The old me. {Reblog}

Ohhh guuuurrrlll…preach! This is so true and definitely worth a repeating. And to be completely cliche…my husband is my rock and a prayer answered.

“But all of that. That wasn’t tough. That was building in her a toughness and a tenderness that she would later need to love him through his toughest hours. I would remind her she would need that strength to get through what would come. I would tell her that she would realize that love always wins and in it it would create a beauty and strength that she could have only ever dreamed of having.”

Mommy Rhetoric


Do you ever want to go back and punch the old you? Well I do. Seriously, she had no clue. She had no idea what hardships were. Sure she suffered some things and sure times were difficult. But my goodness, she had no idea. If I could tell myself then what I know now I would say a lot. I would probably smack her first and then I would sit her down at the kitchen table. A place where I truly believe lives can and are transformed.

lovewins1I would tell myself that all the stuff I thought was tough I had no clue. I would tell her that fighting with your husband sometimes doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you or that he wants to move on past you. I would tell her to quit making him prove it over and over again. I would tell myself that marriage for the two…

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I’ve got this. I always had it.

January 3rd 2015. 4 years ago I said enough. I worked out. I focused in on what mattered. Taking care of me to take care of others. This year is no different. Little advice from me it isn’t about wallowing in the I wish I’s but instead in the I am going to’s.

My first sweaty selfie ever.


To my sweaty selfie today.


What can happen in a year will shock you…


This was 5 months here.


This is 8 months.

IMG_4850 (1)

This was exactly 1 year and 10 days after I had enough.

I am selling absolutely nothing. There is no magic pill, workout, shake or program that will make this happen. The only thing that can happen is choosing yourself. I am giving you a reminder that we are all worth it. I got it. You’ve got it. We’ve all got it. – MR

Goodbye 2018!

This morning I was working on my “highlight” reel for 2018 in pictures. First there are few things I would like to note. I need to do more videos. I watched a journey that happened this year. In my recommended a few months back there was this writer, Rebecca Woolf of Girls Gone Child.  I follow a lot of writers, but the image I saw on instagram was one that highlighted her absence and devastating news of her husband’s cancer. Sadly, he passed and two lessons I have learned because of this loss of life are:

1) take more videos and 2) dead is dead as in gone forever.

There is no tomorrow. So hold tight and just live (and video it on occasion).

No it shouldn’t take some stranger on instagram to get me to learn that lesson, but it did and I did. So more videos. I also noticed in my highlight reel that I cried a lot. I always took a picture. I am not sure why because I didn’t share them much. But I guess in a way I wanted to remind myself that my world has not always been as pretty as it seems in my camera roll.

IMG_2337There has been a lot of good this year, but damn has there been some pretty painful shit. The most painful of it all is the fear. The fear of sharing it, the not being able to come here and talk with my blog about it. The one place I have always found comfort and peace is in my writing and in my word. But more than anything here I tell my stories and these painful stories are not mine to share.

But what is happening is a transition and damn it all to heck I can feel it. My husband and I’s marriage is shifting. We went from the crazy chaos of parenting littles to now parenting pre-adults (aka pre-teens and teens). We went from stolen hallway kisses to basically hanging out with each other all the time because our kids are “busy”. It feels like date night every night. We have almost 23 years of a relationship that has seen a lot of things and I am so grateful to shift back to this transition where I can laugh at his stupid jokes and he be annoyed by view of the world. But it is like getting to know one another again. Add in a douse of TN and the med side effects and my inability to ever just sit and relax. We are good time. 😀

And can we just talk about the transitions that my children are going through? Almost time to apply to colleges with # 1 and # 2 in high school and thinking about colleges and then # 3 who is 9 and wearing size 14s because she is so darn tall. But still being able to wear 8 because she is so tiny. I cannot figure it all out. It is too fast and I am afraid I missed too much or didn’t enjoy the ride as much as I should have. They are all their own little people trying to figure out this crazy world and their place in it. And darn it if I didn’t raise them all to be fierce fighters.

