Monthly Archives: March 2016

What. A. Day.


I’m telling you what…it is a GREAT thing that days like today don’t happen very often. Believe me…today was the MONDAY’EST MONDAY EVER! Ughhhhhhhh.

I started the day off at home with the girls. We started straightening up and just took it slow getting up and going. Jed was here and he had a big crew with him. I knew that they were going to be working on the last of the wood in the main living area, so we tried to stay out of his way.

Around 10:00 I walked out there and that’s when the chaos that would become my day started. There were several things that I needed to decide on and so I did that pretty quickly. Jed said that if I went and picked up my hardwood, he could get his guys to help me unload it. I thought that was a great idea…so the girls and I literally jumped in the truck, backed up to the trailer, and took off to Sumiton.


Only, before I could leave I had to call Lawrence’s because they had delivered the wrong wood the other day and we just noticed it. Jed also needed some felt paper for the walls…and I needed to get some diesel fuel for the truck. I was kinda worked up before I left…not to mention I didn’t time to change clothes or put on makeup. Time was of the essence, so I was hurrying.

I called Amy and (bless her!) she came to get the felt and take it back to Jed for me. I put $50.00 worth of fuel in my truck, got the girls a drink, and we took off. Oh! And, I was informed that they were completely out of the wood I needed at the store and they had no clue when I could expect more. Wonderful.

The girls and I finally got on the road and followed a lumber truck (funny coincidence!) all the way to the end of 102…where we sat and waited on a train to crawl by for twenty minutes.

Finally, we got back moving and Bo called. He was coming into Sumiton and we were passing through Dora. We decided to meet at Sonic and grab something to eat since we were in the same part of the world unexpectedly.

Thirty minutes later, we said goodbye and went to see David and Stacy at the flooring store. We managed to load all of the hardwood for my house, 27 sheets of durock, and tile on the truck and trailer pretty easily. The hardwood was wrapped on a pallet…BUT in my hurry to get back to Fayette (an hour away) I forgot to strap it down on the trailer. Go Emily!


I knew it was going to be a slow ride back and by this point it was nearing 2:00. I wasn’t sure what time Jed was going to be leaving and I knew I couldn’t unload all of this stuff by myself when I got home. Let’s not forget that not only did I have volleyball practice at 4:45 in Fayette…the girls also had softball practice at 5:45 in Winfield. I had worked out a plan with Brandice who had to be in Fayette at the vet to take my kids back to Winfield with her and she had planned to pick them up from me at volleyball. I have awesome friends like that…THANK THE LORD!

Well, everything went just fine from Sumiton…to Jasper….to the I-22 corridor…to 124 towards Townley. I was driving carefully and everything seemed to be going great…until I went around a curve and lost 5 boxes of wood. Since I was in a curve, the wood fell for a good half mile before I could get to a place to pull over. I spent the next thirty-five to forty minutes picking up hardwood that was scattered all down the side of the fire-ant, dead animal littered, garbaged packed side of the road. I made the girls sit tight in the truck and I made a million trips back and forth to the truck trying to save as much of my lost wood as possible. During this fiasco I was nearly run over three times by 18-wheelers flying past me and the train drowned out the sound of cars coming so I was in constant terror that someone was going to hit me from behind while I was running down the side of the road with an armload of wood!

I finally finished gathering my lost wood, and breathlessly I climbed into the bed of my truck and fished out my rachet straps from my toolbox. Ten minutes later, I had the straps on tight, the wood was on the trailer, and I was ready to take my ant bitten arms back to the steering wheel.

When I climbed back into the truck, Maggie said I had three missed calls. One was Bo, one was Jed, one was Stacy. They all needed me to call them back as soon as possible. Ok…I would call them in a minute.

I turned my truck and trailer around in a spot barely big enough to drive into (yes…my truck is long-wheelbased with tires that are too wide so they rub every time I turn my steering wheel) and headed towards Fayette…again.

I pulled out into the road and had gone about a quarter of a mile when I checked my mirrors and what did I see???? SMOKE coming from the driver’s side tire on the trailer. Wonderful!

So, again I looked for a place to pull over so I could see why it was smoking when I was going all of 35 miles an hour at this point.

I got out and looked at the tire…the weight of the wood had shifted and the fender of the trailer wheel well was cutting into the brand new tire. Soooooo, I unhooked my rachet straps, moved all of the wood I could back towards that middle of the trailer…got my hammer out of my toolbox….and pulled the fender out so that it wasn’t able to touch the tire anymore…put the rachet straps back on the wood…put the hammer back into the toolbox…and climbed one more time back into the driver’s seat. Surely NOW we could get going again!

I eased forward…checked my mirrors…and started to pull back onto the road. ONLY, this time when I checked my mirrors my driver’s side tire on my trailer was wobbling IN and OUT with each turn it made. I remember thinking…what is it doing THAT for? So, I eased onto the road and watched it (and the 18-wheeler that flew up behind me) as I drove onto the road. Exactly 5 turns of the wheel later I pulled off of the road AGAIN because I knew that the wheel was about to fall off of my trailer.


That’s when I got mad. I jumped out of the truck, walked back to the trailer, and kicked the stupid wheel….hard. It leaned in where I kicked it. Now, you have to understand…I was in the middle of Walker County…by the mines…on a deserted road with no houses…no car charger for my almost dead cell phone…with two little girls…no gun…a loaded down truck and trailer…and a wheel that was literally falling off of said wheel. Can you say “best situation EVER”???!!!

I called Bo who said, “It’s probably a bearing…just ease down the road…you should be fine. Just go slow” in a slow, easy voice.

I responded by yelling at him. LOUD. You see, I understood that I was a sitting duck…and I was ticked. Bo, could not see…did not know…exactly what all had been going on for the past hour…and he did not see that the wheel was literally about to fall off of my fully loaded trailer…in the middle of nowhere.

After apologizing…and making sure that he knew I needed help…I posted my pitiful situation on FB using most of the 20% of my cell phone battery in the process. I needed someone to know where we were if we never came back. Ya know?

Several phone calls and texts from friends and family later…Bo arrived. Bless him…he stopped to help. Unlike the Sheriff’s Deputy who just passed me like I wasn’t even standing on the side of the road alone…with my girls hanging their head out of the window looking at me. I guess he had more important things to worry about than a woman stranded on a deserted road in a loaded down truck with two little girls. I understand…truly I do. (Insert major sarcasm).

Anyway, when Bo and Colton (yay!) arrived he immediately began to work on the tire. Colton jumped into the truck with the girls (because they were all banned from getting out of the truck) and Bo and I began to see if this situation could be fixed. An hour later, we decided that there was no fixing this mess and we needed to call a wrecker.


By now, it was nearing 4:00 and I sent texts to the people who needed to know we wouldn’t be there tonight…and I called a wrecker.

