So this is 40…

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I’m 40 now. For some reason 30 terrified me. So much so that I jokingly pretended to be 29 for so long that I often had to ask Matt how old I really was. Even my lil monsters knew Mama turned 29 year after year. Somehow, I’m good with 40. Like really good. I AM 40! I am happy. I have an unwaivering faith in God. I’ve been married for over a decade to the most loving and supportive man I’ve ever known and somehow get to call mine. I am a mama to four truly incredible humans that I will forever be in awe of. I am the proud Maw-Maw to two precious little souls. I have a priceless bond with my parents. I’m a daughter in law and a mother in law to two special women. I have a closeness with some of my family that I wouldn’t trade for the world, even some cousins that have forever been more like a sister or brother to me. Friends I’ve had since we were kids and now get to watch our own children grow together. I’ve got friendships that I’ve built since relocating to Texas from New Orleans many many years ago. I have two sweet little senior pups that follow me around day in and day out (I admit this is because I’m the one that always slips them people food, but hey they love me and I’ll take it!).

I am short, loud, sometimes spontaneous, wear my heart on my sleeve, am known to cuss like a sailor, have a raging temper when it comes to anyone messing with someone I love, tend to be a bit of an over thinker, mildly OCD, generally have trouble hiding my emotions be it happiness or anger, yet I’m one of the most sincere people to have in your corner. I am a family, friend, iced latte, Moscato, book, yoga, red lipstick, post it note, and children/animal loving lady.

In the last decade we have made so many of our dreams come true. Our family has grown and reshaped in various ways. We moved into a home that we now get to watch children and grandchildren grow in due to my husband’s hard work for our family while encouraging me to be the stay at home mama I cherish being. We have traveled to interesting places both with our children as well as little getaways alone with my love. Some travels have been far away and sometimes only as far as our backyard. I am healthier than I’ve ever been. I can now keep up with my children and grandchildren on a trampoline, at theme parks, and on playgrounds. I have wrinkles that show the life I’ve lived. Some from worry, God knows I worry like no other, and some from lots of happiness and laughter. I have many grays that pop out before my next hair appointment and oddly enough even that doesn’t bother me, fingers crossed I get the streak in my hair that my Maw-Maw had. I’ve got stretch marks from carrying four children I was once told I wouldn’t have. I’ve got scars from more surgeries than I care to count. I’ve been hurt tremendously in my life time and I’ve also been loved beyond measure. So how could I possibly be distraught over turning forty? This feels like quite the privilege! So bring on the next decade of my life that I’m so blessed to be living. I look forward to celebrating more birthdays with the ones that love me most. To watching my husband bake me another beautiful cake while I sit across the counter from him sipping on a glass of wine and smiling so much it hurts. Listening to the most precious voices singing Happy birthday to me year after year. Dancing and (horribly) singing in our kitchen with our children and grandchildren while cooking dinner. I am so thankful to get to experience FORTY!

I look forward to learning and growing in new ways. If I’ve learned nothing else in this life time it’s to forever know I will never stop learning from others. I will not always be right. It’s okay to admit fault or wrong doing and apologize sincerely. I am not and will never be perfect. My biggest teachers have always been my children and I’m certain I learn more from them alone daily than I could ever teach them. THIS is 40!


This is the America I love

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This morning my mom took a ride with me to get coffee. On the way home I looked in my rearview mirror as I was getting on I-35N in Schertz, TX (10 minutes north of San Antonio for folks not familiar with the area) to see an endless line of blue lights. It was a convoy of police officers and EMS from Arkansas! A good 40-50 vehicles with boats on the back of almost every one of them! What is happening in Texas is horrible. Knowing that if Harvey hadn’t shifted 40 miles that it would have been San Antonio needing rescuing hasn’t slipped our minds. Seeing Americans banning together from all directions coming to the aid of Texas is nothing short of amazing! This is the America I love, not fighting over politics or statues, but our country coming together to help those in need all over this great state!


