Category Archives: memories

Saying Good-Bye

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We said good-bye to our dog of 16 years this week.

To be honest, it was time, but that does not make it easier. She was deaf, blind and like her sister suffering from kidney disease.

We knew it was coming, but still not ready. It all happened quickly while we were in the Bahamas, but thankful we could make it back home so we could be together.

Explaining death to a 9 year old never is easy, but it gives us more opportunity to talk about God and heaven and Jesus.

The hurt is real, but so is the beauty of a best friend. The creature at my feet each night and the unconditional love in the loneliness. The loyal companion of my adult years. I miss her busting through the closet or barging in on my bathtime. Even miss the way she did anything to get to food…I miss her. But the pain is worth the 16 years of joy and the happy times of her youth.

Mentors

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One of the best parts about teaching is building relationships. When you have to be with your work family more than your real family then you better like them. I was thankful to work at a place for 15 years where I enjoyed the people. An added bonus is finding a leader that pours into 7 years after she has retired.

Tonight we celebrated this mentor as we caught up and looked back at the good, the bad and the beautiful of education. Thankful she still laughs and cries with us all these years later. Whenever we need her, she is there. Find that mentor or be that mentor; they are more precious than gold!

Teacher Struggle

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I want to start by saying that this year for me is WAY better than last year, so I am thankful. Last year juggling virtual teaching and student absences while trying to maintain a gradebook was intense. I will always be grateful for my mental health this year, however teachers across the country are abandoning education at a massive rate. I struggled to put into words why…but then a teacher I follow on Twitter said it perfectly…

The teaching game has changed, but the mindsets of those making the decisions and laws have not. They want to “catch up” kids to make them what they use to be and these kids are not what they use to be. Families have changed, education has changed and now laws need to change. The stress being put on teachers to test and perform is breaking our spirits as more hours of tutoring, documentation and building up their SEL is exhausting. I made this TikTok last year I think of one of my favorite Christian songs called Truth Be Known. It sums us up well…looking good, but feeling weak.

https://vm.tiktok.com/TTPdkM82sU/

God is my source of hope and strength so I know my foundation is firm. I have endured this business for 20 years so I know I can endure this valley, but those that do not know any different are walking out at an alarming rate. I get it. I hate it, but I get it.

On another note, wow how Lupus has changed my hair. No clue when my hair began to fall out and thin, but seeing my hair in this Tik Tok is shocking…long, full of volume…this is it today

Not without hope, but definitely not what it was. Crazy how a medicated auto immune disease can do that. My devo today said God has a purpose for my broken body and I am putting all my faith, hope and love that it is true.

Christmas Cards

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I had one goal this year and that was to send a Christmas card. Social media has destroyed this tradition since you can just post photos on the Internet, but I feel cards can be a gift for those that you do not see or buy for and they are a blessing and a keepsake.

You can make the cards into a scrapbook of the journey. Some years I realize that the couple is now divorced or sadly gone and helps me to live in the moment and fight for relationships. Other times they are prayers for the people I love. I love looking back on our old cards and consider them art! So although I had not done a card since 2016…we did one this year and hope to keep the tradition alive!

Firework Waste

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What is it with fireworks that make people lose their minds? We live out in the country where popping all explosives is legal. Every New Year and July 4th my house sounds like a war zone. This is not how I was raised. We watched them, but never popped them so seeing this excitement for fire is beyond me.

Personally, they are a waste of money. I said it!

However, the smile it brings my son to hold the lighter and watch it go off. The anticipation of what the firecracker will do…how high…how loud….the colors. He loves it all. The joy my husband feels to put on a show and share that explosion together…it is special.

I pace back and forth ready for the injury, the fire, the accident and 911 call. I am not a fireworks girl-but my boys are so we light em up. Truth is that hour of memories is no different then a dinner night out or buying fancy liquor to drink. You consume it and it is gone. You have nothing left but a memory and maybe a picture, but in that moment it was everything and nowhere else you would rather be.

So rather than be a fireworks waste, I will choose to say fireworks win last night. Memories to last a lifetime and maybe share with his family someday. Happy 4th of July!

Tracking the Memories

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I count having my first child in my mid-thirties a blessing because I had a lot of time to think about cool things I wanted to do as a parent. One cool thing is dressing a baby up like a man.

That hat was my grandfather’s so that look is extra special to my heart.

Another fave thing was taking the month to month pics the first year. This process was super hard and only got harder each month but love looking at the 12 months all together.

