Isla Doesn't Give a F**K, Writing

IDGAF Snippet Six: The Invites

Before you read further make sure you’re all caught up:


The Low Down

The (ex)Boyfriend

The Rebound

The Fling

The Crush

Snippet Six: The Invites

“You invited all four of them? Are you insane?” Nick propped his elbows on the kitchen counter and held his face in his hands like it was helping him decipher my madness.

I didn’t like when Nicky disapproved of…well anything I did. He was supposed to be my number one support. He was supposed to understand my logic however unconventional.

“I can’t decide between them. I want to know who’s really in this. I want to know who wants me the most.”

He stood back up and looked at me in disbelief. “You want them to fight.”

“Not physically. Okay, actually that might be funny. Can you imagine Dillon—”

“Isla, that’s not funny.” He slammed his hands down on the counter top.

“It’s our party, Nick, but it’s my house. I can invite who I want.”

“How did you even manage to get yourself into this situation?”

“Well let’s see.” I held up four fingers in Nick’s face for extra emphasis. “You just heard about my coffee date with Finn.”

“That wasn’t a date. That wa—”
“TWO! Gabe is a give-in he’s been helping us plan. Three, Alec…he probably won’t even show up. The party invite just kind of slipped out. I don’t even think I gave him the address.” I definitely did.

“And how did Dillon wind up invited if you haven’t even seen him all summer?” Nick’s eyes studied my pursed lips and fidgeting fingers. “You hooked up with him again didn’t you? You lied to me.”

“It was only last week. I was going to tell you. I was good the rest of summer just like I promised.”
“Why, Isla?” His hands flew into the air. It was like a lecture from my father. “I thought you were done with that prick.”
I thought I was done too, but when I suddenly realized that could be Dillon’s last summer home and it may be years before I saw him again, if ever, I freaked. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. Or maybe I needed to say goodbye. All I knew was I needed to see him.

Dillon was predictable. So I tossed on slinky dress and headed to his favorite bar. Ding ding ding right on the first guess. Part of me was afraid he’d be there with another girl. He had to have someone new by now; why else would he not have contacted me over the summer? 

I was bound to be prettier than whoever she was though. If I had to sit across the bar alone and wait for him to find an excuse to leave so be it.

My confidence returned in full force when I saw him seated around a high-top table with a bunch of guys. The bar stool next to him was empty so I slid in and rested my hand on his leg.

“You didn’t forget to order me a drink did you?” I asked.

I stole all the attention from the men seated around. Most of them stared; I didn’t mind I was asking for it and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like the attention. I only recognized one of the guys in the group as another high school classmate. The rest were strangers with no clue who I was or why I was at their table.

“Welllll…helll-llloo,” said one of the new faces in a long drawn out drunken slur.

Dillon smirked but didn’t look up from his beer.

“Aren’t you going to introduce me to your friends?” I moved in closer to him.


The table let out a collective “ooooo”

We’ve always been drawn to each other. Even when the words out of our mouths say the opposite. Everyone else may have been seeing a catty fight, but we knew the truth. We knew he was taking me home and we’d be acting like we were sixteen again as soon as we hit the sheets.


I hadn’t meant to fall asleep and spend the night, but shit happens.

I rolled out of bed unsure of what kind of small talk to start the morning with.

“Nothing like doing the walk of shame out of your high school boyfriend’s parent’s house,” I said under my breath.  

Dillon slowly stretched and sat up in bed. “If you can still fit into your clothes from high school I think you left some here the last time we had to sneak you out.”  

“Are you saying I’ve gotten fat?”

“Far from it.” He stood up wrapped his arms around my waist and kissed me.

Moments like that are the ones I wish we could have always had. If things would have stayed that way maybe it could have worked. He made me feel beautiful, he made me feel safe. In the past he always managed to ruin it by being a self-centered ass, but perhaps he was finally growing up.

He made his way to the closet and pulled out an old pair of sweats and a tank top I hadn’t seen in five years. It would definitely be a more comfortable outfit to leave in than my dress from the night before.

I got dressed and gathered up the last of my things. “Will you still be in town next Friday?”


“Nicky and I are throwing a party. You should come.”

“You know he hates me.” He sat back on the bed.  

“You’re not too fond of him either if I recall correctly. Besides, you know he always gets over it.”

“Yeah cause he knows he gets you back every time I leave.”

