Monday, January 23, 2012

Burn, Baby, Burn

Some of you may remember this post when I talked about a diet I was starting for health reasons. Well, I relapsed and let's just say that Christmas left me begging for my life. Or a Motrin. Or 90. So, I'm back on the wagon and FOR GOOD. I learned my lesson. With that said, last time I only gave up dairy, sweets and caffeine. Only. :)  This time, I'm giving up red meat and I'm *trying* to give up wheat, too. I wasn't sure how this would go over with my hubby whose picture you will find if you look up "carnivore" in the dictionary. But let me tell you, he has totally jumped on board with this diet. You know I've wallowed in pain and been totally useless (and maybe a bit moody) when Josh is googling this diet and going to the grocery store for me. For me the only way I can stick with it is 1. Trail mix. Raisins suddenly taste like cheesecake when you give up sweets. 2. Celery with peanut butter. It's my new crack. 3. Lots of fruits and veggies that are easy for me to grab and go.  Well, apparently Josh's way of coping with this diet was a turkey. A 23 pound turkey y'all!!!!

*Let me just stop here and tell you that this is two times the size of the turkey we fried when we spent Thanksgiving  with my sister and FED 9 people!!!!*

So anyway, I really like turkey and apparently Josh does, too. :)  I stayed home from church yesterday feeling like snot  not feeling so great and Josh asked if I would check on the turkey and remove some of the foil so it could cook on top. Ok. I could do that. Surely I could drag myself off the couch for 5 minutes. Well, let me tell you.....I did as I was asked to do. But it turns out the pan the turkey was on wasn't quite big enough for it. The juices started overflowing and before I knew it, the entire kitchen and dining room were full of smoke. I opened the kitchen window and headed back to the couch. If I was not in my first day of caffeine withdrawal I probably would have come up with a way to fix the problem, but I was in fact on day one of caffeine withdrawal and I was perfectly content to sit in a smoke filled house as long as I could sit. Or lay. 

About 30 minutes later Kate was the first one to come in the door. She was barefoot. "Where are your shoes?" I asked. She answered, "Daddy has them. My feet were hot."  Oh. Well that makes sense. Don't we all take our shoes off at church if our feet get hot????? She then made her way to the kitchen where she proceeded to say, "HOLY SMOKE!" About that time the rest of the gang came in and started waving their arms and asking what was going on. Eli started yelling, "STOP, DROP AND ROLL!!!!" Josh started opening more windows. And doors. That led to Kate walking outside and announcing that she saw Bigfoot over at the church. Then Eli suggested getting out the peanut butter to trap him. And that made me want some more celery with peanut butter. But first we needed to eat some turkey. :)

Photo courtesy of Kansas Fire Equipment Co., Inc.
Gift idea for the Fidlers-family packs of fire extinguishers and an extra set for guests.....

Friday, January 20, 2012


We were loading up in the Jeep when Josh asked Kate if she wanted him to tell me about her day or if she wanted to tell me. Uh-oh. You may remember from this post that the last time a conversation started this way, it wasn't a good thing. My stomach started turning and Josh started telling me that when he picked Kate up her teacher wanted to talk to him. At this point I was on edge. Way back a decade ago when I began the journey of motherhood it never occurred to me I would have to worry about teachers wanting to talk to us about anything bad. Because you know, my kids were going to be perfect. :)  Well, almost 10 years and 3 kids later, I was worried! To build the suspense and DRIVE ME CRAZY, we stopped to get a drink at Mr. Cheap Butts and Josh told me he would tell me what she wanted to talk about after he got our stuff. AGHHH!!!!! It was driving me nuts. I started trying to pry it out of Kate, but all she would tell me was, "I didn't get paddled today."  Well, at least that was a relief. Finally, Josh returned and I gave him .5 seconds to get in the vehicle and tell me what happened. He started telling me that when he got there Kate was looking for her folder and Mrs. B. had it because she wanted to talk to him. I frantically grabbed Kate's backpack looking for her folder. Did she get a frowny face??? And who knew that as a 31 year old woman I would be so concerned over the idea of getting a frowny face? After dragging this story out for EVER, Josh told me that basically Kate's teacher was really impressed with some testing she's been doing and she wanted us to know that Kate is really smart and she was amazed at how quick she picks stuff up. *sigh of relief*

