Wednesday, September 21, 2016

It's more than just a shirt...

As you look upon my oversized shirt today, you may wonder why I picked it. Could it be from the spirit week, we are enjoying at school? Or the fact that I love anything that screams comfort out to my Mama weight that's lingering in all places of my body. In all reality, it's all of these things plus a day that I am able to feel closer connected. Yes, by wearing an oversized shirt. 

But this isnt just a shirt that I'm wearing. It's stitches of memories sewn together. This isn't just something oversized and tropical. It's a shirt that gave me too many laughs to count from. Because it's  a shirt that my Mom couldn't stand, but my Dad loved to wear. It may have been it's comfort that he loved, but it could've also been the picking mechanism that he loved to hand out to her. 

It's a reminder of laughter, joy and most of all love. It's more than just a shirt. But buttons of dignity, that you can never loose a battle to cancer when you have Hope in Christ. But only to win and rejoice within glorious beams of heaven. 

It's more than just a shirt. But a reminder of too many puffs of cologne, or lazy days upon the beach. It's more than just a shirt. It's a reminder of his strong body, that was the Pa whom could fix all. 

It may be just an oversized, tacky tropical shirt to you but it's one that brings joy to a broken heart. You may give me funny looks when I come face to face with you today. But know that I'm not just wearing something found in an old box. It may be a keepsake forever tucked away after today, but each time I see it I'll smile and remember the joy within his laughter.  

My blog won't always be filled with emotions of grief. But if you've ever lost a loved one, or someone you're so closely connected to, you'll understand. I don't just write to be heard, but to let my memories flow and rejoice in all that we've triumphed as a family. Sorrow and grief are tricky, funny, roller coasters of emotions. Sometimes we just need to feel sad, and others we just have to do something to make us smile. Today I'm going to enjoy wearing this shirt that I've had on my mind for tropical day, just to smile and even to tell his story some more. It may mean nothing to you, but to me it means everything. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

29 forever.

Each year I blow out my candles on Septemeber 11. All while our country mourns in remembrance of so many innocent lives that were lost. I, myself remember the day so vivedily and if you are of a certain age, I'm quiet sure you do as well. The day that America was attacked, was a day that changed lives forever. For a young teenage girl, it became the day that I was able to get a cell phone. In my silliness of immaturity, I thought it was because I was hip and cool. But in reality it was that my parents were scared, and wasn't sure what lied ahead for our nation. 

It's amazing to look back to 15 years ago, and what journey my life has taken me through. The times that I really wasn't sure I would make it to the next day. Then days that I aged into an adult all from seeing two pink lines on a white strip. There are still moments in time that I wonder how life has become something that I don't understand. But as I sat in church this morning, listening to the gospel as I most certainly need, I was reminded of how "God knows."

My heart may still be broken from the recent passing of the man I called Dad. And silent moments to myself are mainly filled with weeping, as the missing is more than I can bare to find joy within. But God knows. He knows the situation, and most certainly knows the purpose of our families journey - of my journey. 

While I didn't want to celebrate my birthday this year, because of the memories it held from my last. We have.  Even though it took a lot of prayers, and even tears, we survived our first cook out as a family without him there. Our first prayer without his voice praising God, while we all held hands, was filled with my own. It was gut wrenching. 

But we will make it. We will find the joy for God knows the purpose of this journey, and most of all he knows our hearts. 

We celebrated. We laughed. We hugged. We decorated, Held hands, told stories, blew out candles, opened gifts, and played games. 

It may not be the same but our joy came, and will continue to do so. For this, I am thankful that my journey is known by the the Creator of all and I can find joy within the breath of life - and the years of candles of I am capable of blowing out. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

A Busy Season of Firsts

There is something special about new seasons of life. They can be exciting, scary, draining, and even tiresome. During this season I am experiencing every single emotion. The back to school spirits are wearing off and we are in full blown crazy mode of softball, football, volleyball and baseball.

Yes, baseball. We are in the time frame of not being home one single night until the weekends, and getting to bed so late sometimes that it's quiet shameful. Bryar has excitedly started playing baseball for a five and under league. He's been over the moon happy for his moments on the field. 

