Part 1- How We Met

How we Met- Part 1

Let’s rewind to the almost beginning. 2011. I was dating this guy* that was in every aspect ‘perfect on paper.’ We knew each other through high school but didn’t reconnect until college a few years later. In May 2011, he invited me to go to our church’s college night with him and then dinner after. We had so much fun we decided to go see a movie after dinner. It was probably the best first date I’ve ever been on. I felt like we just clicked. His family loved me and mine loved him. After a few months of dating I moved to Augusta for nursing school. We decided there was no distance that would keep us apart. I drove home every weekend and stayed until the last minute possible and cried every single time I had to leave. Our families started getting really close. It seemed like the perfect relationship.

While I was home for Christmas break my first year, we wanted to have a sweet Christmas together. So we filled his truck up with blankets and pillows and drove out to his family’s farm. We drank champagne out of solo cups, danced in the fields while his favorite playlist played and then cuddled in the truck watching the stars. That was the first time he told me he loved me.

We started talking about our futures together and how we will make things work. We wished all our dreams to come true. We promised they would. We would check all the boxes.

I head back to school after break and things are still great. We have an amazing one year that he completely blew me away. May also means the end of first year of nursing school. We spend the summer together and things slowly start to breakdown. There wasn’t something exactly that I could put my finger on, but I just started noticing different things. And over time those things turned into big things.

Right before I moved to Augusta, he got signed with a talent and modeling agent in Atlanta. So I’m not sure, if that had anything to do with the change in behavior or attitude or whatever. My friends noticed it to and warned me they were seeing red flags. I guess because I only saw him on weekends I didn’t realize the change instantly. Until February 2013 rolls around. We were supposed to get together for Valentine’s Day, but my mama fell, so I spend my weekend with her and taking her to doctors appointments. But don’t worry guys, he sent me a framed head shot of himself that he signed for my Valentine’s Day present. (I’m a little disappointed I didn’t break up with him then). The following weekend I was supposed to meet my mom and him in Madison (halfway from Dacula and Augusta), and last minute he bailed because he had a ‘meeting’ with his trainer. So we decide he would come to Augusta the following week, spend the night and drop me off at school so I could head to FEMA. The night before he is supposed to be coming to see me, he calls me and tells me he doesn’t think it’s worth it to drive two hours to see me to just spend the night and drive me to school the next day. (Keep in mind, we hadn’t seen each other in almost two months at this point, he has skipped Valentine’s Day and bailed on coming to see me in Madison). I said I’ll just grab a ride from a classmate. End of discussion- for now. My whole nursing class went to FEMA disaster training. It was the coolest, most intense thing I may have ever done. But while I was on that trip, I realized I had gone almost a whole week without talking to him, texting or anything. He didn’t try to communicate with me once, and I didn’t miss him. I don’t know which part scared me more. So I finally text him, and he gives me a shady reply that he had been crashing at his trainers house for a couple days. His trainer was a female… Straight from FEMA I had to work a 12 hour shift on no sleep. After all of that- we finally got to talk. Best timing for that conversation? Probably not. I asked him if he truly wanted this, if he missed me? Because I don’t know what my answer would be. We don’t make the effort to see each other and now he is sleeping over at another females house. Long and short, he cheated- but didn’t admit until a couple months later.

But after that conversation, our relationship nosedived. I was months away from graduating and already had job interviews lined up. I was setting up 401K and health insurance. He was still in the same spot he was two years ago. No more college classes, no shoots, no commercials. Still living at home so mom can do his laundry. We sat in that field and made plans and goals and dreams. And I’m reaching mine. I’m doing what I said I was going to do. I’ve checked almost every box. And he wasn’t. He hasn’t. We wanted different things. Everybody was getting bad vibes from him. So I opened my eyes and really saw. And sometimes, it’s just better not knowing.

On one of our last weekends before my graduation, I was home going to church with him and my family. And I ran into the infamous ‘Mr. D’ he was with his daughter and my [ex] best friend. He gave me a hug and whispered in my ear, “you need to ditch your boyfriend.” I was so shocked! I thought I imagined it until I text my friend about it. And she admitted he was serious. I joked about it back and forth a few times and she was like if you ever want to make that happen, I’ll help coordinate.

Well lo and behold, I’m back in Augusta and as a chairman of the social committee I am looking up places to have our class graduation party. I inquired information about a county club type venue. And guess who owes the damn building. Mr. D! Small world. We go out to coffee, neither of us drink coffee and we talk about the venue and our class budget. Then we talk about my boyfriend that he thinks I should ditch. Ironically enough, after that conversation I had the validation I felt I needed to demand if I was cheated on. I was.