A step parent who stepped up…

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We have four children. Only two of them are my husband’s biologically. You’d never know the difference in his love for them all. He’s loved my two oldest as if they were his own from the moment he walked into our lives. Made selfless changes and sacrafices to fit our family. Went back to school while working two jobs so that he could provide for us and encouraged me to be a stay at home mama. Even quit smoking immediately because our son has asthma and our daughter had had RSV. He taught our son how to shave and the value of being a hard working man. Worked with our boy to learn how to play a guitar like he does. He taught our daughter how to walk and how to ride her bike. Amongst many other priceless moments over the last decade. I’m thankful that the man I fell in love with fell in love with my children too and instantly made them his priority as well. I’m thankful he’s the one that has taught them what it means to love your spouse and children with everything you have. I’m so thankful that he’s a dad that continues to give a shit.



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Today one of my best friends posted this picture on my facebook with a birthday message.

It’s from her last visit here a few months ago while playing cards against humanity. A lot of laughter took place that night, A LOT! I swear I’ve come back to look at this picture several times through out today (as well as many other great ones that have been shared). It has made me smile every single time. This is a really good reminder for me for those days that I have been rough on myself about things that are out of my control, of how truly happy my life really is, through the ups & downs, how very thankful I am for the people that are in my life! I’m grateful for each and every one of you that find ways to bring this kind of laughter to my life. 

I’m looking forward to what 39 brings. I’ve been working so hard on myself over the last few years. Both physically and mentally. I’m finding a new found strength in myself and I really do love it. I think on my way to 40 I’m going to push myself so much harder as I get to know myself better. I have a tendency of putting myself on the back burner in all aspects of my life. My husband constantly encourages me to do otherwise, but it’s just my nature. I’m slowly finding a balance I didn’t know I was capable of. I’m making time for myself, really need a ton of work in this department. I’m reading more, exercising daily, trying new things, testing my limits, learning when to say no, and when to walk the fuck away. I am so full of love, so full of ideas, and so want to always keep everyone happy and now I’m learning how to add myself to that list of people I intent to keep happy. Thankfully I’ve got an incredibly supportive husband that always has my back, truly phenomenal friends, and family that never ceases to amaze me. 39 is going to be fantastic!



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The precious little boy from New Braunfels Texas that stole the hearts of many and was wise beyond his years was laid to rest today after passing away in Seattle on 12.15.16. I’m thankful my husband was able to leave work early today and bring me to pay our respect to the kindest God loving little soul I’ve ever met. Never in my life have I know a child to have his level of strength and a permanent smile on his face regardless of his pain. He always had wisdom to share with others. Including these words that his mama recently shared on his Rally for Rowan Facebook page that he wrote for a doctor that had lost a patient in a room next door to him:

Being able to follow this little guy and witness his faith, love for others, and amazing strength was a true blessing. Thank you Carrie for sharing your sweet boy with the world.

To learn more about Rowan and his incredible decade on this earth check out his mama’s blog at: 

Rest in peace Rowan, you’ll be missed by many.


