Live A Little

Ever come across a phrase and feel it “click” in your head?  That was me yesterday.  Pinterest, a better stalker than Facebook ever thought about being, is really spooky sometimes.  I mean, it totally gets me.  I saw the phrase “Live A Little” in my feed yesterday and thought “That’s it.  That’s my what I want right now.”

I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’m always putting things off for later.  When I have time, when I’m less tired, when I have more money…  The reality is those things never come to pass and life is finite.  Our little community has experienced the sudden loss of several young adults this year.  Gone in a blink.  I’m sure they thought they had more time, too.

I don’t want to just survive.  I want to live.  Just a little.  I want to thrive.  I can keep putting off that skydiving trip or trip to Ireland, but there are little things that my husband and I want to do and we should do them.  Last year we started going to see the Nashville Predators.  It seems crazy to a lot of people to drive that far for a three hour game, but it is so much fun.  It’s a time to just scream and enjoy the atmosphere and we love it.  It was something we could do together.  This year we will do it all again, because it makes us happy.  I find that little thing really made a difference in my attitude.  In fact, right now I’m going through withdrawals from watching hockey multiple times a week and my inner brat is showing.

If you know us, you know we also love offroading.  We have gone off and on for years.  My husband builds and trades all kinds of rigs, so we always have something fun to play in.  We love to go out with groups and ride trails, get stuck, get muddy, and just have fun with people like us.  There are several groups in our area and we are even members of them. Every summer we talk about going riding more, because we always have so much fun when we do go.  We live about an hour from an offroad park we love, so it’s easy to go.  But every year, we go maybe once and then life takes over.  Some of it is because we have a small child and he’s been too little to go and sit that long happily.  But some of it is just because we put it off.  It does take a little effort and we get lazy.  This week we went to two different socials for two different offroad groups in our area.  For me, that’s a struggle.  I had to make myself go.  I am awkward and hate trying to meet knew people or God forbid being the center of attention when I’m the new person.  If not for my husband, I would never go anywhere.  I would sit in my chair reading a book a day and talking to no one.  But we went and it was really fun.  We are making plans to go on some rides and more socials.  Just live a little.  Nothing extreme, just baby steps.

I know I’m middle aged.  I know I’m a wife and mother.  I know I work full time and have a ton of stuff I should be doing at home.  I know it costs money I could put in savings.  I know all of these things and more.  But I am tired of just surviving day to day.  I want to live a little.

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Pregnancy Done The Hard Way

Can I be honest?  Sometimes I really resent how I became pregnant.  Most everyone knows by now that I had In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).  And while that process ran so smoothly it was spooky, which I now realize after trying again not so smoothly, and I have a perfect Kindergartener to show for it, it was anything but normal.  One thing that never fails is if you get in a room of mamas, you’re going to eventually start swapping pregnancy/birth war stories.  How you found out, how sick you were, how long you were in labor, breastfeeding craziness, etc.  One thing that becomes crystal clear every time this happens?  My story is not normal and I resent that some days.

It’s hard hearing how they realized something wasn’t right and started counting days to figure out if they might be pregnant.  Every day was accounted for with IVF.  I drove to Nashville at 4 or 5 am more times than I care to count for bloodwork and ultrasounds.  Invasive tests galore.  I joke that for months I saw more people with my pants off than on.  Except that may actually be fact and not a joke.  I knew exactly when I started my medication.  Exactly when I started my injections and how long they would last.  Exactly when I would have surgery.  We knew the exact moment that little dude was implanted.  While others may have romantic stories of how they got there, we remember an operating room, extreme lack of privacy, a microscope and a half dozen strangers.  I remember the nurse telling us she had several children by adoption and several by IVF.  “I tell them none of them were conceived in love.  Some were conceived in lust and others in a lab, but none in love.”  That sticks with me.  I disagree, but in her defense we do have a test tube, or should I say Petri dish, baby and there was a lot of science involved.  Not everyone has a picture of their embryo that was just implanted to help make it all less surreal.  But we do.  Apparently that is done to help you feel more connected to the process.  I don’t know if that succeeded, but it was something.

It’s hard hearing about how surprised and excited they were when they peed on that stupid stick.  Infertility steals all the excitement of that moment.  I’ve taken dozens of pregnancy tests and never seen a positive one.  Even after we knew we were pregnant, I was terrified to take one and find out that I was no longer pregnant that way, so I never chanced it.  I was driving four or five hours once or twice a week for ultrasounds and bloodwork, then going to work and praying.  There was no mystery to it, that’s for sure.  Just anxiety and exhaustion.

It’s hard hearing how they had their secret for days or even minutes.  How they told their families and how excited everyone was.  With IVF you never get to have a secret to yourself for any amount of time.  While only a handful of people knew what was going on, they knew every detail right up to what day we would get our pregnancy results.  They knew that the nurse called and told us that we were pregnant, but due to the bloodwork probably had at most a 20% chance of staying that way.  While someone else might be able to keep that a secret, we had to call and tell our parents to keep everyone from getting excited.  Obviously my son is here now, but it was touch and go for a month or so.  I remember the day we saw finally saw his heartbeat.  I remember vividly standing in Target telling my brothers, who were clueless about the whole thing.  We were cautiously optimistic, but terrified.  So excited, but trying to reign it in for fear of being disappointed.

It’s hard hearing their labor and delivery stories.  How they battled and the bond they felt the first time they held their baby.  Because in addition to the drama that was conception, my son was delivered a week past his due date by cesarean section.  After everything else, the little bugger was breech.  Yes, lots of people end up delivering by C-section.  However, most have been in labor or planned to avoid it altogether.  I never experienced the first contraction or sign of labor.  We went to the doctor to get checked, he decided to do an ultrasound because I was freaking out having IVF and being overdue, and he realized we had a problem.  We calmly called our parents and went to the hospital.  Five hours later I walked myself into the operating room without my husband for a spinal block and within thirty minutes they brought my husband in and we had a baby.   By the time the doctor and nurses were done with me, and had decided where they were going for lunch, everyone was in our room with our baby.  They’d seen his first bath and held him.  The relief and excitement was palpable.  I was the last one to the party.  And I felt like I’d been run over by a train.  Looking back, it’s no wonder I had trouble bonding and breastfeeding. It was like walking in a store and buying a kid. It was that impersonal and different from what I was expecting.

Infertility is hard.   It kills your hope and excitement.  And it’s happening all around you.  Every day.  To people you see daily.  I consider myself a strong person.  If you know me, you know I’m brutally honest.  Believe me when I tell you that this time in my life almost killed my soul and still haunts me.  As horrible as it sounds, I wish I could have a “normal” pregnancy so I could experience how it could be.  (And please don’t try to tell me no pregnancy is normal.  I am not stupid.  But you have to admit, this one is far from what you experienced.)  But another kid doesn’t appear to be in the books, so I look at my son and thank God I was strong enough to get him here. I saw so many women who did this whole thing many, many times and never had the baby they dreamed of.  I am one of the lucky ones and  know that…most days.