So I went home and broke up with him. We were both crying. We were just in different places. He made me promise that we could try again after summer when I was settled in Savannah for work. I told him I would think about it.

Then I reached out to Mr. D (RJ) and told him he was right and we broke up. He asked if I’d like to go out for dinner one weekend before I moved? I said why not? Then I remember he is 25 years older than me and I said hell no. But then I remember that he isn’t a stranger. I’ve known him for years through my friend. I agreed to go out on a date with him as long as my friend could come with me. She did. We all three went out and had a blast. We were all in this group message for a while, but when I felt comfortable enough that Rj wasn’t going to kill me, we starting texting and skyping and talking on the phone. Every free minute.

Summer of 13 was the best and worst summer of my life. I graduated from Medical College of Ga with my RN BSN.

Passed my boards and got my dream job offer in Savannah. I started sneaking around with Rj because I knew my family would never be okay with our age difference. My relationship with my family has never been worse. But I was really living and loving for maybe the first time in my life. Most nights we just drove around at night with ball caps on listening to music. Or dancing around in the kitchen while he sang to me. He helped me do flash cards and study for my boards. We would have to drive out of town to go eat without anyone recognizing us. On nights we couldn’t see each other we Skyped until 2 or 3 AM. We talked about everything. Right from the start. He said after hanging out with me once, he knew I was different. We talked about religion, politics, family, money, sex, children, Alabama football. There was no topic off limits and I’d never felt my walls crumble down the way he got them too. I told him things I’ve never told anyone before. He knew me.

After two months, he told me he loved me and he kissed me. Another month passed and I got the results of my boards exam. I passed. My mom and brother cried in the kitchen with me and we drank champagne and laughed and cried some more. She said I should go and celebrate. So I did. I went over to RJ’s with two envelopes. The first was my passing official letter. And the second was a letter I wrote telling him I loved him too.

So ladies and gentlemen, that is how our story began. Summer of 2013. Crappy cheating boyfriend. Run in at church. Coincidence in Augusta. Whirlwind Summertime Romance.

And it was just the beginning…



*psa- I know in the first part I use a lot of pronouns, but I’m leaving out unnecessary names because I’m the better person. That is all.

when you lose your best friend

When you lose your best friend…

Let me start off my clarifying- this is not a letter to my “ex best friend.” This isn’t some angry letter because of a fight or growing apart. Nothing like that, at least not in this case. This is the heart wrenching, can’t breathe, worst feeling in the world lose your best friend thing.

“Losing a best friend is like losing air. It’s painful and slow and there’s nothing you can do about it. You just watch the world disappear.”

Sometimes life just really sucks. One bad decision can ruin everything. One mistake in a moment of weakness can change everything. And that is what happened. My best friend did something stupid, and she is paying greatly for it. But that one moment caused a ripple that soon became a tidal wave trying to destroy everything in it’s path. One mistake shouldn’t define a person. One mistake doesn’t define a person. To know what a person has done, and to know who a person is, are very different things.

But sometimes, some people can’t see past that mistake. And you are forced to make hard decisions. You choose the option that you can’t live without. That option being losing you as my best friend. I wish we had a big falling out, or we simply grew apart. I wish we had an irreconcilable difference. I wish we had anger, because I can handle anger. But we don’t, that’s not the case. We both just have broken hearts.

“Promise me. That’s all I want. Just a promise that you will never forget me. Tell me I changed you somehow. Let me know that I had an impact on your life. Promise me that you will always remember me. You won’t forget our laughs, our jokes, our smiles, our conversations, our plans, our tears, our memories, our experiences. Our friendship.”

The best kind of people are the ones that come into your life, and make you see the sun where you once saw clouds. The people that believe in you so much, you start to believe in you too. The people that love you for simply being you. The once in a lifetime type of people. I’ve never had a friend that just clicked instantly- especially since it made no sense. For once in my life I had a friend that understood my anxiety and depression without having to explain. (and tummy issues). I’ve never had someone that just got it, because they struggled with it too. Every single thing about me.

I feel like I’m dying. I can’t sleep again. My anxiety is trying to consume me. I cry all the time. The only person I’ve ever met that just gets it from a single glance, I can’t talk to anymore. I feel so isolated and alone. I lost my person and I can’t even grieve the loss of that friendship without if effecting my marriage. It’s not that I don’t miss hanging out or all the stupid things we planned for the future, because I do. But I miss most having one person that understood and was there for the bad. My person that stood with me in my darkness.

