Tuesday, April 7, 2020

A Differenc a Week Can Make

***These words were typed 3 weeks ago...

Like many of you my brain is still in hyper drive over everything that has transpired over the past month. Week. Day.  Gosh...even the last hour.  Life as we know it looks very different today.  One month ago I was gleefully preparing to leave for Disneyland on the 22nd.  I was buying cute shirts and matching earrings. Planning what park to go to what day.  Getting meals scheduled.  Within 1 week all that changed.  Along with many other things.

Today, I woke up at 5 a.m. to be at the grocery store as soon as they opened in hopes of finding some chicken.  No luck.  Never in my life did I think I would have to do that.  Don't worry...I have food.  And toilet paper.  I'm not really worried about it...it's just something I, and I venture to say the rest of us, have never had to experience.  We are so used to do being able to go to any number of stores and getting whatever we want.  And if, on the off chance, that store doesn't have what you need you go 2 blocks to the next store and they will have it.  Not the case today.  No chicken to be found.

My kids have been out of school since last Friday and we have been on self imposed "shelter in place."  (A week ago I had never even heard those words.) I've made a few grocery runs and Rob has gone into work.  The kids have taken a car ride with me but that is it.  We are trying to do our part to stop this beast known as COVID-19 or Coronavirus.  Even though we have done everything we can...stayed home, social distancing, washed our hands 100 billion times, prayed, cloroxed, lysoled, and so on...every time someone says that something is wrong I immediately think we have it.  Carys and I had throats that hurt 3 days ago...corona. Anytime someone coughs...corona.  Anytime someone's stomach is upset...corona.  It's so ridiculous and I logically realize that.  However, my emotional side freaks out.  It ususally happens everyday around 2:00 that I am convinced we all have corona.  The reality is there is a good chance we will eventually get it.  The reality also is we will most likely be fine.

***I never finished that original post.  I love writing and I have countless number of posts I have wrote over the months that never got published.  Do people even blog anymore?  Isn't it all video now?  YouTube and Facebook Live?  I don't do videos well.  I enjoy writing.  So here we are with all the time in the world and a crisis upon us.  I feel like now is as good a time as any.  So, I write.  This is just my personal journal and you are all invited in. 

So what has happened since March 16th when I originally started this post?  More than anyone could ever imagined.  The Corona crisis has just gotten worse and just about every state has been put on a "shelter in place" or "stay at home" order.  The world is just really weird right now.  Yesterday my kids school was closed through the rest of the year.  They will be doing school online.  Carys is currently upstairs on a Zoom call with her friends.  She had a friend walk to our house about 2 weeks ago and stand on our hill, about 40 yards away, and Carys sat on the roof and they "hung out" for 2 hours.  I hand out wipes and toilet paper to neighbors who can't find any.  My mom made us face masks for us to wear when we are out.  I pick up groceries and sanitize them before they come in the house.  It's just all so surreal and sad.   Oh, and I experienced my first earthquake last Tuesday.  That was interesting.  I was on the phone with Broderick's 3rd period teacher (they were calling to check in on the kids) and I felt my house shaking.  I  was in a different room and I thought the kids were jumping around so I ignored it.  A few seconds later it was still happening so I came out into the kitchen.  The teacher then said, "I think that's an earthquake.  I'm going to let you go."  Sure enough it was.  6.5 with the epicenter about 70 miles from us.  Thankfully there was no damage in the Boise area and besides being shaken up we were all ok.  I don't know if any of you have ever experienced and earthquake but it is one of the most scary things I have ever experienced.  I got zero sleep that night and even now whenever Rob moves in bed I think it is happening again. 

I want to close this post out by saying people can be really cool.  I don't really watch the regular news..I can't handle it.  I do, however, love hearing the stories of how people are being kind, creative and loving.  The way they come up with creative ways to still connect.  I heard a story today of teachers that made a car parade and drove by their students houses to wave.  It brings tears to my eyes to think people are that great!  Why does it take crisis for us to rise up and be awesome?  Why does it take a pandemic for us to show appreciation to our healthcare workers?  Why does it take fear for me to bow my knees to my Savior every single day?  I just really pray that after all this we don't stop these acts of kindness, showing our appreciation or praying. 

Until next time friends stay safe and healthy.  Let's do what we need to, together, so we can get through this.

A few feel good things to watch/listen to

John Krasinski - Some Good News (So good!  Brings me to tears!)

A song I have on repeat

Wednesday, January 23, 2019


Yeah, Yeah, Yeah...I know it is almost the end of January and y'all have moved on from reflection and new year's resolutions.  I haven't ok.  I have been spending the last few weeks reflecting and thinking on all that 2018 held. 

I know the cool, trendy thing to do these days is to pick a "word for the year"...I'm not into that.  I usually don't make resolutions either.  (Let's be honest, my life is a constant resolution of trying to eat healthy and exercise.) 

Over  my weeks of reflection I feel like I brought two words out of 2018...




As I was looking over all that 2018 held these two words kept popping up.  Brave may seem obvious...because it is.  I have never in my life had to be more brave than I was in 2018.  Literally getting on a plane with a one way ticket to Idaho was the hardest thing I have ever done.  It wasn't just me that was brave though.  Everyday, still, I am amazed at how brave my kids are.  Just last week I dropped Broderick off at his first day of driving school.  He walked into a classroom full of kids he had never met.  Then 2 days later got behind the wheel of a car to drive for the first time.  (Parents:  if your children are not yet to driving age...prepare yourself.  I don't know if there is anything scarier.)
Not only leaving Ohio took great bravery, but since we've been here there are many days that require great bravery.  Some days just driving I need to be brave.   Ok, maybe not for the average person but for me.  There are roads that I have had to literally close my eyes when we are driving on them.

