So, I get quite a few messages asking me questions. So, I figured, I’d come through and answer some of them for you!

Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest? Brene’ Brown. I love her work. I think she’s hilarious. And it would be great conversation!

Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why? I mean, maybe – but if so – rarely. Like maybe if I am calling a business or something? But still – probably not.

What would constitute a “perfect” day for you? I don’t know what a perfect day would look like. It would need to be with the people I love, and also productive. So either doing something that I could check off my bucketlist or being with those I love. So I guess, all my days are perfect days, at least in one way or another.

Are you afraid of dying? Since you have been through it? Well, I haven’t been through it – because I am here. I have experienced loss just like everyone else. But am I afraid of dying? Yes and no. I am not afraid of what it means to die. Like I know that I will go to heaven, and live with Christ. But I am so happy in my life right now, I am afraid of dying and not getting to experience my future. And, I am also afraid of how I could die, in a way. Like, I don’t want it to hurt. But, I think that’s pretty common.

For what in your life do you feel most grateful? This is going to sound so hokey – but right now – everything. I keep telling you people. I am the happiest I have ever been in my life right now. Ever. In my life. For real. So, I am grateful for love. And isn’t it crazy, that in this crappy year of 2020 – I am still the happiest I have ever been? I know. Amazing.

Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it? Yes. I want to zipline in Costa Rica. I want to dance in Greece. Both require money and passports. Passport is in process – money, well – it’s in process too. Give me time. LOL!

What is the greatest accomplishment of your life? I’m not going to say kids, because I don’t see my kids as an accomplishment – they have accomplished their own selves. Well, Jacoby is in process… LOL. But, maybe this blog? I don’t know. I am proud of everything I accomplish. From making dinner, to putting a smile on someone’s face. I cherish them all. So, I really can’t pick one.

What do you value most in a friendship? Honesty. Realness. Loyalty. Communication. Courage.

What roles do love and affection play in your life? Roles? I don’t know what that means, exactly. But it’s super important.

Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s? Yes. I really do. I know that it is something to be grateful over. My life was made up of riding in wheelbarrows, running through the grass, building snowmen, waiting for the ice cream truck. My mom was a stay at home mom, and my dad was the breadwinner. They were both active in everything we did. I was loved. Cared for. And to this day – I speak to my parents almost every single day. I have stressed my parents out – I know it and I wish I hadn’t. But my goodness – they are the best ever and I am so grateful.

So. Now you know a little more about me! I hope you enjoyed it!

Love Fully. Live Fully. Shine On.

Sat Nam.

I forgot.

I didn’t forget, exactly. But I hadn’t been dreading and doing the countdown. You know, the countdown to the day. It slapped me this morning. Super hard. In the face. I felt guilty.

Nine years ago today I found my husband dead in the bathroom floor. I tried to do CPR. He had been gone awhile. It was fruitless.

I called 9-1-1. They were there so fast. I did everything the operator told me to do. I knew it would be okay. It wasn’t. When the paramedics only worked for 2 minutes, I knew. When he stayed in the floor, I knew. When they didn’t run out the door. I knew. And then a cop, came to me, while sitting on the stairs, and told me officially. I’m pretty sure I just stared blankly at him. Because, I already knew somehow.

I looked up and saw my oldest son, who is now almost 21, holding his baby brother and rocking him. I looked at the pictures on the wall. The grass in the front that needed to be mowed. And I walked outside. My mind went directly to tasking. So, I called my best friends, and told them that Shaun had died. Just like that. I called into work and left a voicemail stating that I wouldn’t be in because my husband had died. And then I sat. For hours.

I remember watching the cars drive by. And thinking. How are they going to the store? My husband died and is laying in the house waiting on the coroner. And that is the day I changed. I completely changed. I might not have known it then. But I did.

That’s the day, I realized that life is fleeting. That is the day, My oldest son became a man, at the ripe old age of twelve. That’s the day, I think I began to learn forgiveness. Because without forgiveness, we wouldn’t have the relationship with God to make it possible to live in this world. Without forgiveness, we wouldn’t be able to move on. Without forgiveness, we would be nothing.

