Monday, November 25, 2013

the results are in

I do not have time to write tonight, but I promised a decision by Monday, so here goes:

I will be closing out THIS blog and beginning a new one.  After a unanimous response from you guys, I will not make the new blog PRIVATE.  It will take me a little while to sort out the details, so I will ask you to, once again, be patient with me. 

JP and I will be at the beach the majority of this week.  We will return Thanksgiving day to enjoy a meal with our family.  And then we'll head back to the ocean for an extended weekend.  I will not be writing/or working on the blog during this time. I am going to do my very best to enjoy my holiday.  For several reasons, this is a difficult holiday season for me...that is why I am ESCAPING as much as possible for the next two months!

I wish each and every one of you a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!  Before I open the new site, I will post ONCE MORE on here.  I will explain to you the reason for my decision and give you the name of the new blog.  Once it is up and running, I will provide a link on THIS page for you to use. 


Monday, November 18, 2013


After careful thought and lots of prayer, I have decided to close out this blog.  My decision is based on many factors.  This blog was originally started to chronicle our journey to adopt JP from Guatemala.  I plan to turn that portion of this site into a book for JP to have when he is older.  That was my original intent.  Over time, I have kept you up to date with the happenings of my family and hopefully provided you with a little encouragement and inspiration along the way. 

Well, now my family dynamics have changed.  In closing out that chapter of my life, I feel that it is an appropriate time for me to close out this blog.

I want to thank all of you out there and around the world who have read and supported my thoughts and my family for almost SEVEN years!  Your faithfulness astounds me, and your prayer support has kept me going.  I have received messages and emails throughout this journey that I will forever cherish. 

I have a couple of new ideas I am currently praying about. I really do love to blog.  So, I am thinking of starting up a whole new blog in honor of this new life I have been handed.  I already have several names I am rolling around in my head.  It may take me a little time to decide how exactly I want to go about this.  Another thing I am trying to decide is, whether or not to keep my blog public. That's a very big decision.  If I went "private" with the site, you would have to have permission to read it.  Inevitably there would probably be a lot of you who would not request permission, therefore you would no longer follow me.  That part makes me really sad.  But, there are obvious privacy and safety reasons for making a blog private. 

So, here's the deal.   I am going to leave this post up for ONE WEEK.   I would LOVE your input on this.  I guess you could say that I am going to take a poll.  I will leave my email at the bottom of this post for those of you who I do not message with by phone or see on a regular basis. 




If you are a faithful follower, I expect your input.  I am excited about the changes that God is bringing forth in my life.  Changing up my online "journal" is just one of many!  I will make my decision Monday, November 25th. 

Email me your thoughts...

Thanks in advance for your time!

life is an adventure (or at least my NEW life will be!)

I am sitting here in my room.  I have music playing softly in the background.  John Mayer on Pandora, to be exact.  It's Sunday evening and I have done NOTHING today.  Literally, nothing.  I didn't even leave the house to go to church.  It's been the longest week ever.  Not just for me, but for my whole family.  Our Daddy O's passed away on Wednesday.  We celebrated his life Friday afternoon.  Thursday I spent the afternoon in Family Court.  That was a blast.  I am legally and officially divorced.


Anyway, there were some really good things that came out of this week. 

I had the opportunity to spend most of the week with my favorite people in the whole world.  My second family.  Jeffrey and D.J. (pictured left) came in to town. It's always good to see them.  JP loves D.J.!  Grandmother (in the middle, Daddy O's' wife) actually came out to dinner with us.  It was good for her to get out of her house for a little while.  She is doing well, but continue to pray for her.  She has a long road ahead of her. 

 Laurie and Jeffrey...these two have been T.R.O.U.B.L.E since birth. 

And here are the PERFECT children.  Since birth. (Hehehehe)

Between the funeral and my court hearing I am emotionally drained.  I woke up this morning and didn't feel like I could do anything.  Or face anyone.  I guess that sounds crazy, but it's how I felt.  We were supposed to go to Pawley's Island this weekend, but I am going to reschedule another trip. Hopefully some time in December, before Christmas.  We leave next Monday and head to Myrtle Beach for the week of Thanksgiving.  I am looking forward to spending time there.  We have not been to mom and dad's condo in a long time.  I hope that the weather cooperates.  It will be a nice time of relaxation.