“I know you’ve lost someone and it hurts. You may have lost them suddenly, unexpectedly. Or perhaps you began losing pieces of them until one day, there was nothing left. You may have known them all your life or you may have barely known them at all. Either way, it is irrelevant- you cannot control the depth of a wound another soul inflicts upon you.

Which is why I am not here to tell you tomorrow is another day. That the sun will go on shining. What I will tell you is this; it’s okay to be hurting as much as you are. What you are feeling is not only completely valid but necessary- because it makes you so much more human. And though I can’t promise it will get better any time soon, I can tell you that it will- eventually. For now, all you can do is take your time. Take all the time you need.” -Lang Leav

So I’m praying time will heal all the hearts involved and allow a third option to magically appear. I’m trusting in God’s timing and His plan. I’ll (try) to be patient in my waiting.


Same man, same. 

Black, Grey and Unicorns

I used to believe black and white were the only two options in life. Then life really sucked, and all I saw was grey. All the lines blended- black and white, right and wrong, depressed and numbness, life and death. I lost my way in a sea of grey. Slowly, I began to change and heal and grow. I began seeing color for the first time in my life.

I began looking at life with glitter and pastel unicorn colors, but lately those colors just seem to taunt me. Maybe, I was a little too ambitious, to believe so quickly in all things unicorn. I felt if I no longer saw the darkness of the black and greys, I could keep my head above water.

It has been two years, five months and fifteen days since I have cut myself. And it’s been a little over a year since I weaned off my antidepressants and antianxiety pills with the help of my psychiatrist. A psychiatrist I no longer have weekly sessions with. I still take Ambien to sleep and keep Ativan in my purse “just in case,” but I have come a long way. I believed in my heart, that overtime my depression and anxiety would magically disappear. Maybe, that’s why I want to so strongly believe in unicorns. To believe in the magic. Life isn’t magic, it isn’t unicorns. And even though my life is wonderful, I struggle.

This week my anxiety has been worse than it’s been in as long as I can remember. My heart is beating out of my chest. I feel like I have a band across my chest so I can’t breathe. I haven’t even had coffee in three days, because I am scared my heart will literally explode. My hands are shaking and stomach hurts so bad I could cry. This is how I lived every day for years before I reached my breaking point. I don’t know when my anxiety crept back in, but it is beginning to cripple me again.

I am terrified out of my mind for my brother who talks about joining the marines. Naked truth- my mental health couldn’t handle that. My house is still in the remodel state and I hate things not being in their standard location. RJ is still recovering from his shoulder surgery, but not where he should be in his recovery and may have to get another surgery. I’ve been having crazy stomach issues to a point that is effecting my everyday life. Work is slow right now, so that means no paychecks. I am a stepmom at twenty-five to three kids who wish I weren’t around. I feel like I am failing at being a wife. Each day my anxiety grows, some nights I can’t even sleep because I am afraid RJ is going to stop breathing, so I have to stay awake to make sure he breathes.

My anxiety is a million little things I could never fully explain, but something I have learned throughout this whole process is to appreciate the joy that also comes with life. My brother is my solid rock and my best friend. My house may be torn apart, but in the end, it will be a beautiful home I share with my husband. After all of the months of physical therapy and doctor visits, RJ’s shoulder will have full range of motion and pain free (Lord willing). I don’t know where the joy is with my tummy issues, but I’m sure it’s there somewhere. Work is slow right now, but it’s allowed me to help focus on our renovations. I have a dream job that I love when I do work, but in the meantime, I have a wonderful husband that helps take care of me. I never planned on having kids, and it’s an untraditional situation, but I pray one day, I will have a close relationship with all three of the children.

I internalized everything I was struggling with, until yesterday, when a best friend reached out to me. She told me she was struggling. We confided in each other and just after one conversation, I felt a little bit of that band get lifted off my chest. I decided to confide in my husband instead of continuing to keep my walls up with him. I was determined to just pour out my heart to him when he got home from work, but I didn’t. I text him today while he was at work, because that’s easier for me. I don’t care if it was silly or childish. I recounted all the ways I was feeling, but told him I didn’t know how to fully explain my struggles. We went back and forth and ultimately after another texting conversation, I felt like I could breathe a little more.

