Episode 18: Katie Taylor – Loss and How She Copes

In this episode, I chat with one of my best friends in the entire world about all the loss she has suffered. She shares a little bit about each one and then how she copes with it all, as well as what you can do for and say to someone that has lost a loved one.

Katie Taylor - IG Post

When Katie was in middle school, her oldest brother committed suicide. That night, she was planning to have a sleepover with some friends, but as they walked passed a church, she had a feeling that she just needed to go home. The next morning, Katie’s mom woke her up and told her what she’d found.

Katie Taylor - Quote

A couple years later, Katie’s other brother passed away. He had been sick, but didn’t have insurance, so he never went to the doctor. He was in bed sleeping one day and had aspirated. After a week in the ICU, they realized he just wasn’t getting better and made the decision to take him off life support.

Then after that, Katie and her husband lost his uncle in a car crash. Then his grandpa to a heart attack. Then Katie’s uncle from a heart attack. And then her husband’s other grandpa – this one they were expecting because he hadn’t been doing too well for a while. Then one of her mother-in-laws passed away in her sleep. And then the most recent one was her husband’s dad from liver failure which led to a heart attack. If you count, that is seven people within the last five years. Seven.

After Katie’s second brother died, her and her mom made an appointment with a medium. They scheduled it under different names so the medium couldn’t look them up and didn’t take anything identifying with them so they could know whether or not she was real. And sure enough, she was the real deal.

Listen to the episode to hear all the details.

-Every death has its own hard.
-Despite it all, you can’t live in fear. You still have to live your life. As Katie put it, the people that have passed on are not going to want you to just sit there and cry all the time.
-With that, it is okay (and good) to cry it out.
-Time does ease the pain.
-The week after the funeral is when the pain is the worst. When everything has settled down and things have to go back to “normal.”

JoAnne Smith medium
Shailee’s episode on grief
-Katie’s song recommendation: Love Ain’t by Eli Young Band (listen on the Hard Knocks guest list on Spotify)
-Ending song: Dozen Roses & A Six Pack by Cole Swindell (listen on the Hard Knocks playlist on Spotify)
Katie’s Instagram

The fact that our heart yearns for something that Earth can’t supply is proof that Heaven must be our home. – C.S. Lewis

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Episode 16: Jenessa Ogden, Part 2: Marital Affair and How to Make Your Marriage Work After

In this episode, Jenessa and I talk about what led to her having an affair and how she and her husband have made their marriage work since then. It’s a very powerful episode. This is something no one talks about openly and I am VERY proud of her for doing this.

Jenessa Ogden, pt 2 - IG Post

At the beginning of the episode, I read the initial email she had sent to me about this subject. “So the low down is, I did have an affair.” Such a powerful statement already.

Jenessa Ogden, pt 2 - Quote 1

Jenessa’s husband had a “the sky’s the limit” type of attitude and Jenessa was more of a “I need structure” kind of person. That was one thing that kind of made them drift apart. He took a new job that he was very passionate about and she ended up quitting her job that she loved. Not long after that, her husband moved to another state to work. They both began to focus more on the negative and just couldn’t seem to get on the same page.

Jenessa Ogden, pt 2 - Quote 3

Jenessa needed someone else to understand, so she felt it was a little easier to let someone else in. Someone she thought kind of understood her. After the affair happened, Jenessa knew she needed and wanted to tell her husband, but she just didn’t know how. She began to withdraw from everything and everyone.

Jenessa Ogden, pt 2 - Quote 2

Her husband found out about the affair and Jenessa says that she was so far gone, she just didn’t care about what happened to them and their marriage. They did separate and shared the two kids they have. There was a point when her husband was very loving and forgiving and wanted to try to make it work. But Jenessa just kept pushing him away and couldn’t see them working through it. Eventually, they did end up filing for divorce. Once they signed the papers, Jenessa thought she would feel some sort of relief, but she did not. She began to think of what they were really doing and she didn’t want that. She didn’t want this to be the end. So somehow, her husband was able to call the courthouse and stop the divorce before it went through.

