Some days it feels like too much. 

Actually lately most days seem like too much. Every attack…every news blurb…it is all too much. So many children, so many mothers and fathers…so much not just destroyed but forever changed. But for what? 

One day in the car with my kids the radio broke in and told of another attack. At this point who knows which one. Tears started streaming down my face and in the silence that followed because I didn’t know what to say or how to console I said,  “It feels like we are going into world war 3, but who are we at war with? There are no borders to fight over. Just ideas and love.” 

I could have turned the channel and maybe I should have. This is a parenting question I ask myself daily. What is too much and how honest should I be? The world feels scary. It feels unpredictable and chaotic. That is the world they are coming up in.

Last night at the game about every 30 minutes I checked my Facebook. Not because I gave up already on my digital “diet”, but because I had a friend in Instanbul. She checked in all smiles earlier in the day in Turkey. 

This girl is a world changer. She is doing things that need done. Spreading love and saying no to hate. I could tell you her story, but truthfully that isn’t the take away here. 

The takeaway for me is that I am raising three young ladies to hopefully be world changers. To not just seek out love, but share it. I have raised them to see beyond their own backyards and see the world is so much more than their zip code the flatlands they see here in Indiana. 

At times I felt like those lessons were too much because it set them apart in different ways. But when I see another notification of another act of hate I feel grateful that I have taught them that you can’t change the things people with hate do, but you can change your reaction to it. 


I just pray and hope that they always choose to respond with love and kindness in the face of hate and fear. The world is scary, but it is a little less scary when it is filled with hope and love. 

Where I am at.

me1Well exercise is tricky. I love it. I do. But what happens when school is out is I push myself to darn far and I get injuries. I am not reasonable and over do it. So I thought long and hard on vacation about changing what it happening here.

I know a few things. I want to run. But I am either too old or too bad to run every single day despite my best attempts. This summer I have had shin splints and knocked my knee cap out of place so many time that I lost count and broke my toe. I am not nursing a sprained wrist.

When I went I decided this was how it was going down. I would spend the rest of the summer focusing less on distance and focusing on speed. I want to be faster more than I want to run further. So alas I am two weeks into interval trainings. I found a great weight loss running app that focuses on speeding up your runs and tells you what to do with intervals. I love it and the British accent I chose for it to talk to me with.

I run every other day and walk in between. I can walk once school starts back up so this isn’t drastically hard on my body. On my walking days I will do a cardio workout of some sort and on running days I will focus on easier exercises. For example, today I did a fullme2 routine with my balance ball and the other day I did a routine working on weights with legs. On the off running day yesterday I went back to my homeboy, Shaun T, with T25.

If I lose weight great. If not that is okay too. I haven’t eaten horrible. I am not always eating the best either. I am not gaining and really that is all I hope to at least do is maintain. I am in my target weight despite wishing I could lose 10 more pounds. I guess right now I don’t feel motivated enough to focus and do that. Maybe once school is in. Who knows?

I did want to say when I was walking the other day I was trying to not beat myself up. (SIDE NOTE: seriously why do I do this? I go on walks and talk crap to myself.) I tried to pick one part of my body that I didn’t hate and I narrowed it down to my shoulders. I have worked so hard for my shoulder collarbone area and it seems like a dumb area, but it is  how I wish the rest of my body would catch up. So any way….I am hoping to focus a little more on that positive talk. I need to focus less on the things I cannot change like my extra skin. It is what it is. Trying to let love win.

E Party of 5 took a trip

This one was long planned and we were excited. It was also the first trip like this since MVD. That did make me nervous cause you never know when and how it will strike. The addition of the new med in May and increased dosage in the other has made it more manageable. Thank goodness!

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We were still in our neighborhood at this point. Which is funny given the girls look like they have been in car for hours.

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Everywhere my guy drives is a race, so imagine how fun that is in the mountains and there isn’t a darn thing I can do about it because I don’t want to drive in the mountains. So I hold on and grit my teeth.

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After two days in the car (basically 14 hours) we made it the beach. Ahh!

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# 3 knows how to cheese about like her Daddy. Keeping # 1 and # 2 out of the ocean the first few days was a trick. I liked it though. I am a beacher more than a pooler.

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We went on lots of shell hunts and family walks.

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And here it looks like # 2 inherited my guy’s “grin”.

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Woah? Is he smiling?

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Hmm, not sure where # 2 is. But cute pic! There she is.

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It was good family fun. We cooked, played games and drove each other crazy. So I think it went perfectly.

That my dear readers is….Love winning again.

Maybe it was just me.

IMG_0679My family headed south for vacation. That alone is always a task. But on my way home I was thinking I know it won’t be that exciting of a post, but I would like to kinda talk about our trip in the economical and review of places kinda sense. I promise to include pictures and links, so hopefully that will spice it up some.

First off, for the last two years I have tried for a travel grant to travel the east coast and the south. The grant is prestigious and I have yet to win. Every year I am disappointed and every year I vow to try again. Last year I got the family involved and I think it got their hopes up. So when the rejection letter came it was  hard to tell them we didn’t get it. But the letter did come and we made a family decision this year.

