Category Archives: thankful

Golden Birthday

10/15/18 Otis turned 15!  15!  I know right?!

We got Otis when he was 6 weeks old and he is now 15!

We celebrated his golden birthday (because he is 15 and the day of his birthday is the 15th) by going to work and letting him sleep at home.

That night he went for a ride and got a pup cup from Dairy Queen.  He got to wear a party hat (a real one and not a muzzle – vet calls them party hats).  He snuggled with me and we just loved on him even more.  He slept in the middle of the bed on a fuzzy blanket.  He also got a new food and water dish.  He seemed super excited about it.  We also built a fence around our backyard and I am calling that part of his gift too (even though it has been more of a gift to me and Andy).

He is showing his age.  His eye sight is going and his hearing is selective, but going too.  His little face is gray and he is a tad skinnier now than he was.  He has moments of being a puppy when he tries to chase a ball in his new fence, but sometimes he just can’t see or hear the ball.

Happy birthday to my sweet little puppy.  Ok my old man dog.  He drives me crazy sometimes, but he has been such a support through the difficult parts of life and comfort when I have been home alone.  I don’t know how many more years we get with him, but we will cherish each and every one.

when we met your mother

*****this post was written in 2016, but i never posted it because circumstances changed so quickly.  i debated not posting this but decided to post it now because this is still part of our story (part of that transparency).  our experience in june 2016 has had a profound impact on our lives.  while things did not turn our how we hoped or expected it has shaped who we are today and we still talk about it and want to post those experiences for others to have a glimpse*****

when you google the word that i never thought would be us this is what you find.

chosen: having been selected as the best or most appropriate.

i still can’t believe it.  we have been chosen by a birth mother.  now that we have had some time to process, i am able to give a little more information.  i would also like to take a moment to add that we are given very vague information and the birth mother is given very vague information about us (to protect both sides).  at our training meetings we were taught that the entire adoption process will be a part of our child’s story and we should always think about that whenever we are placed and give out information about the specific scenario.  with that bit of information – we encourage questions, but please know and understand that we will tell information as we think it is appropriate.  we may have more information than we are leading on – but we also may not have that information at all.  so don’t be surprised or offended if you ask a question and we either tell you we don’t know or that we aren’t going to disclose that information yet.  i promise it isn’t to be mean or rude.

i mentioned a phone call stating that the birth mother wanted to meet us.  when we called our case worker together after work she gave us some information about the mom and about the situation.  she also told us about the birth mother coming to the adoption agency.

i will break to rant (as usual and again).  we have been officially waiting for over a year.  we went to some of the first meetings and heard people talk about how they were placed quickly.  one story was of a couple that was placed 2 weeks after they were approved.  several stories were that they were placed within 3 months of approval.  so few people that we talked with stated that they waited over a year.  so once we hit that year mark and went beyond it, i was completely convinced that we would never be chosen.  that something was wrong with us and that this was not even meant to be.  it hasn’t always been pretty and when i am feeling especially low and like we would never be chosen i would email our case worker and ask if we had any feed back.  she would tell me that nothing was wrong with us.  that our profile book was being shown and that when it happened it would happen.  we had to just trust the system.  i would roll my eyes.  when we had our home study update we asked again in person about the feedback.  (with the profile books the birth mothers are asked to put them in order of who they like better – i am sure there is a more politically correct way to say that).  she told us that we were number 2 for a birth mother (their number one worked out so they didn’t need to go to number 2) but we were at least in a short stack!  that gave us a little hope.  but we heard once again that when it happened it happened.  and again i rolled my eyes and held my tongue.

it isn’t that i don’t believe in God’s timing because there is a part of that concept i can get behind, but if anyone else told me it would happen when it was right – or any of the other ways to remind me that God was in control i was going to just cry – and maybe throw something.  we felt like it was a cop out answer.  we wanted answers and we were getting generic, religious, pat on the hand responses.

