Celebratory Sentiments

The day our oldest was born, the not-yet-to-be-knighted Nomad was all business. I was to be at the hospital early that Tuesday morning, checked in and donning hospital gown by 7 am. It was, due to still murky “complications”, a scheduled induction. Or as the Nomad describes, “the morning we ordered up a pizza.” We were casually pitched phrases like, “small for gestational age,” “possible growth restriction,” and “questionable amniotic fluid levels.”



As if the uncertainty of first-time parental status wasn’t enough in and of itself, we were ensured our deserved dose of anxiety with these last-minute, a la carte variables. And, prior to these discoveries, the nerd in me was determined this baby would be born sans drugs and sans complications – in a dewy meadow, near a babbling brook, as blue birds quietly chirp the news of a new life. (Allow me to insert the collective snort of all the veteran mommas out there.)


Irreverently stated, I was tweaking. The very idea that this baby was supposedly going to make its arrival as casually as a four-cheese pizza – after the long, nausea-filled, sciatica-prone months of baking away – resulted in an internal freakout session. No meadow? No birds? No news of this child’s birth heralded by the mythical Sirens floating their exultations over a crystal sea? Holy crap. This wasn’t at all my plan.


But, thankfully, my husband calmly took the helm, and after some effort, successfully redirected my mental state. With his sympathetic counseling (i.e. “Seriously, hon, get it together.”), and his forward-thinking plan to ensure Dave Matthews was playing in the delivery room without end, our deluxe pie was indeed delivered, quite uneventfully to boot. A sturdy 6 pounds, 2 ounces, and with no confirmed complications.The pizza arrived on time, as ordered. These years that have followed have been anything but a leisurely lunch on the pizzeria patio. Much like my detailed and unwavering birth plan, my perceptions of what parenting was going to hold for the Nomad and I were squashed more quickly than that child could fill a clean diaper. Navigating these rapids they call parenting has required a sturdy life vest and far more stamina than I had anticipated.


And, I’m going to say what I’m not supposed to say, particularly on the anniversary of your first-born’s birth: some days have been regretfully hard as hell, and I’ve selfishly wanted to resign my office of mom, longing for the days of freedom and spontaneity. And, just because we’ve made it another year doesn’t necessarily quell those blanketed feelings of resentment and anxiety. Every decision I make as a mother is painfully self-scrutinized. What in these past six (now, twelve… TWELVE!?) years could I have done differently? What could I have done better? Where was my sympathy and consolation during those times that I instead employed anger and impatience?


It’s days like these – the day we remember the moment we first saw her purple, wrinkled, lizard-skinned perfection – that brings into focus the reality that, yes, celebrate we must. For there is much to celebrate. But there is also much more to learn.


I have much to improve upon. Many ways to better my parenting skills and processes. Many ways to better demonstrate to her that even though I am far from motherly perfection, I am honored to have been given the opportunity to improve myself through her. And for that, I’ll never be able to pay her back.



Six years (… make that twelve, and heavy sigh…) of fun and failures. And through it all, she continues to smile, and I am blessed to walk into her room yet another morning and say, “Happy Birthday, bug.”





Meet Michael – Cavecloth Cares Edition 2

This is a photo of Dr. Michael Flowers. He is wearing a blue shirt, glasses, and has a beard.

Dr. Flowers, Director of Clinical Services at Youth Bridge, lives in Fayetteville with his wife, Lara, two children, one affectionate pup and a rather major passion for helping children and families. 

So. Go ahead. Snicker.

No really. I’ll wait. I deserve it.

After all, I opened up the floor for open auditions for snickering, finger-pointing, judgemental eye-rolling and any other numerous public shaming tactics, by talking a big blogging game months (… sigh… that’s so tough to type… “months”… insert large-eyed emoji here…) ago, and then initiating radio silence.

Follow-through…hmm. Just as a general question, how long does one have to be adulting before this seemingly illusive skill is learned? I mean, will it just manifest itself at some point? Like when I was 19 and suddenly preferred strong coffee over orange juice in the morning? Because I’ve kinda been an “adult” for a while now. And, there’s little of that learned behavior happening. Clearly, I need more in-depth tutoring in this field. But then… when one DOES follow through, one runs the annoying risk of having to ALSO be accountable, as people, for whatever reason, now EXPECT said person with aforementioned follow-through to CONTINUE to, you know… follow through. Dumb.