I think sometimes life gets overwhelming. I struggle with anxiety and I get so frustrated because my life is great. I guess I was hoping it was something I would grow out of, but I am becoming aware of the fact anxiety is something that will be a constant companion of mine. And that is okay. I am stronger now; I am reaching out for help. I am blessed to have my husband, family and friends, even if they don’t always understand.

Maybe life isn’t glitter and unicorns, but it’s not black and white. Sometimes it’s grey, sometimes it’s dark. Sometimes it’s so bright you have to put sunnies on. I was naïve to think anxiety and depression would just disappear, but I am hopeful over time my struggles will get easier. Until then, I am fine with an Ativan on my unicorn float.



February 28

February 28. It’s been an entire year since I moved and left Savannah. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times- a year can truly change your whole world. February 28, 2016 I said an extremely difficult goodbye to a chapter of my life. While it is not a secret, half of the time I spent in Savannah was the darkest days of my life, I also had some of my best there. Savannah holds more memories than I’d ever be able to write about. My life was completely obliterated in Savannah, but it was also the place where I slowly rose from the ashes. I truly learned who I was there. I learned my strength and struggles. I learned how to become a nurse. I developed a friendship much thicker than blood could ever be. I grew in my faith. It became my safe haven. 

I spent 3 years in Savannah. After my contract was over, I quietly resigned from my position. I left behind an incredible job in a power position (that I worked extremely hard to earn). 

My therapist and psychiatrist. One of the best friends I’ve ever had. My small group. My friends that had become family. My condo (that helped change my life). I was leaving behind all the mistakes, regrets, anguish and pain, but that also meant leaving behind my safety net and comfort zone. I was leaving behind my happy. 

I would like to say I didn’t look back, but I did. I second guessed myself more times than I’d like to admit. I struggled the first months. After a few months, I decided I had made a huge mistake leaving Savannah . I was miserable, Ronnie was miserable. I didn’t see any hope of things getting better. I cried myself to sleep more times than I can count. I drove around for hours because I felt like I had nowhere or go, no one to talk to. I was so lost. I sobbed on FaceTime to my friends in Savannah. 

I even Skyped my therapist there. But slowly, so slowly I didn’t even notice, I was beginning to settle. I found a new therapist near my house. Ronnie started going with me. I reconnected with old friends. I got to see my family a lot more. I started to feel like I could finally breathe again. 

Eventually the days I cried myself to sleep and had anxiety attacks in the shower began to occur less frequently. Until hardly ever anymore. I started to bloom. My relationship with Ronnie flourished. We eloped and are now planning my dream wedding. I have met new friends and have a new job that I love. This life is very different from last year’s February 28th. Leaving Savannah was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. It makes today a little bittersweet. My life is different in every way I could have imagined. It is so much better. I’ve realized I can be sad and sentimental today on this anniversary. Being a little nostalgic doesn’t mean I haven’t found a new happy. Because I have. 

I can’t wait to see what I write about next February 28th. And even more than that- I can’t wait until February 28th can pass by and it not be an anniversary that holds any sadness. It won’t be a day to remember the past and look back. February 28th will just be another day. 



Fight Club

I finished reading Fight Club today while my hair was processing at the salon. I will admit that Fight Club is not the ‘typical’ book I would pick up to read, but I am considering getting a new tattoo with a quote from the book. I figured I had no right to use a quote from a book I’ve never read, so here we are. If you have never read it, I recommend reading it. I think you will be pleasantly surprised like I was. 
The quote I am considering is this:

“May I never be complete. 

May I never be content. 

May I never be perfect.” 

This quote followed another great quote “if you don’t know what you want, you end up with a lot you don’t.”

I think Chuck Palahniuk is talking about how young people think they want and need the whole world, but that is just because we don’t know what we want. Not really. We end up with loads of things we don’t want. Bad friends, bad choices, bad relationships, bad grades, unflattering jeans, impulsive decisions, etc. 

Life is so hard. I would like to say it’s gotten easier the older I’ve gotten, but it hasn’t. High school was bloody awful. College wasn’t much better. Getting a big girl job. Adulting. Girls are still mean and catty. Guys are still jerks and cheat on their girlfriends. The pressure to be this person with no flaws with their life completely together. 

Towards the end of the book, there is another quote:

 “I felt trapped. 

I was too complete. 

I was too perfect. 

I wanted a way out of my tiny life.”

