what’s more fun than fun shoes?

I like fun shoes & what’s more fun than fun shoes ... how about fun shoes at a great price with fun shoelaces! 


I found all of these shoes for amazing deals and wasn’t willing to pay almost as much for shoelaces as I did for the shoes themselves ... hello Google! 

I was able to make myself some fun shoelaces for my fun shoes and I am thinking I’m going to make a bunch more and sell them ... what do you think? I was even able to attach aglets (the plastic ends of shoelaces) so they are easier to lace and won’t fray! 

Would you like some? They can be made from any ribbon and any colors, some of the ribbon I used is wired and some isn’t, I like how the bows look with the wired ribbon!

I’d love to hear your thoughts, let me know if this is something you’d like for yourself, for your kids or your grandkids!


eating keto and popcorn treats :)

I’m often asked how we eat Keto, how we stick to it and for recipes.

After 3 months of being home, almost a week with no electricity during lockdown and less activity than normal, June 1 came with a commitment to get back on track! For me the first step to being “good” is to have as few carbs in the house as possible! This was a little more difficult this time as we’re watching three littles so being carb free wasn’t as easy! They like their cheese crackers, graham crackers and pasta! 

 I did tuck aside any other high carb pantry items that i kept on hand in case of another lengthy power outage, and got serious about our groceries!

Today was a good example of an easy to make, really good,  low carb lunch!

I made an oversized turkey patty, think pan sized, which I seasoned with a garlic & herb seasoning blend. Once the turkey was cooked through, I spread a layer of garden veggie & chive cream cheese, tomatoes & provolone cheese. I covered the pan until the cheese was melted. 

Once cut into 1/4’s I added a side of cucumbers to Rick’s plate, the remaining sliced tomato and Avo Verde Salsa. I enjoyed some carb free jalapeƱo Parmesan crisps with the salsa! Everything was bought at Aldi’s and we have leftovers enough for a second meal!

Easy, peasy and really yummy! 

I realize Keto may not be for everyone but I feel so much better, have much less stomach bloat, no sugar crashes and no negative gluten effects as I’m sensitive to gluten. I don’t miss sweets or breads, pastas or other snacks at all ... except that amazing popcorn in my pantry made by Old Mill Kettle Corn!
That was a shameless plug for some amazing popcorn made by the company our friend Emma owns! :) You can order some here: https://oldmillpopcorn.com


Chatta”zoo”ga, Chatta-shopping & more ...


Early Wednesday evening Rick’s brother Ken and sister-in-law Linda came into town! 
It’s always fun the see family and this time has been no exception!

We had not yet visited the Chattanooga Zoo so we took a trip into town 
and checked it out and were pleasantly surprised! 
It was more than we were expecting! 
I included a few pictures of my favorite zoo animals, and some humans too! 

We also visited the Mercantile and some antique stores.
Where else can you find Sasquatch, who we left at the store,  
sparkly black Cons which just happened to be my size, yes,
they had to come home with me
and Donald Trump earrings?!
The floppy hat didn’t come home with us either but it was tempting,
I kind of liked it!
The sarcasm t-shirt was tempting as well and the butt rub gave us a good laugh! 

I’ve also been reading a few really good books and God and I have had some really
good conversations! I’m still learning everyday, and hopefully putting what
I’m learning into practice ... drawing me closer to Him and learning to
love others with more purpose! Because our job situations have been shaken up, I’m open to God’s
leading and an exciting opportunity seems it could be opening up, if you feel led,
please pray along with me for clear guidance! 

Happy weekend .... we’re soon off to do some more exploring! 



So here’s the thing. I had a super long post started. I tried to be eloquent and write it the right way. You know, so it would catch your attention, so you’d want to read it, so you’d like what I wrote. Then I realized, that’s just what I wanted to share! This is my blog,with my thoughts, my prayers, my journey with God. I need to write to please Him and nobody else! That is scary, and revealing and freeing all at the same time.


He calls me by name and reaches out to me in my moments of despair and cheers for me in my moments of victory! 