::slams head against desk::

so back to the phone call.  i was holding my cell phone (on speaker) in the passenger seat and andy was in the driver’s seat and we were listening to this information and she told us this: the birth mother went to a friend who told her that they were going to our agency in the morning to talk about adoption and so she went on the website and started to look at profiles.  the next day she walked into the adoption agency and said that she knew who her family was.  she told them she wanted andy and alison.  they asked her if she wanted to see other profiles and she told them no.  they asked her if she wanted to actually see our profile book and she said yes.  she looked at it and said again that we were her family.  they asked if she was sure that she didn’t want to see other profile books and she turned them down.  she said she just knew.  both of us got chills.  (i will admit she loved the family farm and that andy looked goofy and fun).  but she wanted us.  she chose us.

when we met your mother…

we are still using the agency to do our communicating.  the plan was to meet at the agency at 4:00 to meet the birth mother.  we pulled into the parking lot at 3:28 and andy said we couldn’t go in yet.  (i agreed).  we sat in the car and talked a little bit and waited forever before we went inside.  i think i was contemplating throwing up in the bushes and asking what this meeting was going to be like.  andy was looking up a restaurant to see if they opened their new location.  i finally said we needed to go in because i needed to pee and it was time (3:37).  we went in told them we were there and waited in the waiting room.  we waited forever and imagined what this meeting would be like.  finally (3:44) our case worker came to get us.  we asked a few follow up questions before we met the mother and she said you ready?  we walked down the long hall.  my heart was beating out of my chest, my mouth was drying out, and my legs felt like jelly following her down the hall.  we got to the door and walked into a room full of people.  the birth mother was there (and her friend).  our case worker and her pregnancy counselor were there (as well as an intern that has been working with the birth mother).  the agency workers were at the heads of the table and the birth mother and her friend were sitting on one side and andy and i went to the other side.  he sat across from the birth mother and i took the place across from her friend.  we all were introduced (first names only).  we looked at each other with that curiosity and mortification of a really weird blind date.  i was very thankful for the agency workers because they helped us get the conversation going.

the birth mother asked (through her friend) why we wanted to be parents.  we answered and they nodded.  then we sat in silence for hours (maybe a minute).  they asked about the farm and we talked about the animals – and a spark lit up her eyes and the corners of her mouth tilted up and the shyness was drifting away and her full personality started to emerge.  i asked her favorite color – pink is the answer (any shade).  we talked about hobbies (she likes to be outside and loves horses) and playing instruments (she plays the piano – self taught).  she told us that she picked us online before she even walked into the agency out of thousands of other profiles.  i can’t remember the exact course of our conversation, but we talked.  we laughed together.  she got choked up.  i got choked up.  the magnitude of the situation didn’t escape us.

once it seemed like our first date was coming to a close we prayed and were told to take 24 hours and get back with our case worker (and her with her pregnancy counselor).  she basically said before we walked out of the room that she had made her decision.

andy and i went to dinner to celebrate getting to the next step.  i called our case worker and left a message for her to call me.  she called a little bit later and answered a few questions.  my biggest one being – how did she think it went.  she told me great!  i looked at andy across the table and shrugged – he nodded and i nodded and i told her we wanted to move forward.

after dinner we went to babies r us and walked around.  a place that made me cry hundreds of time over the past 6 years had me crying again – bittersweet tears.  the end of one journey and beginning of another journey.  it wasn’t that big of a shock that the theme we picked out years ago had been discontinued, but we did buy a bear to remember the day we meet our child’s mother.

IMG_0791

 

our 2014 seniors

since we work with youth we have a lot of kids (spanning all of the churches we have attended).  we get to spend time with them in their best and sometimes worst moments/years/days.  we get to be there for the hard questions about faith and life.  we get to see them laugh at themselves and at each other during stupid youth group games.  we might send them home at the end of the day (or week), but they are our kids.  we are proud of them when they accomplish something they feel is great/huge and we are proud of them when something small happens and they don’t even know that they should feel proud.  we try to be there for them when they need us and a lot of times they are there for us when we didn’t even know that we needed them.