Jenessa wanted to share this heartache because she hopes to help someone that is going through this as well. She said that if you start to focus on a few good things, it can really turn things around. “It was easier to see the negative, because that’s what I was searching for.” How true is that? We all do it.

They had the opportunity to move to another state and they both agreed that is what was best for their family at that time. They weren’t trying to run away from the problem. Jenessa shared what she did to gain her husband’s trust back and how she removed her triggers. She shares that sometimes they have to revisit the past, not to feel the hurt, but to see how far they’ve come.

Stay tuned for her husband’s side of it.

Listen to the episode to hear all the details.

-If you have a secret, try to be the one that tells it so that the person you are hiding it from doesn’t find out on their own. It’s better to be honest. Once again, easier said than done, I know.
-Along with that, the sooner, the better. Don’t make yourself live with a huge secret for a long time.
-Communication is key.
-Don’t sweep things under the rug. Don’t just drop the hard stuff because you can’t agree.
-If you’re struggling with someone, tell someone! You don’t have to do anything alone.

Jenessa’s part 1
Jenessa’s Instagram
-John Gottman’s The Seven Horsemen (I couldn’t find anything for this, but I did find his book titled The Seven Principles for Making a Marriage Work)
The 5 Love Languages book
The 5 Love Languages quiz
Vicki’s episode
Hotline numbers if you need help
Jenessa’s blog
-Jenessa’s favorite book: Shoe Dog
-One of Jenessa’s favorite things: Enso silicone ring (to wear when working out) and Crumbl cookies (they ship and deliver if you have a location near you!)
-Song stuck in her head: Lifelight (Smash Bros intro song hahahaha #momlife)

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Episode 15: Jenessa Ogden, Part 1: Being Adopted, Pregnant in High School, Placing for Adoption and Meeting Her Birth Parents

In this episode, I chat with my friend Jenessa about what it was like to be adopted (you’ll get my reference here when you listen) and how she felt when people found out. As well as her being pregnant at 15, a Sophomore in High School, and her decision to place her baby for adoption, which then led to her meeting her birth parents!

Jenessa Ogden - IG Post

Jenessa’s parents had tried for 10 years to have a baby, with no success. After that long period of time, they were able to adopt and they got Jenessa. Five years later, they did a little “baby hunt” for her, which led to her getting a new sister. Five years after that, Jenessa got a baby brother.

Jenessa grew up knowing she was adopted, so that was normal for her. She always thought it was normal, until 5th grade when someone said something to her about it. At that point, Jenessa felt like she was placed in a separate category than everyone else and started to feel different. Because of this, Jenessa started questioning everything — something she’d never done before.

Fast forward to our Freshman year. Jenessa made the drill team and was starting to accept herself a little more. She had a little more confidence in herself. She was starting to loose her “baby fat” as she put it and felt like people were starting to notice her more.

Jenessa Ogden, pt 1 - Quote 2

The first day of our Sophomore year, Jenessa went to her Ag. Science class. She was looking for someone she knew to sit by. There was only one kid, but someone else was sitting by him. The person sitting next to the friend realized they knew each other and offered up his seat. They had an on-again-off-again “relationship.” Then the rumors started to fly. Around Christmas time, Jenessa got pregnant. She knew she was. She didn’t even need to take a test. But she chose not to believe it. Jenessa started to pull herself away from everyone because she didn’t know how to talk to anyone about it. She felt like she was in a bubble. She asked a friend’s boyfriend’s friend to get a pregnancy test from his mom’s work. So he did. Jenessa went to his house and took the test. The two pink lines popped up, but she thought she better do one more, so she took a second test. And again, the lines instantly popped up.

Jenessa Ogden, pt 1 - Quote 1

Once again, rumors started to spread and eventually her mom got a phone call. Jenessa had called her that day to come get her from school because she was sick. On the way home, her mom kept asking what was wrong and Jenessa felt like she couldn’t tell her. Her mom knew. Jenessa just couldn’t say the words. Once the boy’s parents found out, they had a family meeting and said they only support he was to show to her was him saying “hi” at school. That was it. So Jenessa was alone (aside from her parents) in this.