At 7:04 Jed called to see what had happened to me. He had waited on me as long as he could, but he had to get his guys home and go measure a job in Mississippi. He offered to come help  me unload the truck if I needed him to. When I told him I still wasn’t home…he couldn’t believe it. Neither could I. What should have been a three hour round trip had turned into an eight hour disaster…and I still wasn’t home. And the wood still had to be unloaded. Only, it was loaded onto a trailer….that was now on the back of a wrecker…and we were closing in on dark.

Bo and Colton had gone back to Corner, Jed and his crew were long gone, and my kids were starving. What was I gonna do?

I did the only thing I knew at that moment…I called Amy. She offered to bring all of her guys and reassured me that we would get it done. That girl give me hope when there is no hope to be found sometimes…and I am forever grateful!

When I pulled into my driveway there was the whole Guin clan sitting there ready and waiting to help. Ray (the wrecker driver) unloaded my trailer…I backed up my truck…and we attacked that stuff like ants. We had kids, dogs, men, women, and even Amy’s parents helping to carry everything into the house. Even Ray helped tote boxes of wood!

About half-way through Aaron and Chris pulled up and they helped carry stuff into the house. By now it was pitch black dark, but we had put flashlights and a lamp from the trailer into the cabin so we could see some of what we were doing.

At 9:20 Bo called to see how we were making it. I told him we had just ordered pizza and that the whole neighborhood was chomping at the bit to eat!

Needless to say, when I finally was able to lay my tired head down last night I didn’t have any trouble going to sleep! If you are my Facebook friend you will have to check out the rest of the pictures. I don’t have time to load them all on here…but they are worth looking at if you get a chance!

I did learn several lessons yesterday…but the one that I will always remember is that I have family and friends who don’t mind going out of their way to help me. It doesn’t matter if it was a call, text, facebook message, or carrying wood…I was covered with love and concern through the whole ordeal. I can’t ever say thank you enough to every one of you who did those things…you all know who you are and I want to say THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!

Now…let’s see what today might hold! LOL…ya just never know with me…ya just never know!


I Didn’t Earn the “Well You Tried” Medal Today


I wonder how bad it is for me to say that today stinks? As a Christian, this is the day of the year that we celebrate the resurrection of our Savior. Jesus Christ paid the ultimate price for us and on this day we celebrate His victory over death. Death…the one thing that has power over every one of us. Only, Jesus conquered it!

I’m super thankful that Jesus did that for me…and you. I’m honest enough to say that I am thankful for what He did so that I can have eternal life…BUT, I am also human. This Easter day has been the hardest day I’ve had in a long time. There is not one thing happy or joyful about it to me. Maybe it’s my attitude…maybe it’s stinking thinking…maybe it’s just really hard and I don’t have the strength to find the joy in it right now.

Death brings a whole lot of changes. There is no way to prepare for the changes and there is no way to fully identify all of them at one time. You don’t (and can’t) think about everything that has changed until you reach each new milestone. That is a blessing and a curse. A blessing because you can’t process them all at once…a curse because you can’t see them until they have hit you in the head like a freaking rock and you fall flat on your face.

At some point I should have realized that today would be horrendous for me…and took the time to try and process it before it hit me upside the head. Don’t get me wrong, I have dreaded it for weeks. I know how many good memories I have of this day and I have tried to focus on them. That action plan worked pretty good…until it was time to get dressed for church this morning.

Actually, it worked until I opened my eyes and watched my girls find their Easter baskets. (That, contrary to tradition were sitting nicely on the couch). It was deathly quiet as they pulled each item from their baskets. They looked at their stuff, but never smiled. They pulled candy out and turned it over several times before tossing it back into the basket. They didn’t say anything. Nothing. That’s the moment I knew that today was the end of our race. We were all out of strength…and today was going to be just as bad for them as it was going to be for me.

Easter has always been a big deal for us. My parents started it when I was a little girl. Greg and I kept the Easter traditions alive before we had kids and then when the girls came along it just got better and better. We always have to look for our baskets and Easter morning is generally a lot of fun around our house. This morning it was silent and not fun at all.

We all just went through the motions. I asked the girls did they like their stuff, they replied that they did. Then, I told them it was time to get ready for church…so we all got ready. I found myself being ill as a hornet for no reason. I told myself that I needed to get a grip and so I tried harder to just be nice. I don’t love sourpuss faces…and yet all three of us were sporting them with pride this morning. We did smile for two minutes when Aunt Marilyn and Jimbo stopped by to drop off Maggie’s jacket…then it was back to silence.

On the way to church, I stopped by the storage building and pulled out the flower arrangement I wanted to put on his grave today. It was sprinkling rain; the stand wouldn’t fit into my car; and the beeping noise that my open trunk made for five miles almost drove us over the edge. Then, when we got to the cemetery we had to take the old flowers down; put the new flowers up; and take pictures. Can you say, “Forced Smiles”?


Last year we took this picture with Grandma on Easter Sunday at Church…

Easter 2015

                                                           Those smiles were not forced.

Today, we didn’t take a picture with Grandma at all. She was there though and I’m glad she was for many reasons.

After church, the kids went home with Papa…and I came home by myself. There is no way to hold back tears when you realize that you are spending Easter Sunday completely alone for the first time in your life. The memories of Easter Sundays in the past just kind of took over at that point…and I let them. I’m no good for anyone today and I realize that, so I didn’t participate in any Easter Sunday activities. I just don’t have it in me at the moment.

Mama called…and Bo called. They both talked about everything and nothing…and I listened. I just don’t feel like talking today. They both understood. Their calls did remind me that life still goes on. Everything is not dead…although today it feels that way to me. It’s funny to me that both of them told me to do whatever I needed to do to get through this day and then start again tomorrow. That’s what I’ll do. I’ll start again tomorrow.

Tonight, I’m just gonna sit here and try to be real still.

I don’t have the strength to fight through this pain today. I don’t have what it takes to make it through a family gathering. I just have enough strength to sit here and type. So, that’s what I’ll do.

I find that the more I type the more clarity I gain. I see that today is the first Easter without him. I know holidays are hard. Holidays will be hard from here on out. Mentally, I have to be better prepared for the next one. Today, I have the desire to go participate in the celebrations, but not the strength it takes to actually do it.

When I see those words in black and white, I feel like a runner who has prepared for a race for months. I have put my time in training and building muscle…I finished both of our birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, and one of the girls’ plays without him. I should be as ready as I’ll ever be…only I’m not. I’m only halfway through the marathon…mile 13.1…and I’m out of fuel.

I feel like I have let myself down. Maybe if I had trained harder…or been more alert…or drank more water I could have made it to the finish line with the rest of the pack instead of falling flat on my face. I am gassed out and there is no more get up and go left inside of me right now. I’m out of the race. 