“Ew! No, you know it’s not like that between us.”

“Oh come on Isla, everyone knows y’all screw around.”

Responding to him wasn’t worth my breath. I rolled my eyes and kissed him goodbye. “I’ll see you Friday?”

“You got it.”

“And that’s that.” I shrugged as I finished recounting the night to Nicky.

“You’re a mess.”

“But I’m your mess and you love me.” I taunted.

“We’re going to need more alcohol to survive tomorrow night,” he sighed.

Isla Doesn't Give a F**K

IDGAF: Snippet Five

My thoughts this week: Well clearly I can’t blog even once a week, but I’m still trucking along with Isla! This week you get to meet Finn and then all the players are in place for one heck of a party.

Before you read further make sure you’re all caught up:


The Low Down

The (ex)Boyfriend

The Rebound

The Fling


Snippet Five: The Crush

The day Finn Campbell walked through the doors of Java House was the day I thought the stars had finally aligned for my love life. My childhood…turned high school…turned life-long crush was in my coffee shop and my boyfriend was not with me.

It. Was. Perfect.

Finn and I met in second grade when I moved in a couple streets away from him. We started off as friends, but when I realized I had a crush on him things got awkward and we never left the awkward phase. I may or may not have gone through a mild stalker stage in middle school trying to win him over without having to speak to him. I would spend my afternoons walking my dog past his house in hopes he’d be outside. My timing never worked out. Nothing ever worked out in our favor.

Once Dillon was in the picture my favorite part of breaking up was the hope that Finn might finally make a move. There were even times when we weren’t broken up I’d fantasize about Finn confessing his love for me and running away together. I had no reason to believe any of that would ever happen. How could we be in love when we couldn’t even hold a conversation? We were worse than a B movie script.

Finn: Hey

Isla: Hi

Finn: You going to class?

Isla: Good. You?


Isla: So…

Finn: Have a great day, Isla!


This scene played out more time than I can count, but it’s not the worst! During our winter formal junior year, the only dance Dillon and I didn’t get back together for, the DJ called for lady’s choice. I quickly made my way across the floor, stood behind Finn with my hand raised and mouth ready to ask him to dance. All of my friends cheered me on from the side of the cafeteria. He started to turn toward me before I could tap his shoulder.

I panicked.

I ran.

I ran all the way to my car.

I went home.

It had been years since I’d seen him face to face.  I knew from social media stalking (I guess my stalker phase never actually ended) that we still lived in the same city, but in a mix of hundreds of thousands of people the chance of running into each other was slim, and yet there he was. Like I said, the stars had aligned!
“Finn?” I managed to say somewhere between a squeal and a screech.

“Isla? Oh my…no way!”

My instinct was to run and give him a hug, which went surprisingly smooth given our history. No head bumps or boob swipes, just a normal hug.

“Are you heading somewhere?” I asked.

“I have to go to work in a bit but I was going to grab a coffee and check this place out. I haven’t ever been—”

“Oh this is my favorite coffee shop. Come sit with me. We have to catch up.”
“Yeah, of course. I’ll be right there.” He had a huge grin across his face as he made his way to the counter to order.

I used the time he was up there to text Nicky.

OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG! I’m having coffee with Finn
😀 what is this life?!?!?

I quickly hid my phone so Finn wouldn’t see.

He sat down with his latte. “So what have you been up to since senior year?”

“I got a degree in hospitality, but all the management position I find require you to be up at the butt-crack of dawn, and I’m just not into that. So I’m working at a little bar and grill down the road and just really trying to enjoy life.”
“Wow, hospitality? Not what I would have expected you to do.”

“Well…surprise.” We both laughed. “What about you? Travel the world? Working some big-wig job?”

“Not quite. I stayed put here in town. I’m surprised we haven’t run into each other sooner. I work just down the street too. I’ve been in school part-time and have an internship with a law firm.”

“So that’s why you look so nice.”  I shamelessly checked him out since we were on the topic.

The time flew by too quickly and after some more small talk and updates it was time for him to head to work.

He held the door open for me. “This was really nice, Isla.”

“It was.” I smiled.

“Would you want to do it again sometime?”

The question, the date I’d been waiting to be asked out on for fifteen years. DO NOT RUIN THIS! “Of course.” I couldn’t breathe and was probably making a horribly uncute face.