Jenessa Ogden, pt 1 - Quote 3

She battled with what she’d do with the baby. She knew she couldn’t be a good student and mom at the same time at only 15 years old. She did end up going the adoption route, but was struggling to choose a family. They all looked so deserving.

Next, we talked about the crazy story of how she met her birth parents. It all started with MySpace (the good old days!). Her birth mom talked to a young girl about Jenessa a lot and by this time, the birth mom had pictures of Jenessa. So the girl “went all detective” and found Jenessa.

Then we went back to how she picked the family for her baby. It ended up that her aunt and uncle actually adopted the baby. So Jenessa was able to see the baby once a week for the first two years. They keep in contact still and Jenessa knows she’s welcome to Jenna (the baby, although not a baby anymore) anytime.

Jenessa’s junior year, she ended up going to a different school because the biological father of her baby was a Senior at her home school and she, nor her parents, wanted her to be around that. She got a new boyfriend from the new school and her Senior year, Jenessa transferred back to her original school. Things were much different now. People treated her differently – even her closest friends wouldn’t talk to her. Jenessa thought she’d be able to come back and basically pick up where she left off. Unfortunately, that was not the case.

Listen to the full episode for all the details.

-Talk to your kids about sex. If you don’t someone else will.
-Don’t touch a pregnant woman’s stomach. Ever. 😉
-Be open with your kids, even about the tough stuff.

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Episode 17: Samie Sorenson – Pregnant in High School, Single Motherhood and Dating as a Single Mom

In this episode, Samie and I talked about what it was like to be pregnant at 15, then transitioning into a single mom still in High School. She shares what it was like to date as a single mom with a little boy that always came with on dates, then eventually meeting her husband when her son was four or five and how her husband ended up adopting her son.

{{Episode 14 needs to be delayed, so I am releasing this one now. Episode 15 & 16 will go live next week. They are part of a two-part series, so I wanted them to release in the same week.}}

Samie Sorensen - IG Post

Growing up, Samie thought they lived a perfect life. “I didn’t know much about the world,” she said. Her parents divorced when she was an older kid. At 14, Samie, her mom and sister moved to the Richfield area and her mom remarried. At the time, she didn’t realize how emotionally abusive her father was, but looking back now, she can see it clearly.

When she met her son’s biological dad, a lot of people warned her to stay away from him, but she didn’t listen. Samie found herself pregnant at 15. In the beginning of her pregnancy, the father was decent and was there. But then, it got rocky. About 6 months after the baby was born, Samie and the father broke up. And that was ugly. Cops were involved and it was a very scary experience for her.

At that point, Samie really had no help. Her mom wouldn’t help much because she didn’t want to enable Samie and let her be a bad mom, which in turn, has made Samie a great mom! Next, we talked about how hard dating was with a child. Samie said she’d have to bring her son along, so they’d have to be kid-friendly dates. Samie made sure her son understood that the guys she was with were just friends. He never knew anything more than that. She mentioned how it was hard to find someone to accept that they were a package deal and they couldn’t do spur-of-the-moment things as easily.

Samie Sorensen - Quote

By the time her son was four or five, Samie was tired of dating. She was looking for someone who was in it for the long haul. And wouldn’t you know, along came the man she was going to marry. About four or five months into the relationship, her son asked if that was his dad. It caught Samie off guard because they hadn’t talked about that. Samie and her boyfriend then talked about it and he said “tell him I am.” When Samie’s son asked her boyfriend if he was his dad, he said yes. Samie said “we need to get married.” A couple months later, they did. Shortly after that, they received papers in the mail from her son’s biological father saying that he wanted all or nothing. So Samie’s husband adopted her son.

Listen to the episode for all the details.