2020 has been wrecked. Shaun is probably laughing in heaven, saying, “I got lucky, guys.” But think about this. There has been so much name calling, hateful speak, sarcastic comments, and ugly actions by so many people – what would it look like if we just were kind to one another. What would it look like if we respected others opinions without name calling? What would it look like?

What would it look like if you took the time to forgive those that hurt you? What would it look like, if you tried to understand the why behind their actions, rather than the action? What would it look like, if you didn’t take everything personally, and realized that albeit we feel the world revolves around us – its a lot better when we are kind.

I don’t think that I mourn the loss of Shaun anymore, exactly. I know he is better off than any of us, and is having the time of his life. I more celebrate him, that mourn him. He would hate mourning, too. He would think it was so extra and irritating. So in that faith, I am not sad about that. I mourn the trauma. The fear. I feel bad for that girl nine years ago. I feel bad for my kids and having to deal with that. No one should endure that. No one. Albeit, I know it happens all the time.

Big things have happened in my life in the past couple of years. I have had friends completely walk out. Some should have, some – well, I still don’t get it. I have been hurt, and I have caused hurt. I have been damaged and I have damaged. So, today – If i have hurt you, I am so sorry. And if you have hurt me, you are forgiven. Life is too short, and it can be taken away in an instant.

And for those of you who want to know, I am so happy in my life right now. Possibly, the happiest I have ever been. And to my fellow widows and widowers, you can get here, too. It doesn’t mean that you didn’t love the person who died, it doesn’t mean you don’t care. It means, that you are living. It means that you have a capacity for love that grows and grows. And for me? It means, to cherish everything. And realize that life is short. Don’t spend it spouting hate, being sad, feeling hurt, or down. Spend it – hugging, kissing, laughing, and doing the things that bring you joy. I didn’t get here overnight, and alot of mistakes were made along the way. But hey, I got here.

I’m not saying life is a cakewalk. I am saying, Life is amazing. Love is amazing. Don’t miss out on the good stuff.

Love fully. Live Fully. Shine on.

Sat Nam.

First of all, let me make a disclaimer. I am high maintenance – I know this. But in the scheme of things, when it comes to holidays and whatnot – I am not. I’m serious.

I really just wanted a happy day.

Well let me tell you about this weekend. It was trash. Complete and utter trash. It was so trash – that when people asked me how my Mother’s Day was at work? I said, “Tough weekend.” I can’t even lie and do the polite and southern, “I’m fine.” It was anything but fine.

It started out crappy Friday around noon. Homeschooling is wrecking my life. Constant phone calls of he said/she said. My 17 year old and 10 year old live in a state of who can tattle on the other soonest. And it is met with a barrage of phone calls. Anyway, the 10 year old calls – and I am already annoyed at the 14th call of the day. It’s noon – btw.

“Mommy!” he said. “Yes, Jacoby,” I muttered in my most fear inducing, angry, but I am at work and am unable to scream like I would like to do.

“BELLA BROKE HER TOE!”

“Sure she did. Let me talk to her.” He proceeds to put her on the phone. She is calmer than I anticipated, and said told me she thought she did. I told her to tape it together, because she probably just stubbed it – but just in case. And they don’t do anything for broken toes, anyway. We talked about Covid-19 and how we don’t want to go to the doctor during this junk, anyway. I tell her to ice it, take motrin, and call me if it gets worse.

I get home. Her foot looks like the Star Trek hand signal. You know, the “Live Long and Prosper” thing. Girl. That thing was displaced. She doesn’t want to go to the ER, so we make an appointment for urgent care the next day at 8:30 am.

It’s broken. And had to be set. She is in a walking boot. Can we say mom fail? Ugh. I should have taken her the day before. And it kept going downhill from there.

Now, let me give some credit. Bella created the sweetest sign. Got me balloons and some gift cards and candles. She’s so sweet! And my oldest, he got me a gift also, though I don’t know what it is yet – because it got delayed in shipping. It wasn’t the stuff that made it bad. It was mother’s day disappointment.

I psyched myself up with the expectation that because all I wanted from the kids was a clean house, and some time to chill out – that would be what I would get. And everyone would chip in to make it happen, because it’s only one day, right?

Wrong.

