Tag Archives: single

Valentine’s Day & Singles

Valentine’s Day always makes me think of my single friends.
Our experience in marriage has been so fun and easy that I almost want to tell everyone, “Never ever marry until you are at least 35!” But, I see people that have great marriages and met in high school. If you wait till your older there are fertility issues and some people get set in their ways…I have fabulous friends that have never married. Friends that are seeking God’s will for their lives.I truly believe their obedience and desire to follow Christ has kept them from marrying the wrong person. It is far better to be single and wish you were married than married and wish you were single.
I look at marriages that are struggling or that have falling apart and I wonder,”If you are honest with yourself did you marry at a time when you thought it was time to get married? Or because you wanted a wedding or a baby or just something different in your life. Or because your parents or others were asking “Why aren’t you married?”
We have all made permanent decisions based on a temporary emotion and faced consequences. Why do you think the tattoo removal business is booming?
If you have a single friend, son or daughter please don’t add to their pressure because you want grandchildren or think it is time, or that they are picky…Marriage is the area you should be picky!
I suggest we change how things are done and we throw the big wedding like party with gifts when our girls graduate from college or graduate school! This is when they need these things to get started in life. Let them be the princess of that day because they have accomplished something. And go back to having punch in the church when you marry. No one is ever going to marry the wrong person for punch in the fellowship hall. I do believe some girls marry for the wedding. (I would grandfather in all my friends that graduated many years ago because I would not want them to miss being celebrated.)
All this rambling to say:
1. Let’s make our girls feel so loved, confident and secure alone that they would never choose a life with someone that made them feel anything less.
2. One woman’s frog could be another woman’s prince!

If you have a single friend or daughter please check out http://www.PrincessBubble.com


Happy Anniversary!

Yesterday was my first wedding anniversary. We had a fun day at the beach with my family followed by drinks on top of Ocean Lodge with a view of the ocean. Then the guys grilled steaks and we ate more of the one year old wedding cake which I can not believe was still good. That alone is just crazy to me.

Our first year of marriage was surprisingly easy for a first marriage for  a pair of 40 somethings. We had bumps in the road like the stress of buying and remodeling a house while surviving a miscarriage and 2 out patient surgeries and a 4 month legislative session. Recently, we went to a marriage seminar at the church we attend when in Atlanta and not only were we the oldest ones there! But, we realized we did not have many of the issues the leaders were discussing because we lived the message of Princess Bubble and we had had complete lives before we married and knew who we were going into the marriage. I would not suggest for other women to wait as long as I did to marry; but I found someone worth the wait and there are positives to being an older bride. If you have not read my book, Princess Bubble, the message is that true happiness is not found in a prince but in helping others, loving God, liking who you are already. The conference we attended spent a lot of time trying to heal or correct the issues couples had when they entered the marriage expecting their spouse to make their lives perfect or rescue them.

I spent so much time trying to empower girls and share with them the message of Princess Bubble and knew the message was important for women to also remember…But, then I got caught up in all that was happening in my own life and put the message aside for a while. Now I am reminded of the importance and how every woman and girl needs to be encouraged to remember how special they are and how we need to take responsibility of our own happiness and not expect someone else or something else to make them happy.

So girls-remind your girlfriends, teach your daughters, and tell yourself that happiness is attainable for all of us start your own happily ever after today! Today I start on year two of my marriage and love my prince but plan to live happily ever after with him instead of because of him.


