Saturday, December 17, 2016

Why I Love This Time of Year...NOW

Why do I love this time of year NOW? 
Because I remember all the years I didn't enjoy it. I mean there were aspects around this time of year that I did enjoy but for the most part when this time of year rolled around, let's be honest, I didn't enjoy it. Our schedules were bombarded with an immense amount of duties. From one event after another, from one party to the next, family time was clouded with other priorities, readjusting the actual celebration of Christmas was missed due to an overloaded career that YES we chose but also when I think back our whole life was twisted in every which way. The lifestyle we had caused a lot of friction not only in my family but it trickled down into our extended families. Celebrating Christmas with my family and my husband's family was honestly not pleasant. It was stressful. I can ramble on and on but when I go to post pictures about my family I understand how it can appear as though life is just honky dory. 
What is easily ignored is how hard of a fight it has been to create what "family" actually looks like on both sides. Pictures and social media is funny like that. So can I just say it has been quite the journey to NOW be able to post an honest and real photo of happiness, this is pretty neat. 
This happiness I am talking about is why I believe we actually celebrate Christmas. It's not to gain more presents or things or to set new goals to hopefully obtain. It is simply to celebrate a life that was born that truly changed every ounce of why we are here. It's about a life that we should take time to honor. Realizing that we all have a responsibility as to why this time of year is enjoyable or not is simply up to us. Either we create what this season is all about or we allow a million other things to cloud our mind with filtered unrealistic thoughts that detour us only away from what the true meaning of Christmas is. This season can bring a lot of heart ache, it can cause emotions to rise up about the ones that are no longer with us, it can cause us to look at everything we don't have or are unable to give. Can I just say I get it. All of those thoughts and emotions are so normal. I think we should sit around a table and think of those we miss, talk about them, remember them. I think we should think about what we don't have and be grateful for what we do have. This time or year does not always bring happiness but it sure does remind us of a high power that is much greater than us. Even if that higher power is Santa at the moment hey that's a start. He is good and jolly, he is magical and fun. But the greatest gift of all is Jesus in my life. He is my higher power and my savior. He saved me and my family from a lot and now during this season I am reminded about how he truly turned my life around. We've taken some time as a family to not partake in the busyness this season brings BUT to enjoy it as a family because there was a time we never were able too and now we get to and for that I am grateful. 
My friends whatever this season may look like for you know that the very one who saved you is with you. You may not know it yet but I strongly believe He wants you to know He is there. Jesus was born for you and for me to save and to heal, to restore and to mend, to bring life and not death. Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones.

 I just want to say I love you Jesus and Happy Birthday to you. 
This time of year I truly enjoy because of you. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


Last time I checked a man or a woman does not dictate how I wake up in the morning regardless of his or her position, power or control. 

Although, I do remember a time in my life where men and woman did dictate pretty much the way I lived my life, my beliefs and my responses. How did that happen? Well, I allowed it. I cared so much about what those men and woman said. I put all my hope and trust in them. I tried living my life up to the standards that were portrayed on a platform setting and not in an everyday life setting. The limelight of their world out shined mine. So much so that I took on their characteristics, the way they talked, dressed and lived. Therefore, I forgot who I was. I didn't know my value and I didn't know my place and I didn't even know my own home. I had forgotten my roots and took on a very prideful way of living where I thought my thoughts, my beliefs and responses were all right and true. I thought I was living an amazing life until I lost everything in my life. 

Sometimes I think it takes loosing something for our eyes and ears to be open to really see and hear the environment we have chosen to live in for what it really is and not for we wished and hoped it would be. I wish it didn't have to take a loss, or a lost battle, or life altering situations to determine these things, but in reality that's just the way life goes sometimes. 

If I have learned anything from my own experience just a few short years ago, that is to NOT repeat that cycle of my life ever again. Now, I can feel a man or woman's control and I can feel any kind of limelight put on a person and, quite frankly, I HATE it with every ounce of my human existence. Maybe one day I will find a happy medium again, but for now this is where I am at and this is what I have seen taken place in our world today with this presidential election. We have placed a man and a woman in the limelight that is outshining who we are as human beings and we are forgetting very quickly that we have all been here before. Our life is not held in the parties that we vote for, but we are acting as though they are. My kids will not be conformed by a man or woman because neither party is raising them. I am, and my husband is. My job, my income, where I live, where I visit, my friends, my family does not fall on the weight of politics, but on the weight of the love I choose to give. Last I recall every presidential election was ALWAYS a big deal and so what makes this one any different? NOTHING! Why? Because it's another human being that will be in office for 4-8 years and guess what? We will be moving on to the next election. 

It's my job as an American Citizen to stay constant and consistent in my world. The job I've been given is my job and no one else's. If I want to make money, I make it. If I want to teach my kids to love or hate, forgiveness or resentment then I will teach them. One thing I must remember is my actions speak much louder than my words. It's up to me to do my due diligence and play a part in this world just like you do too. 

