Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Wow.......It has been way too long!

I think I will take a quick lesson from my dear friend Christie and be a little bit random with this one....

SO much has been going on and SO much is changing and will continue to change.  Gosh, if there was no change sure would be a boring world though.

First off let me just looking at my FB news feed these days I am just totally amused at the different attitudes and opinions of this "Fifty Shades of Grey"  I mean really if it isn't someone acting like a school aged kid who just got a peek of their friends parent's VHS Porn in the basement while the parents were asleep it is the complete opposite with the entire "You can't be Christian and watch this movie or read the book, it will destroy your marriage"  OH BS on both counts.  My mother-in-law I just know is looking down on this crazy world saying "Ahhh for F@#*& Sake Give Over Already" (ha ha the English can say that btw)  I swear I can hear her in my ear at this moment!  It makes me laugh.  People really do need to get over it and get over themselves.  I could honestly care less one way or the other, watch it, don't watch it,  but dang live your life, make your choices and quit trying to preach to everyone else.  I am 1000% positive you are all flawed in some way just like the rest of us.  Get off your high horses and stop acting like you are so amazingly wonderful and insightful.  Not to isn't porn either, so before you start throwing that word out maybe you should educate yourself a bit. In the mean time stop being so stinking judgmental of everyone who is different from you.   Just sayin'

My friends are as eclectic as my musical tastes which most find to be all over the place LOL  This is something I find when reading my news feed.  If you are on my page there is a reason and I assure it is not because we are just alike. How BLAH would that be! Accept that everyone of us is different in some way.  Stop judging and embrace it.  Learn from it, grow from it. 

Our house is so upside down right now and it is driving me mad.  Every time someone says "Oh you don't have long"  "That little baby of yours is going to be here sooner than you think"  I go into complete stress mode!  Yes I WANT him here all safe and sound but I also want this house right side up again before he makes his arrival.  My Husband "We have time"  Me "OMG....this house is never going to be ready on time"  LOL  Good thing we balance one another out.

I have some chores to do here at home so this isn't a long post but it is a start at getting back to this

On a final note.....My eclectic music tastes also have a little to do with my desire to understand what one writes/sings about.  Rob Thomas, like many, writes about what he knows.  There is a song called Her Diamonds  The song is about his wife Marisol who suffers from an Auto-Immune disease.  If you aren't familiar with Auto-Immune diseases ( there are a lot ) you should really read up.  You should stop and think in the future before you pass judgement or before you open your mouth saying something you can't take back that will affect another human to the core.  I know several who suffer from various types of Auto-Immune diseases.  Heck I have 2 myself one of which I only learned of a few years ago and the other I only learned of 6 months ago.  Man, it sure did explain some things I had wondered about for sure.  My sweet niece Starla battles one daily!  None the less.....You never really know what is going on with someone at first glance. 

I always like to share a quote.  I just reminded someone of this quote.  I learn more and more that it is SO true!  Quote by:  Theodor Seuss Geisel aka Dr Seuss (although there seems to be some uncertainty out there as to who really came up with this quote)

"Those Who Mind Don’t Matter, and Those Who Matter Don’t Mind"

Friday, October 25, 2013

The 15 Minute Challenge

My husband and I were discussing this sort of thing last night.  Sometimes we want to help and feel like we can't do "enough" to help.  What is "enough" really?  Every year that I have raised money for Relay, Race for the Cure and so on I have kept 1 solid mentality......Every single $1 helps!  I had $2 donations one year, guess what?  I was just as grateful and it all added up in the end just the same!

There are 774 friends on my facebook page.  We can add on top of that Twitter and Instagram as well.  Wow.....Imagine if each person donated ONLY One Single $1.  That would be HUGE!

When I was a little girl my mom saved pennies.  Just pennies.  Mom took all 5 of us to the movies with drinks and popcorn with her bucket of pennies.  It was a lesson (although I am not so sure it was the intention) but none the less a lesson I will never forget.

