There is a change in the air...

How was your weekend?  Here in America, we celebrate our Independence on the 4th of July.  Growing up, it blew my mind that it was an actual date... I would always ask, "When is the 4th of July this year?"   yeah... I'm that kid.

Thankfully, my kids are just 1/2 of me... (the cute half) so they were gifted with a bit more common sense from daddy.  Whew!

One of our traditions that we have kept pretty tight to is hanging out at my grandmother's house in Slick.  Slick is a tiny little ghost town in Oklahoma where people are proud to be considered redneck and rules are merely suggestions.  However, it's where my dad and his three brothers were raised, so it is home.

This weekend, though, was different.

Something was off.  Something didn't feel right...  It took me until Saturday evening to really put my finger on the feeling... and when I did, It almost made it worse.

Last week SUCKED.  Like, 2x4 to the face, sucks.   Why?  Loyalty, Friendship, Trust.  I am very much an introvert. I prefer to not be in big groups, I prefer to not participate in activities, go out... I am very content to sit in my living-room on my couch, binge watching Netflix (currently into House of Cards) and never walking out of my door.  People, I avoid WALMART!

I do however get lonely.  I have had some REALLY fantastic friends, and I am super blessed in that area.  Where I suck?  I am a terrible friend.  Remember the whole, sit on the couch and not speak to anyone?  yeah.  That makes me a terrible friend.  I might or might not return a text within 12 hours, I might not ever return a phone call, let alone listen to a voice mail... However, it is never my intention to be a bad friend.  It just happens.

Something else I'm not?  malicious.  I will listen to a story, I will give the best advice I can give and that's the end of it.  I feel like I am a "right fighter" though... I never want a bully to win.  I am loyal to a dang fault.

This week, I was hurt so deeply by a friend.  Someone whom I trusted, confided in, and prayed for.  Someone who I looked forward to raising our children together, who I felt close to.

Why am I writing it on this silly blog?  Because I'm not the only person who has ever been betrayed by a friend.  We all have... and I will go so far to bet that we have all been the betrayer at one time, too.
Yeah.  That didn't feel well, did it?

I look to the Word for comfort.  I started in Psalms and ended with Jesus...because, really, it all ends with Jesus, ya'll.  Talk about betrayed.  His very best, closest friends were there when he was arrested.  Once was a major player in the arrest.  His friends denied even knowing them.  Tell me how hard that must have felt!

I sometimes wonder how Jesus really knows how I feel.  Meaning: my mundane boring life...Jesus was so BIG.  HE CREATED ME. HE CREATED EVERYTHING!...He created loyalty...but he definitely felt sabotage and pain.  (He didn't create that, don't get me wrong.)

You know what else he did?  He taught me that I am to LOVE those people who hurt me.  LOVE THEM.  That is hard for me... but, it's important. It is my job to show them the love of Jesus.  The way I see it, they are going to wonder how I can smile and be nice.  Perhaps that will begin a conversation with someone who will be able to share Jesus and they will get it.  Maybe they already know Him, and they will see this as a wake up call.

I can forgive.  I will forgive.  I have forgiven.
The bible doesn't tell me that I will forget.  So I'll walk a little tighter, keep people away a little longer, and be a little less open.  I will take this week that started so horrible yet ended so well and remember the lesson.  I also look to Jesus and say, "thank you."  You could have fixed so many things, but you endured so I would feel that much closer to you.

Have you been there?  Which side?  Do you have any pointers?  I'd love to hear from you!

How about 4th of July traditions or pictures?  SHOW ME! :)

(did you notice the new watermark?  Yeah?!!  That is just something I've been working on... Stay tuned!)

If you could see the "back-office" of my blogger account, you would see several posts that have written and never posted.  More than several.  Hundreds maybe.  All posts that I have sat down and written.

Some of the content is phenomenal, some of it is junk.  It's all 100% authentically, me.  I've been doing some soul searching and blogging has always been where I felt most comfortable.  I am an introvert, one that LOVES to interact behind a computer screen or a cell phone text app.

Am I the only one?  Who else is with me?

Look forward to some posts being published.  I'm going to eventually rename the blog, revamp the brand, and hopefully connect to some great folks.

Thanks for always following me during my highs and lows.

It's three o'clock somewhere

The last time I was awake at 3:30am, I was sick. The time before that... We were heading home from Garth's concert.  The time before that?? Probably NEVER!  

I was the girl in high school who loved my midnight curfew because I couldn't stay awake 2 minutes longer.  