If you feel like you lost in this election I am very sorry. I know what it is like to loose and it is very painful. But I also know what comes after pain, and that is there comes SO much beauty. I pray your eyes and ears will be open to see and hear that your true responsibilities are not in the arms of Donald Trump or if this was switched around they would not be held in the arms of Hillary Clinton either. I also pray that the beauty you receive is knowing who you are and what a difference you make in this world. 

I will ask you the same question I asked myself today when I woke up. “Am I still the same person I am when I went to bed after I heard who was president or did I wake up a different person?” 

My response was YUP! I am still Gina Dobmeier and YUP! I am still a mom and a wife. I made my kids breakfast, I packed them their lunch, took them to school, picked them up from school, took them to dance class, fixed dinner and in between all that got some work done, encountered great people with a smile on my face and loved on the people that I was able to love on today. HECK! I might even have sex with my husband tonight too (yes I just said that) and guess what? No woman or man can stop me from doing ANY of these everyday things. And I most certainly bet you woke up as the same person too. 

When we take a step away from the promises of a "MAN" or a "WOMAN" then those promises won't matter or dictate our life or the way we respond or the way we wake up day to day. Living and thinking this way is what makes a difference and this is what creates change. Everything we do starts within the home. So why not start there. WAKE UP AMERICA IT IS UP TO US, WHAT WILL YOU DO? And WHAT WILL YOU CHOOSE? BE THE CHANGE, it all starts with me and you. Reality check: Our kids will follow, they are watching and listening.  

With Love, 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Wonder of a Child

Thank you for stopping by I Am Crowned Project. The heart beat behind every project is to not only share my story but to share the stories of others too. We all encounter a road, a path, a different environment, a different struggle a different sense of wonder. I have gained great insight into my own life when I hear the life of someone else's. So often times we think our story is not worth sharing and we think who would care to hear about my journey. I know because I have struggled with these very same thoughts. What I have discovered is how powerful is it when we allow others to share their story as we may never know how it may touch not only our life but the life of someone else's too. May we always remember that this life we live is an ongoing journey. Beauty awaits us and may each of us discover the beauty within our story that whatever was is now Crowned in Glory. I am happy to share my first project with you. What great joy it brings me to introduce to you my Beautiful sister Lisa and my Handsome brother in law Kevin. May you enjoy a glimpse into their story and may it bless you.  

The wonder of a child. When will my child’s story begin? When will the moment come when we will meet face to face? What will we name you? Are you a boy or girl? 
As I search my heart, one thing I know is I have prayed for you long before I carried you. Since I was a little girl I was dreaming of you. I was writing out names, I was guessing the color of your eyes and the color of your hair you may have. I would go back and forth through my baby album laughing at the faces I made and only wondering the faces you will make. When I met your daddy the wonder grew more and more. My heart would melt at the looks of your daddy’s baby pictures, his round face and my round face too so maybe that means you will have squishy cheeks through and through.
Soon this wonder grew into a true wonder if we would ever really meet or if we were even capable to have a baby. With three years of pursuing, seeking, researching, scheduling, planning. This wonder truly became a wonder. I would go back to my innocences but quickly be gripped with fear. Although, a great meaning surrounded me as I read James 1:17 “Every Good and Perfect Gift comes from Above”. Knowing that in God’s perfect timing He would bless us with the most perfect gift from above. 
The thoughts that tugged on my heart as time grew, with all the hate that is going on in this world I wondered “Is the desire to be a mom even worth it? Is birthing a child into this world even worth it?” I would cling onto more words that remained true in my heart…"That we are the salt and light of this world” as I read Matthew 5:13-16 over and over again.” Knowing above all else, above all my doubts, above all my fears this life that I so desire is coming near. 
Your dad and I believed and we prayed and now the day is soon approaching for us to say “yes I may have wondered but here you are to have and to hold to raise and to see your plans unfold.” 
It’s true, every child’s story begins long before you are in your mommy’s womb and every child is worth wondering before the dream even comes true. 

Mommy and Daddy love you sweet baby and I pray for every one out there that may be wondering, hoping and believing that you may come to know and be reminded that yes His promises are true. Trust His perfect timing, He only has the best in mind of you.
Thank you for allowing us to share a piece of our story. 
-Kevin and Lisa Weed

Thank you again for visiting I Am Crowned Project.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

What Could Have Been...

Have you ever experienced a simple ordinary day and right in the middle of it life surprises you with a thought about what your life could have been like? Have you noticed these thoughts can cause either regret or sadness or it can do exactly opposite and cause you to be in complete gratitude and joy? 

Today life approached me with this very thought. I have officially entered into a new season of my life. Both of my girls are now off to school full time. I've gone through so many different thoughts and emotions about this new season which I am currently writing about in another blog. But I wanted to take just a moment and hit pause on that blog as I jot down the thoughts that greeted me today. 

If you've read some of my previous blogs then you know two years ago we lost our third baby girl Annabelle Grace as a still born. Not a day goes by that I don't think of her, but it's not everyday that I have a moment like this. So when I do, I take time to embrace it. 

