March 2021

What a crazy and busy month it has been! Just when I think I have time to stop and write a post I’m off again on something else! There are many new and exciting things going on in the Bottelberghe household! One that I can’t mention just yet (super secret mission going on right now and I can’t WAIT to share the news with everyone when it’s time)!

First things first! So on March 4, 2021, Colby finished up his last classes here at home, wrote his final Brit Lit paper and moved the rest of his stuff out of his room and into his new apartment! He was so excited and so proud of himself! He had spent the couple of weeks prior, moving and organizing his new place and just ready to be done with school and get out on his own! Since he has left, many things have happened with him. First just 3 days after he moved in, there was a fire in the apartment next door to his! He was displaced for about a week or so (he moved in with Briana and Nick during that time period). Thankfully the fire was contained to the bedroom of the apartment and put out quickly (thankful that he lives right next to the fire station and our volunteer fireman showed up quickly and put it out)! But he has moved back in and is starting to settle in to working full time and having a place of his own. He will begin having to pay rent and Wi-Fi in April and then it will be a whole new ballgame for him! Learning how to manage his money, pay his bills but still have money for groceries and fun things! I am so proud of all he has done and accomplish in just the first 3 months of this year alone! We will celebrate his big day on May 2nd. We are excited to celebrate this milestone!

About 2 weeks ago I decided to step out of my comfort zone and become an independent stylist for Color Street. I LOVE IT!!! This is not something that comes easy for me as I am a very introverted person. So far I am off and running and excited about something that I have been using for about a year and a half now. It will take time but I will succeed and love every minute of it! If you don’t know what color street is, it is real nail polish strips that you apply to your nails! Check out my website to learn more or to order:

This month is just about over and I can’t believe that March is coming to a close! Spring is starting to sprout and I am so excited because that means that fishing and getting the boat on the lake is right around the corner! I can’t wait! I am hoping that we will have more time to get out on the lake this year but the way things are shaping up, it might be the same as last year! Jason has a lot of side work lined up again and it is starting already but I am hoping that he will still make some time for relaxing and more than he did last summer. But we will see!

Another big thing that happened this month is that we rehomed our girl Trixie! We were starting to have some issues with her and Tucker and it was just getting worse. We found an amazing couple from the Cities who took her for a couple of weeks as a trial period. Her and I have been keeping in touch almost daily during that time and after a couple of days, our girl had adjusted very well and just this past Saturday, they made the decision to keep her and call her their own! Leaving her that day in the park in Sioux Falls was harder than I ever imagined it would be! Her look at me about broke my heart and my daughter’s heart as well. It was like “mom, don’t leave me, what are you doing to me?” Each day got easier for all of us and our two pups still at home! It was bittersweet for me! I knew that she was going to an amazing home with so much love and attention and she would have another dog to play with! Those two girls got along well and adjusted to each other pretty quick! So we are back down to a 2 dog family and only boys now! 🙂

So that is about all I have for an update! I hope to have a few more posts in April but life is about to get crazy for the next month as we continue to get ready for graduation! And celebrate our youngest daughter’s 17th birthday as well at the end of the month! So until next time! Keep smiling!!


Who am I?

So I’m watching this series on Netflix and one of the characters asked that question in the episode I was watching tonight. Ask yourself “Who am I?”

That got me thinking. Do I really know who I am? Besides being a mother and a wife, do I REALLY know who I am anymore? Do I REALLY know what makes me happy? Do I REALLY know anything about myself?

I have gotten so lost in being a mother raising her kids and a wife making sure her husband has clean clothes for work (but really how clean do they need to be, he is in construction after all) every week. As my 3rd little bird gets set to test his new found wings, and my final little bird will test her wings a little over a year from now, my role will change. Drastically change and honestly I’m scared out of my mind. Because “Who am I”?

It’s a question that needs some serious thought put to. What will my role become? I will always be a mother to my 4 little birds, just in a different way. No more nurturing and scolding, instead an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on, a voice of advice or guidance and always a warm home to come back to for mom’s home cooking.

I always have to remind myself…I am loved. I am enough. I am redeemed. I am a daughter of the One True King. It’s not only about who I am but Whose I am.

So it’s time to figure out ME! Soon I will be in this house all by myself all day long with no one to talk to but my dogs and really they don’t talk back (maybe that’s a good thing 😂)! I need to find my passion for something. Something that will grab my attention and either make me busy all day or around people who have the some interests and hobbies as myself. I dabble in so many things, making t-shirt blankets, scrapbooking, photography, blogging, playing stupid mindless games on my phone, learning new songs on the piano, cross-stitching, cooking, baking. I mean the list is endless. Covid has really put a damper on so many of my plans, that now it’s time to rethink. How do I want my future to look?

I want to know Who am I?!?!? It’s time to seek and trust that it will be revealed to me! So do you ever find yourself asking “Who am I?” Drop me a comment and let me know!


Happy Birthday 🎉🎈🧁

Today is my son’s birthday. He has reached adulthood! He is 18 today. I remember the day he was born. It was my due date and I had a doctor appointment that afternoon. I was so tired of being pregnant. This pregnancy was definitely different from when I was pregnant with the girls. I just wanted to not be pregnant anymore. 😂

So I told Dr. Rector I was ready to have a baby. He sent me up to the hospital at 5pm. It was a cold but sunny Friday afternoon. My mother in law came down to be with Briana and Mikayla while Jason and I went to have a baby. It was also Super Bowl weekend. And at 7:07pm my son made a GRAND entrance into this world. He was a deep shade of purple and screamed his head off but he was beautiful, he was perfect and he was mine.

18 years have passed by in the blink of an eye. I have watched that tiny chubby face grow into a handsome young man. He has made me laugh and sometimes to the point where my stomach hurt and he has made me cry. We have had good moments and we have had hard moments and we have had some ugly moments as well these past 18 years. But one thing remains….I love that boy with all my heart and I’m proud of that kid! Happy 18th Birthday son! Go out and conquer the world kid!

Playing in the snow 12/7/2012
Crazy videos with Mikayla on my iPad 3/3/2013
The only year he played football 7/20/2013
Making valentine boxes for school with Keara 2/11/2014
Playing airsoft guns with Briana (not sure about the date maybe 2015)
Killing his first deer 11/5/2015
Getting his driving permit 6/23/2017
Driving around G-town on the ranger 6/6/2018
White water rafting in Colorado with his buddy Tee 7/16/2019
Last day of summer break tubing at the lake 8/17/20
Senior Picture Class of 2021
Today 1/24/2021 Happy Birthday Colby Ryan Bottelberghe!!!

Give this kid a birthday shoutout!!! We are celebrating his life today! Mikayla and Nicolas came down from Brookings last night! So we will have lunch together and have ice cream cake for dessert! Love you forever and ever buddy!! Happy 18th Birthday!!

Enjoy each day friends!


January 2021

So it’s day 17 of the month. Where have I been and what have I been up to so far this new year? Well let’s see!

January 1st found me in front of my television watching the premiere of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives! O So Good was one of the restaurants that was featured and we were asked if we would like to be part of the “cast”. It was fun to see all the restaurants that Guy stopped at while in SD but it was weird seeing yourself on tv and then actually talking about the food. It was an amazing experience and definitely one I will never forget. If you didn’t see it, I’m sure you can see it on the app.

Monday the 4th we stepped back into homeschooling with some small changes to the schedule. AND with the finish line in sight. They both said they wanted to work independently on most subjects but together on British Literature. So we dived into it with me at the wheel for that subject and them at the wheel for their other subjects. It is better but we still have issues some days. I am trying to come up with ideas for focal points so they remember (especially Colby) that we are almost there. Keara wants to start right into senior year when she is done with her junior year and since I already have her 1 required subject (English) and also US History she can start whenever. She will need 1-2 electives to get her to graduation requirements but we will figure that out when we get closer to the end of junior year. I will begin working on Colby’s t-shirt blanket next month and then invites and party planning. Just because he isn’t graduating from a public school we still want to celebrate this awesome accomplishment! Then we will jet off on his senior vacation to any destination of his choice. Last he had talked about it, he wanted to go out to the Hills!

This past week ended up being a rough week from the start of Monday thru today. I cancelled piano lessons for the week because I was just emotionally struggling with life, homeschooling and my family. I know that even before Briana walked away we rarely saw her or talked to her even tho we live in the same town and sometimes when we did see or talk to her it was not pleasant as she is very negative and angry about everything and sometimes she would be mean and nasty to her dad and I or her siblings. So it seemed that it shouldn’t be too hard on me with her choice to walk away and no longer speak to us but it has been, it has also made me very sad and it has made me see that she only needed us when it was convenient for her. She took DAYS to reply to our texts or phone calls but when she needed something she asked and then got mad if we didn’t reply right away. So I guess that part I don’t miss at all. The last couple of weeks have made me also reflect on the kind of relationship that I would like to have with her and this was definitely not the kind I wanted or envisioned it would be. I was having those same feelings about my mom towards the end of that relationship. I didn’t want to be around her or listen to her negativity about anything and everything. That’s how the last 2 months of 2020 was starting to feel like with Briana. So yes I miss her deeply but I don’t miss the name calling or the angry outbursts at us or her siblings.

The month is winding down and soon it will be February. Next Sunday we will celebrate Colby’s birthday. He will pass into adulthood. I can’t believe he is almost there. These years have passed by so fast. It feels like I blinked and here we are. Don’t get me wrong I’m grateful for getting to experience this and God granting me my desire to see my kids to adulthood. But it just seems to have raced by. 😢

So that is what I have been up to this month. Crazy to think this month is half over with. No matter how hard life is some days, it keeps marching on!

Until next time! Enjoy every day!


Reflections of 2020 and new beginnings for 2021

Happy New Year’s Eve everyone! I don’t know about anyone else but I am so glad that this is the last day of this really shitty year! Honestly I don’t know what year was worse for me 2016 or 2020 because they were both pretty tough years!

There was some good that came out of this past year! My oldest child got married in April of this year and we celebrated with family and friends in October. It was a beautiful sunny and very windy day for her wedding, due to Covid-19, the only ones present were her husband’s parents and siblings and then our family. Jason’s parents and one of Jason’s sisters and her kids were there as well. We made the best of their big day under the circumstances and Briana and Nick really rolled with the punches as well!

I found a new counselor in the midst of this pandemic as well! Her and I really click and she is really helping me to deal with things as they come and help me to see things from a different perspective. Again because of Covid-19 we do our sessions via telehealth, we have only met in person once and that was just as the lockdown in our state began. I am pleased with my progress and that even in the midst of a pandemic and doing online sessions that I could find someone who I could click with. Those that know me well know that I can be a very difficult person to interact with sometimes 😉

We are homeschooling our last two kids at home for their last couple of years of high school. Colby is a senior this year and Keara is a junior. It has been a rollercoaster ride this first semester as we navigate being home together and learning and teaching together. We are looking to try and change things up in the new year to make things smoother for them and take some of the pressure off me and put it on them to step up and to take some responsibility for their schooling.

Unfortunately even with all the good that has come from this year there has been some not so great things that have happened as well. For reasons I will never understand, my mother thought it would be a good idea to move back to our little town after being gone for 2 years. Thankfully she has stayed out of my way and so has my brother Larry. Doesn’t make it ok with me that she is living here again. That bridge was burned to the ground the day she told me she wished she had never given birth to me in December 2017. I will never build that bridge to have a relationship with her, Larry or Krissy for as long as I am alive. Too much time and too much has been said and done by both sides that it is better this way for everyone but most of all it is BETTER for me. I am not a good person when they are in my life. Life is too short for anger, bitterness and abuse from people who are suppose to love you unconditionally! With that being said, I believe she has been an influence to Briana to be angry and bitter at me and Jason. Why? I have no idea! But we have had more problems with Briana since she moved back than we had been having previously. I have always had a rough and troublesome relationship with Briana but I thought that we were finally on the mend and working on our relationship to make it better. I was doing my best to right my wrongs that I said and done to her all her life and have apologized multiple times to her for those things. It still didn’t stop her from coming over to our house drunk, screaming at us, calling us names and telling us what horrible parents we are.

This month she decided that she had enough and walked away from us. She didn’t even come over for Christmas or for baking treats together. It all stems from the stupid GameCube that Mikayla borrowed from her and I said it was gonna stay at our house to be played. Needless to say she was angry and pretty much demanded we give it back. The other day we decided to give her all the stuff we have at our house of hers including the GameCube. We are just done with the fighting about something so petty and dumb. It was our way of raising our white flag of surrender. We didn’t want to fight anymore and we didn’t want to deal with the angry words and disrespect. I had to block her on my phone cuz she continued to blast me. After we left everything on her front step she decided she had enough of us and deleted and blocked us on social media. So we are stepping back and loving her from a distance. Something so small blew up into a big mess. Every one of us (Jason, myself, Briana, Mikayla, Colby and Keara) is to blame for this mess. We all said and did things during this fiasco that we wish we could take back. Jason and I are disappointed and sad but at the same time we can’t force ourselves into her life. So we are stepping back and giving her the space she wants. When she is ready to repair and work on the relationship we are here for her. We will never stop loving her or walk away from her. We haven’t liked her behaviors or choices of late but she is an adult who gets to make life how she sees fit even if it is far from how she was raised. We will pray for her and that God will make Himself known to her. Please pray for her as well. My heart hurts but I can’t dwell on it. I have other kids who need me to be their mother still.

So with that I have goals and hopes for 2021. I am purging things from my house, mind and life that remind me of the past. This photo says it all for the new year.

So for 2021 here is my list of goals, dreams and hopes!

* work on losing some weight that I have gained this year. I was my lightest in 2017 and would like to get back to that weight in 2021
* finish up projects in the house and landscaping
* start looking for land to build our next home (time to get back out to God’s country)
* read my entire bible in 2021. I haven’t read it through since 2018, time to get back into it
* Get my son graduated from homeschool by the first part of May
* take a family vacation this summer (Colby’s choice where we go and what we do since it will be his graduation vacation)
* Continue to work on healing and forgiveness of hurts in my life from people who are still in it and even those who are no longer a part of my life.
* continued health and stability of my stage 4 breast cancer and that Veliparib continues to work in 2021.
* get Keara graduated from homeschool by the end of 2021.
* watch Mikayla graduate from SDSU by the end of the year (her goal is to get done one semester early)
* get back to in person piano lessons, miss those students of mine, online is just not the same!
* that 2021 would be a year of renewed hope, love and relationships with our daughter and son in law

My BIGGEST hope and dream for 2021 is to find that beautiful piece of land in the country and build our next home and move back out to the country where I can have a huge garden, chickens and a place for my corgi’s to run and do what they were bred to do….HERD!!!!

But no matter what 2021 may bring for me or my family, we will trust that in God’s timing all our hopes and dreams will come true. Until then we will continue on the path that we are on and continue to seek His will for our lives and the lives of our children. Without God there is really nothing in this life worth more. He is our redeemer and our sustainer. He will see us through the broken, the tears and the joy as well!

I will be taking a break in 2021 from social media! I don’t know how long I will be gone but I need to find me and focus on my family in this coming year. I am still planning on blogging as much as I can, so if you want to keep up with me just hit the follow button on my blog! Or send me an email: and I will send you my blog posts when they publish! You can call/text me, email me or shoot me a message on Facebook Messenger. I am not deactivating any of my social medias just deleting the apps and staying off them for a period of time!

May you all have a safe and blessed New Year and may the God of Hope give you hope, peace and love in 2021! Cheers to saying goodbye to 2020 and hello to 2021!


December 2020

This crazy and crappy year is slowly drawing to a close. I’m ready to say goodbye to 2020 and hello to 2021.

This month has been busy as usual. We finished up our first semester of homeschooling on the 18th. Definitely haven’t figured it all out and we have had many hard days this first semester. I’m hopeful that we will figure something out for the 2nd semester that will be beneficial for all of us. Even if it means I cut the strings and step back and let them work on their own and give them deadlines for things that are due. They have both stated they DO NOT want to return to public school, which was threatened the last 2 weeks of the semester, that’s how hard things were getting between us 3. We resume school on the 4th of January so we will discuss and regroup and make any and all adjustments at that time.

As the year winds down I am looking into the new year and thinking about some goals, dreams and hopes for 2021. I will share those on my yearly look back and look forward post either New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. 2021 is going to be the year of CHANGE!

I hope everyone had a merry Christmas! It was a blessing being with our kids this year, going to church, snacking on food and playing games together. There was a ton of laughter, banter and definitely TONS of competitiveness but we were together and that’s what made my heart swell the most. 3 didn’t make it this year and their absence was felt but it didn’t stop us from enjoying the ones around us and having fun.

Have a safe, fun and happy new year! Until next time….


Thanksgiving 2020

Well 2020 has been quite the year. It has had its ups and downs, twists and turns. So why would we think things could be different for the holidays.

This year was gonna be super low key. A day spent in Brookings with just Jason’s parents and our family. We were excited and ready to see them and our daughter who we haven’t seen since the wedding reception last month. Unfortunately that all came to a crashing halt today when we learned of a covid exposure within the family. 😢 so for the first time in who knows when (Jason and I are estimating that it was probably 2002) it will just be us 4 sitting around the table. We were so unprepared that we went to our little town grocery store and picked up already prepared food for tomorrow. I’m sad…we are all sad. Poor Mikayla cried when I FaceTimed her and told her plans were off.

Cases are surging in our state and our deaths are going up as well. We do our part, social distance, mask up when we shop and our kids are only allowed to hang with one or two friends and that is sparingly. Everyone goes to work and comes home. I teach piano via FaceTime or Facebook each week. We are tired. We are sick of covid disrupting our lives. I wish everyone would just do their part too. If everyone would get on board we could be through this a lot quicker and normal life could resume. The vaccine that’s coming down the pike is showing promise so hopefully that will be our silver bullet to getting this virus under control and lives can return to something normal again.

I want to gather with my family. Have coffee and talks with my spiritual mothers again. I want my younger two kids to hang with their friends more than 1 or 2 times every other week. Go out to dinner or catch a movie in the theater with my husband. I want to plan a trip to the other side of the state to see my brother and nephew. I want NORMALCY!

So there you have it. My holiday in a nutshell. It sucks and it’s gonna be different than in years past. But….we will press on and make the most of it. Since 2020 has been a crazy year, my normal yearly tradition is going out the window. I’m putting my tree up tomorrow and I’m turning my outside Christmas lights on tomorrow night instead of waiting until the day after thanksgiving. Heck, I might even start listening to Christmas music tomorrow too. Why not? This year has been anything but normal.

Have a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving no matter how you are celebrating. Be thankful for breath in your lungs and loved ones to hug! It may be different but there is still always something to be thankful for!

Be smart and be safe!



So I’ve been meaning to put a post up for awhile now and just haven’t made the time to do it. It has been a crazy and busy month and today is the last day for October and Halloween! My favorite 🎃👻🤡 like any other month I can’t believe how fast it went by. This year is slowly drawing to a close but no end in sight for this pandemic we are in.

So this month was my month to see my new oncologist. I was definitely not looking forward to this appointment and one of his nurses (who really doesn’t know me or my history) had called me and told me that the nurse practitioner wasn’t going to be filling one of my scripts anymore and I would need to see my family physician for this. 😠🙄 so I was ready for a fight with him about this one stupid drug that Krie has been filling for like 6 years with no questions. Was I in for a surprise when he came walking into the exam room. He was top notch and explained the reasons for this script and then suggested I see the palliative care doctor, who are more specialized in pain management, also to see if we can get to the bottom of my crazy sleep issues. He totally won me over at this appointment even with his partial “hazmat suit” and mask. I wasn’t sure about him in June…now I know I’m in great hands. I saw the palliative doctor a week later and we are switching up my meds and adding new ones and trying to wean me off of others. It is still wreaking havoc on me and I am exhausted more days than not. I’m hoping things will start to level out soon but if not I go back to the palliative care dr in November so I will address it then.

