Lifestyle, Writing, Podcasting, Military Life, Inspirtation, North Carolina

Memorial Day is a Tough Day for Many

Photo by Alison Klakowicz
Flags of Remembrance at U.S. Army Airborne & Special Operations Museum, Fayetteville, North Carolina

As most people get to enjoy some much needed R&R today on Memorial Day, there are many who are directly impacted by its sentiment.

These individuals have lost fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, uncles, aunts, friends and teammates.

Survivors have to move forward each year with the guilt, trauma, and sadness which consumes them knowing they are alive and their loved one is not.

Parents are not alive to witness their children’s firsts— first words and steps, first day of school, first heartbreak, first laughter, first bike rides, first dances, graduations, marriage, the birth of a first grandchild.

The children of these soldiers lose a huge part of themselves, and must conjure up strength, dignity, tolerance, patience, grace to move ahead in life. An unimaginable strength they are expected to find in themselves.

This is a very tough day for my husband (an Army Special Forces soldier) who has lost many friends— his band of brothers who did not return home from war; or returned with invisible scars that later swallowed them up and took their lives.

Survivor’s guilt is very real.

It is painful and debilitating.

I see it in my husband. In his conscience. In the days leading up to a day other folks celebrate without pain or sorrow, unlike him. The loss is deep inside his soul.

I have to remind myself to tread lightly today. To be respectful and empathetic. To acknowledge the loss and memories of so many gone.

Today, I ask you to tread lightly too. To reach out to an individual survivor, soldier or veteran who know this pain tenfold. Ask them to remember these individuals and tell their story.

Do not forget them. Do not forget their stories.

Do not let the loss of their lives go unknown and unheard.

Celebrate the lives taken too soon.

Wishing you all a beautiful day of remembrance .

Happy Memorial Day!

With Love,

Alison Klakowicz

Lifestyle, Writing, Podcasting, Military Life, Inspirtation, North Carolina

Joy Resor Shines— Western North Carolina Author, Artisan, Spiritual Mentor

A Western North Carolina-based author is spreading JOY wherever she goes!
Years ago as a young mother of two sons, Joy Resor wrote a prayer daily to become the JOY she was created to be.
She is now living that JOY everyday where she strives to inspire love, peace and joy through Joy on Your Shoulders— as a spiritual mentor who offers inspiring books and Batik cotton wares for sale as well as a monthly newsletter called Go In Joy! 
Designed to SHINE! Read Aloud Rhymes for Any Size Heart her second children’s picture book has won three awards.
My son and I read Designed to Shine this past year— at bedtime— and loved the positive messages it left us with to have a peaceful night’s rest.
She strives to create books from the heart to touch lives in rich, loving and peaceful ways.
Her first book, Go In Joy! An Alphabetical Adventure has touched lives through her minister’s Prison Light Book Ministry, including a woman who asked the author to write her.
This is a wonderful series of books that truly inspire ALL.
“Lo and behold, I’m writing to a few prisoners who read my books and write to me…
I visit students in the Schenck Job Corps Program in Pisgah Forest twice a month.  The first time, a student suggested that I create a rap video of the rhymes in Designed to SHINE! Read Aloud Rhymes for Any Size Heart.  My partner Michael and I intend to lean into this amazing idea…
Designed to SHINE! Read Aloud Rhymes for Any Size Heart – Volume Two is being illustrated, and a second edition of Go In Joy! An Alphabetical Adventure will emerge.” -Joy Resor
Thanks to Joy for spreading your love and happiness to all of us!

To find out more about Joy Resor, look here:
Lifestyle, Writing, Podcasting, Military Life, Inspirtation, North Carolina

Seth’s Wish is Magic.

Fayetteville, North Carolina

Never have I experienced a place like Seth’s Wish in my forty plus years.

When you enter through the door you are immediately affected by the buzz of energy, genuine care, concern and love that envelops this humble organization.

It is filled with…

Warmth,

Kindness,

Laughter,

Respect,

And MAGIC.

http://www.sethswish.com/

“I’m not homeless. I come here to— try to help— that’s a blessing. Spread a positive message.” -Arthur, a Seth’s Wish regular and very kind man who loves to help spread positivity to those struggling.”

I recently spent a couple of hours volunteering with this amazing organization and was overcome by the respect and attentiveness given to each individual who walked through the door.