How true is this statement?!  Since my separation, I have set a handful of new goals for myself.  One of them is to travel more.  My best friends will be in France over the next couple of years.  JP and I will definitely be visiting them.  More than once!  I am also looking forward to taking JP to visit Guatemala.  I am not sure when that will happen, I just know it's going to.  These two big trips will have to be scheduled around my school calendar, but be sure that I will let you know when they take place!  Exciting! 
In the meantime, I will be planning a Weekend Road Trip once a month.  In December, we will be enjoying Dollywood again.  January, I hope to head back to Pawley's and in February, my girls and I are taking a (no children aloud) weekend trip to Charleston.  To name a few...   
So I don't plan to.
My devotion for today went like this:
" Follow Me.  No matter where I lead you, just follow Me.  Don't worry about how everything will turn out.  Just trust Me, and I'll show you the way.
Think of your life as an adventure, with Me as your guide and companion.  Don't worry about where our path will lead tomorrow - just live in the adventure of today.  Keep your mind on staying close to Me.
If our path takes us to the bottom of a steep cliff, don't be afraid...just hold on tightly to My hand and take a deep breath.  I'll help you climb all the way up to the top.  And when we come to a peaceful resting place, stop there a while and rest with Me.
You already know where our journey will end.  Someday I will take you into Heaven.  But, for now, just follow Me as I guide You along today's path.  And enjoy the adventures you share with Me."
How fitting. 

Happy Monday everyone!  Enjoy your adventure TODAY and let's be thankful for a brand new week.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

a very heavy heart

My emotions are all over the map tonight.  I will attend a funeral Wednesday for an extraordinary woman.  It is my understanding that there is most probably another funeral that will take place in the near future for a very dear friend who is reaching the finish line in his race with cancerThursday, I will finally close the door on a part of my life that no longer exists. 

My heart is very heavy.

I am more thankful now than ever for my salvation and my faith.  Life is short, guys.  And God is making it very clear to me that the things I think are so important on this Earth...they aren't so important in light of eternity. 

I will not be posting again until next week.  Thanks for your patience and your support.

Have a great rest-of-the-week! 

Monday, November 11, 2013

good monday morning to you

I am going to go ahead and get this first picture out of the way.  Go ahead and take your cell phones out and snap a picture or right click the image and save it, because this is something you will NEVER  see again!

I hope that my OTHER mom and dad get a kick out of seeing me in this hideous sweatshirt.  I went to Kathi and Dave's to watch THE HEAT (again) Friday night after we had dinner.  I had on fairly nice clothes, so Kathi asked if I would like something more comfortable to put on.  I, of course, said yes.  And this is what she brings me....with a big fat smile on her face!  You see the type harassment I have to put up with??!!  GO GAMECOCKS!

For dinner we tried to go to Tupelo Honey CafĂ© downtown.  Apparently they are having to undergo unexpected construction on the inside of their building.  I didn't really understand what it was about, but nevertheless it was closed-- BOO!  We ended up at Carolina Ale, which of course, is never a bad thing as far as I am concerned.  You really cannot go wrong eating there...

*I love this picture of my two girls... they look so happy!*
Saturday was the Florida Georgia Line concert.

Our evening began at Mellow Mushroom (yum!). The wait was for the birds, but the food was awesome.  I do not eat there often, but each time I have, I really enjoy the food. 

Now, on to the concert review.  This will surprise some of you, I'm sure. 
  1. I am not familiar with Colt Ford at all.  After his part of the show, I know why.  He is terrible.  If any of you are fans, I am terribly sorry, but seriously??  He CLEARLY is not able to carry a tune, so he (I guess you could call it) raps?!  It was very strange and I did not care for him AT ALL. 
  2. Tyler Farr was there as well and sang Redneck Crazy. And I DO love that song! 
  3. Here is the disappointing part.  I think I would much rather listen to FGL on the radio, or CD.  Their voices didn't sound bad and the harmonies were good, but they were sort of all over the place.  I cannot really put my finger on it.  They sang Cruise at the very end of the night and I will say that it was well worth the wait.  I don't think I would rush to see them again.  Sad, I know.  I was so excited. 
  4. Finally, overall, the sound was SO FREAKING LOUD.  I would blame this on me "getting old," but I have seen Lady Antebellum, Thompson Square, Darius Rucker AND Kenny Chesney at the same location and loved every minute of it.  The acoustics were ear piercing.  Even when they were talking in the mic, I couldn't understand one word they said. 
Unfortunately, I would have to give the night a 7 out of 10 stars.  And that is mainly because I loved the company I was with!  I am certain there are people out there that would call me insane.  In fact, I am positive.  I have seen them all over social media.  This, however, is my opinion. Not really worth much, I know.