I have no clue why I woke up this morning compelled to tell all this.  It sucked and I resent it most days.  But somewhere apparently someone must need to hear all this.  To know that you can go through a lot of things you never thought you’d survive and come out stronger.  Looking back I can’t believe I did some of the things I did.  But I made it and you will, too.

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Team Goal: Be Happy

It’s amazing how one day you can wake up and realize that you are wasting your life doing things that make don’t you happy.  Or in our case, more like we are continually putting off “life” for when we have more time, money, etc.  I don’t know what flipped our switch, but the past couple of months my husband and I have started talking about doing things just because they make us happy.  And on the flip side, avoiding things that make us unhappy.

Life is entirely too short to keep doing crap you don’t want to do.  Granted, you have to work, pay bills, be an adult…mostly.  But when you know something makes you happy, and it won’t land you dead, in bankruptcy or prison, quit putting if off and do it.  For me, it’s liberating.  I feel more like my old self every time I choose to do what makes me happy over what I “should” do.  I’m a middle-aged mommy, but I’m not a geriatric patient yet.  And for us, it has reduced a lot of tension in our relationship.  Tension mainly caused by my unhappiness and my sweet husband’s frustration with not being able to “fix” that.  Now instead of surviving stressful situations together, we have fun together.  Maybe it’s the sunshine, but I’m looking forward to fun times this summer for the first time in a while.  Life is short – choose happy.

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Death Threats

I’m not sure what the appropriate response is to your five-year-old screaming he’s going to kill you in the middle of a crowded Mexican restaurant on a Friday night.  Pretty sure I nailed it by not having a hysterical, cussing fit when people gasped and turned around to see what was going on.  I mean it isn’t every day that you get to witness a kid as cute as mine threaten someone in a tone that says he means it.  You know, because I wouldn’t go back to the Jeep in the rain and get his fifth dinosaur.  Four simply would not do for the thirty minutes we were going to be there.  It was unacceptable.  As per usual, his dad was MIA at that moment.  He doesn’t seem to pull that crap as much when daddy is around.  Boys, am I right?  I gave him the death stare and steered his little butt back to his chair before I did something crazy.  I deserve some type of prize for control.  His dad is a saint and managed to quietly get the little brat under control while I ate enough chips for all three of us.  This kid is going to be the death of us.

When you say you have a difficult kid, people look at you and grin like they know what you mean.  Maybe they do.  But if my experience with kids is any indication, they’re not all like this one we created and chances are good that they don’t know what I mean.  This one has a little extra “oomph”.  He is a perfect combination of his daddy’s non-stop energy and practical knowledge and my stubbornness and disdain for being told what to do.  This kid is going places, I’m just hoping it isn’t prison.

When he was really little, his pediatrician thought he might be autistic.  Little did he know he just hated him and wouldn’t do what he wanted.  He didn’t realize kids that little could have such attitude.  That’s not to say that there aren’t things there that we noticed early on and had to address.  Delayed speech and motor planning issues didn’t make his little life any easier to live.  Add the chaos of two massive heart attacks and a tornado, both of which left him away from home and us for weeks, and it’s no wonder he’s a little different than other kids.  Nature and nurture really did a number on him.

He’s in Kindergarten this year and his teacher recently talked to us about ADHD.  Not a huge surprise as it runs in the family.  The more I research, the more I agree.  The little dude has a lot going on and always has.  And I know that and try to remember it.  But y’all, some of it is just him.  He is a hothead and wants his way at all times.  And will apparently threaten to kill you if he doesn’t get it.  The bloodlust he definitely got from me.  Lord have mercy.

I will say living with my own little wild man makes me more sensitive to kids everywhere.  I know people look at us and think he is an only child and we spoil him and that’s why he acts like a hellion.  Don’t get me wrong, we do spoil him.  We did a lot to get him here and he will probably be our only one barring some act of God.  He’s going to get the things he wants within reason.  But that’s not to say we don’t set boundaries and dish out punishment.  It just so happens that this kid doesn’t care.  He just waits us out and goes on with his life.  Strong willed does not begin to cover what he has going on.  And if we have one, so does other poor soul out there.  I try to remember that when I’m out and some baby is terrorizing it’s mother.  Some kids are just more and they’re born that way.  Ours was that way from the moment he was able to scream and probably before he was born, to be honest.  They may not be able to help it and their parents may be like us – struggling for any semblance of control.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my little cub and will hurt you if you hurt him.  He is perfect and beautiful and life would be weird without him in it.  But there are days I contemplate running away from home.  Then I go on a business trip for two days and miss him so much I actually want to cry.  I’m complicated, what can I say.  I just keep praying my crazy and his crazy don’t run into each other in a epic battle that makes the news.  Fingers crossed.

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Balance

It’s been a rough week for me. Tuck started back to school the same day I started something new at work. That made for an awesome Monday that carried into the rest of the week. We got more bad news at the dentist for Tuck, which sent me into a shame spiral to say the least. And the list goes on from there. But…

The sun shined for what seems like the first time in weeks. We got an encouraging note from school in Tuck’s report card. I got to work somewhere new, with people I don’t get to see much, and it was a refreshing change. And I had a couple of friends take the time to talk me off a ledge when I needed it most.

Balance. Thank God for it.

But the highlight of my week, weirdly enough, was seeing someone use one of my products without thought. They weren’t doing it because I could see them or because they couldn’t find their normal product. They just used it. Like they did it every day. It was the best thing this week and is still in my mind days later.

Don’t get me wrong. I know I am making products people can use. Hello – I make stuff I use and then share it. But I kind of assume about 50% of it is because my friends are trying to help me out. So it is really satisfying to see my label on something being used without thought. Doing something I love and helping someone at the same time – that’s the kind of balance I’m looking for. It’s nice to see a sign that I’m on the right track.

Give Thanks

I’m cleaning my house, really cleaning it, for the first time in a while. It has literally taken me two complete days to get it under control. I may never walk right again. While removing Thanksgiving stickers from my window (what month is it again?), I came across a “Give Thanks” sticker that I’ve decided to keep. I need the reminder.

