I’m Sorry

I was driving with my daughters the other day, and my six-year-old was telling us a story about her best friend on the playground.  During the explanation of not playing together during first recess, she quickly said “but told him I was sorry and then he would play with me”. WHOA.  I took a deep breath and asked what she had done that warranted the apology. “Nothing” she answered, “I just wanted to play with him and it was a way to start the conversation. He said it’s okay and then I could play with him.”  NO, NO, NO!

My teenager and I looked at each other and started to talk at once. A great discussion ensued about other ways to start a conversation, other approaches to a friend who isn’t playing with you, other options than apologizing when you’ve done nothing wrong.  This conversation laid heavy on my heart and I went to bed that night thinking about how often we apologize for nothing. In fact, it often comes out of our mouths so quickly, that we don’t even realize we are saying it. Drop your pen? “Oops, sorry”. Bump into someone “oops sorry”. Someone interrupts you? “Sorry.”  The words “I’m sorry” are spoken so often, they have almost lost their meaning. We say “I’m sorry” even when we’ve done nothing wrong.

When we’ve done nothing wrong… How many times during the day do we feel the need to apologize? How many times does that apology morph from being sorry for our actions to being sorry for who we are?  “I’m sorry, I’m hungry though.”  “I’m sorry, I don’t want to go for that walk.” “I’m sorry, I don’t like crowds.” “I’m sorry, I want to go home.”  I want to remind you that we don’t have to be sorry because we’re hungry or tired or don’t want to participate in an activity.  There’s a saying that “No.” is an entire sentence. You don’t need to say you’re sorry. You don’t need to give an explanation. Just “No.” is enough.

This conversation with my daughters brought this topic to the forefront of my mind. I now call them out when they say, “I’m sorry.” We have meaningful discussions about when we need to apologize (after hurting someone’s feelings, for example). I’m hoping it has changed how we communicate, how we show remorse, but most of all; I’m hoping it affects how my daughters view themselves and their value – and that they stop apologizing for being who they are and when they’ve done nothing wrong.


The year of ?

A couple years ago, I read Shonda Rhimes’ book “The Year of Yes!”  and it intrigued me.  So many people make New Year’s resolutions only to abandon their list by mid-February, if not sooner.  I too have made those generic lists; lose weight, eat better, go to the gym, etc.

After reading the book I decided I would declare the upcoming year… the year of_______!  What would I be willing to commit to for the year?  I knew saying yes was out. I felt that for it to be the year of yes, I would have to have the freedom to say yes to everything.  Being the overthinker that I am I knew that I did not have the time or the finances to make that type of commitment.  How about the Year of No? You have heard that some people learn to say no, well maybe I need to say no to somethings but that just sounded so negative and limiting on new experiences.

I had decided that 2017 would be the Year of completing incompletes.  There were a few things that I had started and wished to complete.  They were not simple things that could be done if a few days, rather goals that could be completed within the year. First was completing the requirements for my Distinguished Toastmaster. I mapped out how many speeches and projects that I needed to complete by the end of April in order to be awarded DTM by our Spring Conference in May.

Next, I knew I wanted to complete the Jack Canfield Train the Trainer certification.  I had wanted to complete the Train the Trainer program since August 2009.  The program had evolved over the years and they broke the program into two.  One is Train the Trainer online, which made it much more accessible to me.  I signed up for that in 2015 but had made little progress.  Just as I was finishing my work for the DTM I received an email from the Jack Canfield Group, they had a few spots left in the Train the Trainer Live 2017.  I was able to find a way pay for the training and travel expense and was on my way to not only completing the online but the live as well.  By November 2017, I had completed three of my incompletes!  It felt great to no longer spend my time thinking about when I was going to get around to finishing those.

