June 11, 2017

Why Not Now?

Time may or may not be our friend. 

It is all too uncertain. 

I have friends who have been loyal to the same company for 20 plus years only to go to work one day and be told, sorry we no longer need you. 

I have friends who were waiting to retire to live all the adventures they dreamt, but tragically died before reaching retirement age. 

I have friends who have so much money saved for what ifs, they carry out the same routine daily complaining they never do anything else. 

I have friends who desire to go, but are held to a geographic location by fear. 

Nothing is promised. 

Micheal and I have this dream of exploring the corners of the world. 

Of touching all the beauty of the tropics.

Of tasting life in a different culture. 

Our many trips have been the appetizers to part of our grand adventure.

And we hunger for more. 

Yet, we have been halted by the realities of life. 

Our kids, our finances, our home ownership. 

In 9 years, we were going to sell it all and go. 

A few weeks ago we tossed that idea aside and say why not now?

(Well, honestly, I gave Micheal a whole speech and apparently was convincing enough.)

So, we decided to adapt our dream to our realities and figure out a way to breath life into moving closer towards our dream now. 

Step one: selling our house. 

Yes, we really are selling our house on Tybee. For now, we are listing it FSBO. 

And yes, we have looked at rentals already. 

It is a big ordeal to move. 

But for me, it is a bigger ordeal to die never having moved. 

Often, people will write and say, "I can't believe you are doing this" or "I never could..."

We are born to live. 

We are born to move. 

We are born to grow. 

My life has been enriched by planting my feet in the soils of different parts of our world. 

By catching the first winter snowflakes on my tongue. 

By chasing fireflies in the fields of the country. 

By sledding with the Amish. 

By playing piano in a castle in Ireland. 

By swimming with the dolphins. 

By vacationing on an island where the food boat only comes once every two weeks. 

By becoming part of a photo shoot on another island only to end up in a European magazine. 

By dancing in the waterfalls. 

By trying new.

All that I have been blessed to experience has added fuel to this gypsy soul. 

What is more amazing, is that my pseudo beach bum husband is ready too. 

Yes, most think he is the one who is the throw caution to the wind one and I am the grounded routine laden one, but it is actually reverse. 

So, I write this out. 

Not to try to change anyone or make someone feel bad, but for me. 

It is one thing to talk about something. 

It is another thing to put it out there for all to see. 

And yes, there are moments that fear takes hold and my mind tells me all the reasons this is crazy. 

Why it won't work.

Why I can't. 

Why I shouldn't. 

It's too much to get where you want to go. 

And when I allow those fears to seep in, I literally feel a change in my body and I become sad. 

The weight of the world rests on my shoulders. 

So, I fight all the negative off. 

And remind myself. 

We are at step one: selling the house. 

And our journey will move forward, broken down into manageable achievable steps. 

And I am going to enjoy every single one!



June 3, 2017

Smiling Out Loud

It's always been my dream to live at the beach and I do. 

Yet I find that I often cannot make the five block walk to the ocean because I'm rarely home.

Like most of Americans, I drive a 45 minute commute to work to pay for an address at a place I do not get to enjoy.

And living in a hurricane flood zone I am now paying much more to have a house here.

Perhaps because I turned 40 this year.

Or that I had several friends my age die unexpectedly.

Or my gypsy blood runs hot.

I'm ready for change.

I am ready to get out of home ownership.

I'd be more than happy to stay on Tybee, but this old seaside town is becoming a hot expensive tourist destination where long term rentals are near impossible to find.

And that makes sense when you can make triple your monthly mortgage payment renting your house out weekly.

My husband has lived here 30 years this year. 

Moving 13 times in my own life, I cannot grasp 30 years in one place.

And I can't speak for him, but I can help him have his dream of living on a houseboat. 

And his wish to "not die here."

Change is hard.

And as we plan our next adventure, I'll admit I'm scared.

Can Micheal really do this?

Will the finances work out the way we need?

What if?

Fear. It's paralyzing.

But for every road block my mind seems to create, my heart only has so many beats until it stops.

And my soul knows that if we are to continue in our great adventure it's time for the next step.

I heard yesterday from one of my blessings, how I'm ruining her life. 

No my beautiful daughter, I'm showing you life.

I want to show you the world. 

How to dream.

How to explore.

How to learn.

How to appreciate.

To take you to the corners of the world that you have only read about while studying to pass the required test in school.

To show you that there's more to this world then the falsehood of the "American Dream."