That was exactly me. I was trapped. On the outside looking in I was complete. I was too perfect. I worked so hard to put on that mask of perfection. I worked out and ate healthy to have a perfect body. I worked hard to get into a prestigious nursing school so I could get my highly competitive nursing job. I worked overtime and never took a day off so I could be a perfect nurse. I listened to music I didn’t like so I could be familiar with a song if someone asked me. I never said no, because I could handle everything. I was in a toxic relationship because it looked good on paper. I volunteered, I went to church, I visited my mama. I never slept. I was put on a pedal stool and I killed myself to stay there. My life was so put together, except when it wasn’t. I was so good at faking perfection, no one knew me anymore. I was slowly dying and no one knew the difference. 

Then one lonely night, it got to much. Perfect Jorie died that night. It took a long time to figure out the real me. I had to give up the persona I was so used to slipping on every morning. I couldn’t play with eating disorders and be ‘Mia.’ I couldn’t self harm. I was either perfect Jorie or this dark and twisted Jorie that no one knew about. I had to give up everything. I’ve never had something so hard to break up with in my life. 

Everyday I woke up and made the decision to just be, well, me. I learned more about myself, but more importantly, I learned to love myself. I started making myself a priority. I started going to see movies or go to a restaurant alone. I got involved in ministries that mean something to me. I started spending weekends at bookstores because I love reading. I ended some relationships. I rescued a shih tzu named FRIG. I learned to say no. I started taking naps. I learned I am pretty good company. I did a lot of things that were ‘uncharacteristic’ for the old me. I stopped caring what other people thought. 

My life is messy. It’s not put together. The standard location for my shoes is the middle of the floor. I still have a bad ass job that I love, but my world doesn’t revolve around it anymore. I’m married to the most extraordinary man, even though we are not traditional. Most days I don’t brush my hair. I work out still, but I also eat sweets. My life is not tiny anymore; it’s so big and wonderful. I’m not perfect. I’m not complete. And I’m pretty dang thrilled about it. 



Starting to Fill in the Gaps


Sometimes, often times, words are not enough, words can never be enough. Knowing this, sometimes it’s hard for me to write. But recently I’ve realized, the things I never wrote are slipping. I’m starting to forget. And that scares me more than anything ever has. I didn’t write because the memories were too ugly. It was as if writing them down memorialized them. Some memories were dark, some were scary. I was terrified that if I wrote down everything that I was thinking or had experienced in those times would make me relive through those things- and I didn’t know if I could survive round two.


But a few nights ago, I was having an insomniac episode. I did what I always do in these nights: I think. Most of the time this thinking begins to make my thoughts race, and sometimes that is very dangerous. I am fully aware that I do this, so I have learned to make lists or think of numbers. List are easy. Numbers are easy. My thoughts are still racing, but at least my mind is obsessing over mostly normal things.


7. My favorite number. Ronnie proposed on December 7th. My childhood softball number was always 7. My first travel ball team was called the Rampage. Kaitlin, Taylor, Shelby, Allie, Danielle, Spencer, Gabby, Alex. Two of those girls played on my high school team as well. Kaitlin, Alex, Alexis, Chelsea, Devin, Adriana, Courtney, Danielle. I was really in shape when I played softball. Poles, cauliflower, suicides, sprints, grapevines, bleachers. Man, I really need to get back into shape. Working out, toning up, clean eating-possibly going back to being vegan, planning our big wedding are things I need to do. 15- I would like to lose 15 pounds before the wedding next year. That is only a little more than a pound and a half each month.


I typically flow from different numbers to lists quite easily and I never know where my different lists or numbers will take me. On this particular night, I started making a list of the names of the people who were inpatients in the psychiatric hospital I was in. I could only remember two names. These people terrified me, haunted me, cried with me- these people were my lifeline. And I could only remember 2 of their names. I quickly pulled out my journal and realized I have so many gaps in it. I had one entry that claimed I was too empty to write. Throughout the journal which ranged from 2011-2016, I realized that I left out a lot of things. To be fair, I have multiple journals and write on random pieces of paper if the mood strikes and stick these pages in weird places. But I had nothing in my main journal. The months before my hospitalization and the months after were by far the darkest days. I didn’t write about them, because I was certain I would be haunted by the events and my experiences and could never forget.


