Monthly Archives: May 2016

Ol’ Teddy Roosevelt & Me


Did you know that there are two national parks dedicated to Theodore Roosevelt? They are located fifty miles apart in the southwestern corner of North Dakota. I didn’t know about them before we set out on our trip, but my aunt and uncle wanted to make sure we saw them, (they have been to most all of the others already!). I was just thrilled to be going to North Dakota, so it didn’t matter to me what we were actually going to see!

We visited the South Park first. The landscape was absolutely beautiful! The deep valleys looked like the Grand Canyon. It’s rocky, steep, colorful, and filled with various trees. Standing on the top edge is just breathtaking! We made the thirty-mile trek around the park and were rewarded with numerous bison, antelope, horse, and prairie dog sightings. The beauty of this place cannot be accurately explained or photographed. One must simply stand there and soak it in to understand how wonderful the land itself truly is.


When we had finished the loop road we stopped by the visitor’s center to use the restroom. The visitor’s center is packed with great information about Mr. Roosevelt. I had blindly walked past an information board on my way inside, but Uncle Jimmy told me to stop and read it when I came back outside. Boy, am I ever glad he did!

I knew that Teddy Roosevelt was responsible for the National Park system and I also knew that he was a very conservative president. We have access to all of the amazing National Parks across the US today because of his foresight and willingness to go above and beyond to ensure that they will always be available to every American. Honestly, what he did and the lengths he was willing to go to in order to ensure that the land remained untouched and available for everyone to enjoy is awe inspiring in itself. But, do you know why he was so determined to preserve the land?

As I stood there and read the explanation on that board outside the visitor’s center in Medora, ND I had a moment of connection with a man that I will never meet…and it was earth shaking.


Just behind the visitor’s center stands a small log cabin. I read that this was the cabin Teddy moved in to when he came west. The name of the cabin is “The Maltese Cross Cabin” and it was the first sight he saw as he stepped off of the train from the east.


Do you know why he came west all those years ago? I didn’t…but now I do.


Theodore Roosevelt came out west to grieve. He had just lost his wife and his mother. He came west to learn how to live again. He came west to figure out how to start over. I sure did not learn that little piece of information in any of my history classes!

As I read his story, with my hand on Maggie’s shoulder…I realized that God lead me to this place for a reason. Of all of the informational boards I could have read, this one was meant to bring clarity to my mind and…to my heart.

Maggie asked why I was tearing up and so I told her the story in an abbreviated version. This is what I said, “President Roosevelt came here to heal. His wife and his mama had died, so he came here to try to find a way to get past his grief.” Maggie stood there and took a deep breath. Then, (with more maturity and understanding than any ten-year-old should possess) she calmly said, “He was just like us, Mama. He came out here to this beautiful land and he learned how to live again didn’t he? Is that why they named this park after him? Because he learned how to live again?”

Softly, through the huge lump in my throat I said, “Yes, baby. Mr. Roosevelt did learn how to live again and he went on to do some really amazing things with his life. Heck, he became the President of the United States! I would say that he did indeed learn how to live again.” She said, “We are learning how to live again too. I am so glad we came out here. This has been the best trip ever. I love you, Mama.”

And, that my friends is the reason we travel! Maggie would never have learned this lesson inside of a classroom. I know that she will always remember Teddy Roosevelt. I don’t think she will wonder what kind of man he was when she hears his name mentioned in some history class one day.

Today, standing in a National Park with her Mama she learned that even the President of the United States has to start over sometimes. She learned that starting over can’t always happen in the same place where the pain hit. She learned that leaving home doesn’t always mean you will be gone forever. She learned that pain takes time to move beyond. And, she learned that this trip was planned all those months ago to help the three of us heal. She got it…and she loved me for it.


Next, don’t think for one minute that the fact that the cabin Teddy lived in being named the “Maltese Cross Cabin” was missed by either one of us.