Briana and Nick had their wedding reception on the 18th. A great celebration with family and friends! Everything went off without a hitch. All the vendors worked with her and really were accommodating because of covid! But even with two different dates those two stayed under the budget amount that we would contribute, anything beyond that number was on them. They did it! I didn’t think it would happen but my girl surprised me by actually being under budget. Which was a win for them because they got the remainder as a wedding gift from us.

Let’s see….what else…..oh yeah. Jason and I celebrated 22 years of marriage on the 3rd 🥳🎉 and I turned 46 on the 29th 🎂🎁. Celebrated covid style. Take out dinner eaten at home and cake 🍰! Both great days spent with my husband and kids.

Homeschooling is going as good as it can be, we have good days, bad days and some really bad days. We are making it work, the kids still try to buck the system but I am a little harder on them and expect more out of them then the public school. I know their potential, now I want them to put forth some effort. We start around 9am and are finished up by noon at the latest. The 23rd was our end of the first quarter. 1 quarter down 3 to go before the end of the year. We got this. 😊

Last but not least. I started back up with online piano lessons the end of September. Only 5 students this year but I’m ok with that, especially being online. It has been nice getting back into that routine again and to see my students again is great. I’m really ready for covid to be over with so we can get back to being in person again. For now, I will take the next best thing. If it means I can keep doing what I love, play and teach piano. ❤️❤️

That brings you up to speed on my life and all that has been happening this month. The holidays are right around the corner and then the end of the year. I am so ready to say goodbye to 2020. What a crap year. Certainly nothing normal about it. 🙄🙄 I think we are all ready to get back to something normal again. Until then….keep doing your part and I’ll keep doing mine. Social distance, wear a mask and wash your hands! Stay healthy and stay safe! Until next month….have a fun and safe Halloween 🎃👻🤡



We are now 6 days into our adventure. While most of it has been good and we have been learning and adapting each day, there have been some days that have been beyond frustrating for me.

Personalities have shown through for sure some days.  That makes it frustrating.  Sometimes those personalities haven’t been pleasant, some days they have been downright rude and arrogant.  I am doing my best to be my best each day, but some days I fail and then my personality shines through right along with theirs. 😦 It is definitely a learning curve to school your high schoolers at home and do it with a sense of confidence.  I think homeschooling my high schoolers puts a little bit of pressure on them and on me.  I am expecting more out of them than their teachers at school were.  They are bright and intelligent creatures and I think they can give of themselves more than they were at public school.  Because of that, some days are down right hard and personalities clash and I wonder if I am doing the right thing…..but other days I know that I am!  We adjust our schedule when needed and I allow the kids to work through some stuff at their own pace and on their own time.  

Piano started for both of them on Monday and again they both HATE that this is part of their school day.  I have always wanted my kids to learn and play like I did but they just had no desire and still don’t.  I am making it part of their school day and their learning process so they really don’t have much of a choice in this.  While they grumble about it and really do not like it they are being good sports and just doing it!  I hope that by the end of the school year they will be able to play some easy music and maybe even enjoy it a little bit!  

Each day I am learning more about both of them. Some days I want to go backwards and start all over with them. Other days I am ready to open the door and send them out into the world and say “good luck”! 😂🤷🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️ but the one thing I know and trust is that I LOVE them with every inch of my being! I want to see them succeed and flourish! I want them to be good and decent human beings. I want them to go out and change the world! But I also want them to be true to who they are and what they want to be when they are adults!!

So we will keep plugging away! I will keep doing my best! And even when the tears sting my eyes and they want to spill over in front of those two kiddos, I pull up my big girl pants and smile thru the pain because I know….behind the fiercest storms is the most beautiful and stunning rainbow!

God goes before me and He is behind me! With HIM all things are possible!

With love and gratitude,



August 13th, 2020

Next week would’ve been the start of a new school year for my kids. Senior year for Colby and junior year for Keara. The final years as a Blue Dragon in Garretson. Thanks to all the uncertainty and upheaval in our country and around the world, we have made the hard decision to homeschool these final years.

Next week will still be the start of a new school year, the last year of high school for Colby and junior year for Keara, except they won’t be a Blue Dragon. They will not sit at a desk and listen to a teacher drone on about whatever subject they are learning. Instead they will sit around the kitchen table with their laptops learning from me. Well some of it from me and some on their own and some via online.

Colby has worked hard the last 3 years of public school to get most of his requirements in. His only state mandated course is English, so we will be studying British Literature, Keara will also be studying this English course with us. He HATES to read so the 5 (yes, 5) books he has to read for Brit Lit, we will instead listen to on audiobooks or CD’s. It’s going to be very interesting but I also hope it will enrich his mind. He didn’t sit for the ACT test this past spring (and to be honest he doesn’t want to but I’m requiring him to) so we will be doing an ACT prep course for this first semester to get him ready to take it in February. We will be doing a personal finance course through Dave Ramsey to help prepare him for adulthood. He will study American Government and Economics. I will teach him piano and his dad will teach him how to build some basic things with wood. He won’t have a senior prom, walk with his class across the stage to receive a diploma, but when told all these things he just shrugged his shoulders and said he didn’t care. We will still do senior pictures and celebrate his accomplishments in the spring with a party just like any other high school senior! It will just look a little different. He’s ok with that so I’m ok with that.

Keara has been BEGGING for 2 years now to homeschool so she really wasn’t a tough sell. She too has worked hard the last two years of public school to get some requirements done. She has 2 state mandated courses to learn this year and next year, English and Math. So she will study British literature and algebra 2. She will also be taking chemistry, American government and economics, she will also take the ACT prep course to sit for the exam in February just like her brother. She will take personal finance with Colby, learn the piano and do some independent art work. Next year for her senior year she will do America literature, US history, more independent art, maybe a senior project, piano lessons and whatever else we can find to give her credits. Her goal is to finish junior year at the end of April and begin senior year right away and school all summer and be done by Christmas 2021. She too will miss out on junior and senior prom, walking with her class across the stage to receive a diploma and all the other stuff that goes with public schooling. She will also not be throwing flags these last years (even though she could still participate as a homeschooler). She is completely fine with missing all that and is actually happy that her wish to homeschool is finally coming true. 😂 She too will have senior pictures and a party in the spring of 2022 to celebrate her accomplishments just like any other high school senior. It will just look different! She’s ok with it, so I’m ok with it.

The next 2 years are gonna be hard and exhausting. We are gonna have good days and we are gonna have bad days. I can almost bet we are going to have some horrible days, too. But at the end of the day, week, month and year it will all be WORTH IT! I hope it will be something that they can look back on as an adult, smile and say “that was the best time of my high school career”, well I hope that is what they will say!! 😉😉

I find it kinda funny….Keara started her schooling career as a homeschooled kindergartener and she will end her schooling career as a homeschooled senior. Start and finish the same but did public school for all the years in between.

When the kids returned to public school in August 2010, I was sad and angry that God had allowed and then taken away a huge desire of mine. I hoped that one day I would be able to do it again, but the years just kept clicking along and for awhile there when I suggested it, my kids just laughed and said “NO WAY MOM”. God knew and saw what I didn’t. I look back and can see why things happened the way they did. He knew what was coming my way for treatment and that I wouldn’t be able to homeschool because those treatments took me to Iowa two days a week for almost 3 years, then treatments started to take a toll on my body, which at one point we weren’t sure my body could take much more, but again God knew what was coming, my current drug. The drug that had given me my life back even with a terminal cancer diagnosis. Then Covid-19 hit this spring and has continued this summer and that brought uncertainty of the virus, implications for myself and the possibility that if I got it and couldn’t fight it off on my own and had to be hospitalized could very well mean the end of my life saving drug for me. So my hope back in 2010 to one day homeschool my kids again came to be. Again God knew and saw all those years ago what I couldn’t. He is good all the time!

So next Tuesday August 18th, we will begin this new adventure. We will have our end of summer vacation picnic the day before just like all the years previously. I will still take pictures for our picnic and first day of school pics as in years past! Things are just gonna look different going forward from here.

What I do know….that no matter the uncertainty and upheaval in the world right now, there is One who knows it all and is in the midst of this pandemic and everything else happening! He was and is and is yet to come! He is the same yesterday, today and forever! He goes before me….He knows my comings and going’s, when I wake and when I sleep! He wrote everything about me in His book before the foundation of the world! He is good all the time and all the time He is good!!

Until next time…..have a blessed weekend coming up! Enjoy every moment you have before the crazy school year starts! May each of you be safe, be happy and be healthy in the days, weeks and months ahead!!!


July post

The month of July is almost over and I haven’t posted anything since Father’s Day 😩

This month has been the craziest, most hectic and downright unbearable some days of all the months of this year.

We had a Covid-19 scare in this house as one of our kids was exposed to the virus by a friend who unknowingly had contracted it from a sports teammate. Needless to say it was the LONGEST 5 days of our lives while we waited for test results. We had to isolate at home and we had to social distance from each other. Thankfully the test (and mine too) was negative. I was tested because I was having some symptoms. I will be having a serious talk with my medical team next month about what contracting the virus could mean for my study drug. I want to get back to teaching piano again in person but not until I get some advice from my medical team! We made the decision to take our kids out of the public school this year and homeschool them. Colby will be a senior and Keara is a junior. We talked in length with both of them about all the things that wouldn’t happen…..last homecoming, flags, prom yearbooks, NHS and graduation ceremony. Both said they didn’t care and that they wanted to finish out high school at home. So next month we will dive into homeschooling with the hope and prayer that it will be an amazing and fruitful year…..for ALL of us.

Thursday July 30, 2020 will mark the 10th Anniversary of my dad’s passing. He would have been 77 years old, seen many of his grandkids graduate and his first granddaughter get married. Not a day goes by where I don’t think about him or hear his voice in my head. I miss this man so much… matter the things he did or said to me….I still miss him. He will always be in my heart! Love you dad!
Friday July 31, 2020 is my in-laws 49th wedding anniversary. Roger and Char have been married 49 years. They have shown what marriage is all about. The vows you recite “for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health until death do us part” they have lived them out and have set the example for not only their children but their grandchildren as well. Happy Anniversary to my amazing mother and father (in law)! Love you both!

So here’s to wrapping up this crazy month. May August be a little kinder to this household. And if you don’t mind saying a little prayer for us….we would greatly appreciate it! Much love to all of you from all of us!


Father’s Day 2020

Today is Father’s Day! So as usual it is late at night and I find myself reflecting. I have been thinking about my dad A LOT the last several days and I am not even sure why. He has especially been on my mind the last few hours. I went to my computer and sat down and started looking at photos from some of our last times together.

The last Father’s Day I spent with my dad was in 2010. He died just a month and a half later on July 30, 2010. I can’t believe that 10 years have gone by that quick. I can’t believe that I am still here celebrating Father’s Day with my husband and father in law.

Losing my dad is probably one of the worst things that I have experienced in my life. The deep pain and sorrow is like no other. The death of a parent is the hardest thing to ever go through in life. I found it harder than losing a friend, aunt, uncle or even my grandparents.

So as I looked over pictures and thought about my dad, I allowed the tears to flow. Tears that I don’t allow to flow very often, because I try to remember my dad with happiness instead of sadness. He may have not been the greatest dad in the world, he made his share of poor decisions towards me but he was still my dad and I still love him with all my heart and soul. I don’t think about the awful things he did, because they hold no place of resentment in my heart. To me he was the greatest man who ever lived, the greatest man who ever loved me in spite of my flaws and had the qualities that I sought out of a future husband.

My husband holds A LOT of those qualities that my dad held. He is a hard working man and provides for his family. He has put up with A LOT of my bullshit over the years and he loves me in spite of my flaws. He is a broken and flawed human much like my father. He has made poor decisions towards me over the years but like my father, I love him with all my heart and soul, I am choosing to look beyond the poor decisions of the past and work on a happier and brighter future.

So as you all celebrate Father’s Day today with your father, just remember to give him a little extra hug and an extra I love you. You just never know if it will be the last Father’s Day you get to spend with your dad! Cherish those moments because honestly we are but a mist! Here today, gone tomorrow!

Happy Father’s Day daddy! I love and miss you every day but I am missing you just a little bit extra today! Thank you for being my daddy and loving me in ways only a daddy can! I will eat some ice cream today in your memory, one spoonful for daddy, one spoonful for Cathi! Forever and always!


Our last fishing excursion together
My father in law, my dad and my son
Colby fishing with his grandpa
The last breakfast I ever shared with my dad

Recent scans…..

So on Monday this week I had my semi-annual scans. Sounds more sophisticated saying it like that instead of saying “my every 24 week scans”. LOL! Anyway….so it was time to do scans and meet my new oncologist!

I learned in February that my beloved oncologist Dr. Amy Krie was moving to Minnesota the end of May and leaving her practice in South Dakota behind! I was completely blindsided and heartbroken! She has been so instrumental in my care for over 9 years. I saw her for the first time in October 2010. She fought like crazy to get me enrolled in a clinical trial down in Sioux City, IA which thanks to her efforts, I started in November 2010. I was on that trial until September 2013 when the drug sadly stopped working and forced me back to Sioux Falls and her care. Again she worked tirelessly and fought like crazy to get me on my current trial with Veliparib which I have been on since April 2014. She is beyond amazing and learning she was leaving was a blow to my heart!

So the plan was to return in April (I am only seen every other month by Krie or Missy now and just go in for my drug dispensing on the off months I am not see by anyone), see Missy my nurse practiconer, move my scans up to May and receive my scan results from Krie one final time and have our goodbyes, and then be “handed” over to Dr. Jason Jones, her colleague! Then Covid-19 hit and future appointments were not clear any longer. I went in the first part of March to get my drug and was told by research that things for April and May were in the air.

April came and I had my doctor appointment with Missy via telehealth (online) and a 2 month supply of pills were shipped to me via FedEx. At that time, it was decided by Krie to not do scans or put me at risk of the virus unnecessarily so my final appointment with her would be via telehealth and we would have our goodbyes online instead of in person. I was disappointed that my final appointment with her would be online but definetly not sad that my scans wouldn’t happen.

May came and the day of my appointment I learned that I would not be seeing Dr. Krie because she was out sick, :(! So needless to say there was never a goodbye to my beloved oncologist before she left at the end of May. Scans were scheduled for June and I would get results from my new oncologist the next day. UGH!

So here we are in June. My scans were on Monday the 15th. My port hasn’t been accessed or flushed since February and the dang thing already gives me a ton of problems so I was anticipating that my day would start out on the wrong foot, the nurse would miss my port, have to poke me several times before getting it right and then it wouldn’t give blood. I am so glad that is NOT how my day started! That wonderful, amazing nurse, hit my port on the FIRST try AND got blood! She totally made my day and I knew that things would be ok for the rest of the time that I was at the hospital! Even though I had to wear a mask, social distance as best I could from the scanning techs and get my drinks down quickly so I could put my mask back on, I got through all my scans flawlessly and actually rather quickly. I was all done by 12:30. Things hardly ever move that quickly or efficiently! But Monday they did! Praise the Lord!

Tuesday the 16th found me back at the cancer center for the first time since March for results. Anxious about results and meeting my new oncologist. Is the cancer still staying quiet? How are my ribs doing? Do I have another fracture? Would I get along with my new oncologist? How would his bedside manner be? Would he be as amazing as Krie? So many questions and soon there would be answers!

When he came into the room, it was hard to read him. First of all, he came in wearing what looked like a hazmat suit, which really it wasn’t….he was wearing srubs but the face shield on his head made me question him. First of all it was like a halo that they screw to a persons head to give them brain radiation along with the plastic shield over his face and the mask, you really can’t read someone or judge them when you can only see their eyes. You have to listen extra careful because face masks can really muffle a person’s voice. So needless to say the jury is still out on my new oncologist and if we are gonna be a good match or not! I am hopeful that we will! He is knowledgable and breast cacner is his specialty so I am sure that he will work as tirelessly as Dr. Krie in my care, I mean she recruited him and got him to move from Ohio to SD, so he’s got to be good if she went to all that work, right????!!!! He was easy to talk to and seemed to genuinely care about his patients. So time will tell!

For now….my scans are showing my cancer being quiet and looking good still! So we continue on the protocol! I am happy with where I am at in my cancer journey and I am happy with my current treatment! I mean 6 years is a long time to be on one drug and to have it work this long as well! 10 1/2 years at stage 4 is pretty amazing and mind boggling and an answer to many, many prayers!!! So I will keep moving forward and living life to the fullest!

That’s all for now! June post, done!

Onward and upward folks! God is good all the time and all the time God is good!


May post…..

I have had at least one blog post every month since January. Today is the last day of May so I will have a brief post with highlights from our house!

We continue to practice social distancing and quarantine here in our household. Our trips to Sioux Falls are still minimal and mask wearing is a must for all of us when we go into stores. We eat at home still or grab carry out, still not comfortable around crowds of people. Call us weird but it’s what we are doing for the health and safety of our home. Jason is still working (so very thankful for that), Mikayla has moved back up to Brookings this month as her apartment became available and she could go back to work after taking a leave when college shutdown because of Covid-19. Colby and Keara are back working more hours now. They finished up school a couple of weeks ago and are officially a senior and junior. They adapted beautifully and finished well. Distance learning was a challenge at first but they adjusted and really got into a rhythm.

I adapted as well with my piano students and we moved to an online platform for lessons. Some days were hard for me and my students, but we adapted together and we finished the year flawlessly. I will be back in the fall for another teaching year, how it will look or when I will open my studio back up remains to be seen but it will happen, I’m trusting God with the details. By far the BEST decision I’ve made. It has stretched me as a teacher AND as a piano player. I bought myself 3 worship songs to learn during quarantine….I have learned 2 so far, not flawless but good enough for my own critic. 😃 just haven’t sat down to really learn the 3rd one as I’m thrilled that I learned one of the songs pretty quick and that is all I play currently. By far my favorite…we sang it at church one Sunday last year and I loved it from the moment we sang it. ❤️😍 link to the YouTube video is below, give it a listen!

Death was Arrested

Getting out on the boat as much as possible this month. Not catching anything worth keeping and sometimes nothing at all. But I do find a sense of peace and calm in me when I’m on the lake! It is my happy place for sure!

The summer will fly by as usual. A birthday every month in the summer for this family. Someone will be 25, another will be 20 and the last one to round out the summer will be 44 🤭🤭!!!

Looking forward to what June has to offer! I will blog again soon! Enjoy the weather! Continue to be safe and healthy!

God’s grace and mercy,



I can’t even really come up with an appropriate title for this post. So many different words come to mind. It is late, almost midnight on Monday, April 20, 2020, and I am beyond exhausted but wanted to pen a few words before shutting my eyes for the night. I certainly won’t finish this tonight so I can post it but hopefully over the next couple of days I can get it published.

Every mother has a hope and dream for each of their children when they are born. For me, that each one would grow up strong and happy, find success in whatever they loved or dreamed of, settle down and start a family of their own. When I gave my life to Christ in 2006, my hopes and dreams for them shifted just a little bit, yes I still wanted all of the above but even more I wanted each of them to find hope and salvation in Jesus Christ, love Him with all their heart and find that godly Christian spouse.

