Thursday, August 29, 2013


Where’s your happy place? Where is the place you go to escape from it all, and find a sense of peace? Where do you turn when your life is out of control? We all have a place; some of us have multiple places. Are you like me, do you find peace curled up with a book and a hot tea? Are you happiest when you are sitting by the ocean, a lake, or even a pool? Do you find comfort when you sit around a campfire with friends? Are you truly happiest when you are spinning around on the octopus at the 4th of July carnival, or cuddling with your daughter on the couch, or wrapped in your boyfriends arms?  Do you find peace when you are sitting in a pew at church? Where is your happy place? 

I have moved several times in my life, and been through many life changing situations during a variety of stages. It often left me searching for my happy place, a place I could call home. Home isn’t the 4 walls surrounding the place you sleep. Home isn’t the address on the door. Home is the place where you find the most comfort. The most love. The most happiness. In fact HOME isn’t really a place at all! It’s a feeling. Home is where you turn when everything is spinning out of control. Home is where you go when you need your spirits lifted. Home is the one place where you can feel like everything is going to be okay. Maybe your home has been the same throughout your life, or maybe it has changed. Maybe it’s one place, or maybe it’s many. All of us need to find our home, because without it we are left alone, confused, and overwhelmed. We can’t find peace, or strive for happiness. It leaves us feeling like we are in a hopeless situation that we can’t overcome. It leaves us searching.

Lately, my life has been flipped on its head. I was in a car accident, and though originally told it would be better within a matter of weeks I was later told it would be months, and now have been told it might be forever. You see when I got in my accident a lady rear-ended me going approximately 45 mph. She never hit her brakes. My head hit into the steering wheel and left me unconscious. I suffered a serious concussion, as well as whiplash and a plethora of bruises. They thought it would get better. They thought it would just be a minor setback, but it wasn’t. Since the day of my accident over 3 months ago I have been seen by a variety of doctors. I am under constant neurological and chiropractic care. I was diagnosed with Post Concussive Disorder, and have been told that while some things have improved, others haven’t, and at this point there is little hope they ever will. I might always have the headaches and dizziness. I might always get nauseas if I am in a car too long, or if I see anything spinning.  I might always have to write everything down so I can remember, and have people tell me what we have done in the prior weeks, and exactly what order it all happened in. That might be my new reality.

This has places restrictions on me that have drastically changed my life. Situations that I wouldn’t have even thought about before now require extensive planning. Is it going to be too hot? Do I have my sunglasses? Do I need my earplugs? Are my meds with me? Do we have an escape plan in case it is more than I can handle? I have to avoid triggers at all cost. Light is a trigger. Noise is a trigger. Spinning is a trigger. Heat is a trigger. In the beginning I wasn’t even allowed to read a book, because it was using the part of my brain that was damaged, and was making things worse. Can you imagine trying to live a life like this? Can you imagine finding out that your place of comfort is being taken away from you. Although I can now read in short periods, I still can’t sit down and read a book for hours. When reading at all I typically need to wear my polarized sunglasses to cut down on the glare. The neurologist wants me going to the pool every day, but it now has to be with sunglasses, and I have to avoid times when it’s too hot, or there are too many people there. I once would enjoy sitting in the back of a movie theater watching the latest movie, but now that’s not an option. I can’t be in a dark room with flashing lights. The thing I look forward to the very most every year is going to the carnival over the 4th of July. Seeing my friends and family, riding the rides, and playing the games, and now I am left knowing that might not be an option for me again. That can no longer be my happy place.

It’s all a bit overwhelming. While others were prepared to hear it might not get any better, I was shocked. I guess in the back of my head I knew it was a possibility, they had mentioned it a few times before, but it wasn’t one I was willing to consider. I cried when I found out I couldn’t read. Tears ran down my face as I thought of missing the carnival this year, but through all those things I still had hope. I still believed that it was a setback for this year, but that would make the excitement of next year even stronger. Then as I listened to the doctor say that this might be as good as it gets, all of that was taken away. I was faced with the reality of the situation. It was overwhelming, and it was scary. I wouldn’t give up hope. I can’t. There has to at least be a small part of me that believes it can get better. The doctors could be wrong, I mean they were already wrong about the fact it would get better in the beginning. So although I am now faced with a new reality I still have a flicker of hope left. I can’t dwell on that though. I can’t continuously mourn the things I am giving up. I have to go out and find a new happy place, a new home. I have to look for peace in other avenues. I have to find the place that will give me comfort and peace. I am blessed to have many wonderful friends and family in my life. People I can turn to. People who can offer me comfort just by being around them. They are people who can’t be replaced, and people I am truly grateful for. They allow me to keep happiness and comfort in my life. Although they are wonderful and I find happiness in them I also have to find my own place. The thing I can do when I am on my own that will bring me back to a happy place. No longer will it be sitting and reading a book for hours. It won’t be going to the carnival and riding the rides. It can’t be going to a concert and enjoying the music pumped out over the crowds. Those are no longer my choices. I don’t know what my new options are… maybe it’s writing this blog, or painting, or knitting, or going on walks.  Maybe it’s this or maybe it’s that. Maybe it’s something I haven’t even discovered yet. I don’t know exactly what it is, but I have hope that I will find it. I already have all the people that make up my home, that fill my life with happiness. I already have all the people to fill my home with love, now I just need to discover exactly where that is. Where my home belongs. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Maine 2011