No one wanted to do anything. But argue. And cry. And tattle. And cry. And argue. Repeat. OH! Did I say argue? Throw in yelling. Then crying. I actually woke up to screaming. It was great.

You want to know what happened? Hidden expectations. And as hard as I tried to stuff them down in the trenches of my soul – the were spewing everywhere. By Sunday afternoon, they had splattered all over the floor, and suddenly I was in a sad state of self-pity. I felt so self righteousness that everyone should appreciate that I am not greedy, and do the small thing I asked. But – I’m a mommy. It doesn’t work that way. Just because Hallmark called in a holiday, doesn’t mean that kids are going to stop being kids, or that I get permission to not be a parent.

So now what do I do? On my 21st mother’s day – I am setting and adjusting my expectations. Or any other holiday for that matter. I really did want to be spoiled on Mother’s Day. I wanted me-time. I wanted food that I didn’t cook. I wanted peace and quiet. And yes, I did want presents. And I am grateful for them.

On a more heart-felt note: This past year I spent time with a mom who lost her child. I, myself, have struggled fighting lupus and other medical stuff. There are moms out there who are battling for their lives – or even their children’s lives.

Hello freaking perspective: This makes me slow WAY down and realize that when it all comes down to brass tacks – all I really want to do is love and hug and kiss and squeeze those babies that made me a mom. I want to spend time with the people who help me raise them, and love them like their own.

So , maybe I need to keep that healthy perspective in the front of my mind. This way, I will be able to see the true importance, and kiss them all to pieces, and be satisfied with that. No gift, no clean house, no quietness- can make up the fact that these people are my tribe. My posse. My really small gang. And we always gotta work together everyday. Family doesn’t get a vacation because a holiday – nor does parenting. And I am so grateful for these three wild kids running around on this planet. And I wouldn’t trade one second with them for anything.

So, I am not going give you a cute photo of all of us on Mother’s day. Because it didn’t happen. But hey, I got to see Bella’s bones. So that was cool. LOL!

Love Fully. Live Fully. Shine on.

Sat Nam.

“If what I am experiencing is heartbreak, then grieving is inevitable.” – Brene’ Brown

Yesterday was the 8th anniversary of Shaun’s death. Should we even call it an anniversary? I mean, Webster’s defines an anniversary as this:

Definition of anniversary

1: the annual recurrence of a date marking a notable event

a wedding anniversary broadlya date that follows such an event by a specified period of time measured in units other than years

the 6-month anniversary of the accident

2: the celebration of an anniversary

Webster’s Online Dictionary

So, I guess according to Webster’s ‘anniversary’ is the right term. Was yesterday hard? No. Not really. It was no harder or no better than any other day. I say this, because, every day, since the day of his death, he has been gone. Profound statement, right? The “anniversary” of the date, for me, means more to others than to me. I remember it all the time. The anniversary date – others remember. I have lived with the grief of his death for years.

Grief. What is it? It’s a lot of things to different people. Now, my grief is basically for my son. I have worked through my own over the years. I struggle with the fact though, that my son never got to know his father. I see that as a total tragedy. So to me, my definition of grief, is missing something that we never got to have. Missing the memories that will never get to be made. And this, this one thing – I can’t fix for him.

As a mom, we want to protect our kids and help them through the things life throws at them. This one thing, I can’t help. And I am not gonna lie, once I came to grips with the loss that I felt, I got angry. Rationally speaking, I know that Shaun couldn’t help it that he died. I know that. I was still angry, though. It has taken a lot of work, to forgive him. This is the best way I can describe it for those that haven’t lived it. Consider ‘your person’. Whether it be your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, parent, adult child – pick one. Now, how would you feel, if they just up and left. No goodbye. No kisses. And you knew they up and left to live a millionaire lifestyle, where they could never get sick, never suffer, and could be eternally happy -and to do so, they had to leave like that. Do you want the best for your loved one? Yes. Would you feel resentful? Of course. Resentful that you are here, to pick up the pieces. Resentful over the plans that you had made together, and now they just dipped out. Resentful over having to be sad, while they are having a good time. I have been resentful over leaving me to tell a kid how it’s okay that his father is in heaven. Because, let’s be honest – it sucks for him.