My daddy, one year later…

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I’ve really struggled with this one. For an entire year I couldn’t find it in me to blog about the horrible motorcycle accident that nearly took my daddy’s life ironicly on my mother in law’s birthday last year on September 18, 2015, and did tragically take the life of his dear friend and fellow patriot guard rider while escorting a fallen soldier. It’s a phone call no daughter ever expects to receive. While we were receiving the news that he was in an accident, another family was receiving the God awful news that we could have received the same night. I think that’s where my struggle came in. I love blogging. It helps me get feelings out that I sometimes don’t even realize I’m bottling up. Still I knowingly bottled these feelings up for 366 days and I know now as I type this, I still won’t put into writing all of the thoughts I have. Yet there are things I do need to say. For my daddy, my sister and I, his grandchildren, and so many other people that genuinely love this amazing man that is my dad. When the accident happened we didn’t find out for many hours. His phone was locked. Two fellow marines that stayed by his side in that hospital waiting to be able to use his finger print to unlock his phone to call me. The emergency card I had put in his wallet had gone unseen. These kind men didn’t budge though. When they finally did get through to my phone my ringer was somehow off and I missed the call. An hour later I looked down and saw something that made me loose my breath. A typed out message of the voicemail that had been left. Telling me it was an emergency. I was 600 miles away from my dad. I felt a million miles away. When I got to him the next day I never left his side. For 10 days I slept in his icu room with him. Refusing to leave his side for more than the few minutes it took to grab food from downstairs or get cleaned up after they got him as comfortable as possible at night. I updated Facebook diligently, trying my best to keep everyone that cared updated, and yet keeping my main focus on him where it belonged. I can’t really bring myself to look at the Facebook “on this day” memories right now because it’s days that were some of the hardest I had ever experienced, even more so the worst our daddy had ever endured. I so wanted to take away his pain. Switch places with him even. My heart ached for the family that was having to make funeral arrangements as doctor’s were telling us he wasn’t out of the woods and still may not survive. I had to call my husband and tell him to bring our babies to see their Paw-Paw. I had to call my son and let him FaceTime him for what could have been their last. It was all so very awful, I can’t even dive into all of the little details in full. The details that stay in my mind. The ones that make me so thankful for every single day I’m blessed to still hear his voice. I never did share all of the photos from the hospital or of the accident scene. I don’t ever intend to beyond the few select photos I’ll share in this blog. 

This is the first post I shared asking for prayers.

Thankfully it turned out his back wasn’t broken. It was a knicked vertebrae. The broken ribs were 13 some in multiple places. I chose this picture because it had been taken just weeks before when he finally made it to Sturgis. He was beyond thrilled and had just got his new trike. We went down to see him off and celebrate his 62nd birthday a little early. It was an exciting time for him. Now I was using it to tell everyone he was in a trauma icu fighting for his life. 

This is the last photo someone took of him literally within hours of the accident riding his bike. My Nana was riding next to him and snapped it. There are no words to describe how thankful I was to have this as I sat by his side in that hospital praying to God endlessly that he would pull through. 

The next two photos are the ones that are some of the hardest for me to share. It’s a very harsh reality of how close we truly came to loosing him.

His bike was impaled on a guard rail after he was thrown from his bike 20-30 feet in the air according to witnesses. It’s a miracle his injuries weren’t far worse. It’s a miracle he survived according to the trauma doctors. 

This is the first photo I took of him before he was even alert enough to know I was there. This is far from the worst we saw in that room. During those days I watched the strongest man I have ever known go through the worst days of his life. He truly had to fight to survive. I’m so thankful he never gave up. I’m also thankful for the constant flow of people that visited and checked on him daily.

While I prepared to drive my daddy with all of those broken ribs and arm the hour and a half home in rush hour traffic with my husband and our children I was both elated and terrified. So scared I would do something to cause him more pain or harm. Thankfully he was able to sleep through most of that drive. 

The next few months were rough. Some unspeakable moments, or rather too personal to share. Hard goodbyes when I had to leave him and come back to Texas after not leaving his side for three weeks. Going back down a few weeks later to bring him to his friend’s funeral. Watching him in so much pain, yet determined to hold a flag in honor of such an incredible man. Later having his surgery on his shoulder. Taking him back to Texas with us to take care of him through more of his recovery. Slowly but surely his strength grew. He was allowed to go back to work. Yet the pain, an endless reminder of that horrible night will forever be with him. Both physically and mentally. This last year has given us many things. I’ve been able to spend more time with him over this last year than I ever have in the years since I moved to Texas from New Orleans. Granted we’ve always tried to see each other as often as we could, but this last year has been different. We have made sure to spend as much time together as possible and what I’m about to share next are all of the blessings I can hardly count. This is my daddy. This is the man that never gives up. This is the man that is a marine, a patriot guard rider, a dad, a paw-paw, a great Paw-Paw, a father in law, a brother, an uncle, and friend to so many. This is only some of the cherished memories we have made over the last year. The man that through endless pain continues to make as many memories as he possibly can.