My hopes and dreams shifted even more in the fall of 2009, when I learned that my cancer was stage 4 and terminal. They became baby prayers asking for one thing and one thing only. Let me see my children graduate from high school and reach adulthood. It became the prayer of my dearest friends. It became the prayer of my closest family. Together we stormed the heavenly realms and asked for this one thing. It is still what I ask for. I’m nearing that finish line, as my last two are finishing up their sophomore and junior year of high school. My oldest two will be 25 and 20 this coming June and July.

My newest hope and dream is to see them each marry and start families. My oldest daughter gave me the first one today! My baby girl became a Mrs. She married her boyfriend of 3 1/2 years. They were engaged in early October of 2019, with April 20th as their date of choice. They took their 6 weeks of marriage classes with our pastor and the planning and preparing began.

Then the corona virus hit the United States, the economy was shutting down, guidelines were being put in place and gatherings of people were limited to no more than 10. None of us were sure this wedding was gonna take place but that oldest daughter of mine…..her determination and stubbornness got her and her fiancé EXACTLY what they wanted!

They said “I DO” on the day they had originally planned. It was not at all the way they envisioned it but they made some changes in location and who was gonna be there and said they would have a big celebration in October (actually it is being held on the day they started dating) with everyone who couldn’t be there for their big day thanks to the virus. It was a beautiful day, extremely windy, but it didn’t matter. All that mattered was their love and making it official and becoming husband and wife.

So I’m blessed, God is good! God has answered my prayer and so many others. Not only did I see my oldest graduate from high school, but then I saw her graduate from vo-tech and then today, I got to witness her marriage to the love of her life. What’s my next hope and prayer, besides seeing the rest of my tribe graduate from high school and college??

Why GRANDCHILDREN of course!!! The Lord has been so so good to me! To hold even just ONE grandbaby in my arms would be enough for me. Don’t get me wrong I WANT to hold every single one of them that the Lord would bless me with but if I only got one it would be enough. One that I could sing to and tell him/her bible stories. Spoil them rotten and be their #2 biggest cheerleader (because mom and dad will always be their #1 cheerleader).

I don’t even know how to end this post because I am sure there is more I could say but I will refrain!! So in ending, yes blessed is the best title for this post! God has been good, He has been faithful and He is amazing! Even with all the uncertainty in this world, there is certainty in Him! To Him be all the honor and praise!!!

Have a blessed week!


Late night ramblings……

So it’s been a couple of weeks since my last post. The first 3-4 days after that post was almost like a purge of some sort. I cried so many tears, felt levels of rejection I hadn’t felt in awhile, spoke into those rejections with my husband, reached out to my pastor, started searching for a counselor and one who specializes in EMDR. I realized that I needed to do something because my anger and bitterness were starting to drown me. During those days of “purging”, something inside of me changed. I could feel the tide turning. I could feel some of my anger and frustrations lessening, in its place was some peace and even a little grace.

My first counselor appointment is this coming Thursday the 26th. I hate starting over with new ones so I’m hoping she will be a good fit for me and can really help me get to the root of my problem. Honestly I have no idea what it is, but I do believe there is something in my past that I have suppressed that has made me who I am. Why don’t I trust people, even God? Why do I feel like I’m never good enough to my family, my church and even my friends? Why do I hang on to the bad?

Triggers are the worst for me. They can really derail me and the progress I have made. Lately when the triggers come I can refocus my mind on something else. I would like to get to the point where the triggers stop or I can figure out a way to process them and deal with them instead of refocusing my mind on something else.

Our world is in crisis so I have been quarantined to my house more than normal as are my kids. We are making the most of a terrible situation and rolling with it. Jason is still working everyday but my piano teaching is on hold for another week. So to cope I’m sitting down at my piano and playing some of my favorite songs or just working thru a bunch of music for about 15-20 minutes. It still soothes my soul to this day.

So I’m gonna keep working on becoming the best version of myself I can be. Make baby steps where I need to but continue to move forward in the process, not backward.

God has given me so much grace. I NEED and WANT to extend that same selfless grace to others around me. God is merciful and abounding with love!

I will wrap this crazy post up now. Even when all I do is ramble and make no sense I feel a sense of peace and a weight lifted off my shoulders.

So to my readers……please stay healthy and safe. Practice social distancing a lot, wash your hands frequently and stay home if your sick. We can all do our own small part to prevent further spread of this nasty virus.🤧😷🤒 I am ready for life to return to normal. Thank you for taking the time to read! God bless!


My family

Honestly I am just writing to clear my head and my heart. I don’t know if I will even publish this post and if I do it will only go to my subscriber list, which is pretty small. This is probably the hardest post I will ever write.

So back in the summer of 2017, I had THE biggest fight with my mother. It was that day that I decided to walk away from her and that toxic relationship. A couple of weeks after that fight my oldest brother, Larry, sent me a text pretty much calling me insane, to see a counselor and get on some medication and that my family (husband and children) needed to be saved from me. A few months later my sister, Krissy, closed the door on our relationship as well after I called our mother out for exactly who she is and the things she has done to me over my lifetime. They have all been blocked from calling, texting, or emailing me and have also been blocked on Facebook. That’s how serious I was then and still am today as those things above are still in place.

One year later in the summer of 2018, my mother moved out of my little community where I live and my brother Larry moved into her place. When she moved it was THE BIGGEST weight that was lifted off my shoulders. I felt like I could breathe again. Live again even. I knew living in a community of 1100 people the odds were pretty good that I would run into my brother at some point but funny enough I have yet to encounter him at all. Others in my family haven’t been so lucky. They have run into him and some have even talked to him.

Over the last 2 1/2 years I have been working on fixing the shit I have broken by my destructive behavior. I have a long ways to go and honestly I don’t know if I will ever get it all figured out or even fixed, But I have been working hard to correct the wrongs I’ve done with my kids, still working on the wrongs I’ve done to my husband and just trying to reconcile my past with my present. If I’m being honest here….I haven’t missed those relationships (my mom, brother and sister), not at all. It seems that when I start to make a step forward, I’m reminded of something and I go ten steps back, a million steps back actually if I’m being honest again. It seems that I can never keep that forward moving momentum going. SOMETHING always, always, always knocks me back and I sink back into those same damn destructive behaviors again.

Yesterday all that shit came to a head. Yesterday I sat at my computer desk and sobbed like a baby while on the phone with my husband. All because I pulled a note from my front door. A note from my brother, Larry. You see he has stopped here several times, two that I am aware of but according to his note he has stopped 4 times. The first time he stopped my daughter Mikayla answered the door, I was still sleeping. The next time he stopped I just didn’t answer the door, nobody comes to my house early in the morning and I wasn’t expecting a package so I ignored the doorbell until I heard his footsteps leave, than I walked into my daughters bedroom and peeked out the window (which faces the front of my house) and saw his suburban backing out of my driveway. What a sigh of relief. I had dodged the bullet again.

So back to the note, pretty much it said, if I wanted to talk that he would love that and to give him a call. So what could have triggered the sob fest yesterday? Well he is just a few years too late for the talk. I came to realize over the last 2 1/2 years that my siblings and even my dad when he was alive ALWAYS sided with my mother. They have allowed her to do, say and act the way she does to anyone, including 2 of her 4 children. I have listened to the bullshit over the years of my adulthood that I am the problem, I am the instigator of any and all fights and that everything that happens in this family is my fault. I have dealt with the wrath of my mother all my life but more so after my dad died and she moved to the community where I live. I was made to feel like an inconvenience in her life, I felt like my kids were a burden to her as well, except of course her favorite which she had NO PROBLEM showing who that was or showering the love and affection on that one child. Nobody ever comes to get my side of the story when blowups happen with my mom, they all just take her side and jump on the same bandwagon.

I’m just gonna say it. I have been her scapegoat.

Now she is moving back to my town next month. I’m gonna be back to looking over my shoulder, not being able to breathe again and back in that paralyzed state of mind. I guess I could sell my house and move somewhere else but guess what then I lose…..I lose something that means so much to me. My piano students. And ultimately she wins.

So what am I gonna do? Honestly I have no idea, but I do know this…..I’m NOT backing down. I have made the decisions that I have because they are what is best for ME!!! I had made the decision to end toxic relationships almost 3 years ago and that will not change. For my own mental health, there is no other option. There is no option for them to be in my life, now or even the future. So I’m not gonna run away, I have raised my family here, I have built a small career teaching piano (and yes it is only my first year but it has been pretty successful) and I still have two kids to see thru 2 more years of high school. I am no longer their scapegoat, I am no longer bound to those relationships. I am FREE and even with those two living in my community, I don’t need to allow the chains to come back on. I need to gather my strength, my dignity and sheer determination and wear them as my shield and continue to fight for my life, stability and mental health by keeping those who truly love me and have my back by my side, my family which includes my only sibling I speak to anymore, my older brother, Mike. We are really two peas in a pod. We both walked away from our mother and siblings. Hell, he even walked away from me for 7 years but we have reconciled and have built a pretty amazing relationship together the past almost 3 years. He came back into my life as those other 3 relationships were starting to crumble. I’m forever grateful for that reconciliation!

So now that it is almost 2am and close to my witching hour (😂😂) I will draw this post to a close. I have cleared my mind and gotten a ton of shit off my chest. Thanks for reading!! Have a blessed day!!



For as long as I can remember I have had a love of music. Playing piano, singing, just listening and letting the lyrics sink deep into my bones and sometimes it wasn’t even listening to the lyrics but instead just allowing the beat to fill me. Music got me thru a lot of hard stuff during my teen years, even some hard times in my adult years too. Over the years my taste in music has changed but my need for it has definitely stayed the same. My go to genre is mostly Christian music now…but every once in awhile you will catch me listening to some heavy metal 80’s hair band music, or even some current hip hop music. Music is still my go to…..sometimes I like to get in my car….connect my phone to my stereo and just drive….with some amazing worship music blaring from the speakers. Sometimes the words hit just the right feels….sometimes the drums…..and sometimes the Holy Spirit just ministers to my soul. Sometimes I don’t even get into my car instead I will connect my phone to my stereo in my kitchen…turn the volume as high as it will go and just stand (or sit) in my kitchen and sing, cry, raise my hands in worship or allow the Holy Spirit to minister to my bleeding soul.

Yesterday was one of those days….I was putting my dogs in their kennel in the garage when I heard a song playing on the radio (yes we have a radio playing 24/7 for the dogs, and anyone else who happens to be in the garage). I immediately came into the house and turned my kitchen radio on and turned the volume all the way up. This song has been on my radar for sometime and I love it….but yesterday the lyrics hit me hard. Hard as in ugly cry hard. Sometimes acting strong, like I have it all together, just wears me down and makes me realize what a phony I really am. I may appear strong and happy on the outside but look deep into my soul and you will find a weak and tortured woman behind the mask.

As sometimes is the case when the right song plays and the Holy Spirit speaks to me, I have a very frank and real conversation with God. Mostly it’s me telling him that no matter what I will never be able to “get over it”, “move on” or “trust” again. Since I’m being real here, I’m gonna let you all in on a little secret….I have a very hard time letting go of the past. Depending on the circumstance from the past or who it may have involved also depends on if I let go of it and move forward. But, to be honest, there are only a few things that I have actually let go of and moved on from and even that might be stretching it.

I have to learn to move forward. To light a match, leave the past, burn the ships and don’t look back. I have to figure out how to drop the chains that bind me….to not allow Satan to have his way….to rise above the demons and torture of my hurting soul, to place my hands in God’s and step into a new day. Surrendering is a hard one for me, while I know that God’s way and his will for my life are way better than any I could come up with on my own, relinquishing control is not easy for me and never will be. Work in progress…..every day…..until the day I hear my name. Some days will be harder and tortured more than others. I hope one day there will be less hard and tortured days and more sunshine and rainbow days. There is one truth I know beyond a shadow of doubt….God has never left me even on my darkest days or deepest valleys. Even when it doesn’t feel like he is there, he is. He has promised to never leave me….NEVER!! And I trust and believe that. Even when he is silent, he hasn’t left. Quietly standing by waiting…with his arms wide open.

Here are the lyrics and the video for Burn the ships by for KING & COUNTRY

How did we get here?

All castaway on a lonely shore

I can see in your eyes, dear

It’s hard to take for a moment more

We’ve got to

Burn the ships, cut the ties

Send a flare into the night

Say a prayer, turn the tide

Dry your tears and wave goodbye

Step into a new day

We can rise up from the dust and walk away

We can dance upon our heartache, yeah

So light a match, leave the past, burn the ships

And don’t you look back

Don’t let it arrest you

This fear is fear of fallin’ again

And if you need a refuge

I will be right here until the end

Oh, it’s time to

Burn the ships, cut the ties

Send a flare into the night

Say a prayer, turn the tide

Dry your tears and wave goodbye

Step into a new day

We can rise up from the dust and walk away

We can dance upon our heartache, yeah

So light a match, leave the past, burn the ships

And don’t you look back

So long to shame, walk through the sorrow

Out of the fire into tomorrow

So flush the pills, face the fear

Feel the wave disappear

We’re comin’ clear, we’re born again

Our hopeful lungs can breathe again

Oh, we can breathe again

Step into a new day

We can rise up from the dust and walk away

We can dance upon our heartache, yeah

So light a match, leave the past, burn the ships

And step into a new day

We can rise up from the dust and walk away

We can dance upon our heartache, yeah

So light a match, leave the past, burn the ships

And don’t you look back

And don’t you look back

And don’t you look back

Burn the ships music video

New year, new decade…..

Usually I have a reflections post for the current year and hopes for the new one. I had one started but New Year’s Day became a shit show of epic proportions so I decided to trash it and list some goals to work on for this new year!

1. (And THE MOST IMPORTANT) study/read God’s word daily. For the past few years I have read thru the entire Bible (except 2017, cuz life got crazy when the house build started). This year I’m changing it up a little. Now I’m gonna read thru the entire Bible in 2 years. Smaller readings that will hopefully help me to pause and meditate on a portion of scripture that tugs at my heart.

2. Increase my prayer time (not like how many minutes I will pray each day) but that my authenticity of my prayers will increase for my family and my friends. That I will make it a priority daily (which tbh….I have already failed this goal, but I’ll keep at it until it sticks).

3. With the reading daily and the prayer daily…that will help me to focus on THE #1 relationship in my life…my savior Jesus Christ

4. Decrease (considerably) my time on social media, especially Facebook. Sometimes what you see or read isn’t reality…but instead it’s a smoke screen. I’ll admit I have had my share of those types of post. Who seriously wants to be the Debby downer? But when I spend too much time on social media, I start to play the comparison game, which just adds to my already distorted thoughts. I need to figure out how to balance reality from a smoke screen.

5. More time exercising and eating healthy. And just being healthy in general. The day after Christmas scans showed that my cancer is continuing to stay quiet!!! That’s exactly how I want it to be! Now I need to step up and take care of my body, thru diet and exercise, drinking plenty of water and getting adequate amounts of sleep (which again I fail miserably at because most nights I am still wide awake at 2am 🙄).

6. Focus on different ways to be a better wife, mother, friend and piano teacher! Of course those first two are the most important priority right now for me. Being present for those closest to me, less time staring at my phone and more time being present.

7. Focus word for 2020. As I laid in bed tonight doing my daily reading and then praying, God brought my word that I wanted to focus on this school year back to mind. I haven’t really been focusing on that word much….BUT… it’s written on a piece of paper and taped on my wall by my bed so I can see it every day and remind myself of where my focus needs to be. My word:


It’s a powerful word with so much meaning and strength. Scripture is filled with stories of redemption. Hell, my own story has plenty of redemption stories in it and many things that are not yet redeemed in my life. Life is hard and sometimes we suffer. But God…..He is a man of great mercy and grace. He redeems! He loves! I am but a sinful, wretched human, bought with the blood of His son, to be called His daughter, His princess!

So here’s to a happy, healthy, spiritual revival, redemption filled 2020!!!!

Peace and love to each of you for the same thing this new year ❤️❤️❤️


Sweet puppy (or puppies)……

I don’t remember when exactly in 2017 I wanted a dog. But I wanted a dog. At first I wanted a German Shepherd. Then I wanted who knows what and then my mind started going back to my Ozzie….my beautiful, stubborn, cow and cat herding Corgi mix. He came to our home in April of 2011, he was getting into trouble at his place and the family wanted him to go to someone they knew. The moment I saw him… was love at first sight. Unfortunately, he got into trouble numerous times (running off with our other dog, etc.) and then got caught by the pound so we surrendered him in 2015. That hurt…..and I missed him. So my mind was made up, I wanted a corgi. I knew that some day we would move back out to the country and whatever corgi we got would be able to do what the breed was born to do….herd. I hunted and I hunted for a female until one day in December I found two in Dell Rapids. A male and a female. When I inquired about the female, she was already gone and I was disappointed but I decided I wanted to come look at the male anyway. When she placed him in my arms, I was hooked. He was mine. So on December 15, 2017, I brought my first corgi home!!! Tucker! Oh my beloved Tucker!!! ❤️❤️❤️

We also knew that one day we would get a female and we would eventually get into breeding.

On January 11, 2018, we brought home our second corgi, 4 month old Trixie.

Yesterday we learned that our goof on October 13, resulted in Trixie getting pregnant. Never leave two intact dogs alone for even 5 minutes while one is in heat. That 5 minutes with no eyes on them allowed Tucker to “help himself”. The vet could only find one puppy for sure on the ultrasound but there is a chance there could be more. Dogs are only pregnant for 61 days on average. So at day 50 (around December 2nd) we will have an X-ray taken and know for sure how many puppies there will be.

So while this whole breeding thing comes about year sooner than I had planned, I’m rolling with it. It will be a very interesting Christmas at the Bottelberghe house this year with puppies around but it’ll be ok. In fact it’s gonna be awesome! Stressful but awesome! Sometimes you make your own plans but God directs your path, and this is obviously the direction He is sending us. So I’m gonna roll with, learn as much as I can about dogs, pregnancy and birth and be ready for the day. Which will be sometime around December 12.

These babies are gonna be BEAUTIFUL!!!! 😍😍😍😍 I’m hoping to document as much as possible here (minus the birth of course because even though she is only a dog, it’s still a pretty private matter). The next 30 +/- days are gonna be very interesting!!!!

Trixie ~ 14 months

Tucker ~ 2 years

10 years!!!

It seems like just yesterday but also a lifetime ago.

10 years!!!

10 years ago today, November 2, 2009, I got the phone call about my biopsy. The day my life and the lives of those around me changed forever. The day I heard, your cancer is back.

I remember where I was, what I was doing and how I was feeling. It doesn’t seem possible that I am still here but I am.

Like my oncologist and I talked at my appointment the other day, we don’t know how long we can ride this but we ride it until we can’t anymore. 10 years is even mind blowing to her. I am a medical miracle.

One of my favorite verses is now a magnet on my frig, given to me by my oldest daughter for my birthday the other day. “With God all things are possible”!!

This milestone is ONLY possible because of God. He has ordained all my days before I was ever born. Nothing that has happened in my life has been a surprise to Him. My cancer coming back was all part of His plan. He has put doctors, nurses and even ordinary people in my path, who have blessed my life and I have blessed theirs. I have fought hard with research and advocacy to make it this far. Jason and I truly believe if I had continued with my first oncologist I wouldn’t be here today. But because I knew what I wanted and had another doctor in my corner who opened doors to a new oncologist, who in turn fought tooth and nail for the last two clinical trials I have been on, I’m alive because someone besides myself fought for my life too! God was in the midst of all of it. Opening doors and closing others and making Himself known in the process.

