Every year like clock work I write a post reflecting on what I have to be thankful for.  This year is no different.  And what a year of things to be thankful for.  Where do I even begin.

I am thankful for:

– Adoption.  November is National Adoption Awareness Month and it always makes me even more keenly aware of the beauty of adoption and what it means to my family.

– Travel.  The ability to travel all over the world and especially with my family enjoying beautiful experiences and making memories.  Some people live their entire lives wanting to travel and see the world and never get to as they age, get sick or just don’t have the funds.


– Friends and family.    My amazing friend group and inner circle of family who has stood in the gap for me time after time and who always stand by my side.  I love them with all my heart and am so blessed to have each of them in my life.

– Mended Fences.  For 5 years prayers were storming the Heavens for healing, forgiveness and kindness to be commonplace with me and my ex.  We have finally made it.  Forgiveness is beautiful and our relationship is how it should be.  We are able to finally enjoy the family we built together in peace and unity.


– My bigs significant others.  Both Collin and Emily love my children the way I prayed that someone would.  They embrace our crazy family and love each of us. They bring out the best in my Bigs and I see the love my Bigs have for them.  Its everything I prayed it would be.  They bring so much into this family and  I love them just as I love my own.


– My beautiful children.  I AM SO PROUD OF WHO EACH OF THEM ARE!  I could write a blog post just about how amazing they are and how big I love them!  I’m thankful for who they have become and are becoming and the relationship I have with each one!


– My person.  Dean loves me and everything about me – even the not so flattering moments I sometimes have. I am so thankful for our lives together and that he will forever be by my side, walking with me through life.


– Laughter.  Laughter is sometimes the best mechanism for joy in your life.  I’m thankful dean and I enjoy so much laughter in our relationship!


– New additions.  2 sweet little boys and a new extended family that has welcomed me and mine with open arms. I am thankful for each one of them and look so forward to more time together in the future!


And last but certainly not least……

– I am immensely thankful for the long list of memories I have of my dad and that I have absolutely no regrets… He loved me and I knew it…. I fiercely loved him and he knew it!

Thankful… it’s a big word this year! Hug your peeps, love them fiercely, embrace your journey.  And if you look around there is certainly lots to be thankful for!  Happy Thanksgiving 🦃

He’s in the Waiting… Part 1

I listened to this song by Elevation Worship numerous times over the past few years called Take Courage.  Here are some of the lyrics:

Slow down, take time, breath in He said,  – He’d reveal what’s to come

The thoughts in HIS mind always higher than mine, He’ll reveal all to come

– Take Courage my Heart, Stay Steadfast my Soul…. HE’S IN THE WAITING

Hold onto your hope as your Triumph unfolds…. HE’S NEVER FAILING

Do not forget his great faithfulness… He’ll finish all He’s begun

I re-listened to that song again today – as I was talking to someone about God being “in the waiting”.  I remember singing that song so many times as a cry and an attempt to hold on to hope in the midst of the storm.  Today when I listened I was moved to tears for a very different reason…. All of those years of being “In the Wait” and now I am living my unfolding Triumph.  It was sweet to think back to all of the times God was faithful in the Wait and what that wait has brought forth for me.

I rarely write about Dean and get all mushy but this post is about so much more.  It is realizing that God did see me through the wait and he is finishing what he began when he removed me from my marriage (kicking and screaming I might add – and Mad that it happened).  But God gently allowed me some time to breath and then on cue – when God knew I was ready and so was everyone else in my life – Dean walked in.  And the walk with Dean has been a journey in and of itself…

God knew that the man walking into my life would need to come with certain qualities.  Dean’s sweet spirit and his enduring patience was instrumental in the healing of my soul and my broken heart.  He didn’t know the depth of my sorrow and the vastness of my pain and guilt when he arrived nor did he ask.  What he did is exactly what I needed.  He humbly let me work out my issues – stepping quietly to the side – letting me have my moments in the valley and being ever present and ready to resume when I would come through, always loving me.

He embraces my life chasing after my 4 kids, bending to their needs and wants, even if they are far fetched, unreasonable or demanding or I am – he smiles, nods and says “wherever you are.. I am.

And in my quest for finding happiness and finding a partner – I guess I just always thought it would look the same….  Exchange one life for the exact other just with a different face.  What I got is a stark difference but one that my heart so needed and so desired.   That previous life where chaos abounded and  life was always blasting forward to bigger better, more stuff, more money… more more more.  A race to be somebody and to be known by many.  In stark contrast  my beautiful new life is filled with someone who is content, has a minimalist outlook, likes nature and outdoor activities, embraces a simple existence with low drama and treasures simplistic, yet deep interactions.  There is no race for fame or to be known, me knowing his inner most thoughts and feelings is enough for him.  A touch, a glance, a conversation is what is highly regarded and valued now.  It was the wait that brought me further away from the chaos and allowed me to see the value in these things and to embrace a beautiful and meaningful relationship with a man who loves me like no other ever has.