He was able to be here for Halloween. My husband pushed him around the neighborhood in a wheel chair so he could watch his grand daughters trick or treat. We took him to a local air show. Some days he was up to walking his grandbabies home from school with me. He had time with Gina. Was here for Thanksgiving and loved being able to visit with the soldiers we welcome into our home each year. We celebrated a late Thanksgiving with Gina’s family in Houston. Weren’t able to spend Christmas together due to recovery from his surgery. But were able to spend Mardi Gras with him. 

He was able to meet his Great Granddaughter, Adelina, at his oldest grandson’s wedding. We took him to the drive in. Had many silly father/daughter moments. He dyed Easter eggs with the girls and got to watch them discover their easter basket the next morning. We went back home for the Irish Italian Islenos parade with him. 

He was able to watch Betty walk across the stage. Spent lots of time with both my sister and I. Had time with his two grandsons that live close by. Was able to go to the Veteran’s day programs at Aub & Mad’s schools. I was able to surprise him and send him to Houston for a Father’s Day getaway, little did he know Aub would be making the trip back with him from New Orleans and we would be meeting him there too for a weekend of fun with family friends. 

He’s had tons of bonding time with his son in law, that let’s be honest is his son as far as he’s concerned. He taught Aub some tricks he learned from diving all his life with his Dad on how to hold her breath longer while swimming. Matt & I took him to see his first street punk show, Noi!se. Surprisingly enough, he really enjoyed it! He’s done what he loved most, devoting as much time as he could to the Patriot Guard Riders. We made a few trips to Austin and he even got to put a coin on Chris Kyle’s grave. 

He was able to swing his grandbabies and swim in a river with them. At midnight on his 63rd birthday while pretending to stay up with him to watch Law & Order I surprised him with a German chocolate cupcake. He didn’t see it coming, because only he and I were awake. He got to see his grand daughters head off to their first day of sixth grade, second grade, and pre-k. He got tons of hugs from his grandchildren. Him and I explored various antique shops in New Braunfels & Gruene or took in a movie while the girls were in school. He was able to greet Bitty as she got off of her school bus. I really shocked him one day as he was about to take a nap and I told him let’s go to a shooting range with my friends. And somehow he survived multiple trips to Schlitterbahn this summer.

Most importantly, I was able to bake him the butter almond cake he wanted. Cook him the pork chop, buttered rice, & peas that reminded him of his mama. And watch our little girls swarm around him to blow out his candles for his 63rd birthday! 

My dad is an incredible man. Full of love and compassion. Over the last year he has endured some horrible moments, but oh so many good ones. I thank God for every last one of these memories we were able to make. And I pray for the family that no longer has memories to be made with the gentleman that lost his life that tragic night, doing what he too loved. Honoring a soldier along side his fellow patriot guard riders. 


One of the boys…

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This morning I remembered the invitation on our fridge from Mad’s classmate. I had completely forgot to RSVP, forgetful has been my middle name, if it’s not in my calendar or on our fridge. I asked her if she was good friends with the little guy and she said yes she plays with him at recess every day. So I told her I’d call his mommy and see if it would be okay if we still went to the party. She very matter of fact, in her usual five year old way told me “His mommy is dead. He told me. You’ll have to ask his daddy if we can go to his party.”. I was taken aback to hear my little girl tell me this, but I called the number on the invitation and spoke to the gentleman that I assume was his daddy. He was more than happy to have Mad still go to the party. And so we went. When we arrived three little boys spotted her and shouted her name and came running and started taking turns hugging her and happily picking her up! When each of them were done she would pick them up too. There she was, our five year old daughter happy as could be to be one of the boys! She was the only little girl there and these little boys were thrilled that she was there and they ran around together for the next two hours like the best of friends and she was certainly not the unwanted tag along girl. It was absolutely heart warming! I’m so thankful that even though I didn’t feel well I pushed myself for her to have a fun afternoon. Especially for this little fella who’s mama wasn’t there, who’s daddy threw an amazing Ninja Turtles birthday party and wore a single pink breast cancer awareness bracelet, that didn’t really have any family their outside of an aunt and a few of his new classmates. Yet another swift reminder to always count your blessings. I constantly tell Matt no matter how bad I feel, I always feel so incredibly blessed, because I know there is always someone out there that would give anything to fill my shoes. I am tremendously thankful for the life we share together and know all too well how precious it is.