He has answered so many prayers of mine these last 10 years, but the #1 prayer He continues to answer is me continuing to raise my babies and grow older with my husband. My kiddos will have memories of me from their childhood, I may have spent many of them sick from chemo but I was there. Fighting for another day. Still fighting for another day even with each of them being older now!

Each day is a gift. One I’m trying NOT to take for granted (but oh how I fail at even that). I have a chance to bless someone at some point on any given day. Even one of my soon to be 11 piano students will in some small way bless me on any given day. Try to be a blessing to someone else each day but also allow others to bless you in some small way.

While I face my terminal illness head on each day…each of us is dying just a little bit more everyday. No one will get out of this life alive…try to make each day count.

Make it count for Jesus, your spouse, your children, your siblings, parents, extended family and friends. Make it count even for strangers. In some small way make it count. Trust me….you will crawl into bed at the end of the day and smile because of something you said or did for others.

My husband and children (well mainly my children but he helped just a little bit too) went all out for my birthday earlier this week. I have made it 45 years (and the last 10 of them with stage 4 breast cancer) on this earth and this birthday was over the top spectacular and THE. BEST. BIRTHDAY. EVER.!!!! If I don’t make it to my next birthday my children can rest knowing they went all out for me. The love they lavished on me was beyond beautiful. My heart was bursting!!!! I couldn’t have hoped or imagined any better of a day. All my children were home and each of the girls’ boyfriends were there also. Well one boyfriend is now a fiancé 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻! So excited for that new chapter as well!

All because of God and His great mercy!

I am blessed!

I am beautiful!

I am a daughter of the King!

May God bless me with many more amazing and wonderful years!

To Him all the glory and praise goes!!

Always remember Whose you are and where you came from!


It’s time…..

My world shattered 3 years ago. That day is forever etched into my heart, mind and soul. To be honest…..I will NEVER be the same. I will never love, laugh or even live the same again. The landscape of my life is different. How I view God is different. How I view life and circumstances is different.

But today…..September 9, 2019 is different. Even in light of those circumstances…..I’m choosing today….of all days to choose from…’s time.

Today I’m stepping out into the start of year number 4 with a new purpose and a new sense of self. It is not a coincidence that today….again of all days to choose from…..that God said this is it. This is the day……

For the first time in 3 years, I’m taking back control. Not from God but from Satan. God’s will always has been and always will be perfect, even when I don’t agree. Even when the hurt and pain is unimaginable. Even when the grief of circumstances is suffocating me. He is still on the throne and He is still sovereign.

About a month ago, I decided to step back into teaching piano again. God has been pressing it on my heart for months and I just kept trying to ignore Him. He didn’t let up. So I said….”ok, if this is your will, then I would like at least 5 students to start.” The next step was to decide when I wanted to start teaching again, which led to the calendar. I knew I wanted to start after Labor Day and I also knew I wanted to start on a full week, because sometimes my OCD gets the best of me, and I didn’t want some students a week behind because of the holiday. Then when I saw the date on the calendar my heart sank…..”Lord, no. I can’t start on this date. That is the day I curl into a ball and wish I was dead.” “No, Cathi, it is time. This is not a coincidence, this is part of my perfect plan. Please trust me, I know it’s hard for you to trust, but I’m for you, not against you. Let’s begin anew. Take my hand, I’ll lead you.”

So I’m taking the Lord’s hand, I’m stepping into a new chapter and I’m excited! Today, September 9, 2019 I begin to teach piano again. 10 years ago I started the adventure of teaching not only piano but homeschooling my kids, too!! I had 4 piano students and 4 homeschooling kids. Then just 2 months later our lives were rocked with my stage 4 cancer diagnosis. I continued to forge ahead with both while undergoing chemo. Sadly….2009-2010 was the only year I taught piano and homeschooled my children, I had to quit to focus on my health and fight for top notch treatments to keep me alive (but that’s a post for another day).

Now I’m excited for all God has in store for this new beginning. Unfortunately (fortunately by my children’s standards 😂🤷🏻‍♀️) my last 2 children at home will continue to be educated at GHS. I have 7 students (yes God provided me with more than I asked for because He is amazing like that) and I have more boy students than girls. I’m nervous, excited and everything else in between. I’m rusty in the teaching department, but my fingers have been blazing up and down those ivory keys for the past month now so they are not. I’m ready! Beyond a shadow of a doubt…..I’m ready.

It’s time… work on letting go completely of the past and moving forward into the future. Not allowing choices and circumstances dictate my future any longer! But allowing God access into the deepest recesses of my wounded soul. Allowing His blood to fill in those wounds and trusting Him for all that my future holds. It’s a work in progress, it has been the last 3 years and it will be into the future. I will forever be in a work in progress, I will constantly stumble and fall but I have to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus. He will never leave me and He will never forsake me.

He is good all the time and all the time He is good!!! I will keep running after Him all the days of my life.

God’s grace to each of you,


2 years….

This day, July 10, 2019 is almost over, and it has been a pretty good day!

2 years ago today, I made one of the BEST decisions of my life! To walk away from the “relationship” I had with my mother.

I look around at friends and even family that talk about their mothers and how they wish for another conversation or how they go to call their mother to tell her about something and then remember that they can’t do that. I wish I had had that kind of mother, but in all honesty, I haven’t had one moment where I wished for any of those things.

I told Jason just the other night that I got the monkey off my back. It has been so freeing for me to not have to chase after something that was never really there. Even 2 years later I still have NO REGRETS!!!!

I’m still working on the forgiveness part of this matter and I know in time, I will forgive her for who she could never be in my life. But just because there is forgiveness does not mean reconciliation. THAT will never happen, not that I have to worry about that because she will never say sorry or take responsibility for her part. She is never wrong and she is never the problem. Everyone else is.

I’m just another person on her long list of people she has wrote out of her life. That’s ok. I have some pretty amazing people in my life that provide me with all I need for a motherly type. From my amazing mother in law, to my two “spiritual moms” and a host of family (on Jason’s side) and many friends. God has blessed me beyond measure and has provided for all my needs in a non traditional way. For that I am truly grateful.

So I’m gonna keep living my life, loving my family, and be the BEST version of ME I can be. To be the kind of wife, mother and friend that Jesus has called me to be in the Bible.

One moment at a time, with one foot in front of the other. Never looking back, only forward!!!

His grace is sufficient,


The pitcher

I bought this pitcher at our local thrift shop last spring for a project I wanted to do. Okay, so it wasn’t really a project but more like a visual piece I wanted to display in my living room as a daily reminder to myself once I was all done with it. It sat on my counter for quite some time before I tackled the first part of the project. It was just so pretty and I didn’t want to have to do to it what had to be done. So there it sat….beckoning me….taunting me even some days. Until the day that I finally did what needed to be done.

That day my beautiful pitcher became this….

So now you may be wondering….”what in the world are you thinking”. Trust me…that is why it took me quite awhile to do this. That pitcher was so beautiful, no cracks, broken pieces or holes. It was complete, unbroken and perfect. I had read a blog post about this same thing years ago (10 years ago actually) and it always intrigued me to do it but my life never felt so broken or beyond repair, even after my stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis in 2009, that I just never felt the need to do it. That same blog post also came up in a chapter of a book I read last fall. Both the book and the blog post were authored by the same woman. You can read that blog post here and if you would like to read her book you can find it here. Then one day in September 2016 my world shattered to pieces. Everything I had ever believed about myself, my faith, my life, went up in smoke that day, I found myself at rock bottom.  I had to figure out how to start all over again, who I was as a person, who I was as a wife and mother, and even who I was as a daughter of the King.  My faith was shattered, I can’t say that I am anywhere near the level of faith that I had before that moment, but I am working on it.  A work in progress, each and every day.  Learning to trust people again and yes even learning to trust the Lord has been difficult and some days I wanted NOTHING to do with any of it.  I just wanted my life back to before that day (yes, I will admit that even today, I still want that life back), but it’s in the past and I have to learn to leave it there and be in the present and work on right here, right now.  It has been 2 1/2 years since that moment but it still stays with me each and every day as if it just happened yesterday. Each day is a new day to work on fixing what is broken and allowing the blood of Jesus to fill every crack and broken piece of my heart with His love and mercy, still a work in progress but I am working hard to fix what has been broke, look to Jesus to get me thru the hard moments and focus on today, one moment at a time. The past can’t be changed, but we can learn from those experiences that have left us shattered and broken in this world.  After I broke my pitcher it sat in pieces for quite some time before I decided to piece it all back together.  There were many nights I spent working on it, trying to get all the pieces to line up and look all perfect together so that the end result would be almost identical to what it had been before I chose to drop and break it. As you can see from the next several pictures that was definitely not the case.  You can see the cracks and even some small holes.  This beautiful pitcher will never be what it once was.

I will never be what I once was either. I will never be whole, there will always be cracks and holes where my life has been broken by people and circumstances. My life will never be a beautiful perfect masterpiece. Just when I look at all my cross-stitch pieces, that front is absolutely beautiful and perfect but that back….YIKES….you don’t want to see that AT.ALL!!!!!  But…..even when I see all the imperfections and cracks of my life and I am reminded of those not so glorious moments in my life, I am also reminded that Christ does not see me that way.  He does not see all those cracks and imperfections.  His blood has covered all those places, His grace and mercy have been there weaving in and out of my life and circumstances.  Beckoning me to trust Him with it all.  He is the great potter, molding me and shaping me into who HE sees me, not how I see me or what I think my life should be like.  He is creating a beautiful masterpiece in me, with cracks and holes, where His light can shine through me to others around me.  To allow me to be that person when someone needs a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen to their hurts and sorrows or just be that someone to give hugs and smiles to another person.  You see, Jesus never expects me to be perfect, He just expects me to live for Him.  Where those cracks are, that is where He is shining His perfect light out of me for others.  He is covering those hurts and brokenness with His blood.  That is why He came, to save us from a life of sin and death.  He never promised that our lives would be perfect if we accepted Him as our Savior, He just promised that it would be worth it at the end of our life.  Since accepting Christ on February 13, 2006, my life has been broken and shattered more than I would ever care to have had it, but He has never left my side, even when I was far from Him and wanted nothing to do with Him.  He was always there….beckoning me to come. He is still there beckoning me.  Slowly, baby steps even, I am making my way back to Him and His outstretched hand.  Back to my first love, back to where my heart was suppose to be all my life, back to His beauty and grace.  One moment at a time….one step at a time, and one foot in front of the other.  Grace upon grace!  All God’s grace!!!  My life will never turn out the way I had envisioned it and I have to learn to accept that, because God has bigger and better plans for my life than any that I could ever do or think for myself.  If His grace is sufficient to cover all my sins, they are also sufficient to cover the sins done against me too, in the past and more than likely in the future too, because until Jesus returns or I die, we are a fallen human race and we live in a sin filled world.  We are all in need of a Savior.

So until that day….this pitcher will be my reminder that even with all the blemishes and imperfections in my life….God is working and molding me into His beautiful masterpiece!

Lord Jesus you are the potter, I am the clay. Mold me and shape me into Your image each and every day! I pray that the day I see my Savior face to face I will hear the most beautiful words ever “Well done my good and faithful servant. Welcome home!”

Grace upon grace to you from the Lord above,


14 years

So April is a pretty significant month in my life.

Starting with April 29, 2004. That is the day I gave birth to my fourth (and final) child.

I have 5 nephews who have birthdays in April and yes my most recent post was when I started my cancer drug 5 years ago, April 9, 2014.

But……I think the biggest and pretty close to the most earth shattering (there is another day that blows this day out of the water but that will have to wait for another post) was April 18, 2005.

I was 30 1/2 years old, we were getting our tiny house ready to put on the market to sell, and our youngest was just 11 days away from her 1st birthday. Life was busy, our kids were thriving and we were excited for the many adventures ahead until my phone rang that day around lunch time.

It was a Monday, 1 kid was at school and the other 3 kids were resting and I was just sitting down to eat some lunch when our family doctor called.

“Cathi, it’s Mark Rector, I’ve got good news and bad news on your biopsy results.”

It still feels like yesterday, my whole world turning upside down, the thoughts, the tears, the fear in my husband’s voice when I called him with the news.

I had breast cancer. My biopsy was positive for breast cancer. My body had turned on me. My children were so young, they couldn’t lose me. My husband was so young, he needed me to help him raise our family. I was sad, angry and distraught. I was a mixed bag of emotions.

But I chose to be aggressive. As aggressive as I could be towards this invader in my body. We chose an aggressive surgery and my oncologist suggested an aggressive chemo regiment that would hopefully increase my odds of it never coming back.

I had my surgery 2 days before my youngest’s 1st birthday with the hopes that I would be discharged in time. Unfortunately…..I was still in the hospital on her birthday. Family brought her up to visit me so I could wish her a happy birthday and give her a hug but it wasn’t the same for me and I was again a mixed bag of emotions. We celebrated her birthday a week later but to this day, 14 years later, it still haunts me that she didn’t get the proper 1st birthday celebration on her special day like her siblings did.

So even though we did the aggressive surgery and chemo, my cancer still came back and that’s ok because…..

It has been an amazing 14 years and one I wouldn’t trade for anything. My life changed dramatically because of cancer. My heart was captured by the One who wrote all my days before I was even born. I have created memories and I have been here to help my husband raise our children together.

It has not all been a bed of roses. There have been some hard and earth shattering moments these past 14 years but God is still faithful and good. He is still weaving this amazing tapestry of my life into His story and for His glory.

When I look back over these 14 years, I can see His hand in everything and I can see how hard He pursued me to bring me home. The people, situations and circumstances. All Him. All for His glory.

He is the same yesterday, today and forever!

To God be all the glory and praise!


5 years

Today marks 5 years since I started on my cancer drug Veliparib! April 9, 2014. After what felt like MONTHS of agonizing prayers, questions and tons of research, God revealed himself to me and what I needed to do. This is an excerpt from my CaringBridge post on March 26, 2014:

“Well believe it or not….God showed up in a BIG way! When I asked for clear, decisive answers, I got them!

Even as I woke this morning, I still wasn’t sure what my decision was going to be. But as I ate breakfast….it came full force and I knew without a shadow of a doubt what I needed to do!

Thank you all for praying with me over the past 24 hours. If it was His will I would know it!

As I ate breakfast this morning after the kids left for school, and sat at the table pondering my decision, I was gently reminded that for the past 6 months we have been praying, begging and pleading with the Lord to open the door to Veliparib. He has opened that door for me and now I am trying to slam it shut and pretty much turn my back on His will, so I MUST go through the door with full trust in HIS plan! He is going to be there guiding my every step. I can no longer over analyze this situation or even how long I will get on this drug, because at the end of the day, I am NOT in control of my life….HE IS!!! Now how is that for clarity?????”

If you would like to read the whole post you can click here and scroll down to March 26th and the entry called “Decisions”.  My last entry on there was in January 2015 so you won’t have to scroll too far down to find this post.

Never in a million years did I think that I would get so much longevity on this drug as I have. Scans are again in just a few short months (July 2019) but I am confident that whatever is going on in my liver will be gone and everything will still be clear elsewhere. I am working hard on not thinking about what was on the previous scans and just focusing on life right here and right now. As we get closer to that July date, I am sure it will become more on my mind and my anxiety will go up ten fold.

As I sit here and reflect on the past 5 years of taking this drug I have so much to be thankful for. If I am honest I think about the last almost 9 1/2 years of this stage 4 diagnosis. All that has happened in our lives, the drugs that have failed, the drugs that have given us hope again, the milestones that we have seen and done as a family, the memories that we have created over the years, leaving our beautiful home in the country, building our current house, transitioning to city life again, watching children graduate, changes in the family dynamics, renewal of broken relationships and the ending of certain other relationships, but the one thing that remains and will always remain no matter what is this:

Nothing is possible with man, but with God all things are possible! God has been faithful, constant and always near no matter what may be going on in our lives. He has never left us, nor forsaken us. He is the same yesterday, today and forever! He is good all the time and all the time He is GOOD!!!!

God has shown me so much and maybe in the moment I couldn’t see it but when I look back and reflect, I see His hand in every single circumstance that has happened, yes even some of the most life altering, earth shattering moments of mine and my families lives, He has been there, weaving His story into all of it. I am learning every single day still to trust His plan for my life even when I don’t understand any of it….perhaps one day all will be revealed to me but until then I will continue to walk by faith and not by sight, and try to trust the One who loves me unconditionally and wants all the peace and happiness for my life that only He can provide.

So until He says “Enough”, I will continue to swallow these 4 pills twice daily. Always His plan…never mine!

Happy Tuesday!

In Christ,


New puppy…..

Since getting Tucker over a year ago, I have been on the hunt for another corgi but a female and she had to be a tri color corgi.  Well I finally found her this week.  We picked her up today!

She is 16 weeks old and a tri-color.  Tucker wasn’t real sure of her at first but by the end of the evening they were the best of buds!  Can’t wait for the newness of her to wear off for him because it is so frustrating when you take the puppy outside to potty and all Tucker does is bark and whine in his kennel 😦

She doesn’t have a name yet but hopefully by the end of the weekend we will have decided on a name!  It is so hard when you are limited to the letter T 😉

So let my crazy corgi obsession begin!!!!  The plan is to one day (in a couple of years) breed them together and have puppies.  For now they are going to be our families little buddies!

Welcome to our family lil girl!  You are gonna LOVE it here!!!!



Middle of the night attack…..

It is 1:30 in the morning…..a time when normal people sleep…..but me….well I’m having a mild anxiety attack.

So while I wait for my Ativan to kick in….I’m gonna write. Journaling has always been my outlet, even as a teenager. I haven’t been doing it enough lately.

Satan is on the prowl tonight and he’s got me right where he wants me. Staring down that damn rabbit hole ready to fall right down it if I’m not extra careful.

It’s a brand new year and there are so many promises on the horizon and 364 days left to make it the BEST year yet but what am I doing? I’m staring down the past like a deer in your headlights. It’s beckoning me, taunting me and full on laughing at me.

It’s the one stronghold Satan has on me and it is the one thing I am working so damn hard on to let go of. NOTHING can change it….NOTHING.

There are many things from the past that I have let go of but many things I haven’t. It’s the ones I haven’t let go of that continue to keep me in bondage. Tethered to it for the rest of my life.

It’s in these moments, these mild to sometimes severe anxiety attacks, that I have to breath in truth. Truth of today, truth of yes even yesterday and most importantly truth about tomorrow.

You can’t go back and make a brand new start but you can start now and make a brand new ending.

There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.

Also learning to breath in truth from scripture as well. Life quotes are great but God’s word is even better.

Psalm 46:10 be still and know that I am God.

Psalm 91:1 he who dwells in the shelter of the most high will rest in the shadow of the almighty.

Psalm 23 my favorite psalm since I was young.

Proverbs 3:5-6 trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.

Those are the ones that are coming to mind right now. But even just those 4 scriptures alone can calm a raging storm.

So when I lay my head down to sleep with these truths floating straight to my heart, I will conquer this attack and I will bring Satan crumbling down.

Not tonight Satan. God is for me!!! He is my strength and my comfort.

The last couple of days of this sickness has taken its toll on me emotionally. And tonight the dam broke….and I about fell in. But with some truth and a song I love playing on my phone, I’m trying to keep my head above water.

One moment at a time, one foot in front of the other and holding tight to my Heavenly Father’s hand the whole time. I will push ahead and I will be ok.