We all have our own struggles and needs and that is totally understandable.  A girl I went to school with reposted a page to a gal raising money for medical treatment a few weeks ago.  No clue who the girl was or anything like that.  Here I am trying to help this family so dear to me raise money for medical expenses with all the have been going through as well but I stopped, followed the link and donated $10.  That is a trip to Starbucks for most people.  My nephew actually works there now PT while going to Nursing College and he was talking about the $$ people throw down on  It is very true though!

So there is a 15 minute challenge I came across online......

Set a timer for 15 minutes and run around your house, your garage, your car and round up as much spare change as you can find. Check pockets, purses, sofa cushions

I was on work break so I only spent about 6 minutes to be honest and let me show you in the pictures below what I found.....Well over $1 in just 6 minutes.

So, for just a few minutes a day you can help this family get their child the help she needs and a little reassurance that they will be able to focus all their time and attention on getting her better rather than the every day things that we so often take for granted ourselves.

Just a thought and a Reminder that EVERY Single $1 Helps more than we even know.

Do you have a few minutes of your day to take the challenge?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Updated for Starla and Joshua

Many have asked about updated on my sister's family, thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers. Here is the most recent update.

Starla Marie Shope has been struggling so much, but has really been a trooper. She turned 16 yesterday! She however will not be driving for some time. She is currently in a wheel chair and they have put a railed hospital bed in her room as she cannot seem to lay flat and well, we don’t want her rolling out! It’s been a process from a cane, to a walker and now the chair. They will not allow her to go to school at this time as she kept falling and getting hurt so she is currently being home schooled to keep up with her other classmates. Her headaches never stop and they have been getting shots weekly now to help give her some relief for a couple of hours. Her ears have a lot of pressure most of the time and the constant ringing is hard to handle. Her balance is pretty much gone totally now, on her bad days she can't even sit up without support or she falls over. They have been taking her to any doctor they can to try and find her some help. Her group of doctors here at home have decided she needs to go to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL. This is about a 10 drive that will be very difficult for Starla to make but we are hoping that it will be worth the trip. The doctors there already have her case and getting a team together to care for her when she arrives. They are going to call next week and let them know when to have her there. If I had to guess I would say they will be admitting her in the next couple of weeks. The doctors here at home are wonderful. They know if her mom call’s that she have already done all she can safely do and they bring her right in, we are so blessed to have them through all this. 

Joshua Derden is still having problems with what they are saying are “Atonic” or “drop seizures” and will be out of work for many more months to come from the way they are talking. They said that he would need to go 6 months without a seizure before he can return to work. He had another and was back in the hospital last Saturday night. They have still not been able to determine if the seizures are a result of the original fall or the fall a result of the seizure but they are leaning towards the first fall causing the seizures. Josh has continued through the seizures to retain new information and new things that he has learned since the original fall. He has not however been able to regain any of the memory from the first 38 years of his life as a result of the original fall and brain injury. It continues to be a long journey.

There is a site set up for donations to assist in medical expenses and travel expenses to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville FL. Please feel free to message me if you have any questions at all!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Meet my niece Starla and my brother-in-law Joshua

MEET Starla

Starla is a bright 15 year old that has been diagnosed with Meniere's Disease.  Starla was a normal young lady until the symptoms of Meniere's started showing themselves about 9 months ago.  Most young people at this age are excited about hanging out with friends, high school, getting their drivers licenses, dating, sports, part-time jobs, but Meniere's has robbed this special young lady of all these things.

Starla has constant ringing in her ears, her balance is very unstable, the room is constantly spinning which makes her physically ill, reading her school books is nearly impossible due to her eyes bouncing so much and the lack of being able to focus on the words.  Starla's hearing is not so good in her left ear; she could become deaf in her left ear (possibly both ears) over time.  She is in need of constant supervision and at times can't even shower without someone with her.  She has fallen so many times and gotten hurt because her balance is so bad.  Her days are long, painful and exhausting; she tries so hard to be symptoms free and does everything the doctors tell her.  There is no cure for Meniere's Disease, the only thing they an do is try to manage the symptoms and pray for a period of time that she may go into remission.

