Friday, December 30, 2016

What My Christmas Card Should Have Said This Year

What my Christmas card said this year: “Sending Christmas cheer from a new home this year. “
What it should have said: “Sending Christmas cheer through tears this year.”

December has been rough. 2016 in general was rough.
2016 had a few great moments, (we got our house in the country, we added a new dog to the family and my little bro got engaged to a fabulous girl!) but I'm kinda glad to see 2016 come to an end, as 2016 was also the year my world lost two of the most amazing people. I shed a lot of tears this year, many during the end of March and beginning of July when we lost my grandma and grandpa, but I think I’ve shed more this last month.  

I cried putting up my Christmas tree because I couldn’t find the box that held my grandma’s angel topper. I cried when I heard this song on the radio that really put my feelings in words.

I had not been feeling in the Christmas spirit at all and I couldn't really figure it out.  I blamed it on having just moved and still having so many boxes to unpack and our house not yet feeling like a home.  I heard this song and immediately texted my husband and said, "THIS, this is why I can't get in the Christmas mood.  It's just not this same with out them!"

I woke up Christmas morning knowing I wouldn't be getting a "Merry Christmas" phone call from them and I cried.  I got out of bed and longing to feel close to them I made my grandma's amazing death by chocolate dessert to take to Mat's family Christmas.  I used the bowl that she always used... and I cried.

We went to mass at my in-law's church.  During the opening song I noticed a little cardinal bird they had used to decorate sitting on a door ledge.  I was fine when I only saw the one, but then I looked to the right and saw another sitting on a tree and you guessed it, I cried.  I cried through most the first part of mass and just when I had stopped we got to the prayers of the faithful and father prayed for all those who had died and well I lost it again.  

And I am crying as I sit here writing this thinking about tomorrow.  Tomorrow we will celebrate Christmas with my mom's side of the family and there will most definitely be a void as there will be two less places at the table and two beautiful smiles missing from the pictures.  

I never could have imagined how hard the holidays would be without them. I know my family is not the only one who experienced loss this year. To all who are also walking this journey of firsts without someone special, my heart hurts for you too and I am praying for you!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The 5 P's

One of my New Year's Resolutions this year was to take a few minutes each night to reflect on my day.  While I know most people don't keep their resolutions, I feel this is one I am really going to stick to.  Though I have only been doing it for 22 days, I have already found myself in the habit of it and look forward to it each night.

I made a notebook which I keep on my nightstand and each night I reflect on what I am calling my 5 P's.
Peak - High Point
Pit - Low Point
Praise - What I am thankful for that day
Prospect - What I am looking forward to tomorrow
Prayer - Prayer of the day

It's never much.  I don't write pages, just a phrase or so for each.  I have really found this to be a beneficial practice and I would highly recommend it!  Feel free to steal it and use it!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A "Yay Me" Moment

I am having a little bit of a "Yay Me" Moment.

If you have ever seen the show Suite Life of Zach and Cody, you know what I am talking about.  Throughout the show London Tipton randomly gets all excited and claps her hands while saying "Yay Me!"  I think everyone is allowed a "Yay Me" moment every once in a while, a time to pat yourself on the back and say, "You done good kid!" 

My moment came yesterday when we got back the dreaded school pictures.  This year for the first time in a long time I didn't absolutely hate it!  Usually I look at the picture and see every hair that is out of place and how the lipstick is just not quite the right shade and how my one eye looks smaller than the other.  Looking at the picture this year I see so much more than hair, clothes, makeup and a smile.  This year I see a girl  who is in some crazy place in life where she never saw her self being, and yet is happier than she has ever been.  I see a girl who finally chose to stop making excuses and take control of her life, a girl who is working hard toward her goals, a girl who said that it was time to get rid of the walls she had built and a girl who finally decided to put the Nutrition degree she paid Mizzou a LOT of money for, to better use.  :)

 I see a girl who is 45 lbs lighter than she was 1 year ago!!!

Now I will be the first to admit that weight is just a number and being thinner isn't everything and it isn't the key to happiness.  What I will tell you is  I feel better than I have felt in years, I have more energy and less headaches.  I have more confidence and just more of an all around better outlook on life.  Now, by no means I am calling myself skinny, I actually have about 40lbs to go to reach my goal, which is what my drivers license has said since I was 16 (and it was a lie then.) What I am, is happier and HEALTHIER than I have been in years.  So this is me clapping my hands and saying "Yay me!"  Thanks for giving me this moment!  Have you had a "Yay me" moment lately?  If not, you should!  I will be the first to tell you, "You done good kid!"

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Simple Phrase

It is amazing how a simple phrase can really brighten up an otherwise difficult day!
I had a very ummm....interesting morning at work and at lunch I was honestly just praying for 5:15 so I could go home! 
After lunch I went back to a 3rd grade classroom to talk to a class for a minute.  The teacher introduced me and said this is Miss Bradshaw, she helps at our school etc.  Then one girl in the class said, "She is so pretty," then looked at me and said, "You are so pretty."

My stressful morning didn't matter, the fact that there were still 4 hours left in my day didn't matter.  It was just so great to hear and it really got me thinking,  why don't we tell people they are "so pretty" more often?  Everyone is uniquely beautiful.

