mental health

My niece, Kayla Stevens is a busy mom of two active daughters, Elliott and Maya. She and Her husband, Garrett have realized that since the birth of their second daughter, their house is too small. Garrett tells me that they are “spilling out at the seams!” So, they have been busy updating everything and fixing things up. Kayla is the visionary in the renovating process. She picks out the paint colors and makes sure things match well and complement each other. They painted the outside of the house last summer and put a rock driveway in making the outside more or less finished. Then, over this past winter, they repainted the living room, hallway, and updated the entire kitchen including cabinets, countertops, and walls. They still have a few more rooms in the basement to finish painting and then they can finish getting the majority of their stuff moved to the storage shed to prepare for the sale of the home.

Garrett was telling me the about the distinct differences between him and Kayla. He says, “Kayla is very much a mom. And maybe I think that because I am a dad and it’s very different. She makes all her decisions around the kids. Most of the things she wants to do are things like going to the park or the pool or Playland at the YMCA. If it’s not that, she likes shopping for the kids. She is always finding deals after each season is over. She is a bargain hunter for sure and she is good at it.”

When it comes to travel, Kayla is the travel agent in the family too. She makes sure that their trips will bring the most pleasure each person in the family. They took a trip to WaTiki in Rapid City over spring break with her cousin and her kids. Everyone had a blast, and the kids enjoyed every minute. Kayla is used to travel and planning for travel. Her job with the Veteran’s Administration as an Outreach Coordinator, and her job requires that she travel a lot during the summer. Part of her duties is to work with other groups and organizations. She has traveled to Washington DC several times, and while there she meets with our representatives, or their staff at least, depending on how busy they are. While there, she advocates for legislation to help with mental health and suicide prevention. We all know how important these areas are, because of the ramifications of having untreated individuals with mental health issues and those who are a suicide risk. These people need to be helped, not ignored. The advocates usually get one day with the representatives, and the rest of the trip will consist of conferences to educate them on the latest research and statistics. There is normally very little time for sight-seeing, but the last trip she made, she was able to go and see the sights between events and they enjoyed that. Then, she got stuck there for a few extra days as all the airports were short staffed and having issues. I’m not sure how well she enjoyed that, because she really wanted to get home to her family, but there was no other option. Kayla also makes trips to Jackson Hole, Powell, Pinedale, Gillette, Casper, Dubois, Lander, Cheyenne, and a few others. Over the past year she also made a trip to Arizona and Salt Lake City. In the past, she has also gone to Orlando, as well. She will be going to Oregon in the near future. In addition, Kayla is working in leadership for the city of Sheridan, as well. She is a very busy girl, but her family is, and always will be her family. She has been blessed to have parents and in-laws who can step in to help with the girls when she has to be away, and Garrett has to work.

While her summers are very busy with work and travel, she still makes sure that her family gets to do things too. She and Garrett bought a new camper, and they will be going up to the mountains, the Tongue River Reservoir in Montana, and to Pathfinder Reservoir with his family for the traditional Steven’s Family Summer Camp Out. Kayla leads a busy life, but it makes her happy, and that’s what really matters. Today is Kayla’s birthday. Happy birthday Kayla!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

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