You might think that this information caused me to swell with pride. Well, maybe a little. But it also caused me to pause and realize how far I've come (or fallen, however you want to look at it.)  The truth is, with Sarah I knew she was brilliant and advanced and I had two sets of grandparents confirming my beliefs. I had the normal parental expectations for greatness. Now, after having made the decision to hold a child back a grade and having another paddled before she even starts going to school for a full day, I just hold my breath and hope we get through the day. And I had to laugh a little because the day before this happened, my friend Philip had sent me a message with the word of the day: 
January 17, 2012 Urban Word of the Day
The one-up rivalry that moms play making their child seem better, smarter, and/ or more advanced than yours. May involve two or more moms and any number of children, even full-grown.
She engaged me in mompetition insisting her son walked at 6 months and implying my son was slow for his age

Okay Moms, show of hands. Have you ever been part of a mompetition? I think we all have. Being the slacker that I am, I dropped out early. I am not one of the awesome moms who kept perfect records of every milestone of their children. I remember that Sarah sat up by herself when she was 5 months, only because it happened on Christmas Day. I remember that Eli and Kate both started walking before they were 1, not because I was thrilled that they were advanced, but because by then I knew that life is never the same once your child becomes mobile and that you never sit down again once it happens. And I like to sit down a lot.

Unfortunately, mompetition doesn't end once the physical developments of infancy do. It just changes. It turns into whose child makes the honor roll, whose child has the cutest clothes or whose child is the most talented, creative, athletic, etc. You find yourself doing things like building huge veggie trees because your child always ends up in classes with the children of "that" mom who runs a bakery and always makes the best goodies for class parties. Wait, is that just me?

I am competitive by nature. Just ask anyone who has played against me in Wii bowling. :) And I think that healthy competition is a good thing. There is a time and a place for it. I've had to realize though, being a mom isn't one of those times. For two reasons. First, my kids are real, live people with their own thoughts, feelings, abilities and personalities. It's not fair to expect them to be a certain way because another child is, or to use their achievements or awesomeness to bolster my self-esteem. Not their job. The second reason is that we as moms DO NOT  need something else to stress about. Am I right, here? I mean really, between sleep deprivation, picky eaters, sick days, homework, and trying to find a way to get fingernail polish out of the carpet, who needs more pressure? 

Here's what I've recently realized that I wish I had realized 9 years ago. This is not a contest. There will be no trophies or ribbons presented to us upon high school graduation. It will not matter how early our child rolled over or if they were the first kid in their class to learn to tie their shoes. It will matter that instead of being taught to compete with their classmates they learned to love them and appreciate each of them for the special qualities and talents they possess. It will matter that they learn to value themselves as unique and special rather than running themselves ragged trying to win the next award or be the top of the class. It will matter that they learn to work with people instead of against them. 

And that brings me to the greatest downfall of  mompetition. In a time in our lives when we need all of the support and encouragement we can get, we tear each other apart with jealousy, snootiness and one upmanship. I just read this great blog post and I thought it brought out something none of us wants to admit. That there is a part of us that wants people to be jealous or to look at us and think we are the mom who has it all together.  We've all been part of that conversation where "that mom" is praised for whatever reason, be it that she cooks all organic meals or that she can wear skinny jeans. But the truth is that at the end of the day, even the mom in skinny jeans doesn't have it all together. 