Goodnight my friends. ❤️❤️❤️❤️


Reflections of 2018 and hope for 2019

As luck would have it, I’m gonna leave 2018 with a bang…sick. Nasty chest cold and horrible cough. But as I lay here in my bed, resting, I’m not gonna let this sickness stop me from my annual New Year’s Eve post.

2018 has been a year of growth, changes in the family structure and continued grace for each moment.

We finished our house and moved in on February 1st. We continue to work on it little by little and get some of the projects finished up. I miss the country life terribly but I trust that we are exactly where God wants us right now. And in 2022 when the last of the ducklings graduates, we will see where He leads us again. We know that we won’t stay here. Perhaps back out to the country life again. We don’t know but we trust the One who holds our future.

Our second child graduated from high school in May and we moved her to college in August. Another transition and learning curve for all of us but especially Mikayla.

The younger two are now both in high school and seem to be finding their way. I’m still the control freak mother and always worry about them when they aren’t at home. They both have jobs and enjoy the income.

The oldest lives in Garretson and works as a waitress at the local restaurant here. Her boyfriend is also a cook there. They both seem to enjoy their jobs and of course they both realize how hard being an adult really is sometimes.

Jason continues to work at Sunkota and I continue to hold the fort down around here.

As I reflect on this past year, there has been hard mixed in with the sweet. I continue to work on me and the changes I need to make for a better tomorrow. To continue to pour myself into my marriage and make it everything it is meant to be and more. To be the mother to my children that my mother never was to me. The last couple of months have been challenging but I felt that the Lord was nudging me to let go of what can’t be changed and to lean on Him in those dark moments. Letting go of the past and embracing the future. Some days that is so very hard and those are the days when I want to run far away and never look back. Nothing that has happened in my life is a surprise to God. He works all things for good to those who love Him. Even now He is still working out the good in the midst of the bad. He is still in the miracle business. I hold tight to His promises.

What are my hopes for 2019?

Well for one that my cancer drug will continue to work and keep my cancer dormant. To get back into shape and lose all this weight I have put on again. To continue to grow my relationship with Christ and make my relationships with my husband and kids even stronger than they are now. To step out of my comfort zone and see where the Lord takes me. To pick up things I once loved but don’t make time for anymore. To be the BEST version of me that God says I can be.

May you reflect on 2018 and pursue the BEST for 2019. May God be glorified in the process.

Here’s to a new year and a new you!


The “rabbit hole”

I couldn’t tell you the exact moment that my husband made that reference to me, but it has become a recurring theme between us.

In early 2015, our marriage took a sharp turn, straight south. We tried counseling, doing more things together but nothing seemed to change. Our marriage stayed that way until September 2016, when it completely blew apart, at that moment we had to make a decision ~ do we stay and fight for our marriage or do we walk away?

Obviously we chose to stay and fight for our marriage. My husband decided to delete all his social media accounts and I look a bit of time off from them to focus on not only my marriage, but myself as well.

We both realized that we had walked away from our Lord, were so unhappy in our marriage and pretty much living for the world, we were looking everywhere else for our happiness instead of each other. It was devastating to us how far we had let ourselves fall. Instead of loving and building each other up, we were nasty and tearing each other down with our words and our actions. We definitely were not acting like the Christians we had proclaimed to be back in the summer of 2006 when we were baptized by immersion after having accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior.

Since then we have been working on putting the pieces of our marriage and our lives back together. 2 years later and I don’t feel like I am any further along than I was that September day in 2016. I have had my moments where I think I’m moving forward and my marriage is getting better but then something happens and I retreat, or in another word, I fall down the rabbit hole. Sometimes I fall way down that hole and I become bitter and angry, and I stay there for a really long time. My words and actions become my weapons and they are aimed at one person only….my husband. Unfortunately, my children get caught in the crossfire as well.

A couple of weeks ago I had a break. It seemed like EVERYTHING was coming down on me at once. Everywhere I turned, my life was crumbling around me. My family was falling apart and I was helpless. I woke the next day determined to do something about it. It was time to seriously work on myself, my marriage, my family, not only that but my anger and bitterness towards the past, the deep bone crushing hurts, the hurts that will forever leave scars.

I dived right in with the work. I knew it was gonna be hard and it was gonna hurt but I needed to do this in order to stay out of the rabbit hole, that hole I kept allowing the enemy of my soul to lead me down. Besides my daily bible readings (I’m reading thru the Bible in one year again), I have two devotionals I read every day, one by Oswald Chambers and the other by Paul David Tripp. But then I added a book I have had for quite some time that I have never read. It’s called Loving God with all your mind by Elizabeth George. Every day I tackle 2-3 chapters and take lots of notes. As I have read and absorbed what I was learning, I have also been applying them to my life. I have watched God move, I have felt the Holy Spirit and I have noticed changes in my thoughts and mindset. This book has given me tools and I have been using them, especially when I sense the enemy leading me towards the rabbit hole. There are days when I feel the enemy closing in, especially as the tears start to flow, but I straighten up, lift my chin and say “not today Satan. That is not true or real, I bind you in the name of Jesus”! When I focus on the moment, not the past, I keep myself from falling down the rabbit hole.

I have a new book I’m gonna start as soon as I’m done with this book. My pastor had it sent to me. It is Victory over the darkness by Neil T. Anderson. Excited to start that book and truly find the victory that I am needing and craving so desperately. After that is the new book by Lysa Terkeurst, It’s not suppose to be this way, that just released last week. Along with continuing to read scripture and applying them daily to my life, I will see victory. In the meantime I keep just plugging away one moment at a time because honestly that is all we have. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow has worries of its own, so we have right here, right now, THIS moment! Make it count!!

Make it count!! How will you spend today? What will you do to make it count?

Again, if you want to chat feel free to contact me! I would love to connect with you!

Until then….

Make it count TODAY for Jesus!

His eternally,


9 years

Today marks a page in my story!!! Today my life and my family’s lives forever changed.

November 2, 2009

9 years.

I can still remember what I was doing that day, even where I was standing in my house when the phone started to ring. I didn’t even have time to process the news because I was getting ready to head to town to teach piano lessons. I don’t think it really hit me until I was done teaching and heading home. Even then I don’t think it really hit me. It was like when someone you love dies… go into shock. You’re numb and can’t really process anything. I was in a fog…disbelief.

50/50 shot at remission. Statistics said my life expectancy was 18-24 months……

Stage 4 breast cancer…..

I was terminal…..

The odds were stacked against me….

My children were only 14, 9, 6 1/2 and 5 1/2.

We had just started this exciting adventure of homeschooling….8th grade, 4th grade, 1st grade and kindergarten. I didn’t have time to be sick, let alone die.

I was only 35, my husband 33. We had only been married 11 years.

My hopes and dreams were shattered. I would never see my children grow up, watch them get married, I’d never get to meet my grandchildren or grow old with my husband. My heart was broken, not only for myself but for my family. My husband and children especially.

But after a period of grieving, I vowed I was gonna fight, I was gonna research like crazy and I wasn’t gonna back down until I had exhausted every last option out there.

My faith was so strong and so sure that God was gonna get me thru. And no matter what happened He was going to get all the glory. My one small plead from the start was this: “please let me raise my babies, just let me raise them until they graduate.”

We have been in the valley and on the mountain top. We have had good years and bad years. We have had jaw dropping scans and we have had heart stopping scans. We have seen treatments end, and drugs dropped. We have watched my body deteriorate from the harshness of the drugs. We have fought tooth and nail individually and with the oncologist to get the treatment I desperately needed. There were times we didn’t think I was gonna make it.

We have begged for certain treatments and we have pleaded for more time. God in His wisdom and love has given us both.

Today my children are 23, 18, 15 1/2 and 14 1/2. Two have graduated from high school, One has graduated from college and one is in college and my youngest two are in high school. I am 44, my husband 42 and we just celebrated 20 years of marriage last month.

My faith has been weakened by circumstances allowed into my story a couple of years ago, but I am working my way back and am determined to get my faith strong again. My relationship with Christ back to where it used to be and where I want it be again.

You know why??? Because He (Jesus) has been faithful, merciful, sovereign and loving when I have been unfaithful, ruthless and unloving towards Him. He has never left my side, never forsaken me, has never not answered my prayers. I want to return to my first love. Which means rededicating my life to Him. Surrendering MY will for HIS will.

Cast your cares on Him because He cares for you. ~ 1 Peter 5:7

9 years!!!!

Medically speaking, I shouldn’t be here anymore. Spiritually speaking, I’m here until God says. He is the Great Physician. All my days were ordained before I was even born. He wrote this journey into my story. I am His vessel, He is my guide.

When the circumstances of life wear you down and you cry out “why me?!?!”

When another setback hits you and you cry out again “why me?!?!”

When your child turns away from the morals and values you instilled in them as a child and you cry out “why me?!?!”

When your marriage starts to crumble or your spouse walks away and you cry out “why me?!?!”

When you are standing on the edge of that precipice, looking down, crying out “why me?!?! What did I ever do to deserve this crap I’ve been given?!?!”

ask yourself this: Why not me?!?!?!

Why NOT you?!?!?

We all have heavy burdens we carry, but we were never meant to carry them alone. Jesus wants to help. Intertwined in our stories are cracks, those cracks have come from God breaking us so we will see our need for Him.

He has broken me more than I care to realize… I will work to take my focus off me and lean on Him and His will. He has brought circumstances into my life and marriage so that I will turn my focus back to Him, seek Him with all my heart, and allow Him to be glorified in the process.

So I’m learning to shift my focus from ” why me?” To “why not me?”

Why not me to endure stage 4 breast cancer the past 9 years?

Why not me to endure some gut wrenching troubles in my marriage?

Why not me to have a wayward child?

The list could go on and on, but perhaps these things were given to me so that one day I may be able to help that woman who was recently diagnosed with early stage breast cancer or even stage 4, or the wife who has a hurting marriage, or a mother who has a wayward child. Why not me?!?!?!

It is not for me to question, but it is for me to keep moving forward in faith, trusting the Lord for whatever tomorrow may hold and learning to let go of yesterday, because that can’t be changed. We can’t go back and rewrite history but we can learn from those mistakes or hurts and vow to never let them happen again.

My thoughts are not God’s thoughts and His ways are not my ways. He sees the bigger picture that I can’t. He knows what tomorrow will bring. I must trust Him with my past, present and future. Along with that, I must trust that my past was given to me by God for a specific purpose.  Some days it is very hard to let that past go and trust God for the future and all that He has planned for me.

My past has shaped me into who I am today, both in good and bad ways.  Some of those things in my past I wish had never happened to me, but I can’t change them.  Living in the “what if’s” or “if only’s” will never help me move forward, they will forever keep me stuck and struggling with today and the future!

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. ~ Genesis 50:20 NIV

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. ~ Romans 8:28 NIV

So while I struggle with the circumstances of my life, I continually remember these two bible verses.  Nothing that I have ever gone through in my life is not a surprise to God.  It has all been used for His good and for His purposes.  What was intended for evil, God can and will turn it around for good! Because that is who He is!  He is good all the time and all the time He is good!!

So today I am grateful that God has blessed me with 9 years living with stage 4 breast cancer.  9 years to watch my children get older!  9 years to grow older with my husband!  9 years to watch a couple of kids graduate from high school! 9 years! 9 years!

Will I be here next year to celebrate 10 years?  I don’t know, but I do know the One who holds my future in His ever loving hands!  If it is His will, then YES, I will be here next year to celebrate a huge milestone!!!  God willing!!

So if you are struggling with circumstances and can’t seem to get past the “why me?” part, ask yourself “why NOT me?”

If you are struggling with something and want to connect with me, feel free to drop me an email.  Just click the contact me button on my blog!  I would love to talk to you!

Until my next blog post may you all be moved by mercy,

Forever His child,


Great comfort…..

This was originally posted on my previous blog on Wednesday October 21, 2009.  

Today is the day. The “big” day. Today I get to go and get lit up a like a Christmas Tree. I am not looking forward to this PET/CT scan today, but I know that this is the next step in getting to the bottom of the pain I am experiencing. I have had great comfort the last couple of days. Yesterday I went in spurts. I was good, then I was down and crying, then I was good again, then I was crying again. In the midst of it, God always stepped in at the right moment. My Christian mentor, Pat, called at just the right time yesterday in the middle of a meltdown as my children were down for some “rest time”! I was reading my bible, my devotional and praying when the tears overcame me. The phone rang and it was Pat. It was 7 minutes of pure comfort. She told me to remember back to the day that I accepted Christ. Remember what I saw and how I felt. She told me to remember that God never gives us more than we can handle. She reminded me that there was a reason for this, and to keep my focus on Him. When I hung up, I went back to my room and laid down. I went back to that day in 2006 when I accepted Christ. I remembered what I saw and how I felt. I was overcome with peace. I could see Him standing there with His arms stretched out to me. He took me in His arms and I was comforted. I cried some more and all I kept hearing was “it will all be ok, I am here”. I was talking to Jason about my day as he made dinner last night and I started to cry again. He said to me “ya know, it is okay to cry”. That was helpful. I was talking to my best friend yesterday afternoon and I was telling her, “all I keep asking is why me? why not someone else? I don’t want this but not that I would wish this on anyone else either, but why me?” She response was “I understand that feeling, and I would say that also but I would also be saying “why not me?” So “why not me?”, God has something up His sleeve with all of this. My children are closer, as are Jason and I. We have had some great bonding time together these last several months. As another friend reminded me….this could be Him preparing us for such a time as this. We will get through this, we will survive no matter what the test shows. I am comforted knowing that God is in control and while I don’t want to endure this again, I have such a strong faith, that He will again see me through this too, if I indeed have cancer again. Some things I have been given by friends, have come across or read the last few days have helped me tremendously.

Daniel 10:19 says “and he said, “O man greatly beloved, fear not! Peace be to you; be strong, yes, be strong!”(NKJV)

Psalm 91:2 says “I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” (NKJV)

John 14:27 says “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (NKJV)

There are many more, but for now that is all I have for you. I trust that the Lord will see me through this. I still have this above my computer “If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it!!!”. I had that above my computer when I was diagnosed the first time around. I have a stronger faith this time around and I know that no matter what, He is my constant and He will never fail me or my family. I will leave you with this last thing…..this was in my morning devotional today….very appropriate!

“Our unknown future is secure in the hands of our all-knowing God”

Take refuge loved ones in the hands of the Almighty! I have, even in the midst of the storm!!! I love you all deeply!


A little background.  This post was around the time that I was beginning the testing to see what was going on inside my body and if my cancer was indeed back.  When I look back at this time and even during my “remission” period, I see what a strong faith I had, oh how great it was back then.  It was so strong and I was so determined to be God’s vessel and allow Him to use me in anyway He deemed fit.  While I still have my faith, I admit, it is not nearly as deep and more days than not I feel that God is far away from me. Even though Scripture tells me He will never leave me nor forsake me.  Life has been a struggle for me the past several years and so many days I want that strong, determined “born again” faith that I had then back.  It is up to me to get it back and work hard to get back to that mindset and heart set.  Some days it is just easier for me to be angry and bitter at all that has been thrown at me and wonder what did I do to deserve all that has happened to me during the course of my life.  It is something that I wrestle with DAILY!  Lately, in all honesty, I have pretty much thrown in the towel.  Given up….even when I hear the Lord speak to my weary soul….I still just continue to be stuck in the ruts of life.  In my selfishness and rebellion.  Thinking that life would be better this way….lost, broken and weary.  Writing this brings to mind a beautiful song by Casting Crowns that has really been an anthem to my broken heart many days. I won’t include the lyrics because they are part of the video.  I encourage you to click the link and take a listen to this beautiful song!  I know that I am not alone and that Jesus is catching every single one of my tears, He is carrying me when I am at my lowest and can’t take one more step and He is beckoning me to come back….oh how my soul longs for that deep intimate relationship once more!  Oh Lord….come quickly!  

Oh my soul by Casting Crowns

Until next time loved ones…..


1 year…..

It never ceases to amaze me how fast life clicks along!  1 year ago today….we said goodbye to our house in the country and our animals (cats) and moved on to a new adventure in town.  This past year has been one of joy, struggles and juggling so many activities into each day!

We broke ground on our house July 3, 2017 and moved into it on February 1, 2018.  It was a long build, but one that I will never forget!  I am happy where I am and this season in my life!  I never thought that I would like living in town, don’t get me wrong, I miss the peacefulness of the country, but I am loving the convenience of things.  When I stand in a room or lay my head down at night, I don’t think about my other home any longer.  I love this new home and all that it will provide for us in the next 5 years while we raise the last of our children here. The memories that have already been created here and the news ones that will come!

Along with the move and all the changes that brought, this is also the 1 year anniversary of when I started this blog (which was technically July 2, 2017) and I have only had 21 posts over the past year!  While I would like that to be a lot larger number, it is not.  So I must figure out what to blog about or what to share!  So I thought for the remainder of the year (2018), I would share some old blog posts from my other blog site and from my caringbridge site too, along with new posts as well (I hope anyways).

So here’s to many more years of blogging and sharing my life and the life of those I hold near and dear to my heart!  Have a blessed Saturday evening!!!

Until next time and Lord willing,


Broken and Beautiful 🙏🏻🎶

****I wrote this post on January 6, 2018 but never published it. Thought I would share it now, kind of falls in with my surrender post from the other day.****

There’s a song of that title by Mark Schultz. It is one of my many favorite Christian music songs and it so rings true to what I am feeling tonight.


Oh how well I know that broken road, I have traveled it many times over the past 43 years of my life. But two of the most significant times that my world has been shattered or the rug was yanked right out from under me, it has been the only way God could get my attention. He broke me……completely broke me so that I would finally realize my need for Him. The first time was shortly before I came to Christ and was born again. The second time it was to again get my attention to who I was being, how I was treating my marriage and my children and to make me see how far off the narrow road I had truly fallen. It is when we get to the end of that rope, with nowhere left to go, that we truly surrender our own will, our own selfish desires, our own “it’s my way or the highway” behaviors. You let go of that rope, fall into the arms of Jesus, and surrender it all to Him. Does that mean that suddenly because you are “born again” or a “Christ follower” that you are perfect or that you will have an easy life??? Goodness no! We are all sinners saved by God’s amazing grace. We are a work in progress every single day. We will never achieve perfection this side of heaven. But we work hard every day to be the best version of Christ we can be. To allow His love and His mercy to flow thru us to others around us. He never said life would be easy but He did promise an eternal reward for our faithfulness, Heaven. During times of brokenness you need to find peace and forgiveness. Peace for yourself and forgiveness towards those who have hurt you in some way. You don’t have to verbally tell them you forgive them because there are many who don’t want your forgiveness because they feel they have done nothing wrong. Max Lucado said it best ” Forgiveness is unlocking the door to set someone free and realizing you were the prisoner.” Anger, resentment and bitterness can all start to build up when you hold on to the things of the past, when you finally forgive someone, you are the one being set free!!!! You are free from that anger, resentment and bitterness. You wish the person well in their life and you are finally truly free!!!!


With that brokenness comes something beautiful. God takes the most broken messes and makes an amazingly beautiful masterpiece. You see, no matter our past, the sins we have committed, our background or even the family we were born into, it doesn’t matter to Him. He came to save us all. From the high priest to the murderer in the prison system. But you have to come to that brokenness first and then accept His free gift of salvation, because that is when God can really do His best work. He came to turn us all white as snow. We are always beautiful in His eyes. ALWAYS!!!!

Here is the link to the music video. Broken and Beautiful I encourage you to click on it and listen to the message.