I am nearing the end of my principal leadership program (ends this summer) and in the IMG_3222 2end of that I need to make decisions…do I cool my heels teaching till I feel ready to consider a paid leadership role? Or do I just go for it? Which brings about this whole other transition and leaving the place that raised me. My school is my home and what made my passions become a reality and the thought of serving any other community is so scary. But I believe I am a servant leader and a servant leaders go where they are called. I just do not feel ready for any of that yet though.

And then just the simple transitions of life like our parents getting older, grandparents being sick and getting older if they are still around. The realization that life is constantly in flux. This state that the world is temporary no matter how hard we ignore that and the stupid notion or belief that we have any control in any of this.

But there is good and I know it and I see it. It exists out there and we have to take time to sit and reflect on it and work for it and bask in it because before you know it that peak has a valley and that valley has a hill and so on.

Enjoy 2019 MR Readers!

This Year:

A bad habit I am going to break: 



Pepsi (AGAIN!!!) and I want to stream less. I feel like the streaming has made me less connected to my actual life. I do it to destress before bed and I should use that time to be with my guy.

A new skill I would like to learn: 


My doc says absolutely no running. I love that type of cardio. His recommended replacement is bicycling, but I have a hate hate relationship with it. So? I guess I will try and love it. He said it has the same body benefits, but is so much easier on your body.

A person I hope to be more like: 

I don’t want to post a picture without permission, but one of my daughter’s friends mommas. She is the most positive person I can think of. She also is a wealth of knowledge and just embodies love and light. I want to embody love and light as well. Christine…I am looking at you. 

A good deed I am going to do: 

Try and proceed more with love and not trepidation. Sometimes it is fear and sometimes it is dread. But I hope to operate out of the love part of myself and less the other two. I preach love a lot and I need to live it a lot more. 

A place I would like to visit: 


Except I will not be wearing my work clothes. We are going to Panama City Beach for our vacation. My # 3 wants to see the ocean. I want to take my girls to a place my guy and I love.

A book I would like to read: 


I loved her book: Girl, Wash Your Face and I am just as anxious and excited for Girl, Stop apologizing. It comes out in March.

A letter I am going to write: 


Umm…I teach juniors and seniors. That means there will be a few recommendation letters in my future.

A new food I would like to try: 


I am going to do better at (I am going to add three things): 

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How about you? What does your “this year” look like?



Where did she go?

UjmHIJYpR72NXrYGrLvbNwHow does one lose themselves? When you are found it is easy to lose sight of what that feels like. But I have gone and lost myself again.

Lost myself in a sea of carbs, children, students, grad work and life.

It didn’t take much. Stress layered with more stress layered with tacos I am quite sure.

But I doing this. Not because it is a new year. Not because I feel fat and gross. But because I need it.

I drink my pepsi again. Or I did. I was drinking a 16oz. a day as of December 1st.

As of yesterday I don’t drink any. Again. I am here again. Giving up pop for the too many times to count time.

But the path has zigs and zags and some off roading too if you look close.

But guess what…day 6 of exercise. Day 6 when I am on break and it is easy. School break, kpV2W8%OTJa74a21p5t4Awgrad school break, kids crazy hectic schedule break.

But I have to somehow in the next four days find that motivation to keep this.

Work starts the 2nd. Kids go back the 3rd. Grad school starts the 5th. My guy starts the 7th.

And then the battle will begin. The battle for me. Carving out time for me in the form of exercise. In the form of not drinking unending amounts of caffeine masked in sugar masked in empty calories that go straight to my thighs.

And I ask again, how does one lose themselves? 

I don’t know the answer to that, but I am her.


Timehop got me again.

Today on my time hop I saw this:


So in an effort to see what was going on I went digging around. I mean I knew what this post was referring to. Or better yet I remember the “fake” that I was putting out there about how hopeful I felt. I was not. I was not hopeful at all. More on that later.

I dug around in my archives both here and The Journey of a TN Sufferer’s Wife. And the whole month of December 2013 wiped out. But then I saw this post and the feelings flooded back.

December 24th, 2013 – My husband was taking hospital prescribed pain meds, three types of epilepsy meds, xanax, a steriod and a muscle relaxer. He was asleep in our recliner and had pretty much done that for the days leading up to Christmas and would for the weeks that followed.