I’ve spent a good deal of the last few months being seriously unhappy. Unhappy with work, with how dirty my house is, how tired I am and how little free time I have to do the things I really love. And don’t get me wrong, those feelings are still there. But today, as I look out over my spacious deck, my pool, my cows, and my beautiful home place, while the cutest kid you’ve ever seen learns to read, as my patient husband changes my oil in my beloved Jeep, I am giving thanks. Because even though life isn’t exactly where I want it to be, it’s a heck of a lot better than I ever dreamed it would be. I never in a million years imagined I’d be where I am today. But as usual, God plans for the best even when you’re too stupid to get there on your own. He truly did bless the broken road that brought me to where I am today. And for all of that, I am truly thankful.

Crafty Kate

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the most surprising thing to come out of my Journey is this whole “arts & crafts” side of me. Granted, when I was younger I loved making things. But hello, that was 25 years ago at best. A lot has changed since then. Mainly I grew up. I found my passion in agriculture (cows don’t appreciate the pictures you paint them no matter how hard you try) and the love of my life (he is still surprised I’m doing all this). When I started using Young Living I did my research. I crawled through their website and stalked a few people on Facebook. The common theme I found was dreams can come true if you put in the work and believe it. Yes, we tell our kids that continually and yes, we mostly believe it. At least if you start early enough. But you reach a point in your life where you feel like you’re locked in to a path and that’s ok. Your “dreams” shift to more realistic goals that fit the adult profile. Want to be a princess? Sure, you can do that. If you divorce your current husband, meet a prince (where does one meet a prince?), fall madly in love, get re-married, and then live happily ever after as a princess. Hope you love heels and social events. A more likely scenario is you learn to dream something super mature like “become debt free” or “fund 401K”. Crazy exciting stuff. And totally attainable. And adult. Does it scream “happiness”? That’s a hard no. I mean the debt free thing is pretty exciting, I’ll admit. But Young Living is full of grown adults who dream big and make it happen. It was founded by a dreamer. It planted a seed, I guess you could say.

With this Journey, one thing keeps leading to another. It all started with the oils, of course. I love my oils. I love using them and can honestly say I am healthier this winter because I changed a few simple things. I rarely, if ever, reach for over the counter solutions to my day to day ailments. I love answering questions and seeing other people fall in love with them. But just using the oils themselves, while I do and they have a ton of benefits, couldn’t help me with everything I use daily. I wanted to change out my hand soap, lotion, lip balm…anything I put on my body daily. Some things I use from Young Living and love. Their soap and deodorant are awesome. And a pain to make. But I knew I could make some things on my own to help replace some of my “fragranced” personal care products. Once I started, I kept finding more and more things I wanted to make. Every week I think of something new to try and you know what? I do it. You should see my stockpile of ingredients and containers. I could open my own store at this point. I’ve set up my own little work area and keep adding to it. For Christmas I got a cutting machine for vinyl and all types of other media. I think I may be weirdly in love with it to be honest. I can think of so many things I want to try. My parents got me a induction cooktop so I’m free from my kitchen stove! Outside of reading, this has become my favorite way to decompress and relax.

I say all that to say this: it’s ok to dream and do something that seems non-adult. It’s ok to want to be happier and to realize something goofy makes you that way. Even if everyone thinks it is waaaayyy out of character. To quote Joker, “WHY. SO. SERIOUS?” Branch out. If you’re reading this, you’re not dead yet. Do something you enjoy and let it lead you on your own journey. You might get more than you bargained for…in a good way, for a change.

Resolve to Evolve

I’m not a big resolution person. Mainly because I know myself well enough to know I won’t follow through if I don’t want to, regardless of what I decide at the new year. However, the past few weeks I’ve thought about the new year a lot. Maybe it’s because I will turn 40 and I’m having some sort of mid-life crisis. Hard to say for sure, but I’m at a point in my life where I feel like I should reassess where I am, where I want to go, and how I plan to get there.

2018 has brought me a new venture that I love and as a bonus, has helped me reduce the chemicals in my house which has led to a healthier family. Really. It’s weird, but true. It has also given me the freedom to take days off and spend it with my kid, as opposed to worrying non-stop about deciding between him and my job. Young Living really has changed my life and I love sharing it. With the holidays, I have taken it easy on that front, focusing more on creating products I love. It is such a stress reliever to make things, especially things I use daily. I feel like I’m actually accomplishing something I can measure and see, which is uncommon for me these days. And I’ve been able to share that with a lot of people, which is nerve wracking for me, but has given me a lot of satisfaction, too. It has reminded me that there is more to me than the day to day people see. And it really makes me happy. Like “singing in the kitchen” happy. I find myself making stuff just for the sake of making it, because I can see it in my head and I have to do it and see how it turns out. I assume that’s how musicians and other artists feel, but being neither of those it’s new for me.

Back to the point – this year I’m thinking hard about change in the new year. I hate change. Have for as long as I can remember. I get physically ill and try to sleep my life away. Which brings me back to that whole mid-life crisis possibility. Whatever it is, I’m hoping to make some changes in 2019. Because regardless of how old I sometimes feel, I’m not dead yet. I’ve talked to and read stories of tons of people who make some change mid-life and go on to truly enjoy the rest of their life. I want to be one of those people. I don’t have any crazy “move to Mexico” plans, just a drive to really do some of the things my husband and I have talked about for years. Six months ago I never would have had the courage to even consider a change. But I found this company full of amazing people doing amazing things and it helped me dream again. It’s scary as hell, yet totally irresistible. And I can’t wait.

Thank A Veteran Today

Today is one of those holidays when you can totally make someone else’s day. It always amazes me how much going up to someone and thanking them for their service surprises them. My dad served in the army long before I was a twinkle in his eye and I think that’s part of my appreciation. Regardless of your stance on our military and its involvement around the globe, these men and women deserve your thanks. Because of their service, we have a wonderful, free country to enjoy. They are the ones who continue to guard the door. So if you see a veteran today or any day, make their day and thank them for their service. It’s such a little thing, but it will mean so much. You won’t regret it, I promise.

The Book of Faces

I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. I’d hazard to guess that most people do. I love that I can “see” my friends from high school and college even though they’ve moved all over the country. Granted, it’s a little stalker-esque to “follow” someone’s life through pictures, but I still enjoy it. I love being able to share my life and who doesn’t like all those “likes” you get when you post a picture? That’s the whole point, right? Facebook has a ton of good qualities. I mean I keep going back multiple times a day so it must have something I like.

What I don’t like is how Facebook can make me feel about myself and my life. Because you don’t automatically think, “well, they’re posting only the best things”, and take things with a grain of salt when you see pictures of your friends in Aruba or baking the world’s coolest cupcakes for their 10 kids. I’m a pretty straightforward person, both on and off Facebook, so I don’t immediately assume everyone is only highlighting the good. Nope. I think I’m failing as a mom or wife. I don’t travel enough. I don’t contribute enough. I have one kid and can’t get anything done and these people have five kids (five!) and are travelling and doing all these family things. I can barely get through a meal with my little heathen. And Lord, when I post that particular little truth nugget… Let’s just say my bid for mom of the year grows stronger daily. That’s honestly how I feel.