Guess what I did, though? I forgave him. Forgiveness, that is the biggest way you can show love, right? I mean, I know I am so grateful for the folks who have forgiven me in my past, and I am grateful for the folks who will forgive me in the future. Forgiving, not only makes live better for you , it does for everyone. This is whether you are the forgiver or forgive-ee.

So, This is my “anniversary” post. I live Shaun’s death everyday. Not that it is always a conscious thing, but it is definitely something that impacted my whole life and makes me who I am today. Shaun was forgiven. So I forgave him, too. I am also doing a pretty good job raising his little boy, if I do say so myself. Although, I need to give credit where credit is due – I have had an army of people, rally around me. An army of people, held me up when I couldn’t stand alone. And today? It’s the same. Even in a new town – my support system, and those who love me are incredible. My children and I have been so blessed by those around us. I am forever grateful. I was looking for a pic to capture Shaun and Jacoby, I knew the one I wanted – but I guess that it is hidden in my archives somewhere. I ran across this one. And that is a true capture of him.

If you are struggling with Grief, talk to someone. Find a support system or group. And work on forgiveness. I say work on it – because it isn’t that simple.

Love Fully. Live Fully. Shine On.

Sat Nam.

Ok, I know that this sounds horrible, and it is. But, I am a plethora of knowledge on this subject, and I am here to help you. I have had alot of close friends, ask me, “What do I say or do? What should I bring?” – when they find out someone has passed away. Who do they go to? The Widow, that’s who.

Now let me start off with saying, use some sense. Since my husband passed away, I also lost my grandmother. I loved my mamaw. She was a super sweet, super kind, and also super old – lady. She died at the ripe old age of 103. Now, her dying in comparison to him dying – not the same at all. So, use your intuition and guidance, and start there.

When my husband passed away, I was shocked. Floored. It wasn’t even something remotely on my radar. I hadn’t thought about him dying. He wasn’t sick. Super healthy. Young. I mean, he wasn’t even driving a car. I am assuming, that those feelings would go for anyone who suffers through a sudden loss. There whole world is crashing down. And you, being a loving soul – want to help. What do you do? Well, first. Text them. Don’t call. Text. And, being southern – that goes against everything I was taught. But when you are in it – it’s good to see the text messages, but not feel the need to have to answer the phone.

  • Don’t do what we all instinctively want to do. DO NOT ASK IF THEY ARE OK. I mean, obviously not. And I know, you know, it’s just a thing we say – I said it 1000 times before. Never will again. Because when you are emotional – you get annoyed – and I wanted to scream back – WHAT DO YOU THINK!? But, I didn’t.
  • Find out who the point of contact is. For me, I had three. My parents, and my two closest friends. Those folks are the guard keepers. They are so important. Send any correspondence through them. And please – feed them. They have stopped their lives to care for another human – and that deserves some serious honor. I wouldn’t have made it without them. When you find out who the person is – send it out to any mutual friends, so they also know.
  • Come over, when the gatekeepers says it’s fine. And understand, you might not ever see who you came to see. I promise. They know you are there. And appreciate it. I remember laying in my bed, and seeing all the friends and family members showing up. And I was so grateful. I just couldn’t get up out of my bed.
  • Do not tell the loved one to take something for their nerves, unless you really believe that they are losing it. I got so irritated when people asked if I needed “something for my nerves”. Ummm.. No Tammy, My husband died and I am widowed with three babies. So there’s that. I believe my crying is kind of warranted.

Now, you might have someone who wants to talk. And be in it. And cry. And if that’s the case. Do that. But understand this – once the funeral is over – life will never go on as normal for them again. Ever. They will have a new normal – and it can be a great new normal- but, they probably can’t see it then. I was so lucky that I had friends who didn’t forget me. My friends would come over and sit on the porch. One of my friends, actually moved in with me for awhile, to help me with the kids. I mean, she moved in. I am not asking you to move in – I’m just saying – it’s a huge transition.

Next, let’s talk about what to bring. Isn’t this something that we all want to do? I mean, you can’t take away the pain, but you can try to make the situation a little more endurable. So, here’s my list of the things that I will never forget that were brought to me.