Princess Bubble Book Review by Parenting Pink

Princess Bubble Book Review by Parenting Pink December 2, 2009 by Elizabeth Donovan, M. A. Great Books for Girls http://parentingpink.com/2009/12/princess-bubble-by-susan-johnston-kimberly-webb/ Princess Bubble by Susan Johnston and Kimerbly Webb (illustrated by Maria Tonelli) is a delightful, refreshing read that sends a positive and important message to girls that Disney occasionally does not: “Be yourself; embrace who you are; and forget about waiting for a prince to rescue you from your troubles!” Princess Bubble is an independent, intelligent, thoughtful, and charitable princess who can’t understand why her parents and “princess friends” constantly pressure her to ‘find Mr. Right’ and ’settle down’ by getting married. Princess Bubble is a well-traveled princess with an education (from Royal University), a job, lots of friends, and a ‘palace’ she purchased on her own. She enjoys movie night with the other princesses, attending royal celebrations, and spending time with her family. But Princess Bubble just can’t seem to figure out why her parents and others want her to find ‘Prince Charming’ so she can live her ‘happily ever after.’ She tries to please her parents by dating lots of Princes, but none of them make her happy. She desperately sorts through fairy tales trying to find a reasonable Prince to date to no avail. After much soul searching, Princess Bubble decides that if she’s already happy with herself, she can make her own ‘happily ever after’ without the assistance of a man. Bravo Princess Bubble! Finally a princess that encourages girls to rescue themselves and forgo waiting for ‘prince charming’ to show up and magically sweep them away on his perfectly white horse! Princess Bubble is a wonderful, fun, and inspirational modern day fairytale for girls of all ages! To purchase a copy of Princess Bubble ($9.60) see Amazon.com.

Not Your Average Princess

Not Your Average Princess

Posted by The Q on February 12th, 2009

Little girls are indoctrinated into Princess Culture before they can even speak in full sentences. Pictures of doe-eyed Cinderellas and Sleeping Beauties adorn everything from plates and cups to clothing and shoes. In fact, Disney’s Princesses marketing campaign is considered one of the most successful in the history of the company–and in the marketing industry. These graceful beauties are impossible to escape no matter where you shop.
But every princess story (with rare exception) is based on a plot of victimization and rescue. Princesses wait, either passively as in the case of Sleeping Beauty and Snow White; or miserably as in the case of Cinderella; for someone to rescue them and make their ‘dreams come true’. And that someone is always a prince.
These princesses may have different hairstyles and costumes, but they all have one thing in common: They are pretty and charming. Often their prince falls in love with them without them even speaking a word. Such is the power of beauty. It brings love.
The result of this indoctrination are a generation of young women who are obsessed with their appearances and who are taught that being loved is directly related to how pretty they are. The American Psychological Association is just one of many groups who have raised red flags about the sexualization of girls and the self-image problems that contribute to eating disorders, depression, and low self-esteem.
This disturbing trend did not escape the notice of a Susan Johnston, a single woman in her late thirties who had been in more than 17 wedding parties. Johnston was a happy, well-traveled, educated woman who was shocked at how many young girls told her that they could not be a princess without a prince.
“When I was growing up, I watched shows like Wonder Woman and Charlie’s Angels. Those women were out there saving people, not passively waiting to be rescued,” Johnston revealed in an interview.
Together with her friend Kimberly Webb, Johnston developed the character of Princess Bubble, “a well-employed, globe-trotting, good-friend, good-date, helpful-neighbor princess who is confused by the traditional fairy tale message that implies she must find her ‘prince’ before she can live ‘happily ever after.’”
She took the advice of her mom and joined http://www.FindYourPrince.com. With her mind in a fog, she even kissed a frog! All the princeless princesses had long talks about where their princes could be. But, Bubble did not believe just any prince would bring her “happily ever after.” Yet the fairy tales said she must find HER prince!
The message of Princess Bubble is not anti-marriage, nor does it discourage girls from wanting to look beautiful. What the book does do, however, is address the motivations and reasons for getting married and looking beautiful. “Marriage can’t be the dream,” Johnston said, “It is a way to share your dream with someone special.” Johnston herself became engaged in her early forties, long after Disney’s 16-year-old Ariel found true love. “I really made Princess Bubble as a better version of me. She wants to help others and make a difference in the world. That’s what true princesses do. Princess Diana–more remembered for helping than being waited on. Being a princess is not not just sitting on a throne and having a crown.”
Another dimension to Princess Bubble is that unlike any other princess, she has faith. Johnston and Webb, both Christians, wrote the book from the perspective of a woman who believes God plays an active role in their lives. Those who have belief in a higher power agree that no one–not even a single woman in her 30’s–is alone when they have faith.
Johnston and Webb financed the book themselves because they believe so strongly in the message of Princess Bubble. The response has been phenomenal. “We’ve had countless women all over the nation tell us they wish there had been a book like this when they were little. In fact, many of the mothers who bought this book for their daughters tell us that the book has helped them re-evaluate their own marriage and what it means to them.”
The book is written with wit and verve; the illustrations are fun and colorful; and Princess Bubble is a beautiful woman inside and out. If you are a parent or grandparent, consider getting this book for your own little princess and encourage her to be more than just a pretty face.
Princess Bubble is available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and at local retailers nationwide.
In 2003, breast implants tripled from 3,872 to 11,326 in girls under age 18.
Girls ages 12 to 19 spent over $8 million on cosmetics in 2005.
(Source: Report of the APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls,2007)