“What are you doing Friday?”

“Cool.” I shook my head.

“What’s cool?”

Shit! Recover…recover. “Oh, a car that just drove by. It’s gone now! Sorry. This Friday?”

“Yeah. Would you want to see a movie and grab dinner?”

“Actually, this Friday I’m having a little get together at my house. Would you want to come?”

“Sure. What kind of get together?”

“Do you remember my friend Nick?”

“Nick Foster? Yeah.”

“We’re throwing a little end of summer thing. Just real casual. Just you know…if you wanted to…I’ll be there…well duh it’s my house…I’m sorry.”

“I’ll be there.” He pulled his phone from his pocket. “What’s your number?”

I texted him my address and we went our separate ways. I couldn’t believe it…Finn Campbell was going to be at my house!

Isla Doesn't Give a F**K, Writing

IDGAF: Snippet Three & Four

My thoughts this week: you get a double installment this week because I missed posting last week. Snippet number two also posted during the great Facebook shut down of 2019 ;-P  so I don’t think many people saw it. I’ll always list the previous posts at the beginning so you can be sure you don’t miss past of the story. Overall life has been INSANE so finding time to even edit and format the little bit of story I had written has been difficult, but I’m sticking to it and getting caught back up. I hope you enjoy meeting Gabe and Alec in this week’s installment of Isla Doesn’t Give a F**K!

Before you Read: What to Expect From Isla

Snippet 1: The Low Down

Snippet 2: The (ex)Boyfriend


The Rebound

Nicky arched his brow at me. “Are you serious this time?”

“Yes, I’m serious! I’m done with Dillon. It’s time for a legit boyfriend.”

“You’ve been saying this for how many years?”

“This is different. I just got my house. I’m going to look for a big girl job. I don’t need him distracting me anymore. Besides this should be his last summer home before graduation. He’ll be long gone soon enough.”

Nick rolled his eyes and went back to unpacking my kitchen. “And where exactly are you going to find this ‘legit boyfriend’?”

“I downloaded Tinder again today—”


“What? There are guys looking for actual relationships on there.”

Enter Gabriel Hernandez.
Poor Gabe. If anyone got the short end of the stick in this story it’s him.

He was looking for the love of his life. I was looking for a rebound. He was not the type I’d normally swipe right on (ie: preppy white boy) but his profile definitely caught my attention immediately. He must have had someone help him pick out his photos because they highlight all the right things: his gorgeous deep brown eyes, his perfect (and I mean perfect!) teeth, and his ‘I’m in shape but not a gym snob’ body…yum!

He was the only Tinder match I was remotely interested in after my first 24 hours officially on the dating scene so I went ahead and agreed to meet.

First date:  get to know you coffee at my go to café, Java House. He was a couple years older, ready to settle down, and so far removed from high school drama he didn’t even realize that’s what he’d basically gotten himself into. I nodded eagerly as he talked about politics and tried to agree with everything he said. I even excused myself to restroom at one point to call Nick with an urgent S.O.S.

“Who is running in next month’s election and why do you like them?” I whispered into the phone.

“Isla, are you seriously about to pretend to care about government for a guy you just met.”

“He’s gorgeous it’s worth it. Now help!”

Nicky gave me enough information I could remain vague but impress Gabriel with my concern over the increasing tax rates in our county. Having a guy interested in my brain instead of my body was a whole new puzzle to figure out, but I was up to the challenge.

Second date: a movie. At least I wouldn’t have to text Nicky for information on current world events. Gabe and I shared popcorn and that was about the extent of our physical interaction. No hand holding or discreet arm over the shoulder. Hands to himself. I hid my frustration as best I could. I had to keep my good girl act going as long as possible. If I kept playing along maybe it would become reality. Maybe I could start to move past my feelings for all the others; especially Dillon.

Third date: time to meet Nick. If he was going to be weird like Dillon about my best friend being a guy then I was going to be done. It couldn’t have gone better! No weird jealousy vibes. They had common taste in movies and sports. We spent the evening barbecuing by the pool and Nick even talked me up and made me more wholesome than I’d been pretending to be. The façade must have been working because that night I got a kiss on the cheek from Gabe when I walked him to his car.

Fourth date: a way too fancy dinner! But that’s where Gabe wanted to ask if I wanted to make things official.

