With my schedule being jammed back with events lately, I haven’t had much time to hop on my blog and connect as much as I would like over the past several months still learning how to juggle it all and adapting to the new adventures life has thrown my way over the past year. So I wanted to focus this week’s blog on giving an update on what I have been up to and the direction I would like to take the Butterfly Chronicles in the future. In September 2020, I started this blog as a way to be both a resource and a place for support for those with Turner Syndrome and Special Needs. I had never envisioned that it would ever lead to an award-winning book and the attention of the National Press. I am a small-town Iowa girl who was a self-proclaimed political nerd whose goal was to always make a least a small positive impact on her Community, State, and Nation and help those who truly needed it. In January 2020, after serving eight years as a councilwoman for my community and seeing positive change happen, it was time to switch focus, to be honest I wasn’t sure what the focus would be at the time; I just knew that I wanted it to challenge me, to inspire others, and move me outside my confront zone as much as serving elective office had.
Then in March 2020, the world was turned upside down when Covid changed our world forever, and many of us were in lockdown and started working from home. When it was not possible to visit friends and family or to go out like we usually did it was time to seek other sources of entertainment and as much as I loved and frankly still love to binge Bridgeton on Netflix it was time to be more productive with my time. When reading messages on TS support groups and hearing from the TS community that they wanted more personal experiences related to what it was like to live with this life-altering disorder, I decided to share my personal journey with you all in a weekly blog. Doing this has changed my life in ways I never thought possible. Sharing my story was not easy for me at first as I am primarily a private person when it comes to my personal life or at least I was before this journey.
Since I started this journey, I have opened up and shared personal health struggles and experiences with the world, and in all honesty, it changed my life forever I am so grateful to have the support of all of you along the way as I continue to share a little bit of my world with you.
Now you may be asking what is next for you and the Butterfly Chronicles. I am thrilled to announce that I am currently writing the first draft of my second book titled One Generation Away A Millennials Guide to Public Service. I also made my first of a few National Media appearances while of course still continuing to travel for book signings and speaking engagements. Also, as the 2024 Presidential race heats up, I will be actively involved in Iowa caucuses over the next year as well. Most importantly, I am continuing this blog and will be expanding into the world of podcasting by the end of the year. My podcast will share insights from the medical community and personal stories that will leave you inspired and a little less alone in the world of navigating rare disorders like TS. My goal when I founded the Butterfly Chronicles was always to do just that and as it has grown bigger than I imagined it to be, my mission has always stayed the same. I can wait to continue to share updates along the way with you.
Now that I have given you all an update on the Butterfly Chronicles, I wanted to share with you the fantastic and rewarding weekend I had. Friday night, I was thrilled to join my church family as a volunteer for One Enchanted Evening. For those that are not familiar Tim Tebow Foundation every year hosts a program called Night to Shine, partnering with churches and organizations around the world to give those living with special needs a night to remember, much like a prom. My church sponsors this every year, and it is so much fun to bring a special evening to those with special needs in our community. We have food, Karaoke, a place to get your nails and face painting done, and great music, and everyone dresses up in formal wear it is just a great evening over 100 people took part I certainly can not wait to volunteer again next year.
I also want to take the time to thank all those who supported and stopped by my booths at this weekend’s book signings. I have done many of these over the last year, and it is always so rewarding to visit with you all and hear from you and share stories. On Saturday night, I took a road trip to my state Capital Des Moines and attended the annual Iowa Faith and Freedom event and visited with so many amazing people and caught up with many friends. I got to meet Former Vice President Mike Pence and other dignitaries in attendance. It was an honor to be a part of it, and I think The Faith and Freedom organization for inviting me to be a part of their event I appreciate the support of my amazing home state of Iowa and am forever proud to call Iowa home.
I also spent a fun-filled Sunday at the Choose Us Christian Women’s conference in Sioux City selling and signing books and got to attend a fantastic afternoon alongside friends and family listening to amazing music, shopping, and worship. It was a perfect way to recharge after being so busy juggling book signings, full-time employment, writing my second book, and doing national press it was nice to spend an afternoon focusing on what is truly important, and that is leaning on my faith.
My faith has kept me grounded when I often feel life has been so crazy, and in all honesty, this past year since the launch of my first book has been a journey, and I could not have done it without you all. If you didn’t get a chance to stop by and get your copy of the Butterfly Chronicles, don’t worry it is still available online wherever books are also sold available on my website www.thebutterflychronicles.net.