Starla has been working with doctors in her hometown as well as Knoxville, TN.  She has been referred to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital in Nashville TN.  These trips are very long and difficult on Starla and her family.


Joshua is Starla's step-father, he is a hard working man that is the main supporter for their family.  Nearly 2 months ago Joshua had an accident that left him with a Traumatic Brain Injury.  Joshua is 38 years old and due to the accident he has no memories of the past 38 years of his life.  He is having to relearn who "HE" is, who the people around him are (including his wife and kids), he has no memory of his job or what he does, is learning basic things all over again.

Joshua has started having seizures now due to the Traumatic Brain Injury, this has been a very scary thing for him and his family to go through.  He has been working with a specialist and working on recovery.  It is very upsetting for Joshua knowing that he was always a hard working man with a "family first and most important" attitude and now due to the accident he is unable to work and support his family and feeling so lost inside his own mind.  Imagine, if you will, waking up one day and everything about who you are is gone in an instant.

The family has always been the typed of family that reaches out to help others no questions asked.  The family has always been there to help family, friends, a neighbor or community as a whole.  Now their world has been turned upside down to say the least.  There are three other children in this family, two of which have just graduated high school and starting college and one that is a "special needs' and a junior in high school. - 

See ➡

Every $1 helps and donations are tax deductible. Please feel free to ask questions and share with others you know. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

So much catching up to do and so little time........

So, we have had a TON going on this year and I just haven't had much free time to sit down and update. Every time I start to something comes up. Amazingly I have managed to keep up my snapshot blog with a picture posted every single day since January 1, 2011!  I had really not planned to keep it up this year but it sort of just ended up that way.  Of course, the quality has probably not been as great since we have been so busy.  None the less.....

The wedding was in October and aside from being very cold out (which of course never bothered me for some reason lol) it went off without a hitch. We were so thankful to the family and close friends that were able to attend. We were able to work it out so we could livestream the ceremony to family in England which was perfect. It was so important to us that we be able to have them be part of our day. PERFECT.

Now just for the record I started on this blog a while back and clearly didn't make it too far. LoL

We honeymooned up the coast of California making our way up the PCH from San Diego to San Francisco. We hit the zoos, safaris, state parks, Malibu, the Hollywood Hills and even Alcatraz. I can't say I would trade a single moment. We had a blast exploring and sharing in new adventures together. It's what we do. Tons of photos we have yet to find the time to sit down, sort and post. lol. We will eventually get to them, promise. I am still posting my daily snapshot blog so there was at least a photo or two posted from every day.

After making our way back home we had a nice reception here with those we were not able to have at the ceremony. We had Starla's birthday, Thanksgiving (one of my favs), Starla's surgery, Chris's first birthday with the family, Gracie turned 8 (and is so cute and spoiled) and then Christmas very quickly snuck up on us.

Christmas has been wonderful. The entire family had a wonderful day, lots of yummy food and I think everyone was happy with what Santa brought them but more than anything happy that we were together. John and I came home in between stops to Skype with family in the UK and then we were on to another meal. Ha ha ha

I surpassed my 1 year with UHC back in October as well. It was been a great year+ and I am happy and thankful to say that each and every day I can say "I'm Blessed".

The world did not end last week (YAY) so I am looking forward to 2013, a trip to spend time with family in England and all of the new adventures life has in store for us and our loved ones. I just know it is going to be another great one!

So, with hopes of things being a little less hectic this year as well I truly do intend on updating you more on here.

In 2013 I will continue posting my photos even if no one sees them, I will continue with the same resolution I had for the two previous years; do something new, go somewhere new, be open (it's worked great for me so why fix what's not broken?) and I will remind myself daily to not take those I love for granted, the little things in life and to always work at improving myself.

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; But often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.”

