Oh Happy, Happy Day


My husband told me last night, “You haven’t blogged in a while. I think it’s time.” He said that in response to my happy tears…ok, if I’m being honest it was a complete waterfall of tears. I lost it. You see, last night I saw my final grades for my undergraduate degree. Since being back in school in January 2013, I have kept a 4.0 GPA. What?! Never in a million years would I dream that would be possible. I’ve never been that great of a student. I can’t comprehend what I read well. I’m not outgoing, and I don’t make friends easily. PLUS, I was in high school when most of my class was born. What would I have in common with them?

Over the last two years I have really enjoyed getting to know my classmates. They are far more mature than I was at their age. They’re going to do amazing things not only in the field of speech-language pathology but also in life in general. I wish they could see that as clearly as I can. With the drive and effort they have put into classes and organizations, they can accomplish whatever they set their mind to!

If any of my classmates are reading this, thank you. Thank you for accepting the girl that didn’t quite fit into the same box you did. I was overwhelmed and scared at the thought of being so much older, but you accepted me as one of your own. You will never know how much that meant to me and how much maturity that showed! I literally have tears in my eyes because of the blessing you showed me.

Through the last 2½ years I have had many people say, “I don’t see how you do it.” I have two words as my answer. 1) God 2) Family God has provided the path, strength, stamina, clarity, and wisdom I needed to get through. My family has been on babysitting duties more times than they probably wanted, listen to my crazy rants & raves and I-can’t-do-it moments, supported me when I needed it, encouraged me when I needed it, believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself, and loved me completely. I was scared to death I’d fail…and in front of tons of people, including my family. With them by my side, I didn’t. WE didn’t.

I’ve learned a lot of lessons throughout this time. The main one I want to pass on to my kids is to reach for the stars. Have confidence in yourself and go for it! I’ve lacked confidence for years. I’m 36 years old and finally finding my confidence. Oh what I could have done if I would have found it earlier in life! I may be getting a late start and my priorities may be different now, but I’m still going to shoot for the moon!

I begin studying for my master’s degree May 26th. There’s not much of a break. For a while I was sad that there wasn’t going to be much down time. Now, I’m thankful. With the momentum I have, let’s keep trucking!!

(To my husband, Ryan, NONE of this could have been possible without you. You have been my rock, my happy place, my calm, and my strength. My life is better because you are in it, and I believe in myself because you believe in me. Thank you for enduring my crazy. Two more years of school crazy, and hopefully we’ll be back to my normal crazy. I love you. I couldn’t ask for a better person to share my life with.)

Educational Catch Up


I haven’t sat to write in a while. Actually, I’m not even sure anyone will read this since it’s been so long; however, I saw my last post and thought I should update…at least for myself. I’ve now been back at school for a year and a half. I have 2 more semesters for my bachelor’s degree and 2 years following that for my master’s degree. I’m starting to see the dim light at the end of the tunnel.

The last year and a half have been exhausting, exhilarating, satisfying, hard, and more than scary. Most days, I feel like I throw a ton of balls up in the air and only manage to catch one. Somedays, I catch 2, but on most I’m lucky to catch one. I’m beginning to be ok with that, even though I’m not. I’ve looked at the Henry Van Dyke quote more than I care to admit. I has helped me buck up and press on.

Overall, I’m so thankful I went this route. Sure, it is hard. Actually, I hear quite often from people that find out that I am back in school, “Wow, with 2 little ones?! I don’t envy you at all.” Thankfully, the “little ones” aren’t that little and can mostly fend for themselves (ie. go to the bathroom by themselves, play without me watching every move, etc.). And, most of the time, I don’t envy me either. The cool thing about going back to school, though, is knowing that I will be able to help my family financially once I’m finished. Really, it’s all about them. Sure, the satisfaction of good grades at the end of the semester is mine. I savor those moments. The main goal, is all about them. Making their lives better lives gives me the drive and determination I need to get through each semester. 

As I start the last year working toward my bachelor’s, I hope I can articulate how thankful I am for all of my family. Husband, parents, kids have all had to sacrifice. Whether it is time to take care of my kids, time away from me, time picking up the slack that I just flat can’t do, they have all chipped in and helped. There’s NO way I could do what I’m doing without them.

To those thinking about going back to school, I say, “DO IT!” There will never be a “right time”. There will never be an “easy time” or a “convenient time”. It will always be hard. From after high school to retired, it will be hard. The reward is much greater. For me, it’s a bucket list thing, a finish what my parents’ started thing, a better my family thing. There are many rewards for me. In the end, I will be much better for this exhausting, exhilarating, satisfying, hard, and more than scary experience…I hope.

Calm Before the Storm


Many of you know that in less than a month I will be heading back to college. I am both extremely excited and extremely anxious. The grades I desire don’t come my way easily. I’ve always had to work for every good grade that I got. There is more of a sense of accomplishment because of that, but it does take a lot of work. The good grades I got many moons ago also came with no kids running around. That’s where my anxiety comes into play.

My balancing act will involve cherishing my children so I don’t miss tons of precious moments, having the time and energy to keep my relationship to my husband a strong and vibrant one, keeping the house livable (I won’t kid myself into thinking I can keep it clean!), getting good grades so that I don’t have to retake classes and pay double for them, and finding time to recharge my battery so that I don’t burn out before graduation. That’s a lot on one person’s plate, but I know it’s doable. I recently read a quote by Henry Van Dyke. It says, “Some succeed because they are destined to, but most succeed because they are determined to.” That quote is now on my mirror. I see it each morning, & it is already giving me motivation to do well. Another quote that will join it is by Bill Cosby. It says, “Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it.” I love me some Bill Cosby!!

