Life is Still Beautiful 

17 years ago today I made a promise that I would love him forever…This morning, as I do every October 23rd, I thanked God for the 13 years God allowed me to be a wife. 

So today, I celebrate.  

Not my marriage…but my KIDS. 

If it wasn’t for this day 17 years ago, I would have never had been blessed with being Catherine and Adam’s Mommy!!   

Philippians 4:11-13 says I am NOT saying this because I am in need. For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation…..

no ordinary life

To be continued……..


Enough about me…

I teach 3rd-5th grade Sunday School…It can be very entertaining at this age.    My son is in my class along with a set of twins, adorable bossy little girls who never give him a break.

This is the conversation from my class yesterday:

Me:  Good morning girls!!  How was Christmas?

Girls:  It was great, we got…….(insert gifts here)

Me:  Adam, tell the girls what you got for Christmas!

Adam:  I got……(insert girls interrupting him to talk about themselves)

Me:  That sounds like a great Christmas Girls!!!    Adam, why don’t you tell them what you got for Christmas now.

Adam:  I got……(Insert girls interrupting again)

Me:  (laughing)

Adam:  Enough about me!!! Please, let’s talk about YOU! (as he glared at the girls!)

Girls:  Ok…..(as they kept on talking)

He is going to be a good husband someday!!!

Silent Night…an open letter to single divorced parents

‘Tis the Season to compete on who is going to buy the biggest and best present.   To spend countless hours complaining that you hate being divorced.  To talk about depression.   To remind everyone around you why life just isn’t fair.   To complain that you don’t get to spend quality time with your kids……..


All my life I wanted a man like Clark Griswold.   So loving and kind.  Heck, he was even going to use his Christmas Bonus to put in a pool!!    He went to great lengths to make sure his family was happy even if it meant holding security guards up at gunpoint at WallyWorld…..And that man sure knows how to decorate a house for Christmas!!   (without his wife asking!!)   Yes, Clark, you are the perfect man!!


So now let’s snap back into reality…….Most of us married Cousin Eddie!


pardon the language…but it really is fitting!

Now, to be serious.

To all divorced parents, I have an important Christmas message for you!!

I know you may be sad that you have to share your kids for Christmas.   But guess what…Let them be kids!  Let them enjoy their 2 Christmases.    Enjoy the time you have with them and then be grateful that your ex spouse can equally enjoy  their time.

Now is the time to make new traditions….with the kids and without the kids!

So, single parents UNITE!!   Let’s make this the best Christmas ever for our little ones!    Let’s put all anger aside for one holiday and make some good memories!

There is plenty of time to be bitter….Valentines Day is just around the corner!!!

6e5f2a286c5fed0d4d6659a9f1a9eae1Merry Christmas to all….and enjoy your Silent Night!!!!


It is Well….

It’s beginning to look a lot like “I am not really into Christmas”….or am I?

I am the most uptight person alive when it comes to decorating for Christmas.   Lugging out the 5 Christmas trees, 3 Christmas Villages, 3 nativity scenes and the random knick knack and stuffed Santa Claus was always the highlight of my entire year.    Christmas was always work.  I made it a chore.   A chore that no one else in my family wanted to participate in.   Mainly because it wasn’t fun, I made it my life’s goal to pour my heart and soul into making the house look like a Winter Wonderland, but didn’t want the family to be involved for fear they may put an ornament in the wrong place on the tree.      I did enjoy the help that was given to me when it came to pulling out the 20 boxes of ornaments, lights and garland….not to mention the villages and nativities.      Climbing into the trees to hang lights wasn’t my forte either, so I gladly kept my feet planted firmly on the ground as I barked out orders from below.

I spent 12 years of our marriage putting the Christmas decorations up on my own.   As he prepared for hunting season, I prepared for Christmas.    He dreaded the mundane task of dragging everything out of the attic, and all I could think about was surprising him with a museum of glitter and garland when he returned from hunting.   It was always my intention to make him proud of me.   For him to walk in and stand in awe at the hard work and hours (Blood Sweat and Tears!!) I had poured in to make it the best Christmas ever!

Every year, he came home….gave a half hearted “looks nice” and plopped his clothes down for me to wash.   The house that once smelled like Cinnamon had a strong odor of camp fire and deer urine.

