Recently I was having a conversation with my husband about all the things pulling me in different directions, when I suddenly began to cry, feeling as though all my effort was for naught. From home, work, my responsibilities as a wife and mother, my demanding church calling, being involved in the high school booster club, completing my schoolwork and attending weekly gatherings… I was clearly overwhelmed and tired. On many occasions I can remember uttering a variation of the phrase, “things will calm down after…” insert one of the following: I get this presentation complete, the kids are older, the holidays are over, we complete this fundraiser, I get these ministering interviews finished, I finish this essay… yet, things never really calm down. It is not likely that life will slow down or hard times will ever just go away or become easier. However, things do settle or shift for a time and things seem to be manageable. There are many ways to persevere. The 2 things that I have found the most helpful are staying connected to my purpose and learning to adapt when disappointments come.
There is a lot going on in this world right now and it can be scary. On a regular day, I sometimes feel that I’m not doing enough. I get so overwhelmed by the things in this world that I can’t change. I have good intentions and try to make all these changes to show compassion and support but quickly become even more overwhelmed by outsiders expectations of me. Tonight as I sat down with my family for dinner, I was overcome with hope.
My children were discussing how yesterday, while my husband was sick in bed and I was off on my 2nd home showing for the day, they had gathered together to study our weekly Sunday School lesson. Without any adults or promptings by an adult, they took the opportunity to gather, study, and pray. This, I thought, is how I can make a change.
To the world, this might not make enough of a difference but this is the 1 thing I can make a change. My priority is to raise these children to be kind, accepting, forgiving, service minded, loving, safe, educated, responsible, prayerful adults. This I can do.
Our new back yard is double the size of the home we rented for the past few years. Needless to say... we are excited! Whats funny is I have grand plans for our backyard but when I think of all the things I'd like to add... there will be no room for me and all the peoples. Here are 10 things I'd like to incorporate:
1. Outdoor Kitchen/Grill
Friends, my man can grill! Being the food loving lady that I am, I want my man to have a place where he can grill me all the things! However, the grill is NOT the most pleasant thing to look at. I'm thinking Brick and concrete counter tops but I'm digging any of these options.
Yes, it is hot in AZ a good long chunk of the year but we do get some cool nights here in the desert. My kids love having friends over for the occasional "bonfire". We love to gather, hang out and who doesn't love s'mores? I wouldn't mind warming up in these spaces.
I am very "square" when it comes to pools. I like clean, straight lines where I can sit in one spot and see every inch of the pool. Plus I love the look a symmetrical pool can bring to a space. The last pic is all my kids dreams in one but looks like a stressful day at the pool to me...
I had an in ground trampoline growing up and it was the best! It is always a challenge to include a trampoline in your backyard design but I think the in ground tramps are the way to go.
5. Chicken Coop
I was not raised on a farm, nor did I spend much time chasing chickens as a kid... I just want one. I want my kids to have the responsibility of cleaning and looking after chickens. I also love the idea of getting free eggs and if ever there was a need... some flying dinner in the back yard.
6. Patio Dining
I love eating outside and relaxing on the patio. I like playing games out there and chatting with the people I love. It really is happy place for me. I'm always on the lookout for stylish and comfortable patio furniture. I like inviting spaces like these...
Whether its a flower garden or a vegetable garden, I have to have one. More opportunities for provident living and teaching kids responsibility and life skills? Sign. Me. Up.
We use our hammock a lot! Ours is a bit of an eye sore so I'm on the hunt for an aesthetically pleasing space for a hammock in our outside living space. I'm definitely in love with these...
I'm a sucker for a Pergola. It is more of a want for me... it's a need. Nothing makes an outdoor space complete quite like a pergola. Love, love, love them!
10. Backyard Miscellaneous
No backyard is complete without a ping pong table, projector theatre and extra storage, right?! Well all of this would be a great bonus to any backyard of a home that is about to be over run by teenagers!
Let's be honest, I'll be lucky to incorporate any of this in my new backyard. From the looks of it now, only half of my list is realistic for our space. Now it's time to narrow it down and map it out so I can present it to the husband...