Afterwards while it would have been easy to go straight home we went to target to get a few necessities. Mad has a fun school project due Monday morning. We’re anxious to put a package together for two special friends that are serving our country. And our little doll face is finally ready to buy some big girl panties and do away with the days of the diapers. I’m fairly certain she would have already been fully potty trained had I not been having all of these medical problems. But since she’s my last lil bit, I’m not in all that much of a rush to end each of these baby phases.

When we came home the girls were happy to bring a little something special to their Maw-Maw for Grandparent’s Day and spent the evening with her. And I came home to a surprise package myself. My incredibly sweet friend, Sandy, that I’ve known since I was fifteen and sat behind her in science class sent me a care package. I simply love this lady. It’s kind of funny how you can know someone for so long and have been friends with them back in school and have a much closer bond as adults many years later. She’s one of those friends. I’m truly blessed with such genuine people that go out of their way to remind me in all kind of ways that they are there for me. Thank you for always being one of those friends Sandy.IMG_2061.JPG


I’ve got sunshine…

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The last month of my life has been rather shaky and quite honestly pretty scary and painful. I’ve spent countless hours between three different specialists offices and had endless testing, labs, & procedures done. I’ve been given some scary news and left with a lot of uncertainty as of yet. Yes, another vague blog. The people we have opted to share my personal medical problems with are in the know, and I still choose to not publicly share the details of my health online. Especially since only one of our four children know some of the details of what’s going on. My husband and I both agree, our girls are far too young to understand or to even have to.

So while my life may feel like it’s in a bit of a shamble full of endless fear and uncertainty it’s also full of a lot of faith and hope. My faith has never been so strong. While scared, I still hold out a lot of hope as well. I’m seeing some of the best specialist around. I have absolutely learned that the people we have in our lives are the ones that belong in it. I can’t even begin to get over the support system we have. First and foremost my husband and my mom, obviously. Who live right here and experience it with me daily. The ones that never once let me think even for a moment that I’m going through this alone. They are picking up my slack when I’m weak. They encourage me when I need it. And they wipe my tears when I just need to let it out. My mom helps me all day with Bitty and with Aub & Mad after school while Matt is at work. She just spent the last week being my personal driver getting me to appointments all over town. Dad & Gina came all the way out here just to spend two days with me and to bring me to have a spinal tap done. Susie skipped a weekend at her ranch house just to go sit with me at an appointment to get some results. Our parents have been so supportive whether in the same house or as far as six hundred miles away. My children, without knowingly doing so bring me the greatest joy ever and will forever be my world! Little do they know they single handedly are my reason to keep pushing forward to get through this. Then there are our friends and relatives. Matt’s cousin had a floral fruit arrangement at my door within hours of telling her what was going on. I’ve got certain friends & relatives that somehow manage to check on me every single day. One friend always asks when my next appointment is and what time ,and it never fails when I’m on my way I get a message with just a heart or a smiley face. One friend is always up late at night when our husbands and our children are asleep and we talk about any and everything when we can’t seem to sleep. She’s just good for my soul and probably helps me more than she knows. Some send me Bible verses, that is something I especially love! Some have insight or know someone who have been through a similar situation. Some are just a shoulder to lean on. Some remind me that it’s okay that I’m forgetful, especially even more so these days due to one of my new medications. Yesterday Matt checked the mail and there were two thing in it for me. One was from my bestie in San Antonio, wasn’t expecting a package from her, so that really confused me. And one was a thick envelope from my specialist, which always means more referrals, which always mean more doctors. Not enough of those currently in my life. I of course opened the box from Em first and I instantly started to cry, happy tears this time. It was a box of “SUNSHINE”! She knows I’ve been being slammed lately, especially in this last week with daily appointments and not always the greatest of news and here sat a box full of goodies from a gal I simply adore that lives 30+ minutes away, that took the time to throw together a fun silly box of things to make me smile. With a silly picture of the two of us and a simple note that said “Hello Sunshine I love you!”. I am so incredibly in debt to the people that have been keeping me up, when I could easily just feel down. To the ones that have continuously shown me their love and support in each of their own special ways and all have meant the world to me. Really, I hope you all know how much you are really pulling me through these scary times! I may have my struggles and fears, but I refuse to loose sight of just how truly blessed I am!IMG_1879.JPG