Perhaps I am just enjoying the quiet. 
Perhaps I've slept enough the last few days.  Who knows.  

Do you ever have trouble sleeping for no apparent reason? 


Christmas is 11 days away.  I'm not exactly sure where we are in the song.. if I should receive two turtle doves or if I should be receiving eleven lords a-leaping.  either way... the gifts would be the ONLY thing that would suggest Christmas in my house.  Well, except the pesky elf on a shelf that forgets to move days on end.  He does, however, remind my children to be nice... WIN.


I feel guilty that my tree is buried in my garage, that my living room has been transformed to a playroom so there isn't a snowballs chance of a tree fitting in there, anyway.  I feel guilty that my children don't beg for decorations and fluff.  Guilty because there will come a time soon, that they won't care about a tree or decorations and I'll wish for nothing but a year with them small.

Am I the only one who doesn't go above and beyond for holidays?  I post the cutest ideas to my pinterest boards, yet never follow through.  I'm just tired.  Exhausted.  I come home to recharge and do nothing.

My children seem to appreciate the low key atmosphere, the days that are carefree with no schedule or requirements.  Weekends are spent in pajamas with mismatched socks and messy hair.  We eat picnic style whenever we are hungry- usually in living-room while watching cartoons.  We nap, we play, we do laundry.

This is normal, yet for some reason, 11 days from Christmas, I feel like I am cheating my little people from something I see enjoyed on television.

I look back and don't ever remember celebrating holidays.  sure, we had a Christmas tree with a hundred wrapped boxes under it.  I don't have many other memories of Christmas when I was younger.

Am I doing the same disservice with my own children?

What are your thoughts?  Am I scaring my children?



I sit here, alone, in my kitchen tonight.  I have cinnamon rolls in the over for dinner.  The kind you peel out of a can, not the kind you spend hours and pour love into.  The kind that promises to heal a broken heart if you inhale the entire 8,431 calories, alone.

My children are in their bedrooms, thankful that I've decided cleaning was declared "OVER" for the evening.  They have been troopers today.  We are rearranging the living areas in our home to accommodate a "play room" for the knot-heads.  Their rooms are much too small and my patience for trash and mess has come to a head.  It's either we build a playroom or I sell someone.

I digress, though.  This post isn't about how terribly unorganized or filthy my children's bedrooms are.  It started off being about grace.

What exactly is Grace?  I'm so happy you asked!


 noun \ˈgrās\
: a way of moving that is smooth and attractive and that is not stiff or awkward
: a controlled, polite, and pleasant way of behaving
graces : skills that are needed for behaving in a polite way in social situations

Full Definition of GRACE

a :  unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification
b :  a virtue coming from God
c :  a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine grace
a :  approvalfavor grace
b archaic :  mercypardon
c :  a special favor :  privilege grace
, shall rule his heritage — Rudyard Kipling>
d :  disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency
e :  a temporary exemption :  reprieve
a :  a charming or attractive trait or characteristic
b :  a pleasing appearance or effect :  charm grace
of youth — John Buchan>
c :  ease and suppleness of movement or bearing
—used as a title of address or reference for a duke, a duchess, or an archbishop
:  a short prayer at a meal asking a blessing or giving thanks
plural capitalized :  three sister goddesses in Greek mythology who are the givers of charm and beauty
:  a musical trill, turn, or appoggiatura
a :  sense of propriety or right grace
 not to run for elective office — Calvin Trillin>
b :  the quality or state of being considerate or thoughtful

Examples of GRACE

  1. She walked across the stage with effortless grace.
  2. She handles her problems with grace and dignity.
  3. He has shown remarkable grace during this crisis.
  4. She is quite lovable despite her lack of social graces.
  5. Let us give thanks for God's grace.
  6. By the grace of God, no one was seriously hurt.
  7. She tried to live her life in God's grace.

Origin of GRACE

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin gratia favor, charm, thanks, from gratus pleasing, grateful; akin to Sanskrit gṛṇāti he praises
First Known Use: 12th century

I spend a lot of time with my grandparents.  They have stood in the gap where my biological parents should have been, but never were, since before I was born, I imagine.  My grandmother talks about not wanting to be a grandmother at the young age of barely 41.  She was just days into the year when my parents dropped me off to tend to my mother's something or other at the hospital.  We bonded the first day.
Growing up, grandma was the one who would give me advice.  She would pick me up on Friday nights and beg my parents to allow me to spend the night.  She was the one who furnished my school clothing, she was at every dance recital and softball game I was a participant.