-Be nice to people. Especially if you’re doing the same thing they are, but you haven’t got caught… Yet.
-If you’re in a bad situation, you do have the power to get out and change the ending.
-It is possible to find someone that loves you and your child(ren).
-You can have a baby in High School and still come out on top.
-If you’re still a kid living at home, try to be open with your parents. And in turn, if you’re a parent, try to be open with your child.

-Samie’s song recommendation: Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol (listen on the Hard Knock Guest List on Spotify)
-Samie’s favorite store: Jourdan’s Jewels (thanks girlfriend!) Use code “hardknocks” at checkout for 15% off your entire purchase. And here is the Hard Knocks collection.
Samie’s Instagram
-Ending song: The Harold Song by Ke$ha (listen on the Hard Knocks playlist on Spotify)

You can still be a mess and be a good mom. We are allowed to be both.

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Episode 13: Lee Beechboard – SPS (Single Parent Survivalist

In this episode, I chat with Lee, who is a self-proclaimed SPS (single parent survivalist). I actually love this term! In her email to me, she said that she has been a mom and dad to her daughter for a really long time. This episode really dives in to what it’s like being a single mom for pretty much your child’s whole life. Lee shares the challenges and sacrifices it takes to be a single parent. Now that her daughter is grown, Lee moved in with her and has a more minimal living approach. They also run a photography business together.

Lee Beechboard - IG Post

Growing up in a very small town, Lee always looked up to the women in her family – namely, her mother and grandmother. Her grandmother was actually Lee’s inspiration for starting her own photography business. She was so inspired by an 112 year old baby portrait her grandmother owned.

Next, we jumped into what she calls SPS aka Single Parent Survivalist. Lee talked about the times when she wanted to just stand in the shower and cry when she would get overwhelmed. Now that Lee’s daughter is an adult, people tell them that they’re envious of their relationship. (See, I’m tellin’ ya, there is a special bond that you can only get with your child if you’re a single parent.) If you’re from a small town, you know how they are. Lee mentioned that people would tell her she couldn’t raise her daughter alone and she would say, “yeah, I can. Watch me.”

Lee Beechboard - Quote

Lee talked about how she would work three jobs and would be gone basically the entire day trying to make a living. After falling asleep at the wheel and driving off the road, Lee decided it was time to cut back on her workload. Prom was coming up and Lee wanted to take her daughter dress shopping.. and not from a clearance rack. Because of her hard work, she was able to take her daughter to a nice dress shop and say “whatever one you want.”

Now that her daughter is raised, Lee wanted to try minimal living. Lee sold her house and is now renting a room from her daughter. “The more I got rid of, the better I felt and the more organized I felt.” They also run a photography business together. One that Lee hopes to pass down to her daughter.

Listen to the episode for all the details.

-When someone tries to steal your happiness, I like what Lee does. She 1) considers the source and 2) prays for them.
-Don’t worry about other’s opinions (easier said than done, I know).
-Anytime you have to have a serious talk with your child(ren), get in the car and drive. They can’t escape you in the car.
-It’s okay to cry, kick, scream and/or cry in the shower. Find a good support team.
-What are you doing with your dash?
-It is okay to change directions in life and it is okay to follow your own compass.

-Lee’s business: Heartland Photography
-My business: Jourdan’s Jewels (use code “hardknocks” at checkout to save 15%)
Grace and Gold
The Dash poem
Affirmation cards
Vicki’s episode
Jelly shoes 🙂
-Lee’s favorite book: Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis (do you see the trend here?!)
Lee’s Instagram
Affirmations on Pinterest
-Ending song: Hello Goodbye by Tyler Farr (listen on the Hard Knocks playlist on Spotify)

“I am calm and relaxed. I am at peace with myself and my mind. I am happy with the life I am living. Everything is okay. I am okay. I am healthy. I am loved. People like to be around me. I am attracting good and genuine people into my life. My life is great.”

