December 27, 2012

Christmas 2012: A Surpise

This year my family and I did Christmas a little different. Instead of buying gifts for one another, we each bought new pajamas and made a snack item.

Tuesday morning at about 9:45 a.m. Michael and I arrived at my parents house. He was in his Sock Monkey feeties and I in my Grinch pajamas with a cheese ball in tow! Mom and Dad had on Santa PJ's. Emily had on Rudolph and Kaylee had pink with Santa faces and fuzzy house boots! Shortly after our arrival Kaylee opened all her gifts. She had a great Christmas this year! :) I'm excited to hear her play her new pink guitar!A After she opened gifts we all snacked and watched A Christmas Story. Kaylee enjoyed it.

Then right before we started to sit down and play games I got a surprise.

I was totally surprised. I'm so happy and he did an awesome job picking the rings out. I had eyed this set for about four years. It was well worth the wait and a blessed Christmas surprise! There is video on Facebook. I couldn't figure out how to upload it here. I can't do the video justice describing it here. But, Michael was handing out Hershey candy tins. He gave me mine and I opened in expecting candy. When I saw the rings I didn't know whether to laugh or cry and all I could think to say was "Are you serious?!" with huge smile on my face. If I figure out how to post the video I will!

Afterwards, we all played games (Fact or Crap, Battle of the Sexes, and Pictionary) until the late evening. This was truly the best Christmas I've had in a long time. It was not stressful and we were not rushed. I thoroughly enjoyed having genuine quality time with those I love. That's all I wanted.

I hope you and yours had a blessed Christmas and also have a wonderful New Year!

December 9, 2012

John Michael Montgomery Concert

Friday night I was given free tickets to see John Michael Montgomery at the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Auditorium in Chattanooga. It was a great concert and I was even able to sit on the front row!

After the show, someone that worked it asked if Gina and I wanted something signed. We gladly said yes. At first, they were not sure that I would be able to access where John Michael was, but they made a way! I was able to meet him and he signed our tickets. I also met the opening act, Morgan Frazier. Both of them were very nice!

 John Michael Montgomery
Morgan Frazier

November 29, 2012

True Value

Yesterday my Facebook status read the following:

"I am thankful that I have been raised to know the value of time, and what it means to spend that time with loved ones making memories; and that the holiday season doesn't have to be about $."

Over the last several years I have realized just how commercialized the holiday season has become. Black Friday shopping. Big extravagant gifts. Who spends the most money on what, etc., etc.

I feel as though most people have forgotten just what I stated in my status update. The holidays do not have to be able who bought who what or how much they spent. What deals they scored on Black Friday.

The holidays can simply be about togetherness and this year my family has decided to make it about that. You could have all the money in the world but you can't take it with you when you go. Time is something you can never get back. Once it's gone that's it. People tend to forget that these days because everything is too fast paced. I'm glad I've slowed down to really open my eyes and realize how valuable time is. The word time is even valuable if you think about it!

So, instead of hustling and bustling about this year; stop and smell the roses as they say and spend time with those you love without worrying about who's going to buy this or that! :)

November 26, 2012

I'm Thankful

I'm thankful for the life I have been given and each day that comes with a new breath in the morning.
I'm thankful to know that I can put my trust fully in the LORD and never be let down; instead always be carried through.
I'm thankful to have friends and family who love and care for me so much. More than I will ever know.
I'm thankful for the simple things like laughter, smiles, and hugs.
I'm thankful that in times of sadness and sorrow I have the unfailing love of my Heavenly Father to lean on as well as that of those He has placed in my life.

What blessings!

I hope you have taken some time this month to look back and think about what you have to be thankful for!

November 12, 2012

Saturday Night Fun

This past Saturday night was spent at home, but was a ton of fun!

