Personal Thoughts

From my family to yours! There are so many things to be thankful for this year and am blessed you all have been on this journey with me. I appreciate each and every single person who reads this blog and feel humbled to know that you support it. This blog started out as a very small platform and has grown into something I am truly proud of. A huge thanks to my mom for being my photographer, creative eye, advice giver, best friend and of course everything else I throw her way. Here’s a little recap of some major things that happened in 2014…

My nephew Shane was born!!! 

Baby Shane Arrives

(Mitch was taking the photo!)

Baby Shane Is Here

Got to go to a concert and the Hollywood Bowl! 

Hollywood Bowl

Almost died on vacation in Oregon… (no seriously lol)

Oregon Coast Vacation

Swung a golf club for the first time since surgery in 2013!

Cobra Golf Clubs

Got to play with this little guy as much as possible! 

Baby Shane in the Leaves

Most importantly, I got to be present with my family…

Family Photo

I also got a new job! 

But, I didn’t have a photo for that…

Hope you all had a wonderful year like I did. I feel blessed beyond measure. Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!

God Bless,

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Days like today make me smile…. and cry. Do you ever have those days where you are just going along and having a grand ole time then something pops into your head and makes you want to ball? Don’t take this the wrong way, these tears aren’t bad tears but more tears of happiness and sadness all jumbled into one. Today I was going about my business and enjoying the day when out of no where I wanted to cry. You see someone was eating a salad near me and all it took was them saying what type of dressing they liked and it instantly took me back to my grandma’s kitchen eating a salad she used to make with that dressing and boom, tears in my eyes. Then a sweet young girl came into the store I work at with her grandma to do some back to school shopping and I instantly started missing my shopping trips with my grandma. My grandma could never pass up a good sale. I definitely learned how to save tons of money from my grandma and mom. My grandma was one of my best friends. She passed away from cancer when I was 10, in fact she passed away 10 days before my 11th birthday. She was a classy lady who raised her voice maybe once the whole 10 years I knew her. She loved everyone and loved being the school librarian in her tiny little farm community where she and my grandpa lived. It’s funny how something as simple as salad dressing can bring back all these memories. I kept it together till I got home and then the water works started.  I felt completely pathetic.

I don’t cry. In fact I can count the times I have cried in the last year on one hand. It’s not that I don’t believe in crying it’s that for some reason I just don’t cry. I am not the type of person to let things bother me for more than 24 hours, so crying normally is pointless. I believe crying is an important part of life but for some reason my tear ducts don’t think so. Needless to say today completely caught me off guard. I don’t understand God’s timing or his plan most days but I know he has a purpose for everything. My tears led me and my mom to have a great conversation about my grandma which we hadn’t had in years. My mom reminds me so much of my grandma. She is kind, compassionate, sweet, wise and can’t pass up the chance to tell someone how cheap she got a place mate or something. JUST LIKE MY GRANDMA! I thank God everyday for giving me my mom and for letting her be so much like my grandma.

Most days we tend to forget to be thankful for what we have and WHO we have in our lives. Don’t be that person. Tell everyone in your life that you are grateful for them. I wished I could go back and tell my grandma that, every day I knew her. Had I known cancer would have taken her at such a young age I would have hugged her a little tighter, talked to her on the phone longer and would have begged to spend every moment with her. I know today’s post seems like a novel but take my advice, be grateful for the life you lead. Even when it’s not perfect, accept it and appreciate it. Life is a beautiful ride and never be ashamed for crying over something as simple as salad dressing. Lol.

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Everyone has a different opinion on what it means to be free. Free from pain, struggle, attachment, addiction, destruction and the list goes on and on. Days like today, remind me what I think it means to be free. I grew up in a very patriotic family. My grandpa served in the Navy and my father served in the Air Force. I always had a deep appreciation for everything that people serving in the military do on a daily basis. I was raised to put my hand over my heart during the Pledge of Allegiance, never let an American flag touch the ground and never, EVER let it be destroyed in a disrespectful manner. My parents did a great job of raising me to be an American.

This morning I woke up in my bed, that is in my room, which is in my house, which is my safe place. I laid there trying to comprehend what it would be like to wake up in a bed that was not surrounded by safe walls. To wake up in a place where I wasn’t free to get on my computer and write what was on my heart. To wake up and have the fear of not knowing if I would be safe from destruction today. Although we never fully know what will happen each day, no matter where you live, I do have a sense of safety because I live in the United States. The men and women in the military spend many sleepless nights and exhausting days to give me a feeling of security and for that I am eternally grateful.

I have had so many wonderful opportunities to travel in this great country of ours and am humbled by all I see. My parents made sure to take my sister and I to as many United States landmarks that they could. We were able to attend a 4th of July ceremony at Mount Rushmore, we visited my dads old Air Force base in South Dakota, and I was even able to visit Washington DC and the United States Naval Academy on my own trip. I have always had an appreciation for anything military related and find most of it fascinating.

As I sit here and write this blog, I am humbled by the thought of what today stands for. Memorial Day is not just an extra day off from work, or a great day for a store to have a sale. It goes much deeper than that. Days like today make me hug my dad a little tighter. I am forever grateful for his willingness to join the Air Force and support a cause much bigger than himself. He was willing to put his life on the line to keep someone else safe. He never asks for recognition and never expects anyone to thank him but today dad, I’m thanking you. You never talk about serving in a boastful manner and never stop to really think what a big deal it really is. You respect the flag, respect the military and respect our country and for that I am grateful. Thank you for being such a great American and for raising me to support the Red, White and Blue. I love you!

I hope you all have a wonderful day today, spend it with family and friends. Remember as you enjoy today, the men and women overseas who can’t be with their families. Say an extra prayer for them at your dinner table and tell them thank you if you can! A special thank you to the fallen soldiers and their families. I know I will never fully understand the struggle you all endure on a daily basis. I appreciate what your family members did and am humbled that they died for someone they don’t even know. They have my highest respect. I hope you all have a blessed day and enjoy!

God Bless America!

Here are some photos of my dad serving through the years! 🙂

Dad Air Force

Dad Air Force 3

Dad Air Force 5

Dad Air Force 6

Dad Air Force 7

Dad Air Force 4

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