The first year that he left us, I was so distraught, but I knew I had to decorate for the kids.   I trudged in the attic as I sobbed hysterically, lowering the trees down by myself.  Then calling my Daddy to help me because I quickly realized that I couldn’t do it on my own.    I watched my little boy try so hard (as he still does every year) to be the man of the house as he would go outside with his little shovel and snow suit and shovel the driveway,  taking a break every now and then to eat the snow!  (which I find disgusting!!)     He and my Dad would surprise me with decorating the outside.  I stayed inside, instead of barking out orders as I was just truly grateful that they were so kind to help me.

While decorating the tree, I cried uncontrollably as I put up the “First Christmas Together” ornaments, the family ornaments that displayed our names as Snowmen on a sled, the Baby’s First Christmas….I quickly realized that our Christmases would never be the same, yet I was not ready to give up the ornaments that I so proudly displayed every year on our “Memory Tree”.

It wasn’t until last Christmas that I stopped crying, I stopped romanticizing the bittersweet memories that no longer existed.   Although, I always want my kids to remember Christmas as a family, I felt no need to keep the “First Christmas Together” ornament.   Who would want that as a family heirloom when I am gone?   I realized that part of my life did not exist anymore, so alone one night as I was decorating the tree,  I broke the ornament and I threw it in the trash.    At that moment, I felt as though I was Kathy Bates in  Fried Green Tomatoes….I almost shouted Towanda!!!  (yet my heart still felt just as broken as the ornament)

December 7th, 2015.   I am sitting in my living room watching my kids decorate the Christmas trees by themselves.   My son, who isn’t tall enough to decorate the top of the tree, yet determined that is where he wanted to decorate, stood on the coffee table.  My daughter sat on the floor and wanted to hear the story behind each ornament.  My Exchange Student eagerly took over the task of the heavy lifting and took the top of the tree (because I am vertically challenged) as I spread out the branches on the bottom.    We opted not to put up the Christmas villages and the Nativity scenes this year for the sake of time.   (the first time in 16 years)

I took pictures…actual pictures of them decorating!!   Not the normal pictures of me handing them an ornament to put on the tree, so I could brag on social media that we decorated as a family.  All lies!!!


The outside lights don’t match….the giant blow ups are not what I would consider “classy or elegant” but the kids picked them out.    The teens decorated the outside while I sat in the yard as we laughed at them climbing the big tree in the front yard and my nice climbing on the shoulders of the Exchange Student as he yelled, “My Gosh, you are so heavy!!” and almost dropped her.


My little guy just fell asleep next to me while watching A Christmas Story.  I am sitting here looking for the missing garland,  the villages, and the massive amounts of fake snow that used to don the house.   He’s 10, and this is the first year I let him and his sister take over.   For some reason, that makes me sad as I hold him in my arms tonight.  To think that this is the first year I completely let go of being the Christmas Nazi and let them just be little kids.  Making Memories with their Mom.


As I sit here tonight taking in my surroundings, I finally feel at peace.  Happy.  Satisfied.  It finally feels like HOME.

It is well with my soul……12308572_10208555102618518_2275357296802741425_n




Weekly Quotes!!😜

Quotes from this week:

We just saw a huge skunk!  It was Skunkzilla!!    Oh look, the moon!!


OUCH!!!  My Penis!!!

Um, you don’t have a penis, you are a girl!!!

Girls have a Vagina!

Oh, OUCH!!    My Furgina!!!!!

(my son picking his scabs!!)

Me:  Son, please don’t go to school and pick that scab on your face!!!  It’s so gross and it will get bloody.      No one wants to see blood!!

Adam:   I’ll tell them I was in the war!!

Me:  You were hit by a tree while hunting!!!

Adam:  That takes talent Mom!!


Mom, I am not trying to be mean….but your hair smells like Tootsie Rolls.


Me:  Son, do I look ok?

Adam:  You don’t look THAT ugly Mom!!