My friend Gina and I bought white fudge covered Oreo's when we made a trip to the grocery story a couple weeks ago. They were quite delicious and we discovered we could get more for our money if we bought the items needed to make our own. So, last week we made sure we did just that! Saturday night we made the Oreo's and also made Ritz peanut butter crackers and dipped those in the white chocolate as well. The crackers were a special request of mine. Granny made them sometimes as a dessert for our holiday meals. They're one of my favorites. It was nice to have those memories to go back to while making the cookies and crackers. :)

After making the sweets we decided to go old school on the Wii and play Super Mario Bros. 3. Oh what fun that was! It was one of our favorite games as kids. I really enjoyed playing it. I can remember playing it on the original NES and SNES; and when I would get stuck somewhere I would holler "Dad! Will you come help me beat this level?" Lol! Great memories and great times from my childhood!

October 15, 2012

A New Venture

This year there has been a year for stepping out on faith and exploring new things. The first of which was writing for Cerebral Palsy Family Network. I was very eager when this opportunity arose. Writing has always been a strong point and great outlet in my life. I was a little hesitant after writing my first article. I did not think people would enjoy reading it. I did not think it was written clearly. I was wrong. I have received several responses to both articles, and I've had many friends and fellow readers ask me to follow up with an article about my adult life and living with Cerebral Palsy. Don't worry friends, I'm working on getting it ready! It excites me to know that people love hearing my story through writing. I hope if nothing else it gives them insight and understanding.

Another new venture has come my way in the last couple months. Cooking. You may be thinking, "Well, anyone can cook even if it is a microwave meal." While that is true and I can do that I never thought cooking would go any further than the microwave for me, ever. I have had a Foreman Grill and Crock Pot for 6 years. Both items I can use, but I have always been afraid of burning myself or not cooking something right so I just never bothered. This summer I got tired of eating the same ole stuff all the time and decided it was time I get over this fear. So I have done  just that.

The first time I cooked lunch for the girls and I. We had lemon pepper chicken, alfredo noodles, and broccoli with cheese and potatoes. Later, I cooked hamburgers on the grill. Today was my first time using the Crock Pot. I made my first pot of pinto beans. They turned out delicious and I have enough for tomorrow! :)

Learning how to cook gives me a greater since of independence, as it would anyone. It also makes me feel a lot better about myself. Another brick in the wall of life that I am slowly knocking down with every new accomplishment! I find great joy in this. Now instead of having to ask Michael to cook after a long day at work I can have dinner ready by the time he gets home.

Two Fur Babies: Bruno & Tucker

About three weeks ago we added a new pup to our little family. His name is Tucker and he is a Chiweenie. (I still say he has Pug in him, but what do I know? lol.) I was worried Bruno would not adjust well since he has been the only one for a little over 2 years. They have adjusted to one another just fine and I am thankful for that.

I had been thinking about getting another dog for quite some time so Bruno could have a playmate. I kept putting it off because I kept thinking he wouldn't like having another dog around. He has certainly proved me wrong. They play well together and it has also cut down on his nipping at me when I go to get up or let him out. That is a big plus!

They have their moments when they want to be rowdy little boys, but they calm back down and become my snuggle buddies and I just love it. They have a mid morning nap with me in the recliner every weekday. :)

September 26, 2012

Teenage Years

The second half of my article for Cerebral Palsy Network was published on September 12. I am just now getting around to posting it here. I hope you enjoy reading. I'm looking forward to the feedback!

Teenage Years

September 4, 2012

World Cerebral Palsy Day

Today is World Cerebral Palsy Day. In honor of this I have my Facebook decked in green with the pictures posted above.

I didn't realize how little awareness and knowledge there was for Cerebral Palsy until I started living on my own. People have asked me, "What's wrong?" many times over the years not realizing they really don't know.

This is one of the main reasons why I started writing for Cerebral Palsy Family Network, in hopes to educate others and give families courage and strength. Speaking of which, the second half of my article will be published September 12, 2012. I hope you are able to read it and enjoy as you do.

I would like to end this by saying a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who helps me through this journey. Some live on in my heart, but for those still here that can read this. I mean that. Thank you. I can never express to you how much your friendship, a kind word, a helping hand means to someone in my situation. I know a lot of times I can be bull headed, but I really do appreciate the help I am given. Thank you for pushing me on when times get tough and loving me through it all.

