Tag Archives: Memories

Ten People That Changed My Life

14 Oct

This is part of my 30 Things My Kids Should Know About Me series. The prompt…. ten people who have influenced me.

The Heart

1. My husband – The things that I have learned (and am continuing to learn) because of this love are things that I never imagined I needed. I have learned that I don’t always have to be strong. I have learned that I don’t always have all of the answers. I have learned that depending on someone else is not always a mistake. I am learning that vulnerability is not weakness. I have learned that grace and forgiveness are gifts of freedom. I have learned about the power of prayer. I am learning more about who I am. I have learned the true meaning of unconditional love. I am learning that God’s plan for our lives doesn’t always look like we think it will…. but if we trust Him and follow Him; He will bless us beyond our imaginings.

2. My son – Before I found out I was pregnant, I was a totally different person. I was just going through the motions of life. Nothing was really important to me. I merely existed each day. Just taking up space in this world. Because of Isaiah, I turned my life around. I reconnected with God and my faith. I started making decisions based on what would create the best life for us. I had new drive to be the best person I could be. Raising him to be a good man. Teaching him to be a good friend. Showing him how to be a gentleman. Talking to him, answering his questions, giving him love and the best life I can. I frequently say that he saved my life. Maybe the better way to say that is that he gave me a reason to truly live.

3. My (step) daughter – Knowing that someone is watching you and learning from you makes you better. In those moments when I reflect on my life and who I am, I think of her. She makes me want to be a better wife, because she’ll become one someday and I want to be a good example. She makes me want to be a better mom, because she’ll become one someday. She makes me want to be a better Christian, because, I pray, she’ll become one someday and I want to be a good example. She makes me want to be a better woman, because she’ll become one someday. She makes me want to example strength, grace, love, beauty, faith. All of the things that I pray make up her personality when she chooses who she wants to be. And, like my prayers for Isaiah, I pray she’s better than me.

4. My parents – Obviously my parents are a big influence on many aspects of my life. I would like to focus on just one of those. My parents taught me how to get along. They showed me how to maintain a positive relationship with someone because of children you share. They taught me how to create an environment for my children where it is safe for them to love all of their parents. They taught me about sacrificing any grudges or bitterness for the happiness of my child. They also taught me about love and laughter. Faith and family. Marriage and motherhood.

5. My siblings – My siblings have influenced me in very different ways. My younger brother influenced my career choice and instilled in me the drive to be an advocate for struggling students. My youngest brother gave me a deeper appreciation for music and musicians and the passion they possess for sound and rhythm. My baby sister made me view dancers as artists and the movements of the human body as something that can be used to make beautiful pictures.

6. My best friend – She gave me the push I needed to discover who I am. She convinced me that the person that I am was someone worth knowing and loving. When other people were feeding my insecurities, she was pointing out those same things as things that were awesome about me. She calls me out when I need it. She supports me when I need it. She’s always on my side. She has helped me become more confident, more self-assured, stronger. Her impact on my life helped me to realize that I had wings that were made to fly.

7. My close friend – A woman who came into my life when I was praying for a mentor, of sorts. A woman who challenges me to be the best wife, mother, and woman I can be….. and then be better. A woman who speaks truth into my life, even when she knows it’s hard for me to hear. A woman who holds me accountable to the life I’ve chosen to live. A woman who shares my love of Starbucks and sarcasm. She is invaluable to me and I am so grateful for her.

8. The only other long-term relationship I’ve had, aside from my husband. The relationship that started when I was extremely young and lasted far too long. The relationship that gave me an opportunity to learn so much about who I was. To learn about who I wanted to be. To learn about strength and how much of it I possess. To learn about the ways in which I should let people treat me. To learn about self-esteem. To learn about standing up for myself. It was a situation I should have gotten out of much earlier. But, it was a relationship that produced my son, the best part of me. And for that, I will always be grateful.

9. My 5th and 6th grade teachers – The two women who inspired me to become a teacher. The two women I thought of, especially in my first years of teaching, when I was deciding what kind of teacher I wanted to be. The two women I used to gauge myself and how I was connecting with my students. I want to be the kind of teacher that touches her students so profoundly that they look back 20 years later and remember that impact on their life.

10. My students – These kids have given me more compassion. More patience. More tolerance. More empathy. More gratitude. More understanding of the true meaning of life.

A post of posts

15 Aug

I found a very interesting idea the other day…. A list of posts. A legacy of sorts.  Something to leave for my children to look back on some day. The things I think they should know about me. I have decided to tweak it and make it my own. As I finish each post, I will link it here and it will eventually become an interactive list of posts. I’m pretty excited about it and I hope you enjoy!