If I really think about this season of life I can’t help but think about how it has come up too soon. I mean, it wasn’t supposed to be this way. If we didn’t live in an imperfect fallen world thoughts like this wouldn’t exist. If there was no such thing as loss then technically I should have a two year old little girl right now. I would still be that mom with a little one at home while her big sisters are at school. It's a bit hard to think about because even though that is what my life should have looked like, it just isn't. I don't have a two year old to physically hold, chase after or to cuddle with. 

I know many of you have endured thoughts like this. Maybe a loved one of yours passed too soon, maybe a marriage ended too soon, maybe the career of your dreams ended too soon, maybe an injury occurred that cause you to never play your favorite sport again. 

This past week I have sat with two very close friends of mine. One just lost her 26yr old brother and another friend is in the midst of loosing her dad. As I've seen my friends and talked with my friends my heart can't help but grieve with them. 

The questions that consume our minds in a tragedy causes us to look at life differently. It challenges us in ways that we have never been challenged before. For some, it causes you to slow down just so you can become aware of your surroundings and to hold on to life a little bit more. For some, it causes you to push through any obstacle that comes your way and that tragedy that you endured somehow fuels you to want to never repeat history again. For some, it may cause you to grow weary, weak, brittle and distant from all that this life has to offer and life begins to feel completely empty and hopeless.  

Our life is not promised tomorrow. Everyday is a gift. As morning comes and night falls we have no way of predicting what life will bring our way. Our life display's a reflection of who we are and what we believe about ourselves. The reflection may be hard at times based on the expectations we put on ourselves. Not to mention maybe the expectations we think others have of us. It's not by accident that we are here, as we are here for a purpose and for a reason. I remember finding this very thing hard to believe at one point in my life. The fact that my life actually means something was hard to find. I know it's easy to get caught up in the routine of life and the those expectations that I was talking about can become very overwhelming. But today I was blessed with a gift. In the midst of my friend who is loosing her father I was able to watch her two year old little girl. What turned out to be a blessing for them turned out to be one of the biggest blessings for me. What I love about blessings and giving is it works both ways. Just as much as my friend needed some help today so did I. Somewhere in the midst of trials, hardships, and pain is beauty. And today I got just a glimpse of what my life could have been like. I chose to not live in regret or sadness but I chose to embrace gratitude and joy. In the midst of loosing a life, one of the hardest things to face is the reality that life is in constant movement. As much as we don't want to it to continue on, it must.

I love the scripture that's says... 

“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭1:21‬ ‭NIV‬‬

It is so true. What if we can live a life for Christ and know to die is gain. What an amazing life we can have with this perspective. To know that when we die it is really a gain. We pass on from one life to gain an even greater life full of freedom. 

My friends, today may not be an easy day for you. I want you to know that you are not alone. If you are experiencing a loss of any kind I want to encourage you to not loose hope. When you can, take a minute for yourself and do something you normally wouldn't do for yourself. I know it's hard to walk away for just a minute, but if you take the chance I believe you will find hope again. 

It has been so long for me since I have had a little one with me and I am so glad I took a minute for myself to say yes to this day. I am so glad that in the middle of an ordinary day blessings come as a reminder that life is precious. Life is worth living. I pray that through your pain you too find a life worth embracing and living out loud. I am praying for you and I want you to know that you are loved. 

God bless you my friend.  

Sunday, June 26, 2016

A Note To All Mom's

While living in Arizona during the summertime, staying cool and swimming is just the thing to do. So the other day I took my girls swimming. We played the game "colors," raced up and down the length of the pool as my oldest tried to do EVERYTHING in her power to make sure I did not win. Where my littlest out of NOWHERE asked to take off her floaties when I usually have to beg her and bribe her to NO end to do so. We packed up an easy lunch that consisted of sandwiches, mangos and cookies. As my youngest surprised me again... she normally refuses to try mangos but for whatever reason she said yes on this day and then learned she LOVES them. Haha!
I share this all to remember, as I remind myself, to celebrate every win that happens in your day. From small to big and everything in between. It is in the celebrating that gives us hope for times when we have to hunt, dig and search for things that seem there is NOTHING to celebrate in. 

My girls are growing up. There is no doubt about it and as they are getting older I am realizing this motherhood thing just keeps getting more and more exciting. People have stopped me in grocery stores and even when we were at the pool this day a dad had stopped me and said "girls get harder as they get older." But does that mean it is not hard right now? No. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. However, I am learning every stage of life has moments of being hard. We can label the different stages as hard, harder, to the hardest, but is that true? 

It is very easy to forget the beginning stages of motherhood as our kids get older. I want to remind you to NOT forget. Remember those countless nights when you used to cry as a young mom hearing the cry of your baby not knowing what they wanted or why they were crying. Those moments I'm sure all moms could label as the hardest. But you get through that stage and then guess what? Another stage approaches you. Side note: Mom's with newborn's you might be in this stage right now and I want to remind you that you WILL get through it. One day your baby will talk and express themselves in different ways and you too will get through that stage. Does every stage of life come with challenges and more responsibility? Absolutely. The real question is will you be able to celebrate each stage of life when the challenges and responsibility changes? I hope our answers as moms is all a BIG FAT YES! 