Poor kid endured big dress ups on every holiday! Here are some faves:

But two more cool things that I only do because I had lots of time to think about kids is….1. I have a Dr Seuss book that each of his teachers sign and I will give it to him at graduation. It is a great reminder of all the teachers that poured into him each year. I keep a school picture from each year so we can see how he grows. 2. Keep a frame with those school pictures as art on the wall.

I want this to be a daily reminder the time goes fast so make the memories and track them for the future. Thankfully I started these early so I have the keepsakes needed.

I am sure there are so many other ways to track the memories. Do you have any special ones you do?

Killing it as a Snow Mom

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No one prepares you to mom in cold weather. Texas women do not get much guidance in handling kids during freezing weather and snow in an area that’s climate is just straight up hot. Exhibit A: Ridiculous Clothing

We don’t ski…enough said. Exhibit B: cooked from the pantry.

Pardon his booger nose…we blew it shortly after the pic was taken. We ate whatever we found in the pantry: tacos, mac and cheese, bootleg dumplings minus the chicken, chili with missing ingredients and lots of breakfast foods and frozen foods.

Who kept that fire going while dad worked all week? This girl!

Who got a workout in while all the whole house watched and tried to wave to the camera? Me again!

Who splurged with some snow ice cream and played outside every day in temps in the single digits? Me.Me.Me!

Hopefully you can agree that moms do what moms do to keep their children happy despite being stuck inside for 6 days straight. We made memories, had fun, learned a little and relaxed a lot! Looking forward to getting out tomorrow, but celebrating we made it today!

2020 vs 2021

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2020 was the year of being stuck. It even shows it in the numbers…not going up, not going down…stuck with two of the same numbers: 2020. Stuck at home, stuck out of the gym, stuck out of the bar…stuck without family. Stuck!

So here we are in 2021 and I would like to believe this is the year of moving forward, making progress taking the next step…it is even in the numbers as well. What comes after 20? 21! Turning a new year does not magically change things in our lives, but it gives us new hope and new vision and I pray that for all reading this, 2021 gives you more of the good stuff.

I pray it gives more opportunities, more clarity and more more promise of the good things yet to come. For me, that is more therapy in the areas I need to develop new habits and mindsets; More working out and putting into my body the fuel that sustains. More quality time with the relationships that feed what is good, noble, honest and true. Finally, more falling in love with my Creator and King. More knowing who He is and how He created me to serve Him.

The year of 2020 had great purpose in our stuckness…but 2021 is of great significance too! No accident the numbers fall in line in an order of progression. It is time…progress is waiting!

Left the Mess to Relieve the Stress

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This is how my kitchen looked all day yesterday. I should have been cleaning, wrapping presents, maybe baking a yummy dish but instead this was me all.day.long.

I binge watched Hallmark and Lifetime Christmas movies. The trick to doing this is neglecting your child by letting him play all day and making sure your husband stays at work. It was a huge success and I feel ready to conquer the holidays. In the midst of the hustle, follow God’s lead and rest, be still and choose joy with the people God has placed in your path.

If you are experiencing grief this season, know you are not alone and covered in prayer. Merry Christmas!

The Storms Make the Best Waves

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Last week, the weather in our vacation spot said sunny all day er’ day…this week weather reports say storms and overcast all week.

Disappointing as sun just gives life to the soul, but a blessing as no one is hurting from a sunburn and we still play all day in the ocean…win-win! Yesterday, we grabbed our boogie boards and went out when the wind was blowing hard. Kinda crazy, kinda exciting, kinda stupid…those waves hurt! But man, such good waves to ride…tall, fast, fun…so many laughs and squeals. Constant sounds of “that was a big one!”  We went back at night and we had fun, but the waves were back to being calm and consistent…we began to miss the waves that were hard, crashing and furious and wild!

Isn’t that life? Storms make the best waves. The waves in a storm knock you out of your comfort zone.

Waves in a storm give you the restlessness and sense of urgency to..

Look for a new job.

Finally move.

Make the budget.

Have the tough conversation.

Go to the doctor.

Dry the tears and begin the next chapter.

Say yes to family.

Mourn the loss.

Stop wishing and start trying. In short, the biggest life changes come from the biggest storms. It was in my storm, we began to both work on our marriage and adopt our son. The storm gave us a new perspective to pack up or camp out. We chose to stay.

Storms make you stop complaining about the rain and start playing in it. And the reward to withering the storm is so beautiful and a direct promise from God that He sees you, loves you, was with you and will never leave you.

Rainbows are best seen after the rain. God’s perfect design for his children.

Today I ask you to pray for this family and their fight to beat Colon Cancer. You can google Staggs family to read more about them. They have used their storm to share about Jesus and the fight is stronger than ever right now. The most ferocious of storms are made easier when we stand together…I am standing with them in prayer.