1. 31
    Mar

    Last Year

    I’ve always been really bad with dates… I can remember a combination or license plate or something random and useless, but dates and details are not always so easy for me.  Which is why when I woke up this morning and remembered how I was spending my day exactly one year ago, I was shocked.  One year ago, March 31, 2013, was Easter.  Little did I know it then,  but it was the last holiday we’d spend as what I had come to know as a “whole”.  The day before, I had gotten my new car.  So Easter morning, I woke up at my grandparents house, got ready, and drove them in the new car up to my parents’ house for Easter dinner.  I was so proud of the car , and was so happy that despite the windy back roads, I drove carefully enough to not make my grandmother even more nauseous then she was those days.  It was a great meal.  Nothing out of the ordinary, but the last one that I would spend with my Grandpa Larry. I was sweet to him… more so than usual.  I just felt as though I should be.  And now I’m glad I was.  I repeated things for him when he couldn’t hear, made up a plate of food for him, sat by his side and just was there.  We hadn’t always been close… he and Tyler always had more in common and I always thought that meant he loved me less.  I realize now how ridiculous and untrue that was.  I’ll never forget that meal… the last one we were all able to share together.  It will forever be cherished in my heart.

  2. 154
    4
    Feb

    "Bound to be set free"

    icecreamisbetterwithafork:

    Happy Taco Tuesday everyone! 

    For almost the last 2 years, Leah & I have been dedicating Tuesdays to Tacos and Bracelets.

    What started out as an idea, that was only supposed to be 25 bracelets, turned into well over 1,000. 

    "Maybe The Best Hasn’t Happened Yet" was my mantra for so long. It came from my song Never Say Never. A song that wrote itself when I thought I had nothing more to say. Over the last 2 years, I have watched this mantra take off. Its become more than my mantra, its become yours. Your source of strength, and hope. That the best has yet to come, that there is light at the end of the tunnel. 

    My bracelet was the 1st copper bracelet we ever made. It went all around the world with me, from stage to stage. It was my hope. If I was having a bad day, when a guy I liked wouldn’t return my call, when I was tired, frustrated, lonely, and confused, I could always look down at my wrist and be reminded…Maybe the best hasn’t happened yet. 

    I got engaged Dec 4th, and shortly after that, I realized I had lost my bracelet.

    Leah and I have made every single one of these bracelets from scratch, by hand and even I can’t believe that we have made over 1,000. Im surprised our hands haven’t fallen off! Ha! But, when I meet someone at a show, when I get the chance to talk to someone who has a bracelet, it is ALL WORTH IT. 

    Thank you for sharing your stories, thank you for believing that giving up is not an option. Thank you for knowing you deserve the best, and its on its way. Thank you for believing in the positive nature of the universe, instead of giving into the negative. 

    Because of this, I don’t know that we will ever stop making these bracelets, it seems silly to quit now, plus I get emails daily from people that “NEED ONE NOW”. 

    In the meantime, Leah and I had another idea, we want to start stamping another bracelet, with another one of my lyrics -and who better to ask than you! So let us know what your favorite TP lyric is!

    You can leave it here in the comments section or you can hashtag your twitter responses with #MTBHHY

    We can’t stamp a novel, so try and keep it limited to 6 words or so.

    The lucky winner (lyric we pick) will get a bracelet gifted to them. 

    Let the brainstorming begin! 

    Tristan

  3. 28
    Nov

    Reflections…

    First of all, on this day meant to give thanks, I want to start by saying how thankful I am for the family and friends in my life that are always there for me.  Sure, we let each other down in ways at times, but when it comes down to it, we are always there for each other, and that is more important than I can put in to words.