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Episode 7: Shannell Stewart: Domestic Violence, Divorce and Placing for Adoption

In this episode, we discuss her marriage that was filled with domestic violence, her leaving her marriage and going back, getting pregnant, single motherhood, getting pregnant and placing the baby up for adoption in 2017 and again in 2019, divorce and how her life is now and the things she’s learned along the way.

Shannell Stewart - IG Post

Shannell grew up in a small town and was one of 10 children. She said she didn’t have a ton of friends because she was always with her family. (She was lucky and had built-in friends!) Once she graduated high school, she moved to the city for College. At that time, she met the man that would become her husband. Things progressed quickly. They were engaged in February and married by March. Only a month into the marriage, Shannell ended up leaving because of the violence. She came back home, but realized she needed to go back to the city for more opportunities. Shannell tried to file for an annulment. When she moved back to the city, she continued to date him on and off, while also trying to date other guys. Later she mentions the annulment never went through and she ended up pregnant, so she moved back in with her husband. The violence got worse and she only lasted another month and a half. She moved back home and went through the pregnancy without the father.

Once she had the baby, she agreed to marriage counseling and was driving back and forth to the city a couple times a week. After a little while of that, she decided that her and the baby would move back in. Things went well for a little over a year. They were sealed in the LDS Temple and Shannell was a stay-at-home mom. But then things just coming out here and there – a bunch of little things that eventually turned into big things. Once again, she decided that things just weren’t working out, so she moved back home. She filed for a divorce at that time.

Shannell was trying hard to move on with her life and began dating the man that would become her second daughter’s father. After a few months and lots of issues, she decided to break up with him…. On a 9 hour car ride home from California. On the way home, they stopped at a gas station and she took a pregnancy test. She just knew. And sure enough, those two pink lines showed up. So in the car, they got back together and decided they could make it work. Then on Valentine’s day, the “magic, magic” happened and she said yes. Two weeks later, she wondered what she was doing and ultimately decided to end things.

During a deep state of depression, she Googled “adoptions in Utah.” She entered her info on adoptionlife.org and started applying for some jobs back up in the city. She moved in with her estranged husband’s mother. After looking at only 8 family profiles, she found the ones that were meant to be the parents of the baby growing in her belly. Her divorce was final in May of 2017 and she had the baby in October of that same year.

Shannell Stewart - Quote 1

After having the baby and doing the selfless thing of adoption, she just felt renewed. At this time, she began dating again. She ended up dating a guy through the summer, but broke up with him and then found out she was pregnant for the third time. They tried to get back together, but it still wasn’t working. Shannell had planned on keeping the baby and would just co-parent, like she was with her first. The dad of this baby was not supportive of adoption and so she felt like she had no options.. Until, she decided to reach out to her adoption agency just to see what options she actually had. The baby was due in May of 2019 and she had decided in January that she should probably place him for adoption. She reached out on Instagram to someone she knew and asked them how their adoption journey was going. They had had one fall through the previous November and were still sad about it. Shannell told the woman that she was willing to consider them for her baby. They accepted and did end up taking her baby boy.

Shannell Stewart - Quote 2

Listen to the episode to hear all the details!


-Do what is best for you and the baby. Try to see the long run picture – not just the first few minutes.
-I love where she mentioned that her dad grounded her and told her “I know you’ve always wanted to write a book, so when you’re done, you can be ungrounded.”
-Do it scared. Let your good be good enough. You can perfect it as you go.


Shannell’s adoption agency
-Shannell’s blog: Ms. Reclaim
Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
Shannell’s Instagram
-Brene Brown Books: Daring Greatly, Dare to Lead, The Gifts of Imperfection, Rising Strong, I Thought It Was Just Me, Braving the Wilderness
Fine Chocolate
Makeup Remover Cloths
-Favorite Song: Arrows by Trevor Hall and Palms by Allman Brown (listen on the Hard Knocks Podcast – Guest List on Spotify)
-Ending Song: I Don’t Do Lonely Well by Jason Aldean (listen on the Hard Knocks Podcast playlist on Spotify)


“When it is all finished, you will discover it was never random.”