I am His yet daily I seek for, I strive for, I cling to your affirmation of me. This seeking, striving, clinging leads me to be someone I’m not. 

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that this means I can be self serving, rather it should lead me to be selfless. But it should also lead me to live a life in line with who Christ created me to be, not in line what I think others would want me to be. 

I wanted to please my parents so I made sure that I checked the boxes of what a good Sunday School girl looked like. My heart wasn’t always where it should be but at least most of the time it looked like I was doing what was expected of me. 

In high school, I wanted my friends to like me so I pretended to go along with them, agreeing with whatever crowd I was with at that time. 

I wanted all of the young mamas in my circle to like me so I put my girls in the same box all their children were in. I expected my children to act the same as theirs, accomplish what theirs did. I parented according to what they thought of my parenting skills; I didn’t let my children be my children, I tried to make them cookie cutter images of others. 

I wanted my husband to love me. I cooked all the meals, washed all the clothes, scrubbed all the floors. I smiled when I wanted so scream and I hid in the shower on the rare occasion I allowed myself to cry, because big girls don’t cry. 

I wanted everyone to like me all of the time. I want everyone to like me all of the time. I smile and I agree and I still do all the things. 

I try to check the boxes that make others see me as a good daughter, sister, wife, mom, grandma, friend, Christian. I live to gain approval and be good enough to be loved. 


I need to stop checking all the boxes. I need to stop putting on a smiling face all the time. 


I need to seek His approval, His love and His affirmation. In finding my all in His finished work in the cross, I will be full! He created me, He knows me, He loves me. I am his cherished Child and I am His beloved bride!  

I do not need to seek the approval of any man (or woman or child). This will not make me selfish, but it will make me more selfless. If my worth, my acceptance, my peace is placed in Him and Him alone, I will find peace. I will not need to seek the approval or the affirmation of others. I will be free to live wholeheartedly, to serve willingly to smile joyfully. 


He wants to mold me and make me into Who and Whose I was created to be! He can be and will be my all in all, if I let Him! 


I need to stop checking the boxes. I need to stop trading what is best for what I think is good. I need to grow past my need of expecting anyone or anything other than Him to fill me, affirm me or approve of me. If I seek His face at all times, my service can be done in love. I can live in a way that pleases Him and not man, knowing that I don’t need man’s approvals or accolades or affirmations, because I already have all of those things from my ABBA Daddy! He is the creator of the heavens and the earth, of the grains of sand and the mountains, of the sun moon and stars and yet, I AM HIS!



Rest, true rest, peaceful rest, rest that restores and renews cannot be found outside of my relationship with Christ. It has to be the first thing in my life. It has to be my priority. It las to be my all. Sadly, it is not. 

Rest, true rest, peaceful rest, is impossible to come by when my days, my hours, my moments are constantly bombarded by the cares of this world. It also most certainly cannot be achieved through a constant barrage of all that mainstream media and social media throws my way, every minute of every day; and night. 

Today, I spent some time outdoors, in the beautiful sunshine of Eastern Tennessee; praying that as I felt the sun shining down on me, I would allow my Precious Savior speak truth to me. As the warm sun shined on me as if it were He, Himself shining on me and as I felt occasional breeze kiss my face, I felt it as His gentle caress. In the relative stillness of that time, I asked Him to fill me, to speak to me, to convict me. 

Answers that I was seeking came fairly quickly, though I argued with them because I did not like them. 

Answers to questions like:

*Where do you turn to first thing in the morning, often before you seek Me?
*What occupies too much of your time?
*What causes you the most stress?
*What threatens to steal your peace and wreck havoc on relationships you claim are important?
*What causes divisions/dissension between you and those you love, those you call friend?
*What distracts you or drives you? Is it how many “likes“ or comments your latest post gets, how many views your story has? Do you crave the approval of man or Me? 
*Do you allow man to affirm you, or do you seek your affirmations from Me?
*What clutters your  mind, your life and your  home and steals your peace?

