February 14, 2015


“My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.” –Unknown

On this Valentine’s Day when couples are celebrating their love for each other, I just want to take a quick minute to tell my dad thank you.

Thank you for taking me in as your own.
Thank you for working so hard to provide for our family.
Thank you for being there: day or night, rain or shine.  
Thank you for accepting me when I fail.
Thank you for cheering me on when I succeed.
Thank you for sacrificing and giving.
Thank you for protecting your community and your family.
Thank you for showing me how a man should treat his wife.
Thank you for being the solid foundation of our family.
Thank you for teaching me what unconditional love is about.

Thank you for everything you have done and are still yet to do!

“A daughter needs a dad to be the standard against which she will judge all men.”

And thank you for setting the standard high! 

More later. 

January 19, 2015


I wanted to get a post up back in November about what I have been thankful for over the last year, but I never did. Mostly because I just couldn't find the words to put around all of the moments that were so very special and gave me the gratitude to continue pressing forward in this thing called life.

Since I'm on a picture kick right now, I'll just share some pics of the moments that are etched in my heart. There are many more than could be shown, but here's a few of the extra special ones:

As usual... more later!

January 14, 2015


Of all the pictures celebrating Christmas, New Years, and Emily’s birthday this one is my favorite. It may be my favorite picture ever.

You see- this is my baby brother, Russell. I love how Emily is looking up at him.

Emily loves him! I mean LOVES him! And Russell loves her too!

I have been around babies and little ones the majority of my life. But, Russell has never been around babies before. You know... since he was the baby of the family and all. And to see him get so excited about Emily getting so excited to see him melts my heart.

And of course, Gango is in the background eating dessert and wearing her pearls J

Oh, and she calls him RussRuss. 

My cup is full. 

More later. 

January 10, 2015


While Ryan and Jessica were in town for Christmas with their cute little Emily, we took the opportunity to get some pics of everyone together since we haven't done that in a while.

The church my grandfather pastored for over 30 years 

The two responsible for creating this whole crew

The whole family. All together. In one place. At the same time.

The kids 

Brothers (and one cute little girl)

 Grandparents with the grand kids 

The girls 

The boys 

Mimi and Popi with Emily

There's one more pic from the week that is my favorite, but it deserves it's own post so you'll have to come back for that one shortly. 

More later. 

January 6, 2015


Over the years I have often found myself saying, “THAT person needs a reality check!”

More and more I find myself realizing everyone’s reality is different.

Your reality is not my reality.
But more importantly my reality is not your reality.

Shocker I know.

Just thought I’d share that light bulb moment with 'ya. It was kind of a jab to the heart. But one of those necessary jabs.

I’ll share a little bit of my reality with you soon. We finally got some updated family pics of everyone while we were all together for Christmas. Not everyone was cooperative or overly excited about the event, but hey- that’s reality for ‘ya and I think they turned out pretty good considering!

Stay tuned and I’ll get the pics up soon.

More later. 

January 1, 2015


The tree is down.
The decorations are put away. 
The family is gone. 
And the house is quiet. 

It feels empty. And it feels lonely.

But these things remain…

Hope remains,

Memories remain,

His presence remains,

Joy remains,

Wonder remains,

and His beauty remains.

Wishing everyone a blessed New Year! Cheers to keeping the spirit of Christmas alive all year long! 

More later. 

December 24, 2014

Broken Part 3

This one was hard to write. Not because I’m unsure of what to say. I know what I want to say. I’m just trying to be careful how I say it and I'm not sure the church is ready to hear it.

*Disclaimer: This will not give you your typical Merry Christmas experience.
Proceed at your own risk. *

I am tired of what I have seen in the church parking lot. 
I am tired of the church telling the brokenhearted they didn’t pray hard enough.
I’m tired of being told I need to go to another bible study.
I’m tired of the church running off the teenager that already feels inadequate.
I’m tired of the church telling the believer they didn’t believe strong enough.
I’m tired of what I have heard in the church prayer room.
And I’m tired of attending (Christian) women events.

I’m tired.

And I’m tired of the church. *Gasp*Gasp*
Mainly, I’m tired of organized religion.

In fact, I don’t need organized religion. I need Jesus. And I’m finding there is nothing organized about Him. There is simply nothing my organized OCD little self can do to get Him to fit nice and neatly where I see fit in my life. You see- once you give Him your life He wants the whole thing and He doesn’t want to sit in a little box the whole time.

Please do not misunderstand me here. I have been a part of some great churches. But, I’m already a performance driven individual so my sensitivity to the pressure of performance in the church in order to be a good Christian has taken a toll on my soul.

Don’t get me wrong. I know we need leaders in the church and I strongly believe fellowship among fellow believers is critical. In fact, I still attend church. And I still go to bible study. And when I don’t, I miss it.

But, I attend church and go to bible study where I can have an encounter with the living Jesus. I do not have to perform and I do not have to fake that I am happy when I’m not.

I need to do life with (real Christian) women. Where you are allowed to have bad days. And sometimes have bad months. And even have a bad year. You are allowed to be pissed at your circumstances and not be afraid that God almighty is going to be mad at you for your feelings. I am so very thankful for the friends that I have- mostly (real Christian) women that encourage me to press in (to God) on the bad days. And thank Him on the good days. And even thank Him on the bad days. I am so very thankful they do not tell me I haven’t been praying hard enough, not reading my bible enough. The church does enough of that. They encourage me to keep pressing in (to God), even when I have no more energy to press.

I don’t want you to think that I am blaming all of this heartache on the church. I take full responsibility of my feelings and am addressing the lies I have believed for so long. But I am saying the church has not helped the situation. As long as the church is pointing to performance instead of a real relationship with the living God it is missing the point.

Rant over.

Thanks for listening.

Now, back to my last question: Where is a broken heart to turn? I’ll keep this part short…

Matthew 11: 28-30 tells us, “Come to Me, all of you are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy to bear and the burden I give you is light.”

We have a living God that came into this world as a baby in a manger for you and for me. Take His yoke and let Him make your burden light.

If you’d like a little music to speak to your heart listen to this one right here by Bethel:

Be back for another topic soon.