Hi There, I’m Heather!

photo 3 (12)contact me at heatheroftheeo (at) gmail (dot) com

When people ask What do you do, I say, I Mom a lot. Sometimes I add that I’m also a freelance writer and a Listen To Your Mother director. Before I was a mother, I worked in social work, providing services for people struggling with mental illness.

My essays have been seen in Story Bleed Magazine, at Five Star Friday, on BlogHer, In Touch Magazine, Owning Pink, BonBon Break, Mamapedia, Scary Mommy,What to Expect, Everything Momand more. My story has also been featured in Redbook Magazine and on Twin Cities Fox 9 News, as well as on NBC Nightly News With Diane Sawyer.

I’ve had the honor of speaking all over the country, from the BlogHer conferences, Women Get Social and The Minnesota Blog Conference, to Type A Parent Conference, as well as for many local gatherings and keynotes. Sometimes I speak about alcohol abuse and motherhood–as a woman in recovery–and sometimes I speak on blogging, writing, or taking healthy breaks from the Internet.

I’m a co-manager of the BlogHer conference’s Serenity Suite each summer. The conference is exciting, informative, inspiring and fantastic. This can all be overwhelmingly good, so the suite is a place for people to take a break from the action and connect with other chiller-outers.

I’m forever grateful for the support and connection I’ve found in this writing space. I love it when the worldwide web is used for good.

I have two boys, ages 8 and 6–Miles and Asher, and a 2 year old girl named Elsie Jane. We’re from rural Minnaaahsohhhtah, so I say Uff Da and I draw out all the vowels. It’s ahhhsooome.

This blog and my life revolve around several themes, like my faith, motherhood, addiction, our family’s journey with Asher’s hydrocephalus, and finding my way to a fully alive existence. Blogging reminded me that I love to write. And then it somehow moved me to write about all of life – the good, the bad, and all that is the extraordinary in-between.

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Trayce Machtemes April 16, 2011 at 4:51 pm

I am wondering if it would be ok with you put your “notes to my children ..dated 4/13/2011″ on poster boards for my youngest childs’ high school graduation party? I thought your wisdom was the best representation I have ever heard about motherhood…Thank you!

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Barbara May 25, 2011 at 7:57 pm

Heather, just found your website today through Mama Manifesto’s Blog. I am a mother of three grown children, 38, 35, 31 and a grandmother of three beautiful little boys. The widsom and love in your post “Please” has moved me to tears! I thought of my own mother reading this – trust your heart, choice forgiveness, do faith, be kind, family, in our it was house – your sister will always be your best friend, and I love – gossiping is gross. Anyhoo, I plan to follow your blog because at 65, I know that I am a work in progress and I admire what you do. I plan to print out “PLEASE”, hang it where I can see it everyday and pass it along to my children in small increments. Thank you for sharing yourself. You are truly a beautiful person and I look forward to learning more about your family! Barbara

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Deb Spichke June 27, 2011 at 12:59 pm

This is so cool. I can relate on the addiction/depression side of things. I’ve struggled with both for too many years.

I am so glad that you and your family are a part of The Open Door and I look forward to getting to know you better! Enjoy that new little one – she is beautiful!!! Deb

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Cornelia Becker Seigneur December 10, 2011 at 3:33 am

What fun- . . .I have titled one of my essays in my book, WriterMom Tales the Extraordinary Ordinary!. . . you have a great voice!! it is fun to find other like minded writermoms of faith. . .

cornelia seigneur

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Shannon from 'mynewfavoriteday' January 11, 2012 at 12:59 am

Hi Heather, I actually have 2 questions for you.

1. I have a series called, “Mynewfavoriteweek’ly Inspiration” series where I interview all kinds of people who I find interesting and inspiring for one reason or another. I just interviewed Katherine Stone from Postpartum Progress this week, but have covered Humanitarians, Authors, Winemakers, etc.I love your concept of Extraordinary Ordinary as I pretty much live my life in that space as both a mom and a blogger. Would you be open? It’s pretty easy, I send you 6-7 questions which you answer in as much or little detail as you wish. I then write a little intro and then share your interview. All I ask is that you do a little social media or small post to let people know it’s live. What do you think, would you be interested? Here is a link to my blog so you can see what it’s about http://mynewfavoriteday.com

2. Not so much a question as a nomination. Although I am sure you have received it a number of times and you don’t really need it, I recently received The Versatile Blogger Award and if you are interested I would love to offer it to you as one of my 15. The rules of the road are quite simple as I am sure you know, but please let me know if you are interested as I did my post which will go live tonight, called “Goose in a Bottle,” but am just now handing out my nominations.

Please let me know what you think of both of the above, they are mutually exclusive…please just let me know! Thanks, Shannon
Shannon from ‘mynewfavoriteday’ recently posted..“Romancing” Romance.