The Maltese cross means a whole lot to me and my girls. (Click to find out why!) It was tattooed on Greg’s back. It reminds us of him every time we see one. The name of that cabin mattered all those years ago to Teddy Roosevelt because he found healing inside of it. It mattered to three girls from Alabama today as they looked inside of it and realized that they are finding healing one day at a time. It is not easy…it is not fast…it is not finished, but it is happening and we are so thankful to be where we are at this moment in time. It has taken a whole lot of prayer, courage, and determination to get to where we are  and there hasn’t been one thing easy about it.

Please take just a moment and read these plaques…


Do you see what I mean? Amazing isn’t it?!

As I looked into the distance beyond the cabin I realized that if Teddy Roosevelt could come here to heal and find out who he was meant to be; so can we. I am most certain that when he spent all of those long days riding horses and rounding up cattle in the cold winter snow and hot summer sun he never imagined himself becoming the President of the United States one day.

I choked up again as I looked down and saw the announcement for my first book signing on my phone. I had received a message today during lunch about my upcoming event and was overcome with excitement when I saw it. I don’t know what God has planned, but I know that the struggles I am facing are preparing me for a future that I can’t even imagine. And the best part? My girls are realizing that they can’t imagine how amazing their lives are gonna be either!

God is so good! As we pulled into the highway leaving the park, I looked out across the open land and saw this beautiful rainbow. IMG_6432The promise that God sent to Noah so long ago is the same promise He gave me today. He will never destroy His people again. He will make us strong enough to endure whatever this life throws at us. I’m reasonably sure ol’ Teddy saw a few of those rainbows across this beautiful land himself all those years ago. And, I mean he did become THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES y’all!!!!

I will never, ever, ever forget how I felt standing there on the same piece of ground that Mr. Roosevelt stood on all those years ago. I will never, ever, ever forget the feelings I had inside when I knew that my ten-year-old daughter fully understood why we were on this amazing road trip. I will never, ever, ever forget how much God loves us and plans out the smallest details of our lives in advance. Teddy Roosevelt didn’t know me, but I will never forget him or his story.


Ten Road Trip Rules for 2016


Road trips are awesome! Like really, really, REALLY awesome! I personally love this type of vacation more than any other type. Mainly because I get bored easily…and because I am an adventure junkie and always looking for the next exciting adventure! Thankfully, I come from a long line of people just like me so we travel well together!

My girls, two aunts, one uncle, one cousin, and myself are all on a three week road trip together right now. This is not our first road trip together and certainly won’t be our last. I would say at this point we collectively have enough knowledge between us for me to write a blog about the ten rules everyone needs to know and follow before setting off on a grand adventure cross country in your car!

Here are what we believe to be the 10 most important rules everyone must follow on a road trip:

Rule #1: Love who you travel with! Being locked up in a vehicle with anyone for three weeks is hard no matter how much you love and adore said person(s). It really does help if you have a great relationship prior to setting off on your adventure. Humor goes a long way in this type of environment as well!

Rule #2: Be flexible!! I cannot stress this one enough! When you are on a road trip you may not make it to the destination that you thought you would make it to when you looked at the map originally. You may not be able to eat at the same time that you normally would eat each day. The people you love may not want to eat the same foods that you are craving at the moment. There may be things that the other folks want to do or see that simply bore you to tears…but guess what? The same goes for the things YOU like or want to do! Just be willing to roll with the flow and everyone will have a good time.

If the group has ONE person who is mostly in charge…who is THE MOST flexible…who will be willing to set a course that MOST will enjoy and be willing to change direction mid-stream if that’s what the majority seems to want…then you will be golden! Our leader on this trip is my Uncle Jimbo. He planned our original route and has readjusted the route several times to accommodate all of the women traveling with him. He’s a good, good man! Always take an “Uncle Jimbo” with you when you go on road trips!