By December 2017, I again was faced with what would 2018 be the year of?  Because of family circumstances, I decided on the year of change.  This meant that I did not know what the year was going to hold for me but that I should hold an open space for change and go with the flow.  This is very hard for me as I am someone who likes to plan things well in advance and think of all possible ways that the plan can go sideways and various ways to deal with it.  To say that 2018 had change is an understatement.  We sold our house in March. My husband passed away in May.  I flew more miles this year than I have any other year.  I visited new places.  Took a road trip with two of my sons, my daughter in law and my two grandsons ages 2 1/2 and 1 years old.

So, what will 2019 be?  I have decided that 2019 with be the year of health and wealth.  I am not sure what exactly this will mean for me, or how it will manifest, but I am excited to see how if unfolds.  In the comments below tell me what 2019 will be for you.

-Victoria Chadderton, Guest Blogger


BIO: Victoria Chadderton
Vicki joined us at the Illuminate Women’s Conference 2018 as the sponsor and facilitator of the Illuminate Vision Wall.  She is a dedicated and energetic professional speaker aimed to help people in any way she can. Vicki has been a member of Toastmasters for the past 10 years. Vicki has been trained by Jack Canfield in The Success Principles and is a certified trainer in the Jack Canfield method.  She has a passion for helping people through Goal Setting Workshops, helping them reach their goals and success.


Hey mama’s – guess what? I ate popcorn for dinner tonight. My kids are gone every Thursday and every other weekend. When I was newly divorced, I used this time as free time – my friends were all amazingly supportive and kept me busy. We had happy hours, and movie nights, and wine tasting and good old-fashioned cry-fests.

Now, three years into single mom-ing and I’m still single. And now I work from home. There are days when I only leave my house to walk my dog. There are days I make a beautiful salad or fry up some taco shells to eat by myself while binge watching Netflix. Tonight, I made popcorn. I was even fancy and threw some hot tamales in it.  My friends and I now entertain ourselves by speed texting inappropriate memes from our own couches in our housepants instead of getting dressed up to go out.

My point, ladies, is that life changes. Seasons change. And it is important to give yourself grace during all of this. And it’s just as ok to go out and have cheese sticks and a beer (or two or three) as it is to stay in and have popcorn and wine for dinner. Life is all about balance. It’s all about making the tough decisions, day in and day out. And sometimes, it’s okay to not want to make any more decisions – and break out the popcorn. Or cereal. Or apple and peanut butter.  (and yes, mom – I do get my veggies in most of the time too).

Women – we have so much happening. We are busy, bad ass, company running, taxi driving, meal planning, bill paying, party planning, volunteering, parenting, grandparenting, hardworking, amazing women who work tirelessly to get things done. But when our season of life begins to shift and look different, I’m here to remind you to embrace it. Sit in the new season and give yourself grace. And hell, eat popcorn for dinner. I’ll be right there next to you and will maybe even throw some of my hot tamales in your bowl too (you should try it, it really is delicious).  Because that’s what we, as strong women, should be doing. Accepting each other, no matter what season of life we are in.  We need to spend these days lifting each other up and helping each other as we can.

My friends were my lifeline for a good year of a very difficult time. There were many nights that my dinner was popcorn and wine – hold the popcorn. And these special ladies sat with me. They wiped my tears, made me laugh, and refilled my glass more times than I can count. Ladies, I hope you have friends like this too.  The seasons of our lives do change, and maybe so do our friendships, but I try to remind myself of what those friends meant to me during that time. And maybe, just maybe I can be that friend to someone else who needs me.

And that my friends, is why Callie and I created Illuminate Women’s Conference. We recognize the need for women to build a larger tribe. We recognize that as the seasons of our lives shift we need our tribe to grow too. That we all deserve to be lifted, empowered, motivated, and the opportunity to grow. And we want to provide that opportunity for YOU. The amazing women of our valley. Join us on Saturday, October 20th for a day that is sure to be life changing. Bring your girlfriends, I’ll bring the popcorn.


