Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Can't Choose Your Parents

Over the weekend I was introduced to the TexasMonthly Magazine. I loved it! It is about all things Texas, so I am trying to read up!  Although, Georgia is still on my mind J

Thursday, November 1st Cover

One article that I read has absolutely resonated with me. The Innocent Man Part I is about a Texas man wrongly incarcerated for the murder of his wife. He spent 25 years behind bars and lost everything, because he grieved differently than expected and became a target for the local police.

This article got me thinking about my own parents. The choices they made, some good, some bad. My mother made countless sacrifices to raise my brother and I on her own. Never, remarking about my father's poor choices. I know it is a stretch to think about a man who suffered losing his family and his freedom, but somehow, it fits. 

I was without my dad for close to 16 years of my life.  I don’t have many happy childhood memories of him.  We have a great relationship now.  Did he love me when I was growing up?  Honestly, I can’t answer that, I don’t know.  He had other things in his life that were more important back then.  Does he love me now?  Absolutely, without a doubt.  Would I trade that absence from him?  Sure, I would want to erase the pain and hardship my mom endured, but the choices that my dad made almost 20 year ago helped make me who I am today.  God had a plan.  I don’t understand why.  Will I ever be able to write about my childhood completely?  I don’t know.  I can tell you this, my parents’ choices affect me daily.  I am so thankful for my mom.  I don’t have the words to express how much she means to me.  I am also thankful that my kids will know my dad as their Papa. 

Those of you that are already parents, remember that all of your choices affect your kids.  All of them.  Unfortunately, they are the ones that end up with a pretty raw deal when things head south.  Just always be open and honest with them and love them more than your own selfish desires.  I am definitely not mom of the year, far from it.  I am sure there will be lots of times that my kids will hate my decisions.  I just pray that I can be like my mom and do the very best that I can for them.  That is all that I can do. 

Isn’t it funny how an article, a song, or even a simple statement can pierce your heart?  Who would have thought?!  Check out the TexasMonthly magazine, you won’t be disappointed.  Part II of The Innocent comes out next month.  I am going to be a regular subscriber.      

Sunday, October 21, 2012

I have left my Comfort Zone

Stream of Consciousness Sunday!  Brought to you by Jana's Thinking Place


Today’s (totally optional) prompt:

What have you done recently or would like to do that’s outside your comfort zone?

I feel like I have been out of my comfort zone since June.  I am really tired of feeling this way.  I am tired of thinking about our move and I am really tired of not being settled.  This is out of my comfort zone. I like to think of myself as pretty easy going and laid back...
Maybe, I am not, maybe this is the real me?!  Now, I guess that would be even more out of my comfort zone lol!  I guess the real feeling right now is not knowing which way is up!
I have never been good at directions.  I even taught Geography for two years, guess that is why they let me teach History after that :-)  I am out of my comfort zone by not knowing simple things like which highway to get on to get back home when I am lost.  I know, I know, I have a GPS, but the constant "rerouting" message really gets on my nerves!  When we lived in Atlanta, all I had to do was drive around until I hit 75 or even 85.  Eventually, I would make it home!  LOL!
Ok, that is it, my time is up!  5 minutes did not go by fast enough for me this time!  LOL!
Make sure to visit Jana for the rules!  Join in on the fun!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Pinterest Inspired Mail

So I am completely addicted to Pinterest... no I am not crafty at all, I have a gazillion "pins" but no products or success stories to my name... until today.

I have had a very special friend on my mind for quite some time.  She has been an inspiration to me as a Christian, wife, mother, and friend.  She is now battling cancer.  I hate it so much.  It is hard to wrap my brain around how someone who does and has done so much good can be in the fight for her life....  Unfortunately, we all have a person just like this in our lives... someone who we think the world of, but are facing a beast like cancer. 

I first found the picture on pinterest and then followed the link to figure out how to make my own Box of Sunshine.  When I first saw the picture, I thought, "Cute" "Fun", "Surely, even the likes of me can make this!"  I did it, well, my 7 and 4 year old helped me, but that made it just that more special

We really had a blast making it.  We just stayed with our theme of yellow :-)  I really hope it will brighten our special friend's day when she receives her very on Box of Sunshine!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Back on the wagon... again

I have been a terrible so-called blogger lately... for obvious reasons, I have not written in like forever!  I have plenty of excuses... just moved to a new state, 3 kiddos, learning how to be a stay-at-home-mommy, the list goes on and on.  I am sure most of you can relate.  Life is just busy, I think it is especially busy in the fall, well, probably any of the 4 seasons, lol!  So, excuses aside, I am back on the wagon!

My girls and I have still been writing letters each week, from thank you cards to birthday cards, to just because cards.  I am really surprised that the girls haven't gotten tired of it yet, but it is still a treat for them and something that they look forward to each week. 

This past Saturday, my hubby and I celebrated 11 years of marriage.  It has been a road of many highs and lows....one adventure after another! 