My mom told me this years I tried to remind my mom that I was growing up and I didn't need her as much (FYI: never a good thing to say to your mom). But she said to me "GINA I AM YOUR MOTHER, THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN SAY OR DO THAT WILL EVER TAKE THAT AWAY FROM ME, I WILL ALWAYS BE YOUR MOTHER." At the time I was mad my mom said that because I was stubborn and didn't want to hear that. But, today I am grateful because as I am raising kids of my own I hope they will always know they have a mom that will always be there mother. 

"My responsibility as a mom never stops." 

When they get into trouble, I want them to know I am there. When they don't have enough money, I want them to know I am there. When they are lost, I want them to know I am there. When they are in a bad relationship, I want them to know I am there. Within EVERY SINGLE CELEBRATION of life, from their very 1st car, graduation day, wedding day, to the day they have kids of their own and so on, I want them to know I am there celebrating with them every step of the way. I know my mom did not agree with every decision I made and there were plenty of opportunities in our relationship to grow distant rather than growing closer. But I am sure glad my mom chose to tell me that "she will never stop being my mom."  So today, whatever stage you are in, whether you're in the newborn stage, toddler stage, child stage, adolescent stage, young adult stage, adult stage, middle age stage, to a grandparent stage...celebrate each day and each moment. Remember their wins and their losses, remember the times that were easy and the times that weren't so easy. 

My dad tells me "Gina things in life come full circle." So what may seem hard or discouraging today may come full circle and seem easy and beautiful another day. Life has a way of doing that. So to ALL the moms out there with little ones to big ones, celebrate! Find something to celebrate in today! Your tomorrow and kid's future will thank you. 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

He Knows.

He Knows. 

It was Friday, May 6, 2016. Yup, just two days ago. I just picked up my little girl from preschool and came home real quick before I had to run out again to do some Mother's Day shoppingI'm never sure when emotions are going come for a visit. They show up unexpectedly and unannounced. However, I have caught on to a slight pattern and noticed they usually catch me when I'm a bit overwhelmed and thoughts are running wild and I can't seem to catch a breath. But here they were knocking on my throat. I tried clearing my throat but they kept knocking and decided to come by and say a quick hello. 

My daughter was laying on my bed as I was finishing up getting ready and I just broke, yup tears came streaming down. Mylee came over to check on me and gave me a hug and then walked off to let me have some time. About 10min went by and I got up and looked at myself in the mirror and did a little self talk. I learned this a while back that in order to keep moving forward in this beautiful life I've been given I have to take a moment and encourage myself. I mean let's face it when emotions hit us who's around? Usually no one right. All you have is you to face and in that moment we must realize there is a big world out there that needs us. Someone, somewhere needs to hear your story and needs to be encouraged but that can't happen until you encourage yourself. So that's what I do. It is more than just encouragement though. Along with my self talk I have a conversation with God too. Because (part two) in this realization of this "let's face" moment I can encourage myself all day long but I've realized too there are just some days where I don't even have the strength to do that. So that is when God steps in. He has a way about doing the unimaginable in any situation. He has a way of reminding us that He is God and that He is in control. I trust Him because He has taken me from a place of feeling all alone not knowing how in the world I could move forward in anything to showing me how in every moment He is there. He carves out every little detail and whenever we decide to realize where he's been He will show us. So I do, I trust Him with my life and on this specific day I was trusting Him when nothing made sense. 

My first errand was stopping at Hobby Lobby. I ran in thinking "I'll be in and out" haha Yeah right! It's Hobby Lobby I have to walk around and see what is 50% off. So I did. I found what I needed and then I found a little something extra. I found something for ME. A little black/white/gold crown picture that was 50% off. Crowns are something special to me so I grabbed it and proceeded to the checkout line. I was standing in a line that was taking a bit long so I moved over and stood in another check out line. I was unaware of really anything as I was already thinking about where I was going to put this cute crown in my house. I love seeing my little Annabelle in ways no one else can see and try to imagine what she would look like today or how we would look as a family of 3 girls. But these specials finds of little crowns help remind me that she goes everywhere with us. I see her just in a different way. 

So here I am, working through all my thoughts as a very subtle moment happened. I see this sweet lady bend down to give my little girl a pretty pink box with a pretty gold ribbon around it. She said "give this to your mommy." So Mylee turned and said "here mommy." I was kind of taken back and didn't know if this pretty pink box was for my daughter or for me. I said "is this for me? It is so pretty." She said "Happy Mother's Day, I had this in my purse and made it and saw your sweet girl standing there and knew I had to give this to you." I was so grateful that I said "I have to give you a hug, thank you, this truly blessed me today." We said our goodbyes, I checked out, got in my car and sobbed again. 

In the midst of one day. One moment. Someone came along and so tenderly said "Happy Mothers Day" without knowing one thing about me and she lit up my day. It is within these moments I quickly realize how God, well, He knows. This sweet lady had no clue what my day was like but God did and somehow our paths crossed to remind me that He knows, He is present and He cares. 