  • Toilet paper. A pack from BJ’s. A big one. There are going to be people coming in and out of the home. People go potty. You really don’t want to be crying in your bed, then have to run to Wal-Mart to get some toilet paper. And once everyone leaves, and your life is creating it’s new normal – it’s nice to not have it all used up, and have a stash.
  • Paper towels, paper plates, solo cups, napkins, trash bags, etc. And why these items? They are needed. There will be tons of people, food, and no one wants to worry about dishes. And, check the trash cans. If it’s trash day – take it to the road. More food, more people, more trash generated. Those little steps were so thoughtful.
  • Gift cards. Gift cards got me through a lot of tough times. Restaurants, Wal-Mart, Gas. You pick it. It will help. It will be used.
  • Don’t bring food unless you are part of a meal train or requested. So many people won’t follow this – and you have no idea how much food I had to throw away just because the sheer volume.
  • Nice comfy pajamas. A girlfriend of mine brought me new pajamas. It helped.
  • Send a card. Bring a card. Either one. They will keep it forever. It does mean alot.
  • Don’t send flowers. If you want to get a plant, get a house plant. I’d go with a peace lilly, a succulent, african violets, a fiddle-leaf fig, viper’s bowstring. Flowers are beautiful. Flowers also die. And when you are going through a death – it just made it feel more apparent.

If you are the outdoorsy type, and the individual has yard – make sure they either have a lawn service, or its handled. If it isn’t – organize a group to handle it. Also, think of any other little thing that you can to make someone’s life a little easier.

But I saved the best and most important for last. Pray, my friends. And don’t stop. I am still prayed for today – years later – but some powerful women in my life. And I am so thankful for that guidance. Those prayers. They got me through, and have continued to carry me. If you have any questions – leave a comment, shoot me a message, I’m here.

Come on back now, ya’ll.

Love Fully. Live Fully. Shine On. Sat nam.

It’s funny, in a an absurd type of way – but it’s true.  I bought an iPhone 6 plus, one year ago.  It’s the one with 128 mb.  And you want to know why I bought it? Because the level of storage for photos was so high.  I have two obsessions.  One is music, the other is photos.  An iPhone – well provides both.  That is, as long as you have the memory for it.  So when it came out – I was on it.  There was nothing I hated more, than getting ready to take a picture, and my phone stop me.  The phone would tell me, I needed to delete a picture to take another picture.  Did this phone know what it was asking me to do?  How do I delete a moment, to create another?  What if I didn’t save it?  Needless to say, it was drove me nuts.  And you want me to delete a song?  No.  ‘Nuff said.

I had a conversation with one of my bosses this week, about iPhone Vs. Android.  He asked me why I loved the iPhone, although he has one.  I told him the above.  And he said, “You really take that many pictures?”.  Yes, I do.

So this weekend, I looked through them.  And didn’t delete any.  But I did notice this. Photos tell such a story, that we might not remember.  Photos tell the truth.  They show happiness, sadness, and absence.  They capture moments that we forget.  They an often show how you feel, even when you didn’t realize you felt that way.  I saw a photo of me and Jacoby – and he was squeezing my neck, from behind.  I remember, that I felt so thankful.  In that moment – I felt teary.  And I posted it on Facebook and Instagram – and no one knew I was teary in the picture.  But I remembered when I saw it.  After everything I have been through – I was thankful.  And completely at peace with those little hands around my neck.  I was okay with the hand I had been given.  Because, although it was a horrible road – God got me to where I am at today.

Photographs can show you things you can’t see through your own eyes.  Maybe you can’t see how beautiful you are.  How great you look when you laugh.  Sometimes, Looking at a photo – can tell you more than you thought you ever knew.  So, keep your photos.  Save them – and let’s be a little different.  Print some out – hang them on your wall.  Keep your amazing moments in your foreground.  I posted a quote a few months back on Facebook, I believe, and it said, “Photographs seems unimportant, until that’s all you have left.”  For some parts of my life, photographs are the only proof it existed.  But for now, in my current life, photographs show me how lucky I am.

Have a great night.  Xoxo.