So. Many. Questions. While I’ll attempt to sort it all out, I’ll spare you my own personal agony, and instead, throw some more Cavecloth Cares love in your lap! (Yes! Cleverly change the subject and bait the reader with a far more interesting subject than my own bizarre inadequacies. I’m sure this tactic is like number 3 on the Top 10 “How to Blog” checklist.)

And here’s a quick reminder of what this Cavecloth Cares segment is all about: We go around Fayetteville, finding the faces of neighbors who are working tirelessly and often thanklessly to improve the lives of others and the community in which we live. We’ll snap a quick pic, ask them a few questions, and offer you a little look into what they’re doing to help make Fayetteville a fantastic place to live. We’ll post it all up on our blog (ta-da!!) in the hopes to drive awareness of just how powerful the efforts of a single NWA neighbor can be. Not to mention, we think they just plain-ol’ deserve some awesome praise.

So, here it is folks. The SECOND (boom… it’s like a thing now…) edition of Cavecloth Cares: “Featuring the best threads that make up the cloth of NWA.”


Cavecloth Cares Vol. 1 Ed. 2
November 2016


Name: Michael Flowers, Ph.D, LPC
Title: Director of Clinical Services, Youth Bridge, 2012 to present

In a nutshell, what do you do, Michael?
“Youth Bridge is a nonprofit, community-based behavioral health provider specializing in counseling and substance abuse services for children and adolescents while partnering with regional schools, foster care, and juvenile courts in our service areas. I oversee all mental health/clinical programs for Youth Bridge from Fayetteville to Mountain Home. We have programs in outpatient, school-based (with summer and after-school programs), and residential treatment facilities.”

Wow. That’s a major undertaking. And what an incredible opportunity to impact so many lives in NWA and beyond. Aside from what you do, what do you love about what you do?
“I love that Youth Bridge is a great resource for our community, schools, and other key stakeholders. Our job is to listen to the community’s needs for treatment of substance abuse and mental health issues whether that is in schools, homes, or residential programs. I am extremely grateful for all of our Youth Bridge teammates, and I am honored to work with a high quality group of people who share the passion to help others. Also, I love that we can partner to serve our most important population, children and families in need. I am energized and feel most successful when a school reaches out to Youth Bridge for help regarding a school or child crisis, and we can respond to keep children safe. I enjoy providing training for our community partners to help them navigate the resources needed to help children. I am hopeful we can all work together with the same goal in mind, to improve the quality of our children’s lives by offering the best care and services we can. As a parent, and long time mental health professional, I am acutely aware of the needs children and families face. I am driven to provide consistency, quality, and professional services for our clients.” 

What gets you out of bed in the morning?
“I am blessed with a wonderful and supportive wife who encourages and allows me to give a great amount of energy to the mission of Youth Bridge – to serve at-risk youth and their families. I want to honor her by making a positive impact on as many people as possible.”

What about your work helps you sleep at night?
“I am enthusiastically driven and resourceful, characteristic which can be exhausting, because, unfortunately, our work is never done.”

What is one thing about Fayetteville that inspires you to give back?
“I am invested in the community from Fayetteville’s at-risk families to our great schools. I have a personal investment because my children attend Fayetteville schools, and I am acutely aware of the immense challenges involved in providing treatment for mental illness, substance abuse and addictions in our community.”

What is one thing you’d like people to know about Youth Bridge that they may not already understand?
“We have provided services in nine counties throughout northern Arkansas for over 50 years.”


Youth Bridge is the only clinically and behaviorally focused organization in Northwest Arkansas that deals exclusively with youth and their families. Youth Bridge offers counseling and other support services with children and families in both residential and outpatient environments; offers multi-disciplinary professional teams for better results, and maintains a collaborative approach with other agencies. Youth Bridge does not turn away those who need help because of a payment issue. Youth Bridge encourages the community to join forces and participate through the many opportunities with advocacy, volunteerism and fundraising.

Thanks for all you do, Michael! Cavecloth cares about you!

Meet Martin

Martin Tuller is the friendly face of the Fayetteville Visitors Center. But we like to call him Fayetteville’s Ambassador to the World.