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Episode 12: Jourdan Watts – Some Things I Left Out in My 0-18 Years

I won’t lie, I feel like puking when I hit “publish” on this episode. So trust me when I say, I understand the nervousness that comes with recording a show. This episode was really hard for me to listen to again after I recorded to edit and type these show notes. Going into it, I didn’t think I was going to cry, but talking about things really brought up past feelings and hurt, so I did cry like a little baby. Sorry for that. 🙂 In this episode, I just talked about some things that I missed in my first episode. Listening again, I still left out a ton and maybe will have to do another one later to talk about some things I remembered while listening again or just as the days go on.

Jourdan Watts - IG Post

I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. After my parents got divorced, my dad and I moved in with his parents, which is about 2.5 hours south of SLC. We all still live in the area and this is “home.” My dad got remarried when I was about 3.5. Shortly after that, we moved to St. George so my dad could work and go to school. When I was in first grade, we moved back “home.”

When I was in 5th grade, both of my moms had a baby boy. They are exactly three weeks apart. One in September and one in October of 2003. During this time and the beginning of middle school (6th-ish grade), I really started experiencing my depression. My dad had another kid now and I just really felt unwanted. It’s cliche, I know, but that’s honestly how I felt. I was also grounded a lot. Seemed like all of middle school. That’s a slight exaggeration, but that’s how it felt. When I was grounded, it was basically to my room. I mean, they’d let me around the house, but why would I want to hang out with my parents while I was grounded??!?

I had always been slightly suicidal, but the summer after my sophomore year of high school, I got in some trouble with a friend. We were up north at the time. Her parents said she couldn’t come home with me, so she went to DT until they could come get her. Since I drove my car, my mom said I could drive home. The whole way home, I cried. Hysterically. The whole way home, I was also thinking of ways to kill myself. I figured I could drive my car off a cliff and no one would even know where to look for me. I could slam my breaks and let a semi run me over. I could park on the side of the road, hide in front of my car and jump out when a semi got close. However, I could never go through with anything because I had five little siblings that looked up to me and I didn’t want them to think of me like that. I didn’t want that to be how they remembered me.

When I had to go back home to my dad’s house, I just hated my life. I hated my bonus mom. My dad would never hear me out or stand up for me. I just couldn’t do it anymore. So one day, I wrote a note to my parent’s that said if you don’t let me move in with my mom, you can bury me. I made my little brother – 5 at the time, take it upstairs to them. The next day, I left. I couldn’t take my stuff, so I just had a couple bags of clothes.

That Christmas, I went back to my dad’s to see the kids. This was hands down one of the worst days of my entire life. My bonus mom opened the door and didn’t say one word. Just turned around and went to her room. My dad sat in the kitchen, so I never even saw him. He never came out to say Merry Christmas or even “hi.” I went downstairs to my room to get the presents I had bought a while back for the kids. My room was empty. All my stuff was gone. The room had been entirely repainted. It’s like I never even existed. The presents weren’t there, but I did notice them around the corner from the stairs (I just remembered as I was typing this, so I was wrong in the episode on where they were), so I grabbed them and went back up. I let the kids open them and I was trying so hard not to cry. When they were done, they said for me to open mine, but I couldn’t. I had to leave go I gave them a hug and let them know I loved them. I immediately called my mom and said that we had to find my stuff and go get it. This ended in a huge fight with me laying into my dad, telling his wife she was a bitch, which in turn, she came at me so I smacked her and started a cat fight. It’s funny now that I think back about it, but it certainly wasn’t at the time. I was so hurt.

I graduated College with my Associate’s degree the month before I graduated High School. I graduated High School with honors and in the top 15 of my class. I was also pregnant at this time, if you remember from my first episode.

Jourdan Watts - E. 12 Quote

Listen to the episode to hear all the details.

