December 10, 2017

What Would be My Christmas Letter

The journal in the picture was gifted to me in February 2016 just after my miscarriage as a way to help me work through the emotions of that loss.

The pages remain blank, because later that week, we discovered something else was going on with me physically.

After many months of ups and downs, that something else resulted in our rainbow blessing of Clare Hope Elliott- CHE.

So I have struggled to write in the pages to the child that Micheal and I lost.

Without the loss, we would not have our CHE.

So I have some emotions stuck between grief and extreme delight.

Over the last year, I learned that life is full of these vast extremes that leave us slingshoting in emotions.

After the blessing of our daughter, Mike's job was cut.

Then my job was cut.

Then we got a lawsuit from his ex-wife.

Then a hurricane hit and we lost 1,000 sq ft of our home to 2 feet of water.

And bad things just seemed to pepper our life daily.

Micheal and I would cry, a lot.

What had we done to deserve this!

Why? Why? Why?

Where was God?

I had some time to think this past week and reflect back on this year.

And what I discovered is God.

In the hands of those that stopped by and said here I made you dinner.

In the mind of those that gave us advice to navigate the muddy waters of the legal system.

In the heart of those that gifted us in still unspeakable ways to help us financially.

In the soul of those who just listened.

In the eyes of those who saw what we needed before we did and made things happen.

Sometimes we have to be removed from where we are to see what was there.

We lost, a lot.

And yet, it was all taken care of.

And we didn't deserve that either.

I have been staring at this journal for the past few weeks and feel it is time to start writing.

Not to our other child.

But to what I am creating in my life today.

I cannot truly say I am thankful for all we had to endure, yet.

My human processing of emotions still gets stuck in a few places of despair.

But I am still wordless at the kindness of those who acted on our needs.

Today would look a lot different if not for those that helped.

So my 2018, will be centered around one small act of kindness.

And these empty pages will be filled with ideas of creating that.

Of gifting others from those that filled my life with God.

One of my favorite Christmas songs is "Face of Love" by Jewel.

It seems more than appropriate for now....

For I have seen, the face of love, the grace of God...

May you find that wherever you are today, there is some good.

You may not see it now, but it is there.

May hope sustain you, may grace find you, may joy fill you, and may love abound.

Merry Christmas and a truly Happy New Year!

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.




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.


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.