Pay Back

Over the past few days I had the opportunity to spend quite a bit of time with my grandma. For those of you who follow our blog, you may have seen a post about her declining health a month or so ago. Just to give you an update on that – she’s still hanging in there. 🙂

For Mother’s Day, I offered to have my grandma stay with us. Generally, my grandma lives with my parents and brothers, about 2.5 hours from where I live. My mom was gracious enough to drive my 80 year old granny up here Sunday afternoon. I ended up taking her home yesterday (Tuesday) because she was getting a little worried about her pets.

She talks a lot, can only hear half of what is said, takes about 30 pills a day, and has to use a cane, walker, or wheel chair to navigate anywhere. She called me several times at work, fell getting out of the shower, and asked me to paint her nails about 12 times before I gave her a full mani and pedi. We worked on a puzzle, with little to no progress, watched Walker Texas Ranger and grilled her wild Hawaiian marlin for dinner.

At the Precipice of her visit I took a step back to reflect on everything she’s done for me. (Or at the very least some of the things I can remember.) I’ve spent countless nights sleeping in her bed, having her take me to McDonald’s for ice cream, getting midnight snacks, and forcing her to watch cartoons. I’ve been a pain in her ass for about 26 years and so now it’s my turn. Anything I wanted I got. Anything I needed she had. Everything I want to be as a grandma is wrapped up in the little package that I call my own.

Pay back can come in a million forms…but mine comes with blue eyes and a sweet smile. She truly is one in a million and I’m thankful for her each and every day. Although her short term memory is fading I know she did have fun and she won’t forget the important parts of our visit together. I’d do every week if I had the time to drive and get her. My parents have given the last 11 years of their lives to care for her and now it’s my turn to give a little of my own.

I know a lot of people have similar experiences with their loved ones. Sometimes they aren’t always pretty but it’s always worth trying to find the good. (Or the great.)

Love Controls Me

If you look at the spokes of a tire or the hands of a clock you see the central mechanism and what it’s pointing to. The center controls the movement. Looking at your own life, you probably have many things that you work toward or care about. Each of those items can be listed as a spoke on your own wheel or a number on your clock.

When you begin to reflect on each of those items, what do they look like? What do you have listed? Mine are probably family, friends, work, my animals, my boyfriend, my home, my religion, fitness, overall health, travel, books…etc. Those are clearly all things that I care about, not necessarily in that order. I think the center of my world revolves around love. Love controls my actions, emotions, needs, and wants.

I love my family and my friends, my boyfriend, and my job (most of the time), I love to read and explore new places. Strip away all the things that you work for and all the things that are important to you. Now, what would you have left?  Is it a noble cause? …like family or faith?  Or is it something a little more deep rooted? …like wealth? …or like pride?

We all want to be our own master. Typically, however, something is the master of us. You just need to figure out what that is to really Control  it.

Something New

Throughout my days, whether it’s at work, home, or hanging out with friends, I find myself trying to learn something. There’s always something to take away. There’s also plenty to give.

My days are typically filled with work – from working out, to actually going to the job that pays me, sending or receiving emails, trying to network with rescue organizations, and beyond, I’m always working on something.  I’ve learned a lot from the younger people who work for me…and I’ve learned a ton from the older ones, too. It’s interesting to subjects from another lense.

I’d say that overall I’m a realist. I have realistic views, expectations, and hopes for the future. I’m not asking for or seeking perfection: but I want to see people trying. Trying is often times different than doing – but sometimes all you can ask is that people are trying.

Working in the pet food industry has taught me a lot. Managing people has taught me even more. Doing my best to gain something from everyone has shown me a lot about life. Having wonderful friends and a supportive family has certainly helped along the way. I challenged myself to create time to write something today. Something. Anything. …to try to be part of this blogging experience with a great friend. …to try to pull my weight, or at least part of it. The longer I sit the more emails flood through. Questions, comments, concerns, things that require fairly immediate action, others that just want my opinion on what to do or how to do it.

Yesterday, I learned about plasma and just how cool and helpful it is. Today, I’ve learned (and really have known for a while) that good friends truly are a dime a dozen. My co-author has carried the weight and the work of this blog since conception. I am thankful for her and I learn from her and about her everyday from this opportunity.

What are you learning about today? Is it something new? …perhaps it’s something you’ve known and are revisiting. Share it with us so we can all learn together! 🙂



I’m going “Home” this weekend – which means I’ll pack up my three dogs, maybe my boyfriend (if he’s lucky) and I’ll make the three hour drive down south. My hometown is full of big trucks, football games, corn fields, and southern slang. It’s where I grew up, went to high school, had my first kiss, played sports and made some of my best friends.

It’s strange to me now. I don’t know the people like I used to. The shops have changed and so have the restaurants. Even the schools have been rebuilt and moved on. My name, my mom’s name, and my brother’s names are still etched into the walls and on plaques and trophies that line the halls. I set records and broke them in both swimming and soccer. My mom coached. I skipped school, had snow days, and stayed after to serve dinners for fund raising events.

Now, I walk into the massive gym for basketball games and see my last name written on banners, on t-shirts, and on the backs of jerseys. I get choked up watching my brothers play football and basketball. I’m proud of their accomplishments on and off the field. I go home to support them, teach them, and love them.

I enjoy my own house and my pets and my neighborhood. I love living in a new town – that’s still small. …but I love being close to so many other great things. Big cities with great restaurants, sporting events, and theaters were not things I grew up around. They are things that I want my future children to have access to, however. So, now, at 25, I am attempting to convince my parents to move up north.

Home is where the heart it…or where my dogs are…I don’t really know. To me…my home is where family trumps everything. My friends come to visit and are welcomed with open arms. Maybe you trip over an extra pair of shoes or dog toys but that’s my life and what I love. Maybe there’s take out pizza on the counter because we’re all too busy to eat at once. …but we aren’t too busy to play games, or sit in bed with grandma until late at night.

Home is where you have Secrets and share them…but most importantly where you keep them. Heart break is mended, depression is squashed, and a shoulder to cry on is just a room away.

…so whether my home is here or there, I can feel it anywhere.

Living With a Workaholic

I often find myself thinking how unfair it is that I live with someone who works so much. …by so much I mean 6 days a week 4 AM – 6/7 PM. He runs his family business – in the produce industry.

What’s normal for them is outrageous to most people. It also means phone calls at all hours, late nights in the home office, having several home phone lines,  midday naps, and watching virtually anything past 9 PM on my own.

There are some things I must admit: I have a nice house, I drive a nice car, and I’m overall very blessed. So, is it really that unfair? (I also work full time…or a little more than what the average “full time” employee works.) Is it unfair or am I selfish? Am I being selfish of his time and energy? …am I jealous of all the phone calls that he fields when I can hardly get a text back from him?

Sometimes I can’t pinpoint it. Sometimes we argue about it.

…but when I sit and reflect on it I begin to understand how happy I truly am to have someone willing to work so hard for me. A lot of couples have tension over money or debt. We have a hard time deciding where to go on vacation – or better yet, when we can both get away to take a vacation. …the latest debacle was over whether to buy a hot tub or wave runner.

In the grand scheme of things I am thankful, grateful, and in awe of his hard work and dedication to our family. He brings home the bacon so I can make it.