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Gianna January 24, 2012 at 11:38 pm

You went to NWC? What is your maiden name? How would I know you?
I graduated in 99. AAahh!
Gianna recently posted..The Waterslide

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Heather January 25, 2012 at 12:15 am

I did! I graduated in 98! Email me back and I’ll add more details. ;) (tomorrow. Am tired. :)

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Tammy Perlmutter January 25, 2012 at 11:09 am

Just found your blog, and from what I have read so far, you’re still providing services for people struggling with mental illness! Like me. Ha ha! I love what you’re doing, would love to connect more and read more and know more.
Tammy Perlmutter recently posted..Vivid

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Rossi Sanusi January 26, 2012 at 2:17 pm

I like the design of your blog. How did you do it? I like the contents of your wrog – good for “parenting” my grand-son. (Sorry, my blog is mostly in Bahasa Indonesia).
Rossi Sanusi recently posted..Memikir Belajar Berpikir

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Kymbrlee from Mom It Forward February 27, 2012 at 2:46 pm

You are amazing!

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Heather February 27, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Why, thank you so much! All the best to you, Kymbrlee…

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The Mommy Psychologist March 5, 2012 at 2:57 am

Whoa…we really have a lot in common besides the fact that both our names are Heather:) Been sober 5 years. But this is not my first go around. Been fighting this beast for nearly twenty years. This beast and all that goes with it. I’ve also been in mental health for many, many years. I have a three year old boy and I stopped practicing after I had him. It just didn’t seem right to go work with other people’s children while my child was cared for by someone else. This is a long comment. Anyway, I’m new to this blogging gig. I’ve always been a writer. Had my memoir published in 04, but just entering this world. I’ll be back to your site for sure.
The Mommy Psychologist recently posted..Do you have kids?

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Heather March 5, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Well, hello there, Heather. Nice to meet you! Thank you for coming along and reading my words and saying HI. Welcome to the blogging gig, it’s good here :)

Peace.

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The Mommy Psychologist March 6, 2012 at 1:11 am

Thanks! I’ll be back.
The Mommy Psychologist recently posted..Redshirting in Kindergarten

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kulasa March 6, 2012 at 7:39 am

Hi there…It is my first time to open your page and I am loving every word you’ve written…
kulasa recently posted..Blessed

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Todd March 6, 2012 at 5:58 pm

This is such a cool site and an even cooler entry to let us know about you. I spend a lot of time on the next looking for material to read – it was a pleasure to read yours.

Todd
Todd recently posted..Skilled Sobriety

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Beth April 9, 2012 at 10:11 pm

Heather,

I jumped on your site and it is beautiful! I look forward to meeting you at Allison’s at the
(in)rl. It should be a lot of fun.

Blessings,
Beth

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sarah April 19, 2012 at 8:14 pm

I love your blog and I love it when I read inspiring stories and learn from them.Feel free to visit my blog anytime. I already grabbed your badge and will be joining one of these days.

Blessings !
sarah recently posted..The Art of Letting Go

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Robyn July 25, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Heather,

I used the Just Write link but since I am completely new to this, I know that I did not follow the rules. How do I get the Just Write into my post so that I am linking back.

Totally clueless,
Robyn
Robyn recently posted..The Kids Are All Right

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Heather July 25, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Hi Robyn,

You can highlight the code below the Just Write button in my sidebar and then right click and choose copy. Then go to your post and put in that code by going into html mode, clicking at the end of your post and right clicking and choosing paste.

Or you can type a sentence at the end of your post, highlight the words Just Write and click on the little icon at the top of your post composer that allows you to “hyperlink” or add a url to the words that makes them underlined and clickable.

If none of this makes sense and you can’t do it, I will totally not erase your link! No worries!

Heather

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Tamara October 27, 2012 at 10:12 pm

Heather, thank you foot the post on post-tubial ligation syndome. I am a nurse and never heard of it before. However, I do know quite a bit about balancing hormones with homeopathy, diet, and herbs. Not enough to practice professionally; I am still studying. I highly recommend you find a naturopath that specializes in female issues, like Ginger Nash, for one. Whoever you choose will be able to help you deal with the whole picture: your loss, your emotions, and the imbalance created by the surgery. God bless, and take care!

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Lady Jennie November 7, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Hi Heather, I wish I had known you more than just a twitter face when I met you at the Serenity Suite in August. (Do you remember me)? :-) But I, too, went through the alcohol recovery program with our church years ago, and I got our church here in France to start using alcohol free wine for communion. It’s true I never write about addiction on my blog – there are plenty of other topics (depression, grief, miscarriage, loss, weight, etc).

