Ride the wave

Ride the wave

For some reason, the last couple of weeks, I’ve felt like I’m slowly getting a handle on everything that was stressing me out.

Especially with the change of the year. Something felt miraculously new on January 1. I haven’t experienced that feeling before- the magic clean slate of a new year- but I think that for the last couple of years, so much life stuff has been bogging me down in a struggle…that I finally felt like I could get past it in this new year. It feels like a new wave has washed onto the shore.

Now, I’m not being naive. I know that even though at midnight 11 p.m. on New Year’s Eve when we toasted to 2016 with “Here’s to all good things this year!”…that doesn’t guarantee that 2016 comes trouble-free. However, it felt like for the first time in a while, that was a possibility.

In the past couple of years, we had struggles of Tyler finding a job, family health stuff, adjusting to police life, the death of a loved one…it’s been heavy stuff. And processing that heavy stuff has taken a toll on me mentally.

However, with a lot of that behind us (for now), it feels fresh and new.

I told someone at Zumba last night that I finally feel like I have a good grip on life again. I feel it’s possibilities, it’s promises. I feel good.

I don’t know where this year and this feeling will take me.  I’m hoping that feeling more “in control” will allow me to get back to some health goals (because I’ve talked before that the good choices train is the first one to go when my life becomes too much to bear).  I’m hoping that means we will have lots of fun memories. I’m hoping that means spiritual growth. I’m hoping that means dreaming and making goals and reaching them.

So, here’s to things coming together. Time to ride this wave.


Thankful for People in My Corner

Thankful for People in My Corner

I was talking last night with a friend who is raising teenage daughters.  She was talking about some of the things that pretty every teenager goes through- pushing boundaries, being boy crazy, struggling with confidence, having trouble seeing outside themselves.  I was talking to her as someone who was a little closer to remembering those things in my life and encouraging her to stay the course.  That I know it’s tough to parent and help them be better people…but it’s worth it. It’s hard to be in someone’s corner when they are struggling, but it’s important.

I know for me, between my parents, my pastor, and my friends- they all helped me take those struggles and become a better person by working through them. Having those people be “for” me was priceless.

Sure, learning that the world didn’t owe me anything was a hard lesson to learn, but I’m so thankful to understand that now. I’m thankful to have had people that cared enough about me to walk me through that lesson.

Understanding how to get along with difficult people was an invaluable thing to learn. Having people willing to listen, give advice, and help me get this lesson has helped me time and time again.

Or learning to trust those who love me, even when it’s hard.  I hated that one- but I’m so glad to rest in the comfort of my loved ones and their love for me.

I’m also grateful for heartaches and hard times because you learn how to handle those situations with grace every time you go through them again.

All that to say, I’m so glad to have people who were on my side and investing in me.  And I’m so thankful that my hardheadedness slowly softened to allow their teaching to soak in.

I finally watched DWTS from Monday night, and Nick Carter (yes, from Backstreet Boys) had a great night.  At first, he messed up his first dance and was devastated.  You could see the disappointment in his face.  But he had someone in his corner.  His coach (whom I LOVE) told him “I got you” and gave him a great pep talk and encouragement mid-dance and they made it through.  I’m not sure what she said to him before his second and third dance, but he nailed it. In fact, his last dance was the best and most-confident I’ve ever seen him.

I thought how often my life is like that.  I have a tough time, I stumble, I fall.  But someone is my corner telling me they are holding me up and making sure I make it out of that muck, even better than before.

And it also makes me think of when I can be that person holding someone up. That’s an honor as well.

Whether you’re in a season of needing someone in your corner, or being in someone’s corner – remember that someone is for you and you can make it.

What Grief Does to You

What Grief Does to You

It’s been 12 days since Gram died.

In some ways, those 12 days feel like an eternity.  So much has happened since then.  Many nights of not sleeping well.  Many cards and visits from friends.  Many times I wanted to go visit Gram in the nursing home, to realize I couldn’t.  Many tears.

In other ways, it feels like yesterday. The emotions are still raw, so it feels like I’m still dealing with an open wound.

Grief is a funny thing. To be totally honest, I don’t think I’ve had time to totally process it.  I went from the funeral, back to work, back into rehearsals, and the show opened two days later.  No time to really deal with it yet.  I know it will hit me in waves.  I’m just waiting on the shore.