Let brotherly love continue.  Hebrews 13:1




First, if you read this – please share it – post it… get it at there.  I want to see what it takes to get AT&T to stand up and do the right thing.  Because so far they haven’t.  Here’s the story…..

A week and half ago, I ordered two phones online.  A completely efficient, smooth, and frankly easy process.  At least, that is what I thought.  Two days later, I receive an email telling me the phones had shipped.  I was stoked!!!!  So much faster than I what I had anticipated.  Now let me backtrack a little bit.

When I checked out – AT&T informed me that there would be a signature required for the phones.  So it gave me an option to have a different shipping address.  Being a working mom, and appreciating the information- I chose to have the phones delivered to my place of employment.    Smart, right?  I thought so, too!  I mean, there is always a receptionist at the front – and this place is constantly full of people.  No way, no how, these packages could not be signed for – and… we know our FedEx guy – see him all the time, and he is mad cool.

On Monday, I check to see if it’s gonna be here so I can alert everyone that if they get the phones – put them in my office.  And what do I see?  Delivery exception – returned to sender.  What!?  Why?  I was confused.  No email from AT&T with a problem, so I call FedEx.  They tell me, AT&T requested the order to be returned.

So, I call AT&T.  And the nightmare begins.  Day one – total time on phone?  Over 4 hours.  95% of that time – being on hold.  And no one knew why they were returned.  So, they would tell me that they were gonna figure it out – asked me if I would mind to hold – I agree… and 2 minutes later – a cold transfer.  I was dumped back into the phone que.  Now, I will say, every single person I spoke to, was kind.  Just had no follow through.  I end up at a call center, where it was scripted.  I understand that the guy on the other end, doesn’t get a lot of what I am saying – so I just answer his questions, he gives me an escalation #, and states that someone will contact me within 48 hours.

I facebook AT&T.  I tweet them.  And to my surprise – I get a response!  Ask me to email information to them – and I did it right then.  They tell me that they will contact me asap.  FYI – STILL NOTHING FROM SOCIAL MEDIA GUY.

48 hours later….

Nothing.  So I call again.  I am apologized to, and assured I won’t be dumped into a phone que.  What happens?  Dumped.  Each department thoroughly explains how I shouldn’t have been transferred to them – and promises to warm transfer me to the right place.  Doesn’t happen.  Nothing.  Finally, I get a supervisor – after persistence.  She does what she can. Then I am once again transferred to sales to resubmit the order.  It must go to my home address, but whatever – It’s for a birthday present – and I will stop the delivery to pick it up at the FedEx place across the street from my job.

But here is what gets me.  It took hours of my time – to correct a mistake.  I spend way too much money on cell phones – but I have teenager and a tween, and myself – so, it’s steep.  I pay my bill each month.  I just want what I asked for.  And I want them to do what they say that they will do.  A survey company called me, and refunded my bill 80 dollars.  A survey.  Not anyone from management.  And the girl on the survey end, was mortified, and stated “More should happen, but this is all I am allowed to do.”  And I appreciate it – But I think they need to step up.  Answer for it.  My kid wanted an iPhone for her birthday.  I wanted to surprise her with it. Now I can surprise her with a pic and say… “It’s coming.”  And it isn’t about the thing.  It’s about doing what you say you will do.

If you say you will call – do it.  So AT&T – Man up.  I am including just some frustrated screen shots below… Just so you know I am not crazy. (*I never raised my voice to one person, Pull your phone logs AT&T… I apologized to the rep b/c it was mess.)

Tonight, I am feeling kinda somber.  Yesterday – was my grandmother’s 103rd Birthday.  And I know – It is amazing that she has lived to this age.  But to be honest, she isn’t doing good at all.  I spoke to my mom yesterday, she has double pneumonia.  She is bed ridden.  She doesn’t know where she is at – or who is with her.  She sometimes thinks that my mom, is her mom.  She is calling out for her own parents.  She is mostly blind.  It’s just completely sad.

