Friday, February 25, 2011

Destination: Holland, With Frequent Visits to Italy

Yes, I was born to live in Holland. It has been a wonderful place, wouldn't change anything about it.

Living in Holland,

 I've learned that obstacles are only things that will delay, but not prevent a goal.
I've learned that sometimes you need to work a little harder to prove to people that, you can.
 I've learned ignorance does exist.
 I've learned that many would not survive one day living in my shoes.
 I've learned that things could be worse.
 I've learned that I am stronger than I ever thought I was.

Most importantly, I've learned, that NOBODY can EVER tell me that I CAN'T visit Italy whenever
the heck I please.

 You see, Holland provides its residents with determination and yes, even stubborness.  Ever heard of Helen Keller?  Yeah, stubborness... ;-)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Just Going For It... Why Not?

So, I HAD signed up for the 5K... you know, start slow...

Uhm, so, yeah... I don't work that way...if I'm going to do this, I'm going to do this... so, forget the 5K... I'm doing the half marathon.

So, PRAY for me!!

As Jillian Michaels says, Unless You Puke, Faint or Die, Keep Going!

So, here I go...

No excuses, just results.

Friday, February 18, 2011


This week brought forth many challenges, but along with the challenges the Lord blessed me with a huge breakthrough. A lesson in letting go that relieved me of so much. It felt so good… so redeeming… so honest.

I was reminded of a post Angie Smith (Bring the Rain) wrote soon after the death of her daughter Audrey. If you don’t know Angie… GO MEET HER HERE. She is an amazing woman of God. She is beautiful, funny, brilliant and a great writer. I want to be HER when I grow up ;-).

The following is a "borrowed" post from Angie that can be read in its entirety here. I was reminded of this post because I feel it really describes the point of my life that I am fighting my way out of at the moment… being broken… but putting myself back together again.

 Rebuilding my life one piece at a time.

Angie’s post is titled "The Past and the Pitcher" and it discusses how Angie decided she would follow some advice she had read in a book about grieving the loss of a child.  A therapist encourages those grieving to take something and break it. At first, Angie thought the idea was ridiculous but then the Lord began to speak to her heart that breaking something was exactly what she should do. So, she went to her cabinets, pulled out a perfectly good pitcher, walked outside onto her front porch, threw it on the ground and watched it shatter into pieces...

Photo from Angie Smith

She stared at it for a while then God spoke to her…

Put it back together...

And after several hot glue gun burns on her bloody hands…

she did...

Photo from Angie Smith

Then she wrote these life changing words on her blog:

And as I worked, He let me think about my past. Mistakes that I have long regretted. I began to realize that this pitcher was my life, and every piece was part of a story that He had chosen to put together. I started crying, and remembering things I thought I had forgotten. It took a long time to finish, but it was time well spent. Every nook and cranny whispered to me, until at last it stood in all its imperfection.

Here you are, Angie.

You are mended. You are filled with my Spirit, and I am asking you to pour yourself out.

The image of my life as a broken pitcher was beautiful to me, but at the same time, it was hard to look at all of the cracks.

I ran my fingers along them and told Him I wish it had been different. How I wished I had always loved Him, always obeyed Him, always sought Him the way I should. I was mad at the imperfections, years wasted, gaping holes where it should be smooth.

But God, my ever-gracious God, was gentle and yet convicting as He explained.

My dearest Angie. How do you think the world has seen me? If it wasn't for the cracks, I couldn't seep out the way I do. I chose the pitcher. I chose you, just as you are.

Wow! It is not bad to be broken. We will all break… some of us more often than others… but the true test of faith is… can we glue ourselves back together again?

Being broken doesn’t mean you are now worthless… it doesn’t mean it is time to give up… it simply means it is time to trust in Him who can give us the hot glue to put the pieces back together again.

We need to stop looking at the broken pitcher, the broken heart, the broken life...and seeing all that is wrong and useless… we focus too much on the brokenness of our life instead of the blessing that can be found in the cracks.

I have lived my life seeing the pity in people’s eyes when they see me walk. I have been told, “God still loves you.” I nod to be polite, but what I really want to say is, of course He does. Why wouldn’t He? Because I can’t walk “right”? It’s funny the way people’s minds think. I know they mean well, but still. I know I am blessed. Broken, but blessed. And I am to the point where I have realized that I need to share with EVERYONE that I am ok.  I am VERY blessed. I am a testimony of His goodness and mercy.

Where are you today? Do you look at your life and just stare at the broken pieces? Do you hide your scars, your pain, your hurt - or do you allow God to use those cracked areas of your life to pour into you so that you can overflow into the lives of others?

Those cracks are what will allow people to see a true miracle; the miracle that the Lord has created in each of us.

Be blessed my friends and allow yourself to shine through your cracks. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Running Shoes

I had wanted to get myself a new pair of tennis shoes for a while now, but I’ve never been a tennis shoe type of girl so I always struggled to find a pair I truly liked. But, there is something about new workout attire that gives a person a sense of “power”… at least I think so.

Anyway, back to the shoes… running shoes... to be exact… that’s what the box did say. So, could it be? A true miracle in a orange shoe box with a “swoosh” across it… could they really get me to “Just Do It” and run…?!?