The wait was so worth it!  He has healed my soul and opened the opportunity to a beautifully happy loving future!


And btw I said YES!




My youngest daughter had a recent encounter that has compelled me to write about.  Here’s the cliff notes version of what happened:  We were at a local high school football game.  She was playing with her friend under the bleachers where the other kids play.  When we were about to leave we noticed that she was surrounded by older kids from a neighboring school and what seemed to be innocent was not at all.  They had surrounded her and her friend and were saying mean things to them and not allowing them to leave.  When we approached and said it was time to go – the older children scattered like ants (so we knew there was something fishy) I am not certain what transpired before we walked upon it – what I do know is what my daughter reported that those kids were saying to her and her friend.  One statement in particular struck me to my core, so much that it has prompted this post.  They told them “If you were adopted I bet your parents would want to return you to the adoption center”.  Now…. I am certain that none of those children knew Mia was adopted.  However, they weren’t teasing her because she was adopted or they even suspected that she was… they were using the “adoption dig” as something just plain mean and degrading to another child regardless.

Please teach your children to be kind.  Raise them so that when they are away from you and your watchful eyes that they will always do and say the right thing.  Be an example of kindness as well, in your home and your community – your kids are watching you.  Kindness is easy.  Teach your children Adoption is beautiful and should never be looked at as though it is a “bad” or something to be ostracized or used to ridicule someone.

If you are reading this take time today to have a conversation with your children about kindness and the beauty in all people.

For me, this was the first time that I had to admit that my children just may be targets of prejudice and hateful things that are said and done because they are different.  A worry that no mom should have to carry with her.

I am thankful that we attend a school that has some diversity in its student body and teaches kindness and recognizes the beauty in being different.  Being a part of this school for 14 years I know that those qualities are embraced and supported throughout the school and it shows in the student body.  The world however hasn’t come that far yet.  So please do your part…


A praying mother

There is something powerful about a praying mother.  A mother, on her knees, face down, praying over and over, day after day because she sees her child and grandchildren suffer – its the only action she can take, the only one that brings about true change.  I am talking about my mother who has spent countless hours praying that the toxic person that infiltrated our lives and changed our path forever would be removed.  BUT My mom also prayed that she would be blessed as she moved on.  Wow!  Not many of us moms would pray that prayer for the ones that hurt our children.  She did and her prayers were answered recently.

The “girl” that had a hand in the destruction of my marriage is now gone and out of our lives.  Not the ending my ex was hoping for in his relationship but the one we all needed – desperately needed.  With her exit from our lives – we can all begin to heal.  Needless to say it has been a long hard road filled with many battles and a constant state of turmoil.  My ex and I were never allowed to deal with our own stuff that led to the end of our 25 year relationship nor allowed to figure out how we co-parent our children together.  That one person kept us in battle mode at all times.  After her departure, my children and I breathed a huge sigh of relief, almost instantaneously – as well as He did.   I think he realized the grass wasn’t greener and what a mess he had to clean up after her departure – because frankly the carnage of infidelity has a ripple affect that continues and continues –  a hard lesson he has had to learn.  But here’s the thing about family – my children showed up and stood up for him – as did I.

The good news is that We, as a family are healing.  Fences are being mended, relationships that were estranged are being repaired, forgiveness and grace abound.  And although it is not the way I thought it would look 25 years ago – it is good – its just different.  My ex and I are co-parenting our beautiful littles and they are thriving – all of our children have access to us and we communicate fluidly about family stuff.  He has someone new in his life, whom I like and get along beautifully with.

So let me give you just a glimpse at what GOD can do with those prayers from my mother and what my family’s reality is now -Mia’s Gotcha Day celebration brought all of our children, me and my family and him and his family together – United!   At a soccer tournament recently – we all went and sat together as a family to cheer Maddie on and after had a meal; Me, my ex, both of our significant others and our 3 girls.  That felt good.  When I think about our lives and the reality we are now living it brings tears to my eyes.  Knowing how far we have come to get to this point, all the water under the bridge and yet GOD still can heal and bring beauty from ashes.

I never in a million years thought that this was possible – but again never underestimate what GOD can do.  He can move mountains!  He does honor and hear our prayers, especially those sent to him by a mother.

This certainly isn’t the end of the story, but just the beginning.  I finally feel like I have closure with that part of my life and it finally feels “right” and in order.  It frees me to move on.  What a journey…. I’m excited to see the next chapters.

mia gotcha family

Surrendered Expectations

Stepping down off of yesterdays soapbox I have brushed my hair, freshened my lipstick and regrouped – to say the least.  Some days you just have to get that stuff off your chest – so to speak.  And as if on que, God always shows up and gives me his word and helps me see things through His eyes.