But now I am two years out. I have grown so much that I don’t even recognize the girl I was back then. I used to beg God for a moment of peace, just one. That’s why I did what I did on that New Year’s Eve night. I was so desperate for one fleeting moment to have a single second of time that I could breathe, but that moment didn’t come that night. And it didn’t come until much later. I got really lucky that night, but that night was actually the easy one. The months and year to follow were ever harder. I wrote months before and months after, but I didn’t write during. I had nothing, I didn’t even have myself. I think it would have been healing to write then, and be able to reread months later to see how far I had come.

  NYE 2014

NYE 2016

I am sitting at my computer writing this because this time around I am going to try not to leave as many gaps. Maybe if I had written more, I might have seen the signs and gotten help sooner. Maybe I could have reread how lost I was then, to realize how far I have come now.  Sometimes I wish I just would have written about the small things, like the first kiss with my husband. But I didn’t, but that is all changing. I’m going to write everything down so I don’t forget anymore. My story is ugly and messy; I used to be ashamed of it, but I am who I am. My story has made me into the person I am today. I can never go back and make some of the details pretty, but I can move forward and make the whole beautiful.



Espresso Chocolate and Emergency Vets

Let me just start out by saying November 25 may possibly be the worst date out of the year. 

10 years ago my god- father/hero/best buddy passed away unexpectedly. He was walking to the 50 yard line at Stanford Stadium to watch the Georgia Bulldogs play Georgia Tech. He had a massive heart attack and was dead before he hit the ground. My mom drove us to the hospital in Athens. I remember thinking this couldn’t be happening. The doctor pulled us into a family conference room and shattered our world. My mom asked if I wanted to go see Nat. I walked into that cold hospital room and saw his body. The most important man in my life was laying there lifeless. He was paler than I’ve ever seen someone and unbelievably cold. He still had his breathing tube in. The sound my mom made and that image will haunt me the rest of my life. I spent the night of November 25 in the hospital and my life was never the same. 

Ten years later, I’m spending the night in a different hospital. I’m currently sitting in the waiting room of a 24 hour emergency animal hospital. My son (because he is a real boy) FRIG decided he is a scavenger and wanted some of DeathWish’s espresso white chocolate. I swear he is a stealthy little demon; he found my stash of my highly caffeinated chocolate (which was moved from standard location because of holiday festivities). He ate the equivalent to 3.5-4 regular sized Hersey bars. Animal Poison Hotline said not only is that a lot of chocolate for his 12 pound self but the amount of caffeine is highly toxic to dogs. Ronnie drove like a speed racer to get us to the emergency hospital while I remained on the line with poison control. The vet had to induce vomiting. He is currently under observation while active charcoal is absorbing the remaining chocolate, but FRIG is stable and he will be fine. 

Waiting rooms are terrifying. It doesn’t matter if it is a regular hospital or animal- it’s all horrible. People sit and wait to hear updates- and sometimes the updates are devastating. 10 years ago, I got news that would change my life in a waiting room. I sat in that waiting room and prayed. I begged God not to take the most influential man in my life away from me, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. I think because today is the anniversary, it’s making this animal waiting room even more difficult. 

Frig is my son. He saved me a few years ago- he is a licensed support dog. And because of that I am irrational. I am aware I am irrational and I do not care. He got me through some pretty dark times. Naked truth: he was my only reason I decided to keep living through a couple days. 

November 25 sucks. Bottom line. Tonight has a very different outcome than that of 10 years ago, but it sucks none the less. My baby Friggy will be fine, maybe a little shaken, but fine. And tonight I am thanking God for that. I am thankful that I had such a wonderful influential man that was able help shape me into the woman I am for 16 years. I still miss Natty Patty every day. My whole family does, but I am so grateful to have had the memories for the time I did. 

This holiday season there is so much I am thankful for. And tonight I’m especially thankful for Animal Poison Control, 24 Hour Emergency Animal Hospitals, Ronnie being right by my side and my boy being okay.  



Weddings and Sinus Infections

Last month my dad got married. Two weekends ago my friend got married- and fun fact: I actually officiated the wedding. Last week my childhood best friend got married. I have also created the outline for the new program I am leading with high school and college age girls. My CVOR nursing job has been hectic. I am planning the first Thanksgiving ever I will be hosting.  I am also planning MY wedding.
Did you like how I casually threw in that last sentence? I’m getting married people! Like finally can tell everyone and can change my name and can stop saying I’m “married-ish.”