My friend, those are hard questions. 
They are questions that are a hard truth to accept especially when the answers to those questions were:

*Fecebook, Instagram, Twitter, the news
*My phone, social media, current events 
*Wanting to be right at the cost of offending others
*Media, differing views with those I love on current affairs .... the virus, the riots, the state our country is in
*My perceived right to be right and to speak it without regard of how someone on the other side feels
*I crave the approval of man
*I allow or at least seek to have man to affirm me
*I have let my mind become cluttered with the things of earth and though we moved to Tennessee with minimal earthly possessions, I have accumulated too much stuff since being here and to use the catchy term, I need to “Marie Kondo” my life! 

All this to say that I have much more to say. I will be trying to post to my blog as I work through this process. The name of my blog is “My Journey 139”. The 139 represents Psalm 139, my life passage. I urge you to read it if you haven’t! If you don’t have a Bible, you can Google it or I’ll be happy to share it with you! This is my journey and may be painful at times. I desire to serve God first, my family next, followed by friends, neighbors, acquaintances, and lastly all of the other obligations I have in life. As with all journeys, there have already been many joyful moments, some very sad moments, some moments of extreme trials and heartache as well as some mountaintop moments and victories! It is my journey to walk with my Precious Saviour, and if you choose to walk alongside me, I’m glad you are here and I pray we can learn from Him together!


words of affirmation

Good job! You rock! Look how cute you look today! I love your shoes! Great job scoring that goal! Good work sharing the ball! I'm so proud of you .....

Words of affirmation. I love to give them and I love to get them.

As I struggled with God at the beginning of last week and asked Him to draw me close, truly close to Him, I asked Him to show me areas of life that I needed to let go of. Interestingly, when I sat quietly and let Him show me things from my past that I was holding on to that were holding me back from fully living the life He has promised me most of them were directly related to affirmations.

I didn't want my parents to be upset with me, so I behaved in certain ways. I wanted my friends to like me, so I tried to do what I thought they wanted me to do. If I didn't feel affirmed, I sought ways to be accepted, approved of, affirmed. As a newly married young mama, I wanted to be loved, accepted, affirmed. I wanted my husband to love me, and tell me how much he loved me ... often. I wanted my children to adore me and think I was the best mom. I wanted the other moms in my MOMs group to think I had it all together. I parented my girls based on what others thought of my parenting skills, not always based on what was best for my girls. I based my success as a parent by measuring my girls against other moms children. If someone's child got straight A's, mine should too. If someone else's child played in band, mine should too. I actually asked my oldest when she was a senior if she had intentionally gotten a "bad" grade in a class so she would graduate third in her class, not first or second so she didn't have to give a speech. After all, my best friend's daughter had been at the top of her class, mine should be too. Yes, that last scenario really happened. This and so many other things flooded back. God was helping me to uproot very unhealthy thought patterns and actions. This is just a very short list of what God and I talked about last week (well mostly He talked and I tried my best to listen).

I speak affirmation, but I also SEEK affirmation. I post on social media to be affirmed. I flood my poor husband with affirmations so he will affirm me in return. I hurt others and myself in the cycle of it all, yet because I forget to look to the One who created me and is the greatest at affirming me, I am continually searching. 

Sunday, our Pastor spoke on offenses, and how we need to stop being so easily offended. Guess what? Not feeling affirmed leads to quickly feeling offended. OUCH!

This week, my devotions are speaking of prayer, something I have been focusing on. Praying with faith, and thankfulness that God already has the answers. I've been praying boldly to believe in those answers, and I've also worked to quiet my mind to hear God speak to me during my day. Guess what? He has, and I still have so much listening to do!

Yesterday morning, my devotional challenged me to pray
So, I did! I shared some of them with Rick before I went to work and then continued to pray them throughout my day. That same devotional reminded me that if I will change my prayer life from stale and boring to big and bold, I will also be vulnerable for attacks from Satan, because he does not like BIG, BOLD, DANGEROUS prayers! 

You know what? By the end of the day, 2 of the requests I had specifically brought to God had been addressed. They weren't fully answered, but there was some clear direction in two very specific areas of our lives that weren't there in the morning! I was so excited about it that I wrote a nice long Facebook post and posted it! God is so good and nothing will stop me from praying those big, bold dangerous prayers.