Rule #3: Pack light! Road trips mean just that…you are on the road a lot! So, you don’t want to drag a whole bunch of stuff in and out of hotels/motels/cabins/cottages/tents every single night! Just take a few essential items and leave the rest at home. Odds are…you will bring home a lot of junk anyway. Don’t drag it all with you in the beginning! (Why oh WHY did I not write this blog before we headed out? I always pack ENTIRELY too much JUNK! Ugh…)

Rule #4: Wear comfy clothes in layers! Road trips usually carry you into unfamiliar places. Those places generally have different climates, weather patterns, and elevations. If you have on layers (or if you pack layers) you will be able to add to or take off clothing so that you remain comfortable. Road trips are NOT the place for dressy clothing, heels, or lots of accessories. Just gather the basics and be prepared to wash your clothes somewhere along the way. Trust me…I saw a lady in her mid-sixties walking around in Keystone, SD with heels on. She not only looked miserable…she made me miserable watching her because it was raining and 43 degrees. That is NOT high heel weather in a mountain town!

Secondly, you will be sitting and riding a lot. Don’t wear tight or binding clothing (especially girls!) because those long stretches between potty-breaks may lead to unwanted infections or irritations. Go comfy or stay home. Being healthy is more important than being cute when you are thousands of miles away from home. Besides, you are on vacation…nobody knows you anyway! Ha!

Rule #5: Take your kids! Yes, really. Take your kids with you hit the open road! There are so many fun experiences out there…and kids can have the best learning experiences ever just by going on cool road trip vacations. Classrooms, books, and computers can’t teach kids what traveling can. There is no better teacher than the open road.

Quick traveling tips for kids:

  1. Take along the movies and electronics for long stretches on the road, but take them away when the car stops. The only exception is for taking pictures…and NOT just selfies! Don’t allow those gadgets during short trips or for less than an hour of travel time. Kids tend to zone out…which is not what road trips are about! Fully engage your child in the activity you are participating in at the moment…and be excited about it! Excitement is contagious!
  2. Pack LOTS and LOTS of snacks! Believe me…you will be glad you have them on hand and readily available!
  3. Stop and look at cool things often. Getting out of the car to see a historical marker or never heard of monument provides movement and photo ops. Everyone needs this, but kids really need it about every two hours or so.
  4. Take ‘hands on’ things to do in the car (like coloring books, games, cards, or whatever) to keep their hands (and minds) moving!
  5. Use the travel time to talk, sing, laugh, and enjoy each others company. Quality time is so easy to stock up on when there’s nothing happening but tires humming on the asphalt!

Rule #6: Use the resources you have near you at the moment to find the coolest stuff! With technology these days, finding cool stuff to see and do on the road has never been easier. Just download good travel apps (my go to is TripAdvisor); google your current town/location; or stop and ask a local where the best things to do and/or eat are in the area. I love asking the locals’ opinion! They haven’t let me down but a handful of times over the years. Go for it!

Rule #7: Make sure to get plenty of rest. Generally speaking, riding in a car usually doesn’t make you very tired…unless you are doing it for 4-9 hours a day for several consecutive days! Driving, riding, getting in and out, seeing so many new things, eating different foods, walking around cool sites, hauling luggage in and out of lodging, and taking a cazillion pictures tends to wear people out.

Pace yourself! No matter how well intentioned a person might be….they will never be able to do or see it all. Never! So, give yourself some grace and time to rest if you feel yourself getting bone weary. Spend two nights in one place instead of one. Slow down and don’t try to drive as far as you thought you could originally. Be flexible!! Remember…it is a vacation after all. You don’t have to be going ninety to nothing if you are tired. That’s just for when you are at home! LOL

Rule #8: Take Pictures! I mean take thousands of pictures! You can always delete them later, but you can’t take them after you miss the moment. We are on Day 6 of 20 and I have taken over 2,500 pictures on my camera alone. That does not count the ones on my phone and my kids’ iPads.