Seth’s Wish started in 2014 when Seth Wofford (Lindsey and Noah Wofford’s son), then age 9, met a man named Steve who lived behind his school whom the family visited for months, and carried on countless conversations. Seth made a wish to be able to help Steve and others like him.

Seth’s Wish earned a 501(c)3 status in October 2015 and its founders along with managing director Stacy Graybill along with volunteers have been working hard to carry out their vision. 

Unfortunatly, Steve— the inspiration behind the agency— passed away in 2017, but the organization continues to serve others in honor of him, and the impact he had on Seth’s heart.

The organization strives to create an inclusive community for individuals facing homelessness, poverty and food insecurity by providing basic needs such as delicious hot meals, hygiene needs, clothing and so much more in order to help these individuals thrive.

During my time volunteering, I spent some time talking with folks who frequent Seth’s Wish. The overall mindset was that they would be lost without this safe haven.

“It’s awesome. They really help. How do you even describe something so wonderful!” -Kenneth, a man who benefits weekly from the support he receives at Seth’s Wish.

Lindsey Wofford, founder, and Stacy Graybill, managing director, spoke with me recently on Hodge Podge Podcast about their mission to help feed and care for those struggling in our community.

Listen to our impactful and inspirational conversation here: https://anchor.fm/jalisonpaulyahoocom/episodes/Seths-Wish–Helping-the-Homeless-and-Hungry-ebaa5g

Here are some ways YOU can help Seth’s Wish:

CONTACT SETH’S WISH HERE:

http://www.sethswish.com/

https://www.facebook.com/sethswish/

344 S. Cool Spring St. Fayetteville, NC 28301

Phone: (910) 476-6613

Email: audley79@msn.com

Lifestyle, Writing, Podcasting, Military Life, Inspirtation, North Carolina

Bring Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck to Your School, Bookstore, Library or Venue!!!

Alison Paul Klakowicz, Author of Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck

I just want to thank each indie bookstore, Barnes and Noble, school, library and other venue that has allowed me to visit for story-time and author events.

It is so crucial for authors to receive this exposure and welcome. I have worked extremely hard to cultivate an educational, fun and engaging program.

I would be so grateful to anyone out there with a young child, grandchild or elementary school aged child who would like for me to visit their school, local bookstore, library or other family friendly venue to reach out to me or the venue and request me to visit!!!

This would help me so much and I would be forever in your debt— and THANKFUL.

http://www.alisonpaulklakowicz.com

Thanks Kindly,

Alison Paul Klakowicz

http://www.alisonpaulklakowicz.com

Lifestyle, Writing, Podcasting, Military Life, Inspirtation, North Carolina

Jenny Bell- Go Fayetteville Blog, Fayetteville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau

Fayetteville, NC-

It was only natural my first post of the new year would be an interview with a delightful and brilliant woman who shares a mutual love of Fayetteville, North Carolina.

The same woman who welcomed me with open arms nearly a year ago to be a part of Fayetteville Bloggers Network, a highlight for me in 2019 as it has allowed me to embrace my community and grow in new contacts as well as friendships with creatives and business owners who share our vision— and respect of this All-American City we call home.

Members of Fayetteville Bloggers Network and FACVB

Jenny Bell , Communications & Social Media Specialist for the Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (FACVB), prides herself as a displaced Texan who proudly calls Fayetteville, NC her “adopted hometown.”

Jenny Bell proudly displaying her WRAL Voter’s Choice Award for her blog GoFayettevilleBlog.com

In her role with FACVB, she promotes Cumberland County as a tourism destination by leading the Fayetteville NC Blogger Network, managing the FACVB’s multiple social media outlets, and writing for the award-winning GoFayetteville.com blog (a fabulous resource for all individuals living in this area as well as potential visitors to our community).

https://www.gofayetteville.com/

Jenny Bell along with FACVB team members out promoting Fayetteville Woodpeckers at Segra Stadium Downtown Fayetteville (photo courtesy of Jenny Bell)

I have witnessed firsthand her passionate advocacy for our beloved community, where she also serves on boards and committees for area nonprofit organizations.

When Jenny isn’t busy working or volunteering, she is adventuring about Cumberland County highlighting the vast recreational opportunities, historic sites and businesses folks should be placing on their “to visit” lists.

http://www.visitfayettevillenc.com/

Listen here to our fabulous podcast interview where we discuss all the awesome things happening in the Fayetteville Area.