Literally moments after I hit "post" on Facebook, I saw something on Instagram that offended me. I was taken aback. Honestly, I was hurt. I was offended. I shared my indignation with Rick. Instead of affirming me, I felt like he rebuked me. Now I was doubly offended and not feeling at all affirmed. I went to bed in a bit of a "huff" attacked by Satan ...  and begged God to speak to me. 

In "God fashion" He did. He reminded me that when I began to pray big and bold, Satan would attack. He reminded me that my offense was not in line with what He had for me. That the offense I had taken at what I saw on Instagram and with Rick's response was an overreaction. That my worth in His Kingdom comes from him, not from Rick or an Instagram post. He reminded me that my response was evidence of seeking affirmation that I didn't feel I was getting, and my being so quickly offended over it was a sin.

I spent a somewhat restless night wrestling with all of these thoughts, of giving all of it back to God and trusting Him to affirm me. Praying to not so easily be offended. To forgive quickly if I do feel offended. To trust God, to love others, to continue to affirm, but not in hopes of receiving affirmations in return but because they come from my heart.

Oh, to be more like Jesus and less like me.

I'm thankful for what He has been working in my life! I'm thankful for quick answers {or the beginnings of answers} to some of my big, bold, dangerous prayers and I'm thankful that even when I respond poorly and have to run to Him yet again with all the pieces of my easily offended heart, He pieces them all back together. He tenderly loves me and reminds me of truth. He forgives, forgets, brushes me off and reminds me that this is a new day. A new chance to trust and obey and a new day to again pray BIG, BOLD, DANGEROUS prayers! 


A year.

52 weeks.

365 days.

8,760 hours ...

Seems like yesterday, seems like much longer!

The little photo collage below is a brief glimpse of the past year! 

"Our mountains" as we drive to church.
One of my favorite flowers, pansies, blooming year round.
A beautiful sunny sky over a soccer field.
My quiet spot where I meet with God each morning.
Our cute little fireplace.
My best friend on the walking bridge downtown.
Picking cotton {bucket list item}.
Sunset over the mountains from a beautiful log cabin.
A waterfall in the mountains.

These pictures can only begin to tell the whole story!

Not shown are ...

Co-workers from Soccer Shots & Grace Children's Center who welcomed us, embraced us, and helped us adjust to a new town. 

100's of precious little ones we've had the opportunity to coach.

Families of those little ones who have become dear friends.

Coaches, players & associates of some of the local soccer teams who've become good friends, and have given us opportunities we could only have imagined including the privilege of being able to love on their little people!

Soccer, soccer and more soccer ... to coach, to watch and to play!

A Green Bay Packer fan group to watch Packer games with!

A Liverpool fan group to watch Liverpool games with!

 A wonderful new church & church family. 

A cute, cozy little town house that has quickly become home.

One year ago tonight as we fell asleep in Louisville with our next stop being Chattanooga, I had no idea what to expect. It was Rick & me, our 2 pets and what we could fit into Rick's car and my Jeep. We didn't have a place to live lined up, I didn't have a job, we had only met Rick's new boss via FaceTime, and we knew only 3 other people who lived here. We didn't even know where we'd spend our first days in Chattanooga!

... but God ...

As always, God was with us and He had gone before us!

He was with us as we arrived in town, found a pet friendly hotel and then our apartment. He was with us as we purchased furniture and necessary household items and acclimated to "city living" {me}. He heard me as my words to Rick as I fell asleep each night were, "I love our new city"!

So, here we are tonight, on the eve of the day that marks one year since our arrival here. 

Still loving our new city. 

Having learned more of God's great love for us. 

Having seen our marriage grow and strengthen as we faced new jobs, a new home, a totaled car, recovery from a concussion and more!

Thankful for God's provision through it all!

Having learned {again} that God is always in control, He is with us, He was with us and is going before us! 

We look forward in anticipation to our future with our hearts knit together with a bond that is stronger than it was a year ago. 

