State of the Nation: What to read, click and share this week

We're reporting on the critical, the inspiring and the completely kooky-loo happening all around us so you can ease into Monday and we can have a few more minutes on the mic. 

This is the brave story of how Caitlin Kiernan got her nipples back. A breast cancer survivor seeks out tattoo artist Vinnie Meyers, who specializes in nipple art for women who've had mastectomies. The story is beautiful, hopeful and connecting. And I dare you not to cry when Kiernan quips, "Would you marry this?" pointing to her bare breasts, and Meyers says, "Yeahhh." A few minutes later, he holds up his ink needle and gets back to business, "Alright, Sparky, you ready?" Sparky. The tears will come because of the simple act of revitalization in ink, and the call for one man to help woman and after woman get back to herself. Whether you've had a scary illness, been terribly scarred or have made your way with humor and help through the toughest times, I imagine you will relate

She waded through a decade, a divorce, a hurricane and cancer, but this kickass single mom earns her college degree today in New York. Ellen Sautner says she pushed forward with these words: "I had to keep telling myself, 'Just do this. Don't give up now.'" When she envisioned walking the stage to receive her diploma, it made her teary. "I feel like it's a very enormous accomplishment." And it is! Single Mom Nation cheers you on, survivor, thriver and graduate! 

10 funny quotes to get you through relation-shit. Who doesn't love a tiny bite of good/funny/thoughtful/ohhh yes, that to start a week? Especially from comics?

via Mashable

via Mashable

Hello Kitty is not your boyfriend. Unless you are this lady. Who is wearing a lovely Hello Kitty tiara. On top of a huge mound of sad (my word) and sacrifice (hers). 

Do you know a dad who could use some time with other dads? Like - ohhh, I don't know - your kiddo's pops or perhaps that cute but clingy guy you've been out with a few times? CityDads Group offers meet-ups across the country, new-father boot camps and (my favorite) Modern Dads Podcast (the most recent is with TODAY anchor Willie Geist and his father, and it is, frankly, delightful). My thinking is that dads who are supported and seek out healthy relationships is not only great for kids, it's great for the children's mamas. Hat tip to Mike Adamick, one of my very favorite dad bloggers and Single Mom Nation supporter, for sharing this cool site on Ye Olde Book O' Face.

People might feel free to dig into the details of your divorce, but did those same people ever ask how you felt in your marriage? It's a question that made me wonder if I was so invested in my former marriage being forever and ideal that I couldn't hear the inquiries, or if they were ever made. And had they once I got to the place writer Hillary Ring describes, if I could have answered honestly: "For years, I desperately wanted someone to ask me how I felt about my marriage so I could scream out the word “trapped!” People don’t ask that kind of question, though, maybe because they are afraid of the answer. I am just trying to get out. I have to stay hopeful for myself and my kids. I can’t fall to my knees and surrender -- I have to keep swatting the web." Were you asked how you felt in your marriage? Could you have heard the question? Answered it bluntly?

Have a submission of a must-read, need-to-know item for State of the Nation? Leave us a link in the comments below.