We just moved into a home of our very own. It's a great house and we are pretty thrilled to have a permanent place to call ours. Usually when I move I'm completely unpacked after 2 weeks. That is not the case this move. Ha. I just can't seem to get in the mood nor make any decisions on placement of furniture and decor. We also need new furniture for new spaces but I can't decide if we sell what we got then buy or buy then sell the old? So much to think about!
This Memorial weekend we reseeded our front yard. The first project of many! I felt like a true homeowner. It was fun. There are a few things we would like to do to the house that will help this new house feel like OUR Home. How do you decide where to start? I'm slightly overwhelmed at the moment and unsure what, where, and how to get started. So instead of actually making any decisions, I Pinterest Surf for something to Inspire me. Here are a few things I would love to incorporate into our home...
I lucked out and got a kitchen that I LOVE! There is not much I would want to change about it. I have a great Window over my sink and I'd love to make it more of a focal point.
2. Master Bathroom
Our Master Bathroom is one of the places that was not upgraded. I love that we get to customize it to our wants, needs and style. Luckily my husband and I are in agreement that we would like a concrete counter top trough sink. My husband is very talented and I think we could realistically pull this off on a modest budget. ( he used to do this for a living)
For now we have our Laundry room & Mudroom in the Garage and it works for now. Eventually, I'd like to put an addition onto the side of our home adding a Laundry room, mudroom, and half bath. I'd do laundry in any of the spaces below.
4. Family Room
My husband and I have been debating whether or not to knock down the wall that divides our Family Room from our Kitchen. I have always loved in OPEN floor plan and give me a sledge hammer and I'd be knocking down all the walls. My husband is a bit more realistic and concerned about the noise level. I see his point but I also see all the pretty open living spaces like these...
I'm a lover of fireplaces... not because I need one just because they are pretty. We don't have one in this home but I'm not opposed to a faux fireplace.
So many decisions to be made and no idea what to tackle first. Hopefully when the kids get back to school in the fall I'll be able to get the ball rolling.
What has been your favorite house project? Any renovation nightmares?
My summers as a kid were busy. Between Girls Camp, Cheer Camp, cheer practice, Family Camping, a Paper Route, occasional Beach House in Santa Cruz, CA, Swim Lessons, white water rafting, visiting family in Bakersfield, CA or Memphis, TN... there wasn't much time to bum around. A few years ago I talked with my parents about our busy summers and how it did not leave much time to hang out with friends. There was lots of exclusive family time and it was fun. My parents admitted that their goal was to keep us busy to keep us out of trouble.
As a parent, I too want to keep my kids busy. The kids are involved this summer in Diving, Water Polo, Jr. Lifeguards, ukulele lessons, Girls Camp, Scout Camp and at home I'm determined to knock out a hike, plant and care for a garden, and hitting up our local Library each week.
Luckily for my kids, we get to also spend sometime In Coloma, CA at the Riverhouse. My parents have a beautiful home on the American River in Northern California. Every July all 10 of my siblings (and children) gather at my parents home for a reunion... HANDS DOWN our favorite event of the Summer.
As my Kids get older, I do dream of additional Vacation destinations. Here are a few that I've been dreaming of lately...
1. Havasupai/Havasu Campgrounds
I have been to the lower part of Havasu, a quick stop on our way down the Colorado River, as a kid and it is stunning! I would love to take my kids on this hike and stay at the campgrounds.
Yosemite is a place I've been a few times with my family growing up. I will forever regret being such a chicken and not hiking Half Dome! (smack face) I hope that we can take our kids before they leave the nest. Definitely a family Bucket List destination.
3. Treebone Resort, Big Sur
There are so many places along the coast in California that it's hard to pick just 1 but doesn't this look like lots of fun? I'm not sure I'd like to bring all 6 kids and the pup along but this looks like a great place for my husband and I.