 Ok….so here are just a few things I am thankful for!!
My mom has been seriously ill the last few months.    I am very thankful for her Health and how much she loves my kids!   I don’t know what I would do without her.  She is the best Grandma EVER!!  making memories and always smiling.    This is what a Grandma is!!!  (Take notes if you must) 

I’m so thankful for this guy!!   He’s been my best friend since Kindergarten!!  He’s my therapist, my shoulder to cry on, my late night texting buddy and the lover of Emojis and GIFs.        
This handsome fella is my Daddy!!   He is the best Grandpa anyone could ever ask for. A wonderful role model for my son and the great protector of my daughter.    The lover of “stealthies” (selfies).    YouTube addict.  And Smart Phone illiterate.     This kid just makes my heart melt!    Every time I look at him my heart skips a beat.   Watch out world….you are looking at a future preacher.     Love just can’t even begin to describe the way I feel about this little man.    Sigh….isn’t she beautiful?     God must have not wanted me to be bored so he gave this chick to me!!     She’s smart, beautiful and a TEENAGER!    Lord, help us all!!  My second Momma!!!    This is one amazing lady.     She has a heart of gold and the strongest opinion and personality I’ve ever seen.        She never had kids of her own, until I was born.    Now she has two “grandchildren” to spoil.     Ok….I am thankful for sugar!!!!  Enough said! I’m counting my BFF twice!!     He cleans too!   And ladies, he’s SINGLE!!!She’s my travel buddy, partner in crime, music lover, Ben Rector obsessed, smartest and most determined kid I know!! Has the singing voice of an angel.      And future Trauma Surgeon!   (And also single young men!)   These two…..beauties with an attitude!      Already spreading the gospel!!!😍  I am grateful for my church family.   And the amazing role model Mrs. Sandra is to me.    She made me “homeless packs” to take to our trip to NY.    She overheard us talking one evening about making little bags for homeless people and spreading some love while we visit NY.   she packed 5 gallon bags with:   Socks, gloves, hats, scarves, peanuts, pop tarts, tuna, Vienna sausages, carmex…..I’ve never seen anyone pack so much into a 5 gallon Baggie         This is Church Husband!!!      He’s kinda goofy and makes me smile all the time.  The entire church is rooting us on to date.    We both know we’d kill each other the first week!!    So ladies….he’s also single!!!   Thankful she has my sweet tooth and is learning to cook!!!     Also thankful for this adorable neighbor kid and one of my daughter’s best buds!! They are hard workers!  And always willing to lend a hand!  Ok….that is the VERY condensed short list.   There is my sisters, nieces and nephew, friends and extended family.   I am thankful for the people that have made my life easier and even for the ones that made it difficult.        

Ok….the pies aren’t going to bake themselves so I better get busy!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!!!!

Tell Me The Story Mom….to my daughter on her 13th Birthday!


Tell me the story about when I was in your tummy.

You love for me to tell you about how you would kick me and I would spank your butt when you stretched in my huge tummy.
The first time you had hiccups and it scared me!
The first time I felt you kick and how I dug a hole in the sand to lay on my tummy at the beach that year.
A few weeks later is when 9-11 happened. I remember never leaving the couch that day as I placed my hands on my tummy and prayed for those people and their families. I also prayed for you and your future as I cried not knowing what the future held for us and our country. It was also the year that Daddy decided to re-enlist in the Army and that scared me! As grandpa and I pinned him that day and I watched him proudly make a promise to his Country, I was So excited to be by his side as a military wife and you his little pink soldier!
You laugh when I tell you about my cookie crisp and orange juice addiction that eventually led to me giving myself insulin shots the remainder of my pregnancy.
I tell you about our friend Cecil who was always there for us. And on the day you were born, Cecil was standing on tables and chairs trying to take the perfect pictures at every angle as if he was as proud as your own daddy!!! He was a great friend and I miss him dearly!
Finally at 2:17pm on a Wednesday afternoon you came into our lives through an emergency C-section. They were all surprised at how tiny you were at 6lbs 7oz. And 18 inches long!! (Considering mommy gained almost 80 lbs with you!!).
The first thing I noticed was your thick red lips and that beautiful cry that sounded exactly like a baby lamb! Your beautiful black hair and tiny fingers! I kissed each finger and counted each toe with daddy by my side counting once again just to make sure!
You had so many visitors. Both Grandmas were there to sneak their first squeeze!! Grandpa was so excited to welcome his 3rd grand daughter to this crazy world! Friends and family were there to make a big fuss also!
Then there was Dr. Hess who was the sweetest kindest man on this earth. He smelled of gin and cigarettes. He came in the hospital room and (as he did with all of the residents new babies) stuck his stinky, germy fingers into your mouth!! It was so gross!!! But it was kind of a tradition!
From your first bath with your pink bow stuck on top of your head with Vaseline to the first time daddy held you in his arms and wouldn’t let go as he sang “You are my Sunshine”. I’ll let you in in a little secret, I didn’t know just how much I adored your daddy until that day!
He slept with you in his chest all night long the first night. I think he gave you a million kisses and you made his eyes glow with excitement!!