Happy Valentine’s Day without a Prince?

Happy Valentine’s Day without a Prince?

Featured on The Today Show and CNN


New Release, Princess Bubble, Strikes Chord with America’s 51% SINGLE WOMEN WHO, FOR THE FIRST TIME IN U.S. HISTORY, OUTNUMBER MARRIED WOMEN

ATLANTA, February 11, 2009—This Valentine’s Day almost 90 million Americans will celebrate the romantic holiday single. Two successful prince-less princesses show the world that being a stuffy Old Maid does not have to be “in the cards” for single woman today! Susan Johnston and Kimberly Webb offer girls of all ages updated version of the traditional fairy tale. No longer a “Damsel in Distress,” this princess travels the world, helps others, and finds “happily ever after” even before she finds her Prince!

With wisdom gleaned from their careers as single, globe-trotting flight attendant, first-time author Susan Johnston has crafted a modern-day book that celebrates singleness. A contemporary fairy tale for all ages, Princess Bubble was written to reduce the overwhelming sense of failure, self-doubt, and despair that some single women face.

“Knowing how low self-esteem and depression plague many single females, we wanted to spread the message that ‘happily ever after’ can occur even before Prince Charming arrives. . . or even if he never does,” said Johnston.

“We’re definitely not anti-Prince,” said Johnston (whose college nickname was “Bubble”). “We’re not anti-family or anti-marriage, if anything we’re anti-‘Damsel in Distress.’ Our message—the single life can also be a fairy tale. The End!”

Princess Bubble stars a princess who is confused by the traditional fairy tale messages that say she must find her “prince” before she can live “happily ever after.” Princess Bubble dons her “thinking crown” to research traditional fairy tales, interviews married girlfriends, and even takes counsel from her mother, who advises her to sign up at FindYourPrince.com. With a little help from her fairy godmother (this is still a fairy tale after all), Ms. Bubble discovers that “living happily ever after” is not about finding a prince. “True happiness,” the book reveals, “is found by loving God, being kind to others, and being comfortable with who you are already!”

Review Your Book-Princess Bubble


Princess Bubble

Written by: Susan Johnston and Kimberly Webb

Illustrated by: Maria Tonelli

Published by: Bubble Gum Press

Reviewed by: Stephanie Rollins and Parish Rollins (age 4) for ReviewYourBook.com 9/2008

ISBN: 0-9650910-0-7
“Every Little Girl Should Have This” 5 stars

A friend and I were discussing how to teach our daughters that they do not necessarily have to grow up, marry, and have children. How do we teach them that it is okay to be single? This book is the answer.

It is a modern-day fairy tale. Through cute characters and scenarios, it teaches little girls that happiness comes from being okay with yourself and through loving God. It shows that it is okay to marry, and most of your friends will marry. It is also okay to not marry. 

The illustrations are adorable. I had to wait to review it after my daughter’s bedtime; she did not want to let it go! This will make a great gift!


Books, seminar help girls build self-esteem

Books, seminar help girls build self-esteem

Monday, September 29, 2008

By Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood

The Grand Rapids Press

It’s a great time to be an American woman, right?

Girls today can realistically consider every option as they map out their futures. They can run for president, be a professional athlete, CEO, mother or combination of these.

And little girls believe they can do anything. Just ask the nearest preschooler.

But then the world seems to chip away at the confidence of these girls when they hit middle school, that awkward time when many adolescents struggle to find their voice. Once confident girls are suddenly aware they can’t measure up to the airbrushed definition of beauty celebrated in glossy ads featuring skinny and voluptuous models.