one of the things that stresses me out the most about working with youth is what if i am wasting their time?  what if what i am telling them isn’t deep enough to make them claim their faith as their own?  what if our discussions are only on the surface and what the youth needs is to go more in-depth?  what if on the weeks we have serious conversation, the youth really needed to play stupid games to get their mind out of a dark place?  what if what we are trying to do and say never sinks in?

it is at graduation time that i look at our kids growing up and see that they are moving on.  they have not only graduated from school, but from youth as well.  i can only hope that they have gotten something from our time together because the time i had with them (held captive on sunday/wednesday evenings) is gone.  there may be a short conversation in person or through social media, there might be a phone conversation, but the dynamic has changed forever.

as we watch them go across the stage at graduation or talk with them afterwards i look for glimpses that they got something from our time together.  that even if they got nothing else from youth that they at least understand that we are proud of them, that we will always be here at a moments notice and that we love them so very much as if they were our own.

a little late – but congrats class of 2014.

cleo was our senior class for gcpc

(with her brother (wyatt) and bff (emma) at church for graduation cleo sunday)

DSCN0184 DSCN0221

i love going to graduation here.  it is a little more fun and laid back.  they actually talk about God (at our graduation that was a no-no).  they get to go crazy at the end throwing their caps and having silly sting (at ours they threatened to hold us through summer school).  it is great to watch the kids having fun and celebrating their graduation.

DSCN0266 DSCN0342 DSCN0344 DSCN0393 DSCN0408 DSCN0410

we were also lucky enough to be able to attend morgan’s graduation (a former youth that moved to VA right up from where we live now).  luckily we didn’t have anything else going on that day of her graduation so we were able to attend.  while she was walking across the stage she did a selfie with the administrative staff on the stage – it was funny.  not only did we get to see morgan we got to see travis (another former youth who happens to date morgan).

DSCN0454 DSCN0525 DSCN0545 DSCN0547 DSCN0549 DSCN0555

unfortunately jackson (another former youth) graduated on a thursday that we already had stuff going on.  so we missed him walking across the stage and the big graduation party, but we made a point to stop in and see him and celebrate a little late with him.

IMG_3398part 2

IMG_5050

we couldn’t be any more proud of our kids and of all of their accomplishments.  we are so glad that we get to be a part of their lives and to celebrate these milestones with them.

so very thankful…

i woke up this morning and it was hard to believe that it is thanksgiving!  another year has almost passed by and i have so many things to be thankful for – here is my short list (in no particular order).

  1. andy and our marriage – and for always being there in my best and worst times.  always quick to reassure and quick to point out my irrational thoughts.  my rock.
  2. my parents – who have always been so supportive and loving and welcomed andy with open arms
  3. my friends – past and present.  even when only in my life for a designated time – lessons were learned.
  4. my family – blood relatives, andy’s family, and people so close they might as well be family.
  5. otis – my little heater and snuggle buddy.
  6. my job and coworkers – for the ability to work and actually like the people i work with.  and for those who are working today.
  7. our story – as heart breaking as it has been, we have learned so much and are thankful that we have the option and are able to adopt.  (next year i hope to be able to put a specific name instead of just the idea).
  8. our animals – they bring an element of peace and furry happiness that makes me smile.
  9. our house – the one we live in now, but also the one we put in an offer on this past week – it is conditional but we are thankful and hopeful that it will be ours in the near future.
  10. God for all that he blessed us with

happy thanksgiving!

a tractor, a limb, and a farmer…

what might sound like the beginning of either the best joke in the world or the worst is a story worth telling…

let me warn you by saying some of the photos are a little graphic and not for the really weak stomach.  (andy was able to look at them so most people should be fine other than the GROSS comment when you see them).