I'm pretty sure I gave up my nomination for "that mom" as soon as I started blogging. Sometimes I wish I could go back and start over and only blog about our sweet moments or post pretty pictures. But, by now y'all know me well enough to know I do good to get any pictures!! Personally, I'm waving the white (slightly yellowing and wrinkled because it stayed in the laundry pile too long) flag of surrender on the competition thing. If you need a mom to be greatly impressed with or to inspire you with educational activities and healthy snack ideas, I'm probably not for you. But if you need a place to go to feel better about yourself, I'm your girl. There is no perfection here. Just lots of learning lessons the hard way, trying to love the good AND the bad, laughing when it's funny and crying when it's not. 

I'm going to finish by telling you something that Eli did that really made me think. Every week since school started he had been making 100's on his spelling test and I would proudly display them on the refrigerator. Well, one Friday I had been busy and hadn't checked his folder. I walked past the fridge and noticed he had already put his spelling test up. But something was different. No 100/A this week. Nope. It was a 67/D. I was in shock. A little disappointed. Then, it hit me. Eli didn't realize I had been putting those tests up there because of how proud I was of his grade. He just thought I was proud of him. And you know what? I am. I'm just proud of him. Of course, it's not okay for him to make that grade every week, but he hasn't. He's gone back to his A's. But it is important that my kids know I'm still going to love them and be proud of them, even on an off week. Especially on an off week. Moms are the same way. Sometimes those off weeks are when we really need the most love and encouragement. Sometimes us moms are the only ones who really get that. Let's stop the mompetition and instead of using our knowledge and experience to brag or beat each other up, let's use it to hug, support, educate and hold each other's hands on this journey. From what I hear, it's not going to get any easier!!!!!!! But we have great reasons to persevere and cheer each other on!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Preachers Get All The Women

In case you think that little kids are the only ones who say the darnedest things, let me assure you, they are not. I could write a book about my experience working with Hospice if it weren't for the confidentiality and the fact that I was so incredibly sleep deprived during those days that I know I've forgotten more than I'll ever remember. But, there are a few of my patients and a few encounters with them that I will never forget. Ever.

The first made the comment that inspired the title for this post. I had a, how should I put it? I had an  amorous man for a patient that on occasion would ask me to leave my husband and marry him. Before you start thinking this is cute, let me tell you he begged his nurse, too. He wasn't my only hospice patient lookin' for love. I had quite a few men who ranged from sweetly flirty to deeply creepy and disturbing. I will say this, for most of these guys who were home bound I was the best looking thing around. Sad, yes. But I will be honest and tell you that I desperately depended on their compliments to offset the painfully honest older women I visited who would tell me things like, "Your hips just keep spreadin' and spreadin'." My self-esteem has still not recovered from the roller coaster of hospice work. :)  Anyway, when the flirtations would begin to turn creepy and disturbing I would pull out all the stops to dissuade it.  Being married and pregnant or postpartum most of my working career was no obstacle to these lonely men. They would offer to take in my kids, too.  I would usually break down and confide that my husband was a preacher and it probably wouldn't look great for the preacher's wife to move in with another man. Some guys seemed to take it as a personal challenge to flirt with me more. One patient just said in frustration, "Preacher's get all the women!" Josh and I still laugh at that declaration four years later.  Poor Josh, all he got was me. :)