    I’m not really sure what got me thinking of things tonight… or maybe I am sure and just don’t want to verbalize the real reason.  Either way, reading back through my previous posts, I wrote about how good I am at showing love… not just amorous love, but a heartfelt, caring kind of love.  I am definitely someone who cares for people and will put their well being before my own… someone who, as much as I try to say otherwise, trusts people right off the bat until they prove themselves untrustworthy… and even then, I more than likely sweep it under the rug and give a second (third, fourth,fifth) chance because that’s just who I am.  And up until now, that has been the status quo for me, but as my grandfather and I discussed this evening (in an unrelated conversation that still applies here), enough is enough.  There are only so many times I can allow myself to be lied to, and so many times I can allow a person to pull wool over my eyes.  I am an extremely intelligent person, despite what you may think… I have a keen intuition and often find myself ignoring it for the sake of not causing conflict or doing what I think I may want… but I can’t allow it anymore.  It’s embarrassing honestly… I am embarrassed by the way I allow people who call themselves my friends to treat me.  There is no reason for it, and since I would never allow myself to treat anyone in this fashion, I will not sit idly by any longer while they do it to me.  I need to have more respect for myself than that.  I need and deserve respect… I give it to you on a daily basis, so what makes you think that for some reason you don’t need to show me the same common courtesy.  You’re so quick to point out when others are treating you like an idiot… well, please stop treating me the same way that angers you so much.  Even if you are not my friend… even if you have been lying about everything this entire time… even if you have never cared for me at all… at least try to be a decent, upstanding human being.  I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

    Sorry… rant over… just had to get that out of my system….back to tryptophan comas.

  4. 26
    Nov

    You think you know…

    Just because I’m happy, doesn’t mean I don’t know sorrow
    Just because I smile, doesn’t mean I haven’t cried
    Just because I know how full my life is, doesn’t mean I haven’t lost
    Just because I don’t let life break me, doesn’t mean I don’t know difficulty and pain
    Don’t assume that you know me because of what I allow you to see.

  5. 24
    Nov

    I’ve been thinking a lot lately… my weekend was filled with spaces of free time, which gave me a lot of time to do that… to just sit (or drive) and commune with my thoughts.  It’s something that I haven’t done a lot lately - partly because I”ve been busy but mostly because I’ve been keeping myself busy to prevent myself from having the time to think.  A lot has happened this past 12 months, between losing a dear childhood friend, losing my grandfather, and losing my grandmother.  To sum it up in a word, the past year has been filled with loss.  In the past 2 months since losing my gram, I’ve been tearing myself up about things… about things I never said that I wish I did, and about the fact that I felt like I was doing her a disservice.  You see, aside from a few tears shed at her bedside after she passed, I really hadn’t cried about losing her.  I mean, I was overcome with grief for sure, but the tears wouldn’t come.  Now if you know me, you know how strange this is.  I’m definitely a crier… when I found out about Dain passing, I broke down in the middle of the Olive Garden (still haven’t been able to go back there)… I bawled at his wake and funeral… I cried so hard when I found out about my grandpa passing, and even harder at his burial. I cry at movies, when I hear sad songs, and occassionally when I see a dead animal hit by a car.  So the fact that I hadn’t cried about my grandmother shook me… I wondered if it meant that I didn’t love her as much as I should… I wondered what was wrong with me and if she was somehow looking down, disappointed that I couldn’t show my grief.  I remember someone I care about telling me that it would happen in time… that when I was ready, the tears would come, but somehow I still didn’t believe it.  Here I was yesterday, almost 2 months later and no tears.  I was out for a drive, talking to her out loud, telling her how sorry I was, and assuring her (and myself) that I loved her more than words could say, and I didn’t know what was wrong with me that I couldn’t show it in the outward form of tears.  Next thing I knew, I was driving to the cemetery… the place I hadn’t been since the day we put her to rest.  I parked my car, walked to the wall where she was interred, and all of a sudden, there it was… it was like a dam had broken and I just stood there and cried for what seemed like hours.  And when I stopped, I sat on the bench and just talked with her… about life, about what has happened these past few months, about how lost we all are without her.  And since yesterday, I’ve found myself crying quite a bit.  A song will remind me of her, or i’ll look at a picture and will well up with tears.  I’m not sure why it took so long, but somehow I feel free-er… I was holding so much back up until now - I don’t know if i was trying to be strong or just afraid to let myself be weak, but that’s over now… and I feel like I can finally go back to the person I was… to the person she loved… and one that will make her proud.