also as a side note with my family we joke a lot.  sometimes I think it is to eliminate awkward moments and to ease tension but this is how we deal with stressful situations so don’t judge me…

on march 8th andy and I had plans to go to Kingsport to do some shopping and so that andy could get his hair cut.  we decided at the last-minute to go to the farm and check on my babies.  on the way to the farm we pass my grandmother’s house and as we did we saw a tractor with the bucket lifted all the way up and a man standing in the bucket with a chainsaw.  there were several men on the ground holding a rope that was attached to a limb.  I did a double take and told andy to pull in because it was my dad.  (this is the don’t judge me part – because I really do feel bad I made these comments) I told him to pull in so that I could get a picture for life insurance policy proof.  we chuckled and missed the drive way.  we decided to go on to the farm but something inside me (and andy confirmed in him too) said to turn around and go back.  we made a loop and went through a field and I made a second comment that I didn’t see him in the bucket and I hoped that he didn’t fall out.  we pulled into the driveway and a guy came running over to us saying we needed to pull the car over to the group of people because someone broke something.  I walked over and andy drove over and we found my dad leaning against the tractor holding his boot, with scratches on his neck.  we loaded him up and went to the er.  we got him checked in and made him pose for pictures with his arm band.  (he still looks like trouble even waiting on the er).

dad hospital

DSCN8585 DSCN8586

the good news is that he thought he broke his ankle.  he didn’t.  but the bad news is he crushed his heel.  they splinted it and told him to get an appt when he got back home to see a surgeon.  the next morning he noticed blisters.

dad foot 1

(gross I know).  he went to the er when he got back home and they re-wrapped it and scolded my parents for unwrapping it to begin with.  they got an appt with a surgeon that does ankles and heels and was told they needed to see someone who only does heels and ankles.  they finally got in with the right doctor and he was not happy.  he stated that this type of injury needs to be taken to surgery within 48 hours of it happening.  and they were almost 3 weeks out.

dad foot

just gets better and better doesn’t it?!  after much discussion they decided not to risk surgery since it was a little late to be doing it.  the road to recovery will be long but it is what it is.  they had to cancel going to Bristol and going to fl but dad is doing good on his crutches and his scooter.  he is adapting to being non weight baring for 2 entire months and maybe more.  he is thankful that his new chainsaw didn’t get hurt when he had the forethought to toss it away from everyone when he was knocked out.  we are thankful that he wasn’t hurt worse (and that we have some gross pictures to share).

so when a farmer is in a tractor and gets knocked out by a limb…the important part to pass on to all of your family and friends is that a heel injury is not the same as a normal broken bone.  if you ever have one of those injuries as them to call in a consult for a heel specialist.  don’t let them send you away with the standard answer of swelling has to go down for surgery!

all about bob…well claire

almost 10 years ago I met one of my best friends at queens university.  it was a nutrition class and we had to work on a group project together.  after that project study groups formed and a tremendous friendship started.  we have been through some ups and downs together with each of us.  she was a part of my wedding and I helped her though a rough relationship.  we have talked about family issues and have been there through losses.  we have each others back.  after her failed relationship we would go to dinner and I would ask her about dating.  she would say nope and I am never getting married.  one day things changed.  she came to dinner and talked about bob.  the more and more we talked on the phone or went to dinner the more and more she talked about bob.  she talked about meeting his family and him meeting hers and she was happy.  I was honored to be apart of her wedding to bob 3-15-14.

first we had a bachelorette party at folly beach/Charleston.  it was the first time I got to meet the other bridesmaids.  it was a blast even if it did rain most of the weekend.

DSCN8097 DSCN8101 DSCN8102 DSCN8104 DSCN8106 DSCN8108

I was able to take a few days off the week of the wedding.  on the Thursday before the wedding andy and I went to the farm and helped get some decorating done and hung out with bob and Claire.  on Friday we went to the rehearsal and to dinner and I spent the night with Claire and helped her do her flowers.  we were up until 330 in the morning but we laughed until we cried and snorted.  the day of the wedding we got up and got out hair done and went back to her place and to the farm to finish up the flowers and then it was game time.  she was the most beautiful bride and I couldn’t have been happier for her and bob and they both seemed so happy.  the wedding ceremony was beautiful and the reception was wonderful.  the food was delicious.  it was the perfect march day to have a wedding.

