Chalna is a native Texan born with Jedi reading and writing skills and an inability to add or subtract. She’s married to her favorite pilot and has two fabulous sons, 9 and 4. Her oldest suffers from GAD and OCD, and her life’s mission is advocating for children with mental health disorders. She is a freelance writer who loves wine, carbs and Amazon. She shares life with pediatric anxiety on her blog, She Shines Her Light , and writes professionally in the middle of the night. Find her at Chalna Writes.
mom holding kids hands

Mothering Mental Illness

I wish I could explain that the old me changed when I realized I might not be able to fix him. When I could no longer deny the possibility that my baby might not be able to live a regular adult life on his own. There is a piece of a mother that dies when she has to accept this. The roots of my grief bloom from this dark place.
Boy Shadow

The Hidden War :: Facing School with Pediatric OCD

I will sit in the meeting and spend the entire half hour fighting the urge to stand on the table and shout, "Please don't rush me! This is IMPORTANT! He doesn't look sick, and he can fly under your radar, and I need you to UNDERSTAND that we can lose him!!!"  
kids ice cream

Bringing Back Old School Summer

Carrying on my mom’s unscheduled summer tradition was born out of necessity, but I wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone. In our house, summer is blessedly slow . . . kind of like it’s still 1987, but with less jelly shoe and more Amazon Prime. It’s a beautiful thing, friends.
Women Peace

We Are Infertile

We don’t know what to say when he asks for a sibling. We are running out of ideas. We feel like we failed him. We feel like we failed our husbands, our parents, and ourselves. Women have babies. Maybe we missed a page in the manual somewhere. Months turn into years. One doctor turns into three specialists. We take the medicines, and the shots, and our temperature. We count the days. We schedule. We pray.
Episode 59 discusses the reality of middle age and aging.

I’m Old and Awesome :: Why Turning 40 Rocks

I'm getting old. My 40th birthday is on the horizon, and before I remind you to respect your elders and get off my lawn, I've got some great news to share. This age is AWESOME.
Valentine Crafts

Pinterest Is (Mostly) Not the Boss of Me

Mama loves Pinterest. Where else would I find endless pictures of food photographed in the mysterious vortex where crockpot dishes look appetizing? Pinterest reigns with a mighty fist over my entire Target-loving, messy-bun-wearing, babysitter-dreaming kingdom. Pinterest makes us better one glue stick and can of creamed soup at a time. But occasionally, Pinterest inhales too much spray adhesive and needs to sit down and be quiet. I vote we get her an Uber prior to Valentine’s Day.
boy with flashlight

The Real Signs of Pediatric OCD

Knowledge is everything, y'all. I share the reality about living with these disorders in an effort to raise awareness, get rid of the stigma, and replace it with the truth. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder turned out to be much different than my perception, so here are a few symptoms of my son's illness and the way it manifests for him. You might be surprised!