I love hearing from all of you. Don't forget to leave me a comment, and hit the subscribe button. Then head on over to the Linky party and check out some great Worldess Wednesday Blogs. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Five on Friday: What's Happening In Our World

1. I have been loving thrift stores lately. I have gotten Ashley and myself some great clothes, and also found a few things for around the house. I have been going so frequently that I am leaning what days different stores do different deals, and what day they put new stuff out. We have really gotten some amazing deals, and it has been a lot of fun.

2. I want to go camping! I have wanted to go all summer, but with everything going on with my health I haven't gone. Still hoping to go before winter though. Last week the weather was perfect for it, but this week it is hot again, so maybe in a few weeks.

3. I agreed to help lead the Daisy troop. We have training tomorrow. I have a leader that will be helping me, and we have a couple ladies who are considering being assistants. Ashley is very excited about it, so I am sure it will be a fun experience.
4. I am working on getting my apartment decorated. I don't have much money to spend at all so I have gotten some things at the thrift stores, some things on clearance, and made some things of my own. It is nice to be able to decorate however I want to. Ashley gives some input (which is why we have a cute owl doormat) but ultimately it is up to me. This is the first time that has been the case so it is kind of fun. Of course that might mean my apartment slowly transforms to look like the inside of a barn or farmhouse. ;-)

5. Ashley is still loving school. It's so nice seeing her so excited about it. Twice this week she got bitten by a big on the playground and because of her severe reactions had to take benadryl. Other than that she has loved all of it. They are working on letter sounds right now, and making small books for each letter. She is super excited about learning to read so we have been working on this a lot in the evenings.

Well now that you have heard what's going on with us, leave me a comment and let me know what's going on with you. Then head on over to the blog hop and check out some great blogs. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thursday Favorites: Products I Love

I tend to use my Thursday Favorite's post to talk about my favorite people, or favorite things happening in my life. This week I am going to switch it up a bit and tell you about some of my favorite products.

Clarin Replenishing Lip Balm: I received this last Christmas from a student and his family. This stuff is seriously amazing. It is better than any chap-stick or lip gloss I have ever tried. My lips don't peel near as much, and feel way better. It is a bit on the expensive side, but totally worth it.


Old Navy Flip Flops: I live in flip flops for as much of the
year as possible. I love the ones from Old Navy. They are
super cheap and comfy.

Marshmallow Fireside Candle: This is another gift I received for Christmas last year. I love the small of campfires, and especially roasting marshmallows over it. This candle does an amazing job of capturing the smell. The only downside is it is always makes me want to go camping ;-)


Fuzzy Socks: I love fuzzy socks, especially in the winter. They are so warm and cozy. I have an entire drawer dedicated to just fuzzy socks. I know it's ridiculous, but totally worth it!

These are a few of my favorite things. Leave a comment and let me know a few of yours. Then head on over to the Thursday Favorite's blog Hop and check out everyone else's favorite things.
Thursday Favorite Things

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Nature


Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Things I Bet You Didn't Know About Me