Here’s what I do know about myself: I will finish a race one day…even if I’m on my hands and knees. I’ll sleep off the fatigue and the pain and I’ll stand back up…tomorrow. I’ll start over and I’ll have the experience of failing to help drive me further along the course when I strap on my tennis shoes in the morning.

Tomorrow…I’ll start training for the next race, but today I’m done. And, that’s ok. I’ve ran 13.1 miles in the Grief Marathon…and that’s more than a lot of folks can say. I’m not a quitter…and I won’t give up without a fight…but I’m smart enough to know that running a half marathon takes a lot of preparation, dedication, and persistence…so I have something inside of me that will push me toward the finish line of the whole marathon one day. Today just wasn’t my day. I didn’t earn the “well you tried” medal. Those don’t exist in the Grief Marathon. You either keep going or you don’t. Today, I didn’t keep going.

So, I get to sit and nurse my sore muscles and aching heart. I get to swim through the river of tears that is threatening to drown me. I get to stay by myself for a while. I get to start over again tomorrow. And, I get to learn a valuable lesson in life: The Grief Marathon never truly ends. Even when I reach the 26.2 mile marker…my race won’t be over.

I have to mentally and physically prepare for a race that will last for the rest of my life. I’m not done until I get to Heaven and I have no clue when that will be. So, you see I just have to keep going. Even though I keep falling down…I can’t give up. I can’t quit and I can’t say time’s up. The mistakes I make in training everyday are ridiculous, but I just have to keep pushing forward. I am determined to finish this race called life and my only goal is to hear God say, “Well done my good and faithful servant” when I get there.

In the meantime, I wear four bracelets on my right arm that remind me of several things:

  1. “FAITH”: means don’t give up and don’t give in. Just have faith that God has this all worked out and know that whatever happens is for my good.
  2. “My faith is bigger than my fear”: Don’t let the fear of failing stop you. Keep the faith and finish the race.
  3. “Eternal love”: My Rolondo bracelet given to me by Hunter & Lindsey reminds me that love is eternal. Once you have felt it, it will never go away. God’s love is also eternal. Hold on to love always.
  4. “Arrow”: Given to me by Tabatha, reminds me to stay focused. I have a path to follow and a guide to get there…I’m not wondering around lost. I am on a mission and I will get there…one day.

Here’s to the bad days y’all. They can’t all be good…and they can’t all be sunny. There has to be a little of both. Today has been rough, but I can see the sun (literally) pushing through the clouds. Tomorrow will be better and I can (will) try again.


Today, I saw a heart.


Well, today held another first for me. I went to a funeral for a sweet, sweet woman who always treated me like family. Somehow it seems fitting that the first funeral I attended since Greg’s was for her. I am sure she and Greg are having a great time together in Heaven right about now.


I met Mama Seay in 1999. She was Colby’s grandmother and she lived right next door to him at the time. We were invited over for dinner one night and that’s when our friendship was born. Over the past 17 years I can’t tell you how many meals I ate at her table. She was always cooking and insisted that anyone who entered her door leave full as a tick. She took it as a personal insult if you didn’t complain of how full you were when you left her table. She was precious.

Before I met her, Greg and Colby were talking one day about her biscuits. Only they didn’t call them “biscuits”…they called them “Cat Head Biscuits” and those two boys would hurt themselves eating those things. She always made sure that she served them if she knew Greg was coming over. He tried to get me to make them, but it takes way more than thirty years to be able to make biscuits like that…I’m not sure I will ever master it. My sister Diana has it mastered…I’m good with eating hers as often as I can!

Anyway, as I sat there on the front row with Greg’s best friend and his family I tried to just concentrate on the good things that I knew to be true of both Mama Seay and Greg. It was a comfort to know that they are in Heaven together now. It’s awful sad for the rest of us still here without them though.

I made it through the service pretty good…until Beulah Land. That’s the moment that I thought I was gonna lose it for sure. I could sense Colby looking at me and I could hear everyone else crying…but I could not look at him. I knew if I made eye contact with anyone (especially Colby) at that moment it was over…I would be a basketcase. His sweet wife Trisha sensed it too and she patted my leg. She knew.

So, I looked at the flowers instead. They were beautiful! They were all across the front of the church.


As I sat there and listened to the words of that old song and enjoyed the beauty of the flowers I noticed something that caught me off guard.


I know it could be considered rude, but so help me I could not keep myself from snapping a picture if my life depended on it. When I enlarged it, I knew I wasn’t just seeing things…


There really was a perfect heart inside a rose pointed right at me!


I was shocked…and totally in awe. God was using this small little sign to let me know everything was OK. I was going to be fine and Mama Seay was fine too. We are sad, but she isn’t. We are broken and scared without her sweet presence here. We can’t imagine how to keep going without her. But, do you know what?

There are signs of her all around us…we just have to look for them.

Seeing that heart…inside of that rose…at the moment I saw it was very touching to me. I knew in that moment that the memories will always be here. They will always be a part of my life. I’m thankful for the memories I have with Mama Seay…and I’m thankful for the friendships that I will always have because I knew her.

I didn’t cry at the funeral today. I still haven’t cried. I’m sure the tears will hit me out of the blue like they tend to do most of the time, but for now I have dry eyes. I am sad that Mama Seay isn’t here anymore, but I’m more glad that she’s up there with Greg than I am sad that she’s not here with us anymore.

Every person that has died in my life since June 2015 has had a huge impact on my life in one way or another.

Aunt Martha.


Mrs. Hazel.

Mrs. Gabie.

Ms. Frances.



And, now Mama Seay.

That’s a lot of loss right there, but it’s also a lot of life. The familiar faces may be slipping away, but the impact they each had on my life hasn’t. I will always have the memories they gave me in my mind and deep inside my heart.

Seeing that little heart today reminded me that they haven’t forgotten me either. I know I’ll see them again one day when I reach the other side. I just hope that someone sitting at my funeral will be as blessed as I was today. I hope whoever that person is will see a little reminder of me in something as simple as a flower and it makes them smile. Wouldn’t’ that just be awesome?

Look for the little details y’all…they really do matter a whole awful lot! I’m thankful I was looking today. I still can’t believe I saw it! Pretty neato if you ask me! Thanks Mama Seay…I saw you and I love you for seeing me.

The Bench


So, if you’ve been around very long you know that sometimes amazing things happen to me that really can’t be explained…right? Yeah, that’s SO right. Let me remind you of…









Following me here? Um..K…so….

Today I have to tell you about something equally unbelievable that happened a few weeks ago. I’ve had to really process it to be able to wrap my mind around the fact that it indeed really DID happen. Yesterday, I took a picture. So, today I actually have proof.