Pictures can never do justice to how beautiful and vast our country’s scenery truly is, but if you take pictures you will at least be able to go back in your mind and recall how you felt standing on the edge of a cliff; or in the middle of a wide open prairie when you are telling people about your trip one day. Think of pictures as the notes you take in class. They will serve as great reminders of things you forgot you had experienced.

Rule #9: Share your experiences on social media! We live in a digital world. Everyone has a social media account of some sort. It is so easy to leave feedback for everything from food to lodging these days. That feedback helps other people who dare to try new adventures themselves. So…check-in, tweet, tag, post, and rate every part of your road trip journey. You will be surprised how many things you discover because someone else suggested a site or place that you had no clue existed. I have been so thankful for my friends’ suggestions and advice!  You never know what might become your most favorite memory of all.

Rule #10: Road trips do not have to cost a fortune! 2016 happens to be the centennial year for our National Park service. Every 4th grader in America qualifies for a free voucher…meaning everyone in the car with that 4th grader (or senior adult!) gets in FREE! Ah…who doesn’t love FREE?!

The U.S. has so many neat and amazing things to do and see in our national parks. Just look up “Every Kid in a Park”, fill out the online form, PRINT IT OUT, and hit the road. Easy-peasy!

Also, if you travel in groups there are tons of discounts available. In our case, we share hotel rooms as much as possible. If we stay on the current average my 20 day road trip will cost me less than ONE WEEK at the Beach!! Yes, you read that correctly! And, we have not stayed in a sleazy hotel yet! In fact, we have had extremely nice accommodations the whole time.

One more way to save major bucks is to eat breakfast for FREE at your hotel and then eat again mid-afternoon. This saves you lots of money by not eating the higher priced meals late in the evening and if you pack your own snacks or sandwich foods from home you can stop anywhere and enjoy a picnic as you travel. Those are the best meals…and kids LOVE it! By saving daily on meals, you can afford to splurge when you find really neat, fun places along your way!

Great road trips are filled with long stretches without food, spotty to no cell/internet service, miles of pavement, and boring moments when no one really has anything to say, but guess what? THAT IS OK!!!

Boredom is an emotion that we need to learn to cope with just like anger, gladness, and even sadness. Boredom is a part of life and we all need to learn to cope with it. Just like anything else in life the only way to get better at something is to exercise. I tell my kids all the time that it is perfectly ok to be bored…as long as we know how to act when we are bored! I gotta say, they are pretty awesome at occupying themselves these days.

I hope these ten rules help…and I hope that I have inspired someone else to hit the road one day. Road trips are so much fun, but so many times people are afraid to go on an unconventional vacation. If you are scared…start small. Try a long weekend somewhere new and see how it goes.

You never know…you might just end up becoming a road trip king or queen like us!

Happy and Safe Trails Y’all!

Family Forever


I am amazed that the 2016-17 school year will mark the 20th year since I graduated high school. I’m not real sure if anyone else feels the same as me….but that’s just CRAZINESS!!! There is no way that it’s been 20 years since I graduated high school!

Today, I was reminded that yep…it has in fact been that long. Ugh. Sigh. Weep. Wail.

I went to school at a small…and I do mean small…high school in Millport, Alabama. There were 42 people in my graduating class. It was the kind of place where everyone knew everyone and NO ONE got away with anything. If you drove through town too fast it was reported to your Mama by somebody else’s Mama who was pumping gas and saw you before you got home. Y’all know that’s true! We…mostly me….could not get away with anything if we wanted to.

I guess you could say that for the most part, everyone at my school was close. We really didn’t have a choice. It was be close or leave town…either way you still saw the same people in every class and at lunch everyday. New kids didn’t stay new long around that joint. The lunchroom ladies take it as a personal offense if they can’t call each kid by name as they come through the line. And, not only do they know each kid…they know which team the kid pulls for. Alabama, Auburn, or Mississippi State. That’s the only choices a kid has around those parts. We don’t really acknowledge any other teams. Sorry (well…not sorry).