4. Carlsbad Bluffs Campgrounds, CA
We used to camp at the beach when I was younger. It is honestly my two favorite summer activites (Camping and Beach) combined into one. I have very fond memories of spending the day playing in the ocean and sand then back to our campsite for campfire dinners and songs. Experiencing this with my kids is pretty close to the top of my list.
5. Lake Powell
I've done a quick over night here but would love to spend a week here with my peeps. Living in AZ, I have lots of friends who frequent this coveted summer destination and I can't wait for an opportunity to join in on the fun!
I'm hoping that next summer we will be able to plan ahead and incorporate 1 (maybe 2) of these trips into our Summer schedule.
What are some of your favorite Summer Destinations?
It is no secret that my dad, Jefferey Lynn Carter, died in August 1989. It’s not a secret because I talk about it often. Experiencing loss at such a young age caused me to reflect much on the topic of death. This tragic event in my life helped me come to some pretty mature understanding of mortality and spiritual well-being at a very early age. Though it was difficult to endure, his death has very much shaped my life in a rather positive way. There are so many things I have learned from this single part of my life. Of course, I didn’t sleep for the first year or two after he died and I had lots of fear surrounding anything or anyone who was “sick”… but eventually, through a very patient mother, counseling, and the gift of prayer, I overcame those fears and I think I’ve become a pretty well-balanced adult…
I was born in Memphis, TN on a Wednesday evening. Other than my mom cleaning the house and doing laundry, my arrival was pretty uneventful even though my baby book has a picture of me, just moments after birth, with the caption “Prize fighter”. I was the third child born to Jeff & Jenny Carter. I had an older brother Ben and an older sister Jill. We were pretty close in age and my mom definitely had her hands full.
My father was diagnosed with Epilepsy while my mom was pregnant with me (1981-ish). The Epilepsy started small but progressively developed over the years. I was young enough not to remember too much about what was going on as well as the hardship it was for both my father and mother. I did know that he was “sick” but I don’t think I ever realized how sick he was. I do know that when I was about 4-ish, he got better enough for them to have my little sister Terri and 21 months later my little brother Ty snuck in there. That’s when my dad started to get really bad. He had a few major surgeries in an attempt to correct the seizures. After the last surgery he never recovered. After he died, they found that he had a rare form of cancer that lined his brain.
We stayed in Memphis for about a year after Dad died. At first, my mom and us 5 kids were embraced and supported by our community but soon it became hard for my mom because her story seemed to be “too sad” for others. So she made the difficult decision of moving us across the country to Bakersfield, CA where her family lived.
As difficult as that was, It was a great choice for our family.
Have you ever had to move across state lines? What was that like for you?
It didn’t take me long to realize I didn’t ever have the desire to be a celebrity. Also, I don’t have any skills that would necessitate celebrity status… but even if I did, no thank you. I can respect people’s popularity for their respected talents but in no way do I have the desire to live life on a perch for all to mock and ridicule. However, I have had some pleasant and unpleasant encounters with celebrities. More often than not, I’ve acted a complete fool while in the presence of such fame. Here are 10 encounters I’ve experienced:
1. Anjelah Johnson – I went to High School with Anjelah and we were on the cheer team together. She always had a positive, fun, outgoing personality and was genuinely kind to everyone. Her nail salon set hit the internet and took off. I remember sitting in my home feeding a baby and seeing it for the first time. It was hilarious! Super proud of her and the success she is having.
2. Garth Brooks – I sat at a table with Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood at a reception following a mutual friends funeral. They were both extremely polite, down to earth and super normal. I was shocked. We talked about normal everyday things and it was refreshing. They seemed genuinely interested in stories of my children and I had to pinch my thigh the whole time to refrain from geeking out about them. After all, Friends in Low Places was the 1st country song I could sing frontward and backwards. About 7 years later, my girlfriends took me to his concert for my Birthday. Best concert ever!