I didn't always tell my patients that I was a preacher's wife. I wasn't actually supposed to share very much about my personal life, but I'll be honest. It's hard to go into people's homes at least once a month, sometimes more and learn very personal details about every part of their life without disclosing some things about myself. I learned that the fact that I was a preacher's wife would be met with 2 distinct reactions. People either LOVED that I was a preacher's wife or, they weren't so thrilled. Let's face it, people usually either love or hate preachers. It's just how it is. Well, I still remember a patient who had a not so thrilled reaction when he learned I was a preacher's wife. I have to set the scene for you. As Sophia from "The Golden Girls" would say: Picture it. Waynesboro, Mississippi. 2007. I was 7 months pregnant and it was July. It was hot as all get out. I got papers telling me I had a new patient. I was warned by the home health aid that the yard was very overgrown and there were probably snakes and that snakes are drawn to pregnant women. (It's why I haven't gotten pregnant again. :)  I had never been given a patient in this town and soon learned that it was an hour drive. I made the drive and trekked through the yard as fast as my big ol' pregnant self could move and was welcomed into a home that would make a great episode of Hoarders. I don't say that judgmentally. Believe me, it was not the only house I went into in that condition. I made myself a space and sat down to begin my assessment. It was a very sweet lady who was living with her brother in law who would later be put on our service as well. He sat in the corner and grunted. He was nice enough to show me the gun he kept hidden in his sock. I felt so safe. There is nothing like a dementia patient with a weapon. Anyway, my sweet patient answered my questions and as we got to the spiritual assessment she told me that the gun totin' grunter in the corner was a deacon. I thought that meant it would be safe to share that I was a preacher's wife. I thought wrong. He was quick to tell me "All preacher's care about is money!" Can I just tell you now, I was not in the mood for that particular response. It took everything in my being not to go off on him and tell him that that was exactly why I was out driving hours a day in record heat while I was on the verge of popping out a baby, because my husband was all about the money. Nevermind that we had taken a 50% pay cut when we went into ministry. And that was with me working. I was a tad furious with him. I knew he had dementia and was not in his right mind, but I also knew that his words represented exactly how many, many people feel. I know, because he's not the only one who has made that kind of comment around me or Josh.

Again, I don't really like talking about money. All I'm going to say is that NOTHING in my life has offended me more than people implying that Josh and I went into ministry or have made other choices in our life based on money. For one, if you checked our bank account, you would just laugh at that idea anyway. Two, as imperfect and flawed as Josh and I are, the one thing we have prayed and cried and agonized over is being where God wants us to be. Regardless of how hard that might be. Regardless of what it might mean for us financially. Regardless of what it means for us emotionally, mentally, spiritually or socially. 

I share this, because while we do not do ministry for the money, there are often times when it can feel very unrewarding. There are times when you begin to question if it is worth the sacrifices you've made. If it is worth the time you invest. If it's worth knowing that 97% of people don't truly get what your life is all about or why God is such a big deal to you. You go to bed and wonder if makes a difference in even 1 persons life that you've chosen the road of ministry. Because really, if it's not even making a difference in 1 persons life, maybe we should go back to our plan A, which meant a lot more money, security, and comfort for us. 

We don't have a huge church. We don't lead big conferences or write books. We have a sweet little congregation that longs to be revived and see it's community changed by the light of Jesus. We have wise, seasoned believers and we have kids who come from homes that redefine most people's idea of "broken". We have a community of addicts, mentally ill, physically handicapped, and spiritually blind people. We have a neighborhood with old, run down houses with tenants who move frequently. We live in a community where when you tell people where you live they say, "Oh" and you know what that means. There are some wonderful people who live here and they will tell you that the neighborhood is not what it used to be. There are countless kids who are neglected and hungry, in more ways than one. 

Those kids are the reason that I feel more sense of purpose than I have ever felt in my life. From the day we moved in those kids found their way to our house. I know it's because of my kids, not anything Josh or I have done. Most of those kids have already moved away, but one boy has become our 4th child. Our doorbell rings every school day at 2:45 without fail and most Saturdays about 10:00. (We had to have a little discussion about what time he showed up on Saturdays!!) He's eaten many meals with us, suffered through playroom and bedroom clean-up, gone to church with us, watched movies with us, and even gotten us in trouble with neighbors. :)  I struggled when he first started coming around. He's older than my kids. At first we thought he was completely rude because he would not speak to me or Josh and then we learned that he had some mental and developmental challenges. He was loud. He smelled bad. During the summer he would come to our house wearing the same clothes for days on end. He needed a haircut. I'm telling you the truth when I tell you I had to really pray that God would help me love this kid. I would get mad at his parents. They would drop him off and not be home when we would take him home hours later, after our kid's bedtimes. We would see his mom out places and she wouldn't even acknowledge us. He's spent so much time at our house that he's seen it all. He's seen me hollerin' at my kids, and not the "we're out in public so I'll pretend I have patience" hollerin', the "I feel like snot, I'm miserable and y'all are driving me crazy" hollerin'. I can't tell you how many times I've figured that I scared him off for good. But I'll never forget the day I said something about being mean and he said, "You're not mean. You're nice." And I wondered how much worse he had seen in his life. I remember the first time I heard him really laugh and I wondered if he laughed when he was at his house. I remember the first night he went to church with us and I realized his mental challenges when he couldn't find the right page in the hymnal. 