As annoyingly cliche as it sounds, Fayetteville is so much more to us than just our home town. Six years ago, we pulled up our roots in Little Rock, packed up our little people and puttered into town in hopes of opening up a new chapter. After all, I spent four years getting my scholar on at the U of A, was a proud and oft times awkward member of the Razorback Marching Band (file that under “Random and Unnecessary Facts About Beth”)… I even met my husband here at a Dead Day party. So, it was inevitable that we’d eventually find our way back to the turf that nurtured us in our unencumbered youth. 

We came back because we knew, of all the places we could have chosen to raise our tribe, Fayetteville was… home. The community. The funky local vibe. The diversity. The flair. The farmers. The parks. The trails. The food. The arts. The football. (Oh, the football…) But, most compelling, the people. And the longer we stay here, the more we fall in love with you, over and over again. 

And so, with that, I’d like to welcome you to the first (hopefully of many) edition of our newest social media venture. As a small business in a community that is so focused on supporting our neighbors, we wanted to launch a series of exposés, if you will, to simply feature and give a great big shout out to the best (and often times unseen) efforts of Fayetteville.

It’s still pretty organic, guys. I can’t lie. I’d love to tell you we’ve got a wrinkle-free plan. But, you’d all see through it pretty quickly, anyway. (Not to mention, I’d HATE to have the accountability that comes along with promising things I simply can’t deliver. Which… basically applies to ANYTHING I do.) But, the nuts and bolts are simple. We go around Fayetteville, finding the faces of neighbors who are working tirelessly and often thanklessly to improve the lives of others and the community in which we live. We’ll snap a quick pic, ask them a few questions, and offer you, our six readers, a little look into what they’re doing to help make Fayetteville a fantastic place to live. We’ll post it all up on our blog (ta-da!!) in the hopes to drive awareness of just how powerful the efforts of a single NWA neighbor can be. Not to mention, we think they just plain-ol’ deserve some awesome praise. 

Here’s the deal. In launching this Cavecloth venture (this insane, risky, cliff-diving, rollercoaster, questionable venture) we’ve learned many things.

So. 

Many. 

Things. 

BUT, the lesson that rings loudest right now is that, above all other goals we may be seeking as a business, we’ve got to remain centered in community. And regardless how it may or may not impact our bottom line, we have an opportunity as a local business to serve as a voice for the good. And that’s really all we want to do. 

So, here it is folks. The first edition of Cavecloth Cares: “Featuring the best threads that make up the cloth of NWA.” 

(See what I did there? You’re welcome.) 



Cavecloth Cares Vol. 1 Ed. 1

Martin Tuller

Visitor Services Manager, Fayetteville Visitors Bureau, August 2014 to present


In a nutshell, what do you do, Martin? 

“In addition to providing information on local attractions, advice on what to see and do, restaurant recommendations and general knowledge of the city and Northwest Arkansas, I am responsible for the buying and merchandising of the Fayetteville Visitors Center gift shop.”


That’s great! What a unique opportunity to meet and greet the faces that come to experience our great town. Aside from what you do, what do you love about what you do?  

“I love sharing my love of my hometown with visitors and locals alike. Particularly, I enjoy sharing the history of our town and all the changes I have seen. Also, being able to meet people from all over the country and the world is always an incredible experience.”

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

“The love of my husband of 36 years, our comfortable surroundings. Gratitude for another day of sharing life with the many folks who mean so much to us, and the wonder of what the day ahead could bring.” 


What about your work helps you sleep at night?

“The smiles on visitors’ faces after my interaction with them. I know they left with not only a beautiful memory of our city, but if in some small way, I enhanced their visit, that makes me proud to do what I do.” 


What is one thing about Fayetteville that inspires you to give back? 

“The diversity of our community and the accepting and inclusive nature of most of our citizens. The co-mingling of different cultures and values impact our city in such a positive way.”


What is one thing you’d like people to know about the Fayetteville Visitors Bureau that they may not already understand? 

“I wish more locals knew about the changes in our retail gift shop over the past two years. We are truly a one-stop shop for local food, chocolate, t-shirts, razorback merchandise, post cards, books, souvenirs and gifts.” 

fayetteville-visitors-centerThe Fayetteville Visitors Center is located on the southwest corner of the Fayetteville Downtown Square. Stop in. Say hi to Martin, and give him a high five for being a fantastic ambassador for our fair town. Stick around and browse the shop while you’re there. You may even find some Cavecloth you just can’t live without. 

Thanks for all you do, Martin! Cavecloth cares about you!