It will surely make you say, “GO FAYETTEVILLE!”

👂 👉: https://anchor.fm/jalisonpaulyahoocom/episodes/Jenny-Bell–Go-Fayetteville–Fayetteville-Area-Convention-and-Visitors-Bureau-e9mqtv

 

– Alison Paul Klakowicz

Host and Creator of Hodge Podge Podcast and Blog

Author of the Award-Winning Children’s Picture Book Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck

https://www.amazon.com/Mommys-Big-Red-Monster-Truck/dp/1525530178

http://www.alisonpaulklakowicz.com

Alison Paul Klakowicz is an Eastern North Carolina native, children’s book author, blogger, podcaster and creative writer. She is a military spouse who resides in Fayetteville, NC with her husband, Adam, and son, Mak.

Lifestyle, Writing, Podcasting, Military Life, Inspirtation, North Carolina

Katlin McFadden- Marketing Virtuoso, Women’s Business Coach, Brilliant Artist

Photo by @styletobits

Fayetteville, NC-

Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with Katlin McFadden, Business Coach with the Women’s Business Center with NC CEED in downtown Fayetteville, North Carolina.

https://instagram.com/nc_ceed?igshid=1lj1mzkr0j50c

Katlin is a Social Media Marketing Expert, and talented Visual Artist.

She is the owner of Katlin McFadden Studio where she is the creator and curator of her beautiful and emotion provoking artistry.

https://instagram.com/mcfaddenstudio?igshid=9kz2lkpvb0xq

Photo courtesy of Katlin McFadden
Photo courtesy of Katlin McFadden
Photo by @styletobits

Katlin brings her experience as an #entrepreneur, successful #blogger, and #artist to help #women strive toward their entrepreneurial dreams.

https://instagram.com/wbcfaync?igshid=6u2aaqubw7vt

Listen 👂 to our interview here 👇:

https://anchor.fm/jalisonpaulyahoocom/episodes/Katlin-McFadden–Business-Coach-CEED–Social-Media-Marketing-Expert–Talented-Artist-e8ss0k

Katlin McFadden, NC CEED Women’s Business Center Business Coach

– Alison Paul Klakowicz

Host and Creator of Hodge Podge Podcast and Blog

Author of the Award-Winning Children’s Picture Book Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck

https://www.amazon.com/Mommys-Big-Red-Monster-Truck/dp/1525530178

http://www.alisonpaulklakowicz.com

Alison Paul Klakowicz is an Eastern North Carolina native, children’s book author, blogger, podcaster and creative writer. She is a military spouse who resides in Fayetteville, NC with her husband, Adam, and son, Mak.

Lifestyle, Writing, Podcasting, Military Life, Inspirtation, North Carolina

Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck Celebrates First Birthday 🎂

November, 9, 2019-

One year ago today, Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck hit the presses!

What was a little dream, became a huge accomplishment.

Over the past year, there have been many firsts… holding my published children’s book in my hands for the first time, attending my first bookstore author events, first library events, visiting elementary schools as an official author for the first time, reading my book to children across North Carolina, and the list goes on.

The opportunity to share my children’s travel and adventure picture book has been a priceless gift to me.

I’ve driven all types of new terrain with Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck, and feel like we’ve barely hit the surface.

I am ecstatic to see what adventures lie ahead in 2020.

I would like to thank each bookstore, library, school, media outlet, and other venues for welcoming me with open arms.

To my friends and family, thanks for the amazing encouragement and support.

To my little monster truck fans, thank you for reading my book!

To everyone else that helped me find my way as a new author, who gave me advice, connected me with resources, helped spread the word… thank you.

The greatest lesson I learned this year is this— when you have a dream, follow it.

Make it happen.

Put your truck in gear and…

DRIVE TOWARD YOUR DREAMS!

– Alison Paul Klakowicz

Host and Creator of Hodge Podge Podcast and Blog

Author of the Award-Winning Children’s Picture Book Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck

https://www.amazon.com/Mommys-Big-Red-Monster-Truck/dp/1525530178

http://www.alisonpaulklakowicz.com

Alison Paul Klakowicz is an Eastern North Carolina native, children’s book author, blogger, podcaster and creative writer. She is a military spouse who resides in Fayetteville, NC with her husband, Adam, and son, Mak.