Mom's on this Mother's Day there may be a void in your heart. I know I have one. I have a place in my heart that will never close. A place in my heart that remains open. People tell me all the time how blessed I am to have two little girls and I must admit I am. But I must say a loss is a loss regardless. A loss can't be compared to anyone else's loss because no matter what there still is a place that lays deep within and the truth is no one will ever know how deep that hurt goes and that is okay.  

I have had a song on repeat this past week and I'd like to share the lyrics with you. There is a part in the song that I cling to and it is 

                                                    "Wounds that no one else has seen
Hurts too much to show"

In all of us are wounds, wounds that no one else has seen. Those wounds hurt. You move forward in life and begin to live again but I believe those wounds are there to help us never forget how far we've come. Some of you may be in the midst of a very fresh wound and some of you may be years into it but it feels as though your wound is still raw and exposed. I want you to know. He knows. Along the way He wants to show you He cares for you. Beauty surrounds us, miracles surround us. I'm so glad I decided to go to Hobby Lobby on Friday and unexpectedly change checkout lanes to meet a very sweet lady named Kelli. God's Beauty and Miracles surround us everyday. God has a way of showing us. Usually it's when we are not even searching or even aware until it catches our eye quick enough to realize He is there. 

This little pretty pink box with some yummy chocolate holds a very precious meaning to me on this Mother's Day. I will never forget this moment and I share it with you to know God hasn't forgotten about you. He loves you and cares deeply for you. He knows.
Enjoy reading these Lyrics and if you want to enjoy listening to the full song click on the link below.

P.S.: Annabelle, mommy misses you and loves you. We are another day closer.

  "He Knows" ~ Jeremy Camp

All the bitter weary ways
Endless striving day by day
You barely have the strength to pray
In the valley low

And how hard your fight has been
How deep the pain within
Wounds that no one else has seen
Hurts too much to show

All the doubt you're standing in between
And all the weight that brings you to your knees

He knows
He knows
Every hurt and every sting
He has walked the suffering
He knows
He knows
Let your burdens come undone
Lift your eyes up to the one
Who knows
He knows
He knows

We may faint and we may sink
Feel the pain and near the brink
But the dark begins to shrink
When you find the one who knows

The chains of doubt that held you in between
one by one are starting to break free


Every time you feel forsaken
Every time that you feel alone
He is near to the brokenhearted
Every tear
He knows
He knows


Happy Mother's Day to all you beautiful moms 
noticed and unnoticed 
you are a mom 
and you are loved. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

If Only...

These two words used to be part of my vocabulary frequently. 
  • If only I had more money.
  • If only I had my dream job 
  • If only I could cook
  • If only I could go on a vacation 
  • If only I could be a better mom
  • If only I was smarter 
  • If only I was prettier 
  • If only I was healthier 
I would stumble with doubt. Doubt within myself that I could possibly do something significant with what I did have. Sound familiar?

The other night I was standing in my two bedroom apt cooking dinner in my tiny kitchen. Not just a microwaveable dinner but there I was kneading dough. My counter was full of kitchen gadgets, seasonings and my handy dandy cookbook. I stood there with this overwhelmingly contentment realizing I was probably doing way more in this tiny kitchen then most people would do in the grandest of grand kitchens. I realized my contentment was not wishing for this huge kitchen to cook in but instead I stopped for a moment and smiled as I was utilizing what I had in that very moment to execute my dinner plans for the night. Now, do I desire and 
imagine myself cooking in a bigger kitchen one day? You bet I do. But should that stop me from cooking in the kitchen I have now? NOPE. That would be silly. 

What if we take this thought a step further? Think about something that you are building currently or hoping to build soon. A career? A family? A new home? Etc...

For me I applied this thought within another area of my life. My blog for instance. I enjoy writing and I enjoy creating. And yes, of course I have "if only" moments within my blog. I have dreams and aspirations to create so much more. However, if I am constantly focusing on my dreams of the future I will never achieve my goals for right now that will eventually lead me to my future dreams. Through this process of building a life I love I have learned no time is wasted when you are fueling your dreams with daily attention and action. It may seem like nothing is moving fast enough but trust me progress only happens when action is activated.

Just as much as I daily have to apply myself toward my dreams I also have to daily remind myself "to stop trying to cut out the middle ground" It's like I still battle with wanting to skip to the end. I think we all battle with this from time to time. There are times in our lives that I’m sure we wish the very thing we are dealing with we could skip and wish we didn't have to go through it at all. But can I just say what I have learned stepping into this new thought process of appreciating my life day by day vs. a life full of if only's is that, no matter what I do the middle ground can't be skipped. 

Think about a story. The middle is just as important as the beginning and the end in fact I believe the middle is the most important. The middle determines where you are going and where you are headed. The middle is where you build your stamina to reach the finish line without any hesitation. The middle is where you are grinding day in and day out. 

Allow yourself to build your story. Something I am encouraging myself in, and I will encourage you with the same, is to pay more attention to the middle ground.  