So there you go!!!
I’ve told you this story many times and I never ever grow tired of it! It was the second best day of my entire life!!!! Third best day was when your brother was born 3 years later!!
And you know what my first best day ever was!!
So here you are all grown up and a teenager!!
You make me proud every day!!! You certainly keep me on my toes and have the energy of three kids!!!
I’m proud to be your mom and your teacher.
I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you little girl!
Happy 13th Birthday Sunshine!!!

Farewell 2014

It’s that time of year again.
Where does time go?
I will be saying goodbye to 2014 with mixed emotions.
It has been a year full of happiness and even great sadness.
A year of firsts and lasts.
This year has made me a better person and it has also showed me where I need much improvement.

So I say farewell 2014.
Thank you for the lessons you have taught me.

I hope you Make 2015 the year you only look forward. Leave the past behind, but always be grateful and praise God for the memories!
Never miss a chance to say I love you or thank you for making my life just a little brighter!
Love and be lovable. Be kind. Happy. Content. Grateful. Caring. Compassionate.
Go to church. Pray for your friends, family and your enemies!
Make new memories.
Learn to let go.
Embrace the future!

God bless you my friends. Have a safe a very happy New Year!
Bring on 2015!!!

Ghosts of Christmas Past

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in this house!!!
The trees are up, villages are immaculately decorations as they give you the illusion of a perfect little town.  Mistletoe is hung and I steal a kiss every time the kids go near it. I am the official Mistletoe police, I catch them within 3 feet of it and I  drag them underneath it just to give me an excuse to smother them in kisses.
The Nativity scenes are up, and after a scary search for the missing Baby Jesus, He was found safe and sound hanging out with Frosty in another container.  Can’t say that much for one of the wise men, he is now missing a leg.  I blame it on the fact that I had a 9yr old boy and 13 yr old boy dragging my decorations out of the garage for me.  None the less, I had help. I was truly grateful they took a Saturday morning and voluntarily dragged out the massive amounts of Christmas decorations for me.
It’s official, I say this every year.
It’s more like a Christmas museum.  We have the “memory tree” that proudly exhibits all of the hand made ornaments from the kids over the years, the Baby’s First Christmas,and the family ornaments that still proudly proclaims that, not too long ago, this house had 4 members instead of the 3 that reside here on this Holiday season.  


Years past, I hung up every ornament and I cried, then I  cried some more, eventually  I just gave up and finally hurled my sobbing body under the tree and curled into the fetal position clutching the one ornament that crushed my very soul, “Our First Christmas Together”. 
This year, we had the house rocking with Christmas music.  We laughed, we tickled, we sang really loud until our throats were sore, and we hung those ornaments on that tree as a family.  A new family.  Not that pathetic broken family from the previous two years.   We got to the bottom of the storage container, and there it was….the gold ornament that left me having my Christmas mental breakdown.  I hid it.  Not wanting the kids to have to see the memory ornament that made Mommy wail every year.  We finished the tree and it was more beautiful than I have ever seen it before.  It still had our skiing reindeer that held the names of all 4 family members and the snowflakes that had only 3 names….before Brother came along.  Those are precious to all of us as it serves as a reminder that though we may not be together, we will always be a family. No matter what.  Kids deserve to see that.  They deserve to see that love still exsists, even though one decided to leave.   It doesn’t mean we aren’t still a family. 
After the tree was decorated, we sat on the couch and stared at the tree.  Kids had questions. I answered as well as I knew how.  We laughed. We talked about christmases past.  Kids remembered memories that I didn’t even remember.  It was at nice night.
Just the 3 of us.
After they went to bed, I pulled out the dreaded gold-plated ornament. Decided this year to save the kids from seeing me fall apart.
Strangest thing happened, I didn’t even shed one tear.  There was nothing left. 
Only memories. Some good.  Some not so good.
And then this happpened………..


(Of that chapter in my life anyway….now the real fun begins!)