Friday, July 31, 2009


Last night I attended a funeral. The ex wife of one of my cousins died at the age of 41. In my family, once you are are ALWAYS family (TRUST me on this one!! I have to deal with this fact with a few old boyfriends that became "part of the family" one can just let it go already!) Anyhoo-No one wants to go to a funeral...but I am glad that I did. The church was packed to overflowing with our family and her friends. I have to be very careful how I word what I am about to bare with me please. As I sat in the church last night, and I looked heart became broken for the lost souls that were there. I saw the tears that they cried for the loss of their loved one and I became burdened for them. Part of me knew that they were not just crying because of their loss....but also because the realization that they are headed down the very same path that ultimately buried their friend. Unfortunately, I did not get to stay for the entire funeral, but in my heart I was hoping that there would be a call for repentance within the service. I have heard so many people speak as though "she got what she deserved"....and the truth is, I may have felt that way at one time too. But God has softened my heart and I can see that someone who lives with addiction, lives a life pain. They use, whatever it is that they use, to escape the pain. I have been blessed, sheltered really. I have never been in the shoes of an addict, but everyone has experienced pain and hurt. Can't we try to look beyond the addiction and see the pain?

Being at the funeral and seeing all the lost souls gave me a new burden for the lost. A new urgency to do all that I can do to snatch their souls from the grips of Satan and keep them from an eternity of torment in Hell.

If any of my readers would like to contact me, my email address is please do not hesitate to send me an email if you have any questions about where YOU stand with God. None of us are promised tomorrow-but you can have the security of KNOWING where you will spend eternity!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Doc report

Today I went to the doctor to get the results of the echo cardiogram. The news was GREAT! I was so relieved! She said that I have "mild regurgitation" (where the blood leaks back into the heart, instead of being pushed out all the way), but apparently it is not anything to worry about! I have to go back on Friday to get a "holter heart monitor" and wear it for 24 hours...just to be "safe". That just gives them a more detail report on my heart and the palpitations. Anyhoo...the doc gave me the "all clear" to go ahead with my "plans". I am SOOOO excited and relieved! Thanks for all the prayers!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

I know that I am the WORST blogger EVER lately!! I am really sorry about that....things are just crazy right now (then again...aren't they always?!).

Anyhoo, one tip: Publix has starkist frozen fish BOGO this week ($5.99 each)-use 2 $3.00 off MQs and they are free!

Tomorrow I am getting my echo cardiogram tests results back. I am a little nervous about that, mostly because I am depending on a good report so I can proceed with some other plans! My heart seems to be doing better I am praying it continues to keep getting better! I have "mitral valve prolapse" (MVP), which is fairly common and not at all threatening......unless.... . My symptoms started getting really bad about 3 or 4 months ago, when I was going through some MAJOR stress. It got a little better as my stress level went down, but it never really recovered all the way to back where it was. Then, the last couple of weeks it got bad again for some reason.....probably a little stress and a LOT of excitement! Anyhoo-I get those results tomorrow and I am gonna let out a sigh of relief when the doc gives me the "all clear"!

Spencer is going to Tanya's house to play with her son , Ryan, in the morning. The Brooke and I are gonna run some errands, have a Mom/daughter lunch, go to the doc and then grocery shopping (if I can fit that in before I have to have Spencer at APD therapy!). Gonna be a busy but fun and exciting day! Maddie is at my "in laws" tonight, she is spending the night there and her grandpa is taking her on a boat ride down the river tomorrow! She is very excited about that...but we miss her here at home!! Her dog, scruffy, was CRYING tonight when I asked him where Maddie was!! It was so sweet...and sad! She loves that dog and he loves her just as much!

I will be sure to post the good news that I plan on hearing from the doc tomorrow!! Hope you are all having an awesome summer!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Pics from the wedding

I shot a wedding on a yacht Saturday. The bride was beautiful! The families were very friendly and welcoming! I was treated more like a guest than the "hired help". The bride was incredibly sweet, she kept asking me if I needed anything, she insisted that I sit and eat at the table with her best friend (who was also very friendly!). It was a very good experience!
I did realize that I may not be as ready to go back to work as I thought! Weddings are especially hard on me. Long hours...lots of standing, bending, lifting (that camera weighs a TON!). Anyhoo, I finished editing the pics yesterday. It did not take me nearly as long as it used to...and I took nearly 800 pics!

Today I am driving to Tampa, I have a doc appt at USF/TGH. I really hate driving to Tampa! I SHOULD be able to get there and back with my "eyes closed" much as I have driven it, but I always seem to get lost!

I just wanted to share a few pics from the wedding! Hope you are all having a wonderful Wednesday....(is it WEDNESDAY...already!)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Today has been a hectic day...too much to do....not enough time to do it in.....and too worn out! Anyhoo...tomorrow I am shooting a wedding on a yacht......that should be interesting! I have not done a wedding since my back surgery. Weddings are a LOT of work, but I enjoy being a part of such a special day and giving a couple a way to remember their day forever! Thankfully this wedding will only be about 7 hours of shooting, and I can edit from my Dormia next week! I wish I had an assistant to come along and help carry all the equipment!