  1. I once ate 11 catfish fillets at an all you can eat restaurant. I was only 13 and only stopped at 11 because everyone was staring at me, and the waiter kept saying “Do you REALLY want another one?”  I really wasn’t full but was too embarrassed to continue, so we left there to go get ice cream. People often referred to me as having a hollow leg and this is a perfect example of why. 
  2. My brother once scared me so bad I was left completely speechless.  I was a freshman in High School and we had a Halloween decoration that we had named George. George had little boy blue jeans and a top on, but over his top he was dressed as a child dressed up as a ghost.  My friends and I came home from the football game and were in my basement when my dad said, “Aren’t you going to introduce them to George?” So I said “This is our buddy George” and grabbed hold of him, only to be scared senseless when he grabbed hold of me back. My youngest brother was inside of George’s disguise and although my friends didn’t know if he was supposed to move or not, I knew, and he definitely was NOT supposed to move.
  3. The very first concert I ever went to was a BJ Thomas concert. I believe I have now seen him in concert 6 times (which means I have been to more of his concerts than any other artist except Blake Shelton). BJ Thomas is also the very first concert I took Ashley to. She was a baby when he came to Warrensburg, so Mom and I took her with us to see him. I spent most of the concert pacing along the back to keep her content. When I was little we saw him at the Phelps County Fair and got to meet him afterwards. The only thing my mom had he could write on was my preschool picture, so that’s what he autographed. In addition to that there is also a picture of my mom, and I with him from when I was in High School and we went to see him. It was framed in my room in college and everyone always thought it was my dad.
  4. My youngest brother is named Nicholas, okay okay so you already knew that, but I bet you didn’t know he was named that because while trying to decide on a name I declared “I don’t care what you name him, I am going to call him Nicholas.” Well my parents decided the poor kid should only have one name, so that was that. My mom to this day refers to me as his second mother, which I guess started when I named him many years ago. I was also upset when on the day of his birth I was informed he was a boy. I replied, “but I wanted a sister.” I already had one brother, so I guess I thought that was enough. I definitely wouldn’t trade him for anything now though.
  5. I lived at a campground for an entire summer between 5th and 6th grade. We had moved from Iowa to the Kansas City area, and my dad had started working, but we hadn’t found a house yet. So… My parents, two brothers, a dog, a cat, and I lived in a 29 and a half foot camper, and one pop up tent. I am sure it was the longest summer on record for my parents, but as for me I loved it. We got to swim every day, and have campfires every night.  I think every child should have a summer like that. 
  6. It has only been in the last few years that I made it an entire year without someone close to me dying. This started in Kindergarten when one of my best friends drowned, and continued throughout college. I can honestly say it never gets easier, and funerals are never something you get used to.  On a related note I am very insistent on people being safe and using precautions around water, and actually this summer alone I have had to pull two children out from under the water at our pool. One little boy got out where he couldn’t touch and his brother was too little to pull him up, and another little girl got so excited to see Ashley she jumped in well over her head before putting her floaties on.  
  7. I have had a long standing fear of crashing off a bridge and being submerged in water unable to get out. I don’t know where this fear came from, but it has been with me as long as I can remember. Speaking of odd fears I also have a fear of people being declared dead who aren’t actually dead. I worry about this for other people and myself, and always look at people very closely in the casket. I realize now that people are embalmed they aren’t going to wake up in their casket, but honestly if you look into it, it really isn’t an unfounded fear at all. Way more people than you would imagine have woken after being declared dead. I guess also on this topic, and a bit on the last one, telling a teenage girl that when someone dies they are always watching over you is not the smartest idea in the world. Like I said I had lost a lot of people in my life and after being told this I was terrified of them (especially male relatives) being able to see me when I was taking a shower. 
  8.  As a child, Stephen (my other brother), and my favorite movie was Follow That Bird. I could watch it over and over again. Much to my dismay, and my parents delight, my babysitter accidentally recorded over it one summer. My parents assured her she didn’t need to replace it. When I was pregnant with Ashley, I was given two copies of the movie as gifts. Ashley has seen it, but definitely isn’t as enthralled with it as I was. Also, while Stephen and I both loved Follow That Bird, Nicholas was obsessed with Roger Rabbit. Seriously he could watch it back to back for hours on end.
  9. I have always been very interested in learning about people’s faith. Two poor members of the LDS church made the mistake of visiting our house at the same time I was going through the confirmation process at my church. They were there to try and encourage us to become members of their church, but I asked them so many questions about their beliefs, and the difference in what they believe, and what I believed, that by the end they hadn’t convinced me to join their church, and instead were debating their own belonging in the church. Similarly I dated a guy from a Baptist church and was invited to their Bible Studies. I asked so many questions about things that I made the leaders a nervous wreck. I really wasn’t trying to challenge anyone’s beliefs, I was just interested in exactly what they believed and why. This is still a topic that fascinates me, and I am always interested in hearing about peoples differing beliefs.
  10. South Carolina is my favorite state. Sometime during high school, having never even been there, I decided that it had to be the best state in the country, I mean after all you could take a daytrip to the mountains or to the beach. Well the summer after my senior year we took our first trip out there and I wasn’t disappointed in the least. I loved all the older houses, the beaches, the gardens, the people, and everything in between. To this day I still think it is probably the perfect place to live. 
So there you have it, 10 Things I Bet You Didn't Know About Me. Leave me a comment and tell me something I don't know about you. Then head on over to the blog hop and check out some great blogs.