I ask that you all think of me from time to time and say a quick prayer. With God, all things are possible! He has already opened several doors. I have no doubt he will be right there with me giving me strength in each moment. For the next month, I will enjoy the quiet times and live in the knowledge that he’s the one in control.

Thankful Thoughts


Lately, my mind keeps going to ways and reasons I should be thankful. In so many ways, this theme has surfaced. 

First, my oldest daughter starts kindergarten in a month and a half! Yikes! Part of me wants to say, “Where has the time gone? She can’t really be that age!” Then, I make myself stop and be happy. That’s not an easy thing for me to do. It is so much easier for me to sit and dwell in the fact that time is moving much too rapidly for my liking. Once I decide to be happy for her and with her, my world brightens.

When I think about all the things that I have been able to see and do with her because God blessed me to be at home with her for the last 5 years, I am humbled. When she was born, I didn’t think there would be a remote chance of me staying home fulltime. God knew better. I prayed and prayed to be able to be home with my daughter, to help raise her, to see all of her “firsts”. Some of my reasons for praying were selfish, I admit it. I just wanted to be “there”. Other reasons were much deeper. God heard my prayers, and I am thankful he answered them in the way that I had hoped. I realize he didn’t have to, and I’m grateful he did.

Then a few weeks ago, my husband started getting sick. This doesn’t sound like something that would make me thankful, but hear me out. I kept pushing him to go back to the doctor time and time again. He just kept getting worse and they were taking the “let’s wait and see” approach since there was no concrete answer to what was going on with him. My gut said that wasn’t the approach that needed to be taken.

One morning he was on his way to work when he realized his face was acting funny. After getting to the doctor, getting a CAT scan, and being admitted to the hospital, they diagnosed him with Bell’s Palsy. That diagnosis, although not a fun one, was much better than the stroke or TIA they thought he was having! 

The next morning came an added diagnosis: Guillian-Barré Syndrome. Of course, as the doctor left the room, I was Googling the syndrome to learn all I could. I had heard a little bit about it, but I soon found out the little bit I heard was sugar coated. Mayo Clinic’s website as well as many friends and family quickly educated me that this could get bad…temporarily (ICU, temporary paralysis, ventilator). The road to recovery would most likely be a long one. The best case senario was 2-3 months. Worst case senario was a year. He could end up having to learn to walk again & walking with a cane for a while. So quickly I had seen my husband go from a strong healthy man to a man with an unknown future. We simply did not know how bad it was going to get.

This brings me to my reason for being thankful. Instead of spending weeks in the hospital, he spent 6 days. There was no paralysis, ventilator, or ICU. Instead of being home recouping for weeks or months, he was home a week. Today, two weeks after being admitted to the hospital, he is beginning his first day back at work. I am again thankful that God not only heard our prayers and the prayers of so many, but chose to answer our prayers in the way we were requesting. What a great example of a loving God that cares for his children.

I do not have the mindset that if a prayer is not answered “our way” that God did not hear us. As a parent, I have the right to tell my children “yes”, “no”, or “not right now”. I fully believe God answers prayers in the same way. Today I am thankful that he answered this prayer with a “yes”.

I plan to start looking for reasons to be thankful, even in times when it doesn’t seem like there is much of a reason to look. My life could always be worse, but I choose for it to be good.

Thanks for Mama


My mama is a woman of dignity. She does right, even when it practically kills her. She puts everyone on this planet above herself. She loves people, especially those hurting or in need…even if she thinks she doesn’t.

She has taught me so many life lessons with words & by her actions. With words (that were stored and later understood) she taught me:

“Life isn’t fair. Don’t expect it to be.”

“No one MAKES you do anything. You make your own choices.”

Along those lines: “You pay the consequences when YOUR choices aren’t good choices. Again, no one made you do anything.”

“You choose your mood.”

By her actions, she has taught me:

“When you’re knocked down, get back up.”

“Life won’t be easy, but smile & keep going.”

“Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s not possible. With hard work, anything’s possible.”

“A mother loves her child, even when they’re unloveable.”

My mom has been there for me my entire life. When I was knocked down (or self sabotaged), I would look up and see her there. Did I deserve it? Absolutely not. That’s just the kind of mom she is. Even when I didn’t believe in myself or self worth, she did.

Today for my 30 Days of Thanks, I’m thankful for my mom. The woman that has taught me what being a wife, mom, & friend is all about. Love you, Mama!

Trash to Treasure


Ok, so it wasn’t trash. It was $5 at a church yard sale, BUT it is now a nightstand in my daughter’s room. We purchased two of these, a dresser (that we are turning into an entertainment center), and a lamp. Our total at the yard sale was $16. Can’t beat that! This is the finished product of the nightstands & lamp. The dresser/entertainment center is still a work in progress.

The nightstands were quite dirty & needed to be cleaned, sanded, and stripped.

The stripping process was more than I bargained for, but it ended up being worth the pain & suffering.

After stripping the paint off, we primed & painted. That process was more time consuming that frustrating. I will think much harder next time I decide to strip furniture!

The finished product:

The lamp was a much easier project. All it required was some left over white spray paint & $4 lampshade. Total for the lamp was $5!



I’m pretty happy with the results. All in all, they turned out great & I learned a few things along the way. Up next, the dresser/entertainment center project & artwork for Alana’s room. Stay tuned!