3. Terrell Owens – During my Single Lady years, that one time I was on Tinder and matched up with Terrell Owens. Chatted with him for an hour before I realized it was him. I thought he looked familiar and assumed he went to my High School. I screen shot his picture and sent it to my friend and her husband and she immediately sent me back a text that said, “Dude, that’s Terrell Owens, a famous football star.” LOL. I typically don’t like to expose my Tinder activity but… This was brag worthy. I thought it was probably a fake account but for a minute… I was on cloud nine. Then a few days later TO requested to be my friend on Instagram and guess what? It was his real account. Haha. TO is obsessed with me!
4. John Travolta – When we lived in Florida, my ex husband met John Travolta at our local gym. We lived in the same town and John and my ex became fast friends. I was always a very big JT fan but being on a personal basis with him opened my eyes to the reality of a celebrity. We traveled with he and his wife, Kelly Preston, to Hawaii, New Mexico, their home in Maine and even visited a lot with them when they rented a house in Scottsdale for a short period of time. Though they were always kind to me, it wasn't my favorite experience…
5. Danny Glover – When I was a freshman in HS, I was invited (along with my HS Cheer team) to participate in a 49er Halftime Show. Danny Glover was part of the Halftime Show as well. I met and shook his hand on the field. The End.
6. Katie Holmes – While attending a movie premiere in New York with some friends, a very tall and beautiful lady, lightly brushed past me in the isle of the Theatre. My friend Greg said to me, “Awe man, She’s HOT!”… I said, “Greg, you know who that is right?!”… He had a look of confusion on his face and I let him know it was Katie Holmes as in “the Katie Holmes that is married to Tom Cruise”.
7. Shannon Miller – Growing up my Mom was a Gymnastics Coach/ professional Level Gymnastics Judge. One year she got to be the meet referee at the Pyramid Challenge Invitational while my sister got to be on the floor as a runner. I was in the stands with friends but we got to meet Shannon Miller before the meet, who was not so interested in being a celebrity since she was in the “pre-Meet zone”. Haha. At the time I thought she was rude but looking back, I’m sure she had a TON of pressure on her. Bless her heart.
8. New Kids on the Block – My friend Marcello is a great Photographer who goes on Tour with artists as their Official Tour Photographer. He just so happened to be on his 2nd Tour with New Kids on the Block and passing through PHX. He called me up and offered me and a friend free front row tickets. It was AAAAAAmazing!!! Got to see Nelly, TLC and NKOTB in one night! I harassed Donnie Wahlberg all night long with cat calls, flirty eyes, and inappropriate shimmy. I think I may have shocked him. After the concert, we got to go back stage but I was too shy to ask for photos. But I got to see a few of the “New Kids” up close. I’d give this experience 5 stars.
9. Ellen Degeneres – My parents took us to Hawaii when I was 15yrs old. While my parents were in the grocery store, my siblings and I were kicking it in the parking lot. As we were waiting on my parents to exit the grocery store, we saw Ellen and girlfriend at the time, Anne Heche, loading their groceries into their car. As my brothers were yelling “We love you Ellen” and other things, my parents walked out of the grocery store and we got in trouble for disturbing the celebrities.
10. Zac Efron – At the same Movie premiere as #6, we were invited to the after party. Being Pregnant and a solid 15 years older than Mr. Efron, ahem, I thought it would be no big deal for me to casually ask him to sign my High School Musical DVD. I followed him around the party for a good 2 hours. Every time he’d look up at me, I’d show him a few of my stellar acting moves by pretending I wasn’t stalking his every move. SMH. I finally had my ex go with me to get his autograph. Immediately after signing our DVD, he left. LOL. I’m creepy…
Who have you met? Good or Bad experience?
You know that kid that said, “I like to do hood rat stuff with my friends”?
Well that is literally me. Let me explain…
I had just finished my first school year in a new town when I learned that ALL of my new friends were attending a different Middle School than me. In our School district, we got to make a 1st, 2nd, & 3rd choice of school then the powers that be would sort the school population with, requests and the task of desegregating our schools. The school my parents wanted me to attend was our neighborhood school which most of my siblings had previously attended. Steinbeck Middle School consisted of 6th, 7th and 8th graders from all over our district. Every single one of my friends went to the Performing Arts Magnet, Castillero Middle School a good 15 min from home.