1 Peter 3:9 and a whole new realization

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Along with forgiveness, this has easily been one of the hardest parts of my faith to come to grips with. Sometimes it’s hard to bite your tongue when someone continues to viscously attack you. It’s no secret that we have dealt with a particular person like this for many years. Literally since the day I married my amazing husband. After tolerating the abuse for many years we finally decided things would never change, enough was enough. So we cut ties shortly after our daughter’s fourth birthday. Now that our children are old enough to understand the things that have been going on, it’s time we protect them from people we once called “family”. As our daughter’s fifth birthday quickly approaches it’s rather sad to have to admit that even without having a relationship any longer there is one particular person that still continues the viscous attacks almost daily, or so I hear. It used to bother me, especially when someone that once struggled with her weight until she has a drastic weight loss surgery now feels it’s okay to post cruel things online about our weight. While it has become a game to post such hateful things and then delete them, it still made it’s way to me after someone screen shot it and sent it to us. No denying that. That was possibly as low as one could stoop. Especially when said person has no idea what actually goes on in our personal life. Clearly I’ve had four surgeries over the last year, some for very serious reasons of which are none of her business or concern. I just will never understand how a “Christian” could be so hateful or vindictive? Anyway, I won’t go into that because that’s the entire point of this blog.

“Never retaliate when people say unkind things about you. Pay them back with a blessing…and God will bless you.” – 1 Peter 3:9

There it is. My biggest reason for no longer retaliating against another’s hatred. Let alone the fact that I’m so thankful our family no longer needs to value or tolerate her opinions or hatred towards us. Who cares what is thought about us by someone that doesn’t even hold a special place in our lives any longer? There is a big reason for it after all and this only validates our beliefs further. Thankfully at the advice of my husband as well as a few other caring folks in my life I have stopped reading her stabs months ago. Even upon hearing of her latest attempts to draw me into another cycle of the nonsense I have resisted temptation. I value my faith, my family, and let’s be honest my sanity far too much to allow a person that I have cut ties with for a very valid reason to have that control over me any longer. I figured out the forgiveness part months ago. I really struggled with it because I made myself believe that in doing so meant I had to have a relationship with said person again, that absolutely is never happening again, and is absolutely not the case. It took me really grasping my faith and God’s word to fully get it. I just needed to forgive. There is no further action or relationship required, thanks be to God.

So now I have moved on to this verse. (1 Peter 3:9) talk about God’s timing always being right. I needed it. And it came along right on time. What another thinks about me or in this case blatantly says about me all over the internet and quite possibly to anyone who will listen really doesn’t matter at all. What another thinks of me is none of my business! Wouldn’t I need to value said opinion to begin with? Does another’s opinion even define who I really am? Not a chance! Another’s view of me doesn’t define the person I truly am. Far more people have a completely opposite view of me after all. I don’t need to retaliate. I don’t need to give it any more thought. Thankfully that is a part of our lives that we no longer need to go back to and a part of our lives that no longer deserves a response. Instead I choose to pray for said person. That this person can finally move on without feeling the need to nearly a year later continue to take stabs at us. Move on and find a happy place, even a happy medium. I have no intention in responding to such hatred any longer. Instead I will continue to hold on to my faith and my family and will do so with as much grace as I possibly can.

I had originally intended to post this as a private blog. Then I realized this is nothing worth hiding. Especially as I typed it it reminded me of a situation that someone I love dearly is going through. While it’s a whole different situation it is a similar one that this one verse may very well help them cope with better. One persons hatred doesn’t deserve a response. Pray for them instead. No sense in stooping to another persons level and making yourself look equally as bad. Remember this one quote: “How you make others feel about themselves says a lot about YOU!”20140513-100441.jpg