On the outside we were good. It was just a tiny neurological disruption to our lives. A blip, because I was making cookies and egg rolls with my girls. I was teaching. He was teaching. So we were okay right?

Well dear MR readers….we were anything but. That night I did the best I could to wrangle my three girls to bed as early as possible. I kept them at my mother in law’s most of the day to keep our house calm, dark and quiet. The trigger back then for those TN attacks didn’t take much. Small children, eating, wind, talking or sometimes just to be a pain in the ass.

Once home I tucked them in and tucked him in the recliner.

I painstakingly wrapped each of their presents with the tears overflowing. I remember at one point he peeked in and tried to offer help as best he could, but he could barely talk from the TN pain. I smiled and hid my face and my tears. We both wanted normal, but normal was non-existent but we were real good at faking it.

It didn’t stop there.

January 6th, 2014:

This morning was no different. I bundled up. No actually my guy bundled me because I was so ridiculously layered that I couldn’t finish the job. I get out there about all of a minute and I came back in because too much of my face was exposed and it was burning. So I wore my guy’s TN mask for outside. Problem solved. I began to dig and neighbors took pity on me and helped out. My snot kept freezing and my tears in my eye balls felt like they were freezing. When I was trying to breathe it kept getting harder and harder because the moisture from my breath in the mask was freezing and then I couldn’t catch my breath. I came in to blow my nose and ended up blowing snot all over my guys mask. 

God I am so pissed that I can make that time in my life look so triumphant. You want the real? I shoveled for hours, my snot and tears were freezing to my face, I was so pissed and bitter and cursing God. Cursing my life and seriously remember shouting into the oblivion of that snow storm, “I cannot do this.” I truly believed I couldn’t do it, but then I would look up and staring out the window was my husband. He was sad. He had the saddest eyes because we both knew that pretty picture of our girls was an act. We had to keep it together for them and because of them.

So yea, we are on the 5 year anniversary of hands down the most awful moments in my life. A few months of them. A few months of me being pushed to the brink of what I thought I was capable of overcoming and I did it.

Now TN is a distant memory…

For everyone else. It is the time people rarely bring up, it is the time I often find myself pulling the positives from. It is the time I draw great strength from now when things are tough.

But for those of us who live it….my girls, myself and my guy. It will never be over.

“Life is kinda getting back to normal.” 

I still feel this way and could write this same sentiment still. My new normal is watching my guy make his TN face and grabbing his side and asking faithfully every time, “Was it pain or just numbness?” Yes this still happens every day. Somedays the answer is pain and others it is numbness or even I don’t know.

But I watch as my daughters grow and see this as normal. Their normal. Our normal. The worry, the fear, the knowledge that one minute it can all change and sometimes does. So yea there was not much hope back then, but damn I was a good actor.

Today there is hope. But TN is always there. Always. But so is love.


Here Again. No Really Here Again.

IMG_6741When I struggle I write a post 1000x in my head. This is NOT that. This is a post I have written so many times because I actually have. Read my less of me chronicles here. The good news (lol) is I am here again. I want to lose 25lbs.

Over the last year (and more specifically the last 4 months), I have been down a very familiar rabbit hole. The one where my life is just janky. If you asked me what was wrong I would tell you nothing because nothing is wrong. My family is good. My job is good. I am happy.

But my knee has been really stressing me and reminding me I am not young and seriously what person wants that reality smacking them in the face every single day in a work out? If you say you…I say you are lying.

So I have turned into a tiny toddler and decided to pout and lose my motivation which I IMG_6776truly believed was an impossible feat. I mean I built my workout all the time mentality four years ago and maintained it all four years which sicknesses, surgeries and just life.

And one tiny little issue that can really be overcome and I let it smack me down and sadly my answer is yes. I believe God did this to show me I am not as infallible as I think and also has a stark reminder that I have NOT dealt with the mental aspects of weight loss.

Most importantly being honest with myself when I fall or fail. But this journey is just that…a journey. It is not ever going to be easy and shame on myself for even thinking that it could and should be easy.

I don’t know my actual plan of action, but I know I will conquer it AGAIN because I am worth it.

Doing it again…less of me! – MR


Silence is the hardest part of teaching.

