For better or for… 

We walked out to the truck, smiling and waving goodbye to all of our friends and family. I closed the door of the pickup and as we were leaving the venue, I realized I was never going back home. To the only home I had known for 21 years. I remember glancing over at Matt thinking you are my new home.

The next few weeks (months) were quite challenging. Marriage was nothing like I had pictured in my head. All of the home cooked meals sitting on the table when he got home from work, greeting him at the door with a great big hug and a honey how was your day.

years. Man, that seemed like a long time.

Two years is how long I had been dating  my husband, when I was headed to meet him at the altar. I knew it all. I knew everything about him, or so I thought. It was easy and effortless to fall in love, walk down the aisle, and say ” I do.” It was easy when we got to choose when we wanted to spend time together. I made the biggest mistake of my life the day I said, “I do.”

When I should’ve said..

“I will.”

When he doesn’t agree with me, leaves his shirts/socks inside out, leaves his wet towel on the bed/ floor/ chair/ you name it has been left there (please lord help me with this one), hurts my feelings, gets on my nerves, did I already say when he doesn’t agree with me?

I WILL choose him.

Marrying him was the easy part, but choosing someone when you are hurt, angry, or just plain frustrated. That. That takes serious work. I am not ashamed to admit that he makes me crazy sometimes, but I promise you this.

Every morning I wake up, I choose him. Even when I am angry, and even when I am hurt. I choose to love him, choose to honor him, and choose to persue the Lord with him.

He is my biggest supporter. The guy that stands behind the scenes with open arms and open heart. Asks for no recognition, but is always here with a great big smile and an even better attitude.  Little does he know how much he is truly valued. We get wrapped up in our lives and I don’t tell him enough just how proud he makes me, how much he encourages me, and how little I could do without him.

To girl planning her wedding, the newly married bride, or the woman that has been married for years.. Don’t stop choosing him. Look beyond the circumstances, situations, and feelings. For better or for worse, choose him. Every. Single. Day.


“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”  John 13 34-35
–Photography by

Tara Hobgood Photography.

Our village.

Did you realize that the people in your “inner circle” play an active roll in not only yourself but also your family? I’d never really given it much thought, until I had children that is. Whether it is your blood relatives, the people that might as well be relatives, your neighbor, or your best friend. They are making an impact on your life. 

I don’t know about you but I heavily rely on my phone, but also for  reasons than social media. My camera is filled to the gills with memories. Some good and some not so good, but all very important. We had the pleasure of “finally” celebrating my daughter’s 2nd birthday party this weekend. It was such a hectic day that I am heavily am relying on the pictures I got to somehow try and piece the party back together in my mind. 

As we are cleaning up (brace yourself), I got pretty choked up. No. Not because she turning another year older, that will actually be on the 26th so I’ll save those tears for then. I was emotional at the people I was looking at. Humbled really. That everyone came together to help us celebrate such a special time. Watching all of them interacting with each other, and thinking about the impact they not only have had on me but the impact they have had on our family. Anyone that tells you they do it alone, is crazy. There is someone out there helping you, whether you realize it yet or not. A teacher that is investing herself into your child to grow and learn, a coach, a cousin, a friend, an uncle, an aunt, a grandparent, some one out there is investing time in your family. I think of it as a village. All of the people in our village are helping us, whether they know it or not.

–Our village is helping us raise our children. I’m not talking about the lesson’s learned, I am talking about the relationships. The relationship with the ones that we love. I can’t begin to even think about doing it all on my own. It wouldn’t be possible. There is no way I would ever be able to do it. The things we are learning by the love we are experiencing is so valuable. Something that truly can’t be bought. To the people that are apart of our village, Thank you. Thank you for supporting us, encouraging us, and loving us. The next time you see someone that is apart of your village, reach out and give them a great big hug, because they are giving you more than you could ever imagine. 


see ya later, alligator.

I can’t sleep. I’ve tried and tried and tonight, I just don’t think it’s going to happen. Memories from the last two years keep playing in my mind over and over. If you have been following along you will have picked up on the relationship that I have with my two year old. She’s my girl. A part of my tribe. She gets me. Knows exactly what to do to comfort me, knows exactly what buttons to push, and just what to say to make me forget. This little girl has been through it all with me. We have soared through the highest of highs together, and she’s pulled me through the lowest of lows.

 2 years ago today I was sitting in her floor beside her crib folding all of her baby clothes. Trying my hardest to picture her in them as I folded each one. I was terrified of what was to come. Right now, I am packing her backpack to start KDO tomorrow. Terrified of what is to come. I have never left this girl anywhere but with Grandparents, Especially with a complete stranger. (Helicopter parent in the house) This is going to be new for us. If you know me, you already know how strongly I dislike change. I like our bubble. It’s comfortable. Just enough room for us to all move, but not enough room for us to grow. 
Grow. Hmm. Is that what she is suppose to do? Lately, we have been struggling here at home. We are often moody, destructive, and at times disrespectful. Poor girl is extremely bored. Moody because we do the same thing day after day, destructive because it is something different, and disrespectful because it draws my attention. She IS none of the things I listed. We are just working through that phase at the moment. After A LOT of prayer, we decided a few days a week it would be good for her to have a little get away. It would help her interact with other little kiddos. When we were discussing it, it seemed so far away that I could totally push that on the back burner for a while. Which brings me to where I am now, I am literally sitting in bed right now yet again, wondering just how I am ever going to be able to do this. How in the world am I suppose to walk out of that place without her? Get in the car and drive away without her saying, “mommy watch Peppa, peas” in the back seat? I have no clue. I can’t even stand to think about it. She needs me, I just know it.