Now I can’t blame that all on Facebook. Some of that is just who I am. I will never feel I measure up to other moms. It’s not going to happen, so you can save your inspiring texts and emails about how awesome I am. I’m good. I know it’s stupid, as my sweet husband points out daily, but I can’t make myself stop. That’s not Facebook’s fault. But if there was no Facebook, and I wasn’t hooked on it, I wouldn’t have that shoved in my face as often and in living color. So I do put some blame on Facebook and social media in general.

I give massive props to people who “quit” Facebook. You go. You have the willpower of a god as far as I’m concerned. I just don’t feel like that’s a valid option for me. It’s literally the only way I “see” some of my family and friends. I also use it for my business. It just isn’t logical to stop using it altogether. But I wonder if I can inspire others to try for a little honesty on there. It always amazes me when I post something like “I hate everyone today” and people start worrying about something tragic going on in my life. I’m just posting my honest opinion at that moment, which is what I like to think everyone is doing, so why the concern? Then it dawns on me – most people are only posting rainbows and roses. They assume your world is ending if you actually post anything non-sunny on Facebook. Nope. I hate people at least one day a week on average. That’s me. No crisis, just putting it out there as more of a public service announcement. I guess I could wear some sort of sign instead, but a Facebook post lets people I don’t see daily know not to call, or God forbid, stop by for a visit. A sign on my person will not do that.

So yeah, I love it…I hate it. I’m addicted to it, even though it sometimes makes me feel like a complete and utter failure. I’m working on that. But how about we all agree to be more realistic on the book of faces? Because if I’m feeling this way, I hate to think how the more vulnerable people in our lives feel. ‘Cause I can guarantee they’re on there reading posts several hours a day. And while I have a full time job and a little heathen at home to keep my mind occupied most of the day, not everyone does. Now don’t go depressing everyone you know on there, but maybe shoot for posting about the not perfect times once in a while. It’s ok to have a bad day and shout it from the internet. I personally love giving someone a good laugh at my expense. And hey, you’ll get lots of encouragement and prayers as an added bonus! Win win.

Kids, am I right?

Ever look at your little one and feel that flush of pride? That feeling that you have the greatest kid ever? I do. Sometimes it just comes over me that he is so special and we are so lucky he is ours. Now, ever look at them and think how did we get here? Did I kill someone in a past life? No? Could be just me, I guess.

It amazes me how fast I can go from one to the other. One minute he’s kissing my cheek and telling me I’m the best mommy and the next he’s screaming his head off because I won’t cook sausage at 8 PM. Or vice versa. He’s screaming about how much he hates me and everything I do in general and suddently it’s like a light comes on and he’s asking me to sing and tuck him in bed. This kid.

And I only have the one. I do have a Great Dane who is exactly like my son, so I think that adds an extra degree of difficulty. Those two are slowly destroying everything we own, including my nap time. Thank goodness they are both so cute and loving. You people with more than one kid, you’re the real heroes. God bless you.

People often tell me how cute my son is and I usually reply with something like, “That’s good, maybe that will help him when he’s a bank robber.” Stunned silence or snorts usually follow. Did I mention I work in a bank? I’m telling you, this kid has the intelligence and stamina to do great things. Will they be legal or illegal, that is the question. I love the Godfather so I feel like I can go either way. Mother of a crime boss probably isn’t that had a gig. In the meantime I watch and listen in fascination at the things his mind comes up with and pray he doesn’t get kicked out of kindergarten.

The Best Part of My Journey

Tomorrow is the thirteenth anniversary of one of the best days of my life. On that day, I married the man God created just for me. It was a gorgeous day like today and we were stupid happy. Sounds sappy, right? Especially from me. But it is the truth. In all the times I have questioned my faith and God and a made a ton of questionable decisions, I have never doubted He both existed and wanted the very best for me. Because all those years ago, in the midst of my rebellion, he gave me Jamie.

I met Jamie in what should have been my senior year of college. I had just changed my major Again. I was way out of my element and knew no one, but I was loving every minute. I finally fit somewhere after always feeling just a little out of place. And I quickly learned that agriculture students are friendly, accepting, and a whole lot of fun. Turns out Jamie was in the very first class I went to, but I met him through my new circle of friends. He was actually dating a friend of mine. He was always laughing and a lot of fun to be around, but I literally never thought much more about it. He was taken, after all. Fast forward a year. They had broken up and I realized I missed having him around. My best friend and I began inviting him hang out with us at the bar we all went to. There was a lot of pool playing and a lot of beer. It was a lot of fun, but I honestly never thought of it more than just hanging out with a friend. Looking back, I think I just never saw the possibility of someone like him liking someone like me. Good thing he wasn’t so dense.

Until the night another guy bluntly told me I would be better off with Jamie, I had never even considered the possibility. I thought he was delusional and told him so. But it planted the seed. Things began to change after that. Probably because I had enough sense to pay attention to what was going on around me. I don’t think Jamie had the same problem. He knew what he thought about me. This really sweet guy put up with a lot of weirdness from me and stuck around, even when I told him he deserved better than me. Multiple times. He saw something I surely didn’t see. That was the fall of 2001 and it made all the difference in my life. God is truly merciful.

The good memories we have made definitely outweigh the bad ones, but there were some hard times those first years of dating. But for whatever reason, it didn’t matter. No matter what happened, it didn’t change anything. He was my match and so here we are today. I still look at him some days and wonder how I got here. He is one of the nicest people I know. Friendly and outgoing. Would do anything for anyone and especially me. A natural daddy to his mini-me, with patience I will never understand. And here I sit on a beautiful farm, with a life and community I love. I literally never thought I’d be here after growing up in town. I often jokingly tell him that I’m spoiled, but really I am. This dude puts up with a lot. I am a challenge, to say the least. Can I get an “amen”? But it doesn’t seem to matter. He loves me anyway. He will read this and call me crazy, but even on the days I want to throttle him, I know how lucky I am to have him.

So happy anniversary to the best guy I know. The one I get to call mine. If you are out there like I was, searching and discouraged that anyone would ever love the real you, take it from me: they’re out there. Don’t settle for anything less than what God has planned for you. Even if you are not a fan of doing what He wants. I don’t like being told what I should do. By anyone. But thank goodness He is persistent. Our love story is living proof that there is a God and no matter what you do, He loves you and wants the very best for you. He has a perfect plan for you, if you will open your eyes – or have someone open them for you if you’re dense like me. I wouldn’t trade a second of this life for the life I thought I’d have. Jamie often says he should have gone to trade school instead of college. That he got nothing out of it. I politely remind him that he got me. And I was totally worth it. Ha.

