knocked down one bar on the career choice meter. It was the year of 2014 that I decided to knock...

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Why I (Finally!) Gave Up Artificial Sweeteners

I’d been using artificial sweeteners for a very long time. They were in so many of the things I ate and drank—they were even in my chewing gum and cough drops. I knew all those chemicals couldn’t be good for me, but I convinced myself that I’d gain weight if I stopped using them. The worries about how they were affecting my health just wouldn’t go away, so I did some research and the decision to kick this habit quickly became a no-brainer. Here are some of the surprising (and scary) things I learned...

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Just a Bad Day. Not a Bad Life.

I had a crummy day yesterday. Not all of it was crummy, not even most of it was, but by the time I was heading upstairs to get ready for bed, I had convinced myself that it had been entirely crummy and that today would be more of the same. I was convincing myself that crummy, in fact, was going to be my new normal. As I was brushing my teeth, my memory transported me back to another remarkably crummy day which took place about 8 or 9 years ago when my husband and I still lived in Alaska. It was...

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Introverts Are Not Shy: Setting the Record Straight

Two weeks ago, I wrote about my journey to embracing myself as an introvert.  (See Embrace Your Introverted Self)  I can’t tell you how many people said to me, “Really? I never thought you were an introvert!”  I think this stems from common misconceptions people have about introverts.  Let’s set the record straight, shall we? FALSE: Introverts are anti-social This is far from true; we really do enjoy socializing, especially after all that recharging in solitude. We can talk up a storm too, if...

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Of Facebook and Falling Trees

My husband and I decided we needed to breathe a bit of fresh air last weekend, so we escaped the city and took a quick road trip. We drove to Doylestown, where the highlight of the day was a tour of Fonthill Castle. The castle was built in the early 1900s by Henry Mercer, a man of many talents who had a particular obsession with tile. His quirky castle home has tiles everywhere, many of which he made himself, others he collected during his world travels. Some tiles depict historical scenes, some...

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