DSCN8611 DSCN8616 DSCN8631 DSCN8633 DSCN8638

for her wedding gift I made her and bob a quilt and used her wedding colors in it.

DSCN8591 DSCN8592 DSCN8594 DSCN8601 DSCN8602

congrats to my bff Claire and her new husband bob on a beautiful wedding and a wonderful start to a brand new adventure.  I love you both!

random little nuggets

I keep a running list of things I want to blog about….not that I can always find that list and not that I always use it…but I have a list.

this post is about some of those little nuggets that don’t really need their own post.

  1. little rock: we dodged a bullet there.  at the time it seemed like a great idea to move to Arkansas but we have been talking a lot recently about places we have been and where we thought we were headed and we both agree that we dodged a bullet by not going to little rock.  I think I can honestly say that I would have been miserable and thankfully we never loaded up the u haul and moved!
  2. computer clean up.  I have a mini laptop (so it is not meant to house a ton of pictures and videos) and my storage is running low and my computer is running slow.  (a little rhyme maybe?)  anyways…I have been in the process of “organizing” my photos so that I can easily transfer them to an external hard drive and hopefully that will solve the running slow issue and I will be able to store it in a safe place in case of mother nature or stupid mean people that could potentially break in.  on night it was late and i had been working for a few hours and went to stop for the night and DELETED all of my photos…ALL of them.  i dealt with it like any normal mature adult and started sobbing.  not the cute tears welled in my eyes threatening to spill over my eye lids but the ugly crying with snot bubbling and incoherent shrilling.  andy came to my rescue and restored them.  i decided i needed to just go to bed (andy i only work a few minutes at a time so i don’t get tired and stupid).
  3. while doing the computer clean up i found several attempts of some photos that i took of jasper on the windshield.  it made me laugh.  i remembered sitting in the kubota taking the pictures (there had to be about 15 of them).  all of them taken the same distance from jasper…all of them same lighting…all of them the same angle…all of them the same perspective…all of them the same view….each and every single one of them blurry.  i would take the picture look at it and sigh and try again.  it made me thing of the saying: insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. (Einstein).  proof that maybe i am a little insane….?
  4. we got Otis a lobster costume for Halloween (and when i say we i mean that i pestered andy in the store for one and to prevent a scene he caved).  it was too small and andy refused to get a bigger size (i think it was premeditated)!  (so you can officially blame andy for a lack of AWESOME photos of Otis as a lobster).

so there you have it.  now you will be able to sleep tonight.

the country: a beautiful thing

growing up we took a lot of family vacations.  i say a lot but i have no idea how many we really took because when you are younger things seem more often.  i know that we travelled all over and i am amazed at some of the places my parents have told me i have been but i don’t really remember.  some of the memories i have of those vacations are of me and will running through museums trying to get through them as quickly as we could so we could move on.  i remember waiting on my parents (who according to my younger self) were the slowest people in the world.  it was a race to get back to the hotel/camp ground to go swimming in the pool.  ah the joys of family vacations as a child.  when we loaded up for vacations as teenagers it was more of the same, but instead of running to the end, it was more avoid and hide from my parents (who according to my teenager self) were the most embarrassing humans alive.  it was a slow form of torture.  looking back i realize that it was actually (dare i say) fun.  now looking back it makes me a little sad.  not only because of the carefree vacations but because i missed out on a lot of things because i was too hurried to really look at the things in the museum or appreciate the sites.  i was too busy making fun of things that we had to do to really absorb it and the history.  as a teenager i was so annoyed that i wasn’t with my friends that i missed out on a lot of great experiences.  i might have been physically there and going through motions but i didn’t really “get” it – whatever “it” was.  this is true for our trip to washington dc, the nasa space center in fl, countless museums across the south, the cherokee reenactments etc. 