So what is the purpose of my post at 3am?!?!? Well nothing really. Just that I am feeling the after effects of my recent brokenness. I swear some days it is harder to bear and other days it doesn’t cross my mind until late in the day. I can’t say that there isn’t a day when something doesn’t trigger the memory, because it does. I am learning to lean into Christ more, say a little prayer and lay it at the cross. One moment at a time.

In service to Him,



Today’s post is about surrender.

Webster’s dictionary defines surrender as this:

transitive verb

1. a : to yield to the power, control, or possession of another upon compulsion or

demand * surrendered the fort

b : to give up completely or agree to forgo especially in favor of another

2. a : to give (oneself) up into the power of another especially as a prisoner

b : to give (oneself) over to something (such as an influence)

intransitive verb

: to give oneself up into the power of another : yield

This is a hard one for me because it means I must give up control. Control of my life, my husband, my marriage, my children, my family, my friends, the list could go on and on. I must give up control or that burden I’m carrying and surrender it at the foot of the cross. Every moment of every day, whatever is eating away at my mind, my soul, my heart, I must continue to surrender it.

This isn’t just a daily thing but a moment by moment thing. When the enemy comes at me and reminds me of something, I have 2 options.

1. I can dwell on it

2. I can surrender it

Sadly and to be honest, option 1. is what I choose. I can dwell on something for long periods of time, replaying all different scenarios to see if the ending would be different. Sadly, that is never the case because we can’t rewrite the past. I know this, my heart knows this but there is a constant battle with my mind to accept this reality.

I am having a difficult time with one of my children. For me it is hard because I DO NOT want them to have the kind of relationships that I have had all my life with my siblings. I DO NOT want to have that same kind of mother/child relationship with them that I had with Linda. I want my children to be there for each other, support each other and love each other no matter what has been said or done in the past. I also want that same kind of relationship with each one of my children. Unfortunately, it seems like history is repeating itself. So I am learning to surrender this child to the Lord. Every moment, of every day. My husband and I pray for this child every night before we go to sleep. We know God is in the miracle business, so we are asking Him daily for that miracle. Only He can change the hardest of hearts…..Jason and I would know….we have seen His grace and mercy over and over again in our own lives.

Another area I am struggling with surrender is in my marriage. We have seen our share of ups and downs over the years. We have experienced things that have torn us in two and would literally make others walk away, but grace and mercy have kept us together, that along with sheer determination to see thru the hard times. Still, there is one thing in my marriage that I struggle with. One thing that option 1. keeps me hanging on to. This one thing has been THE. BIGGEST. THING. I have ever had to deal with in my marriage. The enemy knows this and he uses it as his greatest weapon against me. He assaults me constantly every single day. The only way to defeat him is by surrendering it at the foot of the cross. Lifting this heavy burden off my shoulders and onto the Lord’s. Relinquishing control…..but I like control….but I don’t like this one area in my marriage. Which means that option 2. is the ONLY answer. I MUST surrender it. I must let it go. I must not dwell on it. Surrender…..yield, let go, give up. Again, I MUST SURRENDER it to the Lord.  Don’t get me wrong some days are the BEST days and some days are the WORST days.  I have been trying to have more of the BEST days than the worst days.  Satan knows where I am weakest and he uses any and all weapons in his arsenal to bring me down.  If I’m not careful, I can stay down for DAYS….yes DAYS and every so often it turns into WEEKS.  This is an area in my life I am NOT proud of and wish with all my heart that I didn’t have to deal with.  Those family chains have got me bound.  It is NOT an excuse, it just explains why I deal with things the way that I do.  I am good at playing games, I watched the best game player my whole life, my mother (I don’t even like referring to her as that, sad I know but that is how I feel about her).  She has even been quoted as saying “She is the best at it, so she WINS!”  So while I do my best to navigate the waters and learn to not given in to those old tactics, I do, unfortunately!  Ask my husband…..I still play those games to this day, even though I know better.  I just haven’t figured out a better way to get past those lies the enemy puts in my mind and how to deal with them in a better and more constructive way.  It is something that I am working on….ever so slowly.  I’m trying…..I really am.

Is there something you are struggling with every day?  Is there something that you need to surrender at the foot of the cross?  I know and believe with all my heart that God wants what is best for us and sometimes He throws in some pretty hard things to get our attention, and to teach us about surrender and letting go.  It does not do you or anyone else for that matter any good to dwell on things that can’t be changed. It is time to move forward….one step at a time….one foot in front of the other!

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog tonight!  I will have another post coming soon, I promise.  I found a post in my drafts tonight that I wrote back in January.  After re-reading it a couple of days ago when I started this post (yes, it took me a couple of days to write this), I couldn’t understand why I never posted it.  So after a little editing this weekend, I am hoping to publish it by Monday.  Have a wonderful weekend!  Until next time…..



Mother’s Day 2018

I have been quiet on here for some time. Life has been crazy busy and still is. Plus I haven’t really had the desire to sit down and pen a post. It is midnight, which means it is officially Mother’s Day. I am lying in bed, listening to my husband’s Cpap machine and his heavy breathing, and I find myself reflecting, actually I have been doing that a lot this week.

So many feelings and mixed emotions going in to this day. I am fearfully and wonderfully made by my Creator, Jesus Christ, birthed by Linda and while I no longer have a relationship with her or even talk to her anymore, I am grateful that I was conceived and given life. But that is where it ends. I am not sad that I no longer have a mother, in fact I’m happy that she no longer has control or that hold over me. I am a much better person to myself and especially to those around me since removing her from my life. Those who have had dealings with a narcissist know those kinds of people, but for those that don’t PLEASE don’t judge. This is what’s best for me and my own emotional well being.

I have 4 lovely, beautiful, amazing, and talented children. They have made me a mom for almost 23 years now. They are the reason I get up and continue to fight every day. I love each one of them with every piece of my heart. I do not love one more than the other, I love them all equally. When they hurt, I hurt. When they cry, I cry. I want NOTHING but the best for them. I want them to succeed in life, to make goals and then go after them, work hard for what they have and to take pride in it. I want them to be happy, healthy, stable human beings that make a difference in this world. I want them to pursue what they love and never stop until they accomplish it. I want them to follow Jesus with every ounce of their being. I want them to NEVER settle.

These beautiful humans have been entrusted to me by God, to raise them in His Word, and to help them find salvation in Jesus Christ alone. I have failed Him miserably with this task. I have not been a good mother for many, many years. I have used my words as weapons more than I ever care to admit, and yes I even still do. I am NOT a perfect mother, but I know the One who is and each day I am striving to be better for Him and for my family. Where I am weakest He is strong. When I am down and defeated by the lies of the enemy, God is there whispering in my ear, TRUTH AND LOVE!!!!!! I am teaching myself to be still and listen for His voice. In the words of Samuel “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.” (1 Samuel 3:10).

So this Mother’s Day, I will celebrate my unique and wonderfully made being, love on my children and allow them to love on me as well. I will be thankful for what I have been given and yes I will even try to be thankful for all that has been taken away. “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). While I struggle to understand the season I am currently in, Jesus is there reminding me of His grace and His mercy. It is sufficient for a time such as this. My husband reminded me today that what I am going thru and struggling with, Jesus endured it too but even more than me. He has the scars on His hands to prove it. He took my place, He died for me and every other human being he created. He loves me that much. He loves all of us that much.

Have a wonderful Mother’s Day and cherish even the little moments today. Even if it’s a small handprint left by sticky fingers on the wall. They grow up so quickly. I look at my 4 and still can’t believe how quickly the years have gone. Laugh lots today, love with all you got and allow God to fill every inch of your heart and heal every scar that is there. You were bought for a very high price. His gift is free….you just need to believe and accept His free gift.

I love you all! Happy Mother’s Day to every one of my beautiful extended family members and to my amazingly beautiful friends!!!!!

Until next time…..God be with you 😘😘

In Christ,


My 4 beauties. Picture was taken October 2013, by far my favorite picture of them.

Goodbye 2017, hello 2018!!!!

First of all I am grateful for the outpouring of love and support on my last post. The comments, text messages, private messages and phone calls I received in response, reminded me that I am loved by many people and that the reflections of certain people does not and should not define me. So thank you all for coming alongside me and giving me some encouragement! I know who really does love me and support me.

Usually I have a post published on New Year’s Eve but that didn’t happen. I have been spending A LOT of time at the house painting that I didn’t have time for this. So here is my annual year in review and hopes for the new year!!!

2017 wasn’t nearly as bad as 2016, but then again I don’t think I will ever experience another year like 2016, well I pray I don’t anyway, that was awful and should never be experienced more than once in a lifetime!!! As I learned to navigate the ups and downs and wrestle with my demons, I watched certain things grow stronger. And while I am far from perfect in anything, I am learning to navigate the pitfalls that come my way one moment at a time!

Some of the highlights to 2017……Keara finished up her last season of dance. Which means the girls and I had our final all girls trip to the cities for a dance competition. We are talking about keeping the tradition up and still going for a weekend getaway and have some fun! We totally enjoyed our time together and created some awesome memories!!! We made the hard choice to sell our acreage and move back to city life. 😥😥 so on July 7th, we drove away from the home we had been at for 11 years.  With our memories in hand we embarked on a new adventure!!! We broke ground and started building our new home. We are still working on getting it done, but the end is near!!! I have removed some toxic relationships from my life and am focusing on the more positive ones and making them the best they can be. Namely my husband and my kids!!! Another highlight….I celebrated 8 years since my stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis. That one STILL blows my mind!!!! I didn’t get my bible read all the way thru again in 2017 like I did in 2016, but am gonna try to do so in this new year. My son started high school, my daughter got homecoming queen and my youngest is trying her hand at basketball this winter instead of dance.

What are some of my hopes and goals for 2018? Well first and foremost is to work on my relationship with Christ, less time on social media and more time in His word. Read the Bible all the way thru this year. Lose the weight that I have put on with this house build, and focus more on my health than I have in the past year, better eating and running again. Chop will graduate from high school in may 😳 and then it will be off to college as a jackrabbit 🙄. We will once again take a family vacation to the destination of her choice before she spreads her wings and flies off into adulthood. My youngest, my baby, will enter high school in the fall, so my last two children at home will be in 9th and 10th grade 😭. My word, time needs to seriously slow down, my kids are growing up so fast. Jason and I will celebrate 20 years of marriage this year on October 3rd. Trust me when I say….that in itself is a miracle. Only by God’s grace and mercy have we made it this far, because some of the things that we have been thru would have torn other couples apart but God has really seen us thru some dark valleys and honestly without Him and our dependence on Him we wouldn’t have made it.

Some personal goals for myself this new year? Take a few photography classes to learn how to work that fancy camera I have. Step out in faith and help those who are hurting and need a shoulder to lean on. Pour myself into my husband, kids, family and friends and become a better version of me than in the past. Heal some of the demons from my past, and perhaps start writing a book.

So many things I am wanting to do and some highlights that will be coming up this year. But for this month (January) I’m most focused on getting the house done and moved into before my son’s 15th birthday! I will try and get some pictures posted this week before the flooring guys come in and lay the tile and carpet.

I hope you all had a fun and safe New Year’s Eve! I pray that 2018 will be a year filled with many blessings for each of you reading this!!! May the God of peace surround you today and into the year! Here’s to an AWESOME 2018!!!! 🎉🎉🎉🎉

In Christ’s love,


Exposing the wolf in sheep’s clothing

What a bizarre title for this post….but it is something that has stuck with me for the past 11 years since a huge fight divided my family and has stayed that way even to this day.

My brother, Mike, always said that our parents, especially our mother was the wolf in sheep’s clothing.  I tried to make the best of a bad situation and try to see my parents for who they were.  Flawed humans who did the best they could with the resources they had to raise us. But what he said always stuck with me.  In June of this year, that brother and I started to work on our relationship.  We hadn’t spoken in over 7 years but it has always been my hearts desire to reconcile with him before I died.  God has a way of making those things happen in HIS timing and not mine and I am grateful that He has opened that door for us to begin to rebuild and that is what we have been doing for the past 6 months.  Never have I held it against him, instead I just asked that God would allow us to have a relationship again some day, even though I knew that no one else would be as forgiving or wanting to make amends.  That’s fine, to each their own!

This summer, 4 days after we moved into the camper, I had a HUGE blowup fight with my mother, Linda.  I no longer call her mother, she may have given birth to me but that is where it ends.  She is no longer allowed in my life and my kids had the choice to stay in touch with her if they wanted, but after today, Jason and I BOTH decided that until our children are adults we will do whatever it takes to protect our kids from that woman, not that it matters anyway, she hasn’t had anything to do with them since the fight anyways.  She told my two oldest girls to leave her alone, so that is what they did.  They did as she asked, left her alone, but I will be blamed for her not seeing them or talking to them, sorry people, that was HER choice.  But now she doesn’t have that choice.  Until my younger 3 turn 18 they will have no contact with her.

After the blowup I read a book that completely opened my eyes, “Will I ever be good enough? Healing the daughters of narcissistic mothers” by Karyl McBride, Ph.D.  In every page I turned, everything I read was me and my “relationship” with her.  I realized who Linda was as a person and all the things that she has done to me my whole life.  Trust me when I say this is the BEST thing for me, mentally, emotionally and physically.  People see Linda as this wonderful woman who loves her family and would do anything and everything for them.  unfortunately that is NOT the case with me.  She is in fact the opposite.  If you cross her, don’t bow down to her demands or if you stand up to her, she will cut you off at the knees.  She is never wrong, she never does anything wrong and any fight or upset in the family is ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS my fault.  I am the cause, period.  Here are a few things that maybe you didn’t know about (because I wanted to see the best of my mother even in her flaws and never talked about it)

~ after Briana was born (I wasn’t married and only 21) she told me that I should have my tubes tied so I couldn’t have any more kids.

~ when Briana was about 6 months old, in another fight with my mother, she accused me of child abuse.

~ when Keara was born and I called her to tell her, her response to me when she heard my voice on the other line was “please don’t tell me you had that baby already” (she had just gotten home from my sister’s house helping her with her son for the past two weeks).

~ when I was diagnosed with breast cancer the first time, I had a bilateral mastectomy and couldn’t hold or pick up my kids for an extended period of time, the two youngest were only 1 and 2, kinda needed some help.  Well again, we got into a fight about non other than my parenting (she has never agreed with how I parent, and that is her prerogative, but it is NOT her place to butt in and tell me how and when to parent my children) and she left and went back to Colorado.  I was still restricted on lifting but that didn’t matter to her, she couldn’t stay because she was mad at me.

~ after I was diagnosed the second time and then my dad died and I started treatment in Sioux City, it was decided that she would take me because Jason couldn’t take all those days off, but after the first cycle of treatment she couldn’t do it anymore, it was “too hard” on her.  Nevermind that it was ME who getting the poisons pumped into my body to keep me alive, but it was too hard on her.  WHATEVER!

~ one Christmas I was super sick and spent a good chunk of my time in bed because I felt horrible and needed to rest.  I was accused of faking it and because my sister and I got in to a fight during that time as well (big surprise)and that she had to do EVERYTHING, cook, entertain etc.

~ I didn’t talk to her much this past winter while she was living in Arizona because I was dealing with my own family and getting our house ready, she was not a high priority, but I had called her about something and the first words out of her mouth when she picked up her phone was: “well if it isn’t my long-lost daughter”.  Hey, the phone lines go both ways, I didn’t see her making an attempt to call me either but again…I am wrong.

~ when asked if we could put some of our wall hangings in her spare bedroom closet, she got pissed about it and asked why I couldn’t find a place in my BIG house?  Nevermind, I will ask my mother and father in law because they will store some of our stuff for us and not ask any questions.  And then a month later, she suddenly had a change of heart, only because she saw all the stuff that the in-laws were taking for us.  She couldn’t be upped by them.

~then the straw that broke the camel’s back was the fight on July 10th, 2017.  Again she was pissed off about how I was handling the discipline of my children.  Again….NOT her place, but I was done.  All she had done since she had come back from Arizona was complain, complain, complain about anything and everything.  I had enough.  On that day, I decided enough was enough, it was time to cut the strings to the relationship.  That is exactly what I did.  I blocked her on everything, so she couldn’t contact me.

Today we met at the bank to get my name off her bank accounts and I told my husband that she was NOT to speak to me or try to have a conversation with me while we were there.  She told him that she hasn’t talked to me since the 10th and she wasn’t about to start.  It was going just fine until the banker started talking about fraud on her account because I at one time had access to her account numbers and she said that she didn’t think that it would be the case, but then the banker said “well sometimes when a divorce happens with people it gets ugly, but that is not the case here”.  I, guess I should have kept my mouth closed but I didn’t, told the banker that this was  a divorce of a relationship.  Well it just got ugly from there.  I have come to realize what a HATEFUL woman she really is.  She will do and say anything to paint herself as the saint.  Because she still is claiming that “she has done nothing wrong”.  Whatever.  Never step up and take responsibility for your part in the fight, blame someone else.  The final nail in the coffin for her was when she looked at me and with contempt in her voice said “I wish I had never given birth to you” which in turn I said to her “and I wish you had never been my mother”.  My last words to her when I left the bank was “have a nice life, Linda”

So what is the purpose of this post?  Well I am here to expose the wolf portraying herself as the sheep.  I have NEVER claimed to be perfect and I am a sinner saved by God’s grace alone.  Only God knows my heart and only He knows how hard this life has been for me.  I have made my own share of mistakes and horrible parenting decisions with my children and I haven’t been the kind of wife God expects me to be, but I have confessed that to my husband and children.  And I have sought forgiveness from them.  I know how to say those 3 really hard words “I am sorry”.  Linda doesn’t know how to say those words because she is NEVER in the wrong.

Linda Enright is a narcissistic woman and unfortunately I have picked up many of those traits from her but something I have realized that she never will…..I DON’T WANT TO BE THAT PERSON WHO IS ALWAYS MAD AT SOMEONE OR SOMETHING ANYMORE!  I am working hard on breaking those family chains that bind me.  I am a much better person without her than I am with her.  I will NEVER regret this decision.

So what was my main purpose for exposing this truth?  Well because I am tired of hearing people tell me that “life is short”.  I know that life is short and I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life, now or ever!  I will leave the comments on for this post but just remember that I moderate all comments and will not publish any comments that are negative, so if you don’t have anything nice to say please don’t leave a comment about this.  Until you have lived this life that I live and have dealt with all that I have dealt with in my life, you have no place to judge me.  Besides the only one who has the right to judge me and my choices in this life is God and God alone!

I had a post, Random thoughts, about toxic relationships in my life and removing them, I was talking about Linda and my brother Larry.  Larry is also now blocked from contacting me anymore.  He believes that I am mentally ill and that he needs to come and rescue Jason and my children from my insanity.  Again…..when did he become an expert on mental illness?  Someone’s opinion of me is no bearing on what CHRIST thinks of me!  Because no matter what I have done, said or who I have been in the PAST or even currently doesn’t change the fact that I am LOVED, I am BEAUTIFUL, and I am ENOUGH.  My life has been redeemed by the ONE who can redeem even the darkest of souls!  I will NEVER be perfect and I will always fall down, make mistakes or hurt those around me, because I am human and I am a sinner.  But CHRIST will never leave me, never forsake me and will ALWAYS be there to pick me up and love me with an unconditional, never ending love!