The Best Laid Plans

Ever build something up so much in your mind that when it doesn’t go according to plan, you ride the struggle bus for a week trying to regain your equilibrium? No? Well, bully for you. I am on the bus. Asleep.

This past month or so has been increasingly stressful. At work. At home. In my dreams of work and home. Stress around every turn. When the opportunity came up to go on a beach vacation with friends, I jumped on it, even though I knew it wasn’t the best use of our money at that point. My little family needed to do something enjoyable and get out of town. More importantly, I needed to disconnect and re-boot. The beach is the perfect place to unwind and leave real life behind. I planned to ditch my phone and Fitbit and just chill for four uninterrupted days. No plans, no stress. Pure salty awesomeness.

Enter Hurricane Michael, the bastard. We had been at our beach house less than 24 hours when we received news that we would have to evacuate. Just enough time to have everything unpacked and have groceries for 20 people stored in the kitchen. Needless to say, repacking and moving with 8 adults and 7 kids was not stress-relieving. Turning off my phone with a hurricane coming did not work either. Fortunately, we were able to relocate to another beach farther from the predicted landfall. Beautiful house and community. We still couldn’t get in the water, but we were safe and together.

But this wasn’t at all what I had planned. And while everyone else adjusted and began to enjoy vacation, I just couldn’t. It takes me days to relax anyway and at this point, by the time I could relax we would be headed home. So instead of trying to relax as much as possible, I gave up on it as a whole. I was, and continue to be, in a funk. I don’t understand why, at a time I really needed it, things didn’t go as planned. Again. And why, a week later, I’m still struggling to regain my equilibrium. At this exact second, I could lay down and sleep 24 hours with no issues. Sleep is my escape. When I am unhappy, I sleep. And boy could I sleep with this cloud cover and cool weather.

I should be back at work today. I have things to do. The real world beckons. I literally could not make myself go. I wanted one day to myself. To regroup, throw myself (or more likely, sleep myself) out of this funk and get ready to take on the world tomorrow. Somehow I fell from a “new exciting business” to “can’t get motivated” over one disruption of my perfect plan. That can’t be normal.

Anyway, to those who have called, texted or tried to engage with me and felt the cold shoulder, I’m sorry. I’m taking this one last to day to wallow in self pity and then I’ll be back in your face with my charming sarcasm, endless Facebook posts and messages. And to celebrate my newest plan? A nap, of course. What else??

Speed Bump

I’m competitive. It’s one of those things I seem too lazy to be, but there it is. I’m not an athlete, that’s for sure. But I love a challenge. I love being told I can’t and then shoving it back in your face later. I mean I don’t shove it, I let the success do that. It so funny because it lays dormant a lot. Some people would never imagine me as anything but laid back and well, lazy. But when it comes out, it takes over. Apparently.

In addition to everything else Young Living offered me, it offered me a chance to compete. With myself, mostly. There are all these different goals and the strategy to reach them intrigues me. And that’s all fine and well, but I feel like it has overshadowed my primary goal. Overall, the thing that attracted me to YL is the ability to help people. Really help them. Show people better products for their families. Empower them to make good decisions and take their health into their own hands. This company gives me the opportunity to do that in a physical way and the freedom to do it my own way. The feeling I get when someone tells me they made their own roller or used a certain oil and had wonderful results…that is the reason I got on this road.

So this weekend I’m working on a re-set. I don’t think I’ve made any huge errors or completely run off my friends and family, but I have spent more time than I like to admit looking at my numbers and trying to figure out how to increase them. More and more and more. It’s so exciting to beat the goals I set for myself. And I won’t lie – I want to make a profit. This journey leads to financial freedom, otherwise I would just be using these products. But I know, because I’ve seen it done, that I can reach that destination without running off everyone I know. I’m not a good pressure person. I hate being pressured, so I try to remember how I would want to be dealt with. But a couple of times I felt myself apply pressure that was unnecessary. It would benefit them, sure, but they really didn’t have to do what I suggested at that second. I was seeing the numbers in my head. That makes me unhappy, which is the opposite of my goal.

My dream is to truly help people and empower them to help themselves and others, while making enough money to do that full time. After these three months, I know I can get there. I have the drive and the strategy and I intend to get there. I’m not going to stop competing against myself, don’t get me wrong. I just can’t and don’t really want to. That makes me happy, too. But I will try to remember the point and the thing that set me on this incredible journey in the first place. Helping YL get oils into every household in the world and making a positive difference in people’s lives. If you’ve made it this far, consider that my commitment to you. Continue on this journey with me, no pressure. Only a genuine attempt to improve your life and mine.

So, ask how Young Living is changing my life and how it can change yours.

Thieves

Yep. Thieves. Thieves is probably the most well known product Young Living distributes. People who don’t even know what Young Living is, know what Thieves is. It is so popular there is an entire line of products dedicated to using the Thieves formula. Cleaner, which people love, soap, dish soap, laundry detergent, hand sanitizer…and the list goes on.

Why the name, you ask? Well the story is that during the bubonic plague in Europe, there was a well known band of grave robbers. They were known to enter the houses of those who succumbed to the disease and rob them. But they didn’t get sick. When they were finally apprehended, they eventually gave up their secret – a mixture of herbs, spices and essential oils. Today that formula is still used and referred to as “Thieves” essential oil. It is renowned for immune support.

Before I started using the cleaner myself, I was convinced I wouldn’t like it. I had smelled it at some point and it was overwhelming. I couldn’t believe people loved it so much. All natural cleaner, really? This girl needs bleach. And wouldn’t oils leave a film on everything?

Then I used it to clean my glass top stove. And my kitchen sink. And my refrigerator. And my bathroom, including soap scum on my tub. That one bottle of spray cleaned it all. I didn’t need multiple cleaners. And it left my surfaces shiny. No oily residue like I expected. It was awesome. But you know the best part? One capful to 2 to 4 cups of water is all you need, depending on what you are using it for. My friend uses 1 capful in a 10 oz. spray bottle and loves it. I’m not going to do the math right now on price per bottle, but you can get about 60 caps from each bottle. That’s alot of cleaner. And it’s not going to hurt anyone in your family. I can’t even spray my other cleaner now and I love that stuff. The smell overwhelms me. Even when it didn’t bother me, I always locked my kid and dogs out when I was using it. That should have told me my brain knew it was bad for me.

