Monday, February 18, 2013

Ready or Not

There are some things that life just throws at you that you may not be prepared for in emergencies. Sometimes, though, there are ways to be prepared. It will take a little more on your part. Being responsible is the key to surviving life's curve balls. Severe weather is no exception.

This coming weekend you can buy severe weather preparation items like weather radios and cell phone chargers tax free in Alabama. That's a start. If you don't live in Alabama suggest to your representatives for your state that you should be able to have a weekend like this as well too.

Here in Alabama people here the words "Severe weather" and our minds go to tornadoes because that's the majority of what we know. Severe weather can come in many forms. Floods, hurricanes, heat, earthquake, and snow in addition to tornadoes are just some of the possibilities.
April 27th
What Dippin Dots in Tuscaloosa looked like
after the storm (This was two days afterwards)

Each one of those are subjected to their own preparedness rituals. Since this week is the awareness week, find out about which ones affect the area where you live. Make a plan, review with your family, and then the week of March 3-9 of this year is where you put your emergency plan into action. Stock up on extra necessities for during an emergency.

I have been searching since April 27th on ways to stay prepared. I started with the government sites like, NOAAFEMA, and Red Cross. From there I just started searching for weather preparedness. Why is it so important to have a plan? Well it could mean the difference between having everything you love after the storm comes through or not even being alive yourself after the storm comes through.

I encourage everyone to do this.You have other things going on in your life that you feel are more important but just taking 30 minutes to educate yourself and make a plan can make all the difference even after the other events come through. Weather and nature happen no matter what social plans or plans that we have made for ourselves.

Belk at the University Mall
after the April  27th storms
There are phone apps even to help you prepare for all kinds of emergencies. A weather radio is perfect as well (make sure to have batteries in it and back up batteries!) Making small kits is great too.

I personally have a lot of preparedness items. I was a student at UA and witnessed first hand, devastation of April 27th in Tuscaloosa. For only a week and half before I was working at BAM when the severe struck Tuscaloosa the first time with barely any damage. The next time the storms came through was a different story. Don't ignore the weather people or think "oh well when it gets bad I'll go somewhere." Sometimes you don't have the time to do that. Either already be there or make a place in your own home for those situations.
Please take the next few weeks to prepare yourself for the situations that could arise in your area.Not just in your home either. Make sure your job has emegerncy plans that they know what to do when emergency weather strikes. Also churches and clubs that you belong to as well need a plan for emergencies. Around the country others will be doing be preparing so you won't be alone. Feel free to use the ideas that I have rounded up on my Pinterest for emergencies by clicking: HERE
The after math of April 27th after the AM in storms in Vance, AL.

April 27th
Midtown Village sign after the storms

Tide and Duracell helping people after the storms

April 27th,
Alberta in Tuscaloosa at what used to be a very busy intersection.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Turn the Page

Today begins two new chapters in my life.

For the rest of my life I am no longer single (unless something happens to Chris.) Our engagement party is today. After this people will know it is legit. It exhilarates me. I have someone in my life who actually wants to spend the rest of his life with me. So yes he put a ring on it. I couldn't be any happier about that. We are starting a big chapter in our lives with this step. One where our stories will overlap. Our stories already interweave together.

Our engagement party is tonight. We were going to do it with a 50s theme but since we have had to shorten the time so we can get to Memphis we are going with elegance. My best friend is jumping up and down because I get to wear my hair all fancy. She was so excited when we changed the theme for tonight. She has dubbed my hair style for tonight as being mermaid style. Not really sure what that means but I think I will post pictures of it tonight or she will one.

I know the party will go smoothly no matter what. It's our families getting together for the first time so it's food, music, and small talk. I feel confident about tonight because well really I don't know. I guess it's just because with the other trials in my life the party tonight pales in comparison. Yes we are getting engagement presents but that doesn't matter to me. Maybe I'm wrong in saying that but I feel like I have more pressing issues and I know the party is suppose to take my mind off of those things but I'm not sure that it will.