A year ago I acknowledged the humanness and brokenness of my job and being on the front lines of the public. Today, a year later, I could write the same post.

What amazes me most about the crazy beautiful occupation is that lives change in my class. I am not their savior. They are their own saviors. I get a front row seat to the angst turning into purpose, the brokenness mending, and the ability to overcome. Again I am thank God for the blessing and the opportunity.


Mommy Rhetoric

“[Kids] don’t remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are.”
― Jim Henson

And I would add to that quote…how you made them feel. 

The stories that we cannot tell are the hardest part. Some you just cannot tell. Some you don’t tell because it isn’t your story. Some just don’t feel right because they are tiny moments of human connection that to type it all out for the world to consume feels like it would somehow minimize its humanness.

But we do have to keep ourselves in check and acknowledge that we are humans and with that humanness comes brokenness. We aren’t unfeeling robots who don’t recognize that the world exists outside of our classroom. Or at least I am not.

Those moments when I want to clamp down the hardest because they aren’t figuring out MLA or reading as in depth as they should…

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I loved once.

“Grief is love’s souvenir. It’s our proof that we once loved. Grief is the receipt we wave in the air that says to the world: Look! Love was once mine. I love well. Here is my proof that I paid the price.” 
― Glennon Doyle Melton, Love Warrior

Which is hard to believe sometimes when most of the time you feel unlovable and that is not a pity me statement. Instead, it is 42 years of pent up “ugh” being shown, told and directed to how love looks.

It is kind. It is easy. It is hard. It catastrophic and minimal and the list can go nauseatingly on. My problem was always thinking I needed to be mad at all the people who said it. A sense of regret all wrapped up in resentment because I didn’t love the way the TV showed, or my relatives told me, or how the books I immersed myself in painted images. They all had so clearly loved and who the hell was I to question that?

Me a girl who has had a long and windy road of loving people for all the wrong reasons. IMG_1611The love usually filled an empty space with a bad relationship I had no business being in. A friendship that worked because I let it make me feel like I was not worthy of love. A misdirected passion and love for a career that I could deeply care nothing for. None of that was me despite my best acting attempts to make it so.

And I suppose the argument can be made that love came easy to me when I married a man who did really love me and that love was and has been equally returned. But in all honesty…I have never made it easy. Again harken back to this idyllic concept of love and what it was supposed to look like compared with what it did look like. That idea is pretty hard to live up to when there is no happy hallmark music and things like trigeminal neuralgia exist.

The world fills us with these unrealistic expectations of what love looks like and the belief that real love is easy love; but I am here to tell you after spending what I hope is at least half of my life feeling let down and not good enough for that brave four letter word. Let it go. Let it all go. Love who you want and how you want.

Love because it is hard. It is harder because it is worth it. And don’t let the world tell you what it looks like. Only you get to decide what you feel and how you feel.

I am so sick and tired of that. I have lost five people in my life that I loved dearly. Some were lost in death, some were lost in communication, and some were lost because I walked away or vice versa. One thing remains consistent, I cared way too much about how others thought I should love. When instead I should have loved the way only I know how.

I remember at my grandmother’s funeral feeling like I was smothering. Go stand by her. Tell stories about her. Nod. Cry. Hold her hand. At one point, I left the funeral home and walked across the railroad tracks about half a block away to a bakery. In that bakery they had the most beautiful peek-a-boo cookies. I bought one and I sat on a bench and I ate it.

I sat there for twenty minutes in silence enjoying that cookie eating a cookie I loved, beside a person I loved in a moment that I found a whole lot of love in. But it didn’t look like the love I was supposed to be feel experiencing of sorrow, sadness and tears. But I realize now that that was my love, my expression of it, and that was my grief…my way. A tiny taste of my childhood, on a warm July sunny day sunbeams in my face, a bench with a hand to hold.

I show my love in words, in actions, and in moments. I also show my love in ways that embrace me whole heartedly. If you love me, you love all of me…the anxious me, the obsessive me, the compulsive me, the wordy me, and all of my faults fully exposed.

I know this now more than ever. For me love is sharing my faults and admitting it is not easy for me to love the way the world tells us to love. To love through the hard stuff, to love when it doesn’t look pretty or sound romantic and to love when it would be easier to not love.