August 3, 2012

Cerebral Palsy Family Network

Once again I have neglected updating my blog regularly. How am I suppose to keep followers if I don't write, right? :)

I have many things to write about; but they will be done in seperate posts. I have comtemplated turning this blog around and making it about what it is like to live with Cerebral Palsy. I am not sure how it would turn out or even how to go about doing this. If you, my readers think it would be something interesting please let me know!

What inspired this idea?! I was asked to write for the Cerebral Palsy Family Network. This is a non-profit organization for families that have children with Cerebral Palsy. I am glad my dear friend Lisa over at Diving For Healing introduced me to this site. It is my hope that through writing for this organization I give families encouragement through their journey.

Ok, now I know you want to see what I wrote; so here is the link:

Growing Up With Cerebral Palsy

Enjoy reading!

June 8, 2012

Rodeo Time

The last weekend in May and the first weekend in June are two of my favorites. There is a rodeo each weekend and I love going to them. One is here in Cleveland and the other is in Athens.

This year we took Kaylee to the Rodeo in Cleveland for a second time. She really enjoyed herself this year and even went into the arena with the other kids to chase to calf and get the ribbon off its tail! :) Her Uncle Mikey and I both have her spoiled rotten I do believe. He bought her a pink cowgirl hat. She also rode the ponies twice. I think that was her favorite part of the night.

Michael and I went that Saturday night also with our neighbors. We all had a great time too!

Last weekend Michael and I went to the Shriners rodeo in Athens with our neighbors. I always try to make it to this rodeo because it supports such a great cause. I went to Shriners Hospital as a child and they truly are a blessing for many. They don't just care for the children, they care for their families as well. Everything they do is free of charge to the family. They provide excellent care and services to special needs children.

I do have some pictures of the first rodeo, I've just got to get them off my phone and on my computer. That will be my next post!

June 7, 2012

Rodeo Pictures

Pictures from Rodeo in Cleveland.

Scheduling Posts

I know my blog is in serious need of some updating. I have decided that I am going to begin scheduling my posts in hopes that it will make my blog more read worthy if you will and attract more followers. Just wanted to give my current readers a notice!!

P.S.: If any of my blogging friends would like to share my blog please feel free to do so. Thanks!

May 24, 2012

Birthday Weekend

Last weekend was my birthday weekend. My birthday was Sunday, May 20.

The weekend began by having lunch with one of my best friends, Alex on Friday. Alex and I have known one another since sixth grade and have kept in touch throughout the years. We hadn't seen one another since I graduated High School in 2002. We enjoyed a nice lunch at Cracker Barrel with his mom and step-dad. Afterwards, we browsed around TJ-Maxx and Goodwill. It was nice to not only be out of the house, but to spend time with a great friend. I'm thankful to have Alex in my life and call him one of my best friends. I'm looking forward to many more lunch dates and hanging out! :)

Saturday, after Michael got home from work and had a nap we got ready and went out to Pokey's. My favorite local rock band was playing and I wanted to go listen to them for my birthday. I had a great time. Live music is one of my most favorite things. It's right up there with NASCAR/Racing. I get a thrill from it. The music makes me feel free. I forget all my worries when I'm dancing and listening to live music. I know this probably will not make a lot of sense, but I feel like a "normal" person when I'm dancing. It brings a beaming smile to my face and my soul dance with joy.

Sunday my Mom cooked my favorite dinner. I requested this as my birthday gift this year. Dinner consisted of meatloaf, fried taters,(yes, I said 'taters); slaw, creamed corn, fried okra, and green onions. This has always been my favorite dinner since childhood, along with pintos and cornbread. I thoroughly enjoyed dinner and spending time with my family.

