Words of Wisdom for my (then) 16 Year Old Daughter

Where did the years go? It seems like just yesterday your dad and I were waiting to meet you; Anxious to know what you looked like, whose eyes you would have… We had so many questions.

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Now here we are,  you’re 16!… In two short years you’ll be packing your bags for college, work, or wherever God has you going next. You’ll be voting and driving. Thinking about adult topics like careers and marriage.

But before that happens, I’d like to pass …on a few thoughts:
 

1. Don’t Neglect Your Most Important Relationship

I’m not talking about your relationship with me, or your relationship with your dad. Not even the relationship you’ll have with your future husband. I’m talking about your relationship with God. Always make time for Him.
Life won’t be perfect, but with HIM you will have all the wisdom, assurance, and comfort you need.

2. Try Your Best and Don’t Worry About the Rest.

You do not have to be perfect. None of us are perfect. You just continue putting out the effort and Trust God for the results.

3. Education Doesn’t End at 18 {or 22}

I know this isn’t what you want to hear, but learning is a lifelong process. I’m WAY older than you and I still learn something new every day. Whatever you do, don’t ever stop learning.. about the little things and about yourself.

4. Risky Business is OK {Within Reason}

Risks. I know you hate them. I don’t think it’s so much the risk that is scary but the fear of failure. Most people are wrong about failure, though. Failure is not bad. It is merely a chance to learn from our mistakes (see point #3).

5. You  Are a “Masterpiece”.

I love that word. You are God’s masterpiece…a beautiful work of art. Treasured by me and by your dad and everyone who knows and loves you.
I know you have exciting times ahead! Life is never boring when you live it with your whole heart….
 
Love you to the moon and back!

 

If I Had Only…

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I often find myself wishing I had done SOME things differently.. “if I had only..”
1. Tried harder in school. – One of my biggest regrets is failing to finish what I started. Sometimes life just gets in the way. But I havent given up. I WILL DO THIS!
2. Taken better care of myself. – my face is showing the years of abuse of failing to put sunscreen, of baking in the sun lathered in baby oil. I wish I had started using moisturizer thirty years ago, not two.
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3. Traveled more – fortunately for me, my job has taken me to some amazing places. UNfortunately, it’s just not the same unless im sharing it with my family. I wish I had taken more time to see the world when I was younger and more free of responsibilities. Hopefully, I can make up for the lost time. There is a giant world out there and I want to see it all!
4. Taken a few more chances – although “playing it safe” got me to where I am now (where is that?) what was I so afraid of?
5.  Worried about my credit. – This should be the MOST important thing! If I had only listened to everyone who told me to stay away from those credit cards.
6. Not cared so much about what others thought – in the grand scheme of things, what difference did it make that I didnt get invited to that awesome party?
7. Spent more time with my grandparents – all of my grandparents are gone.. and so are their stories.
8. Learned how to cook. – My kids would eat a lot more than french fries and pizza.
9. NOT allowed myself to get caught up in drama. I mean, who really needs more drama..
10. Appreciated what was right in front of me .

Table for Three

I was on a flight recently when I began to overhear a conversation between two men. One man told the other that he had two daughters, both older. The other man said he had one son, 14 months old.  The first man proceeds to tell him that he HAD to have another child and growing up an only child was the worst thing he could do to him. UH, HELLO… I grew up an only child and I happen to think it wasn’t so bad. On the contrary, for the most part, it was pretty darn great. Sure, being an only child can SOMETIMES be a bit boring, but sometimes, a little alone time goes a long way. Being an only child, in my opinion, helped me to become as independent as I am today. I can travel the world alone, though not my preference, but I am perfectly capable of doing so. While the people I know that grew up with siblings, esp around the same age, can’t go to the grocery store alone. My children included. IMG_6926

Growing up an only child wasn’t as lonely as everyone thinks it is.. Aside from having a TON of friends, I had myself. I learned who I was by a very early age and I learned to be true to myself, a conviction that still guides me today.
 
Sure, I may never fully understand the bond between a brother and a sister or have that bond that sisters usually do, but then people with siblings will never understand the sheer joy of never having to share your parents’ attention or deal with a younger sibling break your favorite toy or worry that your parents would chose going to your kid sisters ballet recital over your game..
 
As an adult, the lack of siblings makes things less complicated. My kids get all of grandmas attention and there is virtually no discussion on who gets what when it’s all over.
Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way promoting having only one child, nor am I promoting having ten. But if you should chose to or circumstances make it so, know that you have not done a disservice to your child. Know that your child will be a well adjusted, contributing member of society and that he/she will be just fine..