Most of the times the bright little moments start with hitting the tee, sliding every five steps or running to the wrong base. But he is already learning to stay in his position, and where to throw the ball. It's a learning process and for now I will continue to giggle at him and his pure cuteness. 

Not only has this little guy started a new sport, he also recently went hunting for the first time. I believe that it is true that boys are natural to all things outdoors, as this little it waited so impatiently for his first moment. While it was deer hunting as he would've liked, he was able to dove hunt with his Papaw and Daddy. Is it quiet ridiculous that I could've cried at this first moment? Seriously, it's almost as great as the first time Charli Beth was on stage for a ballet performance. 

Charli Beth is still finishing up her fall softball league. This year has been quiet different and although she hasn't been able to have her shining moments in the past, she still truly loves the sport. I believe this season will help her decide which sport she would rather focus on greatly. 

Since volleyball quickly became a passion of our little, "Mighty Mouse" she has continued to love playing even between seasons. Even though it's been since high school that I participated in this fun sport, I am helping her coach out. I believe this has been pretty exciting to her. But how did I ever forget that fourth and fifth graders are oh so very chatty! 

Curtis is finishing up his second season of coaching middle school football. While I admire his want and passions for these children, I also selfishly miss him being around. To be a grand role model as a male figure and an officer in these children's lives is exceptional. Everyone of the coaches go above and beyond to help these young men become great athletes. Even if their year has yet to go as planned, I couldn't be more proud of the work they are doing in young lives. 

While my family is staying busy in activities. I've quickly taken up the role as driver, packer, cleaner, and multi-tasking extraordinarie. Just kidding on the last word... I'm failing miserably at this stuff but we make it work. There are days that I've come home and just wanted to hide with no one asking for anything. Or that I've even wanted to just fix dinner rather than grabbing something quick and late. Then I have to snap myself back into reality and remember that this is my job. It may be tiresome, but it's where I've been placed to be. These days will fly by, and at some point I'll have no one to drive to practice, or to fill with sugary snacks, so I better savor every cute little moment that I am able.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

God Doesn't Waste Pain.

"God is using all of your experiences both good and bad, to develop your character to match His calling."

In the midst of trying times, we often ask God for his mercies before thanking him for the blessings we receive daily. I know this, because I quiet often do it more than I would like to admit. It's human nature, "to ask than shall receive." But as I look back on my daily talks with my tiniest little human loves, I realize that I am failing at this very important gospel tactic. 

It's been 47 days since my Dad took his final breath and leaped into the arms of our Savior. While this time was peaceful, as we knew his cancer battle had been won, we ache. We ache in trying to hide pain so well. Or how my own spirit is a little more crushed each night, that he and I do not share a laugh. That my soon coming birthday seems more sad and how I wish for the day to pass without notice, all because it draws back memories of him feeling so well at my last birthday. The birthday where he picked on me, just as we so often did to one another and how I long for the moments to reoccur. 

Then again, I also long to finish this testimony in fulfilling his wants and his determination to spread the gospel. 

At some moments, I sit and think about what a powerful statement and task this might me for someone like me. Someone who is just learning the order of the books in the bible, the gospel stories, and studying the word. Because let's face it, my four year old little mission friends can probably recall more than I can at this moment. Yet, even through all of my ignorance and trials to learn more there is something that I consistently teach each child in my life... There are many ways to spread the gospel in our lost world. 

While we are striving to know more, it doesn't mean that we cannot shower someone with joy. Joy can be shared in many different forms of the gospel light. These can be cards, simple texts, smiles, holding the door, or even volunteering. While I have been overly blessed with the out pouring love from so many families during my life, it is now that I see there's more to this than just kindness. It was a much more higher calling of spreading the gospel in a different form of love. 

When my Dad would gently place an over exceeding tip amount to a waiter or waitress, he wasn't just being kind. When he bought Christmas gifts for children near by, that he knew would benefit from the joy of the morning, it wasn't just kindness. Or the amount of times he drove me around while I fussed and fretted about life itself, he wasn't just being my Dad. 

Even in our on blindness it sometimes takes us believers to realize that the gospel can be shared in many lights. As the gospel is such a very powerful thing.  