  6. 15
    Nov

    Butterfly Effect

    I’ve been thinking lately on how seemingly insignificant decisions and details in our lives can totally change the course of our future… how something that seems so small at the time ends up completely turning your life around.  It can be anything from stopping for that morning coffee and missing an accident that you would have been involved in had you been on time, or turning down a job offer that would have ended up launching your career higher than you could have imagined.  It’s a seemingly insignificant flap of a butterfly’s wings that ends up causing a typhoon in your life.  Most people never notice those things… or rather they don’t take the time to think about the small decisions that have such major impacts.  I’ve been thinking a lot on mine lately… and while I’m sure there have been plenty,  there’s one in particular… the one thing that changed the course of my life forever.  And I find myself wondering what would have happened had the situation gone differently.  Would I be where I am today?  Would I be a completely different woman?  What else would have been effected?  Or who else?  It’s almost nonsense to dwell on considering we can’t change the past, however it’s been on my mind… I’m content where things are now… but would I have been better off?

     

  7. 15
    Nov

    It’s strange to think about how much your mind and heart can yearn for someone or something you never knew or had.

  8. 11
    Nov

    Suffering

    I was thinking a lot this morning (when I was awake, restless in bed at 3:30 AM) about suffering… about what I’ve been going through lately emotionally - dealing with loss, life, and just wondering why… why things had to be a certain way… why I had to be the one dealing with the various situations that life has confronted me with.  It is so easy to feel sorry for ourselves.. to have the “woe is me” attitude and cry that life is so unfair.  But then I got to thinking of how we grow… how we change.  Getting to be better people is never easy… a marathon runner does not simply get up one day with the ability to run a marathon… they train, they practice, they suffer to reach a common goal.  A famous singer didn’t simply fall into the career and the fame… they worked towards it, started at the bottom and fought their way to the top.  This life is hard… but it is hard for a reason… to keep me fighting - to give me the option to give up and fail or to keep fighting, suffer and survive… not only survive but excel.  I need to look beyond my suffering and my now, and look towards what it is setting me up for in the future… the things that I am learning now that will bring me a better tomorrow.  I’m scared… I’m unsure of what the future holds and it terrifies me… but that’s okay.  That’s normal.  What I’m left with is a choice - to retreat or to move forward.  And no longer will I let failure and surrender be an option.

  9. 10
    Nov

    Giving Thanks

    Now that it is November, with Thanksgiving coming up, I constantly am seeing people posting on Facebook daily as to what they are thankful for in their lives.  I am terrible at this, because first of all I’m getting a terribly late start and secondly, I know me and I know that while I’ll have good intentions to post every day, I’ll get busy or forgetful and it just won’t happen.  So instead, I’ve decided to sit down on this early Sunday morning and take time to reflect on my life and those in it and make my list all at once.  Now as I said, it is early so changes are I will overlook a thing or two (or ten) so more than likely this list will be revised… many times… but here goes…

    1 - I am thankful for God.  I am thankful for salvation and for the plan that I know exists for my life.  Some people may dispute His existence or His power, but I certainly do not.  The one thing I know for sure is I wouldn’t have made it through the trials that came up in my life these past days, weeks, months and even years if I didn’t have the fact to hold on to that He has a plan for me and while it may not seem like it now, there is something wonderful planned for my life and this difficult times have a purpose… to make me stronger and to turn me into the woman I was created to be.  I am thankful that He gives me so much more credit than I give myself.  Looking back at all I went through, a lot that I suffered through silently and still haven’t been able to share out loud because of the pain it brings up, it’s almost unreal that I was able to make it through.  The person I was before those hard times was so much weaker than the person those hard times created me to be.  And while I’m not 100% happy with who I am, I am definitely happier with my self than I was back then.  