And what makes me feel so sad – is that she has lived.  And it’s okay for her to go.  I am totally at peace with it.  I don’t know if it is that I am hardened, and I worry that I am.  But I honestly feel like she has lived a long life – and she is now only existing.  She isn’t living.  My grandmother, as I know her, has been gone for a little over a year.  This woman, now, isn’t the woman I knew growing up.  My grandmother, would eat chocolate fudge cake and mix it with a peanut butter sandwich.  My grandmother, would go through pictures with me on her couch – and tell me about the things I did when I was little.  My grandmother put up her Christmas tree  way too early – just because she thought it was pretty.  This woman, in the nursing home, is just what is left of who she used to be.

You know, although I thought for awhile I would die myself when Shaun died, I didn’t.  When he died – he was full of life.  He lived every, single, solitary moment – up until he died.  I can’t imagine what my mom is going through – seeing someone she loves – just not there anymore.  I am so thankful I never saw that.  So my heart hurts for her, too.

It will probably be any day – and I pray it’s sooner rather than later.  That makes me feel awful to say – but it’s honest.  She just isn’t who she was.  She has lived – and has a legacy behind her.  I just hope she knows how much we love her – and it’s okay for her to go.  She doesn’t have to live forever, we will be okay.

I wrote this on my birthday … but wasn’t sure if I wanted to post it or not.  I decided to go with it…. so here ya go.

“So, today was my birthday. Today I turned 37 years old. Or as I like to to say, the eighth anniversary of my 29th birthday. For those of you who knew me when I was married to Shaun, you knew that birthdays were really huge deal to him as they were to me. Birthdays to him, were like your own personal holiday. It was a day for you to be pampered and taken care of more so than any other day of the year. And for those of you who knew us then, you knew that financially we were strapped. But money never mattered to him – he did whatever to show me that I was a princess that day. And he did it like a champ. So once Shaun passed away, birthdays became like a horrible reminder of a horrible day.

My first birthday after Shaun passed away was absolutely horrible and beautiful at the same time. The reason being,  because I had friends who rallied around me and cared about my heart. But, that being said, it was still a horribly sad day for me. I remember my friend Jacqueline, bringing me her famous special black chocolate cake and it was absolutely delicious. I stood in the kitchen, while my friends sung “Happy Birthday” to me and put a huge smile upon my face, while I held my baby on my hip and my other two children surrounded me. I was so excited that I had people that love me enough, to put forth the effort to try to make the day less painful, but still felt sad down in my soul. Although, I knew I was blessed to see another year because I know what it’s like not to see one, I was still sad. To be honest, I felt like I would never be able to celebrate a birthday and be happy, no less – one of my  own. 

But this year, was a game changer. It was a whole new feeling to be in a situation where I moved to a new state to a new town and knew only 3 people,  14 months ago. But from the second that I woke up this morning, I was treated like a straight princess. I know that Shaun was looking down from heaven smiling at me, and saying “Baby, this is they was your birthday is supposed to be.” 

I realize, that I have made friends here that will be true lifelong friends. There are people here who love me. Love my heart, my soul, and my spirit – just because I am me.  It isn’t because I am Shaun Greenberg’s widow – or because I am Scott’s wife.  It’s because I’m Kristie. Just me.  I know that there are people who knew me before Shaun, during Shaun, and after he passed – who love me for me. But when you are relatively new area, and you arrive to your workplace – and your work family has went above and beyond – it’s mind blowing. I actually sat in my office today, and cried.  Not a sad cry, but they type of cry where – 
1.  You feel like you belong.
2.  You feel so blessed.
3.  You feel loved.  
And by people who haven’t known you that long.
They all went above and beyond to make sure that my day was special – and it was. When there are people who post on your Facebook wall-which I know sounds completely ridiculous, that’s a big deal for me. They still took time out of their day to say happy birthday. My brother and sister-in-law took the time to find the address of where I work or send me a gift which meant a lot. My mother and father-in-law came by to see me on my actual birthday I took time out of their day to say hey we love you happy birthday. My family, that lives in my house, makes me feel special every day. And for that I’m thankful. But, to have people outside of your own four walls, make you feel special – is amazing.