The one and only “easy” love that I have ever been given is for my beautiful, precious daughters because I want them to know that the world is wrong and that love isn’t always beautiful and easy, but for me as their momma my love for them is true, consistent and without fault or matter with no ifs, ands or buts that could possibly come with it. Love is always there for them…boundless and endless and unconditional.

The rest of the love I have to share with the world is a choice. My choice. If I tell you I love you then you should know it is because I mean it. If I don’t tell you, but I show it chances are that that love is really real to because I am willing to be me with you. And if I tell you and show you watch out world cause that is fierce and meaningful.

I believe in love above most all things. I believe in the people I love even more.


Who is that girl?

In my interpersonal communications course, I have been teaching about the face negotiation theory. You know the one right?  The one that birthed the expression, “Saving face” or “about face”. This idea that we have faces for people, places and times. I remember being holed up in my bedroom after recovering from my surgery and doing in depth grade work on face and I immediately thought of this picture.


This is a picture that took me four years to actually look at. It was the holidays. My girls were so tiny. We were moving my husband’s grandma from one part of a nursing home to another. Her health was declining. We were in her apartment to go through her things. She had to pair down on a lot of her possessions. My husband’s aunt snapped it because she got a new camera and I didn’t want it taken at all because I was just sure of the absolute truth it would hold and capture.

One thing was missing. My guy. My guy who just that day was released from the hospital. I was two days into barely understanding my life had just changed in the most significant manner. I have always been good at just absorbing hardships, but not this time. I just spent the previous four days conquering every single fear I ever possibly held. I saw my husband on his knees begging to end it all. The problem with that is I had no idea why and what was really going on. I then left my tiny young children alone in my home in the middle of the night to drive my husband in a blizzard to the hospital. The next four days were inexplicably the hardest I have ever encountered. I went from taxi mom to wife beside hospital bed to cell phone talking/advocating for a husband who couldn’t speak.

And seeing that paragraph there and summing these transitional weeks into a paragraph does no justice for what that “face” is hiding. The simple act of helping an elderly woman “pair down” felt impossible and very last thing I wanted to worry about. My three reasons for being there and doing that were my daughters. I didn’t want them to know the world of pain I was in. The same sentiment went toward my husband’s family. My mother in law likely the only one who knew most of it because I needed to lean on someone that loves him as much as I do.

But I bring this image up now because I would never look at this picture. It has been on my fridge since that night and the four years since. I have maybe looked at three times sense and each time I did I couldn’t even look that woman in the eye because to me she is everything I am not. I barely recognize her.

I get so frustrated with myself now because I get all twisted up over the inability of public education to adapt themselves to my career path. College instructors in high school classrooms. Or I get flustered about the way system works to keep kids where they want them based on things that have little to no control over. I feel so powerless.

Then that woman there, she had power and she was me but I feel so disconnected from her and yes I know that is how survival works. I was in survival mode. I did it because I had no option. But my life isn’t much different now. Trigeminal neuralgia is a part of my daily existence, but I never talk about it. My life changed so dramatically that is no longer my new normal, but my normal.

But that woman, she could conquer mountains. She loved her people so fiercely and fully and powerfully that she literally could have moved heaven, earth, a large car all before 9am. But now, I forget my kiddos spelling stuff. Or my husband’s parent teacher conference schedule.

I have to keep reminding myself that that face is there. It is who I see in the mirror every single day. This is not some existential crisis or me taking myself back. But what this is me revisiting a promise I made to myself and I am sure if I looked hard enough in my archives I would find that actual written promise of it. But I told myself I would never forget what felt important and my very precise ability to cut through the crap and get to the heart of what matters.

As the days and years pass I try and remember that face and the ability that comes with that face because I need her. We all need her. She gets it done and doesn’t sit and complain about the obstacles. There are ALWAYS obstacles. ALWAYS….ALWAYS and I have ALWAYS moved passed them.

No infinite wisdom here from MR. Instead, a reminder that we all have that face even if we don’t feel like it. We are inherently meant to and equipped with the will to do and be better than who we currently are.