    2- I am thankful for my parents.  I know many children say this, but I have been blessed with the greatest parents I could have asked for.  They are certainly not perfect (none of us are) but they are the perfect set of parents for me.  They, even when I didn’t feel like they are, always support me and want the best for my life (which a lot of times means they disagree with my decisions).  My mom is my best friend, which I never thought I would say.  Growing up, we disagreed a lot and she drove me crazy (sorry mom, but it’s true), but as I have entered adulthood, we have a much better understanding of each other.  I can tell her almost anything and instead of judging me and my decisions, she will talk me through everything until I reach a decision that I know will be best for me.  My dad is just something else completely.  He tries to have this rough exterior and seem unemotional, but I am without a doubt his “little girl” and he would do anything for me.  The way he shows his love may be unconventional… instead of saying it, he shows it in little things… checking my car when I get home, offering unsolicited advice on anything and everything in my life, making sure I have an ice scraper in my car when the weather starts getting cold… he is one of a kind and I can’t imagine my life without him.  He has definitely set my standards high for my future husband… I used to cringe when someone would say “most women end up marrying someone just like their father”, but now I realize I could only be so lucky!!

    3 - I am thankful for my little (or not so little anymore!) brother.  Not only am I incredibly thankful that I have him in my life, but I am also incredibly proud of him and his recent endeavor to leave home and train for a new job.  We don’t always get along (or rarely do to be more accurate) but I know that ultimately, he loves me and would do anything to protect me.  We’ve had some disagreements over the years, but I am so happy that our relationship is relatively normal.  I am thankful I was able to win the Nashville trip last year and take him with me… I feel like we were able to get a lot closer on that trip, and it was a once in a lifetime type thing that we got to experience together (even though I’m sure I embarrassed him with my cowboy boots!)

    4 - I am thankful for my extended family… my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.  There are a lot to mention but they know who they are.  For my Uncle, his wife and my cousin who so graciously offered to take me in when I didn’t have much other option and who have made me a part of their little family, giving me the little sister I never had (or wanted… ha just kidding Sammy!).  For my Uncle who showed me the world… who has brought me to so many exciting places and taught me about what is out there beyond my four walls.  Not just because of his willingness to spend financially (although that is much appreciated), but his wanting to take the time to spend with me… to get to know who I was as a child, a teenager and now as an adult.  

    5 - I am thankful for those in my family that are no longer walking this earth… those that are watching down on me from Heaven, who I can often feel in the quiet of night when I’m thinking of them, regretting things never done or said with them, or just wishing I Had known them better.  I am thankful for the afterlife and that someday I will see them again.  I am thankful for the time I was able to spend with them while they were here… that despite a bleak diagnosis, that my Grandma Janice fought tirelessly for much longer than expected.  She taught me how to be tough, how to be fierce, and to not just lie down and take whatever bad things life hands to me, but to tough it out and fight… because anything worth having is worth fighting for.  For my Grandma Mary, who taught me bravery… leaving everything she knew in her country - her family, friends, her entire life- to move to the States with the man she loved.  For my Grandpa Larry, who met her and fell in love and made the journey along with her… he taught me that you should never just let yourself be walked over… to stand up for what you believe in and to always speak your mind.  I miss them all, and the others I’ve also lost… but to know they are all no longer in pain and happy in Heaven with each other somehow offers a bit of comfort, so I am also thankful for that.

     6- I am thankful for love, and getting to experience it… it’s unexplainable and amazing and heart wrenching at the same time.  I am thankful for knowing what it’s like to care for someone so much that you want only what is best for them, whether that is you or not… knowing what it’s like to live without a heart because it resides with someone else.  And for the many examples of love I have had in my life…. for my parents who have been happily married for 30 years, and both sets of my grandparents who I watched stand by each other through thick and thin, through fights, feuds and sickness.  They showed me that in this age of getting rid of something when it breaks, it is better to fix it… to work together for the common purpose of fixing something that is good, rather than just giving up and moving on.  