There are many sayings about the company we keep. My favorite is “be sure to know who is in your boat, are they rowing with you or drilling holes while you’re not watching?”.  I’m here to ask you today: who’s in your boat?  I’ve found that oftentimes as women and mothers, we choose to make a lot of sacrifices. Usually, at the expense of our own well-being. We all have that friend who leaves us with less energy than we had going in, or that family member who has to point out the negative in everything. Maybe you know someone who you feel as though you are in competition with. Whatever the feeling, and whoever the person is, they are robbing you of joy.

I’m here today to tell you that it’s okay to choose who you want to be around. It’s okay to choose to not be around any of those people I mentioned above. I’ve recently realized that when you’re doing great things, not everyone will be your biggest fan. AND THAT’S OKAY. We all have own life experiences and goals. Ladies, I’m not even talking about huge goals here – maybe it’s the goal of going for a walk today. Maybe it’s the goal of NOT having wine with dinner tonight.  My point is, whatever your goal, choose to surround yourself with people who support that goal.

Here’s the thing:  they may not even know they are supporting your goal. They may just be a natural support system by way of WHO they are.  That friend who is happy. Who is positive. Who has a genuine interest in your friendship. When it comes to protecting your mindset, it’s okay to be selfish! Let me say that one more time:  IT’S OKAY TO BE SELFISH.  It’s imperative that you choose who to surround yourself with.  They say you are most like the 5 people you hang around the most (whoever they are).

Two months ago, I quit my full-time demanding career. This was a crazy HUGE scary decision. (more on that later). When I started to think about leaving my career, I was VERY selective in who I discussed the decision with. I purposely chose to surround myself with women who saw my bigger purpose. These women sent me quotes, and voice texts and books to read. These women cried with me and prayed with me. These women who supported my decision and breathed belief into me.  Women who would tell me “you’re crazy! And it’s going to be great!” And you know what? Two months later, it IS great and I WAS crazy and those women are STILL the women I talk to everyday.

So, let me ask you again, who’s in your boat? Are they rowing with you or drilling holes? Take a moment and write down the 5 individuals you are closest to on a daily basis. If you’re like me, one glance at the names and you will know who is draining your energy and who is feeding your energy.  Choose wisely. Choose Joy. If you need someone else to sit beside you and row with you for awhile – I’m here. One of the best things we can do for each other is to take that positive influence and pass it on.

Melissa Knott

2018 Illuminate Women’s Conference

2018 Illuminate Women’s Conference

More information to come soon, make sure to visit again soon!




IT’S HERE, registration to the Illuminate Women’s Conference is now OPEN!

Did you know that we have two different registration options, General Registration and the VIP EXPERIENCE?

General Admission gets you into the conference on 10/20/18, with breakfast and lunch refreshments, breakout sessions and keynote speakers. You also have access to the “Taking Care of Me” spa and the great music from DJ Manny. Of course, all attendees also get access to the Exhibitor Boutique, local vendors that are owned by and/or offer products/services for women.

The VIP EXPERIENCE includes all the General Admission items, plus a whole lot more! A special VIP Only Event on Friday, October 19, 2018 where you will be able to meet some of our wonderful speakers and sponsors. Also, a swag bag the day of the event, and other great VIP perks. There are ONLY 50 VIP EXPERIENCE registration spots available, get one before they run out!

Click HERE to register!



This is not your normal conference, and intended it that way.  We are excited to announce we have secured a DJ, yes you read that right, a DJ!

DJ Manny with Down Town Manny’s will be joining us to wake us up, get us moving and keep us going throughout the day.  Our goal is to have so much energy going during this conference you won’t be able to stay in your seat.

So, who likes to dance?

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This Women’s Conference is a project a long time in the making, for both us and the Wenatchee Valley.  We officially launched the Facebook and Instagram pages in late April, and announced the news via live video on May 1st…the response has been astounding. We are confirmed with the Wenacthee Convention Center…so it really is officical! We look forward to seeing you all on October 19 & 20, 2018 right here in Wenatchee WA.

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