Thursday, December 28, 2017

Thanksgiving like no other

Well, it's been quite some time (sadly, I feel like a vast majority of my posts start out this way) since I last took the time to sit down and just write. But stuff has happened. Life changing things. It's just I haven't exactly stopped to focus on how I feel about all of these things. I mean I have but I've been busy. Isn't that what happens to everyone? We get too busy, living. Sometimes so busy living that we began to stop focusing on our feelings about certain things? That's really another post altogether. So I'll move forward in talking about what has been going on since I'm finally getting a chance to stop the wheels of life and sit down and write.

Thanksgiving was different this year. Will and I traveled to Boulder City, Nevada where we planned to spend the holiday with Bill, Will's dad. Bill and I have developed a relationship over the past few months and it had been really nice getting to know my father in law. I was excited to know that I was going to see him and I could feel comfortable in knowing there wouldn't be any uncomfortable conversation because he and I had been in communication and getting to know each other on great levels leading up to our visit.

We flew out from Dallas and got to Nevada Thanksgiving morning. I say Nevada, because after my visit I realized very quickly that my husband didn't grow up in "Vegas" like I had always imagined in my mind. Yes, he was born there but it's not what I thought or maybe what you are thinking when you think Las Vegas. Not the big city of sin lights with the gambling and shows that my imagination had always wondered towards. That's not where my husband grew up until he moved to Oklahoma in the 5th grade. No, he was raised in beautiful mountains, surrounded by tall trees. It's hard to imagine until you see it in person, because I think even when I was told about it, I didn't get it until I got there and then I got it.

Once we arrived, we drove our rental to Boulder City, where we would be spending our time. The scenery is full of the tallest cacti, more pretty mountains and then we arrived to the beautiful quaint little area. Once we made it to BC, we made our way downtown, we visited the local watering holes and just played ketchup. If you are reading this and wondering what ketchup is, it's just my version of saying catch up. You're welcome.

Our time in Boulder City was spent antique shopping, frequenting the World Famous Coffee Cup and spending time with Bill at his local favorite spots. One of his favorite places is called Jack's, it's just like Louie's, Will and I thought this was really funny because Will and I love Louie's and this place felt just like it. I always say Louie's is our Cheers bar & grill, and that everyone should have a Cheers. If you don't know what I'm referencing, then do yourself a favor and look it up on Netflix or your fancy fire stick and get to watching a show called Cheers. Anyway, I think if you are person who likes to partake in drinking a cocktail every now and then, I think you should find your cheers. Somewhere everyone knows your name. Jack's is Bill's place.

One day we went to the Hemenway Park, this place it truly a must see if you are ever in the area. This is a park like none of the ones you went to as a child, unless of course you grew up in this area. Yes, it had all the slides, the swings, etc. But it also had a horseshoe pit set up and then the best part, Rams from the mountains come down to this park and just hang out. They just chill while you chill. It was so interesting and really cool.

Speaking of horseshoes, we spent thanksgiving at Russ's house - this is one of Bill's closest friends. His family was so sweet, they can COOK. The food and conversation was great. The guys played a few games of horseshoes, while the women talked about all kinds of things, from family to spiritual beliefs. It was nice to feel surrounded by family and friends, to see and meet who Bill surrounds himself with. All of friends are funny just like him, and kind, very kind.

I would say my favorite time there was the day we spent in Mt. Charleston. It's hard to imagine such a beautiful place like this in the midst of where your mind goes when you think Las Vegas, but if you ever get the chance to go here, GO. I urge you take that day trip. Bill & Will and took the time to stop and show me different landmarks that brought back memories. We drove by the fire station his dad worked at for years, even the plot of land where their old house once stood. Will & I took a hike through the mountains to the lodge, funny, once dusk was upon us and we had been heading back, Will's dad was beginning to get worried so he just yelled loudly, his voice echoed through the mountains. Will said he used to do this when he was younger too. I would love to grow up in a place filled with so much nature and beauty, and the way to be called home was just yelling across the mountains.

