I see the light

The past couple of months, I’ve been in a funk.  I’ve felt like nothing has gone the way I thought it should, people have continually disappointed me, and I have fallen into a dark pit.  None of the events were earth shattering, especially compared to the past 18 months of my life.  None the less, I felt myself fall into a darkness and I wasn’t able to pull myself out.  I wasn’t able to remind myself that God always has a plan or remind myself of how blessed I am.  I tried to tell myself all the truths that I know, but they didn’t help.  For the first time in my life, I was sinking with no way out.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my grandma lately.  I miss her so much.  When life wasn’t fair, I would call her and she would listen and then agree with me that I was right.  Who knows if she really thought I was right but she was always on my side.  So many days I went to call her and then realized, there are no phone calls in heaven.

Almost two weeks ago, the kids and I came home from work.  I was reminding each kid what they needed to do when we got home.  When we pulled into the driveway, our cleaning lady’s car was still there (Sidenote:  When I married Blake he had a cleaning lady so I felt there was no reason to ever get rid of her.)  We adjusted our after school chores to accommodate her finishing up and got to work on our after school “stuff”.  After she left, I walked into the kitchen and noticed a couple things she had found while cleaning.  There was a crazy picture Parker had colored and left somewhere and there was a Chick-Fil-A gift card.  I don’t remember ever seeing that gift card before so it peaked my curiosity.  The gift card that was sitting on the counter was from my grandma, in her handwriting.  Some would say that my cleaning lady was doing her job, just picking up something we left laying around.  I choose to believe that it was a little sign that she’s still in my corner, watching and cheering me on.

I usually jump into Spring Break with a to-do list a mile long and/or some big trip planned.  This year has been different.  We had a few things planned.  Paige and I attended an awesome Piano Guys concert and all four of us spent the weekend in KC celebrating Paige’s upcoming birthday.  Mostly, I let my heart and my brain relax.  I didn’t let myself think about any of the negative things that have gotten me down.  If I started to say something about it or think about it, I would physically just stop myself.  I read several really good books.  I walked all over town with my kiddos.  I ate good food.  Through the relaxing quality time I’ve spent with my kids and Blake, I feel like I’m healing.  I’ve got a long way to go, but I can see the light.

I’ve got a long way to go, but I can see the light.



The Biggest Little Fixer Upper Fan

Have I told you how awesome this kid is lately?

 She’s so generous, kind-hearted, and fun. She has raised hundreds of dollars for the local food pantry. She is beyond patient with a little brother who tries your patience every second. She loves her family, friends, her cat and especially HGTV. 
It is the funniest thing. A couple of months ago Paige became obsessed with all things HGTV. She loves House Hunters, Property Brothers, Flip or Flop but more than all of them she LOVES Fixer Upper. She laughs so hard at Chip’s antics and ooo’s and ah’s over Jo’s beautiful decorating. 
Paige spends her time on Netflix watching Fixer Upper. She fills my DVR with every episode. She watches the episodes over and over even though she has them memorized. 
One day Paige asked if I thought her style was more modern or traditional. That’s a normal question for a 10-year old right?
Paige turns 10 in 2 months. It’s hard to believe she is growing up so fast. We’ve started making birthday plans. It just so happens that Chip and Joanna will be in Kansas City at the Home Show the weekend before Paige’s birthday. We plan to go wait in a long line to get 10 seconds of their time to make her birthday wish come true. 


Have you ever listened to this song?  Really listened to the words?

My favorite line in the song is,

“My heart will choose to say, Lord
Blessed be Your name, Lord”

I remember a time, right after one of our dearest friends passed away unexpectedly, this song was sung in church.  I couldn’t sing along.  At that point, I couldn’t choose to just “Bless the Lord” but deep down, I knew some day I would be able to.  Each week, I got closer until I could finally sing the song again.

Isn’t life all about choices?

We choose to start our day with a positive attitude or a negative attitude.  We choose to respond to rude people with the same rudeness or to kill them with kindness.  It’s all about our choices.

We choose what we eat and drink.  We choose how we prioritize our time each day.  We choose who we spend time with.  We choose to dwell on the negative or look for the positive.  Life is full of choices.

I choose to trust God.  I choose to find the good in people.  I choose to believe the best is yet to come.  I choose to make my family the priority in my life.

What are you choosing?

YouTube video:
Uploaded on Nov 21, 2008

The Song Blessed Be Your Name Turned into a worship video made for you to worship our God.

Shake it off…shake it offf

Have you ever heard something bad about yourself and just let it eat you from the inside out?  Even if that something isn’t true, just to know someone thought something negative about you, it’s almost more than you can handle.

Yesterday, I came across some information that listed some feedback about me.  When I first read it, I was immediately so mad.  How dare they say things about me that:

  1.  weren’t true
  2. were hurtful
  3. and were just downright mean spirited

I really stewed on these comments for quite awhile.  It started to have a damper on how my day was going.  I’m not one who usually stews about things.  Usually things just roll off my shoulders without much thought (which drives my husband crazy) but for some reason, this was sticking with me.

I had to have a pep talk with myself and reminded myself that it really doesn’t matter what one person thinks.  If I was as bad as I was made out to be, I wouldn’t have a job, family or friends because who would want to be around me.

It reminded me that I need to just shake it off and move on.  I do need to probably keep my sarcasm in check sometimes because apparently some people don’t understand sarcasm, but as long as I’m being the best me I can be, I’ll shake it off and move on.

I hate it when he’s right

Blake has always been against getting a trampoline for our kids. He always said they are too dangerous.  We had one when I was growing up. I didn’t remember them being dangerous. 

