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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thank You

In the midst of preparing for a massive Thanksgiving gathering shared with family and friends I can't help but reflect on all that I have to be thankful for this year. I have been blessed with more than I feel at times I could possibly deserve. I am diligent about saying "Thank you" when a friend, coworker or stranger helps me out in some way. But...looking back, I'm not so confident that I thank the most important people in my life for being who they are and contributing to my happiness in such a profound way.

To my husband

I admit that I don't always let you know just how thankful I am to have you in my life. You bless me each day with love and understanding. While we don't always agree, we work extremely hard to make those disagreements meaningful and constructive. I feel God has granted me with a true partner in this life, someone to share my hopes and dreams with, someone to help me face my fears, someone to bring me laughter and hold me through the pain. Hubby: THANK YOU. THANK YOU for being who you are and accepting me for who I am. THANK YOU for pushing me toward my dreams. THANK YOU for challenging me in ways that only improve who I am, not change me. THANK YOU.

To Sissy
I was blessed at a very young age with a beautiful, caring, considerate daughter. You have brought more joy to my life than I think I could ever express. You are now a teenager, and with that comes monumental changes. We deal with them together as they come, and while it isn't always easy, I hope you know and understand just how much I love you and how proud and grateful I am to be your mother. THANK YOU for allowing me to help guide you in this life to be the person you are destined to be. It is not a job I take lightly, and I THANK YOU for being patient with me as we grow and change together. THANK YOU for being more special than anyone could ever expect. I am truly honored to have you in my life. THANK YOU.

To my Diva
We waited a LONG time for you to arrive. We tried and tried and tried for years to add to our family, and just when we had begun to accept that it was not to be, you stepped into our lives in a big way. You have brought so much joy to our family. You are vivacious and your enthusiasm is contagious. I am grateful to have you in my life and I look forward to watching you grow into a beautiful young woman. THANK YOU for being my sweet girl. THANK YOU for drawing me beautiful pictures each and every day. THANK YOU for blessing me with such love. I am proud to be your mommy. THANK YOU.

To my Peanut
You were somewhat of a surprise, but a very happy, oh my goodness I'm so excited kind of surprise. You continue to surprise us each and every day. You are obnoxious and funny and the sound of your laughter warms my heart. I am greeted each morning with a hug, a smile, and the unconditional love of a child. For that, I am truly blessed. THANK YOU for being that little spitfire I love so much. THANK YOU for the hugs and kisses. THANK YOU for the giggles you grace me with each day. My life would not be complete without you. THANK YOU.

There are many other things I am truly thankful for in this life, including my family and friends, a great career, and a lovely roof over my head. This time of year really gets me thinking about people in this world, in this country, in my own community, that aren't as lucky as I am. I try each and every day to remember to be truly thankful for all that I have been given, to not take any of these things for granted. It is my hope that moving forward, I can continue to appreciate all that I have been blessed with and find ways to help others who are not as fortunate as I.

During this Thanksgiving season, I encourage each of you to remind yourself of all you have to be thankful for. Share those thanks with the people in your life, and reach out to those in need. It is amazing how powerful two little words can be: THANK YOU.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Burnt Biscuits

Almost on a daily basis, I get those forwarded emails. You all know the ones I'm talking about, right? Silly pictures or urgent warnings that turn out to be urban myths. In the midst of all the silliness these messages usually bring, every once in a while a gem can be found. Below is the gem that was sent to me today. I hope it serves as a reminder that none of us are perfect, and if we were to each acknowledge that in ourselves, our relationships with others would be so much better.

Burnt Biscuits
author unknown

When I was a kid, my mom like to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. And I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work. On that evening so long ago, my mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage and extremely burned biscuits in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all my dad did was reach for his biscuit, smile at my mom and ask me how my day was at school.

I don't remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that biscuit and eat every bite! When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my mom apologize to my dad for burning the biscuits. And I'll never forget what he said. "Honey, I love burned biscuits."

Later that night, i went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he really like his biscuits burned. he wrapped me in his arms and said, "Your Momma put in a hard day at work today and she's real tired. And besides, a little burnt biscuit never hurt anyone!"

You know, life is full of imperfect things...and imperfect people. I'm not the best at hardly anything, and I forget birthdays and anniversaries just like everyone else. What I've learned over the years is that learning to accept each others faults, and choosing NOT to celebrate each others differences, is one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing and lasting relationship.