The last night we were in town, we decided to get a room on the strip, we thought we were going to go all out. Will would have steak & lobster, I would find some delicious pasta and red wine. This is not how it really went haha. We actually got to our hotel, found the closest CVS, got some mucinex and got in bed. We did get up the next day to do a little Black Friday shopping and we had a delicious burger at Wahlburgers, not gonna lie, I was hoping to see Donny, big blue bloods fans over here - no luck, maybe next time.

As we flew home, I realized I have so much to be thankful for, of course my husband, but also my budding relationship with my father in law and Will's continuing relationship with his dad. Will & I both hope to go back soon to visit him and I think we will. I sure hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Here are some photos of our trip, we had a great time, thanks Bill for being the host with the most :)

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Shame, confidence & becoming useful

This post may be long, but then again it could be short. All I knew when I began typing this evening it that I wanted it to be something I could either one day look back on and remember a time where I could see myself going through some type of transition. Which if you are one of my readers (if I even have any of those out there still interested enough to keep up with this stuff then maybe you’ll find it of interest too, but then maybe not haha) you know that’s why I started this whole blog situation in the beginning as a way to look back later, in the future.

Anyway, this year, I’ve been working on myself — as much as I’d like to say I’d been doing that all of my life, I probably haven’t. I would say that things prior to this year, I was getting there, but maybe just not quite ready to really buckle down and work on ME. So I started with I thought was the single most important part of me to work on which was focusing on the shape of my soul. It’s in my belief that you are only as good as your soul is.

My relationship with my higher power is pretty important, so it was relevant for me to get that relationship to a more solid ground. I come from a pretty solid background of religion and I grew up going to church. I’ve always felt close to God but I just knew I needed more. To get real, I just knew it was time for me to start cleaning up the mess or maybe stop creating the mess...

In life we make messes, and when we make messes we don’t want to face others. Sometimes our messes are harmless, sometimes our messes hurt others, and sometimes our messes hurt ourselves. So we spend our time trying to cover up the messes, because we are ashamed. We hope nobody asks us too many questions, because that opens up doors to our lives we don’t feel comfortable talking about, because of our shame. I’m familiar with those types of messes.

When I began to start focusing on my relationship with God this year, it was like the messes in my life in my memory were in bold print and highlighted with bright yellow so I wouldn’t forget them. Each time I would feel a little closer to God, I’d either create another mess or remember another mess out of shame. Shame quiets people down, it quieted me down. But what I’m still learning is that it doesn’t necessarily have to.

As I started working on my relationship with God, due to my own messes and shame I began to lack confidence. Confidence in speaking to others, sharing with them, I don’t know about certain things I’d dealt with or even overcome because of Gods love and this all because of my stupid messes. What I find cool about God’s love is that he accepts me and brokenness- the mess- the shame- the guilt. And despite my mess ups he’s like "hey, you’re good, someone needs to hear that story, someone needs to learn from it, make yourself useful for my glory."

Recently, I jumped into this small group of women on Tuesday evenings, I realized quick that I'm still lacking in confidence to share with these women. However, after we met that evening, I prayed about it more and feel like maybe I'll make myself more useful moving forward. I'm hopeful there. What I will share with you guys is something I do feel really proud of  that I've seen a transformation in over the past year is the growth in my relationships. Not only with my husband, or close friends, those have been greatly enriched, but what I'm really proud to say that I'm finally working on is growing with the relationships within my family. This is the part that was a bit of a tough spot for me, I think I could of probably just kept on living life, kept going like it was going but I prayed about the relationships within my family that have been broken for a seemingly long time. God gave me some ways to approach these relationships and I'm proud to say that I am hopeful that one day they won't be so broken. I'm not saying we will be the Brady bunch, but I think we will be less broken, there are some key people within the family I'm talking about here that I know that want this too and I know God can make this happen. I do think God has the ability to transform these once broken relationships into beautiful united bonds so I'm looking forward to seeing what is in store for our family.