Imagine our surprise when Santa brought a trampoline Christmas morning!

Fast forward to yesterday, the first day warm enough to put the new trampoline together.  After a slow start and some help from great neighbors, the trampoline was all ready for fun. The kids and their friends jumped and jumped and had a great time. 

Later that day, I decided to give the trampoline a whirl. How long has it been?  Probably at least 15 years…

It wasn’t too long into the jumping  that I realized that it’s more tiring than I can remember. We were having a great time until Parker went flying through the air and landed on his hand. 

Parker is not a complainer. I witnessed this kid several years ago clothesline himself while riding a bike and riding right into the tailgate of the truck. I was scared to look at what damage had been done but he jumped up and was fine. The kid doesn’t get hurt and if he does, it never stops him. 

Last night he whined a little about his hand but kept on with his nightly fun. This morning, he wasn’t able to get dressed or use his hand much. 

After a quick trip to urgent care, we learned it’s just a strain and just needs to rest for awhile. Thank goodness!  I’m already in the doghouse but if he had broken his hand, I would never hear the end of it.

Lesson learned:  I only jump on the trampoline alone. The kids can’t handle all this fun. 


Surviving life

2015 is coming to a close. It was a rough one. As a family we survived one of the biggest blows that I have ever experienced. The good news is, we survived.

If you know Blake at all, you know he never sits still. He works hard every day to keep the family business thriving and then comes home and does more than his share around the house. It’s just who he is.

That’s how I knew he wasn’t feeling well last February.  He would come home and sit. He wasn’t eating, he didn’t feel well, he didn’t look well. He was not well.

I remember one late night, I was driving Blake to Kansas City after our local ER had told us that was the best option, I was driving and thinking, “This is where our life changes forever.”  Who knew how right I was?

That night’s ER visit did not get us any answers. They sent us home after all night of waiting telling us he was fine. We came home to our favorite doctor and she helped us find answers.

Side note:  if your doctor ever wants to come to your house with results from tests, it’s probably not a good thing. We tease her about that now but her compassion, dedication and love for our family is something we will never be able to repay her for.

She had the MRI results back and I’ll never forget her words, she dropped her head in her hands and told us Blake had “lesions all over his brain”.

We knew this more than likely meant MS. Blake’s dad has fought a long, hard battle with this horrible disease so we are no stranger to it.

This is when God started working.  Miraculously we went from not able to see a neurologist for weeks to getting an appointment that next day with one of the best MS doctors around.

After a couple days of living it up at KU Med (the only thing the Jayhawks ever did right) Blake was on the road to recovery, this time, and did not have a diagnosis of MS yet….

Our life slowly got back to normal. Blake got settled into a life of medicines and shots and felt better little by little.

I’m happy to report that we have had a somewhat normal rest of the year. We had a great vacation where we walked all over Chicago, Blake golfed and hunted a lot all season long.

We headed back to the doctor at the beginning of December just sure he would get “patient of the year” because of how well he had been doing.  We were shocked when the doctor told us he had a couple new lesions. Because we have now experienced a change, Blake officially has multiple sclerosis.

He’s changed medicines and is continuing the fight. Overall, he still works hard at work and at home.

We’ve learned a lot throughout this past year

Our kids are stronger than we ever gave them credit for.  We have explained all of this to the extent they can understand and need and they have taken it all in stride. I think they are sad Blake isn’t doing shots anymore because it was a family affair.

We have learned who we can count on. We would like to thank those of you who have prayed for us, asked how we were doing, helped with our kids and brought us meals. It means a lot.

We are definitely closer as a couple. This has brought about a lot of conversations about how we want to fight and how we are coping with all of it. We are determined to fight as hard as we can and do everything we can to beat this horrible disease.

For me, the hardest past was having an unknown future. I’m a planner. I hate not having a plan or taking forever to get a plan. I was beyond devastated to know that I no longer have a way of knowing what our future looks like. Through my struggles, God really made clear to me that no one is promised tomorrow.  We can plan all we want and one second can change your life so really our future is no different than anyone else’s.

Our main reason for sharing is that we know, especially in small towns, people talk. We want to make sure the correct story is the story that is shared. Please don’t hesitate to ask us how Blake is doing. We are happy to share with you. We don’t want anyone to feel sorry for us. We are so blessed and have such a great life. There is no reason to feel sorry for us. You never know, a cure could be right around the corner.

The main thing I learned is that everyone has a story. Everyone has baggage.  Before we get frustrated with one another, let’s take a step back and realize we have no idea what the other person is going through. We are all just surviving.

Library family

It’s no secret that my job is my passion. You don’t have to be around me too long to figure out that I love what I do.  Libraries and getting people passionate about reading is what I’m about. 

I love coming to Spring Conference for MASL each year. It’s like summer camp when you see your friends each year. It’s so nice to talk with people who understand your daily struggles and successes. 

This year I have an added appreciation for my MASL family. It’s no secret that I’m not as involved as I have been in past years. Some of that is due to my time on committees coming to an end and some of that is due to the fact that my world got rocked about 2 months ago and I wasn’t even sure I would be able to attend Spring Conference. Thankfully things have settled down during this crazy year I’ve had and I’ve been able to attend as well as present at this year’s conference. 

It is evident  that I have connections with these people in the library world but what has been overwhelming to me is how many people have taken time out of their busy conference schedule to ask about Blake (who they have never met), hug my neck, tell me they have been praying for us…  I appreciate all of these kind words more than you will ever know. It’s nice to know someone has your back. 

Thank you