- Helen Keller

Thursday, August 30, 2012

So here we are 37 days from "The Day". Gosh it seems as though it has just flown by. Still some things to finish up but things have really started to progress. That sure makes me feel better! I'm so excited to see the bridesmaid dresses this coming week. That will be one more thing we can mark off the "to-do" list. We went back over all of the wedding and honeymoon budget last night and that all seems to be sorted and on track as well. That helps me relax a little more for sure!! We are getting ready to start planning the reception for when we get back home. I think everything with that will move along smoothly. Of course I do worry about everything. That's just me. John says I'll worry until we are home from the honeymoon at least. LMAO! I'm sure he's right. 

My aunts held a shower for me this past weekend. It was really nice of them and they did a fantastic job. I've been do busy for months it was good to just chill and visit with everyone as well. 

Work has been super busy but still going well. I still enjoy it as well as my teammates. It really has been a great change in my life. 

Jeramy is a SENIOR! I can't believe it. Starla is a freshman a d so far loves it. Still can't believe it. They are both doing well, growing and changing every day!

I really do hope to blog better in the coming year. With everything going on I have definitely been a slacker this year. Sorry!

I have unbelievably managed to still post a picture every day! I have for sure surprised myself on that one. :o)

Anyhoo, thought I'd take a moment and do a little update real quick. I hope everyone has a safe and happy long holiday weekend!!

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams"

~Eleanor Roosevelt

Thursday, July 5, 2012


I figure when John informs me it has been too long since I have updated my blog it has clearly been WAY TOO LONG.  ha ha ha  I am not real sure where to start.  So much has been going on since March.  Things are moving along.  I go to Atlanta the 14th to pick up my dress.  Nervous and excited all at the same time.  Haven't seen it since January not to mention the one I tried on wasn't even white so its going to be interesting.  It took a little more effort than we would have liked but we did find a photographer for the wedding and got that all booked and sorted.  They did a 2nd engagement shoot for us (we were not so pleased with the first guy) and we were very happy with them.  They knew what they were doing, where the best shots were and best of all they shoot at Biltmore several times a month so they are very familiar with the layout there and what works.  There are some photos on my FB page for those of you on there and if not here are a couple.

Our little family begins......
(Photos by Two Ring Studios Asheville, NC)

We are quickly checking items off of the "To-Do" list that has been haunting me in my sleep!  lol  Ceremony, Cake, Photographer, Dinner after, Bouquets, Makeup for myself, the girls and my mother, favors (purchased but not put together) are all complete and marked off the list.  Still more to do but I feel much better seeing things marked off.   I wanted to do the nice custom hangers but just refused to pay $20-$40 each for them online.  So I started investigating, went to Hobby Lobby and put John to work!  I think so far he has done a great job!

LOL - For real, I have tried like 20 times and this keeps posting upside down!
Hopefully you can still see he did a WONDERFUL job!!

Work is going GREAT!  I absolutely love my job.  I think about everything going on in my life and everything going on around me.  I think about those around me, where they are and  where I was a year ago.  I can honestly say that everyday I sit down to work I realize how completely BLESSED I am to have the job I have now.  The ways this job has blessed my life are just endless.  I am SO THANKFUL!  A couple weeks ago I went to Nashville for some training with 35 members of my team and then we went to Nurses for Newborns for a Community Outreach Project.  I love that UHC works so hard throughout the entire company to encourage these sorts of projects all over the US.  They also work very hard to promote healthy living for their customers as well as every employee.  My team is wonderful and every one is so nice and so helpful.  There is never a concern when needing to reach out as you are always met with one or more willing to help you however they can.  I said on the way home from that long work day to those in the van I was riding in - I have worked in small offices with a few people and I have worked in an office with 100+ office employees sitting all around you and I have never felt such a sense of TEAM as I do now.  Odd since we each work from home and don't see one another daily but it is the truth.  It truly is a wonderful blessing I am forever grateful for.

I am positive there are a million more things I could write about and update on but I am thinking for the sake of everyone's time I will simply try and do a better job of keeping up.

Hope everyone has a wonderful remainder of the week!

The way to gain a good reputation, 
is to endeavor to be
what you desire to appear. 