that rambling leads me to this:

i grew up in the city, yes i spent time in the country visiting family on some weekends and in the summer but let’s face it…i’m a city girl.  there are times i pretend that i am a country girl…like when we go feed the animals and i move a branch out of the tractor path and act like the world stood still until those tasks were accomplished.  i pretend that i know what i am doing when i grab the horse’s halter to put fly medicine on her face – but in reality i am thinking “please don’t pull me through the fence.”   i pretend that i trust pancake when i think he is really plotting against me (especially when he flattens his ears).  i pretend that pancake has come a great ways and it is all because i am a self-proclaimed donkey whisperer.  i pretend that if it wasn’t for me and andy, argyle would be so skittish around humans that he would be considered for the rodeo.  i pretend that when argyle goes to his new home (whenever that might be) that i won’t miss him because he is just a horse when i actually think that i love him and there is a great possibility that i will cry when i drive up and he isn’t standing in the field with his lanky legs running to the fence to greet us.  

i pretend that i have always enjoyed doing these things…but i haven’t.  i can remember when i was growing up and was “forced” to come to tn with my family.  it was a time when i was starting to really have a social life outside of neighbors and family friends but wasn’t old enough to stay at home so my parents did the responsible thing and took me with them.  i drug my feet the entire time.  i longed to be with my friends in the city and hated that i was missing all of the latest things.  i was worried that my best friends would replace me in the 72 hours that i was out of their sight.  i missed the beauty in feeding animals with my grandmother.  i missed the knowledge in riding around town with my grandfather making deliveries and picking up boxes.  i missed the freedom in running through a tobacco field looking for tobacco worms.  i missed the experience of riding on the tractor around the farm.  i missed the familiarity of walking through the barn yard with the cows.  i missed the understanding of why we picked and shelled beans and cut up apples.  i will take a moment to make it clear that i did all of those things and for the most part i plastered a smile on my face but it isn’t until now – years later – that i fully grasp what i was missing out on by not truly living in the moment.  i didn’t take advantage of the situations and now that we are living here there are things i wish i could do again and wish that andy could experience because they really were life changing things – if i had only let them be.  no one in my family grows tobacco anymore and when we pass a field i am reminded of running through the rows and looking for worms.  it makes me sad that andy may never see one and get to step on it.  we won’t be able to walk into a barn and smell the dried tobacco.  i missed out – i took for granted those experiences because i wanted to be somewhere else.

i have been thinking a lot about all of this in the past year and have come to the conclusion that if i would have moved to tn earlier in my life (or if i was born and raised here) i would not be as appreciative as i am today to be doing the things i am doing.  if i lived here when i was in high school i would have applied to college and moved far away because i wouldn’t have appreciated the experiences that this little town has to offer.  i would have been the first of my class to skip town and get on with my life.  i would fled and never looked back and honestly would have never realized what i was walking away from. 

it took moving to the country to realize how much i took for granted and still take for granted.  i feel like i am more aware now (as compared to when i was younger).  i see the outline of the mountains in the morning sun and notice the way the sun highlights the ridges.  i see the clouds casting shadows in the valleys.  i laugh when argyle leans into me to be rubbed like a big dog.  i practice tough love when i take the feed buckets away from jack and pancake.  i practice tolerance when the horses try to steal each others sweet feed.  i sit in awe listening to the creek at night in the cool mountain breeze.  i enjoy riding around the farm looking for baby cows and wild turkeys.  i do all of these things now with a true appreciation and it isn’t because i am a farmer or a country girl, but because i don’t want these experiences to pass me by again. 

living here in the country with a second chance: it’s a beautiful thing.

weekend highlight: pow, wow, and holy cow

something we have done with different youth groups (usually in sunday school or back home group meetings at camp) is to list your pow (worst thing about the day/week), wow (best part of day/week), and holy cow (time that you felt closet to God…like holy cow that was amazing).  since this weekend was a long one with a lot of things going on i think that this is the best way to do this past weekend update.

friday.5/24/13:

wow: got to see 7 youth graduate from GHS (2 of them spoke at it) and the graduates got to throw their caps and spray each other with silly string!

pow: wanted to get to bed early so we could be on the road early – but still got in bed really late.