Uhm, yeah, I think not.  And for the record, no, I never did think they could. My run has been and always will be “broken”, as Jayda puts it, (Go HERE for more Jayda-isms)…but it’s ok, because I’m running a marathon with Jesus one day- I got the shoes because they were cute. For the first time I found tennis I really, really liked and I wanted them. PLUS… they were ON SALE! SCORE!


The real miracle? Yes, I did experience one…

Are you ready for it...?

When my card was swiped to pay – Visa didn’t decline it… yay, ME… and thank you Jesus
(kidding, kidding)!

OK, no, seriously…

 my point is…

I got myself some really cute running shoes that really don’t make you run, but, yeah, anyway… I really, really like them.

And they did make me realize that…

Buying a pair of running shoes will not be the miracle that instantly gives me the ability to run nor was I expecting that… but, I am blessed to have two feet to put them on, the ability to buy them (kinda-sorta)… and a really great sense of style if I do say so myself!

But always...
Look closely in everything life hands to you – really, really look—see it… admire it… be thankful for it… because it’s there, a miracle… in everything -- be blessed always.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Bench Seat

It was our love seat.
 He wanted his car to have a bench seat up front, not the now standard bucket seats. Why? Because he wanted me right by his side… always….

“We need to keep it this way forever”, we’d say to each other.
We had every intention of always having a bench seat in every car we were to ever own…always….

We had the misconception that the moment we lost the desire to have the bench seat with me right by his side, we’d lose our love.

Well, the bench seat quickly faded away.

Times did get tough. Times are tough.

We struggle.
We argue.
We get on each other’s nerves.
We hurt.
We cry.
We fall.

But, after the falls,

We get back up.
We laugh.
We share.
We dream.
We wipe each other’s tears.
We say “sorry”.
We hug.

He is my best friend, my strength, my love.


While life will always bring challenges, hurts, obstacles… it is easier to get through it all with a partner. Someone who holds your hand through it all… someone who will be right by your side when things get tough and someone who will be thankful with you when those tough times turn into blessings and someone who will laugh with you in the good times as well.

I am so grateful Michael proposed to me 8 years ago.


So, while we did lose the bench seat, we never lost our love.

We traded the bench seat in for a...


Car seat…
(silly child included)

And it has been totally worth it.

He has been a great husband and a wonderful father.

Seeing this…


Makes me love him the more than he will ever know.

Who knows…

Bench seats might be back in style when we are old…

But for now... bench seat or not...

I love him.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Me- According to Jayda

So, do you want to know more about me? Well, allow my 5 year old to share with you...

According to Jayda...

1. What's something I always say to you?
Clean your toy room.

2. What makes me happy?
Me being good.

3. What makes me sad?
Not behaving

4. How do I make you laugh?
Tickling me

5. What do you think I was like as a child?
Me (meaning I was like her)

6. How old am I?
50... uhm... you are 50? What are you? I know, 40...

7. How tall am I?
Uh, I dunno.

8. What is my favorite thing to do?
Disney World!

9. What do I do when you are not around?
Cry... (LOL)

10. What am I really good at?
Shrugs shoulder...

11. What am I not really good at?
Turning on the lights (????)

12. What is my job?
Work at high school

13. What do I do at work?
Work with your students

14. What is my favorite food?
Chips with salsa (Got this perfect)

15. What makes you proud of me?
Clean my toy room for me

16. What do you and I play together?

17. How are we the same?
Long hair

18. How are we different?
Long hair and short hair

19. If I were a cartoon character who would I be?

20. How do you know I love you?
Berry much!

21. Where is my favorite place?
Disney World!

22. What is your favorite place to go with me?

23. What is my favorite TV show?
Desperate Housewives

24. Would you like me to have another baby?

25. What do you wish we had named you instead of Jayda?

26. How do you know I love Daddy?

27. What do you want to be when you grow up?
A doctor.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Condition of My Heart

I have come a long way from October 2010 (BEFORE PICTURE), and while I am loving the feeling of fitting into my clothes better, looking better, and having more energy, what I am loving the most is the condition of my heart. I have found a new me.  I now have more confidence, more patience,  more peace and a new outlook on life. I am trying to enjoy every moment and not let time be wasted. I am trying to share my faith more and lengthen my alone time with God. Share blessings with my daughter. I'm setting goals and reaching them. And best of all- I am letting things go- and it feels oh-so-good!

So, while I think my outer confidence is showing pretty well...


It's this...

(art work courtesy of Jayda Hough)

I want people to notice the most!

Speaking of heart... take a look at what Jayda does during her spare time at home...

She's gonna be famous someday!  Mark my word...

Part of her jewelry collection...


Paper doll collection...


Calendar Collection...


Disney Collection...


Bow Holder...


All occasion cards (eat your heart out Hallmark)...




"Creativity is intelligence having fun."

— Albert Einstein


This is confidence baby...
The condition of my heart is strong right now. Don't get me wrong it is still vulnerable, it still hurts at times, it can still be broken, but it is strong enough to handle what life throws its way.  I'm strong enough. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

It is SO On...

2011 Run at Borderfest

Sunday, March 6, 2011

I signed up for the 5K and I am not running(I know, I know - shocking, but I don't own running shoes) ;-)
- so, the handcycle it is.

No Limits, No Excuses.

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