I did receive some gifts:

Pink camo outfit
2 CD's from One Shot Down
Lantern for camping
Camping chair(s)

Turning 28 wasn't too bad after all! :)

April 27, 2012

The New Ride! :)

This post has been a long time coming! Sorry about the poor quality of the picture and the sweater in the background. This is my new wheelchair that I've had for about a month now. It is a Quickie 2 XTender. The rear wheels have battery operated axles which makes the chair easier to push when I have the power assist engaged. It is like having two chairs in one. I can push it normally, around the house; or turn on the power assist when I will be going long distances, such as the mall. I really like it. It is truly the most comfortable and most awesome chair I've had! If I could, I would be on a billboard advertising this chair, Ha!

And let's not forget the color! It's Candy Apple Red. This just so happens to be the same color on Jeff Gordon's Drive to End Hunger Cheverolet. If you know well, you know that made picking that color worth it! :)

4-27-2011: A Year Later

One year ago today, the city of Cleveland & Bradley County was devastatingly hit by tornadoes, along with many other parts of the South East.

For me today has been a day of reflection and thankfulness in realizing how fortunate I was that day.
I remember waking up to the sound of the wind whistling around the house and the power going out. My sister and I could see traffic stopped and emergency vehicles all along the road. Many people had text and called multiple times asking if we were okay. We had no idea what had just taken place. A tornado had just bounced over my home and went straight across the road destroying everything in its path.

At first, the thought that I had slept through a tornado was a bit wowing I guess you could say. Now however, looking back I wish I had been awake and alert to what was going on around me. It is evident to me that God's Grace and protection were with us that day. That tornado could have destroyed my home and everything I have. I could have been one of those who were not so fortunate.

Cleanup and recovery efforts are still taking place today. Lives are still being rebuilt and new friendships made everyday as a result of our community coming together as one and lending a hand. That is why I am proud to be from Tennessee and be a small town girl.  We really do come together as one and volunteer.

March 27, 2012

Miss Kaylee :)

This is little Miss Kaylee, my sunshine! She will be 5 years old this October. Seems like just yesterday I was watching her be born!

She is a very smart and happy girl. Last Tuesday, after going to pick up my new chair in Chattanooga (next blog post!) I went to Mom's for a while. Kaylee gets books from the Imagination Library. This is one of her favorites. She read this story to me all by herself! :) I'd never heard it til then. How sweet to hear it for the first time from a 4 year old.

I just wanted to share that little tid bit. She sure does know how to brighten your day and make you laugh. We are all the time laughing at something she is doing or saying. I am so glad that she has taken up with Michael and I more recently as well. She loves being around Uncle Mikey so they can wrestle and be goofy. :)

March 6, 2012

Encouraging Read

Are you searching for a way to fill a Spiritual void? Do you want to grow Spiritually? Do you enjoy reading inspirational titles? Then, this book is for you! My Time with God is a book of 15 minute devotions for the entire year. It takes you through the complete New Testament, and has references from the Old Testament; as well as insight from many well known people.

My Mom bought this book for me about 2 months ago. It is a book my Granny owned also. I had thought about asking to borrow the book several times; as I thought it was a book you could just sit down and read til you got tired. I'm so glad to have my own personal copy. It is very easy to read and understand. Usually, I read it along with Guideposts when I get up early in the morning, and then write in my prayer journal. Sometimes, I will switch and read at night. Depends on my mood. I am thoroughly enjoying this book. I wish I could just sit down and read it through sometimes, ha! :) 

I have had some awesome experiences while reading this book. Certain verses and insight that people give in the book have really stuck out to me. So much so that I've prayed over that specific verse!

So, if you are looking for a good read to help you grow Spiritually, but maybe you don't have a lot of time for reading then this book is definitely for you! 

February 22, 2012

What I've Been Doing

Just realized it has been a couple weeks since I have posted!

I'll try not to make this post too lengthy and get you up to speed at the same time.

We celebrated Michael's Dad's birthday at the beginning of the month with family and friends. It was a big surprise for him and a good time was had by all. :)

Last week I got to keep the girls (Haylee & Kylee) for three days. It had been a very long time since they had spent the night with us. We all had a really good time. We watched lots of cartoons, a movie, and colored together. On Valentine's Day we took them out to eat at Denny's. We all enjoyed that and even had dessert! They are a true joy in my life.