We all have battles we fight every single day!  This is a battle I am done fighting, chasing after a relationship that will never be there or be what I need!!  I have a couple of older women in my church who have come alongside me over the years who have been a motherly type for me.  Those two women have loved on me, helped me work thru some dark times in my life and marriage, they have prayed for me and with me, they are truly what the hands and feet of Jesus do for the hurting and I couldn’t ask for a better match for my needs at this time in my life!  Pat and Mary, thank you both for being there for me in the good times and the bad!  I love you ladies as if you are my own mother, and some days how I long that it was you who had given birth to me, but that is not the case!!  It is time for me to fix me and make my life better for myself, my husband, my kids and others around me.  Right, wrong or indifferent, this is my decision and one I will stand by until I am dead in the grave.  I want people to know that I am by no means condoning my choices and behaviors in my life but to give a better understanding of why I do the things that I do sometimes.  We are great imitators of our parents.  Passed down from generation to generation until someone tries to break the chains that bind them and that is exactly what I am doing.

With that I am going to end this post!  Please refrain from your negative comments!  This is my blog, I am writing from my heart and being transparent about who I am as a person.  I like to be open and honest in my posts.  I like to share my life, my struggles and my victories!! This is the place where I feel safe to share!!!  Just be a loving community!

In God’s grace alone,


Fall from grace…..

I’m not even sure how to title this post but it’s a start. It is 12:30am and I’m laying here processing my day and all that came at me today.

We live in a fallen world, filled with sin….envy, greed, lust, murder, selfishness….the list could go on and on. Everyday we battle our sinful natures….we have free choice….we could give in to that temptation. We could even tell ourselves…..”no one will ever find out”. But that’s the thing, God knows and the Bible even says that your sin will be exposed. One day….that sin will come to light. Never believe for one second that you can keep an ugly sin secret……one day when you least expect it that sin will be revealed.

You see, none of us is perfect. We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Sin is all around us, inside us. We all live in darkness, until the light of the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin. We have two choices…we can embrace that conviction and turn from our sin and allow the light to shine thru our darkness, or we can turn our back on that conviction and continue to live the sinful lifestyle.

Today was one of those days, as is everyday, when I struggle with sins I’ve committed or ones that have been done against me. Satan knows where I am weakest and he strikes. And he sucks all the joy out of me by reminding me of different things. My husband likes to call it “falling down the rabbit hole” of the past. I try to get past it but some days I give in and find myself sucked back into circumstances or events from the past.

Today I opened a letter received in the mail. As I read it my heart sank, then the gush of memories started pouring in, and then the tears started, they flowed freely for about a half hour. The contents of that letter have been heavy on my heart all day. Heavy because I know exactly how crushing it is when sin is revealed. But it also makes me realize that God has a plan and purpose for every circumstance, every wayward step we take out of His desired path for us.

It also makes me think more than ever that I am being called by God to step up and out in Faith….to be the hands and feet of Jesus. To come alongside those hurting, to be the listening ear, or the shoulder to cry on, even the encouragement to fight for what you believe in and want. To cry with you during the hard times but rejoice with you in the jaw dropping God moments, when you truly see the hand of God at work.

None of us will ever understand some of the broken roads we walk this side of eternity, but God knows, and His plans are ALWAYS better than my own. Some days it is hard for me to look up, take my heavenly daddy’s hand and trust Him with my next step. Human nature…..sin nature…..selfish nature. It’s always gotta be about me….me….me!!!!!!

But you know what I have learned this past year? It’s NOT about me. It’s about God and what can I do to best serve Him and fulfill His plan for my life. When I pour myself into my marriage or my children’s lives….when I make their needs first….it always, ALWAYS comes back to me ten fold. When I love on my husband or shower him with praise….it eventually comes back to me in a different way. When I more attentive and engaged in my children’s social and school life it comes back to me, because they feel safe sharing a heart struggle or relationship struggle with me, their mom. Selfishness is a trait I am working on A LOT right now. Learning to put my needs on the back burner and focus on the needs of those around me.

So as I wrap this up, because I am finally exhausted and will be able to go to sleep 😴, please think about some ways you can step out in faith and be the hands and feet of Jesus in 2018. Have you learned something from your past that could possibly help another with it right now. Perhaps there is a painful situation that you went thru that you could help another overcome.

No matter our past, we still have something to offer, we are all saved by AMAZING GRACE!! Your sin isn’t greater or less than my sin….God sees it all the same, sin is sin!!!! Let’s choose to live like we are suppose to….redeemed!

🎶 🎵 My chains are gone, I’ve been set free. My God my savior has ransomed me and like a flood His mercy reigns unending love, amazing grace 🎶 🎵

In His abiding love and never ending grace,


Middle of the night thoughts….

It’s after 1am and like usual I am wide awake and deep inside my head. I’m listening to Jason snore next to me and reflecting on so many things.

Thanksgiving was nice. Spent it in Brookings at my in-laws house with my family, his parents and his sister and her family. When your own kids get older and more self sufficient, you forget how busy little people can be. But it’s fun and makes me realize that I can’t wait for grandkids of my own. I have much to be thankful for this year and when the storms of life rage in my head I have a tendency to forget the many things that are right in my life! So that is where my thoughts are tonight….stuck in the past, but also trying to remember the present and also the future. Trying to get my mind and my soul back on the narrow road instead of in the ruts.

I’m also trying to figure out what I want to pursue in the next year as far as a hobby or something that will make me feel like I have meaning and purpose. I’m thinking about perhaps writing a book based on my life and the ups and downs of it. My struggles and my triumphs. I also want to start a ministry of some sort but definitely one that I can help women who may be struggling with their marriage, their kids or just the storms of life. I want to help someone thru a struggle that maybe I have endured and also to be able to show them that no matter the storm they are going thru that there IS hope. Hope in the ONE who created all things. Hope that no matter what may have happened that ALL things are possible when you lean in to the ONE who created you to be all that He imagined you to be. A new creation. A tapestry weaved together because we are all BEAUTIFUL masterpieces knit together for a purpose. But before I can truly get down to business and really figure this out, I must focus on helping Jason get our house finished so we can get moved and settled into our new beautiful home.

So this thanksgiving, I hope you reflected on your blessings, spent time with the ones you love most in life and basked in that love around you.

You are LOVED


You are ENOUGH

Not because those around you think so but because HE says so. Dance and sing for that audience of One!!!

Many blessings,



Random thoughts

This is my blog where I like to share my life and what is going on with my family and for the most part I like to keep it upbeat and hopeful but sometimes it is just nice to write what I am feeling and what is on my heart.  So today…that is this post.  I will be turning the comments off, as I don’t want a negative backlash thrown at me.  Because again this is my blog and I can write what I want, when I want! And if you don’t like it then just don’t read it!

People have said to me lately “life is short”…..yes I know life is short, I live it every single day having stage 4 breast cancer for the past 8 years.  I have lost so many beautiful women I have met either in person or online over the years.  Survivor’s guilt is what it is called.  Why am I still here?  Why is my current treatment working so well for me but doesn’t work for others?  Why am I seeing my children grow up when others don’t get to see theirs?  I don’t know the answers to those questions but I hold on to the One who does.

So with that being said…yes life is short and yes recently I have withdrawn myself from a few toxic relationships in my life.  But it is because life IS short that I have chosen this for myself.  When you are constantly put down, belittled, bullied, made to feel like my thoughts and feelings aren’t important and called names by those who claim to love you, why would one choose to stay around those kind of people?

Negative people, when around them too long, turn you into a negative person.  It has been over 4 months since I last talked to these people and I have not missed them one single bit.  I have not missed the constant negativity, nagging and belittling that I would endure on a (almost) daily basis.  One of those people had the nerve to call me mentally ill.  UMMMMM…..EXCUSE ME?!?!?!  Who suddenly gave you a PhD in mental health issues?  That’s what I thought….you should really look in the mirror and exam yourself because there are 3 fingers pointing back at you along with the 1 you are pointing at me.  Do I have issues?  Absolutely, I do!  I have been seeing a counselor for myself, a marriage counselor for my marriage and am also on antidepressants and anti anxiety pills.  I am FAR from perfect but I certainly would NEVER go around telling people what I think of them and what I feel is wrong with them.  Since when have I been appointed judge and jury?  I am not….that is God’s job.  My job is to love people and point them to Christ.  But these certain people I will have to love from afar, there will never be a relationship with them again, because I just can’t take it, I don’t know how I did for all these years.  Is that sad?  Of course it is, but again it is reality! I don’t regret my decision nor will I ever regret it.  I have to do what is best for me and my own family.  My husband and children.  They need a mother who is not constantly negative because of the forces around her.  My children know of my stance….but I have also told them that the decision is theirs as to whether or not they want to have a relationship with these people.  BUT….under no circumstances do they have to have a relationship with them if it is going to be nothing but negative, belittling and bullying.  NO ONE EVER HAS TO CHOOSE THAT!!!!  I don’t care who it is….THAT is never called for!

I have made my fair share of poor choices over the years and I have hurt many close to me with my words and by my actions.  And that is something that I will have to live with for the rest of my life.  There are many things that I have done or said to my husband and to my children that I literally HATE myself for and will hate myself for the rest of my life because of it.  But not only things I have said or done to my immediate family but to the rest of my family and my friends.  I am NOT proud of my behavior, but I recognize who I have been over the years and I have been making a conscious effort to change those things about me.  I have a little bit of narcissistic tendencies, that along with thinking everything needs to be about me!

I have learned A LOT about myself and those around me the last 4 months.  I have watched my relationships with my husband and my children flourish when I stop putting the focus on myself and my selfish needs but instead focus on their needs and what I can do for them.  It comes back to me tenfold.  The dynamics are so much better when I stop focusing on me and instead focus on them.  Like last week….my husband took the whole week off to work on the house.  I was there everyday by 9am working alongside him.  Not ONCE did we have an angry moment between us or a fight.  We got along so well and worked together as a team and got a TON of stuff done.  I don’t think a year ago we could have done that and certainly not even before then.  Our neighbor came over on Thursday and told us that he had enjoyed watching us work together and not once having a moment where one of us walked away in anger.  We just kind of laughed and said that we have really been having fun working together.  When he walked away, I looked at Jason and said, “if only he knew….life and circumstances have come our way and have made us into new and stronger people and as a couple.”

Some people know of those struggles and others do not.  We don’t let everyone know of things going on.  We limit those things to the ones who love and care about us deeply and are close to us and will help us in any way they can.  Close friends have walked some serious dark roads with us over the years, they have never judged either of us, instead that have been the hands and feet of Jesus to us.  Showing us grace and mercy.  Crying with us in the bad times and rejoicing with us in the good times.  I can honestly say that without Jesus and these godly Christian men and women, we would not have survived some of the valleys we have been through.  And trust me when I say….there have been MANY dark valleys.

Each day we learn to look to Jesus when the going gets tough and for me that has been no exception this week.  I have spent a better part of the last couple of days in tears, curled up on my bed in a puddle of tears asking Jesus to take the hurt of life away.  To take horrible memories away from my mind and to instead replace it with His love and mercy and grace.  And He does, He really does.  Some moments are easier than others, but I do my best to focus on today.  Yesterday is over and can’t be changed or rewritten, all we have is today.  I am trying my best to focus on today and only today!  Some days it is easier said than done!

One thing remains…..I love my husband and my kids with all my heart and I would die for them.  Literally, I would step in front of a bus for them.  They have been entrusted to me for a purpose and for many years I didn’t nurture those relationships, but now there is no time like the present to take care of and nurture those relationships!  They are my whole world and I will stop at nothing to keep things intact.

So with that being said….I think I end this post.  Life is short and when facing a serious illness it seems like it could be even shorter.  But I am still here 8 years later and obviously for a bigger purpose than I could ever dream or imagine!  One day everything that I have gone through in my whole life, from my crappy childhood, to why I got cancer not once but twice, the struggles in my marriage, my children rebelling, and everything else that has happened to me over the years, it will all make sense when I stand face to face with my Savior.  But by then it will no longer matter or even be relevant. Because I will be in a place where there will be no more sadness, heartache or tears!  I will be in the presence of my KING!  Oh how I long for that day!

Have an awesome Tuesday evening!  My love to all!

In HIS service,


8 years and a house update

So 8 years ago today my life forever changed.  I still remember what I was doing when the call came in from my oncologist’s office.  The results of my bone biopsy were back.  And it was official.  My breast cancer had returned to my bones and surrounding lymph nodes.  It was a shock but yet I was prepared for it and I had been preparing my heart for the worse since the biopsy was done.  I prayed for a miracle, and I truly believed that a miracle was going to happen, but that was not a part of God’s plan for my life.  So my prayers instead shifted to finding a treatment that would work and to allow me the chance to raise my babies, who were only 14, 9, 6 and 5 at the time.  It was a long shot and my oncologist was only so hopeful, 50/50 shot at remission.  Even my current oncologist had told me in the beginning that we are only holding off the inevitable, death.  But she was willing to fight for me which my other oncologist was not.  And fight for me she did!  I truly believe that is why I am still here today.  She has fought for the treatments that have extended my life by leaps and bounds.  I truly am a walking miracle!  Never say that miracles don’t happen because I am proof that they do and that God does answer prayers!  I am here, I am well and my cancer is quiet, thanks in part to the trial drug that I am on and have been on for 3 1/2 years now.  God is good and He is merciful and full of grace!  He has answered so many of our prayers, not just mine and my families but my church family and the many extended family and friends we have.  Those babies of mine are now 22, 17, 14 and 13.  It is only because of God and His path for my life that I am still here, along with medical science of course, but His hand is in that as well because of the people that He has placed in my path along the way!  So today I celebrate my life and all the blessings that God has given me over the years!  I will take each setback, heartache and wrong turn with a little bit of grace because while this is not the path I would have chosen for myself, this is the path that God has given me!  I am His vessel and I will allow Him to use me in anyway He deems fit!  Even my stage 4 cancer.  So I will keep plugging on and I will keep praying that God will continue to allow me to raise the rest of my babies at home!  To HIM be all the glory and praise!


Now on to the house…..oye!  That is slowly coming along.  We have all our subs in there this week doing all their work.  Sheetrock will be dropped next Tuesday and then let the fun begin!!  We have been working like crazy on this house and some days it feels like we have accomplished a lot and other days it feels like we haven’t done squat.  Our goal is to be in by Christmas but that will remain to be seen.  By Thanksgiving we should have a good idea what our deadline will be.  We are hopeful but we will see.  It would be so amazing to spend Christmas day in our new home, but if not then I guess I will have to be okay with it!  We are spending all our free time at the house and all weekend.  There is really no time for a life right now but soon we will have all the time in the world to spend with each other.  We are getting by and are so thankful for this rental that we are in.  The weather is cold and dreary and I could only imagine what it would be like for us if we were still living in the camper.  Thankful that we aren’t but we sure are ready to have a place to call our own!  Anyway….I have included some pictures of the progress on our house!  it is starting to look like a home more and more every day!  Exciting times!!!!  Have a blessed Thursday and make today a GREAT one!  I love you all!



In His grace,


19th wedding anniversary

19 years ago today….Jason and I said “I do”!  WOW!!!  We were just kids (or so it seemed and felt anyway).  Never did we think that life would throw some serious curve balls at us, but then again God never gives us more than we can handle!  Through each hard moment, each medical crisis, every death of a family member and even when we separated for a period of time in 2015, we have somehow, someway found our way back to each other and to our marriage.  Each crisis has brought us down into the deepest of pits, but each time we have resurfaced stronger than before.  And this is nothing short of God’s grace and mercy extended to both of us as we continue to ride the peaks and valleys of life and marriage.  But the one thing still remains all these years later….there is no one I would rather do life with than my husband (even in my darkest moments when all I want to do is run far, far away).  He is my best friend, my soul mate and an awesome father to our 4 children!!!  He has been there to laugh with, wipe my tears away, wrap me up in his arms with a gentle hug when chemo kept knocking me down and he has ALWAYS been there cheering me on and encouraging me to NEVER GIVE UP!  My husband is an AMAZING man and I try to remind him (and myself) of that often.  He works hard for his family.  He is a man who loves the Lord, his wife and his kids (in that order too).  He will do anything and everything for anyone, including giving the shirt off his back.  He has a gentle soul and loves deeply!  I am grateful that I get to call him MINE!!!  The pictures below are from our wedding day, our 10th anniversary!  How we have changed over the years and have grown up so much, not only as  individuals but also as a couple!

Happy Anniversary, babe!  I love you to the moon and back, to infinity and beyond, forever and ever!!!  Here’s to many more years together!!!! You will forever be MY HERO!!  Thanks for choosing me so long ago and every single day since even in the peaks and valley of our marriage!


Last night ended up being by far the most amazing night EVER!  It was coronation and we were happy to just have a daughter as part of the royalty court never dreaming that she would win!  But she did and was crowned homecoming queen!  I got a little choked up and teary eyed!  I just couldn’t believe it!  I think it took her by surprise as well.  She told me before she left for coronation that she didn’t even prepare an acceptance speech because she was sure she wasn’t gonna win!  So she had to wing her speech last night!  Then it was off to power puff football where once again for the second year in a row the class were the champions beating the freshman and the sophomores!  What a great feeling for this class!  Today the dress up theme is “classic parent” day!  Keara dressed up as her dad, Colby chose not to dress up and Chop had early morning band this morning so I have no idea if she even dressed up or not!  Guess they didn’t want to dress up like their mom 😉 can’t say that I blame them, how do you dress up as a stay at home mom??? Along with this post are some of the highlights from last night!  Tonight we have a home soccer game so we will be watching some soccer tonight and then hopefully tomorrow night we will be working a little bit more on the house.  The house is kind of on the back burner this week while we get thru homecoming and soccer games!  Then it will be back at it full force by Saturday afternoon!  Anyway….that is all I have for today.  Enjoy the pictures!



So I told you I would put up pictures from our weekend work on the house!  It looks AMAZING!!!!  Thanks to another carpenter who came and helped my hubby out all weekend long, along with his dad they got all the big trusses set there are just some little ones left to do that Jason can do himself and then all the sheeting on the roof and house and then we will be ready to shingle.  Which we will be hiring out for!  PHEW!  It is starting to look like we are doing something there finally!  It has been a long couple of months and it didn’t seem like we would EVER get to this part of the build but we did!  YIPPEE!!!!!


Today is the start of homecoming week at GHS!  Today was color day: Seniors wore black, freshman wore pink and the 8th graders also wore black, high schoolers make their own class shirts each year with a different saying on them, which I think makes it fun for the kids in high school!!!  Also each class had it’s own color picked out, from preschool all the way up to seniors!  I love how our small town gets the whole school and town for that matter involved in this awesome week!!  Coronation and powder puff football is tonight so those pics will be tomorrow’s post!!!!


scans, homecoming, life and the 1 year anniversary

OH MY GOSH!!!!! This has been a crazy and emotional week and it’s only Wednesday!  I hope the emotions will take a back seat soon, pull my head out of my backside and start being filled with joy!

I have A LOT to be happy and praiseworthy about this week but I am stuck in the past and the road I have traveled down this past year!  Am I glad that the 1 year anniversary is almost here, goodness NO, I wish I could skip over this day for the rest of my life.  It has been almost a year (Saturday the 9th it will be) since the landscape of my life changed.  The day that I learned that a “friend” (and I use that term loosely, as they never really were a friend to me after all) completely betrayed me and tried to destroy my happiness and my life!  While it has been a LONG and some days TOUGH road I have been on and it has shaped me into a different person, I am far from perfect but this has really made me step back and realize all I had been taking for granted in my life.  I am a different person than just a year ago….the hurt of my heart is still very, very deep, and I can still cry at the drop of a hat and memories that come flooding back still take my breath away.  BUT….I am determined to move past it each moment of each day and focus on here and now.  The past can’t be changed or rewritten but boy some days I do wish I could rewrite it, because I would go back and make sure that this “friend” had never entered my life.  But you just never know the true character of some people until it is too late!  Unfortunately I learned the hard way!  So I am trying to get thru the next several days with a little grace and a little mercy and just a little bit of my sanity left.  To that former “friend”….all I can say is THANK YOU!!! You may have hurt me and tried to destroy me but you didn’t win in the end!  I did!  You made me realize how lucky I am for the life I have been blessed with and for the people I have in my life!!!  Pretty sad that you are who you are and have no thoughts, feelings or regrets about your actions towards others you only think of yourself, that’s a pretty sad existence if you ask me!!!!  I, for one am glad that you are no longer in my life or anyone I care about either!