    7 - I am thankful for my friends… the ones that have known me and been by my side for years, along with the ones who are more recent but still just as amazing.  With all that I’ve been through, I know I haven’t been an easy person to deal with, whether it’s late night texts, or crying over a glass of wine, but they have seen me through it all without a single complaint.  My friends are such an amazing support system that I know I couldn’t have made it through the past years without.  We have made such amazing memories together as well, that I will always cherish fondly.  I look forward to many many more years of friendship and seeing what else life has in store for us all (hopefully all good!!!).

    8 - I am thankful for my special person… my secret friend… the one who lets me be quirky and nerdy and almost never makes fun of me for it :)  Who brightens my day and can make everything better with just a text or a phone call.  Who has been so concerned with my own well-being and my happiness that he often overlooks his own.  THe 007 to my CRS, he has shown me that while you only live once (or twice depending on who you ask), that the best things in life happen when you least expect them and are worth waiting for.  He has shown me that things are never easy, especially the things you want most, but it’s better to hang in and wait for the reward.

    9 - I am thankful for those who serve our country… whether it be in the Armed Forces, law enforcement, the medical field… those who give of themselves and are willing to sacrifice their lives for our safety and freedoms.  And for the families who by extension also offer up that sacrifice.  For Dain, who laid his life down for his friends, family, and people who never even got the chance to know him, to keep us all safe and to do what he needed to do.  Life is certainly more empty without him, however I cannot help but be incredibly grateful for him.  

    10 - I am thankful for our little trivia team… the team of misfits that don’t often win without our “ringer”, but who show me what it’s like to have fun… to live carefree and just to laugh.  There are so many times when the last thing I want to do is go out and play trivia, but then I get there and just laugh, which is really the best medicine.  So although we are a bunch of losers (our own little Breakfast Club with the Ring Leader, Ginger, Messenger, Muscle, Yankee Fan, and yet to be nicknamed), I am so thankful for this group of friends and their humor!

    11 - I am thankful for my job… that my new department was willing to take me into the group to prevent me from leaving… that they took me out of such a horrible work situation and gave me such a great alternative.  I am thankful for my coworkers… who can be grumpy at times (can’t we all) but who genuinely care about each other, as shown by the constant advice (often not solicited) about health, relationships, and even which TV shows and movies to watch (and avoid).  I feel like the group of us make up our own little dysfunctional family and wouldn’t have it any other way!!!

    12 - I am thankful for crafting… that at some point, my aunts, great-great aunts, great-grandmothers and grandmothers taught me the love of creating things… of putting talents to use and making beautiful creations.  BEcause not only does it feel great to put your energy into creating, but it is such a stress reliever and allows my brain to be calm and still.

    Well, that’s it for now… purely because my hands are tired from typing… but this was definitely the perfect way to start my day - really put me in a fantastic mood.  I may have to do this more often!

  10. 24
    Oct

    Random Thoughts…

    It’s been just about a year since the passing of a childhood friend, as well as a year since I was challenged by both the words in the letter he sent me and by his untimely passing to change my life and be happy.  In a letter that I received just days before he died, he talked about how happy he was, despite his circumstances.  He talked about how he hoped I was happy in my life.  And at that time, reading those words, I wasn’t.

    A year has gone by and I’m left thinking of those words he wrote and thinking of how they made me feel.  I took a good look at my life back then and vowed to make changes… I told myself that I would live my life in a way that he would have wanted… that I would be happy with my life since he no longer gets to live his.  And while I’m not yet where I want to be, I’m certainly proud of what I’ve done and where I’m going.

    Both his passing and the recent passing of my dear grandmother has made me think a lot about life… about where I am and where I eventually want to be.  About what is important and what is not worth my energy and effort.  I’ve learned that you have to live every day to the fullest because you never know when it is your time.  People rarely regret the chances they take, but rather the chances they are afraid to take.  I’ve learned to never let a day go by without telling people how you feel about them… that when you care about or love someone, you tell them that as often as you can… because you never know when they won’t be in your life anymore.  LIfe is too short to hold things in… I’ve had too many regrets, recently especially, when it comes to things left unsaid, and I am vowing now to change that.

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