We are now getting her ready for school. Up until this point we haven’t even told her that she is going. On our way I feel my stomach starting to knot up, my palms are getting sweaty, and it is taking all I have to not burst out crying and whip this puppy around. I am scared for her. Sure it’s only for a few hours, but what if she thinks I’ve left her. I bet she doesn’t even understand why. We pull into the parking lot and I am literally praying she tells me she wants to go home. I have already rehearsed how this this is going to go down. If she doesn’t want to go, I’m not forcing her. Period. End of story. We will go right back home. We get her things out of the car and she almost instantaneously looks up at me with that cute little squint from the sun shining in her eyes and says, “here we’s go.” 

Well, dang. I hadn’t rehearsed that one. We get to her class and I am putting her things away, I turn to find her and she is already at my feet. In my head I’m thinking, ” okay, just say the word and we are gone.” She softly mutters, “bye bye mommy.” 

I felt like I had been punched right in the stomach. She wanted me to leave?  Surely to Betsy she didn’t really just say that.  I knelt down next to her, asked her for a snuggle and as she let’s go she says, “bye, mommy. I go play with my friends.” It took every ounce of my being to not run out of there bawling. I slowly gathered my things and left. 

I left her there. 


And know what? She did great. The whole time I was saying that she wasn’t ready, when secretly it was me. I was going to miss her, miss the fussing, miss the afternoon snuggles, and miss her begging for a “fruit nack” every 5 minutes.  I was going to miss everything about her. Why? Because it’s different. Even though I never stopped thinking about her, my heart has truly never been more proud. God has some mighty big plans for her, and this is only the very beginning. From here on out I will not tell her goodbye, it feels too permanent. It’s see ya later. 

As I am emptying her backpack I find her first craft. It reads “I’m off to school to learn a bunch, each day is fun and new. I think about you all day long and wish you were here, too. But for these several hours, while we are far apart. Here is my little hand to hold, because I love you with all my heart. 

Hold on.
 I need to go find a tissue. 


who in the world are you?

Mother’s Day 2016

   I have been riding a roller coaster for a few years that I promise you has just about derailed MULTIPLE times. I will never forget going into the bathroom after I had Sterling, and catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Maybe it was the fact that I had just given birth and my hormones were out of control, or maybe it was because of what I saw. Either way I am not kidding you, I instantly felt sick. I vividly remember mumbling “who in the world are you?”

Don’t get me wrong. This body carried TWO babies to term, delivered TWO babies, and has been far better to me than I have to it. I will forever cherish the scars and memories of what my body has gone through to bring life into this world. But let’s be really honest. At 21 years old, I couldn’t believe what I saw. I spent a good 20 minutes standing in front of the mirror wondering “who in the world are you?” It is no doubt that motherhood changes e v e r y t h i n g. It took a major emotional toll on me. Accompanied with a few other circumstances (we will get into a little later) and I was a full blown hermit crab. I didn’t want to leave the house, I didn’t want anyone to come over. Motherhood is a HUGE adjustment in itself, without adding self esteem issues to it.  

********Fast forward 5 months *******
Once again, I found myself sitting in the floor waiting to see what the result was going to be. pregnant (again ). All of the people that tell you that it all comes “right back off,” are either liars or just plain lucky. Breastfeeding yeah that didn’t help either. I wouldn’t just have a steak, I would try to eat the whole cow. (I wish I was kidding)  Throughout my whole second pregnancy I kept my eyes focused ahead. I would wake up telling myself “the minute she’s here, I am going to do something.” Her delivery came and went and nothing changed. Eating right, working out 6 times a week. 


I felt HORRBILE. Looked about the same. So at 6 months pp I HAD ENOUGH. Enough of the up and down, enough of the constant mental battle, enough of feeling embarrassed, enough of feeling ashamed and enough of making excuses.  I called and made an appointment with California Medical Weight Management. I went in and they ran blood work, explained the plan to me, took my before pictures, and I walked out of there. I walked out with more confidence that I have had in over 2 years. I poured everything I had into this program. 9 weeks later, 9 weeks. I have lost over 30 pounds and I finally recognize the person I see staring back at me. 


These shorts were purchased the day after I started the program.

 “You either walk inside your story and own it or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness.” ~Brene Brown

* I receive no compensation for posting this. This is NOT a paid ad. These are my real results. Take from it what you will. 

To see if there is one in your area visit it will be the best thing you’ve ever done.