My Mother in law recently told me, "God doesn't waste pain" while I fretted over a sweet friends leukemia diagnosis. As us Kentucky folks often like to say, "this spun me for a loop." She is a woman of wisdom and solid biblical words, and I understood at that exact moment exactly what she meant by this simple statement. 

While my pain is hard and fresh, I pray that this pain can be wrapped into a bundle of God stricken moments. That I can ask the Lord to fulfill me with a calling that I know can bless others with sharing parts of our story. Wether this be in a moment of friendship, passing of a stranger, or some random waiter telling our family a story of how he would like to take a trip home. May I be brave and bold enough to carry out the gospel in which He has laid before me. But most of all, that I always remember that God has laid out a plan for my life, one that is much greater than I have invisioned. That my pain may be real, but it shall not be wasted. 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Makin' Preschool Great Again...

This week has been exhausting, embracing and very incredibly fun. The first weeks of preschool getting to know new little ones is something that I have always loved. You can see personalities shine through even within the first minutes of meeting a child. I even sometimes wish I were this way. It's so much easier to make conversation when you're a complete open book of innocent hearts. Which I have to say is my favorite thing about children. 

My little open book of hilarious humor is getting to spend his last preschool year in the classroom with us again. We are fairly used to the routine of school, and going back wasn't such a big deal to him. But to me knowing that this is his last experience with us, is slightly bittersweet. I even get a little frantic at time thinking he needs to be reading or sounding outsight letters together. But then I snap back into preschool mode to realize that his little brain, with a huge imagination is doing just fine. This year he's prepared to work hard, and I'm ready to just enjoy him - most days. 

It took me forever to come up with an, "oh so perfect" shift for his first day back, because this is technically his {almost} third year. Then one night it hit me... 

And I giggled at myself for so long until my sweet husband told me I was being a dork. I will give a big disclaimer here to state "I am not compaigning for Donald Trump. I'm just a quirky old Mom who loves shirts to celebrate occasions." 

Bryar reallllly enjoyed his morning photo shoot (insert sarcastic voice) and absolutely loved taking a picture with his Mama. 

But I will have to say that he is the most precious sight. Those baby blue, hair cut and sweet freckles make my heart crumble. 

Not only did he start back to school this week, he also is on his way to becoming a baseball super star. How he's waited for this season of life with excitement. The little high fives from his teammates and yell from the field, "I surely am sweating" made me giggle and even tear up. What a reminder of just how much of a Mom, I truly am. 

By Friday after school, volleyball, baseball and church was literally laying in a detox bath with my "bones" aching. I'm not sure if this a sign of my old age acting up, or just how lazy I am. Either way at 28, if was pretty pathetic. At the end of the day, to prepare starting a Saturday with a dentist appointment it's always nice to remind ourselves how quickly this season of life will fly by, and how babies don't keep. 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Fun In Fifth Grade

This has been a week full of emotions. A time of excitement, nervousness, sadness and happiness in others. We quickly went from being ill prepared for school time, to throwing ourselves in full force. I sometimes believe that my Mommy heart feels new to this each new school year, then at other I feel like a seasoned champ. With softball, football, PTO, school, work, and soon to be volleyball and baseball, I already feel as nutty as the ending of May. 

On Tuesday, we finally took the step of getting Charli Beth's braces on. Thankfully she only has the top, and should be able to have them removed within eight months. Should be a breeze, right? Except for my little wallet that's already cringing at the statements. 

Isn't she cute though? It's truly amazing how much her teeth have already changed. They have straightened as well as tightened. 

I could tell that her first day of school was a blast from the excitement in her stories. She was ecstatic over her teachers, and the friends that she has. Of course, we had to celebrate the first day with a tasty sundae for us all to share.

I believe this year may bring her more joy than she ever expected. 

The rest of her week seemed to have been spent having fun and getting to know her teachers fairly well. We slacked on bringing in teacher gift during the first three days of school, but I finally finished prepping and she'll be taking in a summer project of ours. 

Peach preserves. Really? Who wouldn't love something so corny to say that you hope their summer was just "peachy."

Yep... I'm still THAT weird mom. 

Hashtag, forever and always. 

Friday, August 5, 2016

Summers End

Tonight I laid my ten year old daughter down to tuck into bed. I kissed her, told her goodnight and reminded her once more than when she wakes she will be a true fifth grader. At one time her sweet innocent mind called herself a, "no grader" until school actually started. Which I have to admit, that I'm pretty okay with.