I know this is a hard one BUT, realize that we live in a social media world where it is so easy to fall into the trap of comparison. Therefore we base our assumption on a snip of somebody else's highlight reel. I love what Steven Furtick quotes in his book "Crash The Chatterbox" 

I'm here to tell you "don't get consumed with people's highlight reel." Why? Well, because you don't live their story. That's the end of that story. Instead, daily engage in the process of your story. Why? Because you live it and only you have the power to activate action in your life so that today produces more than yesterday. If you do nothing today then tomorrow will look like yesterday. Most of the time we ourselves get in the way of our own story. I wrote this in a post I posted earlier this last week and I will share it again here on my blog:

Do you find that sometimes your own self gets in the way of pursing your dreams? You find yourself thinking to much. Trying to formulate every which way possible on how to take the next step which can lead to only you contradicting the thoughts going on inside your own head. You wrestle with your own voice, uncertain on how to shut yourself up. 
*Sometimes the only one stopping you is YOU. No one else but YOU.
Although, we are complex human beings trying to find our way through this maze of life, it is inevitable that we ourselves are our own worst enemy. These may be facts but they don't have to be truths. The real truth is just as much as we can get in the way of ourself we also have the power to deactivate this thought process and create a new thought process. So how do we realign ourself to see progress? I say TAKE ACTION! You don't know anything about yourself if you don't get out their and try it.
Trust me I get it. I'm wrestling with this very thing as I'm typing this post but let's discover this together. Only we have the ability to unleash all that we are capable of. This life is no one else's responsibility but ours. Let's own it and let's be GREAT together.

Everyday is a new day. The decision is up to us. Ask yourself these two questions...

  1. Am I working towards more? 
  2. Am I feeding my soul and grabbing onto everything I can to know more and achieve more? 
Hopefully you answered YES! If not, ask yourself how do I change my answer to a YES? 
The more life I am experiencing I have noticed these so called "if only" moments are diminishing. Can I just say WOW, what a good feeling this is. I must admit it is a very good feeling to appreciate my life not based upon what I don't have rather than what I DO have. This way of living has freed me from paying so much attention to what others expect from me or even my own expectations I put on myself. But rather I have focused on the present moment NOW vs. Before or After. (Tip: I do a lot of self talk and tell my brain to SHUT UP most of the time). Try it. 

Friends let me leave you with this...

Whatever it is that you desire keep applying yourself DAILY. Stay committed for the long haul in this venture of pursuing your dreams DAILY. By doing so you will appreciate your life and the things you have now. 

Have a great day All! 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016



This word seems to be replaying in my head over and over again. I don't know about your world but it seems once I start thinking of something that thing begins to pop up all around me, so graciously posing the question "okay so this is your reality and so what are you going to do about it?"

I was looking on Instagram and saw a post that went like this "feeling overwhelmed? Here's a tip--Just smile... for no reason at all." Another day goes by leading me to talk and meet up with friends and it seems to be a trend in their world too, this overwhelming feeling. Another day goes by I go to work engaging in conversations with college students saying "I finished college, now going on interviews and these jobs are wanting 5 years of they just forked out thousands of dollars to go to college, spent the last however many years attending school and now places want 5 years of experience in the workforce...OVERWHELMING, right? We all experience these overwhelming moments in many different ways shapes or forms.

Last night I vomited on my husband not literally but figuratively speaking. I poured out my thoughts and emotions about feeling overwhelmed. There definitely was some tension and friction as I expressed my world to him. He so graciously heard me out and said "I love you." Not really the words I was looking for because let's face it as a woman in an overwhelmed state of mind "love" just an't the cure. OR IS IT?

Hear me out for a second. My marriage isn't perfect. I can already hear woman saying "gosh I wish my husband told me after I vomited on him that he loves me." Let me say this, my husband and I learned years ago, VERY early on into our marriage to create a safe place. What is a "safe place?" Well it's a place that we created to allow each other to be real, honest and very open about the reality of life. At first THIS "safe place" was SO hard. We argued...A LOT. Have you ever heard the saying "things get worse before they get better?" Yeah well, that was the case. Our safe place was worse before it was ever able to get to get better. BUT if you can push through the worst, the reality is you will experience something better. It takes a lot of practice but it only works if you keep doing it over and over again. Anyway, this is not a marriage blog but somehow I felt this was all worth sharing. Let me just close out this thought by saying this, Ryan and I did not create this way of communication on our own. We had help. LOTS of it. I've mentioned two people's names before in a previous blog "The Process" and I will mention them again. Our very dear friends Sean and Lina Flannagan help people discover their "safe place" as individuals and as a couple and I will swear by their technique till the day I die. It's available to anyone, so if you want it here is their info.
Contact: Solid Life International @ 

So back to feeling overwhelmed.

After my little pow wow my husband and I went to sleep. This morning, I dropped off my girls at school. My last stop was my daughters preschool and as I walked up to drop her off her teacher right away asked "are you okay?" (Yeah I'm THAT person who wears my emotions on my sleeves.) My response "I just have a lot on my mind, I have a ton to do and don't know where to start." Her response was "start with what needs to get done first, whatever needs your attention first is a good place start and everything else will get done one way or another." That right there resonated with me so clearly.