Anyway, our school counselor set up a student exchange program with a school in Fredericksburg, IA a few years before my senior year. The program was designed to show us small town rednecks from the South how small town rednecks from the North lived and vice versa. The program took place every other year so that Juniors and Seniors could participate if they met the requirements. Basically, half of our high school left town every other year to live with assigned families in a small, frozen Iowa town during the middle of January. Then, in April those poor frozen kids from up North came down South to thaw out. It. Was. AWESOME!

I remember meeting Carrie at the airport in Cedar Rapids. She was surrounded by all of the other Iowa kids and didn’t seem real sure about this country girl who loved fishing and hunting!! LOL…she just knew they had given her the wrong person as her “match”. Little did she (or I) know how much we would come to love one another!

I spent a week living in her home with her mom (Lorraine), dad (Ray), and brother (Kyle). 12670483_10153453897145770_5805361144476444923_nWe had so much fun! The whole experience was fantastic and I hated to leave when they told us to load up for the trip home.

Carrie is a crier…like major crier. Bless her heart…she bawled her eyes out that day! Honestly, we all did! I had promised her and the rest of her family that I would come back to visit one day. Twenty years later I made good on that promise!

I was so happy to know that I was going to get to spend some time with her today. When we planned our road trip last fall, I told Uncle Jimmy that if we crossed the Iowa state line at any point on the trip I had to see Carrie. He planned it so that we passed right by her house on our way North. My Uncle Jimbo is pretty awesome!

When we arrived, Carrie and her boyfriend Dewand had fixed us a great lunch of grilled burgers, brats, and hotdogs. We also had grilled potatoes, baked beans, and her grandmother’s cookies!!!! Oh yeah…food fit for a king! 20160521_130749

I wasn’t sure, but I had hoped that the rest of the family might be there as well…and they were!! It was so much fun introducing my girls to my Iowa family and remembering the great times we had all those years ago. We played corn hole, took pictures from every direction, and laughed a whole lot. Ray is the Fire Chief in Fredericksburg and he brought us patches and coozies to take home. Yes, I love that little “coincidence”. The whole family also brought me Alabama balloons from the National Championship game in January. Yes…they are just that awesome!!

Carrie has made the trip South several times over the years, but the last time I saw her was two weeks before my wedding…which would have been the end of  June, 1999. I had forgotten exactly when it was that she and Natalie (another exchange student friend) came to visit the last time. That was 17 years ago! I am telling you one thing…time flies people. Time….FLIES!!!


One thing I learned today…no matter how much times passes between visits…family is always family and friends are always friends. I loved my Iowa experience and I continue to love my Iowa family. I refuse to let twenty years pass by before our next visit and that’s a fact!

Day 2 of the 2016 road trip was wonderful and definitely a day we won’t forget anytime soon! There is just no telling what Day 3 will bring! One thing I do know…I LOVE having friends scattered all over the country!! If I have friends in South Dakota…I’d love to hear from you! I’ll be in your neck of the woods soon!

Oh No…I Blinked!


You know the saying “a day late and a dollar short”? Well, this post is a day late, but no amount of money would cover how special it is!

Yesterday, my sweet Maggs turned 10.I honestly have no idea how that is even possible; but she has assured me numerous times that it is…for a FACT…true. I mean where did all of that time go?! When you are young ten years seems like an eternity! When you are a mom…it’s feels like a nanosecond! People always tell you not to blink…but we don’t usually listen. I shoulda listened!!!

Ten years ago today, I was 27 years old. I had just finished my first year of teaching; the Saturday before we had moved into our house that we  built ourselves; and on this day both Maggie and I were fighting for our lives in the hospital.