Well, I have to tell you. God has worked in his life. It's the only way to explain it. He is a different kid. He looks different. You know how God changes some people and they just look different? And while I hope that our family has been a positive influence in his life, I know only God can get the glory for the kind of change I've seen in him and his family. His Mom speaks and waves to us. She smiles, something I never saw her do for over a year. He ate supper with us tonight and the kids went to watch TV while Josh and I sat at the table and talked. I looked and saw him in the middle of my kids and I realized, I love him. Like he's my own. And my heart did little flip flops of happiness about the work God has done on my stubborn little heart.  

We didn't see him much over Christmas break and again I worried I had done something to upset him. But, as soon as school started back, he was back. And this time, he brought us something. One of the greatest gifts I've ever received.
It's a jar with cookie mix. Josh said I can never make them, we just have to save it. :)  I know that this may mean very little to most of you, but for us, it was like being given a million dollars. It wasn't just cookie mix. It was evidence that a change has happened in people's hearts. It was evidence that God took some people who had been the recipients of many different people and church's generosity and gave them a desire to give back. It was evidence that maybe God had done something in just one person or one family's hearts. It was evidence that we are exactly where we are supposed to be. 

I don't know that preachers get all the women. But seeing people's lives changed, that's pretty cool too! :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

In a Sentence....or a few...... :)

About a month or so ago Kate from Kansas asked me to fill out this survey. I was neck deep in painting desks, hollering at teenagers and baking brownies. I was doing good to remember my middle name. I knew I was not mentally capable of filling this thing out even if I did have more than 3 and a half seconds to sit down. Well, she sent me a gentle reminder about it a few days ago and I've been bumming around not feeling so great so I decided I would give it a shot. I was just going to send it back to her, but as I answered the questions I found myself wondering how some of you might answer them. With it being a new year and all, I thought some of the questions would be good to think about. I would love if you would pick a few and tell me your answers. Like, what are your goals for the next 5 years? Am I the only person who sets their goals 5 minutes at a time? Oh well, here goes!