-If you are suicidal, try to think passed the moment! Try to see passed the next five minutes or hour. I know, easier said than done.. Also, have someone in your mind that you know NEEDS you.. Even if you don’t think it’s your parents, think of your siblings or best friend or even your pet! Something that would struggle so bad without you.
(If you are having suicidal thoughts, please visit the “Get Help” page and/or call the suicide hotline at 1.800.273.8255.)
-It does get better! Your home life while you are in High School is SO short compared to the life you will live after 18.
-Reach out if you need help. I can’t say this enough.

My first episode
-Ending song: Happy the Hard Way by Every Avenue (listen on the Hard Knocks playlist on Spotify)
My personal Instagram

In the end, it will be okay. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.

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Thank You for Your Donation!

Thank You for Your Donation

I just wanted to give a HUGE shout out to Kourtney, Vicki, Stacie, Nicole, Janie, Shayla and Colton for their donations! I am so humbled and blown away. I know I keep saying that, but I am astounded at people’s generosity.
You are amazing.
Running a podcast does cost money – I am happy to pay for it myself because this is really my passion, but your donations help me SO much!!
If you’re wondering what costs money, let me tell you.. First of all, the mic and the editing software. I already had the laptop and I’m lucky enough to have a free recording space. Next comes the hosting – this is where it gets really expensive. I bought the domain for the website, which was $20 for the year, so not too bad. Hosting the website costs $20 per month. On top of that, and most definitely the most important piece is the podcast host. This is where I upload the episodes and they are disbursed to the podcast platforms. Because each episode is 30-120 minutes long, the files are big, which in turn, requires a lot of storage space. I’ve had to upgrade plans three different times because of this, so I am currently on the plan that is $40 a month.
On top of that, I like to give each guest a little gift as a way of saying thank you for their bravery and courage to share their story with not only me, but all of you!
So again, THANK YOU! Even if it’s only $1, I really do appreciate you donating your hard earned money to me to continue doing this podcast.
If you would like to donate, there is a box at the bottom of this post for you to do so.
XO, Jourdan

Running a podcast does cost money!

I am doing this in what little spare time I have. This is something I am super passionate about, so I don't mind doing it out of pocket. But if you wanted to help out with some costs, it would be so appreciated! Money is spent on buying and hosting this website, recording and publishing equipment, plus I give each guest a little present as a THANK YOU from all of us for sharing their heart.


Episode 11: Carrie Crane – Abusive Childhood, Pregnant 3 Times in High School, Adoption, Divorce and Making Something of Yourself

In this episode, Carrie and I talked about lots of intense things. We started out talking about the abuse she suffered as a child, then went into her getting pregnant and being in foster care, then getting pregnant again and giving the baby up for adoption, then pregnant again for the third time and getting married. We talked about her first two divorces and meeting her second child that she placed, as well as her going to nursing school and becoming an RN by the age of 22. This is a great episode with lots of things for all to hear! Carrie is walking proof that you can do anything you set your mind to.

Carrie Crane - IG Post


Carrie is the oldest of three. Her parents divorced and her mom left to another state when she was 3.5 years old. Her dad remarried and his new wife adopted the three kids when Carrie was 8. Her dad was abusive to both her and her brothers growing up. Carrie had a lot of molestation and a rape from men when she was young.

The first time Carrie had consensual sex, she ended up pregnant. She was 15, a Freshman in High School. At this time, she ended up in a foster home. Over the years, she attended four different High Schools. When she went into labor, she had to have an emergency C-section and the nurse actually made Carrie prep herself. She was treated very poorly by many people on the hospital staff.

After she had her baby, she went back home with her parents. She started her Sophomore year of High School, rebounded into another relationship and ended up pregnant again. At this time, she moved to Logan to go to a school for young moms. The kids were downstairs at a daycare while the moms were upstairs taking classes. She obtained her CNA. She said this was the hardest time of her life. She had her second baby just a couple weeks after she turned 17. She ended up placing this baby for adoption. Carrie got to meet her second son when he was around 17, right before her first son went on his mission.