Disclaimer: I do not condone violence of any kind, nor have I actually ever lived a life of crime, nor have I ever been in a physical altercation with anyone that was not a sibling of mine.
First Day of 6th Grade at Steinbeck, I wore this maroon shirt I got at Red Eye. Haha. I was stressed about trying to make new friends. I met a girl in my first period class who was actually kind to me. Feeling insecure and out-of-place, there was nothing on my moral radar that said, “think this one through”. This friend (still can’t remember her name) was so much different then my other friends. She wore baggy dickies, Nike Cortez, super tight maroon shirts, very dark lips, and hair super slicked back and most days a bandana wrapped carefully around her ponytail. Obviously, I did my best to mimic this exact look because I was an insecure 12-year-old desperately trying to just blend in.
Not only did I beg and beg for dickies and cortez’s, but I also started to mimic other behaviors as my new friend. I developed a pretty serious ‘tude as well as let my grades go to crap. After all, smartasses and not applying yourself in school were the latest trends. Naturally, if my friends asked me to jump of a bridge, off the bridge, I would jump… including the day I cut school with my friends and we were picked up by police at Kmart. (Did you know you can buy Dickies at Kmart?)
Closing in on our first semester of 6th grade, one day my friends were talking “smack” about some other girls at school. You bet your buns I was all up in there saying things like, “I know, Right?!”. (For the record, I did not know, nor was I right.) By lunch time, emotions and tensions were high and the law was about to be laid down by my homies. The next thing I knew, we were out in the field and what seemed like the entire school was closing in and a major fight broke out between 2 groups of people. Guess who was right there in the middle?
I asked my sister (who was in 8th grade that year) if she remembered the day I got into a gang fight at School.
She said… “Yes, I was there. But you didn’t actually do anything from what I remember. I think you shoved someone? You were part of a circle surrounding a girl? My perspective is that it was embarrassing that my sister (who I could beat up in a heartbeat) was trying to act like a thug.”
Shortly after the cutting of class and the fight, my parents transferred me to Castillero Middle school where all my elementary school friends went. I reconnected with my friends, met some new friends, joined the 6th grade choir, later joined the Show Choir, got really into the grunge thing and never saw my hood rat friends again.
As a parent, I am mortified. I can’t believe I was so impressionable or so insecure. I’m sure all the moves I had experienced is what set me back but wow. On another note, I’m proud of my kids. I don’t feel that they are too desperate to fit in. They aren’t afraid to step outside their comfort zones. They make friends easily and they KNOW who they are. I’d like to take credit for that but I truly feel that my kids are just wired that way.
Do you have embarrassing stories of trying to fit in?
“You think you know… but you have NO idea.” Please tell me you wasted many precious hours of your life watching The Real World on MTV like I did!? Well, That phrase sums up any 30 something year old person reflecting back on their 20 something year old self. I didn’t mean to be so naive but I just think as 20 year olds, we just haven’t gained enough life experience to know any better. Sure, I had hard times, made dumb choices, but nothing compared to the trials I had to conquer in my 30ies.
When my father passed away, my mom found herself a widow, not enough education to sustain a career, all the debt you could imagine a young mom with a very sick husband might have, 5 young children, at 35 years old. The very thought gives me painful chills. I admire my mother for many reasons but mostly because of how hard she worked to provide not just a good life, but a GREAT life for me and my siblings. Nothing glamorous at all, but as a kid, I never felt deprived of anything. I’m sure she spent many a night trying to figure out how she would put dinner on the table the next night, but she managed mothering, working, serving at church, coaching cheer (which if you’ve ever been a cheer coach you know it doesn’t pay squat!) AND going to school.
As I grew older, I often thought about if I were in her shoes, what would I do? How would I sustain a life for myself? My Kids? This question is ultimately what pushed me into the Cosmetology Industry. Don’t be fooled, it wasn’t a totally practical decision. I was also very excited to explore my creativity through hair styling and the added bonus of helping others feel good about themselves… all very appealing to this . The goal was to go to hair school and work as a stylist while I went to College. I met a guy and got married 6 months after I finished hair school (2002), never once stepping into a College, and plans of a short career styling hair and then many years of raising babies.