Thankful for our house building project to keep my mind occupied (as much as I will allow it anyway) along with GREAT scan results today AND that my daughter was nominated to the homecoming royalty court!

So with that I will add my GREAT news from today!  So I started on my cancer drug, Veliparib, for my stage 4 breast cancer, in April of 2014.  When I started this drug I was very, very sick.  Chemo was DESTROYING my body.  My platelets and hemoglobin were tanked out, my whites couldn’t really keep up anymore and I was battling a fierce cold/strep throat.  I took my last chemo infusion the end of February 2014.  I took a break the month of March while I prayed, asked questions and researched the snot out of this trial drug my oncologist wanted to start me on.  I still remember the day that I made the decision to go on the drug.  I was eating breakfast at my kitchen table and I was having a frank and hard conversation with God about all of this.  I heard Him tell me…..”Why are you NOT trusting me.  you have been begging me to open this door for you and now I have and you are wavering about whether or not to go on this drug”  “TRUST ME, I know what I am doing”.  I sat back and started to cry.  He was so right (but then again when isn’t God right?) Why was I questioning everything and not trusting HIM?????  I am so glad that God spoke to me that day.  So I started the drug, was scanned every 8 weeks until the one year mark and then we decided to bump scans out to every 12 weeks.  Then last October my oncologist wanted to bump scans out again to every 16 weeks.  Today….she decided that she wanted to bump my scans out to every 6 MONTHS!!!!!  For probably the past 2 1/2 – 3 years my scans have all been showing stable disease!  That liver lesion that is still there is not active and the radiologist thinks that it is just dead tumor.  It doesn’t grow and it hasn’t shrunk in probably 1 1/2 years now.  I really shouldn’t be here anymore.  Life span from diagnosis to death for stage 4 breast cancer is about 18 months.  I will celebrate 8 YEARS in November!  8 YEARS?!?!?!?!?!?!  Say what?  More and more women are living longer lives with this disease than ever before and I can say that I am ONE OF THEM!!!!  My GREAT PHYSICIAN has been watching over me and has been in control of this whole thing the whole time.  He has put people and drugs in my path for me to discover.  He has been answering all our prayers (mine, my family and my church family) over the past almost 8 years!  My BIGGEST prayer over the years has been and continues to be…..”let me raise my babies”.  Remember these babies were just 14, 9, 6 1/2 and 5 1/2.  They are now 22, 17, 14 1/2 and 13.  I saw my oldest graduate from high school AND vo-tech!  My second born is a senior this year so I will see her graduate as well.  My son is a freshman and my youngest is in 8th grade.  I PRAY I will get to see those last 2 graduate! God has been gracious, merciful and faithful all these years, I unfortunately have not been faithful to Him.  That makes me sad and I cry because of it.  As my BFF reminded me today…THAT is why we need Jesus!  He give us grace and mercy even tho we don’t deserve it!  He LOVES us unconditionally!  His mercies are new every morning, great is HIS faithfulness!!!  So I will keep trucking along on my study drug and see what March 2018 scans show!

Lastly my daughter, Mikayla, was nominated to the homecoming royalty court yesterday!  I am so EXCITED about this!  She tells me to call down, we don’t need to go shopping for a dress and that I need to stop making such a big deal out of it! BUT… me it IS a BIG DEAL!!!!  I am so excited for her!  What an honor to be nominated!  She may be in a small class, in a small town but to me that doesn’t matter, she was still given an honor!  So coronation will be Monday night!  I, for one, will be there with my big fancy camera taking a BAJILLION (I know it’s not a word but hey, I can make up whatever I want) pictures! And just soaking in the magical moment that I never thought I would get to see!  Even if she doesn’t win I am totally ok with that, just having her up there is enough for me to beam with a little bit of pride!!!!!

So that is where I am at.  Things are crazy busy with soccer season and house building.  I will try and get some pictures from the house build posted this coming weekend.  We have walls up and we are hoping to get some roof trusses put up this weekend as well!  We shall see!  It is slowly starting to look like a house, we are slowly getting out of the ground.  I have been trying to help my husband out as much as possible but I have been having some serious pain the last few weeks, yesterday scans showed what that pain was…..another fractured rib.  I swear…..this frozen shoulder of mine has been causing me all kinds of problems over the years!  So I am sidelined from helping for the time being so I am starting to look for some subs to hire out for some of the work so it will take some of the load off my husband, that way he can concentrate on other things with the house build. Hopefully Sunday night I will be able to get a post up with some pictures otherwise I will wait until Monday!  Next week I might be posting every day!  It is homecoming after all and the kids dress up, have powder puff games and the parade on Friday.  Plus coronation Monday night!  We also have 3, yes 3 soccer games next week as well!  Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday!  Thankfully they are all at home!  But it will be a crazy week for sure….add building a house to the mix and this mom might just lose her ever loving mind!!!!

That is all I have for now!  I hope everyone has a wonderful Wednesday evening!  To God be all the glory and praise!!!

In His service,



Happy Birthday Jason!!! 🎉🎉

Happy 41st birthday to my one and only. The man God chose for me before I was even born! This man works hard! He goes above and beyond what is needed! He provides not only steady income for this family but a shoulder to cry on, an ear for listening and offers advice when asked! He is an amazing husband, father, brother and son! 

But what I love most about my husband besides his big heart, warm smile and baby blue eyes, is his love for the Lord. He is a sinner saved by grace. Over the past 11 months I have watched the Lord transform my husbands anger, bitterness and resentment into joy, peace and happiness. When he was brought to his knees in humble regret, seeking forgiveness from Christ that is when I really started to see the changes. I am still seeing them. Is my husband perfect? Hardly….but none of us are. We all stumble and fall but we pick ourselves back up, dust ourselves off and get back on the path. And that is what Jason does every day. He stumbles, he falls but ya know what?  He gets back up and keeps going and tries to do better. 

Babe, I love you to the moon and back, to infinity and beyond, forever and ever!!! ❤️😘❤️😘

Happy Birthday to you my dear!!! 🎂🎁

Have an AWESOME day!!! 

One month 

It is laundry day so I am at the laundromat and thought this would be a great time to put up a new blog post.

We have been in the camper for one month now and while some days have been hard, others have been awesome! We have been learning to take it one day at a time and try not to sweat the small stuff. Again….some days we have weathered the storm better than others. Last Sunday we were approached by our kids’ former school bus driver. He has a rental that was recently vacated on August 1st, he heard we were living in a camper so he asked us if we would like to rent it while we build.  Naturally we jumped at the opportunity. We will move next week. A house, with a kitchen, 2 bedrooms and a bathroom with running water. AND a washer and dryer in the basement, so tonight is my last trip to the laundromat. WOO-HOO!!! We are excited for this door God has opened for us. He ALWAYS takes care of His children. 

The house building is coming along slowly. Tomorrow we will be pouring our basement floors after it decided to rain on Wednesday. Hopefully by early to middle of next week we will be putting down floor trusses. Then watch out……things are gonna get EXCITING!!  This is my FAVORITE part of the build….watching the walls come up and the house start to take shape. Where I can actually start imagining my life there with my kids and hubby!!! Don’t get me wrong I do envision my life there with my family, creating new and exciting memories, it just hard to envision how the house will look. Just what the blueprint says it will look like, but there will be changes to the print of course. It’s an exciting time in our lives. 

Soccer season starts tomorrow night with our first game of the season! Excited and sad because this is our final soccer season unless our youngest decides to play next year as a freshman. We plan to make it to every single one of her games. Supporting and cheering her and the team on!!! Praying for an awesome season!

We will be trial running senior pics next week! I am excited to see how well my new camera takes pics. I am especially excited to see how well it does at the game tomorrow night. 

All in all….life is clicking along, we are getting stronger as a family. Sticking together in times of crisis, and yes there has been plenty of that lately. But we are choosing to stay positive, hold on tight to each other and remove negative influences from our lives, my life especially. Life is too short to continue to hold on to something that just isn’t there and never has been my whole life. My life is much calmer and pleasant now without those influences. Sad….but we all have to make hard choices in life to keep our own mind and heart safe and healthy. 

Hopefully next week I will get some pics up from the house. We also have a birthday celebration next week too! My amazing husband turns 41 😳! Say what?!?! Yep….hopefully we will get some celebrating done in between school meetings. 

Yes….school meetings, school starts 2 weeks from today. 😫😫😱 I’m ready but I’m not. It has been an amazing summer with my kids. It has been an adventure for sure. Memories to last a lifetime!!!! 

Anyway……that is all from me for now. Until next time……

In HIS service,



Sometimes my thoughts run away with me…….

Sometimes I wish I were someone else……

Sometimes I just can’t help but wonder “why me?”…….

Sometimes I wonder “why wasn’t I good enough?”……

Sometimes I want to give up…….

Sometimes I think that God is punishing me for all my sins……

When the “sometimes” of life drag me down and I feel like I’m gonna drown in my sorrow, I remember this…..

My thoughts are not God’s thoughts…..

God made me for a purpose and this is my life….

Why not me?!?!……

In God’s eyes I will ALWAYS be good enough……

I can’t give up….I’m NOT a quitter……

God isn’t punishing me….He paid a heavy price for me. I am bought and paid for by the Blood of the Lamb……

As I lay here and listen to my husband sleep, I’m reminded of how lucky I really am. God has blessed my life with so many good things!!! Even in the midst of the hard and sometimes ugly moments, my life is FULL of blessings.

I am married to THE most amazing man. He is the diamond in the rough. He is a sinner saved by grace. He comes with flaws and baggage too, but he is MINE, hand chosen by God to walk thru this life with me. I’m blessed!!!

I have 4 healthy, strong and stubborn kids. Again they each have their own flaws and baggage, but they were given to me by God to raise, nurture and love thru this life, in the good times and bad. I’m blessed!!!

I was given a stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis, was told 50/50 shot at remission, stats said I wouldn’t live longer than 18 months, I’ve been at this for almost 8 years! 8 years!! I’m blessed!!!

So even in my woe is me moments and I’m having a hard time seeing the rainbow 🌈 thru the clouds, I am reminded how blessed I really am. God has a way of giving me a sign or bringing a memory to mind. Tonight that reminder was a small rainbow streak in the clouds, I smiled when I saw it and I thought of my dad. Why my dad I’ll never know but I am blessed! Beyond measure!!! 

One of my favorite songs… the lyrics and watch the video and you’ll see why. 

Who I am by Blanca

Another voice, another choice

To listen to words somebody said

Another day

I replay

One too many doubts inside my head

Am I strong, beautiful

Am I good enough

Do I belong, after all

That I’ve said and done

Is it real, when I feel

I don’t measure up

Am I loved

I’m running to the One who knows me

Who made every part of me in His hands

I’m holding to the One who holds me

‘Cause I know whose I am, I know who I am

I am sure, I am Yours

Turning down

Tuning out

Every single word

That caused me pain


And unafraid

‘Cause I believe You mean it when You say

I am strong, beautiful

I am good enough

I belong after all

‘Cause of what You’ve done

This is real, what I feel

No one made it up

I am loved

I’m running to the One who knows me

Who made every part of me in His hands

I’m holding to the One who holds me

‘Cause I know whose I am, I know who I am

I am sure I am Yours

I know who I am

I am sure I am Yours




You have made me

I’m running to the One who knows me, yeah

I’m holding to the One who holds me, holds me, holds me

I’m running to the One who knows me

Who made every part of me in His hands (You made me)

I’m holding to the One who holds me (I’m holding on to You)

‘Cause I know whose I am, I know who I am

I am sure I am Yours (I am Yours)

I am sure I am Yours

And I know who I am

God’s grace is sufficient to cover all my sins. I am everything He created me to be and so much more! I am BLESSED!

By His grace alone,


House pictures

Wanted to get some pictures up of the progress so far. It is slowly coming together.  We wish it was done but we also keep reminding ourselves that we are saving money in the long run by doing this. We will reap the benefits when we sell!!! A buddy of Jason’s has been helping us the last couple  of nights and that has been HUGE!!!! Many hands make for more work getting done! This will be a busy weekend getting the rest of the walls up and ready for mud hopefully on Monday! We are surviving camping life, one day at a time. Hard to believe tomorrow will be 2 weeks since we drove away from our house for the last time. Time sure is clipping by quickly! School is right around the corner and that should prove to be very interesting. 3 kids showering and getting ready every morning with one bathroom 😂 I laugh about it now but I’m sure I won’t be laughing much next month 😳 we will see! It’s all good and we will get thru this too! Happy Thursday! Have a great weekend!!!

In His grace,


Day 5

We have been in the camper for 4 days now. It has been interesting to say the least.  Things kind of went south yesterday but I guess that was going to happen eventually. There is only so much a person can take before they blow.  And blow I did.

Was it a proud moment for me? Absolutely not and I know my words and actions disappointed God, He is the only one I need to get approval from and who I need to please. I realized yesterday that I have been chasing the approval of someone who no matter what I do will never be good enough.  So I am done.  Done chasing after things that just won’t be any different. The negativity is stifling and exhausting.  I just can’t do it anymore. My focus is on my marriage, my kids, the building of our house and most of all my relationship with my Savior, Jesus Christ.  And that’s the way it’s gonna be.

So today is a new day and my mind is better and my kids are slowly getting into a routine. It is hard and we are trying to remind them that this is not the most ideal situation and we wish it were different but that we all need to make the best of it and look at it as an adventure.  We MUST stick together and we MUST be kind to each other with our words and actions.  It will be hard some days but this is not a permanent situation, it is only temporary and we must look ahead to what we will get at the end.  A brand new house, to live in and make more amazing memories together. When things get tough we must remember to seek God for grace and mercy for the moment. When mountains seem unmovable, HE CAN MOVE THEM!!!! 🙏🏻🙏🏻

One day at a time, and one foot in front of the other.  We will get thru this small bump in the road.  One of these days I will share some photos of the progress on our house.  For now….I would covet your prayers for peace, grace and mercy for my husband, kids and myself. His grace is sufficient for me and my family.
Grace and peace to you today,


And so it begins…..

It is after midnight and once again I find myself not able to sleep….which really isn’t anything new but so many things running through my mind tonight that makes it hard to sleep!

We will close on our house 15 hours from now. So many emotions going into this that it is even hard to begin to put them into words.  We have spent the last 11 years of our lives in this house.  We have seen our kids grow in this house.  The walls could tell some fascinating stories if they could talk.  We have had our fair share of hard times here but we have also had our share of good times as well.  I am ready to say goodbye to this house that means so much to me but yet I loathe for so many other reasons.

I am scared for this next chapter.  5 people, 3 of which are teenagers, living in a camper while we build our house from the ground up.  It will be interesting to say the least and hopefully it will be something that our kids will talk about for a very long time.  I hope that they will also look back on this time and say “hey, my parents were totally crazy for doing this but what a great memory!”

So today we will spend our last few hours in this house, we will say our goodbyes and we will walk into the future with our heads held high and hold tight to God as we venture forward.  Because with HIM all things are possible…even living in a camper for the next 5 months!

I know there is more I could write but words just fail me right now so I will end this post!

Until next time,


4th of July!

This will be our very last 4th of July at our place in the country.  We close on our house this Friday and broke ground today on our new home that we are building!  It is very exciting and scary all wrapped into one!  Part of me is ready and the other part of me is SCARED out of my mind!

This is a new chapter in our lives.  A sort of “starting over” time.  Laying the past to rest and moving ahead into the future!  We are all different people now, molded and changed by circumstances in our lives!  So we see this as a new chapter, new beginning.  New home, new surroundings, city living again instead of country living.

I am stressed out right now and I am hoping after Friday I will relax a little bit.  I won’t have a camper, a house and a new house all at once to deal with.  My current house will no longer be on my long list of things to get done.  My camper is a small area and won’t need much cleaning and upkeep.  And my new home is just a hole in the ground right now!

So today we will celebrate our FREEDOM!  Celebrate our girls’ birthdays (their birthdays are 8 days apart) and have family over for fun, food, games and a little bit of fireworks!  We will be sure to make this year go out with a “bang”! LOL!!!

My prayer for the week: to keep everything in perspective and not let the little things get to me!  To allow God to work in my life and in the process of working in my life, reach others around me as well!  God works in mysterious ways!  And He is good all.the.time!

Happy 4th of July!  Celebrate in style but be safe as well!

With Grace,


First blog post

I have been blogging since 2007.  This is my 3rd blogging site over the years.  I am curious to see if WordPress is better than blogger as far as posting and followers and such.

Why did I start a new blog?  Well I am still not sure.  I have had my other blogger site since 2008 and was blogging quite frequently until the last few years.  I have been thinking about my life, my relationship with the Lord, my family and grace.  Hence the reason for the title.  Because today…..(and everyday for that matter) we are given grace.

Webster’s dictionary defines grace as this:

       The divine favor toward man; the mercy of God, as distinguished from His justice; also, any benefits His mercy imparts; divine love or pardon; a state of acceptance with God; enjoyment of the divine favor.

God gives me grace every single day.  Grace when I don’t deserve it.  He also expects me to extend that same grace to others around me.  Even when I feel that they don’t deserve my grace, because they have done some sort of wrong to me or hurt me in some way, I am still to give them grace because Jesus gives me it when I don’t deserve it or when I have hurt Him or wronged Him.

I am still learning this every single day.  Grace for my husband, my kids and others around me.  It is hard for me and in my human frailty I am a very selfish person.  But I am also to extend myself grace as well.  I am not perfect and I never will be in this life.

For the last couple of years my life has been hard, really hard.  I have been a mess, my marriage has been a mess and my health well my health actually got better, crazy I know.  Life came crashing down in September 2016 and that is when I realized that life will never be the same, or perfect but I am foraging ahead and look to God for all sources of comfort and peace.

I have had my fair share of problems over the years but the one thing that has remained is that since turning my life over to Christ in February 2006, Christ has never left my side.  NONE of what I have been thru has not been known by Him first.  In each problem or storm that I have faced, I have come out of it stronger as a person and stronger in my faith.  This current storm is no different.  Some days are harder than others and some days I would love nothing more than to run away but somehow I push thru the hard moments and focus on Christ.

I am also learning that the past can’t be rewritten but we can certainly learn from it.  The mistakes we have made, the way we have treated others, the words we have said or even the way others have treated us. I try to press forward and do better than the past.  With God all things are possible!!! And He will carry me through each moment!  He will grow my little faith into some bigger than imaginable!  He can make unmovable mountains movable!

So my mantra and what I cling to most in times of trouble is Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”

He never promised me a rose garden in this life, but He did promise that it would be worth it in the end!

So this is my new blog!  The story of my life and the life of those closest to me!!!  The highs and the lows!  The good and the bad!  And everything in between!  So won’t you come along and see what kind of masterpiece the Lord is creating in me and those around me?  He is definitely NOT finished with me yet or my life!  He is still painting a beautiful masterpiece!

In His strength,