Thirty Things My Kids Should Know About Me

1. 20 Random Facts about myself
2. Describe 3 legitimate fears and how they came about
3. Describe my relationship with my spouse
4. The 10 things that make me most happy, right now
5. If I had 3 wishes…..
6. My dream job
7. Five things I am passionate about
8. Ten people who have influenced me
9. Embarrassing moments
10. Pet peeves
11. A typical day in the life
12. The hardest part of growing up
13. Weaknesses and strengths
14. When I knew he was “the one”
15. My 5 greatest accomplishments
16. What I wish I were great at
17. What people love the most about me
18. How I felt the moment I became a parent
19. Memories from my childhood
20. Favorite holiday
21. Parenthood: likes and dislikes
22. Dinner party from history
23. Favorite quality of my spouse
24. Hopes and dreams for my children
25. Ten things I want to be remembered for
26. My favorite things about me
27. Best advice I ever received
28. Best advice I can give
29. Where to go from here
30. What faith can do

My next 30 years

10 Jun
Candles spell out the traditional English birt...

Candles spell out the traditional English birthday greeting (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today is my birthday. I am officially in my 30’s. 31. When I stop to reflect on my life, to take a moment to analyze where I’ve come from, I have mixed feelings. I am proud of myself. I am disappointed in myself. And I am hopeful for the future. I have grown from a quiet and shy child, a mildly outgoing teenager, a confused and wandering college student, a young and naive teacher, a self-assured and outgoing woman, a blessed friend, a grateful mother, a wife. I have come so far in realizing my dreams of what I want my life to look like. And I have so far to go.

In my next 30 years, I want to take more time to enjoy the life around me. I want to stay connected to the people I love, not the technology that takes away from real relationships.
In my next 30 years, I want to appreciate the little things. A beautiful sunny day, a beautiful thunderstorm, a beautiful rainbow. I want to make sure that I make the most of each day I’m given.
In my next 30 years, I want to focus on making memories. I want to laugh and play with my children. I want to hold my husband’s hand. I want to have fun with old friends.
In my next 30 years, I want to see as much as I can. I want to teach my children to appreciate the history and beauty of our great country. I want to take vacations and road trips. I want to experience so many things with my family, old and new.
In my next 30 years, I want to prepare for getting older. I want to take better care of myself; physically, mentally, emotionally. I want to save money for our future. I want to leave a legacy my children can be proud of.
In my next 30 years, I want to shape the future. I want to continue to learn about my profession and better myself. I want to continue to help my students be ready for the real world and all that it entails. I want them to know how much I care about them and do everything I can to help them realize their potential and be successful.
In my next 30 years, I want to give to my family. I want to example love and grace, strength and determination, selflessness and courage. I want my children and my husband to feel all of the love that I have for them. I want them to somehow be better because I have done something right.
In my next 30 years, I want to live. I want to laugh loudly. I want to cry honestly. I want to feel passionately. I want to love recklessly. I want to give unselfishly. I want to dance and sing unreservedly. I want to pray unceasingly. I want to believe faithfully. I want to dream uncontainably. I want to age gracefully. I want to do it all.
Welcome to my next 30 years.

Recipe for a perfect day

14 Mar

If I could have a day just for me. A day where money is not an issue and I could spend the whole day doing whatever I wanted. A day just to enjoy and focus on being happy. *sigh* That would not be a hard day to plan.

Three rubber ducks in foam bath

Three rubber ducks in foam bath (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I would start with breakfast. It’s my favorite meal of the day. Only this particular breakfast would be served to me from a fireside table at one of my favorite breakfast restaurants. (And since it’s my perfect day, I believe I should be able to eat said breakfast without the effects of any of the calories.)

I would then go for a couple of hours to get a massage, manicure, and pedicure. A couple of hours of relaxation and pampering myself. A couple of hours to let my mind stop running in circles and to think only of how awesome life is at that moment.

After my spa session, I would grab a good book, a great cup of coffee, and head to the park with my favorite little ones. I would lounge in the grass, soaking up the sun and reading, while my kiddos played and ran and laughed. We would stay until they couldn’t possibly play any longer and then we would go somewhere to find an ice cream cone.

I would then take my little family on a shopping spree. New clothes, shoes, pretties, and toys for everyone. Several hours to spoil us all. We would head to the biggest mall around and not worry about how much time or money we were spending. We would just go crazy; in a way we never could in reality.

After that, it would be bed time for the little people. I would pour a glass of wine, take the rest of my book, and spend the last of my me time in a bubble bath. When I couldn’t possibly sit in the bathtub any longer, I would curl up with my husband and watch a move to finish up the perfect day.

Now, to find someone willing to fund this day I have planned…..

What would your perfect day look like?

Soundtrack to my life

2 Mar

Music Note Bokeh

I love music. You’ve probably heard me talk about it before. I love music. I almost constantly have a song running through my head. I will hear bits of conversations and immediately think of a song. I listen to music when I’m sad or happy. When I’m mad or bored. Frequently, I will listen to music instead of watching tv. It has been a constant in my life for as long as I can remember.