Remember the post about the best Christmas present ever? The one about the fire truck picture. Do you remember the shocked look on Brad and Jill’s faces when they realized that the picture had for sure belonged to Greg?

Bull & Jill

Ok…now imagine if you can that same look of shock on my face while I tell you this next story.

me shocked

Yes, this picture is HYSTERICAL! LOL…and completely appropriate for this story!

Three Sunday’s ago I went to meet Bo’s family for the first time. I had not been to their home before, but I knew that Bo’s mom collected antiques because he had told me about it. Of course, y’all know I love antiques so I was looking forward to seeing her collections.

When we arrived at his parents house, I was nervous (naturally) and was not really sure what to say. Normally, I can talk to anyone but I was just kind of at a loss for words this day. It’s been awhile since I met someone’s family I guess. Bo kept saying there was nothing to be nervous about (and he was right…they are awesome!), but he was equally nervous meeting my family as well…so ya know we were kinda even.

Anyway, when I walked in I noticed the Hoosier cabinet and various other things immediately. We walked through the foyer and into the kitchen where his dad (Danny) was finishing dinner. We all just stood around and talked for a while and then Bo’s mom (Barbara) took me on a tour of her home to see her antiques.

We casually walked into her dining room where she has several different antique pieces of furniture and neat collectables. She was telling me about them and Bo was standing beside me as she pointed out each thing around the room. That’s when I saw it…and I am reasonably sure I blacked out.

Sitting in front of the window between two cabinets was a bench. When I saw that bench I blacked out for a couple of seconds…then I thought about passing out…or throwing up. I wasn’t sure which was gonna happen, but I felt sure that one of the two was gonna be the death of me at that exact moment.

I took a couple of deep breaths and tried to calm myself down. Bo and Barbara were talking and I remember nodding, but I couldn’t tell you what they were saying. I was incapable of comprehending anything at that moment.

When I got myself calmed down, I asked Barbara where she had gotten the bench in front of the window. She said, “Oh that old thing? I got it at an auction a few weeks ago. It came from a little town somewhere. It had sat in front of the grocery store there for years. That’s the name of the grocery store written on it”.

I just nodded and quietly said, “That’s neat”.

I remember turning to walk out of that room and Bo put his hand on my back. It’s a good thing he did, because I still felt shaky and more than a little off balance. Bo said later that he couldn’t really tell that I was in shock. I don’t know how he missed it, but I warned him that he needed to pay closer attention to my face (and how it looks when I’m in shock) in the future!

We continued our tour through their home and then we ate a wonderful dinner with Bo’s sister Lee, his son Colton, and of course his parents. We had a great time and I enjoyed the conversation around the table a lot. When it was time to go, I thanked them for inviting me (I hope I remember that I did thank them!) and we left. Just Bo, Colton, and me.

The girls were not with me on this visit. I had told them that I had two daughters who were 8 and 9, but I don’t know if I told them their names. Maybe I had…I really don’t know.

On the drive back to Fayette, I called my mother. I guess I had held myself together for as long as I could, because when she answered the phone I started laughing hysterically. I couldn’t even tell her why I was laughing because I couldn’t quit laughing long enough! Y’all know how it is when I get hysterical…there is no stopping the laughter. I’ve been told it is contagious, but honestly there isn’t anything I can do about it when I am truly hysterical. My mother knows this…and so she laughed for several minutes before I actually told her what had happened!

Well, anyway when I finally got myself together I told Mother the story about the bench. She was just as shocked as I was…and she said she would have run out of that house screaming if it had been her! I had to admit that the thought had crossed my mind…right before I almost passed out.

I can’t remember now if it was that night or the next day when I told Bo how shocked I was when I saw that bench. I still don’t know if he really understands how amazing it was to me at that particular moment. I have processed it for three weeks…talked about it with several people…and been shocked all over again when I see their reactions in person. Now that I have a picture…I’ll let you decide if you would have been shocked or not:



Sometimes I truly believe that God’s sense of humor is more than any of us mere humans can fathom. I mean, honestly…how many Linnie’s do you know? Do you think it was just a coincidence that inside this home was a bench with my daughter’s unique name on it by accident? I certainly don’t!!!! 

I mean, this is the name that Linnie has resigned herself to NEVER finding on vacation. Ever. There won’t be a “Linnie” key chain just sitting there ready for my sweet girl to fork over $4.99 for anytime in her near or distant future.

The strangest thing is, I had contemplated spelling Linnie’s name “Lennie” because my daddy’s middle name is Lennis. A lot of people do spell it that way..and it’s ok. I chose to spell it “Linnie” because I liked how it looked. When I saw the bench, the star above the “e” made it look like an “i” to me…I didn’t realize it was an “e” until yesterday when I snapped that picture of it.

The fact still remains that a bench with Linnie’s name on it sits inside of Bo Gray’s parents house. Which means the bench, Bo, and his family are not in my life by accident.

All of the things we have in common are not a coincidence. His relationship with his family and my relationship with mine are nearly the same. The things we like and the things we enjoy line up on almost every level. It’s crazy…and finding this bench in his mother’s dining room just proves how crazy!

God cares about the little details. He does…I don’t know how or why He chooses to use the things He does to show us He cares about them, but He has gone out of His way to show me that He cares about the details very much.

Just like the picture Brad got for Christmas, the journey this bench took to land where it did was not an accident. And, it was a great hint to me that I was right where I needed to be at this point in my life.

If you add the fact that I have found 4…FOUR…dimes at Bo’s house and in his shop over the past month…I’m gonna say that someone…somewhere….intends for me to be where I am right now.

If I see a red bird out there…I honestly might go ahead and pass out. Just sayin’….



Life Ain’t Always Beautiful


Is it just me or does anyone else feel like they are going to just fall out from exhaustion right about now? I don’t know about you, but Springtime brings a level of tired into my life that can’t be matched any other time of the year. It could be the time change…or it could be the endless things to do…or it could be that life is just too hard.

Whatever the reason…I. Am. Tired.


I realized last night that I have hit a wall. I honestly can’t think much past the fact that I am physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally exhausted. I have made so many decisions, traveled so many miles, and worked on so many different projects over the past six months that now I feel like I am standing in a corner watching myself slowly hit the ground.

Being this exhausted makes me mad. Does anyone else feel like that sometimes? Is it me or does anyone else hate being so tired they just want to say ENOUGH!?! Yeah…I knew it couldn’t just be me!

I hate not having the energy to think or move. I hate having to keep on going when I feel like crawling into a hole and just staying there for a month. I hate having to make every decision that has to be made on a daily basis. I hate having to process life at this point. I just want to go to sleep and actually sleep for more than 45 minutes at a time. I would give my right arm to wake up refreshed and ready to tackle the day ahead with enthusiasm.