“Hell yes!” I may have been a little too enthusiastic for that particular restaurant.

Yes, things were moving at a snail’s pace compared to what I thought was going to happen, but I really did like Gabriel. He was good to me. He was good for me. I don’t think I’ve ever done so much growing up in such a short amount of time.

He talked about having kids, owning a home, his retirement plan. All things I knew I wanted…eventually. Unfortunately for him eventually didn’t come soon enough.


The Fling

“I’m not looking to be somebody’s boyfriend.”

“That’s okay. I already have one.” The truth rolled off my tongue.

Unfazed by my confession he kissed me again. How I wound up in my car making out with the hot new bartender from work was a story I should have seen coming from a mile away.

Alec Thompson…or Thomas…I honestly don’t know his last name for sure. We’re not even Facebook friends because he ‘doesn’t do’ social media. Anyway, Alec was some hipster-bad-boy or something. I knew the moment he walked in he’d be trouble if he got the job. Of course his charm worked wonders on the manager and soon he was bartending nearly every shift I was waiting tables. Checking out his tattoos and skinny-jean-perfect ass made the work day much more enjoyable.

It didn’t take long for our flirting to become apparent. I meant the two best looking people in the joint are bound to fall for each other right?  I had enough on my plate with Gabe and resisting the urge to hunt down Dillon, so flirting was all it was going to be.

Then one night the manager let the staff stay late for drinks.

A couple hours later the group was getting ready to shut everything down, but I wasn’t ready to go home alone.

“I don’t think I can drive yet,” I whispered in Alec’s ear. I wasn’t even buzzed but if it meant more time with Alec I could play drunk all night. “Would you wait with me?”

“Sure thing, babe.”

Waiting for me to sober up turned into making out…

turned into “just this once”…

which became “this can’t become a habit”…

resulting in our new normal routine anytime we worked together. Which was way too often.

Here is where even I can admit I became a despicable human being. Being wanted felt too good to stop and sneaking around with Alec was an adrenaline rush like I’d never experienced. Gabriel was moving too slow for my taste, but I loved the public appearance with him.

Gabe knew I worked late and usually told me goodnight long before my shift was over. After closing, Alec and I would find ourselves at his apartment and I’d head home early in the morning. My fling with him was the first secret I didn’t even tell Nick all the details about. He’d heard me talk about the hot new mystery man behind the bar, but I didn’t dare tell him about cheating on Gabe.

Alec’s place is where we should have kept our mess, but my big mouth had to spill that I was having an end-of-summer party at my house followed by, “I took that night off work. You should stop by once you’re done since I won’t get to see you.”

My boyfriend and my…boy-fling in the same place at the same time; what could go wrong?


Isla Doesn't Give a F**K

IDGAF Snippet 2: The (ex)Boyfriend

My thoughts this week: Ever run back to the drawing board right after diving into a project? Yeah that was me this week. Panicking over my decision to share this story. After meeting with my writing critique group last night I’ve decided to take an even more casual approach to this. Perhaps these “snippets” will become bonus material to the finished project, will be added to, or broken up throughout the story. It will all still make a short story once complete, but to the other authors out there trust me I KNOW it’s a lot of “telling and not showing”.

INTRO: What to Expect from Isla

Snippet 1: The Low Down


The (ex)Boyfriend

Dillon Creary was my everything; except when he wasn’t.

We spent the majority of the four-year adventure called “high school” together. We broke up every few months, but if there was ever a big event coming up i.e. homecoming or prom you were sure to find us working things out.

He was the douche that had shirtless mirror selfies as his profile pic before he met me. He wasn’t considered a “jock” because he didn’t play for any school teams, but he was definitely in shape. His shaggy brown hair had curls with a mind of their own so he usually sported a backwards baseball cap. One of my favorite parts of our “on again” times was getting to steal and wear his stupid hats.

We were very public with our ever changing relationship status, and other girls weren’t afraid to comment on each go around. Somehow dating one guy off and on throughout high school can still earn you a reputation as a slut.

I don’t know what I saw in him. He was nice enough, decently smart, liked to act like a trouble maker but never did anything too seriously out of line.  I think we just liked to confuse each other.

We had a long list of firsts together:

  • First serious boyfriend / girlfriend
  • First kiss
  • First breakup
  • First “I love you”
  • First everything *wink wink*

After high school we tried the long distance thing. No surprise it failed. I stayed local and he moved away, but come break time we usually happened to ‘bump’ into each other.