To find people that will support you, even when they know you are on a diet and going to the gym, will give you the dark temptation of chocolate cake, it’s awesome. The people have listened, and not just listened – retained the things that you’ve said – just to make you feel special- it’s amazing. Whether it be a bottle of Fiji water or a chocolate cake or a label maker or skull and cross bones – to know your valued as a human, a friend, and a woman – is a great feeling. Tonight, I will go to bed with a heart full of gratitude for the blessings that I’ve been given. Thankful for every single person who has touched me today. My best friend, the girl who is Siamese at heart, Jacqueline, has said to me, “To Honor your Moments” . Today I will honor this day, not only for the pain that my mother went there to get me here, the importance that Shaun had it to make birthdays feel special, or just another year gone by. Today I will honor my moments, by taking time to reflect all those who honored me. .  I will go to bed with a smile upon my face, and happiness in my heart knowing that I am loved.  Thank you for being my friends, my family, and my heart. I love everyone of you all and I hope that on your birthday you feel special as special as I do.  God has blessed me in ways I never thought possible.  So, I was wrong.  My birthday mattered a lot.  Little did I know, it mattered the most to me.”

Now, I know that mommy just cringed when she read that title.  So first – Mommy, I apologize.  Publicly.  But – I am a poop magnet just didn’t seem to be much of an attention getter.  But this is important – so I feel that it’s important to catch some attention.  Over the past two weeks, I have done a lot of soul searching.  And for anyone who has ever done that – it is absolutely brutal.  I’d like to say that it’s a beautiful and awakening experience, but fact of the matter – it blows.  And here is what I discovered.  I am a crap magnet.  And why?  Because I have been a negative, disobedient, and self serving Christian.  And not a very good Christian at that.

We all know – that for some time – I have talked about how I knew my calling was to write.  And I needed to write to get a message out.  Well guess what kiddos!?  Now forgive me for sounding like the old, southern, Christian Grandma – but when you know what you are supposed to do – the devil is gonna try to stop you.  And that he did.  And here is what is so shocking to me.  Well, first – I let him, to an extent.  Second, how he did it.  But since they are rolled into one – here is the story.

And before I say anything- let me state that this is my issue.  Not the company that I work for, nor the people I work with.  But I do have a difficult job, to an extent.  As I am sure that we all do.  I deal with people in a really bad moment of their lives – wrecked cars.  Ninety-five percent of the people I deal with, have had something bad happen to either their first of second largest investment.  And my job is to make sure their cars gets fixed correctly, in a timely fashion, or total them.  Frankly – all of them are hard for folks – just as it would be for me.  But, here’s the kicker – I need them to LOVE me.  Not like me – LOVE me.  And for the most part they do.  Which is great, right?  I am a hard worker.  I love my customers.  I love the people I work with.  So what’s the problem?

The problem is that it became an obsession for me.  I wanted to be the best.  I wanted the approval of all my customers.  I wanted to be the best adjuster.  Not because it was the right thing, because I wanted to be the best.  And then here is the kicker.  I let everything else go to the wayside.  I stopped writing my book.  Why? Because I was bitter.  I was angry.  I was sick of people being mad over a car – but acting like I cared.  I have that feeling often, of this – “You think that a wrecked car is bad?  I don’t care that it has 11 miles on it.  I found my husband dead in a bathroom floor.  This car isn’t a problem.  It’s a hiccup.”  But, in the sugary sweet voice, I tried my best to care – deep down.  But guess what – I didn’t.

Don’t get me wrong – I do want to make the process easy for people.  But then I want to make my bosses proud.  I want to get great numbers.  And I obsessed about it all.  I didn’t go to work, and put in a good day’s work, doing the right thing, and then go home.  I worked 60 hours a week.  I worked at work.  At home.  Driving to and from work.  I talked about it all the time.  And it made me bitter.  So, I became a crap magnet.

I read this weekend, that you when you complain – you become a crap magnet.  I complained.  About my stress.  My customers.  My bosses.  Their expectations.  The whole nine – so guess what?  I got a lot of complaints back.  Because misery loves company.  And when you start complaining to folks – they do it back.  So not only am I carrying my junk around – I am carrying theirs too.  So – as of yesterday – that’s all done.  No more complaining.  I am planning on my exit to pursue what I love and know I need to do.  I am gonna blog more. Focus on my book.  Get it done  – It’s 80% done anyway.  I am gonna be happy – change my attitude – and no longer be crap magnet.