1.                       In one sentence, who are you? I am just Emily (; 
2.                      Why do you matter? Because God says I do!
3.                      What is your life motto? Stay strong, smile long!
4.                      What’s something you have that everyone wants? An awesome love story.
5.                        What is missing in your life? Structure and organization. That is all. J
6.                      What’s been on your mind most lately? Some people I care about.
7.                       Happiness is a ______? Choice (I agree Kate!!)
8.                      What stands between you and happiness? My diet!! J  Most of the time it’s just my attitude.
9.                       What do you need most right now? Motivation.  
10.                   What does the child inside you long for? One day to relax and play with no responsibilites!!
11.                    What is one thing right now that you are totally sure of? That I absolutely cannot control other people, only myself.
12.                   What’s been bothering you lately? Worrying about people I care about. 
13.                   What are you scared of? That I will waste precious time and not make the most of the time I’ve been given. (Not that doing something like this isn’t totally a great use of my time.)  J 
14.                   What has fear of failure stopped you from doing? A lot…but the biggest is sharing my faith the way I should and the second is following my biggest dream.
15.                    What will you never give up on? My relationships with God, Josh and my kids.
16.                   What do you want to remember forever? As much as possible! J
17.                    What makes you feel secure? Hearing Josh’s voice. 
18.                   Which activities make you lose track of time? Bejeweled Blitz. See #13. J 
19.                   What’s the most difficult decision you’ve ever made? I’ve had several difficult decisions in my life, but leaving my Hospice job was definitely up there as one of the toughest.
20.                   What’s the best decision you’ve ever made? After deciding to follow Jesus, the best decision I made was to ask Joshua Fidler to escort me to Azalea Trail. J
21.                   What are you most grateful for? I am greatful for people who love and encourage me. 
22.                  What is worth the pain? Any pain that grows you or gets you closer to God is worth it.
23.                  In order of importance, how would you rank: happiness, money, love,health, fame? Love, Happiness, Health, Money, Fame
24.                  What is something you’ve always wanted, but don’t yet have? J  I’ll spare you what I would really say and say that I really don’t know. I really can’t think of something I’ve always wanted. I’m pretty fickle. J
25.                   What was the most defining moment in your life during this past year? I think it was probably giving up every kind of food and drink I enjoyed for health reasons and realizing that I had more discipline and power over my body than I ever thought I could.
26.                  What’s the number one change you need to make in your life in the next twelve months? I need to find that discipline again!!!!
  1. What’s the number one thing you want to achieve in the next five years? I’m not sure…I need to figure this out!
28.                  What is the biggest motivator in your life right now? I need to figure this out too!!!
29.                  What will you never do? Be a morning person. I’ve come to grips with this.
30.                  What’s something you said you’d never do, but have since done? Live in the parking lot of a church. J
31.                   What’s something new you recently learned about yourself? That I am stronger than I think I am!
32.                  What do you sometimes pretend to understand that you really do not? MATH. (Me too, Kate!!)
33.                  In one sentence, what do you wish for your future self? I wish that my life would be a light to my community and that I will figure out the whole Mom thing. J
34.                  What worries you most about the future? That my babies will have to make their own mistakes and learn from them.
35.                   When you look into the past, what do you miss most? My Daddy.
36.                  What’s something from the past that you don’t miss at all? I’m much more content now. I do not miss always waiting for the next thing.
37.                   What recently reminded you of how fast time flies? Thinking about my baby starting kindergarten!!
38.                  What is the biggest challenge you face right now? Keeping my house clean. J  Seriously, it’s that realization that I can’t control other people or how they feel or act.
39.                  In one word, how would you describe your personality? Silly
40.                  What never fails to frustrate you? Trying to keep my house clean and people who make a big deal out of stuff that is not a big deal.
41.                   What are you known for by your friends and family? Once upon a time I was known for crying all the time. J  Now, it is probably being crazy……
42.                  What’s something most people don’t know about you? I have a HORRIBLE long term memory. There are sooo many things I can’t remember.
43.                  What’s a common misconception people have about you? That I share everything that is going on in my life.
44.                  What’s something a lot of people do that you disagree with? Starting “debates” with people who they know they cannot persuade. I don’t get that.
45.                   What’s a belief you hold with which many people disagree? Probably most of mine. I know there are many people who think my belief in God is crazy.
46.                  What’s something that’s harder for you than it is for most people? Waking up!!
47.                   What are the top three qualities you look for in a friend? Share my spiritual beliefs, sense of humor and loyal.
48.                  If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow that person to be your friend? Not long at all! I need to work on that too!
49.                  When you think of ‘home,’ what, specifically, do you think of? My family.