It's after the party I'm worried about because this begins a gigantic chapter in my life. The last time I went through the doors at St. Jude's I was a patient's sister. When I go through those doors this time I'm his mom. I cannot describe how differently I feel. 1) I have grown attached to Jackjack like he was my own. 2) The last time through those doors my dad and stepmom were the ones taking responsibility for Jackjack.

Those papers that scattered my dad's hotel bed will be the papers I stare at trying to decipher them. The words that I didn't understand and didn't want to sound stupid by asking what they meant I will have to know. Realizing that those cries coming from Jackjack may not always be soothed away by a cookie or a gentle song. I feel helpless slightly. I know God has Jackjack and me in His hands but I feel so out of place already. I'm scared that other mothers will laugh and scoff at me. I know I shouldn't but it has crossed my mind several times.

I just ask that all of you keep Jackjack in your prayers. We have surgery and chemo starts.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ash Wednesday

Happy Ash Wednesday Everyone!

Today begins a 40 day event for many Christians. We give up something that is to help us center our lives more on God. I am giving up movies and television. I realized in the past two months that those have zapped my time away from people. My time spent with the ones I hold dear should be spent engaging in them not interested in some fake couple's life.

I think after Lent I am going to evaluate just how much I watch in a given week and fix it where I can do more things without being entertained by media couples. A quote I found on Pinterest the other day read, "Don't compare your love story to those you watch in movies. They're written by scriptwriters. Yours is written by God." People just jump into relationships and it gets hard on them. Past issues return and the things get hard and suddenly people are praying and asking Him to bless the relationship. I hear so many people ask why God didn't answer their prayers or why did God not give them what they wanted. Well sometimes it's hard not to tell them, "Well how did you bless and glorify God before asking Him of that?" "How many times has something good happened and you didn't thank Him for that blessing?"

Our preacher even admitted that in social relationships he forgets to center it around God. He said he would be in a relationship and then ask God to bless it and God pretty much tells him, "No I didn't lead you to this. I don't want this for you." That spoke amazing things to me. God wants our attention. You can't derive off the path of His and expect great things to happen to you. My mother wrote in her journals a quote she loved. "If you prayed for a sunny day and it still rains God is watering the food that someone, maybe you, will eat some day." God knows who will bless Him when the good things happen and who will ignore the fact God gave them a blessing.

How easy would it have been for Jesus to give into Satan? Knowing that you were sent to Earth to die for people's sins that you haven't even met face to face. You have to die even though you have never sinned. I think today's people would have turned the stones into bread, jumped from the building and what's worse there is people worshiping the devil in this day and age. Jesus fought for us, why don't we fight for him?

To me God is really leading me to this. A lot is going on at the moment. I would love to know what you are giving up for Lent. Whether it be sugar, chocolate, porn, television, secular music, etc. I'd love to know about my readers. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Day I Say I Do

I never dreamed of when I started this blog I would actually get to tell my readers that I'm engaged! Yes! You read that right! The guy that I have rambled on about throughout my blogs proposed to me.

What does being a bride to-be mean to me? Really that's not the question for me. What does being a bride to-be not mean to me? I don't want to be like Monica on Friends and make my wedding all about me. I'm sorry but a wedding is for two people not just one. I have only bought one wedding book and one wedding magazine. I plan on having a big wedding, yes, but an over the top full of frills? No. People think that I keep adding ideas to the ceremony because I want to show off. That's not true I want reminders when I'm older that one of the best days of my life really happened.

Being a bride to-be means finding new ways to surprise him. Planning new adventures for us. Reminding myself that I'm a simple girl that is caught in the middle. I'm torn between princess and sophistication. I know Chris and I agree on two things permanently about our wedding. We want it to be memorable and we don't want to be stressed out about it. What happens, well happens. We want people to remember our wedding as a night of fun and love. Not of the monogramming placements, intricate cakes, or ice sculptures. We want people to remember our dances we are already working so hard on. We want people to remember how we involved them. How we made them laugh and forget the hardness of life. We want our day to be our families and friends coming together to become one. Not his and hers anymore.