We often get so wrapped up in the numbers on the scale, or the size of our jeans, that we forget just how beautiful we are just being us.  I feel like we don't tell each other that we are beautiful often enough. Sometimes we all just need a little reminder.

So I have been inspired by a beautiful nine year old girl, who's name I don't even know.  Since I am challenging myself to leave my mark on the world and Leave nothing less than something that says I was here,  I am creating a Leave Nothing Less challenge for the month of September.  I am going to tell at least one person a day that they are beautiful.  I challenge you to do the same.  Maybe we can make the world a little better place one "You're beautiful" or "You look fabulous today" at a time!

"The King is enthralled by your beauty." ~Psalm 45:11

Thursday, February 17, 2011

It Led Me to This

I just got attack group hugged by my entire Tiger Club Class in the hallway.  Tiger Club is our after school program and I teach two nights a week.  Tonight was not my night to teach, but as I was leaving the building my kids were standing in the hallway and they all just swarmed and surrounded me in a huge group hug that was filled with so much love.  It's moments like that that really make me thank God for having a plan for me.

I am such a person who wants to be in control and I am a major planner.  I was never supposed to be a teacher.  Actually, I am pretty sure growing up with a teacher for a mother I said I would NEVER be a teacher.  My plan was to go to pharmacy school.  There I would meet and fall in love with another pharmacist, because 90% of pharmacists marry other pharmacists.  We would own our own pharmacy and have little pharmacy babies and live happily ever after.  That was my dream and I was quite devastated when I discovered that I didn't like pharmacy school and I really didn't enjoy working in a pharmacy.

When I left pharmacy school I was Pre-med, then Pre-Physical Therapy, then Pre-Occupational Therapy. I finally graduated with a degree in nutrition, but really didn't know what I was going to do with it.
Some where along the line though I fell in love with ministry.  That's why I am working on my masters in Theology.  And this teaching job... well I kind of just fell into it and it has been one of the best things of my life over the last few years.

I don't regret going to pharmacy school, or transferring schools two times, or changing my major four.  Those are the things that have shaped me and helped me become the person I am today, the person I will be.  Those things led me to this!

I promise that not all my post will be about songs, but music is a huge part of my life. I heard this song for the first time this past weekend .
It is called "This" by Darius Rucker.

I don't really know how I got here
But I'm so glad that I did
And it's crazy to think that one little thing
Could have changed all of this
Maybe it didn't turn out like I planned
Maybe that's why I'm such, such a lucky man

Every stoplight I didn't make
Every chance I did or I didn't take
All the nights I went too far
All the girls that broke my heart
All the doors that I had to close
All the things I knew but I didn't know
Thank God for all I missed
Cause it led me here to this

So here I am working in a job I said I would never do and studying a subject that never even crossed my mind, but I am happier than ever and I know that these things are part of what is shaping and molding me now for the future.  They are leading me to what I will be 5, 10, 20 years from now.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Leave Nothing Less Than Something - What it means

I guess I should start off with what it means.  "Leave Nothing Less" that is...There is this song, I Was Here by Lady Antebellum, here is the chorus.
I wanna do something that matters
Say something different
Something that sets the whole world on its ear
I wanna do something better
With the time I've been given
And I wanna try
To touch a few hearts in this life
Leave nothing less
Than something that says “I was here”
This song just really says what I feel. I feel I was put here to do something more than just go through the 
motions of each day. I feel I was put here to do something full of greatness. What great thing? That I don't 
know. Maybe, like the song says, I'll write a book like Mark Twain, paint like Van Gogh, cure the common 
cold, or compose symphonies. Or maybe I won't do any of those things, especially paint, since my art skills 
are quite.... well - horrendous.  

Maybe my great thing is something not so great. Great as in large, that is. 
Maybe I'm supposed to do something smaller. Maybe that something won't 
 make a difference to the whole world, maybe just to a few, but as long as it makes a 
difference to at least one, I will call it a success. One of my favorite stories is about the 
starfish thrower. If you don't know what I am talking about check it out here. (They have 
author unknown, but it is an excerpt of an essay by Loren Eiseley called "The Star Thrower")

So while maybe I am not being called to cure cancer or be the next Oprah, this is what I know.  I know that I was called to be an intern for Susan G. Komen for the Cure - St. Louis and be a part of the 10th anniversary St. Louis Race for the Cure - the biggest 5k in the world!  I know that when my future children are studying Hurricane Katrina in history class, I will be able to say that I was called to spend spring break of my freshman year of college, gutting houses in the lower ninth ward, leaving my mark on NOLA.  Lastly, I know that this year I am being called to be working at an elementary school, trying to make a difference in the lives of a few nine, ten and eleven year olds.  "I wanna try to touch a few hearts in this life.  LEAVE NOTHING LESS THAN SOMETHING that says I was here."  I don't know where life is going to take me, all I know is that my goal is to leave my mark on the world. 

This blog will probably be pretty random because... well because I am a pretty random person.  I have many different hobbies.  I like to bake and this year I am going to attempt cake decorating.  I also like to do random crafty things, especially if they involve getting to use power tools, :)  I also really like photography.  
So - random - this blog will be full of randomness, but that is me, and that is the mark I will leave.  The nothing less than something to say I was here!