Building a house has a way of bringing out the worst in you. Top that with grief, two kids, a schedule that is impossible to keep up with, financial stress, publishing a book, and making seven million decisions a day…and you have a disaster waiting to happen. The disaster appears to be me!

As much as I try to stay positive, lately positivity  has been the LAST thing people see when they see me. I hate that…bad. So, today I am choosing to be positive again.

I have to keep reminding myself that life is good. There are so many wonderful things happening that I have no room to complain about anything really. Honestly, it is shameful to even allow myself to be negative, angry, or stressed out with the number of blessings I have recieved…yet here I sit. I have been all three and didn’t even truly realize it until last night. Talk about out of touch with reality…that would be me. When I realized it I decided that I didn’t want to stay that way…so I made a choice to change my attitude.

I understand that I don’t have to stay exhausted…or angry…or ill. I can choose to be positive, focused, and happy. I just have to choose those things even when it’s hard. And let me tell you…it is HARD to do at the moment. That’s where I have to know that I can’t rely on myself anymore. I have to rely on God to help me…as well as the people He has put into my life.

Pride comes before the fall…always. Asking for help has never been easy for me. I am a doer and a worker. I don’t wait around for people to do things that I know I can do myself. I just do what needs to be done and keep going. Ya know? Yesterday I  realized that I am falling…and I hate to fall. Falling equals failure to me, but it doesn’t have to!

Today, I am dusting myself off and trying again. I am going to look for the good in this day and I am going to conquer some of the demons that have been hitting me so hard here lately. I am calling a truce with my past and I am forming a plan for my future. It’s time to say, “I’ve totally got this” and believe it!

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So, let’s do this thing called life Y’all! Let’s get out there and let’s get to living happy lives today. I am making that choice…and so can you. We can do this and we can do it well. Gary Allen says it so well in the following video…Life Ain’t Always Beautiful, but it’s a beautiful ride. We just have to hang on!



Going Steady


Do you remember how it felt to really like someone for the first time? Do you remember how your tummy started flipping and your face hurt from smiling every time you thought about that person? Do you remember how your hands would shake when your sister said the phone was for you and there was no doubt it was HIM on the phone? Or, how you could never eat a bite on a date because you might choke or spill food on your new shirt? What about listening to the radio and hearing the perfect song that described exactly how you felt about that special someone in your life? Do you remember when the boy you really liked asked you to “go steady”?

Sitting here today, I realize that I am that young girl again. I have found myself racing my girls to the phone on numerous occasions here lately! I feel myself smiling a whole lot and laughter comes much easier than it used to. I look forward to dates and seeing this man who has made me believe life really can go on and be good despite the sadness that still invades my heart a lot of the time. I can’t even wrap my own mind around the fact that I feel 14 again!

Only, I am not 14…I am 37 and life is not as easy as it was back then when I was innocent and naive. When you are 14 you don’t know that the love of your life is really out there somewhere. You don’t know that the man of your dreams is waiting to meet you too. You have no clue that you will fall madly in love with a stranger, get married, have babies, and then one day he will suddenly die leaving you completely heart-broken and alone. You have no clue how bad life can get…or how sad you can truly be. When you are 14 all you know is that there is a boy out there that makes your heart flutter and stays on your mind 24/7. You giggle with your girlfriends about the cute things he says and you look forward to getting a note from him between classes. Then, you get into trouble for reading it during Math class instead of focusing on a + b = y -x.

Being 14 is awesome…and should totally be enjoyed while it lasts! Trust me.

At 37 it feels really weird to feel 14 again. I mean, who would have thought that I would be so distracted by a man who I just met a few weeks ago? Who would have thought that I would even have enough life left inside of me to dare to even dream that I could actually have feelings for someone besides the man I loved for 17 years? I surely didn’t…that’s a fact!

I have been so confused and so unsure about a lot of things over the past 6 months. I have literally had to learn how to live again. I have tasted death and I know first hand how devastating it can be. I have longed to just have my person back. I still want him back…and the life we had. Why wouldn’t I? It was a really good life…and that is the thing I struggle with the most now.

I never intended to date anyone…ever again. I had made up my mind that I had been given the love of a lifetime once…and I could not see ever finding anything remotely close to that again. In fact, in my mind it wasn’t fair to anyone else that I might meet…because I had married my one true love of a lifetime and someone else would always be second. Boy, was I wrong!

It’s funny now how I put limits on what God can do. I guess that’s the human part of me though…I rationalize everything through my small, little, limited brain…and then God showed up and I quickly realized that I am helpless in the big scheme of things. I don’t care what kind of plans a person makes or how much they think they are in control…none of us are really in control of anything. God showed me that I can do anything I want to do…but He has plans for me that I can’t even begin to imagine and He will reveal them to me in His time…not mine.

Y’all know that I’m a huge believer is what God is capable of doing in the little things, but even I get amazed when I see what He has actually done. I’ve written before about the fact that God loves the small details in life. I see those small details a lot…but, I fail to connect them to the big picture. Surely, one day I will learn to connect the two…surely!

See, I have spent so much time trying to figure out how to fall out of love with a man who isn’t here anymore that I completely missed the fact that God had prepared another man for my heart. It is so weird to me that I can have feelings for two men at once. I am still trying to figure out how to seperate…yet combine the two. It doesn’t make any sense to me at all!!!!

One night, Bo and I were talking and all of a sudden I got my answer: I don’t have to figure it out, because they can’t be combined.

I am a black and white type person. There is no grey area in my mind. Either it’s wrong or it’s right…there is no in between.

Enter Bo GRAY! LOL!!

Does anyone else see the irony in this besides me and Bo? We laughed and came to the conclusion that sometimes the Gray areas are the best…and not everything has to have an answer or make perfect sense. Life never makes perfect sense…because life is not perfect.

Since that night, I have done a whole lot of praying…talking….and thinking. I have come to the conclusion that God is in control…and He just might have made my heart big enough to handle two loves of a lifetime. He might just plan on blessing me more than I ever dreamed possible…and He might do whatever He wants to do in my life despite my best efforts to stop Him. I personally think that puts God up there on a pedestal that is totally awesome!! And, that’s exactly where He should be!

Today, I see my life in a whole new way. I see that 14 year old girl with her first crush inside a 37 year old wounded, beaten, and torn body. I see the happiness that I have lived and I see the sadness. I cherish the memories in my heart that will never leave my mind…and I realize that I have room for more. I understand that Greg will always be with me and my girls. I know that it is up to me to keep him alive in their minds and remind them always of what a great daddy they had and will always have even though he’s not here anymore.

And, I see Bo.

Bo understands that Greg will always be a part of our lives. He totally gets the fact that no one will ever replace him. And…he doesn’t want to! Bo is his own man…he beats to his own drum and he lives life his own way. He is stinking hilarious and isn’t afraid to act silly or crazy. I should have known when my girls kept asking if he was coming over again soon that I wasn’t the only one who liked his craziness!