Hopefully this next summer I will get to spend more time talking to you.
Lady Jennie recently posted..Carrot Ginger Soup

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@Mandi411 November 9, 2012 at 10:36 am

Your words make me want to physically find you so that I can be your best friend. ,) You know, with hours…er, minutes being so precious to us, we are forced to select a few specific blogs to take precendence on our lives. With that being said, yours has now become one of my priorities. So glad to have found you!
@Mandi411 recently posted..election woes

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Sara December 16, 2012 at 6:17 pm

I too feel your pain on the whole post tubal syndrome thing. I’m dealing with it also after having my tubes tied in July of 2009. I didn’t really start to notice my problems until about a year after wards. Now i’m regretting that i ever made the decision for someone to ruin my body. I’m working towards a reversal. Although my biggest hold back is my weight which has been an issue. I haven’t been able to get off all of the baby weight even though i’ve been on several diets, cutting calories and walking. Things are not normal. I also didn’t get to breastfeed my son for more than 2 weeks tops and was still having to supplement and i know believe it was from having my tubes tied. Talk about feeling like a horrible mother. i really wanted to breast feed for atleast 6 months. This has been a nightmare and a strain on my marriage and has made me feel like i haven’t been the best mother to my son. :(

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Katie Tetterton January 3, 2013 at 8:32 pm

I am 37 years old and about two weeks ago i had my tubes tide. My doctor told me there was nothing to it, “in and out you will do fine”. Never in my life could i imagine the hell that come with it. I have suffered with depression ever since my son was born 12 yrs ago but it has been controlled very well. I am a woman i know my body and how i am suppose to feel. I have been feeling so so sad and overwhelmed, I cry on a dime about anything. I have such a feeling of doom, i hate everything about myself and my life right now. This is the worst depression i have ever felt . I know i just know this feeling is because of this surgery. I am so so mad at my doctor for not telling me that this could happen. If i would have known i would have never ever had my tubes tide. I have not had a chance to see my ob doctor yet but i did go to my family doctor today and i let so mad at him. I told him i wanted blood drawn and my hormone levels check because the way i was feeling. My male doctor then told me my hormone levels had nothing to do with my depression i could have just slapped him right then and there for him to be so so stupid. I then went on to tell him i want it done and i did not agree with him, told him i had insurance and to do the damn test. I will get my results and take them to my ob office but it sounds like they are going to think i am crazy too. This is unbelievable, someone please tell me what to do.

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Whitney B. January 25, 2013 at 12:54 pm

Hi Heather,

I am fairly new at blogging, but I stumbled upon yours and it caught my attention. I am a senior in college and taking a class in which I have to become a blogger. I never viewed myself as a blogger, but I find myself enjoying it! Aside from Facebook and Twitter I have never thought of branching out into other social media or blogs. However, as I read through your blog I found myself being able to relate in many ways. I was mostly intrigued by the fact that you are a stay-at-home mom now. I do not have kids yet, but I have always thought about if I could be a stay-at-home mom. I have always thought that I wouldn’t be able to do it, because I have always been the type of person to always have to be on the go or get out of the house. However, reading about your experience and the time you get to spend with your children inspires me and makes me believe I could be able to do it. I give you props and good luck with your future journey! :)

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Lori March 19, 2013 at 5:42 pm

Heather,

Wow. I know I was supposed to connect with you. We have a lot in common: recovery, addiction, the value of connecting with others and celebrating their journey, and being SO much more than our recovery.

I’m looking forward to reading more about you, and hopefully taking part in your fabulous Tuesday Freewrite idea. Blessings to you!

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Missie July 2, 2013 at 5:05 pm

Welcome to Austin.
We love it here!

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CDouglas July 30, 2013 at 1:21 pm

heather, i read through most, if not all of the comments from sarah bessey’s “i am damaged goods” article [http://deeperstory.com/i-am-damaged-goods/] and found your response to another poster to be the most loving and logical response that i read. i connected with it on a deeper level. i just wanted to thank you for taking the time to post your thoughts. sincerely, cd

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Leisa Hammett October 4, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Oh, wow. So glad I not only no longer have you confused with Meagan Francis (who is lovely, too,) but I understand what you are doing, which is very special. Thank you. I like how you are using the compilation of your gifts, work experience and current life to serve others and give voice to yourself as well as helping others do so. Good for you! I think I may be tapped as a Listen to Your Mother recruit, so maybe I can see some of your loveliness in person again, I hope.
Leisa Hammett recently posted..Book Review: Leading a Special Needs Ministry

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Julie Eckstein June 6, 2014 at 12:11 am

https://www.nichd.nih.gov/news/releases/Pages/sterilization.aspx

Hello. Your posts on PTLS are helpful. I’ve had a lot of the same symptoms since my operation. But, what’s a girl to do? Anyway, if it makes anyone feel better – me – anyway, to think that we weren’t purposefully deceived, and that there might not be a conspiracy by doctors to tie all our tubes – this New England Journal of Medicine article on a study of 10,000 TL women was pretty hopeful. It’s only one or two symptoms, not all of them.

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