50.                  What’s the most valuable thing you own? Hmmm…..I think my wedding and engagement rings are the most valuable both money wise and sentimentally.
51.                    If you had to move 3000 miles away, what would you miss most? A lot! I would miss family and friends and church and dance and Dockside Grill!!
52.                   What would make you smile right now? Usually anything Kate says these days.
53.                   What do you do when nothing else seems to make you happy? Go for a drive and listen to music. (I need to start running like you Kate!!!)
54.                   What do you wish did not exist in your life? Health issues
55.                   What should you avoid to improve your life? Dairy, sweets and caffeine. :) 
56.                   What is something you would hate to go without for a day? Diet Coke. And my family. Mostly my family. J
57.                   What’s the biggest lie you once believed was true? Santa.
58.                   What’s something bad that happened to you that made you stronger? Lots of things. Losing people I loved, working several jobs that I had very little experience and had a lot of learning to do, dealing with difficult people,  struggling financially. It hasn’t killed me so I guess it’s made me stronger. J
59.                   What’s something nobody could ever steal from you? The joy of the Lord! 
60.                  What’s something you disliked when you were younger that you truly enjoy today? Broccoli and sweet potatoes. 
61.                   What are you glad you quit? I didn’t think of it as “quitting”, but I guess it was. Changing my major from Communication Disorders to Social Work was absolutely what I was supposed to do.
62.                  What do you need to spend more time doing? Praying. Reading my Bible. Exercising. Checking on people. Ministering to my community. Reading to my kids. Wow. I should get busy. J
63.                  What are you naturally good at? Being a klutz! lol
64.                  What have you been counting or keeping track of recently? I’ve been counting music as I am choreographing dance recital dances!
65.                   What has the little voice inside your head been saying lately? I’m so tired….
66.                  What’s something you should always be careful with? Bleach and the Word of God. Not necessarily together.
67.                   What should always be taken seriously? God’s Word! 
68.                  What should never be taken seriously? Yourself! 
69.                  What are three things you can’t get enough of? 1.  Good conversations. 2. Diet Coke   3.  Sleep
70.                  What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you? Speak my mind more.
71.                    What fascinates you? Personality types.
72.                   What’s the difference between being alive and truly living? Truly living is knowing God’s purpose for you and living it every minute for His glory!
73.                   What’s something you would do every day if you could? Go to the movies. I love going to the movies!
74.                   At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive? Directing the children’s theater and teaching dance have brought out a lot of passion in me as I’ve realized how much I enjoy teaching the things I love to kids I love.
75.                   Which is worse, failing or never trying? Definitely never trying!
76.                   What makes you feel incomplete? Being without the people that care about me. 
77.                   When did you experience a major turning point in your life? I think my greatest turning point was when I had Kate and we both had serious complications. It really woke me up to how precious life is and how important it is to make the most of each day.
78.                   What or who do you wish you lived closer to? I wish I lived closer to my sister’s and their families and my friends. Pretty much all of my really good friends live several hours away from me. I also wish I lived closer to Chick-Fil-A. Just sayin’.
79.                   If you had the opportunity to get a message across to a large group of people, what would your message be? Jesus is the Answer!
80.                  What’s something you know you can count on? That there will always be another load of laundry to fold. J
81.                   What makes you feel comfortable? Yoga pants and people who get my sense of humor.  
82.                  What’s something about you that has never changed? My nose. It’s always been this big.
83.                  What will be different about your life in exactly one year? All 3 of my kids will be in school all day!
84.                  What mistakes do you make over and over again? Losing my temper over stupid stuff. 
85.                   What do you have a hard time saying “no” to? Pretty much anything people ask me to do and chocolate.
86.                  Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing? I really feel like I am doing what I believe in. It’s not always easy, but I love it!
87.                   What’s something that used to scare you, but no longer does? Not making everybody happy.
88.                  What promise to yourself do you still need to fulfill? Another one I’ll have to think about. 
89.                  What do you appreciate most about your current situation? The special people in my life and the opportunity to do things I love :) 
90.                  What’s something simple that makes you smile? When I see an old couple holding hands.
91.                   So far, what has been the primary focus of your life? Trying to live by faith and follow God. Then being a good wife and mother.
92.                  How do you know when it’s time to move on? For me, I usually know when I become discontent and there is no obvious reason for me to be discontent. It’s hard to explain. It’s just a feeling.
93.                  What’s something you wish you could do one more time? Hug my Dad.
94.                  When you’re 90-years-old, what will matter to you the most? That I loved people the way Jesus did.
95.                   What would you regret not fully doing, being, or having in your life? I would regret (and already do) not fully appreciating what I have and allowing myself to be angry, sad or ungrateful instead of soaking up the time I have with people.