So instead of moving on with my to do list I did the necessary duties and took a pause out of my day for me. I turned into my favorite spot and got me a Mocha and an San Diegan Omelet at a near by coffee shop and allowed myself to express all my thoughts on paper. What needed to get done first was to feed my body and soul. I've learned a lot about myself by doing this. I know this may not be the case for you. Your world may look different than mine. There was a time when I had NO time whatsoever to take a morning to myself let alone even a couple hours. I was busy taking care of a newborn, running a ministry, planning event after event, and my time was swallowed by a million other projects. There are times and season where your world changes. You may have a couple hours to do certain things and then you may have no hours to do anything. The key is "what are you doing now to feed your body and soul?"
Is it taking an hour to go to a gym, stopping through the drive through to pick up your favorite drink at Starbucks, is it calling your best friend for 10min, is it reading your favorite book until you fall sleep at night, is it studying a course that will get you to where you want to be. These things won't FIX the overwhelming feelings but it will fuel you to push through those overwhelming moments that don't seem to end.

When we recharge ourselves the better we will be able to face these overwhelming moments to realize they aren't so overwhelming at all. I love how simple the Instagram post I stated earlier put it "smile, even if you don't feel like it." HA. Right? Try something that doesn't necessarily feel like the thing to do but it's the necessary thing to do in order to fuel you to moving forward.

Friends, don't let the overwhelming moments overwhelm you. YOU have the power to overwhelm those moments with the overwhelming greatness that YOU ARE! Create space in your world for you and love yourself. My husband's response by simply saying "I love you" made me think not only does his love matter in my world but my love toward myself matters too. Take time to love on yourself today. You are worth it and your overwhelming moments will appreciate it.

Have a great day my friends.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Through the Eyes of a Friend

When you have no words to say.
When you're approaching a date that altered your life in such a way that is so hard to describe.
When each day is passing and your days are fading.
When your thoughts are quickly racing and seem overbearing.
When you're lost and confused and sometimes incapable of knowing what to think.
When the very moment you have come face to face with a rush of emotions that are being tossed like a wave to and fro.
A friend comes by to pick up the pieces to fill your heart with an unfailing love.
A gentle touch that causes you to pause, then begins to tell you, you are loved, cared for and the very thing you lost is not forgotten but remembered. You find this immediately awakens you to step into a new outlook and view that maybe you've once heard before but you just needed to be reminded of again and again.
You find yourself open to hear your story but not through your eyes but through the eyes of a friend.

So here I am face to face with Feburary 15. The day I gave birth to our third daughter Annabelle Grace. Her birth was different then most but yet like so many, not letting out a single sound, a still birth that so graciously left the deepest imprints on our hearts. As she went from our arms to the arms of her Heavenly Father she left us with a new way of thinking and a new way of living. We are so thankful for her life as it gave us a new life. In previous blogs you've heard parts of our story but now I'd like for you to hear from a very dear friend of mine, as she displays beauty through the eyes of a friend.

Kristin Merwin thank you.
Annabelle Grace, Happy 2nd Birthday. 
Mommy, Daddy and your two big sisters Love and Miss you.

Please click on Kristin's link below to read her blog. Also you can stay up to date with Kristin on Instagram @themerwinzoo and keep up with her beautiful photography (pictured above) @kristinmerwin

May her blog bless you and encourage you and maybe even a friend or two.

Click Link Below

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Living in an Upside Down World

Could you imagine if we had this life we are living all figured out? I mean I know sometimes I personally wish I knew what was in store for me and my family 10 years from now. Heck, sometimes I wish I knew what today held. But I don't. Some days my plan of action goes as planned and some days I am like "what just happened, my day did NOT go as planned." Sometimes things turn out for the best and sometimes things turn out for the worst. 

As my family and I are approaching our second year of the loss of our 3rd baby girl Annabelle. I couldn't help but be so grateful that one little life changed our life completely. At the time I wasn’t grateful at all. When you loose something that alters your life in such a way that everything seems to be heading in a downward spiral with no way of knowing how you will get out of the spiral, it is pretty darn hard to be grateful. In 2014 we literally lost everything. Change became our middle name and by the end of that year we threw our hands up in the air and said "okay we get it, life is one beautiful mess and we can either choose for it to strengthen us or weaken us." In a previous blog called "The Process" I share the beginning process on how we began to rewrite our story and how we took control of our circumstances and as a family we were bound and determined to create a better outcome. Reality is, we ALL at one point or another lose in life. Whether it's a loved one, a marriage, a child, a home, finances, your ability to walk, speak or see, loss of hair, your breast due to breast cancer, prostrate cancer, a career loss, friendships etc. The list can go on and on. These moments are what really define you. The situation does not define you, but how you will react in those situations will. Any loss has the ability to launch you into greatness or launch you back into that downward spiral. It is simply a choice and a choice has to be made at one point or another.

When unexpected things happen, then what? What and how do you approach those situations? I tell myself "There ain't nothing new, fun and exciting about trying to make a predictable life." 

Life just IS unpredictable. 