Flash forward 10 years (2012), I found myself isolated from family in a new state, crippling anxiety/depression (they tend to be a package deal) and going through a very difficult divorce with 4 young children at my ankles. Oh CRAP, doesn’t even do it justice. When I moved to Arizona a few years before the divorce, I was so overwhelmed by my 4-year-old, 3-year-old, 2-year-old and an almost 1-year-old, that I didn’t even tell anyone that I did hair. It wasn’t that I didn’t love it, I just didn’t want to get myself back in the position of never telling anyone “no” and cutting hair that would fall on my babies faces while they stood, sat, laid at my feet, screaming for my attention. However, with a fresh new divorce, I hopped on the internet, bought a hydraulic chair and started taking clients out of my home.
It was the perfect job for me during that time. It allowed me the flexibility of pretending like I was a stay at home mom while helping to supplement a tiny bit of income. I would only take clients when my kids were at school, napping or with their dad. I wasn’t rolling in the dough by any means but it helped ease the financial burden a bit. I still have a small clientele of friends that I get to see regularly but over the past 5 years I’ve dabbled here and there with other ventures that could have been great for me but were too difficult for me to balance family life, work, and mental/emotional stability. I really wanted to be the type who could do the single mom thing and start an at home business and just be Successful in all the things. Boy did I reach my limits fast!
Guess what, it turns out that I can’t do it all. I just learned (the hard way) that I could just do some and that was going to have to be enough. It took a lot of trial and error and a massive amount of faith but we got through it. So many life lessons we learn amidst challenges. Sometimes we learn them quickly, other times very, very slowly.
“THERE ARE SOME THINGS YOU CAN ONLY LEARN IN A STORM.” – JOEL OSTEEN (I HATE THAT I JUST QUOTED HIM BUT I CAN RECOGNIZE WORDS OF WISDOM WHEN I HEAR THEM.)
Now that my kids are older and am happily remarried, I’m ready to attempt a new adventure. I really love cutting hair and I think I will always do that but I’m looking to do something that can bring in a more consistent contribution… I know what i’m gonna do but I’m note ready to put it out there yet. Stay tuned.
and FYI… It took my Mom 20 Years to graduate College but she did it and that’s pretty awesome!
There are a million things I want to tell my self/husband/children on the daily but the only thing I can regularly manage is “I love you”. Everything else I’ve left up to the many post it’s, chalkboards, laminated magnets, letterboard, rocks, and whiteboards that coat the walls of our abode. Some are uplifting, others are irreverent, all are important. Here are my 10 favorites:
1. “If you can be one thing, Be Kind.” – In a perfect world, I would have given a formal family counsel where we would talk in depth about kindness. I would have shared inspiring stories of big hearted people sharing and caring for all who cross their paths. Then I would have given an index card to each family member and encouraged them to write out a personal goal of kindness and tape (yet another) card to the wall as a reminder. Things I had planned to do… Alas, the only thing I did was read this quote out loud, called it our back to school theme, gave them a quick little ditty over dinner the night before school started and slapped it on the letterboard in the downstairs bathroom.
2. “No Techno Time, TV, or Toys in the morning!!” – I have some independent kids and a few that need a little extra guidance. Every August when we get back into the daily grind that is school, I always have a kid or 2 that struggles with staying on task in the mornings. It only takes me 1 bad morning… till I spend an entire day coming up with new ways to organize my children. Enter CHORE CHART. I seriously have to create a new system 3x a year just to keep these kids on their toes. This phrase is always hand written on the top of the chore chart in BIG letters, laminated and displayed so nicely on my fridge. I’ve noticed that when they have a personal list of what needs to happen next, they are more likely to be self sufficient when preparing themselves, and our home for the day. Plus, I don’t have to yell as much.