She fought for me.  She called DHS when my parents thought hitting was okay.  She forgave my parents, but never forgot.  She cried when I was carted off to New Mexico, then to Utah (which looking back I loved but missed her terribly) and was there the night my parents packed up all of my belongings and put them on the porch in trash bags when I was 17
She financed a wedding that was so beautiful when everyone involved knew we were too young, but no one had the guts to pump the breaks.  She was in the room when I cried out, "what have I done!??" two days upon returning from our honeymoon.

She watched me go back to my mother again and again in hopes that she would love me like the mothers of my friends loved them, knowing my mother never would. She didn't have the capacity.  How that must have broken my grandmother's heart.  She never said a word.

She was the very first person I called when I thought I was pregnant with Blayne.  I'll never ever forget that moment.  ever. She was the first person and the person I needed most when my mother was found dead.  She was there to guide the three of us (Kaitlynn and Butch and myself) as we buried our mom and cleaned out her house.  She spoke up when we needed her to, and she stood back when she thought it was best.

She has allowed me to fall flat on my face, time and time again, but she has never allowed me to stay there.

She loves my children as much as she loved me and hurts to know that one day she will be gone and I will have to fill her shoes for them.

Her favorite song is "Wind beneath my wings" but not the version sung by Bette Midler.  She loves the color green and is friends with anyone who has ever known her.

She gives the best advice and the best hugs and she makes the BEST food.

She is my very best friend and knows every single thing about me and my life.  Hopes, dreams, crashes, and failures.  She gives the worst looks and she can break my heart in two when I've done something to disappoint her.

That is what brought me to this blog.

I have disappointed her today and there isn't a single thing I can do to go back and fix it.  I've cried most of the day, not because I'm upset, but because I've upset her.  It is my biggest fear, aside of the dreaded phone call, to disappoint my gran.

She loves me though. Oh how she loves me.  She loves me enough to teach me at a young age that Jesus loves me.  She loves me enough to show me how Jesus loves His children.  She is grace.  The Grace Paul speaks about.  The grace that forgets the wrong.   The grace that I am so not worthy of, but so very thankful for.

Grace.  Grace is Joann Shelton.

I love you, Gram.

Dear Emileigh. The heartbreak letter

Dear Emileigh,

     Sweet, sweet, baby girl.  It finally happened today.  I arrived to pick you up from aftercare and your little eyes were sad.  I asked you if you were naughty, if you were in trouble... your teacher replied that you weren't in trouble and you quickly spoke up.  "I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT!"  I knew it was bad.

My little innocent 5 year old, old soul, was covering for something bad.  You were holding it together, until we could get away.  Outside was where it all fell apart.

"My best friend has a new best friend, mommy.  I'm so sad."

I'm not going to lie to you.  I wanted to march back into that center and pull that little girl out of the room and spank her!  I wanted to tell her how amazing you are, how sweet your spirit is, and how hard you love.  Instead? I wiped a tear as I was walking around the car and attempted to slow my heart and regain MY composure.

When I got in the car, I tried to explain the day away.  "she was probably having a bad day."  "it's perfectly normal and okay to have lots of friends."  "Monday will be different."

We got home and you asked me to hold you while you cried.

I wish I could fix this heartbreak.  I wish I could fix all of your heartbreaks that will come up in the future.  There will be too many for me to count.  With each, you will learn a lesson.  You will learn more about yourself than the friends who break your heart, either purposely or inadvertently.

I am not going to be able to fix any of these hurts. Sure, I can hug you, I can tell you that you are beautiful, I can promise that the feeling will go away.  I will NOT be able to fix it.

There will be times you are crying that I won't even know.  Oh, baby... please know you can tell me everything.

Tonight, you will lay in my bed, between daddy and me.  We will snuggle the hurt away.  We will tell you you are the best thing that ever happened to us and we are so thankful for you.  We will laugh and we will forget about this day.

I love you.




I came home today, crazy, exhausted because it is wednesday, and 57 minutes from checking out and hibernating in the comfort of my bedroom.  I showered the Tots, helped with homework, and started on tomorrow's sack lunch.  That's when I saw it.  A bright red, unopened, bottle of Strawberry Fanta.  Oh my goodness.  Standing there in the middle of turkey and goldfish, I suddenly was whisked away to 1980 something.  I was in the fifth grade, riding to town with momma stopping for the ususal breakfast of virginia slims, pepsi, strawberry fanta and a delicious maple long john donut.  