Bumping into each other typically led to hooking up. We didn’t discuss current our relationship status outside of our own little screwed up co-dependent world. Eventually I knew I’d have to move on since I had no interest in marrying him, but for quite some time I was still too addicted to the memories and drama that came along with Dillon Creary.

Isla Doesn't Give a F**K

IDGAF Chapter 1: The Low Down

Before you begin reading please check out What to Expect From Isla. I hope you enjoy the story! 

My name is Isla Vander Hey.

That’s Isla like ‘island’ without the –nd.

Not ‘izz-la’ or ‘iss-la’. Isla.

By the end of this you’ll probably hate me.

But honestly, I don’t give a f***.



                Like I said, I’m Isla.

My Instagram feed will tell you I’m pretty much a B.W.B. —basic white bitch. I love overpriced coffee, photo filters, and syncing my selfies with over used inspirational quotes.

My Tinder profile will tell you my interests are yoga, shopping at Target, and of course mentions coffee as well.

Facebook is/will be the history book of my best friend Nicky and I’s adventures. We’re tagged in more photos than I could count (1,372 thanks Facebook for counting for me!), always checked into the same location, and no matter how repetitive it is I feel obligated to tag him every time I post about our weekly movie date night.

Nicky and I didn’t start off best friends. Flash back to freshman year of high school and you would have seen an extremely irritated me walking into my second day of history class to find my perfect seat stolen by a new kid.

He wasn’t actually new they had just changed his schedule and he now found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, subjected to my resting bitch face and over-the-top sigh directed at him.

“Is this your seat?” He started scrambling for his things. “I’m sorry.”

“It’s fine.” I rolled my eyes as I sat two seats away, and then refused to stop my glaring.

“I didn’t know.” He stood up and moved over.

“Thanks,” I huffed and resumed my rightful place. I wouldn’t make eye contact with him for the rest of class.

Luck would have it we had mutual friends from middle school and wound up at the same lunch table. I felt bad for a nanosecond about being a bitch, but apparently he didn’t care. Before I knew it we were chatting it up and instantly bonding over out similar taste in indie pop rock music and reality TV shows.

A few weeks together in history class and lunch led to us unknowingly starting our life-long adventure together as BFFs.

Nicky, Nicholas Michael Foster if you must know his full name (it always sounds so weird to me), is the kind of guy you rarely find wearing anything but gym shorts and a t-shirt. He was a tall, gangly, goofy looking kid. Not ugly per say, just needed to grow into his features.

We spent hours walking the mall or listening to music at my house. It went without saying our friendship took priority over other relationships. We may have been dumb high school kids, but we knew, even then, it was more likely that we would stay friends than it would be to wind up marrying a teenage boyfriend or girlfriend.

Boys came and went, well more like one boy came and went, but Nicky was always there.

Like most major events in my life I dragged Nick house hunting with me the summer after graduating college with my frivolous degree in hospitality. I’m still not sure why I chose that. It was only the second rental house we’d looked at, but I knew it was the one.

“It’s perfect!” I squealed.

The landlord looked taken aback by my enthusiasm. “Great, so I’ll get y’all two applications.”

“Oh, no, just one. Nicky is here for moral support only.” I hooked my arms around him and gave him a tight squeeze. “We’re not together.”

She nodded her head slowly indicating, like most people that encountered us, she didn’t believe the whole ‘we’re just friends’ thing. We’d learned over the years to ignore the questioning eyes. We knew the truth. Nick was simply the best friend I’d done nothing to deserve.

I released him from my grip and ran to the pantry. “I still can’t get over how much space is in here.”

Nick stepped into the kitchen with me while the landlord shuffled through papers.
“We’re gonna throw some sick parties here,” I whispered not wanting my plans to ruin my chances of getting the house. “Maybe you should move in with me.”

“My parents would never speak to me again.”

“Screw them!” Seven years of friendship without any serious trouble and his family still thought I was a bad influence.

“Besides,” he started in his serious I know-what’s-best-for-you voice. “You need to do this on your own. You didn’t live in the dorms for college. You’ve never been away from your parents for more than a weekend. You need to figure out who you are.”

He was trying to be sensible, but in my mind I already knew who I was. What 22 year old doesn’t think they have their life under control?