It took Greg and I seven years to get pregnant with Maggie. We fought every battle you could fight trying to get pregnant and our infertility road was long and hard. After six years we decided to go to the specialist in Birmingham to see if we had a chance of ever having a baby “of our own”. Dr. Long and his staff gave us encouraging news and a plan to follow. Six months later we found out we were expecting our miracle.

I went to Birmingham once a week for fourteen weeks in the beginning of my pregnancy. I had lost two previous babies and we were not taking any chances with this one. Seeing that little blob grow each week was wonderful for me. I loved watching that baby grow and change and would show anyone breathing the sonogram pics after each appointment. 20160518_174046 Most folks would think it was a no brainer that I would want to know the gender of my sweet miracle since I had so many sonograms already right? Wrong!

When the time came to find out the sex of our child, I did not want to know what “it” was. There are so few real surprises in life and I really wanted to be surprised with this one. Greg on the other hand did not!

So, we made a deal that he could find out what we were having, but he could NOT tell a soul and ruin the surprise for me! Let me tell you…that man had a GREAT time keeping our families and friends guessing! He would tell one person it was a boy and the next it was a girl. They all thought they had it figured out…only they really didn’t! Our mothers HATED it! LOL!!

Anyway, I went in to be induced at 38 weeks and everyone was over the moon excited. I had to stay on blood thinners throughout my entire pregnancy so I had a few high risk problems that we needed to watch carefully during labor and delivery. After three failed epidurals, twenty-seven hours of labor, fifteen hours of my water being broken, and three and a half-hours of pushing I was begging for someone to knock me out and do a C-section. Thankfully, that’s just what Dr. Jim decided to do.

I was put under general anesthesia and Greg was not allowed to be in the operating room. The waiting room was filled with all of our worn out families and friends. Greg stood at the end of the hallway (in sight of our families) and waited for them to bring the baby out. 20160518_174848Only, when they brought the baby out it was by a team of NICU doctors and nurses who were working to stabilize the baby as they ran past him in the hallway. There was no big celebration or excitement like we had planned. There was only quiet and a whole lot of tears.

Finally, after about ten minutes my mother asked Greg what the baby was (we had names for a boy and girl) so that they could pray for him/her by name. He quietly said it was a girl and so she told everyone to pray for Maggie…and they did.

That was the first of many prayers said on her behalf. We spent the next twenty-two days inside the hospital.

We didn’t know it at the time, but I had tested negative on my group B strep test and it was a false negative. So, those fifteen hours Maggie spent inside of me after my water had been broken she had been exposed to the virus. Group B is only a problem during labor and delivery. I spent the next five days fighting a 105 degree fever and talking out of my head while Maggie was hooked up to all kinds of machines and having spinal tap after spinal tap in order to check for meningitis. We both had a hard fight on our hands to just stay alive.

On the fifth day, my fever broke. That’s the day they finally told me that my baby was a girl.

I remember seeing her for the first time. One of the NICU nurses brought her to my room (secretly!) on her way to get yet another spinal tap. My mother had told them that I needed to see my baby. I was convinced that my baby had died and that everyone was lying to me. I cried buckets when I saw her sweet face for the first time.

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Later that afternoon, they took me to the NICU in a wheelchair so that I could see her for a few minutes. That was the first of MANY trips to that NICU for me! Over the course of the next twenty-two days I only left the hospital twice. Once to go get a breast pump so I could give her breastmilk and once to go eat supper just to get out of those hospital walls. We stayed in the medical tower and I walked back and forth all day and night taking my milk to them for each feeding and just to see for myself that she was alive. I lived in fear every minute that she wasn’t going to make it.

The day we came home was happy and very, very scary! I was so not ready to be alone with this baby! I was so used to buzzers and beepers and people who knew way more than me about what to do if there was a problem. Yet, they all assured me that we would be fine…and they told me that I had didn’t have to go home, but I couldn’t stay there anymore! Somehow Greg and I managed to take that sweet baby home and keep her alive despite ourselves…and our fears!