From yesterday's blog.
I can't believe I haven't missed a photo post since I stated 1/1/2011!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Oh my goodness......It has been way too long!

So, I just don't know where to start.  I haven't written since December, shame on me!  Anyway as always there has been A LOT going on.  The new job is still going well.  I enjoy being home, I enjoy sleeping better and less stress!!  YAY!!  I have learned lately from questions from various people that there is a huge misconception about my job.  Yes, I work at home.  Yes, I can work in my pjs.  BUT I do way more work!  I am busy all day long.  I don't get much free time at all.  It is OK though, I enjoy it.  I would rather be sitting here at 3:45 and realize that I should have quit working at 3:30 rather than to be sitting there at 1:45 watching the clock and waiting for the day to end.  The job is very detail oriented.  You are dealing with claims, medical coverage and all so everything has to be entered in correctly.  I work for a great organization and one that has this telecommuter thing down to a science.  Everyone assumes that you can just do as you wish and nobody will know....HA!  No, they monitor everything (Wouldn't you?  I would!)  Of course, I have the mind set that if you are doing your job and doing what you are supposed to do then who cares?  I don't.  Of course after explaining all of this to my nephew yesterday he decided it was a bit too much for him that he was not cut out for working from home.  Truth.....not everyone can work from home.  You can't be distracted by everything else around you.  It takes a lot of self discipline and self motivating.  It works great for me but again, no, it isn't for everyone.  I am very happy with it though.

The kids are doing well.  Starla starts high school next year and JD will be a senior......CRAZY!  They are both so amazing though!  

Wedding plans are moving along.  We will be getting married on the hill at Diana at Biltmore on October 7th.  My dress was ordered in Jan.....good lord, I can't believe it takes 4-6 months to get a dress....craziness.  Working with a photographer on our Engagement photos and so long as all goes well we will have him booked for the wedding as well.  So location - booked, music - booked, Cake - tasting is the 21st...YUM, Shoes - purchased and are safely packed away, I am doing my own flowers and have started working on those.  Mom and I are going in the morning to choose fabric for the bridesmaid dresses.  I am working on favor bags and looking at some different options. is still a work in progress but things are moving along and a decent pace.
I went to school with this designer, check her out!
Gracie is GREAT and spoiled as ever!  How can you not love a face like that.....she is my baby!  John is like her little buddy which is HILARIOUS since everyone knew him to "not be a dog person".  They go on little hikes together and everything.  Ha ha can't help by love her.

SNAPSHOTS......Well I am still doing this.  Can you believe it?  Since Jan 1, 2011 I haven't missed a single day. I have posted a picture every day.  I am working on my 2011 coffee table book but some of my photos were not uploading the other day....gotta figure out what is up with that.

JEEP!  Yep, got a new Jeep.  Well John traded the C7 and got the Jeep so he could "play" on weekends and I could drive it and he drive my car to work now.  I am good with that because I LOVE the Jeep!

So.......I guess there is a quick run down.  LOL  I will have to get better at this updating for sure!

Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the spring weather!

" People are often unreasonable and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. 
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. 
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. 
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. 
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. 
Give your best anyway. 
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. 
It was never between you and them anyway.” 

~ Mother Teresa

Friday, December 16, 2011

Ok.....I have been SO busy!

So, so much has happened so I will try and do a decent but not too long update! Let's see.....The end of October I started a new job!  I am now a Clinical Administrative Coordinator for United HealthCare.  I have a home office which is a big change.  All learning has been virtual but I must say, they have a good set up.  So far it has been a great experience.  Everyone has been very kind and welcoming.  We got a power point today of the veteran staff so that was great to put faces with names and voices.  We have a Christmas party coming up in Nashville so I will soon get to meet a number of them which I am looking forward to. Thankful for the new direction!

Mom says the picture doesn't do it
justice but this is the best I can do.
If you are on FB then you likely already know but if not......I became engaged Thanksgiving Day!  I am sure you have heard me talk before about John and of course he is on FB.  He is from England.  We seem to balance one another well.  Knowing I am a bit of a traditional person he arranged to get my mom and dad bother together the night before for dinner and asked them both.  I love that he did that.  So many just don't do it these days.  We are planning for fall 2012.  Having some issues with the location we originally wanted so not 100% sure on that yet.  I know, I myself never thought I would agree to get married after some of what I have been through.  I feel good about it though.  