Yet, he can also be very serious. One night we were having a pretty in depth conversation. During that conversation, he had the confidence to say: “I am not Greg…but I want to know about him. I want to respect who he was and I want to hear the things you want to share with me about him, but I am not him. I won’t ever be him. I’m not even gonna try to fill his empty shoes. I know who I am and what I am about. It would be real easy for someone to walk in and just pick up where Greg left off. I’m not that man. If you want me, then choose me. Just remember if you do choose me…that Greg’s memory is always welcome here; but I won’t live his life. I’m gonna live mine.”

When I heard those words come out of his mouth…my heart stopped.

Here’s why. About three months after Greg died, I sat here in my chair one day and wrote in my journal. I had written for a while when I found myself thinking about what I would look for in another man…if that ever happened. I was building a wall around my heart and the list that I wrote out specifically designing the man that I thought would be perfect for me was WAY past anything I dreamed possible. I was creating someone who didn’t or couldn’t possibly exist…in my mind anyway.

In fact, the list had 27 specific things that I wanted in someone else if that day ever came.

Here are a few of them:

 #10: Will understand that Greg’s memory will always be with me and the girls.

#16: Likes to laugh a lot

#23: Won’t back down on what he believes

#27: Will be honest to a fault. Won’t mind saying what needs to be said and can take that from me as well.

Yeah…it blew my mind when I heard him say those things that night. It also blew my mind when I pulled out my little list and checked off EVERY SINGLE THING ON IT! Y’all…really?! I mean really…how is that even possible?!! And, the funniest thing is…I’ve added about ten more things to the list since I met Bo! Things I never even realized I would look for in someone…and yet here they are! God has a GREAT sense of humor…I am not even kidding! LOL!

Last night out of the blue, Bo informs me that he has changed his relationship status on Facebook. For a second, I kind of panicked. I mean I hadn’t even changed mine from married yet…and now here he was telling the whole world that we were officially going steady! My 14 year old heart skipped into overdrive…and I found my 37 year old self grinning like a Cheshire cat!

At that moment it hit me that yep…time goes on. Life doesn’t always have to be sad from here on out. I don’t have to tiptoe around Greg’s memory around someone new. I don’t have to pretend that what we had wasn’t a big deal…and I don’t have to settle for that being the only big deal in my lifetime. Bo Gray is a pretty big deal himself…and I know without a doubt that God helped us find each other…so He must intend on using us in a pretty big way in each other’s futures.

I’m just gonna be over here 14 year old dancing in my living room and saying 37 year old prayers of thanks for this unexpected blessing in my life. Oh…and I’ll be listening to Earl Thomas Conely radio while I dance…because doesn’t every thirty-something year old person say that Earl Thomas Conely is the best station on Pandora? No?! Huh…well, I guess there’s one more thing to add to the list!

Get to Living!

Get to Living!

Spring always brings flowers, sunshine, and rain in the South. It feels like everything starts blooming all at once and colors start filling the dreary woods and yards over night. The days get warmer and longer…flip flops come out and shorts become a daily necessity. People all over the South tend to get busier… and busier! The list of things to do is off the charts and most folks race from can to can’t trying to get it all done. Don’t roll your eyes…you know it true!

For me, the Spring brings one of my favorite past times: Travel Volleyball. I fell in love with volleyball in August of 1992. I tried out for the Jr. High school team at the beginning of my 7th grade year…that tryout was the beginning of a love affair that is still going strong today. Although, I admit there was a good eleven year pause during this love affair that I really wish I could take back.

Four years ago my college volleyball coach stopped me in the Walmart parking lot and asked me to consider coaching one of the teams for the local volleyball club in our area. I was way more than interested, so I told her I would think about it and let her know. After thinking about it for a few days, talking about it with Greg, and praying about it I decided that I absolutely did want to get involved by coaching. Now, two nights a week and many late Winter and early Spring Saturdays are filled with volleyball scattered all around Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Georgia. I love it!

My family has had to endure the long practices, weekend trips, twelve to fifteen hour tournaments, and tired Mama a lot, because volleyball is my guilty pleasure! It is my hobby. I coach because I love to coach. I spend time with the girls on my team(s) because I love spending time with those girls. I watch game after game in between my own team’s games because I love to watch the skills and competition. Volleyball is fast paced and never (rarely) boring.

I want to share my love for this sport with you for a variety of reasons. First, this blog tells my story…and my story is full of volleyball! LOL Most of the time only a few people actually see me or know that I am consumed with this sport during the spring except for those who are also consumed with it! We are a tight knit group.

Second, I hope it gives one of you the courage to do what makes you happy in life. Like I said before, I coach volleyball because EMILY wants to. Yes, it affects my family. Yes, it makes me tired. Yes, it takes up a lot of my time. Yes, I am busier than I really should be this time of year….BUT, I enjoy it. Enjoying life MATTERS. Choosing to do the things in life that you as a person enjoys MATTERS!!

So many people…and by people I mean (mostly) WOMEN sacrifice who they are as individuals because they become wives, mothers, full-time employees, homemakers, and shuttle drivers. We all fall into that trap that says we have to put everyone else first and forget about who we are…what we like….the things we enjoy doing…all because someone else deserves it more than we do. Listen to me: I call bull crap on that kind of thinking!!

I spent several years putting everyone else first. I sacrificed my health, my time, my money, my happiness, my enjoyment in life because I honestly believed that I didn’t deserve to “waste” time or money on myself. That’s pitiful! How many of you can relate to that way of thinking? I’m betting a whole bunch of you can relate.

God says that we are made with a purpose. We are all created to LIVE life, not endure it. Four years ago, I decided that I wanted to do what made me happy…and thank goodness I did! Who knew at the time, that I would need my volleyball family and schedule to keep me busy this year? Who knew that the confidence and self-assurance I have in myself from playing a team sport would be the exact character traits I would need to believe in myself again when my world fell to pieces? I didn’t know it then…but I know it now.

Please don’t put yourselves on the back burner in YOUR LIFE! Please don’t fall for the devil’s trap that says you are “too busy, too broke, too unworthy” of enjoying things in your life ONLY for you. God gave you a personality for a reason. He designed you because He loves YOU. He gave you the blessings you have in life (family, friends, career, home, car, etc…), but He never asked you to sacrifice who YOU were in order to enjoy them. He gave you a desire to enjoy something that only YOU can get the full blessing from! Why do so many of us miss that point?

Oh, that’s right…because the devil does not want you to enjoy your life to the fullest. He seeks to steal, kill, and destroy everything….and he is very successful in doing that to all of us hardworking, sacrificing, loving, busy women (and men!). He quietly steals our joy in lives and replaces it with stress, worry, and the mistaken belief that we are doing what we should be doing in life. That’s bull crap!