I have said many prayers of thankfulness over the past ten years. Maggie didn’t have any lingering effects from being so sick (which is a MIRACLE). She is perfectly healthy and didn’t suffer any type of disabilities like they had told us she would. Even now, I am tearing up when I think about how blessed we are to have such a healthy, happy girl. Things could have been so very different, but God heard our prayers and for some reason He granted our requests. I am still extremely thankful that He did.

I never thought that we would celebrate Maggie’s tenth birthday without her daddy. The curves in life just can’t be seen or anticipated…and that’s a good thing. I see Greg in Maggie everyday. I know how very proud he was of her and how much he loved her. She knows it too. My one hope is that the nine years she did have with him will be enough for her to remember those things in the future.

She didn’t cry yesterday. She didn’t choose to be sad. She didn’t want to go to the cemetery. She just wanted to be a ten year old kid like every other ten year old kid.

So, she had a fun day filled with two performances of her 4th grade play, her 4th grade graduation reception, riding the golf-cart with her brothers (the 3G’s), fishing at the pond, eating Mexican food with our friends and family, and eating strawberry cake made just for her by her Aunt Diana. It was a good day to turn ten I would say!


We talked about her daddy a lot. She laughed when she remembered a funny thing he said and she smiled when she talked about the things he did with her on her birthday over the years. She grinned when she was asked about what he would think about her already being the big 1-0. Those smiles and grins said a whole lot on this first birthday without him here.

Looking back I can’t believe how fast those ten years flew by. I can’t believe how much our lives have changed and I can’t believe that God has allowed us to stay happy through all of it. That is a good thing to be able to say. Maggie is happy. Our family is happy. Our life is happy. IMG_3577We made the choice to be happy in December..and we have kept making that choice over and over again every day since. That doesn’t mean it always works out…but even on the not so happy days we know we can still choose to be happy again the next time.

Life passes by in the blink of an eye. Why spend it being miserable? Looking at my ten year old daughter’s face, I can see that choosing happy…even when it’s hard is the best choice for us. We don’t have it all figured out….we don’t have wonderful joy filled days every day. What we do have is a saving grace that surrounds us and reminds us that we can try again tomorrow. We know that we are loved and we know that we will see our loved ones again one day. Until then, we will enjoy as much of our time together as possible and look for joy and happiness over and over again on the special days as well as the ordinary days.

Like this day. These two girls have been friends since the beginning…and I hope they will always be friends who are happy to see each other no matter how long it’s been!

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Oh, the Places You’ll Go

Oh, the Places You’ll Go

It’s HERE! It’s finally HERE!! The month of May is FINALLY here!

My girls and I have been looking forward to this month since before Christmas. We knew it was gonna be tough, but we are beyond excited!! Building a house, publishing a book, graduating 4th grade, turning double digits, taking the ACT Aspire for the first (and second) time, wrapping up softball with out of town games, and preparing to move may have the three of us a tad bit stressed out…and maybe a lot scatterbrained, but who cares?! It’s time to hit the road (and air!), Jack!  Let the traveling begin!!travel-quotes-diane-arbus

We have been packing for days! The list of things we have to complete before Wednesday will probably make me cry before it’s all checked off…

BUT that’s totally fine by me. The Hubbert girls are headed to see the world!large


First stop: Upstate New York! Last year Greg had planned to take Maggie to New York turkey hunting for her birthday. The weather prevented them from making the trip so my Daddy made sure she got the opportunity to go this year. Y’all know I wasn’t gonna let her go alone…sooooo me and Linnie are jumping on that jet plane too!





When we get back from New York we will have three whirlwind days at home…then it’s time to leave again! The list of things that we have to do in those three days is unbelievable…but it won’t stop us from being excited!!



I honestly have no idea where all we are headed…all I know is we are going North and West. Look for blogs along the way…and feel more than free to shoot us suggestions of places to stop if you see us near a cool dot on the map!