New experiences this year, new friends, new job, new future.........I truly did set out on a mission this year though.  I set out not with any one particular "resolution" but I set out to CHANGE the way I did things.  I made myself get out and do things I wouldn't normally do, hiking by myself, seeing a movie by myself, I challenged myself to make changes in the people I surround myself with; focusing more on those that have a positive influence in my life and reducing the focus on those that don't.  I challenged myself on my snapshot blog and as of today I have not missed a post for every day this year.....personally that was one I didn't think I would accomplish!  LOL  Maybe those are the resolutions we should be making for ourselves. Not always big things either, sometimes just the simplest changes make such a huge impact.  Make yourself step out of your box.  It really has made such a difference in the past year. 

My little Gracie turned 7 on December 11th!  
We took her to see Santa and then of course took her annual photo. 
I just love her.  She is so rotten!

Well there is my update for now! 
 Hope everyone is getting ready for CHRISTmas 
and has a wonderful time with their loved ones!

"Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time."

  ~Laura Ingalls Wilder

Monday, November 21, 2011

Well, not sure where to start.  The past month has been CRAZY!  Lot's going on, ups and downs.  I guess my last blog was when I went to Cincinnati.  That has been a while.  So I received a call on my birthday with a job offer.  What a gift!  There were a lot of security and background checks in the process so it took a few weeks to get everything in order.  I started the end of October.  So far it is going great.  I have looked for over a year and it has been such a relief to have finally found something that worked for me.  I now work for United HealthCare. I have a home office which I must say I am enjoying so far.  I spend my days by the french doors and with my little Gracie under my feet.  I am looking forward to the first snow for sure!  There has been quite a bit of classes and training and more to come but even with that it has been a very refreshing change which I am very thankful for.  My nephew (my brother's son) passed away a month ago in a tragic accident.  He and his wife are struggling still, very understandably, and can still use LOTS of prayers.  My heart aches for them daily and I so wish I could fix it for them but I just can't.  Starla's birthday was the 2nd as well, she had a wonderful day and I think she got everything she asked for!  After that it was on to new job, new training and getting ready for my sisters wedding. Yes, all of that jam packed into just a few weeks.  My sister got married on 11/11/11 and I think now has a lot of her stress and anxiety relieved so that is great.  She can chill a little now.  Jeramy is doing great, good in school and with friends.  Starla decided (on her own) to start volunteering at Riding High.  A local stable that works with horses and special needs children.  Very proud of her for doing this at her age and she has  really been enjoying it.  We have a program here called TAG (talented and gifted students).  They do these classes each winter at the local college.  Children must be referred by a teach and a counselor so it is not something they can just sign up for.  Jearmy did this both 7th & 8th grade, the only years it is available for them.  Starla hoped to go in 7th grade but didn't.  This year, SHE DID!  She has been so excited about it and has already picked up her classes.  So over winter break she will actually get to go to the local college and take courses.  There are only so may student chosen from the surround areas and they narrow those down so it is a big thing.  Class has been pretty heavy the past 2 weeks so I am looking forward to a 3 day work week and a long weekend!  It has been over a month since I have blogged so this is just a quick summary blog.  I will try and do better as things start to settle down!  Hope everything has a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving with those they love. Enjoy every moment, take nothing for granted.....We are not promised tomorrow.

Misty & Joshua 11-11-11

"If you treat Thanksgiving Day as a mere custom, then you are missing out on the true meaning of the holiday. As much as we enjoy Thanksgiving for the dinner and the festivities, we must also rejoice for our good fortune. So, have fun with your family this thanksgiving, but don't forget to say 'thank you.' And if you are fumbling for meaningful words, read these thanksgiving inspirational quotes for a push in the right direction."
~ Izaak Walton