I have yet to meet anyone who uses it that doesn’t love it. Young Living even designed a starter kit with several different products including 2 bottles of cleaner. But it isn’t just cleaner. It’s foaming soap, toothpaste (which is awesome), mouthwash, hand sanitizer (also awesome), mini sprays to disinfect on the go, and a bottle of Thieves oil (the most awesome of all). Google Thieves as immune support and see what comes up. Search it on Pinterest if you dare. If you arent interested in oil right now, I think you may come around after using this. I actually ordered one myself because I wanted to try it all. If you’ve been thinking about Young Living, but don’t know about a whole kit of oils, look into the Premium Starter Kit with Thieves. The link below will take you to the site. And I’m always open to questions.

Believe me,

Click here for more info!

Click here to get yours!

Community

I live in a community. That’s an actual thing, not just a state of mind. Actually, it’s both, but let’s not argue. I grew up in a decent sized town in Tennessee. It’s more of a city now, but when I was there it wasn’t quite as large. I never understood community outside of my church, which I never quite felt a part of. My parents understood it. They both grew up in small communities and their roots will always be there. People used to be more familiar with it. The world was bigger and we weren’t one big online place. Now the world tends to be one big anonymous hole. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for anonymity. But in hard times, you need your tribe.

When we had dated long enough to come home and meet the parents, I remember I was shocked. I had no idea places like this existed outside of the big park in East Tennessee. Beautiful, clear rock-bottom creeks. Cows and cornfields everywhere. Big green fields and trees. It was gorgeous. I knew I loved it almost immediately. But the longer I live here, the more I realize the people are what make this place so special. For the first time in my life I felt like I was welcomed in as one of the group with no need for insecurity. They love me and I love them. I love that my little one gets to grow up here amongst people who love him.

It is never more apparent how wonderful a community really is until tragedy strikes. Our little community survived a tornado thanks to friends, family and help from each other. This week our county lost two young women. Both left behind teen aged children and husbands. One from cancer and one from unknown reasons. It has hurt this community. Lots of questions. Lots of anger, I’m sure. I personally am still in disbelief. I saw one of the ladies the day before. It is hard to believe she is gone. A lady posted this picture on Facebook. These are students in the town where my son goes to school. They are outside praying for the families, who they all know well, and our community as a whole. They are comforting themselves and each other. That’s community. No one told these kids to do that. They know what community is. It is truly caring about each other, even strangers. It is about helping in whatever way you can. It is rare in this world today, so I cherish it. I am proud to live here and proud to raise my son here.

#waynecountytennessee #collinwoodtennessee #luttstennessee

Sweet Freedom

Our family has lived through a weird five years. Some of it I’ve shared with you and some I’m still working up to sharing. All of this means every year by August, I am out of sick days and halfway through my vacation days. And I never, ever roll anything into the new year. I generally have a stranglehold on those last five days, that I haven’t even accrued yet, hoping for some sort of vacation. It is a stressful way to live.

On top of whatever craziness caused me to be off in the first place, when I miss work I worry all day. I fret over using another sick or vacation day that I might need later. I have left my son and my husband at times I didn’t want to because I was saving every minute I could in case of the inevitable heart attack, tornado, trip to the doctor, broken foot, ER visit, kidney stone, etc. I have never felt like I had the freedom to do anything differently. My husband would always say it was no big deal and people understand when you need to be off, but I always felt guilty. My job took up the majority of my life and I couldn’t afford to keep missing.

My husband doesn’t really understand my point of view, mainly because he doesn’t think that way, but also because he accrues time off like crazy. In addition, he has always had some side hobby that he used to make extra money. He could sell something or fix something. I only have my daily job. My hobbies are reading and sleeping and those don’t pay well…or actually happen now that I have a little one. It has been a sore spot with me for years that he actually has time off he can use and money to have a hobby, while I sit in my office with my ag degree staring out an office window. This was not the dream.

But this week something happened. My little one was sick. Pitifully so. Normally I would leave for work and his daddy or grandmother would hold him and pet him all day. He would cry, but I never felt like I had a choice. But this week was different. See I joined Young Living a few months ago. The people involved with this company showed me that there is a different way to live. That you can do something you enjoy, actually help people, AND even make money. And I’m doing it. And I’m loving it.

The freedom of knowing I have a goal date in mind where I will be living the life I want…it makes a huge difference in how I feel and face daily life. I couldn’t go to my daily job that day, but I could work on my oily job from home. It sounds stupid, even to me, but it is the truth. All of this makes a huge difference to me.

If you are out there suffering through another day of doing what you’re supposed to, listen to me. You can do something else if you want. You can change your life and move toward what you love. Set a goal and go get it. It takes work, but doesn’t everything? But you have to start somewhere. Go to youngliving.com and do some research. Contact me through this site. Find me on Facebook (katiesoilyjourney) or Twitter (@katiesoilyjourney). Join Young Living through my link. It is a worthwhile change. I promise.

This Day, Take 2

Today was not my day. No amount of Spearmint and Stress Away could save this day. It’s Monday, so that speaks for itself. I got to work and my phone and computer wouldn’t connect to the internet and therefore the system. No one else was having an issue. Imagine that. Both run off the internet, which is persnickety on a good day. (That’s southern for very difficult x 10). I eventually realized my phone was being an idiot and bypassed it so I could at least get in the system. In the meantime, my visitor arrived. For those that don’t know, my job is loan administration, which basically means I oversee loan operations. And that means sometimes you have people come in to make sure you are doing your job right. Usually it’s stressful, but that’s normal. Add in no phone and no boss and life gets less fun. Luckily his computer worked. Once I had him settled, I went back to working on my stupid phone. After emailing to let people know I had no phone on a day I could really use a phone, I fiddled with it until I considered throwing it through my office window and jumping from the second floor to freedom. It was awesome. In the midst of this, lunch arrived. What could go wrong? Hold on and let me tell you. After waiting 45 minutes, still no lunch. It was a burger and fries, not a four course meal. Turns out my order was placed as a to-go, so it was sitting in the back getting cold the whole time I sat trying to be patient. That’ll teach me. No good deed goes unpunished. You’ve probably heard me say that. Because it’s TRUE and I’m a truthsayer. At least I got it free. Someone asked how it was and I told them it wasn’t half bad for a cold burger and fries. Not exactly the hot burger and fries I expected, but I made it work. I came back and worked on what I now will forever refer to as “my idiot phone” to no avail. I gave up and decided phones are for losers anyway. And I’m a winner. Eventually the day came to an uneventful end and here I am. In my recliner reminiscing. I think I’ll leave my office phone off the hook forever. It was actually quite peaceful looking back. On to Monday, part 2. Deliver me Lord.

Welcome to the Unknown

If you’re a medical professional, I’m going to go ahead and suggest you skip this one.