 

Big Boo in St Lou

(Original post Sept 2015)
Flew into St. Louis last September and before even checking into the hotel we had to stop at Pappy’s IMG_1957and get our hands on some original baby back ribs. Now, i’m not really a rib eater (I don’t think the McRib counts) but these suckers were GOOD. I had my elbows deep in BBQ sauce when I saw this lady walk by. I had to do a double take and even then it took me a minute to figure out who she was, but I quickly became a screaming fan. I stood up on my picnic bench and followed her around trying to get a good pic – of which I could never do. After some persuasion, I finally got the nerve to ask her for a pic and she was beyond gracious. Don’t let the tough exterior fool you – inside, Big Boo is ALL HEART.
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Thank you for making my day – and for proving to my kids that you actually WERE there!
I became quite the tourist while in St. Louis.. visited a few places I think you should check out if you are ever in the area:

Budweiser Brewery

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Founded in 1852 and the original of the six breweries;  you will be transported back to a time when the beer was stored in caves and there was an actual school on the property. (I’m guessing attendance was pretty darn perfect.)

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You’ll get to learn about the vision that became one of the largest and oldest breweries in the nation. Surrounded by architecture rich in history- including three National Historic Landmarks – and cutting-edge brewing technology, you’ll see history come to life. The days of the cave coolers may be long gone but the plant remains in tact visually transporting you back in time.   AND.. they give FREE beer samples!

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Such a fancy place to make BEER! Either way, it was a great tour and you get free samples!

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Did I mention the beer samples were free?

The Gateway Arch

There is no way you can even step within 50 miles of this city and NOT see THE ARCH. Not gonna lie though, I was a little disappointed that the view was cluttered with construction. It may have just been a bad time for me to go but it is certainly something you have to see at least once. (Once is pretty much all you need.)
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For $10 you get to go up a pod and walk a portion of the top of the arch. One side of the arch is nothing but a green river but the other side was actually pretty breathtaking. Would I do it again? Probably not. But it was nice to scratch something off of the ol’ Bucket List and say I have been there.
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Allow me to tell you a thing or two about those pods. They are, literally, pods. Like eggs – with seats – and a tiny window. I had pretty much assured myself I was going to die on the way up… I did, however, manage to survive. Screen Shot 2018-04-30 at 9.29.46 AM
There isn’t a lot to do up there but look out both sides of the arch.
Then you gotta get back into the pod and start the prayers all over again.

St Louis Cardinals Game

They played the Reds – Best thing about this game was the company and sitting in the Champions Club! Unlimited EVERYTHING! I ate more olives than any one person has the right to – or should.
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I think they even won… I think.

Words of Wisdom as Dylan turns 21 – Lord, help us all..

November 30, 2016 at 8:21am

Your 21st birthday is a big one.. and in usual fashion, I have to give you a few “words of advice”…

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Be safe.

1. A quiet man is a thinking man. A quiet woman is usually mad.. when that happens, you should probably retreat to safety.

Loose the beer goggles.

2.Of course everyone seems sexy in a nightclub. There’s liquor and you can’t hear them.

Life is short.

3. Smile often… while you still have good teeth!

Save money.

4.If you’re buying Smart Water for 4$ a bottle.. I’m sorry to tell you it’s not working. And more than likely, im paying for it.. so dont.

Splurge occasionally.

5. If the shoe fits, buy it.

Lay off the selfies.

6.They’re called ‘selfies’ because the only one who’s interested in them is yourself. So let’s try not to take so many, k..

Use your time wisely.

7. The girl on the flyer is never at the club so dont waste your time.

Be aware of your surroundings.

8.Life is what happens when you’re not looking at a screen. Put the phone down.. look up.. and enjoy.

Safety first!