To have your circle of friends expand the globe.

So, we have a dream.

And we are starting to make small steps towards it.

Crazy.

Scary.

Exhilarating.

All at the same time.

But isn't that what life should be?

April 11, 2017

What Character are You Creating?

It is funny to me how many people are not okay with change.

And perhaps it is a little of my own lack of understanding.

But, when I look at me before and me now, I want to see change.

Progress made in becoming all that I was created to be.

Changes made to live healthier.

Attitudes adjusted to love more.

Habits broken to grow.

My husband was a very, very public person for years.

I often would get to know him through his daily blog, just as the world did.

He would give all his emotions to writing it out, only to find a false sense of security in a world that loved his character.

When it benefited them.

When it got them ahead of others.

When it helped their cause.

When it made them feel good because they could relate.

But when his world shattered, where was everyone?

It's an oddly interesting life to be immersed in a time and place of what was.

I recently met someone who knew my husband before.

She commented how he was a "party animal."

I laughed thinking of the man I kissed goodbye that morning, who was snuggling with our baby.

Yes, I knew that old character too.

A representative of a person who wrote with truth behind the words.

Emotionally charged writings bleeding a broken soul, with applause of acceptance.

How wonderful it is when we find our people, whom we no longer need to pretend for.

When it is okay to be authentically raw and accepted in love.

"You have stopped writing Micheal?" I read a lot.

Maybe to an extent some.

Definitely not as much publicly.

But, he hasn't really.

He is just channeling all that he gave away to more of what matters for him in this time and place.

Into writing and composing several new songs.

Into playing the guitar again.

Into a church in a bar filled with people he loves.

Into telling stories to a 5 month old who adores her Daddy.

Change.

I look at this man I knew 18 years ago and who I was 18 years ago and marvel at how us then would have never worked.

But us now....WOW!

As we both learn to be true to ourselves for the first time surrounded in a safe loving relationship.

Stripping away our own insecurities and demons.

So, why the world doesn't get to read all about it every day, it's not for lack of stories.

But learning to invest those emotions into cultivating a marriage that will last.

Discovering the joys of raising a baby, again.

Loving seven children and their seven different personalities.

Setting aside the computer for the beauty of the outdoors.

Learning to hear the true applause of a few.

Giving, but not running on empty.

Authentically creating that which our heart desires, instead of out of habit for others.

Learning to say no without feeling guilty.

What do you need to give up that others want, so that you can have time for what you want?

What habit are you hiding behind that keeps you from moving forward?

How have you grown?

May you find the strength to let things go, the courage to move forward, and the love of yourself to celebrate.

August 12, 2016

To Our CHE


With every passing day it becomes more and more of a reality that you...well that you will be here soon.

You have taken me on a journey I thought I was done with ten years ago.


And you have already written a crazy unbelievable beginning to your story.

In our kitchen hangs a picture your sister painted which says "every ending is a new beginning."

When your Dad and I were first thrown into shock of our first pregnancy together, it ended before we could fully grasp the reality.

But what that short lived blessing did, was open our hearts to a greater reality.

I still cry the loss of what might have been.

It's a weird feeling because without that part in our journey, we wouldn't have you.

You. 

Miraculous, surprise, of you!

And just like your Dad does on a daily basis, you kept life interesting and scary, and us guessing.

But at 12 weeks, you became this strong little dancing baby and we were declared "normal."

That's not a word that will be used to describe our family often.

But the sweetness of it meant so much at that point.

Dear Clare Hope Elliott.

You are loved beyond a thousand years.

Your younger sisters marvel at you and play with you as you kick them back. They are already fighting over who is going to be your favorite.

And you have two older sisters who I think will spoil you rotten.

And your brother. Well he is delighting in your nephew, but will shower you in immense love. Along with your sister Terenca and your nieces. 

Recently we received  a beautiful pair of booties from our friends Linda and Mitch.

I sat there holding the booties imaging you. 

Your little feet and legs.

Your hands.

Your eyes.

Your smile.

Your heart.

And what your life will be.

All I know is that your journey will not be normal, but you will be loved.

And parts of your journey will be tough, but you will be loved.

And you may not always be happy, but you will be loved.

And you may not always understand, but you will be loved.

And we may do a thousand things wrong as parents, but you will be loved.

Love is something we have found and continue to grow.

And you Che are a reminder of that love.

A truly unexpected blessing in the midst of a crazy love story.

So, my daughter. 

May you create the most beautiful life.

For you have revolutionized our world.