 Do you see the words at the bottom of my GPS screen? 
 HAHAHA..."Keep Your Eyes Open".  No thanks.

Looks beautiful, right?  And it is.  
Except the road winds up the mountain on the edge with no guardrail.  

This is just a little (exaggerated...kind of) example.  Seriously though,  I am an extrovert and love getting out and meeting people and doing all sorts of things.  But, this move has stretched me in the area of fear and courage like I could never have imagined.  I am so thankful for the ways God has been with our family and pushed us past the fear to be BRAVE.

Now onto adventure.  Again, the move was a huge adventure and I find that most days there is always a new adventure to be had.  But even looking past that (while the move did consume most of 2018 we did do other things)

Rob and I got to go to Nicaragua with my favorite band NEEDTOBREATHE and serve with a ministry, One World Health.  One of the coolest things I have ever done and probably the most gorgeous place I have ever been.

In May, Rob and I also got to go to Belize.  (My hubby is a rockstar at his job and won an award.  He was 1 of 5 people out of the entire company to get the award.)  

I should also add here that this trip required me to be brave as well...I first had to get on a prop plane and fly to the island...

Then I took a boat ride through the jungle, with all kinds of creatures, with a local man.  I was certain we would never be returning.  (Are you gathering that I am a very fearful person?  I am.  God is growing me though.  Years ago, I would have NEVER even got on the plane or in the boat.)

We have had countless adventures since we've been in Idaho also.  Weekend trips to the mountains, "hiking" (I use that term lightly...hiking to me is different than hiking to native Idahoans), having visitors and showing them around, snowmobiling, driving to the grocery some days is an adventure.  I just never know what each day is going to hold and it has been a ton of fun.

Our family motto for the past few years has been, "On the other side of the hardest yes could be the greatest blessing."  I can definitely say that rang true in 2018.  Had I not gotten on the plane or in the boat I would have missed some of the greatest adventures we had last year.  I don't know what 2019 holds for us but I wait in expectant anticipation.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

A Year Later

Exactly one year from today we told our kids we would be moving to Idaho.  We had made the decision a few days prior but this day made it official.  And exactly 6 months ago we got on a plane and left all I had ever known as home and we had known as a family.  As I sit and write this my mind is flooded with many thoughts over the past year.  Many emotions surface and I fight back tears.

I think of February when Rob and I travelled here to buy a house and how God showed up in unimaginable ways.  After a long day of looking at houses and an even longer night of no sleep we decided to go to church.  We just went to one that our realtor had mentioned.  The church was having a guest speaker, Jeremy, and he was speaking about anxiety...interesting.  After church we introduced ourselves, shared with him why we were there that specific morning and asked for prayer.  One week before we moved here that church announced they were hiring a new pastor and it was going to be Jeremy.  Today, Jeremy and his wife, Stephanie are our dear friends.  We attend that church, that is about 5 minutes from our house and definitely feel God moving through it in our community.  God was with us.

I think of a morning in church when I was feeling very sad.  Ya know how churches do that churchy thing where they tell you to say hi to someone you don't know.  Well, I said hi to the guy sitting right next to me and began to tell him we had just moved here.  He said, "From where?".  I said, "Ohio".  "Where in Ohio?"  "Between Dayton and Cincinnati."  "Where between Dayton and Cincinnati?"  "Centerville."  "I lived in Kettering and went to Fairmont High School."  May not seem like much to you, but to me!!!  I grew up in Kettering and went to Fairmont High School!!!  I felt God saying, "I see you my daughter.  I know you feel alone, but I SEE YOU!  I am with you."

I think of the week the kids went to camp and I was a hot mess.  I was so worried because they would be jet skiing and tubing, and white water rafting with people they didn't even know.  And then as the week went on and I saw pictures of there smiles with other kids their age I knew we were all going to be okay.  God was with them.

I think of a Facebook post I read of a woman, Lisa, who said, "My family and I are moving from Georgia.  I have a 7th grade girl. (she has other kids too but that one stuck out to me) I would love to meet some people."  So what do I do as an extrovert?  I message her and say, "hey.  I am new here too and I have a 7th grade girl.  Let's get together."  So, we met at the zoo (dragging our children along) and the rest is history.  We had our first Thanksgiving in Idaho with Lisa and her sweet family.  God was with us.

I also think of days sitting in my closet crying texting my friends in Ohio of how sad I was.  And of getting a phone call that someone I love was in the hospital and not being able to get to them.  (Worst feeling ever.)  And of lying on Carys' bed as she sobbed because dance is not the same here and she just wants to be with Miss Holly and Miss Andrea and her dance friends.  And arguing with Broderick (because he's 15) because he doesn't know how to verbally express what he is feeling.  Even in those hard times God was with us.

There has not been one day, not one, that I have questioned our move here.  There has not been one day that I have wondered why we did this.  There has not been one day I regretted moving.  There have been many days that I wake up and literally have to give myself a pep talk to get out of bed.  It takes a lot of mental and emotional energy when EVERYTHING has changed.  But God whispers, "I am with you" every.single.day.

Tonight we will host our first (Idaho) annual Christmas party. One year after we officially made the decision to move, my house will be filled with new friends to celebrate Emmanuel, God with us.  Coincidence?  I think not.