So, I’m calling all of you ol’ girls (and guys) out! Get out there and rediscover what it is that YOU enjoy in life. Think back to your childhood and remember what made your heart race…what made you excited about life? What dreams did you have that you secretly hid away when you became a “responsible adult”? Dig those babies up and start paying attention to them again. Give yourself a dose of the love and respect that you heap on everyone else. And, for goodness sakes DO NOT FEEL GUILTY ABOUT IT!

Trust me when I say this: You are the ONLY person who can fully live YOUR life. Why are you allowing other people to live it for you?

I’m not telling you to neglect your responsibilities. I’m not telling you to leave your family or refuse to do things for them. I’m not saying that AT ALL. What I AM saying is that YOU have a life to live that really doesn’t have anything to do with anyone else. God created you to enjoy certain things just because He knew YOU were the only one who would enjoy it the most! It makes Him happy to see you happy! He gives us life…and He gives it ABUNDANTLY.

Don’t let the devil guilt trip you into missing your biggest blessings. God sees YOU and He wants YOU to live YOUR life abundantly. It is OK to be intentionally selfish sometimes. It is not wrong to listen to your heart and choose JOY for yourself. It does not have to make sense, matter, or be up for discussion either. No one else knows what God wanted you to enjoy in life except for you and God…so why not ask Him to reveal it to you?

I am happy that I asked God to help me decide if coaching this team was what I needed to do or not four years ago. I didn’t set out with a specific goal in mind for my coaching involvement, but it hit me today that I have reached a goal. I know what makes me truly happy.

I think He wants some of you to find out what makes you truly happy as well. Don’t give up on yourself. Don’t blindly walk through your life going through the motions because you think that’s what you are “supposed to do”. It’s NOT what you are supposed to do…and you are missing out on a whole lot of blessings by believing it is!

Get out there and find what you have been missing. Spend some time in prayer and ask God to show you what He designed in life just for you to enjoy. Then, open your eyes…straighten your shoulders…and allow yourself to enjoy whatever “it” is. Your families, co-workers, and friends will be so glad you did…and I know from personal experience: so will you.


My girls for the 2016 season: Katie, Kalea, Calli, Kalen, Tam, Bella, & Marley.

I’m including this next picture because it makes me happy…and it was taken after a volleyball tournament in Columbus, Mississippi. I don’t get to see my family at the farm as often as I would like, but this particular Saturday I was close to the farm and got to stop by when we were finished playing. Pretty good perk I’d say.

I am gonna do my best to persuade this little cutie to play volleyball one day as well!20160305_181853.jpg

Life is for the living…so get to LIVING Y’all!

A Little House Update


Several of you have asked to see pictures of the house progress over the past few weeks and today I was able to take a few pics to share with everyone. There hasn’t been any work going on this week due to the beautiful weather. My cousin Jed is my carpenter and he also pours cement. So pretty weather equals pouring cement instead of hanging wood. I totally understand…but I’m secretly hoping for rain again real soon! LOL

Last week they finished they finished the ceilings in the whole house except for one spot in the kitchen. We have to wait for the cabinets before we put my drop lights up…so those boards will have to wait as well.


After they finished the ceilings they started on the walls. I originally planned to use Sheetrock in the girls’ rooms, but I changed my mind when I saw how much wood I had left over from the ceilings. So, now the entire house is going to be wood on the inside. I must admit…I’m pretty happy about it!

This is the inside of my laundry room:


My laundry room is huge. It is also the access point to the kids space in the loft. The attic steps go up and down as needed. That little room right outside the doorway is my half bath. It is a tiny little room, but it will serve its purpose I am sure.


Looking out of the laundry room you can see across the living room into the little sitting room that will have my gas logs and bookshelves. All of that wood stacked up goes on the walls in the main living area. At the back is my mantle that I tore out of a house and saved for this very spot. It needs some work, but thankfully I have a sister who happens to ROCK when it comes to painting and fixing old stuff up.

I used 6 inch tongue and grooved wood on the ceilings. The walls are stacked 8 inch boards that will have cracks in them. I am going to paint it all white and use barn wood that I have saved for the trim in most of the main living area. The window and door trim will be 1-by material that we strip down. I haven’t decided what color I am going to paint it yet.


This is the living room and dining room view. My table will sit in front of those three windows. Two of my red lights will hang over the table. I literally cannot wait to see those babies up! Closing the walls in will dramatically change the look of this space soon!


This area is my kitchen. Cabinets will go against the wall and I will have an island somewhere in the middle. To the left of the picture is my kitchen window. I have a farm sink that will go below the window. I can’t wait to see how it looks once the cabinets are set. In three weeks this place will look completely different!


This little space has a very special purpose. I was so excited when Jed said we could make a little cubby out of it instead of wasting the space inside the wall. I’ll tell y’all what will go there later. Some things make good secrets! Ha!!! Right now its the perfect size for Linnie to stand up in. You can catch her in there just about any afternoon…


Sorry about the mess on the floor here. I just snapped pictures…I guess I need to clean up…huh? Anyway, instead of a closet I decided to make this area a bench to sit on so you could put shoes on by the door. The bench will open and shoes will be stored inside. Above the bench there will be hooks and shelves to store backpacks and gloves and whatever else a person needs close to the door. My goal is to keep it somewhat organized so that getting out the door everyday is not a life changing event. Don’t hold your breath though…


This picture is in the hallway. To the left is the kitchen and the bedrooms are all on the right. The walls in the bedrooms will be the 8 inch boards as well.


I really like how the hallway turned out. The spaces are not big, but they are cozy. Exactly how I hoped they would feel. Each doorway will have custom built jams for each door. That’s a chore that will take forty forever’s I am sure, but the end result will be awesome.


I am also loving how my bathroom looks. I am still trying to decide what color tile I want  to use for my shower and bathroom floor. I guess it will really depend on my paint colors. I have an idea about what they will be, but I am not set on those colors yet either. I am in decision making overload….and I think my brain is on strike!

Well, there is the update that y’all have been asking for. It looks like a lot of work left to do, but once that pile of wood is hanging on the walls everything else will fall into place. Its all ready and waiting. Please pray for rain…at least three or four days worth. Of course turkey season starts next week and we all know that my tile won’t be touched during those eight weeks unless I somehow managed to hogtie Hunter and Daddy inside my house!

Anybody got any rope I might could borrow?


The Red Bird


A few months ago I read a book named “The Gift of the Red Bird” by Paula D’Arcy. In the book Paula describes a red bird she saw at a particular point in time that reminded her of her family and the God who made all things. I really enjoyed reading it and since then have discovered that a lot of people believe a red bird is a sign that loved ones are near who have passed away. Today, I saw my first red bird.