3. “The Season for Prayer is always.” – A few years ago, I taught a class for the women of my church on Sundays. This particular Sunday the topic was on Prayer. This quote stood out from the entire lesson so I busted out my chalk pens and spent way too much time creating beautiful lettering on my framed chalkboard. It ended up looking so good that I have not dared to erase it! It is a large board and placed strategicly in the family room. Hopefully someone is inspired to pray.
4. “Has anyone fed the kids?” – I saw this quote printed on a cute pendant in a picture my girlfriend posted to Instagram. I was too cheap to buy one and just so happened to have all the supplies to make one so I did. I just thought it was clever and witty. Now it hangs next to my table as a beacon for food.
5. “Even if ‘everyone is doing it’, Wrong is NEVER Right.” – During a biannual church conference, I heard this quote in this talk. It was like a bell ringing and lingering in my ears and I immediately determined this was something I needed for my children to know. Yet another framed chalkboard fell victim to my chalkpens and quickly became a permanent fixture to our home. This one I keep right at the exit of our home so that whenever someone leaves the house, they leave with great words of wisdom.
6. “No Tampons down the pooper!” – After much debate on how our monthly clogged toilet came to be… my husband snaked the toilet and found the obstruction. Sigh. Ever since the first day Aunt Flow came to visit, I have been flushing lady sticks down the toilet. I shared a bathroom with 6 sisters, was I the only one doing this wrong? Dad, did you just quietly unclog all the thrones of our castle on the reg? Needless to say, I had to break a 20+ yr old habit. So the night after my husband showed me the error of my ways, I jokingly wrote this reminder on a hot pink index card and taped it above the TP holder. We laughed pretty hard about it but that 3×5 card has saved me on more than one occasion.
7. “We can do hard things.” – I don’t even remember where I got this from. I do remember knowing in a counseling session that this was going to be my mantra as I paddled through the rough waters of my divorce. In fact the night before my ex husband and I sat our little children down to tell them of our split, I painted it on a sign. I used to chant it over and over again in my head as I struggled with all the difficulties as a single mom. I would remind my kids these words whenever they were having a hard time or even on encouraging notes left on their desks at school. This simple phrase was often all I needed to remind me to get on my knees and pray. Is it weird that a sentence means so much to me? IDK. I still hang the sign I painted in our home. It makes me happy when I see it.
8. “Scooter ~ Our beloved fur brother and friend~ August 26, 2010-August 18, 2016” – Our kids really struggled with the loss of our dog Scooter. Even the kids that didn’t like him where pretty busted up over his absence. After a few weeks and still high emotions, A friend suggested a formal memorial/funeral would provide the kids some closure… So for FHE we talked about the plan of happiness. We all stood and shared a favorite memory of our dear Scooter, wrote letters to him which were tied to balloons and sent with love up above. It’s really hard to watch your kids be sad but I’m very grateful that we were able to have this lesson on grieving. I took a smooth river rock from the front yard and made it into a type of headstone and it sits on the hearth of our fireplace. RIP Scooter.
9. “There will always be more Blessings than Burdens even if some days it doesn’t seem so.” – I think this one I found on Pinterest but I know that it comes from here. Life is difficult! Sometimes I feel like I’m barely able to master one trial when another one creeps into sight. It can be overwhelming and too often I find myself feeling discouraged or defeated. So I like to surround myself with words to buoy me up when I’m in need. This one is up on the whiteboard helping me to just keep swimming.
10. “Pray, Damnit” – While doing the dishes at my Sisters home in UT, I noticed a small tile next to her faucet that said “Choose the Right, Damnit”. I laughed so hard! I loved that it was so blunt. I don’t typically have a difficult time making good choices but I do need to work on my prayer game. I wrote it on a post it and put it on the side of my nightstand so I would see it when I laid my head onto my pillow at night and… when I opened my eyes in the morning.
Do you have reminders around your home? Do you notice reminders in others homes? What is your favorite reminder?
Hi I'm Cindi! When I'm not chasing after kids or dogs... oh wait, that never happens!