9. Live each day like it’s your last but pay your bills and use a condom just in case it isnt!

STAY-CATION – San Antonio, TX

There is something to be said about becoming a tourist in your own back yard. Although I have been to SA hundreds, if not thousands, of times, I have never really SEEN it.. not like this anyway..
I lived there for eight years as a child and had never even heard of the Majestic Theatre. It wasn’t until I moved away and came back as an adult that I became slightly obsessed with it. On my Bucket List was not only to see a show there, but to see a very specific show.. Phantom of the Opera – and that’s just what I did.
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And it was SPECTACULAR!
Who would have known I could experience such beauty in my own back yard?
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We started out with a fabulous dinner in a wonderful little restaurant themed after shows called the Houston St. Bistro. The show themed meals really help increase the excitement levels of the show you are about to watch. And can you say “genius idea”?  I had the Phantom of the Opera dinner, of course.. it was delicious and may still be my favorite meal OF ALL TIME.
Then on to the show!
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How to describe… I dont think there are enough words in the English dictionary to explain how in love I am with this theatre.
Located in the heart of downtown San Antonio, Texas, it was built in 1929 and was designed in a Spanish Mediterranean style, a style that is seen throughout. It is currently

recognized as one of the most ornate facilities in the country. The Majestic stood proudly for many years as the largest theatre in Texas and the second largest motion picture theatre in the country.

A change in entertainment led to a closing of its doors in 1974. It remained closed until 1976 where a new group took over and occasionally hosted a show or two. In 1989 it was “officially” reopened for the Symphony of San Antonio (another to add to that ever growing Bucket List) until 1995 where it was adopted by the city of SA and given a million dollar renovation. Today it stands, in all its glory, waiting for you to stop by and admire. You can find more details about the evolution of the Majestic here  All I can say is if you are ever in SA, dont miss it!

But the tour couldn’t stop there! The following day we decided to visit the Tower of the America’s. Boy, has that changed! COMPLETELY DIFFERENT from what I remember.. but the rotating restaurant still remains.. the view is as AMAZING as ever, and the food.. TO DIE FOR.
For $12 you can travel 750 feet into the clouds and enjoy a view of the city you cannot find anywhere else.
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Maybe it’s because i’m (slightly) older or because I now appreciate things I never did before but that City is my home and a giant piece of my heart will always remain there..even if they never do finish that construction!IMG_0297-EFFECTS

Words of Wisdom for my RETURNING College Freshman

These two crazies are headed back to school for their second semester away… I wish you loads of fun, amazing success, and leave you both with an abundance of love… and, of course, my Words of Wisdom (the ones you all thought I was done with). 😊🤷🏼‍♀️
So here goes… IMG_0031

Be open to new people.

I can hardly count how many incredible people I met throughout my first year away (like your dad/uncle and others who are to remain nameless) But I never would have met them if I thought the same way I did when I first got there. I wasn’t very keen on talking to people I didn’t really know or who liked different things than I did, who had different plans on the weekends, or who majored in subjects I didn’t understand. Whatever you do, DON’T BE THIS WAY. You’ll miss out on some pretty outstanding individuals. And our lives would have been ENTIRELY different if I had.

Don’t try to be someone you’re not.

This is something we’ve all heard before, but I can’t stress it enough. Figure out who YOU are first, and then be THAT. Introduce yourself as much as possible. It may feel awkward and you may scare them off, but who knows! You could introduce yourself to your new best friend or someone taking the same terrible astronomy class as you.

Don’t feel pressured.

Now I know I say to try new things, but feeling pressured to do something you’re completely uncomfortable with is a whole different ball game. If you don’t want to drink at a party, don’t drink. Carry around a Solo cup full of orange juice. If you want to study or go to sleep instead of staying up to watch 8 episodes of Catfish, go study. You can always do what you want, and anybody that has a problem with that can shove it.

Include people.

Nobody wants to be that person left out of weekend plans or a Starbucks run, so send out invites like UPS sends packages to our door. Knock on doors, talk to people in the bathroom, check your common room – the more the merrier! You’ll meet more people this way and you might just make someone’s day.
 

Do as much as possible.

Before you know it (and trust me on this one) you’ll be a senior applying to jobs, and you’ll realize you never got to try that one cool taco place or that you never checked out that history museum 5 blocks away, literally, or you never went to that bar that had Trivia Tuesdays. Do it now, experience it, and invite your friends. The last thing you want to say after you graduate is, “I never got to try that cool taco place.”
 

Sit and take it in.

This one might sound weird, but the moments I cherish most from freshman year are the ones that I stopped, looked around, and remembered to appreciate every element. Like one night, when your dad/uncle Donny and Donald “fun, lots of fun” and my roommate all took off to the valley at the last minute and had a great night out (ok, scratch that- that was very unsafe and a bad idea)- but you get the idea. That one moment will always stay with me. Be sure to take in the ones that will stay with you.
 
And most importantly, Stop being embarrassed when your family calls or comes over. We just love you a lot – show us some love back. I promise, It won’t hurt. And when you’re all grown up and visiting your own children – you’ll understand how we feel.