Yes we have started planning? Yes. Our engagement party is next week. We saved ourselves a headache and are only inviting immediate family and people we know will be in our wedding parties. The reason being we don't want to worry about inviting certain people and then not inviting them to the wedding. We are having it themed. We aren't doing Valentine's Day. Chris was the one to set this all up. He was going to make it a surprise party for me, but I have been having a rough couple of days and he didn't want to freak me out more. He went with the theme of Old Glamour Hollywood. That is just another reason why I love him. We both love vintage.

Speaking of vintage we are working on details to our wedding. We want a nice mix of vintage, ballroom, country and modern. In a sense that's who we are. We have made a pack not to stress over wedding details. We want things to be fun and memorable, not prim and unsatisfying. I owe a nice refreshing wedding to my family and friends because they waited the 22 years for me to find the perfect man.

We are going to begin our registries soon. I wanted to just skip those but Chris insisted I get the full wedding effect because I wouldn't be having another one. Our wedding website has also been created. We are working on the shell of it and then we are going to finish up with it and present it to our friends and family. I'm very excited about this. God has given so much to be thankful for throughout my life and he just keeps adding to my blessings list.

Visit The Knot!Visit The Knot!Visit The Knot! Visit The Knot!


Friday, February 8, 2013


Dear Mother,

I want you to know that I am so proud to be your daughter. The life you gave me has been incredible. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of you. If only for a brief moment I think of you.

I have been thinking of you a lot. The thoughts of you are consistent now because Jackjack is in my life permanently. I understand now your journals, how you talked of loving my dad and loving me even though you never laid eyes on me. Even in the end, you died giving me life. I would do the same for Jackjack. It is not a question to me.

I used to wonder what you thought of me. If I made you proud but then my grandparents, your parents, gave me your journals. I spent hours reading them. I finally got to enjoy your scent because your perfume lingered inside the pages. Pages of memories, regrets, anxieties, hopes, dreams, and goals are what I read daily for a few weeks after my return from Paris to finally meet your family.

I did what you wanted me to do in my life. I am still striving to be even more what is expected of me. I am a Christian lady. No many young girls of my generation can say that they feel lady like. So many think that they have to prove themselves and go against their parents. Sadly, many of my generation end up in failed marriages, babies that they can't afford, and dashed dreams. I feel bad for them. Life isn't about happiness and I can't stress that enough to everyone. Life is to glorify God.

I want to be more ladylike. You wrote in your journals how you would have tea and crepes. Your best friend was wild and rambunction. I know how you felt. My best friend is like that too. I haven't shared a lot about you to her. I keep certain parts hidden from everyone. You being one of them because it feels like I'm just getting to know the person that you were. Your journals, home videos, and drawings have helped me establish in my mind what you would have been like had I gotten the chance to live my life with you guiding me.

However, I know you are guiding me. Who else would give me a man that thinks over everything and can push my buttons and push my boundaries without overstepping them? A man that is in the military, shows respect for people, and has utmost respect for me, and he has proposed mother. It finally happen. I have found someone to walk with me in love.

I realize you have watched me grow but it's so nice getting this out where I can express my feelings to you. I want you to know that I'm sorry for the things I have done in my past that I have made you ashamed and I'm sorry for not always staying on the path of God. I try so hard but I fall short. That doesn't mean I give up. I know that at the end of the day God is all that matters. Not love, gun controls, job, or even friendship, just my relationship with God. If any parts of my love, beliefs, job, or friendships are not Godly I know to turn my back on them. Plant a seed of hope and faith then let God take the control.

Even when things are hard right now. Between Jackjack being so sick, Grandpa dying, people lying to me and my friends, to getting yelled at for caring too much, and to trying to juggle seventeen things at once, I know God is using all of this. I signed my cards, I'm all in for God. All of my chips are in the pile. I am going to work harder on reaching all of my goals for this year.

I love you so much. I really miss you even if I never got to meet you. I will strive to be the best woman for you and for God. You only wanted what God wants of me. I am fixing to open up even more to my friends because I know that they are family. They deserve to know what goes on in my life as well.

Love forever,