We are taking a family vacation. Our 2nd ever and 1st post MVD. Traveling with kids is stressful. It is also fun and beautiful to see the new places and things through their eyes. Add in that my and I had a horrible experience in Myrtle Beach at the beginning of our IMG_0704marriage and we were determined one to recover and take back our experience and two to see the beach in a family friendly place.

There are people that rave about MB and I think it is great. But it IS SOOOOO packed with tourist. We weren’t even there during their busy time, so I cannot imagine that time frame. But the biggest issue I saw in MB as a whole was just how unsafe I felt with my children. Now I will preface to say I am a little more paranoid than normal (thank you OCD) and my husband is a reserve sheriff and has been all of our marriage, so I don’t always see the world and people’s intentions as rosy pink. But I literally felt like I could not let them out of my site. Some of the characters I saw were more than questionable.

I also booked our “resort” solely from the web and reviews I saw. Once we drove up we realized we were smack dab in the middle of it all. That approximately 11 floors from our townhouse was the center of MB and all of its chaos. So maybe that was some of the nervousness I experienced.

IMG_0749We stayed at the Sandy Beach Hotel and Resort. We have stayed at resorts before and I will say this deserves a “resort” status. Resorts to me speak of service, respect and safety at the least. The customer service here was poor. They were clearly doing us a favor by showing up for work. Never once did any staff member make eye contact with us.

The resort parts like elevators, pools, hot tubs and amenities were mediocre mostly because they were not the cleanest or were jam packed full of people. People could literally walk in off the street and swim in our pools and enter our hotel. It felt extremely unsettling. They did give us rubber wrist bands to identify resort guests. But given the homeless man I saw sleeping right next to the kiddie pool play area I don’t think the resort bands are checked on the regular. In fact, not one person asked to see ours or even looked for it.

We didn’t use the pool a lot mostly because it was so busy. We would sneak down early IMG_0748before it got crowded and go for a swim. But if we didn’t go then your chances of swimming with everyone and their family member were extremely high. The resort section of the beach is by far the nicest part of this whole place. It was well kept, beautiful and spacious. They also provided two lifeguards which is a nice sense of security for a parent. There was also a nice dive beach bar right next to hotel with cheap drinks and food. The beach wasn’t nearly as crowded and felt much safer. There was also a swim amusement park right next to us. We went there one day. It was okay. It is so hot and it had no where for one to just swim. The pools were all for slide catches and lazy rivers. I just wanted to cool off and so did my girls so it lasted about two hours.

With the negative I was extremely nervous about the rooms and how they would be. Well let me tell you they were extremely clean and spacious. I felt the most safe in there with IMG_0741the doors locked and our make shift alarm (hello tons of bottles of water). The room had some wear and tear, but given it’s location I don’t think I was overly surprised. But we had everything we needed. Everyone had a private bedroom, bathrooms, kitchen with dishes and washer and dryer. There were also two balconies to boot.

The room also included free wifi and coffee all day. The wifi worked in #2 & 3’s room and then the rest of the townhouse it would maybe work. In the upstairs master it never worked at all. My guy and I had to use our hot spot if we wanted to do anything net. The coffee was always brewing every day, but there was one small issue. By the time I got there they would always be out of cups and remain that way.

So the big question…would we stay here again? Probably not. We may go back to MB, but for what we paid I would work on finding a rental home with a pool. I think my girls would have been much happier and I would have been more calm about safety. But it wasn’t an awful vacation. The area is beautiful and the drive was breathtaking.

IMG_0778I did want to give a huge shout out to the places we stayed on the way down and back. The way down we stayed in Asheville at a Doubletree and it was amazing. We felt like queens and a king with our freshly baked cookies and the kindness shown to our considered “large” family by booking standards. But nothing was better than our stay on the way home. We stayed in a new concept hotel by Hilton called Home2Hilton. It a concept that prides itself on economical and ecological impacts of the community it surrounds. It was breathtakingly gorgeous to look at with it’s grays and lime greens. We were also able to all stay together in one room with three double beds, a kitchen, office area and still feel like we have some privacy. We want to go back just to stay there.

The hiatus took a hiatus


I went to the beach. We saved for a few years and took the kiddos on a beach vacation. We took a little extra time to explore areas as we traveled south. 

We booked a townhome with wifi but guess what. It didn’t work that well. In fact, it was one of those situations where it only worked if stood on one leg in a certain spot and flapped your arms. 

I could have been upset about the boasted wifi and made a stink. Or I could have used my phone constantly. Notice I said could have. Well I used my phone as a camera. I didn’t go to bed with it and my iPad stayed 100% charged all week long cause I never got it out of the bag. 

And you know what…it was nice. Weird but nice. It made me realize that we as a family probably need to work a little more diligently for our time together. For it to be our time and not time spent looking at screens. 

Now we aren’t talking going off the grid and throwing away all the phones and iPads. I believe in technology and its purpose so that won’t be happening. But more concentrated effort to put the electronics down. 

I realized four years from now my life is going to look completely different and I don’t want to regret the time we have spent together. 