First things first though, weddings are exhausting and fleeting and exciting and every other possible emotion. My dad’s wedding (yes, the one that disappointed me a few blog posts back) was just an all-around dumpster fire.  It doesn’t help that a dumpster fire could also describe my relationship with my father currently. I played the music for the wedding. I USED to play the piano, but then I quit, but somehow I agreed to play a few songs for him. All in all, the music turned out fine, but it was definitely more that I bargained for when I said yes. Anyways, my dad was so nervous he couldn’t even hold the rings. The awning on the dock blew into the water which my brother had to fish out with a rake 5 minutes before the ceremony started. The “pastor” was someone my dad randomly met that used to be in a gang. They met at AA. His sermon consisted of reciting numbers that didn’t add up and quoting Bible verses about water- because we were on the lake. Besides it being one of the weirdest things I have attended, it was actually kind of pretty. Ironic.

My new favorite thing is officiating weddings. I already have two more lined up for next fall and I can hardly wait. I was more nervous than I was anticipating to officiate, but it was my first wedding and we didn’t do a rehearsal dinner. The ceremony was beautiful and everything went smoothly. I did however have to go home immediately after the ceremony though because I felt so bad. Sinus infection plus a nervous tummy plus a glass or two of champagne didn’t make a good combination.

Obviously the weddings the last few weekends have taken a lot of time and planning. I have OCD, so I have to have things in order. I like structure. I like lists. I constantly have about 7 different lists at the same time. It was easy enough for me to create my outline for my new program. It is very structured. But that is about where the structure in my life stops. My job is so unpredictable even from day to day. Then I am planning Thanksgiving at my house and it will be the first time my family and Ronnie’s family have all been together in the same place. Between coordinating people and food and time and trying to make the introductions as smooth as possible, I am literally losing my hair! (Okay, it may have a small bit to do with me still lightening my hair at the salon, but just a little!) Let me also mention that next week is Ronnie’s birthday so we can add that birthday planning to the mix.

Lately I feel like I am being pulled in a million different directions. There isn’t any number of lists that can make life perfect every single day. There is a lot of things on my plate right now, and it will only multiply until the end of the year. My wedding is New Year’s Eve. So, only about one month away. I will post another blog dedicated to just my special day… or two. Long story! Anyways, being stressed out drains me. It keeps me up at night and losing sleep is a huge trigger for me. The holiday season and weddings- especially my wedding should make me happy. But naked truth- sometimes I get so caught up in all my problems, things that I need to do or planning to make sure everything is perfect, I completely overlook the joy. It makes me shut down or be irritable. I pick fights and get angry. Sometimes I say things I don’t mean. Bottom line is this: I know life is crazy. I know life is stressful. Even good stress is stress. But at the end of the day, life is too short. Don’t say things you don’t mean in a moment of anger. Pick and choose your battles. Enjoy decorating the Christmas tree, even if it takes three Home Depot runs to get more lights because all of last year’s lights don’t work. Don’t stress about who is cooking what on Thanksgiving. Eat the piece of pumpkin cheesecake. Don’t let life overwhelm you so much that you forget to see its beauty.




Politics in Light

Politics in Light

Tomorrow is election day. This election is the second presidency I have been old enough to vote for. This election I am another four years older than the last time I was able to vote. I was a college student. I wasn’t as prepared. Four years can change the whole world. I am not the same person I was four years ago, and neither is this country.

For this election, I have done my research. I have read the literature from unbiased sources. I have watched every debate. I have read all of both party’s stances. I have spent hours searching for answers and gotten in many heated debates. I have prayed. I have read the Bible. And while the candidate I voted for is not my top choice, I could not under good conscience vote for the other option. Our country has never been more corrupt and divided. I have never been more afraid for the fate of this country. And quite honestly I am terrified it is only going to get worse.

A few Sunday’s ago, at church, my pastor gave a sermon on politics. He made many good point, but it was his closing message that stood out to me the most. It is actually a message he heard from another pastor. This was the closing message:

[There’s a famous nursery rhyme that simply goes, “Humpty Dumpty sat on wall and Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. And all the king’s horses and all the king’s men could not put Humpty Dumpty back together again.”

Mr. Dumpty’s world had become shattered and he needed it fixed. But he didn’t go to his friends, family, or even his church. He went to the White House. We know he went to the White House because the king got involved. The king was sympathetic to Mr. Dumpty’s dilemma, so he called a meeting of congress. We know Congress got involved because all the king’s men got involved. The tragedy of the nursery rhyme is when it was all said and done- all the king’s horses and all the king’s men could not put Humpty Dumpty back together again. It is unfortunate today that far too many believers are expecting the solutions to our problems to land on Air Force One. I’m taking to Joshua 5: Joshua is doing reconnaissance around the walls of Jericho. He looks over and sees the captain of another large army dressed in battle array. Now Joshua’s mama didn’t raise a dummy. He wanted to know whose side are you on? Because if you’re on our side we have help against Jericho, but if you’re on their side we’ve got double trouble. So, before I go out here and make a fool of myself, whose side are you on? That is when the captain said, “I think you are confused…I’m neither on your side nor am I on their side. I’m captain of the Lord’s army. I did not come to take sides, I come to take over.”