Thursday I had to go to the dentist *shudder*. I get extreme anxiety when I have to go to the dentist. I just went in for an exam. To my surprise it really wasn't that bad. I will have the work I need done soon and then I will me on my way to my beautiful smile again. After the work is done I plan to do something to straighten my teeth back out. I wish I would have wore my retainer correctly!

Friday, I visited Benchmark to have my wheelchair evaluation done. They have moved their office. It is a lot more open than the other one, and very bright. The physical therapist was very nice. Now all I have to do is wait for all the paperwork to go through and insurance to give the okay then it should be about 8 to 10 weeks before I have the new chair.
Michael also took me shopping for Valentine's Day. He got me a new outfit, pj's, earrings, and a phone cover for V-Day and I got him two new shirts, a necklace, and a pair of pants.

Now on to this week...

Yesterday was Fat Tuesday. The last day of Mardi Gras. So, we went to N'awlins as we do every year for their annual crawfish broil. It was good as always and I can say that I am glad I took the chance and tried crawfish a few years ago. Now I love them! The music was awesome! But, who knew.. I'm a sucker for live music! :)

There ya go, that's what's been going on in my little world! Enjoy!

January 31, 2012

Personal Correspondence

How do you keep in touch with others? Through social media, e-mail, phone calls, texts, visits?

Most of us today keep in touch through social media such as Facebook, and text messaging on our mobile phones. Its much faster than a hand written letter and in our fast paced way of life we don't make the time to do so. E-mail is the same way it seems. It's much easier for us to keep up with each other through a website and text than to take the time to write an email. I have actually been able to keep in touch with family members I wouldn't even really know if it were not for Facebook. That has really been a blessing!

I remember when we first got a computer. I was 13. AOL was the big thing then. I remember thinking how neat it was to instant message someone or send them an e-mail. I made a 'pen pal' on there. Of course, we have since lost touch. But, it was cool to be able to correspond with others without having to write a letter and wait for them to receive it in the mail; or if you wanted to talk for hours you didn't have to worry about your ear going numb or your arm tiring from holding the phone so long.

In recent years, e-mail seems to have nearly faded out as a source of keeping in touch with others on a personal level. Especially with the advent of text messaging on cell phones and numerous social networking sites.

I personally, wish that wasn't the case. I rarely check my email anymore because there is nothing to look forward to other than a bunch of forwards. I get actual emails on the occasion from a few people. I check email to make sure a payment went through or something of that sort, but even then I can do that from my phone. Don't get me wrong, I love having email at my finger tips when I am on the go and being able to respond quickly via a text, but it still is not as personal as an e-mail or even more so, a hand written letter.

When I moved to Murfreesboro, TN for school I of course kept in touch with family through phone calls, but some of us also e-mailed & Instant Messaged. Then, I wrote letters back and forth to my Great Aunt, Great Uncle, and one of my cousins. Writing those letters was a lot of fun and really meant a lot to me. I can remember always looking forward to checking my mailbox in the KUC to see if I had letters or packages. :) I still have a letter from each of them today that I kept, and I will keep them for many years to come.

Even though we live in such a fast paced world, we always need to make time to keep in touch with those that mean a lot to us. Family, friends, it doesn't matter who they are, and even though I miss email being popular it doesn't matter how you keep in touch as long as you do!

January 15, 2012

Four Wheels vs. Two Legs


What is the Difference?

  • You walk. I roll.
  • You run. I do the same with my hands using 2 wheels.
  • You jump. I pop wheelies to get over bumps and uneven surfaces.
  • You can stand up or lay down if you get tired of sitting. I am either sitting down or laying down.
  • Anywhere is accessible. If there are no ramps and proper accommodations certain public places are not accessible to persons in wheelchairs. Restrooms being what I notice most.
  • You can move through a crowd with ease. I have to say excuse me and hope people are polite enough to move.
What's My Point?
While I view myself as no different than the next person; these are a few of the big differences that I've noticed. They are really not a big deal to me, but when you take time to think about them and consider what I've said, you may see where I am coming from. 