That's my prayer for you today. That you will learn to take the good, the bad, and the difficult parts of your life and lay them at the feet of God...because in the end, He's the only One who will be able to give you a relationship where a burned biscuit isn't a deal-breaker!

We could extend this to any relationship. In fact, understanding is the base of any relationship, be it a husband-wife, a parent-child or a friendship.

Don't put the key to your happiness in someone else's pocket...keep it in your own.

I hope this story is as inspirational to you at is to me. I see it as a friendly reminder that despite what's going on around me, I need to keep it all in perspective. There are worse things in the world than burnt biscuits!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Friends Don’t Let Friends Fight Cancer Alone

This post was co-written by Denise Thompson


I’ve been putting off this post much longer than I should have. Considering my blog is supposed to be about “Life As We Know It” I truly feel horrible about not sharing this story sooner.

My brother-in-law Erich has colon cancer. In March of this year, he began experiencing lower back pain and intermittent abdominal pain. After a visit to the family doctor and an immediate colonoscopy, he was diagnosed with colon cancer at the age of 33. Let me repeat: AGE 33. After surgery to remove part of his colon and a large cancerous mass in his abdomen, he began chemotherapy and continues to undergo treatment.

I know so far this sounds pretty tragic, and it is. However, that’s not why I’m sharing this. I’m here sharing Erich’s story because it is an inspiring one. His attitude through this entire ordeal is nothing short of miraculous. Is it all sunshine and roses? Absolutely not. There are rough minutes, hours, even days as he deals with the side effects of his chemo treatments, the mounting medical bills, and the stress the comes as a result. The thing is, Erich is not letting his cancer define him. He wants people to see HIM, not his cancer. That strong desire has allowed him to enjoy life, despite the bumps in the road.

Erich is quite a character. At age 3 he began singing Elvis tunes which led to him impersonating the King at several venues and events across Fulton, Peoria, and Tazewell counties in Illinois as a teenager. After hanging up his jumpsuit he took a serious interest in acoustic guitar and country music and in his mid-twenties began performing as a one-man band. After much success, he decided to take his career to the next level by joining a band. Erich Thompson and the Stone Cold Cowboys performed numerous shows at venues across Illinois and Iowa. They earned the distinct honor of becoming the house band for 97.0 River Country and earned the privilege of opening shows for numerous Nashville recording artists including Dierks Bentley and Jason Aldean. In 2007 Erich decided to put sic on hold to focus on his family. Since his “retirement” Erich has renewed his love of pool and has become an avid horseshoe pitcher.

Despite the emotional and physical stress, Erich continues to work, play pool and throw shoes. He and his family are always on the go, living their lives, and not allowing cancer to define them. This family truly is an inspiration.

Many people with whom I’ve shared this story have asked how they can help. As you might imagine, the medical bills are piling up. Even with insurance, it has been very difficult for this family to keep up. To that end, there will be a benefit held this Saturday, October 2, 2010 that truly will be a family affair. There will be horseshoe, bags, and broomstick pool tournaments, a jump house and crafts for the kids, a DJ, karaoke, raffles, a live auction, a silent auction, a 50/50 drawing, and Erich’s former band will be getting back together for the night. I encourage each of you to check out the benefit website to see how you might be able to help.

Thank you and God Bless

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

DWTS - Episode 1

My favorite TV guilty pleasure returned last night: Dancing With the Stars! I know, its cheesy and none of the celebrities are mega superstars. But you know what? I'm OK with that. Why? Because I don't watch DWTS for the "stars." I watch it because its fun, sometimes in a "can't take my eyes away from the train wreck" kind of way.

Each season there is always at least one celebrity I cannot wait to see perform, and last night, that person was Jennifer Grey. Dirty Dancing holds a very special place in my heart, as do Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. Adding to my excitement, she is paired this season with one of my favorite professionals, Derek Hough. I'm not ashamed to admit that their performance last night had me teary-eyed. Dancing the Viennese Waltz to "These Arms of Mine"? WOW!

Now, I know the producers are intentionally playing up the whole Dirty Dancing thing with Jennifer, but that just makes me love the show even more. The producers know how to draw audiences in and connect them with the contestants. This show gives viewers a glimpse into who these people are, allowing us to see sides of their personalities we don't normally get to see.