So. This isn’t going to be funny or profound. It’s mostly me venting and feeling sorry for myself. So you’ve been warned.

If you are one of those fortunate people who go to a doctor with a problem and get a diagnosis, you won’t understand this one. I bet you didn’t even know there was a different way. But there is. I am one of those people that leaves the doctor’s office frustrated and often crying. Today is one of those days. You see, it doesn’t matter what I go for, cold, weird pain, rash, etc., I rarely get an answer. I get a ton of “I don’t see anything” and “I’m sorry, come back if you have another symptom,” but very few answers. It is unhelpful at best and soul crushing at worst. Today I went to a doctor I love. She is my favorite of all of them. But today she got to tell me she doesn’t know what’s causing my issue. There is nothing there. So what the hell is it? Is it really just in my head? I like to think I’m not that crazy, but am I? Honestly, appointments like this make me question my sanity on top of everything else.

This is pretty much constant in my life, except a lot of times I don’t like the doctor so I don’t go so peacefully. Ask the rheumatologist at Vanderbilt who basically dismissed me, so I insisted he test me, and he later had to call and tell me I am developing a very rare autoimmune disease. Moron. Just because I don’t look sick and don’t have the symptoms you are accustomed to, doesn’t mean you get to dismiss me. That day I was in no mood to be casually dismissed by a kid doctor. He will never see me again, though I’m sure he would love to study me. My endocrinologist is a genius as far as I’m concerned. He gave me my son. When he told me they had exhausted their vast resources and were out of options, it was hard to take. It’s hard to take when you are having trouble breathing and actually break down and go to the ER and are told there’s nothing there causing it. This is my experience with the medical world.

So again, you are truly blessed if you can go to the doctor and come out feeling relieved or even terrified. At least you have something to fight. I exit, call my husband or mom, and cry in frustration. I have to remind myself that doctors absolutely don’t know everything and there are things even they have never seen. But it is very hard. Especially when you sit here still having the same problem, trying to decide if it’s real or not.

If you have never experienced this, I pray you never do. It sucks. Does it do any good to tell you this? Nope. Do I feel better? Nope. Is there a point? Not really. Welcome to my frustrating world.

Busy times

I know I’ve been missing for a while, but I will be back in full swing shortly. School has started and my little one is in Kindergarten, which he loves. Just getting a routine in place is going to be a nightmare. I finally got rid of my stupid boot. I am a free woman…mostly. Next weekend is our community tractor and truck pull. My husband and his friend insist on building practically new trucks every year. New as in new parts. The trucks are definitely not new. (Shout out to #bearcreekbeaters! ) This event takes him away for most nights for a few months and throws everything out of whack. I can’t wait until it’s here (and gone). My business has steadily increased, which is awesome. My friend and I had an essential oils class Saturday and I have another today. That is nerve wracking as a newbie. This is my wild week at work and next week doesn’t look much better.

To say things are chaotic is a tiny bit of an understatement. But these are exciting times for my family and I can’t wait to share all of the adventures, and misadventures, along the way. Hang on. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Go team!

I honestly think my favorite part of this whole oily journey is sharing and then watching those people share the love. I love building a team and encouraging them to do the same. I love helping them achieve goals. Of all the things Young Living has done for me, I think my team is my favorite. This company encourages you to build strong bonds and share everything you know. Not competing. Not hiding your secrets. Everyone benefits from team success. I never thought that would appeal to me. People skills are not really high in my list of qualities and I work fairly well as a team of one. I went from thinking of network marketing as the devil to be avoided, to realizing it’s about teamwork and helping other people succeed. And it turns out I really like that. Who knew.

This Oily Life

Since I started this journey, I’ve had multiple people say I seem happier. I don’t know if it’s the oils themselves or just the change in focus. The running joke is I told a friend one day in conversation that I liked talking to people. That is out of the ordinary for me. A lot. And everyone she tells laughs. A lot. I think it’s that I finally have something worthwhile to say and I feel a passion to share it. I literally hear myself getting excited when I’m talking to someone about Young Living. I feel like I can help people improve their life and I want to do that.

I honestly hadn’t noticed how much I had started using Young Living products personally. I don’t have a huge supply at this point. Mainly oils from the premium starter kit and a few other things I’ve purchased. I had a friend ask me a few days ago how and what I was using that I felt was helping me. When I started telling her, I realized how much my family uses them.

I wake up and wash my face with Mirrah cleansing oil or a charcoal bar. (I love that cleansing oil, by the way.) I use Cedarwood mint soap or Morning Start bath gel and lavender conditioner. I get out and use Progessence Plus serum on my face, Stress Away in my lotion and Thieves oil on the bottoms of my feet for immune support. I use Thieves on my little one who is starting school, too. Last fall and spring were rough on us. We hope to avoid that this year. I’ve also made my own lip balm, hand salve, foaming soap, and foot cream. At night I diffuse lavender in my room and spray Seedlings spray on my pillow. On restless nights, I diffuse Sleepyize in my little one’s room. I diffuse daily at home and work, rotating through different blends. My husband uses a Panaway mix every night on tired, sore muscles. I’ve treated bug bites and stings, cuts and scrapes, and pimples and who knows what else. I mean seriously, I’m using them more than I even realized. And they help my family. Is this a miracle solution? Of course not. Do I look crazy to you? Don’t answer that. We still take our prescriptions and have our recommended check ups. This is simply a way to naturally support what we are already doing to maintain our health.

I’m also using products with synthetic fragrance as little as possible. I just can’t make myself go back to it knowing it could be screwing with my health. I’m checking labels on everything. Also not me. My husband will tell you he’s having trouble reconciling this Katie with the Katie he’s known for 17 years. He’s happy that I’m happy, but that doesn’t make it any less unusual. I get that. But I maintain this is just a happier, healthier version of me. Still the same mean me, but maybe a tiny bit nicer. You can thank Young Living for that.

It Is Well

It really isn’t. If I’m honest with you and myself, it just isn’t. I would love to give you some really impressive motivational speech. But I can’t, because I’m not feeling it either.

Have you ever wanted something so badly and for so long that it consumes you? I have. In my teenage years I always imagined a house full of kids when I “grew up”. But it was not meant to be for me. After many years of heartache, we finally did in vitro fertilization (IVF) to have my beautiful little son. Prior to that I had done a lot of things trying to make this particular dream come true. Many, many things that I never thought I would allow my body to go through. In a way, IVF was a relief. I knew it was going to be intense going in. No surprise there. There was a set process and I knew it was going to suck. I spent a lot of time on the road (I live about two and a half hours from my doctor), taking shots in parking lots and sitting in rush hour traffic after leaving home at 4:30 a.m., sometimes twice a week. Looking back, it seems unreal that I went through that. But I have my son to show for the hard work, so it was fulfilling.