I read my daily devotion this morning and it was about just that very thing I entitled this post and so relevant to yesterdays post:   surrendering our expectations.  It asked a very poignant question – one I pondered for some time this morning.

Is it possible that God has given you the desires of your heart, but they are packaged differently than you expected?

Wow… what a question for someone like me who really had strong feelings about how I felt my life should be playing out. I have learned a lot during this journey and that has been one of the biggest;  to temper my expectations and trust GOD that he knows my wants and needs and he sees the things I cannot see and he answers my prayers even if they look differently than I expected them to look.

At the root of that question is “Do you really Trust GOD?”  I am learning to surrender to his will and give up the illusion of control – He’s got this – He is in control – He does not need my help lol.

So…. How would you answer the question above?  My answer is …… Yes it is possible and yes they are packaged very differently than I thought they would look – but those desires of my heart are met – they have been fulfilled and they are more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.

Perspective gained as I walked off the soapbox.  Almost as if HE listened to me in real time and ran over to talk with me about what the big picture really looks like.  Just step back and take a look around.  ***See below for a small glimpse




My soapbox

I have started this post now 4 times and regrouped.  Here is my final attempt to get out what I am feeling and I may sound a little mad, —–  but I’m not mad… I’m hurt (thank you Jessica for helping me call it what it is) and I can’t seem to write this without that feeling of sorrow coming out on the page.   In this journey and especially when writing my blog I have been vigilant about being authentic.  Well here is authentically how I feel.soapbox

How can people be so thoughtless and self centered?  How can one say in the pursuit of “Them being happy” I am going to walk away and leave chaos in their wake that will affect even the closest of those that love them.  Then after they walk away and you and yours semi-survive their of path of destruction …. their new happiness turns out to be a trainwreck and isn’t happy after all – and they just walk away like ok that didn’t work out.  WHAT!?

I say all of this to hopefully make someone stop and think…. think about someone else beside themselves.  Unless you are the uni-bomber, you do not live life in a silo/alone.  The things we say and do in life affect other people.  The careless disregard for anybody but oneself is reckless and leads to damaged children, damaged friendships, damaged people.  If you are not happy – the only real answer is to look within yourself.  Happiness comes from within….

Here are my key takeaways to pass along out of this whole experience:

– The grass is never greener

– True Contentment and Happiness comes from within AND a deep relationship with GOD

– Things will NEVER ever make you happy

– You reap what you sow,  and if that is confusing for you or you’re just not sure what that means just follow the 10 Commandments and you should be good.

– Respect can never be demanded – it is always earned.

– True commitment isn’t conditional

– and last but certainly not least… Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

There are a lot of good people in my life that overshadow the bad.  I am thankful for the many blessings in my life – even those that were painful.  I continue to pray for the peace which surpasses all understanding.


“Your ways are higher, you know just what I need.  I trust you Jesus, you see what I cannot see”                                  -Chris McClarney (I’m Listening)



PS  You may now continue on… my feet stomping temper tantrum is over.  Life goes on.


Making a Difference

Several years ago I became a board member of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Southwest Louisiana.  I love this organizations mission and the impact that they have on the children in our community.

Recently I started sharing my time with my own littles with their dad which has allowed me a little more free time on my hands.  With that time I felt called to do something productive and something that would make a difference.  Having already been imbedded in Big Brothers and Big Sisters for several years the logical choice was to get involved outside of just the Board role.  I needed a little sister… and that’s just what I did.  I was matched this week with my little sister and am very excited to start spending time with her.

However, I am not writing this blog to toot my own horn.  I am writing to tell you a story.  I went to meet my little sister the other day for the first time.  It was arranged that we would meet at the BBBS office as she was attending the summer camp program that they put on.  I arrive and her and I begin chatting and visiting and playing a game.  The other sweet kids that are also attending summer camp hear that I am her new Big Sister.  One little boy came over to me and asks me – are you really her new Big Sister?  Then he went on to say how he wished he could have a Big Brother and he was still waiting for one.  Then he hugged me every so sweetly and went back to playing.  KIDS need US.  They need mentors in their lives who want to spend time with them.  That sweet little boy broke my heart.  SO if you are reading this and have been wondering what you could do to “pay it forward” or give back (whatever you want to call it)…. Reach out to Big Brothers and Big Sisters in your community.  There are children that are waiting for someone to stand in the gap for them and make a difference in their lives!  There are several programs that you can participate in that impact kids in a BIG way!  Be the change! Get Involved!

Become a Big

One of My prayers last night was that someone steps up for that little boy…..