I personally am thankful that I have realized that though I miss my parents, my girls and my brother & his wife, my home is where Rick is and that before God calls us to our eternal home, wherever God takes us will be home! I have learned to love God and Rick more, to trust God with all the pieces of my life and to let Rick truly be the head of our home! 

I have learned that I am stronger, and braver and capable of more things than I ever thought I was!

I still love our city, but I guess that now after a year I can stop calling it our new city. I look forward with great excitement to all of our tomorrows!

I'm so very thankful that God brought us here and for all that He has taught me through this year!

Here's to Chattanooga ... and more importantly ... here's to a God who always knows what I need better than I do!


Is that all?

Is that all?

It was an innocent question from a 4 year old's point of view ... 
and I was reminded of it this morning at church!

I remember it clearly, we were sitting in the living room on the gray couch that was kind of picky ... I remember how the furniture was arranged and my mom and dad must have asked me how my birthday was, or which present was my favorite or something along those lines, and my response was, 
"is that all"?

I really don't think I was trying to be ungrateful or sassy, I just wanted to know if the presents were over or if there were more! 

I wasn't afraid to say it, I wasn't afraid to ask my Daddy if he had MORE for me!

However we got to the point of that question, I asked it, and for whatever reason, there was more ... and it was 
it was an
Now I could bake cakes just like mommy did! 
I was so excited!

What I was reminded of in church this morning was that my 4 year old self was not afraid to ask my earthly Daddy
"is that all"?

Today at church Pastor told a few stories ... 

One of them was this:

and the other was that sometimes we pray speaking to God as if He can only hear us if we speak with "all the right words" rather than as if we are having a conversation with a friend. 

Do we approach God formally as if we might do it wrong, 
"our Gracious Heavenly Father ..."
or do we speak to Him as if we are speaking to our best friend or our earthly Daddy?  It's not that God doesn't deserve our reverence, but it isn't found in "how" we come to Him! If we have accepted Him as our Lord and Savior, He has sent His Holy Spirit to indwell us! He lives within us, He knows our deepest desires, He knows our "hidden" sins, He knows our hopes, our dreams and our fears ... He WANTS to have an intimate relationship with us. He wants us to approach Him with the faith that He can move our mountains, He can heal our deepest hurts and He can calm our greatest fears! He wants us to have the faith that He has our best in mind, and that even though we don't always understand, or it doesn't always make sense to us we can trust Him! He wants us to approach Him as we approach our earthly fathers, without the fear of asking 
"is that all"!

When Pastor reminded us of that, I was instantly a 4 year old child, sitting on a picky couch, innocently asking my loving earthly Daddy "is that all" and because I wasn't afraid to ask, I received.


If I can approach my earthly father and ask him "is that all" and expect that he has more to give me, how much more could my Heavenly Father give me, 
if only I dared to ask HIM
"is that all"?

I want to learn to pray as a child. When life is too much for me and I feel like everything around me is falling apart, when I feel I can't do this anymore and I am frozen in my fear, or anger, or pain, I want to fervently and reverently pray 
trusting that He will put those letters together, 
knowing that He will put those letters together 
because He knows my heart better than I do.

I also want to learn to PRAY BOLDLY!

I want to pray, speaking to God as that little girl in my childhood living room spoke to her Daddy. 

I knew I was my Daddy's princess, I trusted that he loved me, I believed that as much as it was in his power he wanted to give to me exceedingly abundantly more than I asked not because I was asking for "more" but because of his great, great love for me!

If at 4 years old I could trust that my earthly father had that much love for me, that I could boldly ask him for more, if I could approach him with faith and not fear, why oh why can't I trust and believe that his love can't even begin to compare to my Heavenly Father's love for me?

I want to fully trust and believe that I can approach God with prayers that are 
EXCEEDINGLY ABUNDANTLY beyond that which I can ask or think!

I don't believe that He is a genie in a bottle who will just hand me anything I ask for, but I also know that I need to have faith that my God loves me with a love that exceeds any love I have ever felt here on this earth. That He knew me before I came to be (Psalm 139:16) that he knit me together in my mama's womb and that He has never nor will He ever leave me or forsake me!