I can hardly believe that on August 5th I will be ONE YEAR post op!!! Time flys when you are havin' fun....huh? I go for my post op appt on August 3rd. I am feeling a bit nervous about that. I am PRAYING that I am 100% fused so there is NO reason to re-do the surgery!! Last year the surgeon told me that he may remove the screws when I was one year post op.....but unless he feels that it HAS to be done then I am gonna just leave them all alone!! God knows that I do not want to go through that again!!

There has been a WHOOOOOLE lot going on in my life these past few months. My life has been crazy! I am excited about some of the changes, mourning the loss of some things, but confident that I am doing what is best for me and my family at this time. I have learned so much about myself and who I am deep inside. You know what I realize is that I take the blame (or put blame on myself) when I SHOULD be standing up for myself. I always thought I was the type of person who would not let anyone "push me around"....but in reality I have allowed myself to be pushed around most of my life....without even knowing it! I know that there is a time to be respectful, quiet, and gentle....but I have allowed "stuff" to be turned around on me and taken the blame for things that I had every reason to be mad, upset, hurt over. I am REALLY working hard on getting over the "guilt complex" that have carried around my whole life. It is both liberating and devastating. Not everyone wants to hear what I have to say, and NO one wants to take the blame for ANYthing! So, if I give up the guilt.....that means someone else has to face their own "issues" and take responsibility. That is a hard pill to swallow. Does that make sense? Brett has been a huge help with trying to support me through this "journey", he has encouraged me to "let go" of the guilt and he has validated my feelings about many things. I am also grateful for my Pastor's wife, Sister Susan. She has embraced me, she has listened to me and she has been an awesome "sounding board". She has also made me feel validated in MANY things! One day I hope to get to the point where I just trust myself and let go of the guilt and validate myself!
Anyhoo....I really need to take a shower already! I worked out this morning and it is now 3:30 pm and I have still not had time to shower...yuck! I still have lots to get ready for the wedding tomorrow. If you think of it, say a prayer for me!! I will need God's strength and creativity to get through the day!

Monday, July 13, 2009

This past week Krystal, my 15 yr old cousin, came and stayed with us. It was really nice to spend time with her and to see the kids getting to know and love her! We played a lot of Wii fit and hung out at home a lot. One thing that we did was visit our grandpa's, grandma's and uncle's graves. Two of the graves are not marked so the kids made a little marker to put at their grave sites.

Yesterday was Brooke's b-day! I can hardly believe that she is 13 years old!! WHERE did the time go?? I am so proud of the young lady that she has become though. She really is a special young woman! Anyhoo..I wanted to check in and share some pics!
Maddie let the girls mark on her face with PERMANENT marker!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

two tips

Here are 2 tips for the week...
Publix has A1 sauce BOGO ($4.00)...use 2- $2.00 off MQs=FREE
Walgreen's has Starbucks ice cream BOGO ($4.79)...use 2-$2.00 off MQs=.79 cents for 2! (thanks Michelle)

Monday, July 6, 2009

checking in!

Had a great 4th...hope you all did too! Right now my 15 year old cousin-Krystal- is staying with us. We have enjoyed spending time with her.....although, I wonder if we will not scare her away with all the craziness that this house holds! Tonight we had a water fight while doing dishes...that spray thing on the sink, a water gun a few water bottles.........we were all soaked-...everyone but Krystal! I did manage to get her a little bit...but she sat in a chair while we were being crazy and mostly just looked at us like we belonged in the looney bin! Anyhoo....I am getting ready to drop Maddie off at her friend's and pick up a family movie. Just wanted to check in!

BTW-Finn was dedicated at church yesterday. My cousin's husband-Kenny, did the dedication and it was none I have ever seen! Here are some pics!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Today I am doing one of my least favorite things.....going to the mall with a mission. Don't get me wrong..I LOVE to shop...I just hate shopping knowing I can't actually BUY anything...(but the one thing that we need for one of the kids). I am glad to have my credit cards paid off.....but I am fondly remembering the days when I could pull out the plastic when I found that "perfect" top that was "dirt cheap". Of most people know, it is a much different feeling when the bill comes in the mail so, for that reason, I will be stick to the plan...get in and get out ......and try to do it with my eyes CLOSED! :)

Update: my insurance company called me yesterday to tell me that they are sending my records to an "independent board certified plastic surgeon" to get a 2nd opinion. they have an additional 2 weeks to give me an answer. As far as my tummy tuck goes.....I am SO frustrated...angry......depressed......................, but I have had to spend the money I had saved on bills! Urrrrrr!(with the exception of a deposit that I may have to return to a client, if she doesn't have her wedding as planned-but even that has a "chunk" missing!). I guess the thing that makes me most angry/frustrated is that paying those bills did not make any difference! It did not even get us caught up all the way! I worked so hard to save every dollar that I saved-and I feel like I have nothing to show for it...of course, except a car to drive, house to live in....for at least one more month.
Anyhoo....I am done pouting now.....but none the less.....unless a "golden brick" falls from "heaven" I do not see how it is possible for me to get the tummy tuck.
A small part of me STILL wants to be the selfish one and do it anyway.....but knowing how bad our financial situation is right now....I doubt I can go through with it. I guess it depends on what the insurance company comes back with.