You and I have to understand; God does not ride the backs of donkeys or elephants. If you are a Democrat, the best you can do is vote Democrat LITE. If you are Republican, the best you can do is vote Republican LITE because your job is to bring both sides to the LIGHT. Your job is to represent another King in another Kingdom. You and I belong to another Kingdom, so let’s represent the King.]

I believe this is the biggest election our country has possibly ever faced. I no longer believe America is greatest country in the world. We live in a world where I have to carry a gun in my purse because I am afraid to walk alone to my car. Policemen are getting killed. Late term abortion is accepted. We don’t support our troops. We stand with terrorist groups, but not for the flag or National Anthem.

I don’t believe that either candidate running for presidency is going to make America great again. America needs something that no human can offer. America needs light, a Savior.  America needs Jesus. Our nation needs to come together and have an awakening. We need to stop being so divided and hating our brothers and sisters. We need to get off of social media and get on our knees and pray. It doesn’t matter if you are a Democrat or Republican, God doesn’t choose either side. And America’s only hope is in HIM.




Feeling Like A Stranger in Your Own Skin

Feeling like A Stranger in your Own Skin

Do you ever feel like you don’t know who you are? Like a stranger even to yourself? Like the blood flowing through your veins is alien. Do you ever feel like the pounding of your own heart is unbearable? Does your mind ever feel like the thoughts in your head are so loud you claw at your ears just to have a moment of peace? Do you feel so detached from the world that you can’t even bring yourself to cry?

I was sitting at my computer drinking some ginger ale because my stomach is feeling uneasy. Actually, it may be more accurate to say my whole being feels uneasy. I think I have a sinus infection or a cold or some other lovely ailment. I started writing a blog about weddings. My dad’s wedding, one of my best friend’s weddings, and my own wedding. I started writing and as soon as I did I had this bizarre feeling. It was like my body wanted to cry but I was physically unable to. I’ve never not been able to cry. I actually cry all the time. I cry in movies and TV shows, I cry writing letters, I cry reading books. I cry talking about my feelings, I cry when I can’t make up my mind on decisions, I cry when I’m happy, I cry when I’m mad, I cry because I feel like crying is good for the soul. But today, I can’t. I sat back and tried to access my mood, and I came up blank. I don’t have an adjective to describe how I am feeling right now.

I walked to the bathroom to splash some cold water on my face and take a few deep breaths. I looked myself in the mirror and I just had this overwhelming sense of unfamiliarity and indifference.  It was like I was just detached from my own self. I woke up feeling a little off, maybe even a little sad. My morning didn’t get much better when I discovered my poor puppy got sick in the middle of the night and threw up five times all in different areas of carpet. But I’m a nurse so a little bodily fluid never tarnishes my whole day. My mood just got weirder and weirder throughout the day.

I should be happy. I should be dancing around in my beautiful wedding dress that came in the mail yesterday. I should be a lot of things, like I am most days. But today, I’m just not. My anxiety has been flirting with me lately. I’m not sure if that is where my mood today is stemming from or not. I’m not sad. I’m not frustrated. I’m not angry. Those things may be a little easier for me to grasp. I’m not familiar with this strange way I’m feeling, so I’m not sure what to do to snap myself out of it. A couple years ago, I could have popped a few pills or made a pretty little line on my arm and I could be brought back to my reality. My way of dealing with any and everything. Naked truth: sometimes I think life was so much easier then. I sometimes envy the girl I used to be.

Today I’m struggling. I don’t have any reason in the world to feel this way, but apparently, my brain didn’t get that memo. I usually feel too much. It is both a blessing and curse to feel everything so very deeply. My heightened emotions make the dark days seem all consuming but then allow more joy and happiness than I thought was possible for a person to have in one lifetime. And each day usually gets better than the next. But this is different, much different. I don’t know what it’s like to not have deep emotions, even when I feel nothing, I feel it completely. I don’t know what to do with that. So today, I struggle.