Well, that's about it.  I have an early day tomorrow and for obvious reasons, a very long and emotional week ahead of me.  Thanks, again, for your prayer support.

I will leave you with a quote I found today on a friend's facebook page:  I love it!

Such a TRUE statement.  And, once again, I am a blessed girl.

Friday, November 8, 2013

happy friday, ya'll

Tonight, I went over to have dinner with a sweet friend of mine.  I L.O.V.E her little girl!

Seriously.  Does it get any cuter than this?! Her name is Maddie and she is such a precious little thing.

I don't have much to write tonight, folks.  It's been a VERY long week.  I did make an A on my medical research paper!  That was such a burden lifted off my shoulders.  And I plan on celebrating in a BIG way this weekend!!!  Hanging with my girls tomorrow (Friday) night and partying with Florida Georgia Line Saturday night! 

It's gonna be a GREAT weekend! 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

learning to see things through a different set of eyes

"Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life."  James 1:12
Every parent of an elementary school age child hates the school car line.  If you show up too early, you are in the longest line ever.  If you show up too late, you have to go into the school and retrieve your waiting child from the office.  It's a lose/lose situation.  And I definitely HATE it.  Having said that, I snapped this picture on my phone while waiting in the car line to pick up JP the other afternoon.  If this is not a picture of God, then I don't know what is.
I am usually reading two or three books at one time.  I cannot remember where I saw this, (although I am almost positive it wasn't in my James Patterson novel), but recently I read how one sure way to change your attitude towards your circumstances, or situation, is to get in the habit of thanking God for the gifts He's given you.  So, I have really been trying hard (because it's much easier to complain) to focus on the good in my life.  And not JUST in my life, but life in general.  As crappy as life seems at times, there is a lot of good to be seen.  And appreciated.  So, while I was sitting in the dreadful line, I was thankful that God pointed this picture out to me.  It was a beautiful reminder.
I found this quote yesterday.  LOVE IT.  And there have been SO many people who have made me smile in recent days.  In fact, I am smiling now just thinking about it. 
Keeping the thankful/blessed theme going, mom reminded me that I had not shared the pictures I took last Saturday at my aunt's house with the little cousins...
BJay and Lindi Rose --- like father, like daughter.  I will leave it at that!!  Love them both. 

 Our little Gamecock driving off on his motorcycle.  Can you imagine Preston on a real motorcycle.  Eeek!

And yes I was lying on my back in the middle of the driveway.  Just because it felt good and I was enjoying the view...
I have to also credit my new "appreciation" for life to Billy Graham.  He has written, what is probably his last, book and it is now in stores...soon to be in my hands.  The Reason for My Hope   is a book about salvation.  I read an interview with Billy Graham and several other ministry leaders online.  They were all giving their opinions on why they felt the end of the world was approaching.  It was so fascinating to listen to.  To top it off, the pastor at my church preached the same sermon this past week!  I know that none of us know when Jesus is returning, but after listening to these men, I cannot help but think that it's close!  The signs are in front of us and the Old Testament prophesies are being fulfilled.  I share all of that to say this... All the things that I am worried about do not matter.  The burdens that weigh me down, they do not matter.  The thoughts that run through my mind keeping me awake at night, they do not matter.  
"So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever."  2 Corinthians 4:17
That realization is so freeing for me.  And I hope it is for you as well. 
Okay, I think that's all for now.  I hope that all of you have a very HAPPY THURSDAY! 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

halloween and a little bit of our week

Every Halloween we go to Earle Street here in Greenville to trick or treat.  It is close to downtown and it's awesome!  The police block off each end of the road and just about every house participates.  It is seriously like one big block party!  I graduated high school with a girl who lives on the street and I am so thankful she introduced me to the idea.  There are always people grilling out, lots of music and this year there was even a lady eating FIRE!  Yep, you read that correctly.  Weird, I know...but it's Halloween!

My mom and sister brought Preston this year.  It took him a little while to understand the concept of trick or treating, but once he got it down he left us in the dust!  (Until he saw an adult with a mask on....)
Friday night JP and I went to our friend's house for a home-cooked spaghetti dinner -- Y.U.M!  It was a really nice, relaxing evening complete with a LOT of laughter.  As always.  At dinner, I mentioned that I was going to take JP to get his hair cut.  The next thing I knew, my awesome friend John, had him on a stool on the back deck cutting his hair for me.  Have I mentioned to you before how blessed I am with amazing friends?!  Just checkin'...