So, I started thinking that it would be fun to create a soundtrack for my life. The different events in my life that have altered me somehow. The different memories that I have, the different people who have been in and out. I won’t share with you all of my memories, but I will share with you my soundtrack. Maybe some of these songs will take you back to another place and time too. Happy listening!

Wild Thing – The Troggs

7 x 70 – Chris August

Small Town – John Mellancamp

Graduation – Vitamin C

I Turn To You – Christina Aguilera

Butterfly – Martina McBride

Good Enough – Sarah McLachlan

Circle of Friends – Point of Grace

Sorry – Buckcherry

Ready – Brit Nicole

If It Kills Me – Jason Mraz

Almost Do – Taylor Swift

He’s My Son – Mark Schultz

Find Your Wings – Mark Harris

Trouble – Taylor Swift

Angel By Your Side – Francesca Battestelli

Waiting for Love – Pink

Have Your Way – Brit Nicole

Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not – Thompson Square

Hundred More Years – Francesca Battestelli

Need You Now – Plumb

Beyond Measure – Jeremy Camp

Worth It – Francesca Battestelli

This was harder than I thought. I feel like I could have listed a hundred songs, or more. What song would be included on the soundtrack of your life?

One of my favorite memories

23 Feb

Porch Swing

I don’t remember a lot about my childhood. What I do remember comes back in blurry bits and pieces so that sometimes I don’t even know if it’s a real memory or just a story someone has told me. So, recalling things from my childhood is a bit odd for me. There are a few things, however. A few things that I remember clearly, as if they happened yesterday. These tend to be my most or least favorite memories. I would like to share with you one of my favorite memories from my childhood. It is a memory that was repeated several times, at least once a year for quite a few years.

My family is from a small, sleepy town in Kentucky. They are close enough to some of the bigger cities that we always had something fun to do that was just a short trip away. But the town in which my grandmother, and many more family members, were born is the quintessential small southern town. It’s arguably one of my favorite places on Earth. As a child, we would head south every year, usually more than once, and spend several days.

I would look forward to it for weeks. The open air, the rolling hills, the southern home-cooking, and Ale-8 (if you’ve never had it, you are seriously missing out!) My brother, my dad, and I, and any number of my cousins or other family, would pile into the car and off we would go. By the time I was 16, and able to help drive, I could probably drive that route in my sleep. We always had tons of CDs (we tended to prefer 80s hair bands) and we would sing and laugh our way south. There were specific places we always stopped for restroom or food breaks; and familiar landmarks along the trip we would look forward to to measure how many more miles we had to go.

The further south we went, the more beautiful the scenery. No matter the season, there was something to catch my eye. I believe I gained most of my appreciation for how spectacular nature around us can be on these trips. I always felt a sense of home when I started to see those rocky road side cliffs, with their indescribable patterns and colors. The wildflower patches amongst the groves of trees. I have traveled many places in this great country and am hard pressed to find anything more perfect.

We always stayed with the same member of my family. In that immediate area lived three very special ladies. My Aunt Gay, my Aunt Carrie and Ma Johnson. In typical family fashion, neither of these ladies was actually my aunt and Ma Johnson, one of the sweetest old ladies to have ever lived, wasn’t technically even related to me. Aunt Gay is my grandmother’s niece. Aunt Carrie was my great aunt. My grandmother’s sister. She was fiesty and funny. For as long as I can remember she was one of my favorite people.

The memory I treasure most is this: Every time we pulled into that driveway, there Aunt Carrie sat. Her walker next to her and her tiny, frail legs gently pushing the porch swing back and forth while her eyes were glued to the road. We would pull up and she was our first stop. I asked her one time how long she had been waiting and she just smiled. It was almost as if she had been sitting there since we had pulled away at the conclusion of our last visit. Never in my life have I felt that my presence was more anticipated than I did every time I turned the corner to see Aunt Carrie’s smiling face.

I remember the first time I pulled into that driveway after Aunt Carrie passed away. Before I could remind myself that things would be different, my eyes immediately went to that spot. The porch swing was swaying, but instead of my favorite lady pushing it, the wind played cruel tricks on my mind. The pain was unbearable. All of the air left my lungs in a whoosh and my heart broke all over again.

Some days I still miss her like crazy. I remember the funny things that she used to say and my heart longs to hear her say them again. I close my eyes and I can still see her sitting on that front porch, anxiously awaiting our arrival. I like to think that, where she is now, there is a front porch. There is a swing. And she is sitting there, enjoying the afternoon sun and the breeze. She’s swinging back and forth and her eyes are glued to the road, awaiting my arrival. And I believe that her eyes will light up and she will smile when she sees me coming.

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