Harder than This

Today I leave my family for 6 weeks to train to become a flight attendant - part of my Plan B that's been in action since last fall.  My husband made my favorite southern breakfast (biscuits and gravy) and the whole family will drive me to San Antonio for dinner and then tuck me in to my hotel for the night before my very early wake up call in the morning.  As I washed up our breakfast dishes this morning, I felt the tears and fears rushing in so I gave myself a pep talk to help me stay focused and get through this like a boss.

It went something like this:

You've done things much harder than this.  Like what things?  Lots of hard things.

List of "Lots of Hard Things":

- Surviving the teenage years
- Completing nursing school and passing my boards
- Working as a charge nurse at the age of 20
- Having my first child
- Having my second child 2 years later (that was a blur)
- Leaving an abusive marriage
- Being a single mom
- Learning to love myself
- Learning to love s…

Renewing Vows

This is the way it's supposed to be.  Me getting off the couch and walking to the bathroom while he makes us each a drink and calls to me "don't flush" because we're green, and married, like that and both of our pee smells like Vitamin B complex.

TMI, right?

This is what marriage is.

This is the real thing.

The habits that stay with you, the things that make you "you",  are the things you'll miss the most.

This time last year I was feeling like maybe I was failing at marriage a little.  And maybe like it was failing me a little.  A lot of the "magic" was replaced by the "managerial".  It was a lot of habit and have-to's and have not's.  There was love.  Always there was love but there was commitment above all.

We actually contemplated renewing our vows in Vegas.  We talked about it ahead of time and stocked up on bubbles in our hotel room.  We scoped out a couple of possibilities at hotel chapels.  We had our friends with …

Extra Mushy Gratitude Post

Today is one of those days.  One of those days where my heart and cup is full.  We have so many balls in the air at this moment that it would be easy for me to feel anxious and fret and try to grab one of those balls and run with it in the direction that I think it should go.  To try and force my will.  But today I am just basking in the gratitude of what each of those balls mean and how we were ever given the opportunity to be the stewards of them!

Our home-n-progress is under contract and we are counting down the days until closing.  I walk through it today, alone and quiet, and marvel at every little thing.  The remodel and the furnishings, paint and flooring and I nod a little "thank you" for each and every thing.  I wash a load of laundry and I think about my poor dad who doesn't have running water because of cold, frozen pipes and I send hopeful thoughts his way and feel thankful that I can wash our clothes.  I fold a little pair of boy's blue jeans on my bed …


I haven't said much about the #metoo movement.  I haven't wanted to.  It's been easier to not say anything.  I'll be honest, I thought it was going to be a "thing" that just went away.  I kind of wanted it to.  Not because I don't think justice should be served or that women should be heard but I just really didn't want to give anymore time or energy to my own #metoo story.

Because I want to put it behind me.

Because I wish, almost daily, it never happened.

Because I am still, years later, ashamed that it did.

I was a strong woman.  I AM a strong woman.  I am smart.  I am capable.  I am successful.  I am attractive.  I am not a "slut" or a "whore" or any of those things that men (and women) like to say about women that #metoo happen to.  But it happened just the same.  Because it just does.

It happened in a "safe" place.

And still it happened.

I joked about it for years with my attacker.  It actually became our inside j…

Babes in the Woods

2007 seems like a lifetime ago.  I began the year preparing for a separation and divorce that would come 4 months later.  I had two young daughters and would find myself moving halfway across Texas to start completely over.  A couple of years later, I would be lucky enough to meet and marry my husband who took in this household of women without ever blinking an eye or looking back.  A year later, we added a son and just months after his birth "in sickness and in health" would become a reality.  Our commitment was immediately challenged when both our baby and myself spent weeks combined in the hospital.  My new husband was nursing a post-surgical infant, caring for two young step-daughters and traveling back and forth to see his wife and talk to doctors in the hospital and keep his job.  A year later we were moving back to central Texas and he began a new career and I looked for my purpose:  pediatric operating room nurse vs stay at home mom and supportive wife and blogger.�…


For several years I kept a gratitude journal.  I used either an app or an actual journal and I wrote in it almost daily.  I took pride in my effort and encouraged others to do the same.  I told them it would make them "happier" because it minimizes the things that are wrong in our lives and maximizes all that is right.  But after you've been touched by death, all of that changes.

Whether it's by illness or trauma, you personally or a close friend or family member, long-suffering or without notice - expressing gratitude will never be the same.

Before the shooting, I would write things like "my children", "security", "my job", "my marriage".  Sometimes I even went into more detail, describing special events or interactions or memorable accomplishments.  But now?  How can I do any of it justice with a simple word or sentence?  How can I write "the way my daughter's upper lip ever so slightly curls up when she smiles"…

HER...aka: Bailee Rian Pelton

My girl Bailee Rian received the acceptance letter she's been waiting for...she got into her top college pick Marymount Manhattan College.  We laughed and cried and hugged each other and jumped up and down and hugged more and freaked out more and read the letter about 4 more times and FaceTimed my husband and laughed some more.  And then she and her friend got her special box of keepsakes out of storage and started going through her childhood things.  They found this poem that she wrote in 7th grade:

HER...aka Bailee Rian Pelton
She was a small figure, says the size of her colorful clothing hanging neatly in an organized closet; A tired young lady, too, yawns the unmade bed Upstairs sharing a grey room with another; and a lover of tea,  gulps the tan stained cup dwelling alone in a sink that reflected the moonlight glistening through the window perfectly; but she was also not a filthy person, hisses the crying shower head, hot steam consuming her powder room mirror.
Her gray blue hues shone…