Walking/Rolling: To me these are one in the same. My wheels are just like the two legs God gave you to walk on.
Running: I do the very same thing when I am 'going fast' in my wheelchair. Let me tell you, its a workout and tiring! :)
Jumping/Wheelies: While you jump for fun or exercise.. I pop those cool wheelies to get over humps and bumps. But ideally in my mind I'm jumping too! :)
Changing of Position: When you get tired of being one way or another you have the freedom to move around and get comfortable. I/we can do this too but it isn't as easily done. As stated it mainly consists of sitting up or laying down which at times can be a bit boring!
All access/Restricted or No Access: Most of the time you can go anywhere without restrictions of any kind. The same can be said for those of us in wheelchairs most of the time as well with the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act. But, there are still some kinks and I have come to find that as I have grown into adulthood. Not all restrooms are accessible to those of us in wheelchairs even though they say they are. If a wheelchair cannot fit in the stall it is NOT accessible! Not all buildings are fully accessible. And furthermore, more places should have automatic entrances so those of us who want to shop there can come and go on our own. (i.e. convenience stores and restaurants).
Crowds: While you can maneuver through a crowd being heard saying 'Excuse me'.. some of us are hoping we are heard saying that just so we can get through. Or we're trampled on because people just don't want to move. I'm not saying this happens all the time. But it does and has happened to me. When ya see a wheelchair  coming through; slide over just a bit if your able. We would appreciate it. :)

Often times, people think it is "cool" to use a wheelchair, while it is a neat thing its not always cool to those of us who use them on a daily basis. I am saying that I don't enjoy my life? No. I'm saying like some other things in life; it's not all its cracked up to be. Sitting in a wheelchair for the majority of the day becomes uncomfortable and tiring. And, if there are seat belts and numerous other restraints on the chair one can begin to feel confined. Sure its neat to be able to roll where you want to go, but just as walking is tiring; pushing a wheelchair is just as tiring for us if not more so.

People have asked me numerous times throughout my life if I would like to be able to walk. For a time; I wanted to. Now, I don't. Why? I wouldn't be who I am. It's that simple.

People also assume that when someone is in a wheelchair that they are paralyzed and cannot move or feel their legs. I understand people make assumptions because they don't know or think they do. I'm guilty of us. But the answer is No, not everyone who is in a wheelchair is paralyzed. Many of us were born with a condition such as Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, Muscular Dystrophy, etc. Or something happened later on in life like MS.

I am not sure if this made any sense whatsoever.. and if it didn't oh well. I'm no different than you. Your no different than me. We are all human! :)

January 2, 2012


It's a new year. 2012. What does that mean for me? It means a new beginning. A clean slate. I am not one for making resolutions because I do not keep them; but there are a few things I would like to do this year if I am able.

  • Attend a concert, it's been several years.
  • Go back to South Carolina. :)
  • Travel to Texas or Louisiana to see some of Michael's family.
  • Keep in better touch with family members not close by; both mine and Michael's.
Those are just the things I can think of right off the top of my head. I am sure more will come along as the year progresses.

My 2012 has started off great. I was able to be with my bestie this year to bring in the new year, as well as another good friend of mine and Michael's. I have a feeling that it is going to be a great year for all of us.

As for the whole 12/21/12 thing: I will admit that it use to freak me out. It took me a long time to get over that. I still don't like to talk about it too much; but I am comfortable.  Just like in '00 when the computers were suppose to blow up; that didn't happen. People have tried to predict the end of the world since before I was born! They haven't hit it yet so I don't think 12/21/12 will be the end of time unless God wills it so. Only He knows when it will end.

I am blessed that I can rest in this:
"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in Heaven, nor the Son, only the Father." Mark 13:32 (NIV).

What are your plans for the new year?

So what are your plans for 2012?