Most people don’t know, but we tried again a few years ago. I spent six months in what I can only describe as pure hell. Hopes up, hopes crushed. Hopes up, hopes crushed. My body would not cooperate like it did the first time. My nurse literally told me they didn’t know what else to do. After all that work, my doctor recommended we give it a try and pray for the best. Those that know me don’t see a kid walking around, so you know how that one went. Not only is IVF an emotional journey, it’s a financial one. To spend that kind of money for heartbreak is another level of misery.

People seem to think that once you have your miracle baby, you should be satisfied and content. And I guess a lot of people are. I am not. I want a brother or sister for my son. I want the chance to have a normal, uneventful pregnancy and delivery. The memory of my last delivery and first month of mommyhood are not pleasant. I guess I should be happy I even have a child, lots of people never do. I know that. But that’s not how it is, so that’s not how I feel.

When you struggle with infertility, you try to remain level at all times. Never get your hopes up. You pray, beg, cry and beg some more sometimes, but never get excited. You keep secrets from your spouse, because you don’t want to disappoint both of you. You lie to yourself to keep your excitement down. Never get your hopes up. Never. I made that mistake recently. I let myself believe for just a second. Just a second. The devastation never gets easier apparently. On top of the disappointment, you’re mad at yourself for being so stupid. I know my issues. I know how miraculous it would have to be to get pregnant without intervention. But I see it happen for others, so why not me?

So. It is not well with my soul right now. I’m trying. I’ve poured out my heart to God and cried hysterically while my sweet husband held me. It simply never gets easier. Fortunately I have my essential oils endeavor to occupy my mind when I have free time. But it still hurts. It hurts every time I see a baby. It hurts every time I hear someone say, “We were so surprised! We didn’t even want another baby!” It hurts every time I see a story of abuse or neglect. It just hurts. Over and over. These days I pray God will take the desire from me. Just take it. The relief of not wanting something I can’t have would be tremendous. I think I would be a totally different person. But it’s still there. I have to make myself stop hoping, because why would God give me a desire he doesn’t intend to fulfill? That seems cruel. But there it is.

I don’t know why I had to get this out. Maybe it will help me, but I doubt it. More likely it will help one of you. Which is wonderful. The only thing I see that has come out of all this is I have been able to talk to other people first hand about my struggle. When I did IVF, I didn’t know anyone else who had done it. I scoured the internet for support groups and information. I kept the whole process a secret. I was almost ashamed I had to go to such lengths. Now I can encourage other people and explain the process. I can empathize. I can encourage. With all of my issues, if I can get pregnant, anyone can. The options are absolutely endless for them. Me, not so much. But I think of all I’ve done and know that I did all I could. It just wasn’t meant to be. And I am afraid I will struggle forever trying to make it well with my soul.

I Have the Best

When I first saw my best friend, my immediate thought was, “Is this chick for real?”, followed quickly by, “Yeah, we can’t hang out.” I was about two days into a new job at a bank, something I has never done before. If you haven’t done it, a lot of times they train you as a teller first before you do another job so that you understand how everything works. Anyway, I was training with the lady in the drive thru and this chick in stilettos and full make-up walks in to show her the scrapbook she was working on… Just take that all in for a second. Even now I sometimes refer to her as bunny in my head (as in playboy). For those who don’t know, I’m almost 40. I don’t wear any make-up, even now, and I guarantee I’ve never worn high heels. I wasn’t sure who she was, but I didn’t really care, short of an odd fascination that someone like this even existed out in the middle of nowhere.

When I eventually moved into the loan department, we spent all day, every day together. It was quickly apparently that her outside did not exactly match what I assumed was inside. For one thing, she is probably the nicest person I have ever met. She takes mother hen to a whole new level. Which is funny, because she would also “cut a b#$ch”, if you know what I mean. I swear we are long lost sisters. I tell her all the time she’s every 14-year-old boy’s dream girl – she is bunny on the outside, cooks and cleans like Martha, and laughs at fart jokes like a loon. She’s the best.

I think the most fascinating thing about her though isn’t any of that. It’s that this beautiful, talented girl is so insecure. You always think beautiful people are pompous and sure of themselves. She thinks she’s fat, for one thing. She’s not, but surprise surprise, someone who should be nice to her continually asks about her weight. She thinks she is stupid. She is not, but people see her pretty outside and make assumptions, much like I did. And then they speak and act on those assumptions and she takes it. If you only took the time to glance her way, you’d never know that she’s so nice. I had no clue. Unlike me, who says whatever I think and prepares to face consequences with a smile on my face, my bestie thinks before she speaks (even when she’s super mad). Will this upset my boss? Will this upset their family? Will it upset my family? Will people think I’m awful? And on she goes. It’s funny to hear my suggestions versus her worries. What gets me the most is that people take cheap shots at her continually. Things people would never, and I mean never, say to me, they say to her. Ugly things. Nosey things. Judgemental things. And she takes it with a smile, because she doesn’t want to upset them or make it more awkward. Whatever that is, I don’t have it. By nature I am protective and nothing makes me madder than seeing her sit there while people ask, in the middle of the bank lobby no less, things that are none of their business. They know she won’t say anything. They know she couldn’t in that place, even if she wanted to. I, however, will. Fair warning. I will not stand quietly by knowing someone upset her on purpose. I may or may not be quiet about it, but you will know you’ve crossed the line.

Like all best friends, we even each other out. We mostly keep each other level when we need it, but there are times where we are both mad and have to remember we don’t think we would like jail. Luckily for the world in general, it’s rare to catch us both having a bad day.

We no longer work in the same branch, which sucks. And I broke my foot, so we couldn’t go walk in the afternoon like we wanted. She is dealing with some things no one person should have to and that limits her free time anyway. But through it all, we are long lost sisters. I call, she starts offering help. She calls, I start offering bail money. Kidding. Kidding. I love this girl more than she will ever understand and will step up to bat for her any day. And I know she will do the same. No questions asked. I may or may not have questions.

I’m going to end with a funny. I was working the drive thru one Saturday. I was in the second window, which usually means you aren’t busy. The normal drive thru lady was in the first window so I rarely paid attention. I might glance and smile, but in my head I was already home. A girl drives up and is doing her business. I glance over, smile, and go back to la la land. At some point I recognize the vehicle as my best friend’s. But I had not recognized her – she had no make-up on!! By this point she has already decided I’m ashamed to acknowledge her. Keep in mind the three of us work together daily. By the time I realizewho she is, she is not happy with me. Snippy and cold does not begin to describe the reception I received when I started trying to talk to her. We have laughed and laughed because I didn’t recognize the real her! I look at people a little closer now!