I can approach Him boldly and without fear! I can ask Him 
"is that all"
and I can expect
from Him! 

So tonight as I fall asleep, I will pray
and I will follow that with
"is that all"
knowing that He will put the letters together, and He will answer
above what I ask!

I will trust FULLY that however He answers my prayers He has all things planned for me ... for my good and His Glory!

Goodnight Abba Daddy ... is that all?


february 14.this guy & God is good

February 14, 1992

I promise to love you

For better or worse

In richer or poorer

In sickness and health

Until death do us part

Simple, traditional wedding vows. Everyone says them, but how much do we think about them? 

For better or worse - every marriage has good days and bad days, that one makes sense.

In richer or poorer - ok this one is fairly easy too, both may come, though I'm guessing most people hope there's more richer than poorer.

In sickness and health - this one might be harder, especially the in sickness part, but we still vow it, thinking, hoping the sickness part doesn't ever come our way.

Until death do us part - when we're about 80 years old right? When our kids are grown and we are enjoying our grandchildren and great grandchildren, that's how it's supposed to go right? That's what marriage is, growing old side by side, enjoying seeing our family grow, and welcoming children, their future spouses who we've prayed for, our grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

I'm guessing if you are anything like me, that is the scenario you had in your head when you repeated those sacred vows, when you made that covenant before God and loved ones. 

What happens though when the death do us part comes much, much sooner than you expected? When it comes just three months shy of your 20th wedding anniversary? Twenty years, that's all Lord? But, but, but, I wanted to celebrate 20, and 30 and 40 and hopefully 50. This is not what I had planned. It's not what I signed up for. This is not a fairy tale ending.

When my world as as I knew it came to a screeching halt on November 5, 2011, and the "until death do us part" of our wedding vows became my reality my heart was shattered, my dreams were gone and what I always thought life would be was forever changed.

In a moment, in the blink of an eye, in the sigh of a doctor and 6 words, "I'm sorry, Rickey didn't make it" the until death do us part of my wedding vows became my new reality. The day of Rickey's funeral, I remember putting his wedding ring that had been returned to me in the hospital back on his finger and telling the funeral director's wife that no, I didn't want it taken off, it was Rickey's and it was staying with him. 

He had fought the good fight, he had finished the race and I fully believe that he stood before his Lord and Savior and heard the words, "well done my good and faithful servant, well done".

Until death do us part. Death is very final. That may sound strange but until I experienced it first hand, I didn't fully realize the truth of how final and life changing death is. Life is never the same again. There is always something different in your life because of death.

But Rickey, he loved well, he loved fully, he loved with all that was within him and I fully believe that because of the way he loved, he helped to teach me how to love and not just how to love, but how to love well. He taught me what a good thing real love is and even in death, he left me with love and the courage to live life without him.

I never for a moment doubted that when Rickey left this earth, he was immediately with the Lord. That the joys and splendor of heaven exceeded anything on this earth and even if he could, he would not return to us, even for a day. Because of the life he lived, even though his death left a huge hole in our hearts, I had the calm assurance that he was with the Lord and all could be well with my soul ... some day.

Because I was loved well, I believed that God could bring love to me again, I didn't know when or how, or who, but I felt in my heart that God had plans for my future and that I needed to trust that future to Him!

I also knew that I would need to find someone special, because to love someone who has lost so much would probably not always be easy. I would need someone who was willing to love me and help me learn to love again. I would need someone who would understand that I will always have a special place in my heart for the one I loved and lost but that my heart was big enough to love them too. No small task, and I was fully aware that not everyone could do that.

God, in his great grace, in his love and mercy brought just that person into my life and I am amazed to this day that I have been given the great opportunity to live and laugh and love again!

Because of this man, I can honestly say I have found joy, and happiness and love again and life is good, very good! 