holy cow: the moon was amazing as we were leaving.  we saw it coming over the mountain and it was a simply beautiful reminder to me that God is good. 

grad 179 grad 180 grad 181 grad 182 grad 183 grad 184 grad 185 grad 186

saturday.5/25/13:

wow: we got to go back to charlotte and left on time (for us).

pow: it was a long drive because otis didn’t want to ride in the back and because he wouldn’t lay down on my lap.

holy cow: being surrounded by family and friends. 

sunday.5/26/13:

wow: got to hang out with everyone at the track and had a great breakfast. 

pow: didn’t win the race pool and made cj (our niece cry) – she was tired and ready to leave and i messed with her anyways.  😦

holy cow: two of the youth from monroe came to eat with us and see us and it was a great reminder of the time we spent with them and the faith journey we all went on together.  

monday.5/27/13:

wow: hung out with sandy and ginger, otis slept in the back of the car the entire way home, stopped at montreat and black mountain (got a new pair of sun glasses), no work which means a short work week! 

pow: traffic was bad and a ton of police were out and i was nervous (but thankfully we didn’t get pulled over or that would have been worse) and i helped andy make his to do list for the week and his pack list for his first summer trip and it made me sad (even though i love lists).  also on this trip there was little time to get together with other people. 

holy cow: going through the gates at montreat.

the rest of this week is going to be crazy.  there is so much to do with andy’s summer ramping up.  we had the pool party (end of year) with the youth and the rest of his nights are full of meetings.  we had a great weekend in charlotte and safe travels and great conversation and visits so even though my post isn’t full of fluff it was still wonderful. 

inspired…

so a while ago i wrote about unexpected friends and have really been thinking about those friends and about circumstances and have been really mulling that over in my mind the past few days/weeks.  sometimes you don’t have to meet someone face to face to be inspired by them and let me tell you why…

one of my new, unexpected friends (APF) has a blog and i have been reading about her life and the things she is doing now.  one of the things that she has been talking about is a line-a-day journal.  (i had to look it up because i had no idea what she was talking about – it is a journal that you can buy (or make your own) that has 25 lines on it and a place for the years.  each date of the years gets a page with five entry slots and over the years you write on the same page.  so you can look at the same day from 5 different years and compare).  she had marital problems and said that the journal was a place where she could see turning points in her marriage and in other relationships.  she was able to keep up with her milestones outside of the relationship (on a personal and professional level).  i e mailed her to find out more about this journal thing and she said it was really neat to go back and see where she has been and where she is going.  i thought i want to do that.  i had my reservations because what happens when i have boring days?  do i want to read a journal that says

” went to the grocery store and bought soup, cut my toe nails, tripped over the dog” or more like what it would say “got up, went to work, came home, watched a little tv and looked at the computer, read a little and went to bed”

i asked her about the boring days…she laughed at me and shared some of her boring days and it didn’t seem so boring to me (i guess i need to get a life).  i felt inspired by her dedication and how much she is learning and decided i wanted to do it.  i ordered a journal for me and one for andy.  i hope they get here soon so maybe andy can start his at summer camp and i can start mine while he is away.  i think it will be fun to read them together one day and see the different things that highlight our lives.  i was inspired to have less boring days and to do something each day that will make me want to get out and do something (like walk around the farm, sit on the porch and watch fireflies, read more, write more, visit more, explore more).  i am inspired and can’t wait to begin this process.

one of my old (not age) friends is traveling the world (or south america) with her boyfriend and another couple.  she has been on so many adventures the past 7 months and has been posting her pictures and experiences.  i have been so blessed to see where she has been though her eyes.  she has such a sweet soul and compassionate heart and i am so lucky to have her as a friend.  they decided they had so many wonderful experiences that they want to give back so they decided to use the rest of their visa to work on a farm and learn.  she is posting pictures of them gardening for the village, milking cows at sunrise, learning the trades of the people (making jewelry etc).  she is a constant inspiration to be a better person and to have faith and leap with reckless abandon.

thank you ladies for a dose of inspiration i needed today.