After that, Carrie came back home and met the man she ended up married to for about 16 years. She ended up having two more kids with him, one of them she was pregnant with her Senior year of High School. After High School, Carrie buckled down with school and had her RN by the time she was 22. She reflects back to when she was pregnant with her first son and a teacher had told her she’d amount to nothing. She’d live off of welfare for the rest of her life. Carrie chose to let that fuel her fire, instead of dwell in his harsh words.

Carrie Crane - Quote

Carrie ended up divorced and remarried pretty quickly. She was with someone that she felt safe with. Carrie wanted to be married in the LDS temple and this husband could give that to her… But the fact that her kids would have to be sealed to him and not their actual dad was a deal breaker for her. They did end up getting a divorce.

Listen to the full episode for all the details.

-You can do anything you put your mind to. If someone tells you you can’t, use that as a driving force to prove them wrong.
-Look at your life like a book. When one chapter closes, you can look back and see all that you’ve went through and how you were still able to rise.
-Be the best you.
-Let your hard times be stepping stones to get to where you’re going.

Episode 4: Carissa Makinen
-Carrie’s book recommendation: Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis and The Hunger Games, as well as The Murph Story
Carrie’s Instagram
-Ending song: Radiate by Puddle of Mudd (listen on the Hard Knocks playlist on Spotify)

You may not see it today or tomorrow, but you will look back in a few years and be absolutely perplexed and awed by how every little thing added up and brought you somewhere wonderful or where you always wanted to be. You will be grateful that things didn’t work out the way you once wanted them to.

Subscribe, rate and listen to the show on Castbox, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, TuneIn or Stitcher.
Pandora coming soon!

Follow on Instagram.
Like the Facebook page.

If you have your own story to tell, please email me or click the “Share Your Story” tab at the top of the page.

Episode 10: Janaya Jessalyn – Sexually Abused by a Babysitter as a Child

In this episode, I talked to Janaya about how she was sexually abused at six years old by a male babysitter.

Janaya Jessalyn - IG Post

Growing up, her family moved around a lot because her dad was in the Army. She has eight siblings. They moved to Greece when she was two and back to the States when she was four. Her and her family still speak Greek!

Her sexual abuse happened when she was only six years old. During nap time, the babysitter would take her out of the bed and into another room. The first few times, she just went to sleep to try and block out what was happening. Because Janaya used sleep as a coping mechanism, she is unsure of how long the abuse went on. As a child, she knew what he was doing was inappropriate, but she just couldn’t figure out what was wrong. And he was an authority figure that she knew, so how could she tell him no?

Eventually, Janaya began locking herself in the bathroom and hiding in the tub until nap time was over. One day, her older sister asked her “is there anything going on?”

Janaya Jessalyn - Quote 1


Just last year, Janaya decided that she was done living in denial and now she was going to face it. She wanted to let her feeling be true. But because of her traumatic experience, she has a hard time opening up to people.

Janaya Jessalyn - Quote 2

Listen to the full episode to hear all the details and what she is doing now.

-Find a support system. Find someone you can talk to. It helps if the person has been through the same thing or something similar.
-If you’ve not been able to tell anyone about your sexual abuse, find someone you can really trust and talk to them. Easier said than done, I know. But please don’t hold it in! You can call the Sexual Abuse Hotline, as well. 1-800-656-4673.
-When you go on to have a relationship with someone, it’s important to establish a foundation where you can speak your mind and be open and honest.

Sexual Assault Hotline (lots of great resources and info here. See also “Get Help” page.)
JaKale’s episode
The Tooth Book
-Janaya’s favorite book series: The Selection
Hello Dolly songs
Janaya’s personal Instagram
Janaya’s baking Instagram
-Ending song: Heaven by 3 Doors Down (listen on the Hard Knocks podcast playlist on Spotify)

The way people treat you is a statement of who they are as a human being. It’s not a statement about you.

Subscribe, rate and listen to the show on Castbox, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, TuneIn or Stitcher.
Pandora coming soon!

Follow on Instagram.
Like the Facebook page.

If you have your own story to tell, please email me or click the “Share Your Story” tab at the top of the page.