While Jennifer and Derek are my personal favorites this season, there are a couple of others to watch out for as well. Kyle Massey (from That's So Raven) blew me away last night. I knew he was funny, but last night he was oozing charm. His pairing with Lacey is a good one. Brandy and Maks were pretty good as well, and are certainly going to make it to the finals.

The rest of the field was pretty weak, but it is only week one. Bristol Palin surprised me, and if she can loosen up a bit on the dance floor, she could surpass expectations. Florence Henderson was fun to watch, and while her dance moves have a long way to go, I believe her personality will keep her in the competition for a while. There were a couple of people that were extremely painful to watch, especially "The Situation" and David Hasselhoff. The latter makes me sad, because I LOVE LOVE LOVE Kym Johnson and will be devastated to see her go early in the competition.

Do you watch DWTS? What are your thoughts on the cast and their premiere performances?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Playing Catch-Up

It has been a LONG time since I’ve posted. I keep telling myself I’ll get this blog going regularly, and then something comes along that keeps from following through. Story of my life. I will say though, that my hope is this blog will help me reach a very important personal goal: to follow through.

I’m notorious for starting projects and not finishing them. This particular bad habit reeks havoc on my marriage, my relationship with my children, and my own peace of mind. I get wrapped up in so many things, and I often find it difficult to manage my time properly. I often let other, seemingly just as important things, pull me away from my current task, especially when that current task is something that impacts me alone.

So, today I am making a commitment to post more regularly. I have lots of ideas to share, from crafts to parenting to philanthropic endeavors. There are a couple of things I’ll be posting about in the next couple of days that are especially near and dear to my heart, and I’m hoping my readers will be able to help.

Things have been crazy around our house, as usual, not that I’m complaining. School has started back up, which always makes things a bit more interesting. We had a great summer, especially since we actually took a real vacation this year. That’s a post subject all on its own, but suffice it to say, Kure Beach, NC was fabulous! We have lots of projects coming up including painting some bedrooms, a benefit for my brother-in-law (another soon-to-be-coming-to-a-blog-near-you post), birthdays, and home re-organization.

I’ll be back soon with a hopefully inspiring post about my brother-in-law, Erich and his battle with colon cancer, and what you can do to help. In the meantime, please leave a comment, letting me know what kinds of things you all like to talk/read about. This blog is ever evolving and I’m excited about the possibilities.

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Prayer Request

UPDATE: They are now doing an MRI and suspect there is an infection in his brain. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE pray for this little boy.

Original Post:
I received some news today that has prompted an urgent prayer request I need to share with you all. My friend's son Brady was diagnosed nearly two years ago with a rare disorder called Electrical Status Epilepticus During Sleep. He's been receiving treatment and for the most part, has been holding his own. However, yesterday he was transported by ambulance to the local Children's Hospital with an extremely high fever. I just got word today that his fever has spiked again and his platelets are down.

I will post updates as I receive them. In the meantime, please keep Brady, his family, and his doctors in your prayers.

Thank you so much for your support.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


It's been quite some time since I've posted. I wish I had some grand reason as to why I've been neglecting my blog, but I don't. There has been lots going on, keeping me busy, but nothing that seemed significant enough to post about. I guess I'll just catch everyone up.

Peanut turned 2 right after Christmas. And boy, is she EVER 2! She's quickly developing a strong personality, constantly annoying Diva, and refusing to sleep at night for more than 3 hours at a time. Such is life with a toddler.

Diva is doing well. She's becoming quite the artist actually. She's really into flowers and mermaids right now, so there's lots of those stuck to my walls.

Sissy is doing OK. Freshman year has been more difficult than I had anticipated, but she's handling the stress well. She's had some health issues and athletic injuries, but she's a trooper. Oh, and there's now a boyfriend in the picture...YIKES!

I've been thinking a great deal about my blog lately, wondering if I even know what I want it to become. I love interacting with other people out there in cyberspace, as long as that interaction is a positive one, so I think to kick things off, I'll pose a question I often ask people I've just met. It kinda breaks the ice a bit, and gives me a glimpse at that person's personality. So here you go...

If you could go any one place on earth to visit, where would you go?

Feel free to leave your answer in the comments. Maybe we can get a fun discussion going.