I got up this morning and decided that I was way overdue for a visit with Daddy Jack. He is my last living grandparent and we have always had a special bond I guess you would say. I love him dearly and miss seeing him a lot. Daddy Jack has been really sick for a while now and hasn’t really felt like having a lot of company, but today I just felt like I needed to go see him and just visit.

When I got there he was walking on the treadmill in his sun room and Paula (his wife) was vacuuming up the ladybugs. I don’t know about you, but the ladybugs have been TERRIBLE this year. It’s like we have all declared war on the ladybug in my family! Anyway, shortly after I arrived we sat down in the sun room and started talking. Paula needed to run a few errands and so Daddy Jack and I just settled in for a good visit.

We both stared out the window as we talked and a few minutes passed by before I saw it: My first Red Bird!


I couldn’t believe it when a few minutes later two more showed up!


All together we saw four red birds in the trees just outside his window. It was pretty awesome! There were several other types of birds flitting around as well, but I have no idea what kind they were.

After deciding it might be nice to sit on the front porch for a while, we sat down in the rocking chairs and enjoyed this view:


The water feature is my favorite part of Daddy Jack and Paula’s yard. Its so relaxing and peaceful just listening to the water run. The creek behind the water feature leads directly into the Tennessee TomBigbee Waterway. There have been a few fish caught out of this little jewel over the years and that’s a fact!

Right before I left, I snapped another picture of the buttercups. The buttercups line the entire property. They are so pretty and add color around the whole yard. All of the bulbs were planted by Daddy Jack and Paula several years ago. They have multiplied quite a bit since then I’d say:


All in all it was a fantastic day. I enjoyed talking to Daddy Jack about life. He gives pretty good advise even when he feels bad. Seeing the red bird in his yard reminded me that time marches on for those of us still here.

The last time I sat on his porch was in late October. I remember how I was a hollow shell of a person at that time. I remember looking at the water feature thinking I was not going to make it another day. I remember being desperately lonely…and sad….and in pain. I remember thinking to myself that I just didn’t have what it took to keep going by myself. It had only been a month since Greg’s funeral and I was just starting to come out of shock. Breathing was literally something I had to remind myself to do minute by minute.

Today, I felt alive again. As I sat there and discussed life with my grandfather I realized that he has more life experience, memories, and regrets under his belt than me and he is still trying to make it. That’s a big lesson to learn. Every day is a new day. We have to keep moving forward one day at a time. We can’t give in to the pain we feel and we can’t give up on our future. We just have to focus on the good that we see each and every day and make up our minds to keep going.

As I sat there and enjoyed the red bird…the butter cups…the puppy playing…the water bubbling… and the visit with Daddy Jack and Paula, I realized that life is livable again. It was a shock to me to see how far I have actually come since that day in October. I moved my arms and legs…and they didn’t hurt. I looked around and saw beauty all around me. I smiled when I thought of all of the good things that are happening in my life. And not once did I have to remind myself to breathe. It is amazing how time helps to heal all things.

Paula noticed that one of the rose bushes had fallen over as we were sitting on the porch. Daddy Jack told her to put some fresh dirt around it and stand it back up. She went and filled the wheelbarrow with rich soil and carefully planted it back in its spot by the house. Time will tell if that rose bush will make it or not. She did what she knew to do to help it live, but it’s ultimately up to the rose bush to either make it or not. People are the same way.

Deciding to live and just keep going through the motions of living are two totally different things. When you decide to live…you put forth the effort to do things. You don’t give in to the urge to sit still and wallow in your sorrow. You don’t let people tell you what you need to do or how you need to do it…you just pull up your boot straps and figure it out. That’s what I made up my mind to do in January. That’s what Daddy Jack has to do right now. It may be something one of you needs to do as well.

All I know is the woman who sat on her grandfather’s porch today was not the same woman who sat there in the fall. Today’s woman has found her confidence, her laughter, and her desire to live life to the fullest…and boy, is she ever thankful!



A New Beginning


Honestly, I have debated on writing this post for about a month. I have gone over and over it in my mind. What to say and how to say what all is happening in my life is kind of difficult. The main reason is that God has given me a special gift over the past few weeks that I just needed time to process myself I guess. Today, I’m ready to share my secret with all of you.

I’d like for y’all to meet Bo.


Actually, this is me and Bo…bowling with our kids and our friends. I honestly can not say how much I have enjoyed getting to know him over the past few weeks. We met through mutual friends and we have laughed until our sides hurt…a lot. I realize that this is shocking to a lot of folks…heck it’s shocking to me too! LOL

I have decided that God works things out when and how He wants to and as unprepared as I am to accept His timing sometimes…I am grateful for His blessings. I have come to the full conclusion that life is for the living. We are made to enjoy and live each day to the fullest. Bo is a big reason that I am willing to look forward to each new day at this point in time. It feels great to really laugh again.

I have been very cautious and secretive about this amazing person for several reasons. One, I had to figure out how I felt about talking to someone new. Second, I had to decide if we (me and my girls) were ready to take this step forward. Third, I had to talk to my parents and Greg’s parents to get their opinions. I did not go into this blind or without caution. I want to be respectful and honest with them always. After in depth conversations, I come to the conclusion that I was ready to go out with someone new and it was OK to be excited about it!

Greg and I had numerous conversations about this before he died. You don’t get seven heart stints and NOT have some pretty deep discussions with your spouse about life after he/she passes away. I know exactly what Greg wanted me to do…and I have finally realized that it’s up to me to do it. As much as I would love for him to;  Greg is never going to walk back through my door. He isn’t coming back and I can’t have the life back I had before September 20, 2015. I have no choice but to move forward with my life without him.

And, out of nowhere here comes Bo. All I know to tell  you is that he is a wonderful man, a fantastic father, and he makes me laugh every day. What else could I ask for? At the moment, that’s all I need. I’m not sure what the future holds, but for now get used to seeing me with him around town. I am sure the smile on my face will tell you a lot if you look for it. This is life…and I am determined to make the most of it.

So…to all of you gossiping people go ahead and gossip. Go ahead and say things like, “It’s too early” and “I can’t believe she’s already dating” and “Does she even realize what she’s doing”. Go ahead…because if you have walked in my shoes I would LOVE to hear what you have to say, but if you haven’t the gossip coming out of your mouths will be entertaining to listen to I am sure. Honestly, I don’t give one rip what anyone has to say except for the people I have already talked to and I feel 100% ready for this new beginning. If anything, I hope people will see that life is worth living and God provides exactly WHAT we need exactly WHEN we need it. And, I could not be more thankful!

I see a whole slew of crazy, fun posts in the future! There is a whole lot of life to live…so let the good times roll!