Tuesday, May 07, 2013

To a T


I've never read more true words than these.

"Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can truly turn your world around. You tell them them things you've never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more.

You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved, and the many disappointments life has thrown at you.

When something wonderful happens, you can't wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement.

They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself.

Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful.

There is never any pressure, jealousy, or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around.

You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are.

The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song, or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so vivid clear it's like being young again.

Colors seems brighter and more brilliant.

Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn't exist at all.

A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day's work and always brings a smile to you face.

In their presence, there's no need for continuous conversation, but you find that you're quite content in just having them nearby.

Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you.

You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind, or even a storm cloud on the horizon,

You open your heart knowing that there's a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible.

You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure so real that it scares you.

You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal until the end.

Life seems completely different, exciting, and worthwhile.

Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are part of your life."

-Bob Marley

Monday, May 06, 2013

What They Taught Me

It's time to give credit where credit is due.

I wouldn't be who I am today without the guidance of my parents.

I am their firstborn, and they had me as teenagers so they relied heavily on the guidance of my grandparents, and we, in a sense, grew up together.

My dad taught me how to throw a softball (and not 'like a girl'), ride a bike, and fish. I was quite the 'daddy tag-a-long' growing up.

My mom, she taught me how to fix my hair and put on make-up, and she taught me how to drive. I can still hear her saying Brakes, Casondra, BRAKES!!!!!, as I approached my very first stop sign in her old Cutlass Sierra. We stopped in time, but I think we may both have endured some whiplash. Ha. All is well, and I'm a good driver now.

My parents taught me that presence in your kids life is so very important. They never missed sporting events, or school plays, or anything that us kids were involved in. In fact, my dad worked a 3rd shift job, often getting way too little sleep, so that he could be involved in our lives.

My mother has always, always made a point to tell me how beautiful she thinks I am. Whether it was on picture day at school, before the several proms I attended, on a random photo I post on Facebook, or even just before I go out for the evening with friends.

My parents taught me manners. They taught me to 'say please and thank you.' And to help out people in need, even if I didn't have anything but my time to give.

They taught me that sometimes there a few things in life quite like the comfort of your parents. They've rubbed my back and head to calm me as a child when the weather would change and my asthma would flair its ugly face. They took turns standing beside my bed, rubbing my back as I labored through 26 hrs of back labor with my oldest daughter, and sat with me in my recovery room after I had to have an emergency c-section. They've sat with me in almost every triage room before all of the major surgeries I've had in my life, and held my hands as I've been poked and prodded with needles. My dad held me when I fell apart when the life-flight team took Bre.

They taught me about Jesus, and that as long as I rely on my faith, I can survive any difficult situation in my life.

They've also taught me a few invaluable lesson as of late.

They've taught me that regardless of circumstance and life choices, you love and SUPPORT YOUR children NO MATTER WHAT. And that the things I despise the most in this life are intolerance and hypocrisy.

So, without further ado, I hope to pass these life lessons on to my daughters.

I want to encourage my daughters to live. The way they want to. And that may mean that they are a homebody like me, or that they may be a world traveler. I will never make them feel guilty for wanting to spread their wings, follow their dreams, and be who they want to be, regardless of it is takes them hundreds or thousands of miles away from me. And regardless of if they live their life in a way that doesn't always align with what I think is best for them. It's their life and their happiness.

I want to let them make mistakes. I've been their age and I've had successes and failures. To not be that parent that says 'I told you so' or 'you were wrong' but to encourage them to get back out there and try again.

I make it a point to show my daughters affection. I truly believe that daughters mimic the compassion of their mother. We give a lot of hugs, have snuggle time, hold hands, give eskimo kisses, and say 'I love you' often.

Communication. Don't just talk.....LISTEN! I spend a lot of time talking to my girls. It's important to me that they understand the importance of not talking at, over, or down to anyone. We all have a voice, and our voices matter. Maybe not to everyone, but they do matter.

Be a mother. I hope that they understand the pure joy that comes from being a mother, and that one day they want to be mothers. That they understand that they will never have a better friend, confidant, and supporter.

To love and encourage others, instead of judging based off of differing of opinions or views. And to demand the same from the people they allow in their lives. Life is entirely too short and too precious to allow negativity in. That just because their views don't line up with someone else's doesn't give them the right to give unwarranted advice or criticisms, or throw stones. That just because they may not agree with someone else's choices doesn't mean they can't still show compassion.

That sometimes it is necessary to remove people (friends, acquaintances, and sometimes family) from your life. If someone is causing you more hurt than they are happiness, or if you've set boundaries for allowing them to be a part of your life and they blatantly disregard them, it is okay to severe your ties. Common bonds don't always mean a relationship should exist.

And lastly, I hope they always follow their heart in love. Sometimes things don't work out and they may get their hearts broken or break someone else's heart, but they deserve to be happy and have a partner that loves them with everything they have. And regardless of how they find that person, I will always, ALWAYS support them.

Friday, May 03, 2013


It's been a LONG time since I sat down to write a list of my favorite things and memories from the week. My friend, Natalie, mentioned a book she's reading called 'The Happiness Project' yesterday, and of course I downloaded it to iBooks immediately. Thank goodness my growing list of 'inspiring' books is stored in my iPad, otherwise Bill might want me to discard some of them.

Anyways, after reading the first chapter of said book, I feel moved to jump back on the 'Friday's Favorite Five' bandwagon. The good thing about this blog and my other, private journal is being able to look back at different periods of time in my life. It is always easy to remember the bigger moments in my life, but often times, I forget those smaller day-to-day things that I feel thankful and blessed for, and this is the perfect way to document them.

1. Clean Eating. I generally eat fairly good, but on Sunday, E, asked me to do a 30-Day 'diet' with her. I say diet, because it isn't really a diet, it's more of a lifestyle change that involves cutting out all processed foods, grains, and sugar. Basically we are eating proteins, unlimited veggies, and fruit. Mid-way through Day 1, I sent her a text that said, "Good lord woman!!!!! I'm going to starve to death." Ha. Well, here it is, Day 5, and I'm not starving at all. In fact, I feel really full at the end of every meal, and my energy level has increased. The best part, I'm already down a few pounds (probably water weight, but still)...I have a gorgeous dress hanging in my closet that I need to look good in, in a few weeks.

2. Warm, sunny days. Spring is FINALLY here, and although my sinuses are going crazy, I'm choosing to see the beauty of a clear, blue sky. A warm breeze blowing through my window while Bre and Gray-cee stand in the sunlight, feeling the breeze on their faces. Those moments when time slows, and God's love is ever apparent in the beauty that surrounds us.

3. My girls. There is nothing in this life that makes me more proud than being a mom to my three, precious girls. Last night, as Kinsey read through her report on Bill Clinton to Bill and I, I couldn't help but feel proud of well my older two girls are doing in school. As Ava read me her favorite bedtime story, I felt my eyes welling with tears, because I know how blessed I am that I get to be their Mommy. And Bre... That little spitfire keeps me on my toes, and in a fit of laughter. I could sit and stare at all three of my girls for hours.

4. FaceTime. Long-distance relationships are hard! You spend a lot of time apart to only get a few days here and there together. We pass the time between visits by video-chatting several hours every.single.day. It's allowed us to watch TV shows together, eat together, put the girls to bed, and just be able to 'see' each other. It's definitely made our times apart more bearable.

5. Bill. I know, predictable. But I really am just so thankful for him. There's not a day that goes by that he doesn't make me feel more loved than I ever have. And there really is no better feeling in the world besides that. Four weeks, baby!!!