Valentine's Day is typically pretty low key for us ... this guy keeps it that way on purpose ... he remembers with me that this was my anniversary. He knows and remembers that is was a special day that Rickey and I shared and he chooses to honor that  - for me. He took the chance and fell in love with me and three teenage girls. He let me love him when I was honestly still pretty much a train wreck! He was patient with me, he encouraged me to grieve, he grieved with me, and he proved to me that God does bring beauty from ashes! He is the only person who has visited Rickey's grave site with me, and he has always respected the love that I and others had for Rickey! He has never tried to be a replacement as a husband, a dad, a son in law or friend. He has been an addition, a bonus to a life that had been good, and now is still so very, very good!

To say I've been twice blessed is an understatement. God saw fit to bless me for almost 20 years with an amazing husband and the best daddy ever to our three girls. When God allowed the worst heartache I'd ever endured into my life, he carried me through. He gave me the courage and strength to carry on and then he brought Rick to me! Just today on the way home from quietly celebrating this Valentine's Day, Rick reminded me that he still remembers this was my anniversary, and that he honors that day by the quiet celebrations we have, and for that I love him even more today than I did yesterday! As I said yesterday, our move to Chattanooga has been good for us, it has been a sweet season in our marriage, and Rick's tenderness to me today was another reminder of his great, great love for me, and of God's tender loving kindness towards me!

p.s. even though he keeps it low key, I think he pretty much nailed it with these pretty white topaz earrings! :) 




What does it mean to you?

If you'd have told me a year ago that home would look like it does today, I honestly wouldn't have believed you!

A year ago, we had had conversations about a potential job offer for Rick in Chattanooga, TN. We were trying to figure out when we could visit Chattanooga so he could have an in person interview and we could visit the area, seeking potential housing and all of the "things" that would be necessary for a complete life change ...

Fast forward a few days to February 17, when the job was offered to Rick without having to go through the in person interview process. This meant no chance to visit, no chance to look for housing, no chance to decide if this move was what *I* wanted ... Rick texted me the afternoon of February 17, 2019 and said "I just accepted the job at Soccer Shots Chattanooga". After my initial shock and probably less than excited "huh?" that I texted back, I realized that I should congratulate him and ask when the job started ... which I did and to which he replied that they wanted him to start at the beginning of March!

Without going into all the details that quickly followed, I'll just say that we pulled into Chattanooga on March 1, 2019! The whirlwind of the 11 days that transpired between February 17 and March 1 is a blog post all its own!

But now, nearly a year later, I can say this crazy, life changing, kind of spontaneous, completely off the wall move has been a sweet, sweet thing!

We and our pets have acclimated to our new home amazingly well!

I have now transitioned from an all out die-hard country girl to an I love my city girl! I love being within 3 miles from Target, Kohl's, Chick fil A, Walmart and a fairly good sized mall and almost any other store or restaurant you can imagine!

I can now find my way most places without the help of my GPS! I usually use the terms y'all and bless your heart in the right context! I know that to put something up means to put it away, having your picture made is the same as having your picture taken and that when you grocery shop, your groceries go in a buggy! I know that if someone tells me someplace is in Bumble, it means the same as in the boonies! I know that BBQ doesn't mean doused with BBQ sauce and that when they say this is the Bible Belt, they weren't kidding! I know what it's like to look in almost any direction and see mountains, and I've survived a snowstorm of 3" of snow and lived to tell about it! I've loved to wear shorts and flip flops every month of the year and getting a suntan in February!

I realize that though short, our time at Northland Scholars Academy was such a blessing because though it was still close to home, it moved me from my comfort zone, and prepared me for this bigger move that God already had in store for us!

We have been blessed beyond measure by the true Southern hospitality that has greeted us at every turn! We have had awesome jobs & co-workers, met some of the most amazing people we've ever known and made some very dear friends! We found a church that has not only welcomed us but honestly made us feel like we have been worshiping with them for much longer than the ten months or so since we started attending! We have friends who have played for all of the local professional soccer teams and have enjoyed babysitting some of their children!

This has also been a sweet season for our marriage as we truly have become each other's best friend and have walked through the good times and the challenging times of this year holding God and each other tightly and appreciating each other more with each passing day! I have learned that I can honestly say to Rick that wherever I am with him is home! 