Isla Doesn't Give a F**K, Writing

What to Expect from Isla

Most people have seen the acronym I.D.G.A.F well it’s time to rethink the meaning. I’m excited to introduce you to




Alec and


In this attitude filled new adult romance.

WHY BLOG THIS STORY: It’s closest thing to a complete manuscript I have despite not being complete. I want to release something new and thought this would be a fun way to do it.

RATING: Despite the name this story would be considered PG-13. The language is fairly tame and for the internet version will sometimes be modified/edited even further. Heat level: mild / behind closed doors.

UNEDITED: Perhaps the scariest part of this is, you’re my beta readers. This story has not been read or edited by anyone but me. This is my work in its rawest form and it’s terrifying! So please know I am completely open to feedback on grammar, plot, format, etc.

THE FUTURE OF I.D.G.A.F.: I am undecided if this project will ever go further than being a blog series. The initial idea was to have a full novel, and some day I may go back and add to the story to be published. For now I think I’m happy where it’s at (short story / novella length) and think this may simply be a fun transitional piece to get me out of the publishing rut.

SCHEDULE: If I stick to my current plan one chapter will be published each Sunday-ish from March 3rd – May 26th. I hope you’ll enjoy reading each installment and perhaps some reader suggestions could make it into the later chapters.

BLURB: If you missed it on my Facebook page here’s the current blurb for I.D.G.A.F.
“How much drama is too much drama? According to Isla Vander Hey there is no such thing. That is until her ex, her boyfriend, her work fling, and her childhood crush all wind up ‘accidentally’ invited a party together. Will she finally figure out which suitor is her knight in shining armor or will it be up to her best friend Nick to swoop in and save the day…again.”



Dedicated Direction

I have set myself up for perhaps the most confusing and sporadic schedule I’ve ever had, and if you know my story that’s saying a lot! I’ve been a master of multitasking and multiple jobs for years. Just when I think things are settling down, I go and add more to the mix. I’ve done what it takes to survive.

This past week I have decided that my writing needs to be just as important as my other jobs. I may not be able to dedicate as much time to it as I’d like, but some is better than none.

I’ve been diligent about keeping my 5 minute commitment, have started communicating with other authors again, and even managed to start reading a new YA romance (Don’t Forget Me by Judy Corry…I’m loving it!).

While my schedule is jam-packed right now, it is a unique arrangement in that I’m not doing one thing for longer than a few hours. As long as I can clearly dedicate that time to the given objective, and try my hardest to not let my mind wander to past or future tasks I think I’ll be on a much better path than I’ve been this last year.


Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

5 Minute Commitment

A year ago my world came to a halt as I unexpectedly lost my job and had to scramble to find a new one.
I wound up in retail where I thought I would only have to stay on seasonally until something better came along.

That didn’t happen because my husband then lost his job unexpectedly.

Honestly, things got ugly.

As you’ve seen, the only thing I’ve been able to write has been how I haven’t been writing.

This changes today!

This past year, I still managed to go to my monthly writing critique group despite not bringing anything since February. One of the other authors always talked about how she does most of her writing in a 5 minute time span each morning before she wakes her husband up.

5 minutes…that’s it!

She has managed to write a spectacular horror in 5 minutes a day.

I’ve been thinking if I could commit to AT LEAST 5 minutes a day I would feel much better.

So if anyone is out there reading this, please keep me accountable!


For Leah

What do you do when these are your best friend’s words?



You cry, you pray, you get angry, you get hopeful, you lose hope, you scream, you sit silently…all in a span of a few seconds.
It has become my routine every time Michele messages me or I see a post from her. I hold my breath with anticipation, never knowing what kind of news I’ll be receiving.
I am honored to be in the inner circle of friends receiving updates on her precious daughter, Leah, but honestly it is hard.

To truly understand the scope of what Michele has been through we have to rewind seven years to her first birth. Her son was unresponsive with a five minute APGAR score of 1 and had a one week NICU stay.
Her second pregnancy was plagued with the onset of a suspected auto-immune disease that resulted in partial paralysis and chronic nerve pain. Her birth, which I had the privilege to be present at, was absolute perfection. I remember her saying how thankful she was for her first traumatic experience so she could truly appreciate her daughter’s birth.

Thankful. My mind was blown that those were her choice of words.