Cattiness and cliques compound the problem for many girls who find themselves sitting alone at lunch when they desperately want to belong.

Enter Lindsey Williams, a 19-year-old Western Michigan University student, who is doing her part to help young women help themselves and each other. This weekend, Williams will host the “I Am Woman” seminar for girls in grades six through 12 and their mothers.

The event will feature a presentation by Patti Criswell, a Kalamazoo-based social worker, WMU adjunct professor and author of six American Girl books.

“This is a way to teach girls: ‘You’re not alone,'” Williams said. “Because you do feel like you’re alone.”

Williams did.

Her family moved from Kalamazoo to Rockford when she was in eighth grade, and Williams struggled to find her groove at her new school. She was frustrated by the way girls would cut each other down and fight over boys.

“My mom was a huge part of getting me through that time,” Williams said, recalling how great it felt to have a safe place to come home to.

Her mother repeatedly told her to “teach them, not tell them,” and she took that message to heart.

Since 2006, when Williams was in her junior year of high school, she has hosted seminars for mothers and daughters in hopes that participants would bond and develop a support system for one another. This is the last year she’ll organize the seminar, funded by a grant from the Nokomis Foundation, because of living in Kalamazoo, but she’s hopeful someone might step forward to keep it going.

“I didn’t really blossom until I found something that I was passionate about and inspired by,” she said, explaining her commitment to social justice and feminist issues.

This is key, said Criswell, 43, who met Williams at a women’s conference.

Turbulent teen years

While there are plenty of community resources to build girls’ self-esteem through elementary school, many girls experience a drop in confidence when entering their teens.

“Body image is absolutely huge,” Criswell said.

And Criswell observed young women today tend to be more passive than those from her generation.

“I think my generation was more likely to speak up,” she said. “We were coming off the women’s movement.

She said, “women need to speak up” when someone is calling a friend by a negative name.

Criswell said it’s not enough to arm little girls with “girl power” messages. They also need to learn how to stand up for one another.

Tools for change

At Saturday’s seminar, Criswell said she plans to help girls find their voice and build a bridge between girls and their moms.

She recommends moms bank their time with their children. Invest as much as possible throughout their childhood, so they know you’ll be there when they need you as young adults.

She said parents of teenagers are kind of “on call” all the time. Teens are more independent and like space, but when they need you it is often right away.

“Build traditions into your daily life, not just Christmas,” Criswell said, explaining this can be as simple as stopping for breakfast on the way to school once a week or joining a mother-daughter book club.

Building bonds

Parents can strengthen their relationship with their kids if they have fun with them, play cards, invite their friends over and make their home a welcoming and easy place to be, Criswell said.

With honest and open communication, moms can express their concerns about the peer pressure and social situations they worry about. Meanwhile, daughters can offer their moms reassurance they know how to handle those situations and ask for help when they can’t.

“Letting go is an inherently difficult process,” Criswell said, adding it is possible to do so while “staying close.”

The mother of a 13-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son, Criswell has spent her career counseling girls and families.

She said it is a myth that mother-daughter relationships have to be awful, but “it’s true that it will be uncomfortable,” she said.

Criswell and her daughter have been in a book club together for nearly five years.

“I love these girls,” Criswell said about the group that includes girls from different schools. “All those girls know they can come to me anytime, and my daughter knows she has all those other moms she can go to.”

Shattering myths

Many books have been written in the past decade about girls and self-esteem

One of the newer ones was inspired by the young girls reading books about princesses being rescued by a prince.

Atlanta author Susan Johnston got tired of the little girls in her life reading books about girls waiting to be rescued so she co-wrote a book called “Princess Bubble” with her best friend, Kimberly Webb, to remind girls it’s possible to be a happy, well-adjusted princess without being rescued.

“These girls were so worried about having the acceptance of a young boy, and that just broke my heart,” Johnston said.

A single woman who has stood up in 17 weddings, Johnston said the book aims to get a positive message out to girls and give their moms a reminder that they don’t need to wait for a prince to make them happy, either.

“You can read it at 6 or 36,” Johnston said, adding she wants all girls to know, “sometimes, life isn’t how you pictured.

“It can be even better.”

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