Our year has not been all perfection, we have faced some challenges; some small, some big. I had a fairly serious car accident in September that totaled my jeep, Libby and gave me a pretty good bump on the head and some lingering concussion symptoms. My mom and dad have had some health issues that caused me to wonder if I should be here or back in Michigan with them and we've had some work related challenges.

Through it all, this crazy, spontaneous, life changing move has been more than I could have imagined! There honestly is no place I'd rather be tonight than in our cozy little apartment relaxing with my best friend and our sweet pets! 

God is good, and He has seen us more than faithfully through this year! We've enjoyed more soccer games than I could ever have imagined seeing, we've become a part of a Liverpool football club (which Rick loves) and the Chattanooga Packer Backers (which I love)! We've attended some amazing concerts and enjoyed downtown Chattanooga and all that it has to offer! We've visited the mountains and the girls! We've welcomed another precious grandbaby and have another due any day! We have discovered that a quiet Christmas at home with just the two of us can be just as precious as a house full on Christmas (though we did miss seeing and spending it with family)!

We have lived and loved and laughed and cried, but through it all, God has drawn us close to each other and Himself. We have seen more blessings than sadness and we now feel completely at home in our sweet new city! 


It really is where your heart is ... and for now, my heart is right here in Chattanooga!


how organized are you?

There is a double page spread at the beginning of each week ... the first page is for sermon notes and the second page is for devotional notes during the week! Since I love to write, and like to "doodle" I'm really enjoying this portion! Plus we really love our new church and I like to take notes as Pastor Danny preaches so I can look back over the scriptures  and main points and remind myself of the sermon during the week!

At the beginning of the planner, there is a "vision board" which I really like as well! I did not complete mine as I am thinking I want to add things during the year as God lays them on my heart! I did add my "Word of the Year" on these pages which is actually three words that all hoed significant meaning to me as I approached 2020. 
My word is "BIG" with each letter having special meaning:

B = Be a BLESSING - I want to bless Rick, my family, friends and others I come into contact with, coworkers, store clerks ... everyone and anyone possible!

I = Be INTENTIONAL - I want to intentionally pray and serve and love others! One small way I have been working on that is to notice a worker's name tag if they are wearing one and to either thank them or wish them a good day by name at least once during our interaction! I want to intentionally show kindness to others ... nobody is a stranger ... only friends we have yet to meet and what a way to show friendship and love than by calling someone by name?

G = Be GRATEFUL - in all things and for all things! It starts each morning, being grateful for another day of life, for waking up to a wonderful husband and 2 sweet pets in our new home which has been such a blessing! It's being thankful for loving parents and amazing children and their spouses and the grandchildren we have been blessed with! For a job and food on the table and a beautiful city that we loved and oh, so much more! Even on difficult days, there is always something to be grateful for, and this reminds me to always look for that! 

Another nice feature in this planner is that it contains monthly and weekly calendars and on the weekly calendar there is a section where you can track "healthy habits".The lines are blank so you can choose to fill them as you wish - you can also change them each week depending on life circumstances! For now, I'm including gym & tanning time, getting enough water & watching my spending habits. I'm also including my devotions and writing time as those are related to my emotional/mental/spiritual health which is as important as physical health - if not more!

So there you have it .... my goal of the year, become a little more organized, a little more structured, and hopefully focus more on God and less on me. Trust more in God and less on me. Bless others, intentionally serve others and be grateful ... always be grateful! 

Are you a planner person? Are you organized or could you, like me, use some work in this area? If you are intrigued about the planner/journal I'm loving, you can find them at

*This is my personal review of this product. Christian Planner has not paid me for this endorsement, and I do not receive any benefit if you purchase one - I'm just so pleased with it, I wanted to share a review and let you know how you can purchase one for yourself if you, like me are a little organizationally challenged!

So many changes ...

We like to tell people that we love Chattanooga so much we moved here twice! Since my last post in 2020, we spent eight months in Michigan...