Grief has caused this “I can sleep anywhere, anytime, and fall asleep in an instant” girl to struggle with rest.  I am having crazy dreams, having trouble turning my mind off.  But you’ve heard about that already.

Grief has caused me to want to eat my feelings (which is tough!).  I was already doing this stress eating response thing when she was in the hospital.  It’s so hard for me not to turn to foods that bring comfort and happiness.  Especially when it feels like nothing else can bring comfort in that moment.

Grief brings on stress shopping. 🙂  Totally true for mom and I.  I’ve put post-it notes around my credit cards so I have to think twice before using them.  But man, does buying pretty new things make me feel better.

Grief causes me to shut off from people a bit.  I’m not super interested in friends right now.  I don’t want to have to open up.

Grief causes a fog.  I’ve forgotten more things in the last week than I have all year.  Thank goodness for those around who can help me.

Grief makes me feel sick. I have felt achy, had stomach aches, headaches, and overall crummy feeling most days.

Grief makes me cry out to God.  I don’t know what else to do but ask to be put back together.

Enough Already!

Enough Already!

I am SO fed up with the celebrity bashing these days.  It’s all been centered around weight and body image.

They say Kelly Clarkson is fat.


Giuliana Rancic is too thin.


Pink is fat.




All of these women are way more than their appearance.

Let’s talk about Kelly’s new album, Guiliana’s talk show or Pink’s music. Or let’s talk about LIFE.  Kelly just had a baby, Guiliana is on cancer medication and Pink is living a happy life (and looks great, btw.)

I talked last night in my Zumba class about this. I’m fired up about it. Because if these successful women (with unlimited resources) are being told they aren’t good enough, what hope is there for us?  Well, I loved their responses.

Kelly Clarkson said on Ellen, “It’s like, you’re just who you are. We are who we are. Whatever size, and it doesn’t meant that we’re gonna be that forever. That’s the thing. Sometimes we’re more fit. Like especially me, I’m such a creative person that I yo-yo. So sometimes I’m more fit and I get into kickboxing hardcore. And then sometimes I don’t, and I’m like … I’d rather have wine.” Amen, sister. We’ve all been there.

She also said, “There are just some people who are born skinny and with a great metabolism—that is not me. I wish I had a better metabolism. But someone else probably wishes they could walk into a room and make friends with everyone like I can. You always want what someone else has.”

And I love that.  I love the thought that, while my “thing” may not be physical (although who wouldn’t want this booty!?), there is something about each one of us that is special, is desirable. That is the thing we should cling to. That is the thing to be proud of. That is the thing to work on. And while I wish it was my biceps and I wish my arms looked better in tank tops, I’m still gonna wear tanks this summer, no one will die…and my positivity will be what shines for others to see…not my muscular arms. 🙂

And Pink’s response was awesome too.  “. . . unfortunately, my weight seems much more important to some of you . . . I felt very pretty. In fact, I feel beautiful . . . I am perfectly fine, perfectly happy, and my healthy voluptuous and crazy strong body is having some much deserved time off. Thanks for your concern. Love, cheesecake.”

Thanks for that, Pink.  You can be pretty, happy, strong, and not “skinny.”

You know, I feel this pressure sometimes.  I mean, I teach Zumba.  Every night you can turn on the TV and see rock solid Zumba instructors shaking it on TV.


I’ll never look like that. I don’t know if new students come to class expecting me to. Do they want me to look like that?  What do they think when I don’t?  Do I want to look like that?  Some days.  But most days I just want to be happy.  And, I say this a lot, find balance.  Be healthy, be at peace.

So, let’s give each other, and ourselves, some grace and love.  Let’s wear our shorts anyway.  No one will die from my thunder thighs.  In fact, let’s stop calling them thunder thighs.  Let’s compliment those not-perfect bodies in their cute outfits.  Let’s empower each other to love our bodies.  Let’s wear our swimsuits and our cute dresses.  Love ourselves.  I hate to say it, but these powerful, successful ladies have to fight it…and we will too.  It’s just a poisonous mindset in our society that our worth is tied to our waist size and our muscle tone.  But I’m over it.  I’m gonna love myself and hope to help someone else do the same.