For the record, the pepsi and cigs weren't for me.  Those were momma's.  I've never put a cigarette to my lips. ever. 

As I was standing there in my kitchen, a sadness washed over me.  I've had the opportunity to speak of momma more lately for some reason.  People ask me if I miss her, I do not.  I miss the chance that she could have turned into a real mom... but missing her?  no. 

You see.  Those strawberry fanta mornings weren't because she was a cool mom.  It was because she was trying to buy back the love.  She was terrible with her fingers, pinching places and making them bleed where she knew people wouldn't easily see.   After she calmed down, she would feel guilty (perhaps?) and buy food to make things all better.  

It's very hard for me to choke down a maple donut to this day.  

There are hundreds of girls today that are in a similar situation.  Should one of you read this blog and need to talk, reach out.  

Happy Birthday, Emileigh

Do you remember your fifth birthday? Yeah, me either.  I do know that I'll never forget my baby girl's fifth birthday.

As I sit on the bed tonight, listening to the sweet, slow breathing coming from two exhausted kiddos, I can't help but to feel blessed.  We've had a super hard year.  Life has thrown us some watermelon sized lemons that we have been able to turn into lakes of lemonade.

 It seems like we were just celebrating her first birthday... now, she's a round faced, blue eyed, beauty.

We had 9 littles at her party today with a balloon twisting clown as the entertainment, magic man. The kids would make a request and he would churn it out in lightning fast speed.  Honkey the clown... best money spent.

We celebrated this little gem, today.  We also celebrated making it through this crazy, hectic year.  Thank you baby-cakes... you bring us such joy and anchor this family.  Enjoy five.  It's going to be

Young Living Lavender Essential Oil

some of my friends know that i have been bitten by the essential oil bug.  it happened about a year ago, and really... I've kept pretty quiet about it.  why?  no idea.  dumb, really.  they have rocked my world.

I'm so honored to be a part of a really great team that has single-handedly changed the way we market and talk about our oils.  i don't want you to buy oils from me... i want you to buy oils from yourself.  buy a dang kit and use them.  don't have a party, don't beg, just buy the kit and fall in love.


i plan to talk about an oil here and there... introduce you.  I will also be setting up an entire area of my blog devoted to essential oils.  first things first... let's talk about lavender.

* Add one drop of lavender EO to your mascara tube to promote lash growth, extend your mascara life, and strengthen and add volume to your lashes.  ONE.DANG.DROP.

*apply 2-4 drops on location to sooth minor burns.  You know, those that occur when your fingers get too close to the flat iron?  yep.  Soothing.  

* need some help sleeping?  LAVENDER IS YOUR FRIEND.  Rub a drop on your palms and smooth over your pillow.

* Rub lavender on dry, chapped, or irritated skin.  YES, PLEASE

*  Sunburn?  Lavender + Coconut OIL BOOM....

*Drops of lavender and epsom salts in the bath to promote relaxation and super peaceful sleep.

*Lemon and Lavender together can kick the pants out of eczema.

Transparency, Story, and Essential Oils Welcome back

There are times during the day that I have an opinion, or a thought, or when God speaks and wants me to get it out...  There are times where I want to tell my story, where I want to start/join/end a conversation.  I'm interested in blogging, but not the typical "mommy-blog" that promotes perfection (even if the world knows it's plastic).

I want to be transparent.  Okay, no I DON'T want to be transparent, but I feel called to be on this journey.  It's something that I've been battling for a long time... years.  I've blogged and then stopped.  I've shared some really personal stuff, even posted pictures, once.  I received emails from folks thanking me.  I received hugs, advice, and even some flack.  

I'm not going to promise a post schedule, although I hope to get to somewhat of a regular posting system.  I'm not going to promise that what I say will be relevant to your life, or even interesting.  I will promise that my writing and my context will get better.  Stick with me!  I'll hopefully have some guest bloggers who jump in and tell their story.

I'm AM going to rain oil down on your head from time to time, because it's legit, I love it, and I BELIEVE that essential oils will rock your face off.

I am going to tell MY STORY.  My perspective, my life.  If you don't want to read it, then don't.  If it should hurt feelings, then... sometimes the truth hurts.  I've had my fair share of humiliation and hurt feelings.

In the mean time- I've got to decide what to do with the aesthetics around here.  something that is me.  There might even be a new blog that is born from this blog... There is a lot of history at this little corner of the internet main street so starting new is scary, we will see if I stick to it.

Thanks for walking with me.  Transparency is super scary, but since He is the one urging... it will be worth it.