Don’t worry…we aren’t going alone. Nor will the house go untouched. Thankfully I have family who are more than willing and capable of making sure things get done. I couldn’t make it without them that’s for sure! We tend to work and travel in packs….image6c2b21a03e35d700e0d254ea77f68ba2


The girls and I truly cannot wait for this awesome adventure. Seeing as much of this world as we can is definitely on our bucket lists. I’m reasonably sure that my two mini’s are ruined for life! I should probably apologize to their future spouses now. Greg and I have totally created monsters and we could have cared less! I wouldn’t take anything for the memories we made together over the years. All I can say is I hope God prepares those boys for lots of travel, because my girls are hooked! One thing I have learned in the past eight months is to never take one day for granted. This life is a treasure and each minute is a gift of its own. Don’t wait until “later”  to chase your dreams….because you might not get a “later”.  Material things are easily replaced… memories are not. We plan on making as many of them as humanely possible between the three Hubbert girls with the time we have been given. Work hard…play harder…that’s our moto! So, Load up y’all…it’s time to hit the road!


For the Mama Wanna Be’s


Mother’s Day. Just seeing those words strikes sadness into the hearts of a lot of people. For lots of different reasons, not everyone gets that happy, loving, feeling inside when this day rolls around each year.

It doesn’t matter if your mom died, left, drank, or quit…sometimes thinking about the woman who gave birth to you brings pain. I’m sorry about that for so many reasons.

I, personally have a fantastic Mama. She has loved me and been there for me every day of my life. I can’t be thankful enough for her and the influence she has had on my life. And  it makes me feel guilty sometimes, especially when I know there are other people who would give anything to have had a real mother in their life.

There was a span of six years in my life when I would have given my right arm to wear the title of Mama. I had gotten to the point where I couldn’t even handle going to church on this day because it caused me so much pain. All I wanted was a baby to hold and call mine. I almost let it ruin my life….almost.

I remember that feeling, that hurt, and that desire. I remember crying out to God and begging Him for a baby of my own. I remember being jealous of all of the other women who didn’t “deserve” to be a mother. How terribly wrong I was!!

See, God loves us. He made us in His image. He knows our hearts were made to love. He knows that for most women the one desire they have above anything else is to have a baby to call their own. God knows this….and He understands how hurt we feel when our prayers go “unanswered”. 

But, guess what? From what I have seen…and what I have experienced…I have realized that He does answer those prayers in surprising ways! There are so many children who are being raised by women who didn’t give birth to them…yet they couldn’t love them more if they had!

If you long for a child “of your own” God will provide that child for you to love. Open your heart…and your eyes to the things you can’t even imagine. Let God use you to show “someone else’s” child the true love of a mother.

I’m thankful that God gave me my two girls. I am also thankful that He gave me so many other children to truly love as well. There are a number of kids that I will count as “mine” for the rest of my life. I could not love them more if I had given birth to them myself. And that’s the whole point.


We were made to love each other. We were called to love one another above everything else. We were made to love the unlovable…and we have been given LOTS of opportunities to share love. The thing is: Have we done it? Have we tried to love children who aren’t “ours”?

I see all of you ladies out there who have…and the world needs more women like you!!! So, to all of you women out there who don’t hold the worlds definition of “Mother” on this Mother’s Day let me say “HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO YOU”!!

Our world is a better place because of your unselfish love. Millions of people are being impacted because you care to give of yourself and go beyond what is required. You girls are making a difference in the lives of children everywhere…and I want to say thank you!

Keep on being the light. Keep on giving your time and resources. Keep on helping those kiddos who can’t help themselves…and keep on giving love from your “mother’s heart”.

You aren’t unnoticed or unappreciated! Happy Mother’s Day to all of you who wear the REAL title of Mother! The difference you are making can’t be matched just because someone gave physical birth to the child you love. Children know who truly love them…and they won’t ever forget it!