So here’s to a less digital driven life on the important moments. The ones that social media and a camera can’t capture because it can’t capture feelings despite its best efforts to do so with cute emojis and fad phrases (think yolo). 

A dose of reality on hiatus. 


Summer Hiatus #21 

You know that part in the beginning of every movie when the tell you to be sure to locate the exits. Well I have been to more movies than I could count with my girls and I look for them, but never have I openly talked about it with my girls. 

Since the Colorado movie theater shooting and just my natural teacher instincts I always look for exits in public places. My reality was shattered and changed then. I chalked it upto part of the job to protect those in my surroundings. Teacher = equals protector to me.

Every school year my students and I devise a plan for escape or fighting back. I diligently review once a month. We are in fact so prepared that when issues come up students know their role and what we need to do. So why wouldn’t I work this out with my own children? 

So when the standard exit came up yesterday I stopped what they were doing and I asked, “Where is our nearest exit?” They all pointed toward the exit another story away. I had already mapped out the one 10 steps behind us, so I pointed in that direction. 

They looked surprised by my asking. I said, “We can’t live our lives afraid. But we always have to have a plan.” Then we finally in the space of the next five minutes talked about scary world things. 

I hate and despise that I am raising my girls in a world where I have to even think about these things let alone discuss them. But the reality is that I do. 

We raised them to remember love and kindness and lead with love even when others hurt you. We have raised them to talk to people who think differently than they do so they can understand why. I can’t guarantee that they always will do this. But God I pray and hope they do. 

Quiet Hiatus – Needed to happen 


      Summer Hiatus #18 

      Looking at beauty in the world, is the first step of purifying the mind. -Amit Gray 


      Summer Hiatus #19

      You say you’re ‘depressed’ – all i see is resilience. You are allowed to feel messed up and inside out. It doesn’t mean you’re defective – it just means you’re human. – David Mitchell 

      I really did hiatus.

      My mood was super funky last week at the end of the week. I kinda forgot across the board to do my hiatus blog post and note it in my instagram. I am all caught up. Thankfully, I captured the moment just was too lazy to hashtag it. 🙂

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      # 9 – My Birthday Girl #3 and I

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      # 10 – All the paper products. All the time. Mom life is real.

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      # 11 – Found this lucky, shiny penny on my run. I took it as a sign of good luck.

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      # 12 – This is where my mood started getting sad. I was intrigued by the sun through the leaves. It just caught my eye.

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      # 13 – Woke up early to start some road therapy and determined to prove my strength and ability to myself. I killed it. This was my first five mile run!

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      # 14 – I had an onslaught of followers on social media that wanted to “fix” me or get me to “better results”. I was seriously over it.

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      # 15 – I wanted to prove to the world I am not perfect. I may exercise a lot right now. I have time. I love it. But I also have to eat to make up for it. And sometimes it isn’t perfect. But this recipe from my mother in law is perfect. It is our favorite. I shared it earlier here.

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      #16 – Mood still struggling, so I pulled out the “warrior” shirt. I had confirmation of my mood. More on that soon. I have a post coming that I have been working on.

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      # 17 – Tennessee gets it. I teach him for just this reason. He was talking about things we need to talk about long before we were talking about it. He also figured out early on. Love wins.

      I am pissed.

      I am so mad that this keeps happening. I am so pissed that it brings out the ugly in people. The fear and ignorance makes people utter words that should never be said. Then we find ourselves saying and thinking things that we shouldn’t have to. 

      • Mass deaths….are NOT and issue to be dealt with (A congressman stated he must come home to deal with this issue). Lost lives are not an issue you have to come home for. It is the lives that are senselessly lost that you come home for.)
      • A spelling of a name doesn’t make it a race. Stop saying it. Stop implying it. 
      • A warning or two of a gun toting extremist should probably not have special access to carry no matter the laws. These are the issues to be dealt with by the public. By us. Why and how does this person have access to this type of gun?
      • This is not a representative of a religion. I am a Christian, but religious Christian zealots don’t represent the essence of my religion. 
      • Worst mass murder in history. *no words*
      • They aren’t bodies. They are humans with people who love them. Stop calling them that. 
      • Assault rifles can make it into any public place. How?? 
      • Our president has stood in front of us 15 times to console our nation and to try and make sense and help our grief. 15 times. None of them are a declared war. Yes maybe an unnamed and debated war. 

      Oh my gosh these are things that shouldn’t have to be said or even thought. Politicians and journalists…check yourself the issues aren’t your issues. They are our issues. I don’t know where I fall on any of this stuff. The politics of mass shootings aren’t something I choose to think about every day and I truthfully don’t want to live in a world where I do. That isn’t my fear or ignorance speaking. This is my empathic heart that instead wants to teach leading with love and kindness first. That is just my empathic hopeful heart. 

      The same heart that was plagued with a heavy sick feeling the last few days. The one I wish I would learn to be more attentive to when I am plagued by those sick and heavy feelings. But alas I don’t. I turn it inward and believe that the ripple I feel is my own. Instead of a ripple of hundreds of lives forever changed. Over 1000 plus lives forever changed in unimaginable ways. 

      And I feel a public grief like most. My empathic heart breaks again and again.