Didn't he do a great job?!  My little man is growing up too fast!  And he sure loves his John.
Saturday we met Kerri and the boys at the park. They recently bought a new golden retriever puppy.  His name is Charlie and he is adorable.  JP was in heaven!

That's Andrew sitting on my lap.  And yes, he is in a Halloween costume.  Don't ask!
A couple random pics from the week...
 I L.O.V.E, love this picture.  They were playing so well together Saturday morning. I don't remember, but I am sure it didn't last too long!  Such sweet smiles!! 

Here's our little Gamecock football player!  GO COCKS!!  This little two year old can throw a is amazing!  (Just not in the house)
That pretty much sums up our weekend.  Mike, John and I sang in church Sunday.  It was so much fun.  And so therapeutic for me.  I finally agreed to join the praise band.  I LOVE to sing, but I am really DUMB when it comes to music.  I cannot read it, I rarely hear it.  I am a nightmare when it comes to singing with a group.  I pretty much can hear a song on the radio and sing it to you...that's the extent of my talent.  But, I gave in.  I am glad I did.  I love everyone in the group.  I think it will be a lot of fun.
I began reading through the book of Job.  I would encourage all of you to do that.  I read through it once when we were in the middle of our adoption process.  I am really enjoying it.  The message God is giving me is completely different this time around -- funny how that happens!  It really is the LIVING Word.
I ran across a quote this week that caught my attention:
Or sometimes it may be one hour at a time.  My court date, as I shared last week, is rapidly approaching.  My emotions have been all over the place.  I will not even try to explain how I feel.  Most of you wouldn't understand anyway.  That's the worst part.  I am surrounded by the most amazing family, and friends most people would give their right arm to have.  Yet, it has been so difficult not having someone to talk to who really knows and understands how I am feeling.  In one respect maybe that's a good thing.  I am having to learn to be completely dependent on God.  Although I love Him with all my heart, that doesn't come naturally. 
Here is one of my quiet times from this week:
 "There will be good days and there will be bad days.  But God is in all days!  He is the Lord of the famine and the feast and He uses BOTH to accomplish His will!"
Bottom line?  I am a very, very small part of a very large picture.  And although I may not see the completed puzzle here on Earth, I trust God with my pieces.  My final hearing will be held next week.  I will ask you to pray for me.  It will not be an easy thing for me to do. 
On a happier note, when it's over I am packing my car, grabbing my most precious gift and heading to the Island again.  Ocean therapy.  It's good for the soul, and the spirit. 
This weekend I will be going to the cabin on Keowee for a night of  laughter and CRAZY, funny movies!  And then, of course, Saturday night is the Florida Georgia Line concert.  Needless to say, I am looking forward to the weekend.

Friday, November 1, 2013

a new wave

I am not doing Friday favorites today.  I'll most probably resume that next week....maybe. 

JP's mouth is full of sores right now.  I feel pretty sure it is a result of new medicine he is taking.  He is pitiful.  On the way to pick him up early from school today, dad and I stopped at the drug store to get a special mouth wash and gel for him to use.  Once we got home, I made him use the rinse.  "Ahhh, mommy it hurts so bad!!"  He screamed.  "I know, baby, and I am so sorry.  But, sometimes you have to hurt a little bit before you can heal." 

At this point, I wasn't so sure I was referring to his mouth.

My divorce attorney called me this morning with a court date for my final hearing.  I am not sure when I was expecting "the call,"  It caught me off guard.  I knew it was going to happen in the near future, but I definitely wasn't prepared for the wave of emotion that has accompanied it.  I guess it sounds weird, but I LITERALLY feel like someone close to me has just died.  I have a HUGE lump in my throat, a knot in the pit of my stomach and my chest feels tight.  Because JP came home early today,  I am carrying these feelings around and have no place to dump them. Like always, I have to hold it together.  When you're a full time mommy, you do not have the luxury of falling apart.  At least not when you really need to. 

It hurts.

I am sharing this with you because I will need you to be patient with me.  I have been posting every day and I am enjoying it.  However, I am not sure how I will feel tomorrow.  Or the next day.  My writing may be sporadic.  I apologize for that.  I am sitting in, what feels like, a VERY lonely place.   Like I said,  I feel like I am experiencing a death of a loved one or something.  In some ways, I suppose that's what this is.

My life, as I've known it for the past twelve years is dead.