Along comes her third pregnancy; another son. Her health had improved compared to her previous pregnancy and everything seemed to be pointing towards another perfect birth, but several hours into labor a prolapsed cord occurred and an emergency cesarean had to be performed.

Certainly with that much “bad luck” the odds would be to have a healthy fourth pregnancy, right?

August 28th, 2017

Michele’s name scrolls across my phone screen as an incoming call.

I knew before I picked up something was wrong. I don’t think I even said hello.

“Baby is incompatible with life.”

If my world was crashing down hearing those words I don’t know how she was repeating them.

We talked for a while longer about how the recommendation was to terminate the pregnancy and how if she didn’t it was unlikely she would even carry her baby past 20 weeks.

“Is there a heartbeat?” I asked.
“For now.”
“Then there is hope and you need a second opinion.”

Second, third, and fourth opinions came. None were as definitive as the first which offered no hope, but none of them were great.

Down syndrome, congenital heart defect, and other possible complications were all in the mix now for her daughter.

The longest six months of pregnancy followed. By the time Michele was 38 weeks along, doctors had given baby Leah a 50/50 chance at surviving birth, but would be unable to determine the severity of her other health complications until after birth.

She not only survived, she thrived!

“February 17th 2018
Today God delivered the impossible. 

Meet Amelia Marie Grace Eastin
7lbs 4oz
19.25 inches
Amelia meaning work of the Lord.
We will call her Leah because we love how she was unlikely in God’s plan and he made her central to the lineage of Christ over Rachel. Marie to have a piece of me and a bonus middle name cause shes already special so why not Grace. We will never forget that she certainly was not promised nor deserved nor earned but totally just a gift of grace.


Even with a nearly 3 week NICU stay postpartum, she was the best case scenario given all her medical conditions. She would need open heart surgery in the upcoming months to repair her AVSD and would need to be tube fed due to poor muscle tone.

Once Leah was released from the hospital it was time to adjust to the family’s new normal. For most people this wouldn’t resemble anything like life before such a special arrival, but Michele is not like most.

She kept life going for her three older kiddos, which included homeschooling, keeping the house running while her husband traveled for work, made it to Leah’s specialist appointments multiple times a week, and decided to open A Pocket of Joy Boutique. Yes, in the midst of everything she decided it was the perfect time to open her own business.

Blush Little Baby Photography

There were moments of frustration and fear no doubt, but everything pointed to a miracle baby that would thrive beyond what anyone ever imagined. Then the bad news roller coaster started.

Days before her scheduled heart surgery Leah came down with a cold. What seems like nothing to you and I can be life threatening for a baby with heart defects.

Surgery bumped 6 weeks.

Days before the next surgery date she began showing signs of infantile spasms.

Surgery bumped 4 more weeks

Then another cold.

This one landed Leah in ICU, and catches us up to what they are battling now.

One thing after another.



Collapsed Lungs.


Volatile blood pressures.


And yet she keeps fighting.

So what do you do when your best friend tells you, “we need something! Prayers. Miracle. New lungs. I  DON’T KNOW!” ?

You write out her incredible story in your own words, words that don’t do her justice, and share it with the world.

Oh I have so many other words to say, so many emotions that flood my mind every time I think about different aspects of their story. For now this is the best I can do.

I ask that you keep the Eastin family in your thoughts and prayers in the upcoming days, weeks, months. This is going to be a long battle, but we’re not giving up hope.

Despite her reluctance to ask for help we know that is one of the only burdens those on the outside can help lift.  If you feel led to help financially a GoFundMe has been set up, or you can message me for her PayPal email if you’d like to avoid donation fees.


Grammatically Incorrect, Personal

Creative Output = 0

When you’re a “creative” not producing anything creative starts to take its toll.

Things I have noticed over the past months of being unable to balance work, home, and creating…

  • my anxiety is heightened
  • if I do get a rare moment to sit and write I feel like my writing is crap
  • I’m feeling “lost” and unsure what to do with my life…apparently that’s just adulthood but I still don’t like it!
  • imposter syndrome
  • Lots of ideas that just make me mad when I’m unable to start expanding upon them

The year is more than half way over and let me tell  you, it’s been a hard one. Much harder than I expected (and I wasn’t expecting much).

I am still fighting to find a way out of this rut, and when I do my creativity will be the first thing to benefit from the breakthrough!