I am happy to report that he gave me the best gift ever, a letter.  My heart was filled with joy and I cried like a baby as I read it.  He wrote on one of my old Thank-you cards and a folded up piece of copy paper... how cute right?! ;-)  Honestly, I could not have been happier.  I finally had something in my hands that expressed how he felt about me.  I know, a little corny, sappy, whatever, it was exactly what I needed!  So, it only took me 11 years for him to get it right!  LOL!
As I have been thinking about this gift, Dr. Gary Chapman's book, The 5 Love Languages, has come to my mind several times.  It came up in my bible study group last week and then again as I was chatting with an old friend today.  I have not actually read the book yet, but I went to his website www.5lovelanguages.com today and completed an assessment.  You guessed it... my top love language is Words of Affirmation...go figure! 
Marriage is a work in progress!  Real work!  Somedays, you love 'em to pieces and then sometimes you want to cut 'em into pieces!  I completely relate... but at the end of the day, I am proud to be a Garrett and so thankful he is MINE!! 
**Comment if you know your love language or your favorite anniversary (marriage/relationship) present... I would LOVE to hear from you!!  I have a thing for words... LOL!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Mail Call: Go Greek!

It is that time of year again!  Fall recruitment for Greek Life!  I am proud to be a member of Alpha Delta Pi Sorority http://www.alphadeltapi.org/.  It was one of the best decisions I made while I was in college.  I made life long friends, learned vital leadership skills, and have been able to network as we have moved around for my hubby's job. 

This time of year, the Greeks are getting ready for their annual membership drive.  As an alumna, I take great pride in writing letters of recommendation for membership into Alpha Delta Pi.

This year, I had the privilege of writing letters for young women entering the University of Georgia http://www.uga.edu/, Georgia College and State University http://www.gcsu.edu/ (my Alma Mater!), and Auburn University http://www.auburn.edu/ (War Eagle!). 

Greek life may not be for you, everyone has different experiences, but I would suggest to anyone entering college to at least check it out.  It is a great way to meet new people and helps with finding your place in your new surroundings.  Even 12 years later for me, I have found alumnae groups in the different cities that we have lived in.  I have an instant connection with these women, even though we had different experiences on different college campuses.  I have even kept up with people that went through recruitment at same time as I did, although they joined different organization.  Keep an open mind and have fun meeting new people!!

The following article is a great look at the benefits of Greek Life today that one of my ADPi sisters, shared on Facebook this morning.  Check it out!
Examining the benefits of Greek Life | USA TODAY College

Sunday, July 29, 2012


I am participating for the first time in Stream of Consciousness Sunday... check it out and feel free to join!  See the rules below :-)


Today’s (optional) prompt is: Anticipation.

Your five minutes starts now!
stream of consciousness sunday


I feel like I live in a constant state of anticipation.  The most thing I am anticipating is my new life in Texas... I am just ready to be "HOME" already.  I don't like all the time I spend trying to figure out where to go, meet new people etc.  I mean it is good to think of the new life we are starting here, but it is also a little frightening.  So, far God has been so good as usual and has provided.  I have not been sleeping much lately, because I feel like everyday is a new adventure.  That is the fun part, taking the kids to new places that we have never seen before and trying new things.  My girls amaze me at how well they adapt to all types of new situations.  I think back when I was a child and I remember how I worried about everything... like my mom wasn't going to come back to pick me or something... LOL!  Although, sometime I think it must have been in the back of her mind, but knew, I would find my way back to her.  Haha!  Seriously though, I have been excited and we have met some great people here, it is just a whole new ballgame each day we get in the van!  Good times are ahead though, I can feel it!!  Wow!  Time is up already!  That was pretty fast!  What do you think?!


From www.janasthinkingplace.com

This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…
  • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes.
  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
  • Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
  • Add the Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post (in the sidebar).
  • Got to www.janasthinkingplace.com and link up your post.
  • Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Pics, Postcards and Prizes...

This has been a great week for the girls.  They are still on the letter writing train...they have turned it into playing "office".  It is totally cute, until Trace comes in and tries to destroy all their precious work!  This week I got an email from a friend in Marietta with pictures attached of her girls reading their letters from my girls.  Here is Maggie reading her letter from Ann...

 and here is Maggie's sweet little sister, Charley, reading her letter from Kate...


Seeing these sweet girls has been a great motivation for us to continue our letter writing campaign.  How sweet are they!?!  Love and miss them tons! 

Mimi, Anma and Granddaddy have been out to visit us this month.  We were able to take them all to the Sixth Floor Museum (http://www.jfk.org/) in downtown Dallas.  I highly recommend this museum if you ever come to Dallas.  It is by far one of the best museums that I have ever visited.  I picked up a couple of postcards to send to one of my favorite young historians... Keaton!

The girls got a very special care package from their Aunt Channon, Uncle Lee, Emileigh, Sara and Garrett.  They were ecstatic!  I could barely get the box away from them to make a quick pic of all the goodies they received... it was like Christmas in July!!

There were goodies inside for all three kids...you would have thought that Aunt Channon had packed Disney World right into the box... they were enchanted by all of the contents.

I am so grateful for all the letters, postcards, stickers, goodies, everything that people have sent to the kids.  They love it all!  The girls are adjusting well, but there are times when the move is hard for them to understand.  Anyone who has moved across the street, across town, or across the country can understand that change can be difficult.

If you have new people moving into your neighborhood, visiting your church, or starting a new job at your office, make sure you welcome them... it makes you feel good and you have no idea the effect you have on the new people.  From kids to adults, it makes the transition a lot easier.  I would also suggest showing support to a friend or colleague that moves on to another place.  It speaks volumes.  I would go insane without the support of my family, friends, and most importantly knowing that this is all just another part of God's plan for us. 

We received this housewarming plant from some of our best friends, Molli and Kevin, the week after we moved.  It was such a great feeling to receive support from home... changed my whole outlook that week... it was exactly what I needed!!  Now, if I can only keep it alive :-) 

Who are you writing this week?!  Happy writing!!