I'll never forget on Dec 31st 2014, right before the New Year of 2015 we were on a 13 hour drive back home as we spent Christmas in Texas with my husband's family. On the road my husband gets a call from a co-worker from his job saying "Ryan, just so you know, someone just got let go, I quit and another employee just walked out so when you get back to work a new management took over and you can stay or you might loose your job." I remember laughing and saying "HA! Welcome Home and Happy New Year to us!" At this point in our lives we had already been through the worst possible thing in our life, loosing a child and much, much more, so nothing really phased us. We were just kind of numb to any other loss because nothing could come close to the loss we had just experienced. 

For us the loss of our daughter lit a fire under us to stop putting up with nonsense in our life. We've learned that once you stop tolerating the nonsense the easier it is to recognize when nonsense is creeping in and the easier it is to walk away from that nonsense. My husband and I both worked for poor management and leadership before so we knew immediately working for bad management again was just not an option. So we looked at each other and knew exactly what decision to make. Yup! When we got home Ryan went into work on Jan 1st 2015 and put in his notice. The hard part was, Now What? 

2015 rolls around and Ryan quit his job and here we were taking life by the horns again and saying "we've been through worse we will manage and get through this." And we did. 2015 we decided to own our story, take responsibly for where we were and not take life for granted. We excepted the challenges life presented us and in return, doing so has only made us stronger. And not just stronger but stronger together. 

I find myself being redundant as I try to describe our 2015 year. The one description I keep saying is "I feel like I am living in an upside down world" 
I imagine me and my family in space. It's the one mental picture I see over and over again. Here we are floating in our outer space. The feelings of being weightless, out of reach and to say what is up or what is down would just depend. But there is a gravitational pull. A pull of objects moving toward us. But what are the objects? The only objects I see is my family. Those objects are us. Us as a family pulling toward each other. Even though it feels as though we are floating I can also feel this strong sense of how gravity feels on earth pulling us toward the ground. So where is ground for us? Well, I'll tell you. Wherever our feet are. 
We've learned to see life as endless opportunities. And in 2015 opportunities sure came to us. I truly believe the only reason why opportunities came to us was because we made the decision to see life full of opportunities. Remaining open to ALL this life has to offer us. 

Possibilities are endless when you open your eyes and mind to new solutions. 

I believe life will keep putting you in a certain direction until you realize whatever it is that you need to learn in order to move on in a new direction for your life. For us, bad management and leadership was already something we put up with for years. We stayed and stayed "hoping" things would get better only to see the same cycles repeat themselves over and over again. It's deceiving because things can look better but really when you open your eyes you can see the cycle repeating itself. How do you know if your eyes are open or not? Well, have you ever heard the saying "I am so sick of being sick and tired?" Yeah, well that's what it looks like when your eyes finally open. You STOP putting up with the nonsense and say enough is enough and finally become the person you were meant to be all along. Let me tell you it's SO hard at first, but remember this is life. It is NOT easy. It was never meant to be that way. Things don't always go as planned. It is UNPREDICTABLE. But what is your approach and how are you going to react to it? I can tell you this, when you take that step to break the mold you will find the opportunities you've been searching for were waiting for YOU to make that decision. This is when change really kicks in like a rocket ship sending you into outer space. You too might feel like you're living in an upside down world. Know that you are not alone my friend.
Maybe your world feels upside down. Maybe your life hasn't gone as planned. For me at the age of 20 I had my life all planned out. Fast forward to now being 33 I'm like "WOW, my plan did NOT go as planned." There comes a time though where you have to become okay with it. Maybe it seems as though all odds are against you. DON'T let them stop you. We limit ourself more then the limits that we actually face. We can face those limits and try, try again until one day those limits don't define us but we define them. Become LIMITLESS. You can and You will.
So this upside down feeling has become hard for me to grasp but sure fun for me to learn. Yes, our life has not gone as planned, but that's the way it's supposed to be. I think it's great to have goals, dreams and desires but you have to understand you have an entire lifetime to see those goals, dreams and desire come to pass. Don't be like me and look at lists as if all the check boxes need to be checked off right now. Look at the ones you do check off and give yourself a hand clap for that. Maybe I'll take my own advice...I'm still learning too.

I used to think I wasted so many years prior to now and it feels as though my life has just begun when in reality that is not true. Everything prior to this has not been wasted. It is what has molded me and shaped me to be who I am today. It has become part of my story. Don't get down about your mistakes, learn from them and become better. Gaining this new perspective has made me appreciate every step. I look at every little detail and I'm thankful for the good and the bad. I remind myself over and over again "Good outweighs the bad every time." I mean even Disney knows that. There is a time and a season for everything. Don't skip ahead, stay focused its worth it. Life has a way of just working itself out. Whatever your day looks like or situation may be, take a deep breath and know everything is going to be okay. Search for possibilities, dig deep to find solutions, and be open minded to new ways. Something good is longing to come your way. In the meantime embrace this upside down world. It is situations like this that can make you or break you. Let it make you a better and stronger person. I guarantee there will come a day you will look at yourself in the mirror loving yourself and the life you are living. Why? Because you're worth it, that's why! 
Eventually your upside down world will begin to fill like it is right side up.