It doesn't matter how many times I've been through the process of first day of schools, each one tugs my Mommy heart. The older the more the nerves start working. I worry about her many test scores. How she will befriend others, and how they may even like my tiny little, "mighty mouse" of a daughter. I wonder how she will adjust to a new independent grade level, of switching classes and keeping her head high. If she will find her voice, and become more confident in that area that she struggles most in. 

I could literally worry and ponder all night. 

But this year I won't. 

Not because she's older. But because I know that whatever is thrown her way, she will handle it with care. If she doesn't she'll pick it back up to try again. 

-There's always that one Summer that changes you.-

This hasn't been a fun Summer. It most certainly wasn't an easy one. It was hot, tiresome, aching at times, and down  right heartbreaking the rest. This Summer has been one of many that I've learned things about myself during. Although, my dear girl may not realize it just as I have not in the past, this was her Summer to begin learning things about herself. 

-During the hardest of times, we learn our strengths and weaknesses. -

Summer 2016, showed Charli how much love she has in her heart. That even when she wants to refuse to do something, she will step until she is out of her comfort zone to love another. It may be baby steps, but she inches her way to whatever it takes. She realized that even in the most uncomfortable, awkward, and gut wrenching situations it's okay to be yourself. Not only is it okay, it's a must. 

Her work ethic took leaps and bounds in helping everyone she could. From working in the garden, canning preserves, cleaning a house, or taking care of chickens that we preyed upon. She learned, she conquered and now we both know all she can handle.

I'll never say that this year won't be easy. Or that I won't worry about her confidence, heart or what all is stored in her little brain. I just know that this girl has proven so very much to me this summer and I couldn't be anymore proud. 


My prayer for my tiny fifth grader is that she never sways from the qualities that are placed within her heart of gold. That if she were to ever loose focus that she remembers how much more fun life is, when we give a little more than we already have. For, "I know you got mountains to climb, But always stay humble and kind." 

May this school year be wonderful. 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Peace In The Valley.

On July 8, 2016 the world became a little less bright, as my Dad entered the gates of Heaven and is now healthy resting at the feet of our Savior. Only a week and a day after coming home from the hospital with hospice assisting only twice. One night after his beloved wife was able to sleep by his side for the first time in over a month - by a pop up bed that she frantically waited for FedEx to deliver, just so she could wrap her arms around him once more. Only a few hours after telling his grandchildren he loved them, and joking like his typical self. 

The unknown passing process is scary. So scary that you spend time fretting over it yourself. You wonder about how it will work, and beg God to let the long suffering diminish. But when the time comes and you can truly say that peace was instilled within, it gives you a thankful heart like never before. 

To be able to sit back and literally write my heart into a blog is sometimes negatively looked upon. But this is my place. A place where my heart is open and words sometimes flow more easily than vocally. This is my place to be in the moment. Just me typing and little bits of emotion that I can very seldom show are released into what one would call an online journal. 

I'm not much of a writer, or even a blogger. But I enjoy it, and apparently my Dad likes reading or listening as well. There aren't words to describe our heart, or how the memories already sneak up on us and bring tears to our eyes. But for the sake of my blog, I felt the need to update. 

To share that after two years of fighting, and standing strong within his faith Marcel received his forever home. We are sad, yet so very thankful for his peace in the valley to be forever felt. I may not ever develop the right words to blog about that day, or I may not ever want to share them aloud. But for now I would like to say thank you for the prayers, food, messages and thoughts. Our world may be grieving, but our hearts are brighter from the love that has been shown over the last two years. 

Story of Mommy

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I am a sinner saved by the grace of God. A wife to the 5oh, and Mother to Charli Beth and Bryar. This is my story of Motherhood, life experiences and sometimes even my overwhelming heart all typed out. I believe in second chances, yet the firm hand of parenting. That sweet tea is of the comfort food category. Chickens belong in every backyard. Children should each have a responsibility of their own while helping take care of duties in the home. Sports are a must for our family, and we spend many nights on courts or fields. We consistently feel new to each of the experiences that are brought into our lives. But we are always excited for the journey in which God has given us.

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