Still dreaming...

 Fifteen years ago today I married the man of my dreams. He checked off all the boxes on the proverbial list... 

  • Kind
  • Considerate 
  • Cute
  • Great cook
  • Generous 
  • God fearing

And most importantly, he put up with me. 

We laughed a lot. He smelled good. He took care of me. He was everything I had prayed for in a partner. 

He still is. 

A few months ago I was cleaning out something for probably the millionth time and came across another list... one we had made driving home from a road trip one weekend. I remember the moment, he was driving my Ford Focus (because going anywhere in the jeep was way too windy). My feet were propped up on the dash, shoes on the floor, music on the radio and we started talking about all the things we wanted to accomplish together. So I did what I always do, grabbed a pen and paper and began to make a list. 

Framed bucket list of places to go

Nothing was off limits. No dream was too big. No place too far away. We just dreamed unabashedly without question as if we would obviously cross off every single item. Together we dreamed all the big, wild, crazy dreams... we imagined the adventures and we wrote them all down. 

As he opened the package a wide smile lit up his face - he knew exactly what he was seeing and I was brought back to that car ride home. We shared some laughs over how grand of an imagination we had and then we noted we had checked off exactly three items: visit all Disney Parks (well, all of them in the US), we've both lost (and gained) 10/20 pounds since then, we go on family vacations and we've taken tons of cross country road trips. 

The moment I found these pieces of paper I knew I had to frame them and give them to Ryan for our anniversary, not because of the items we haven't checked off this list... but for the 1000s of others we have. And while we're both a little disappointed that we aren't retired or that Ryan isn't one of the world's 100 richest men... we sure can't complain about all the dreams we have "checked" together. There is no person in the world I would rather have ridiculous dreams with than him... can't wait for 50 more years of checking off boxes we didn't even think to create. 


The day after...

I q-dropped PoliSci. Twice. I just didn't really have any desire to understand how government works when I could be doing more important things like figuring out how to win Derby Days. 

But while my understanding of our complex government may have taken years to comprehend, I have never misunderstood the magnitude of the meaning of democracy, the privilege I hold as an American*, and the importance of leadership in the pursuit of our liberty. 

*It took me longer than I'd like to admit to understand my privilege as a white American.

I grew up believing what the adults around me believed. I remember being so sad when George H.W. Bush wasn't reelected but also not fully recognizing why I was or should be sad. As a 6th grader I had other things to worry about like the growing zit on my nose and the fact that I had an inappropriate crush on our PE student teacher. 

I also remember the letter. You know the one. The one that a great leader wrote to his successor. The letter that took courage, humility, and honor to write. The letter that put others before himself. The letter that focused on the betterment of the people through the example he set. The letter that has become a tradition in an office that should represent all that is great about this country. And while it may not have been a long standing tradition, it was an important one. A powerful one. The notion that a nation could transition between leaders, ideals, passions and visions with mutual respect is something to be proud of as Americans. 

Humility in leadership is one of the most important characteristics a person should exhibit. Knowing when to lead and when to ask for help and better yet, when to admit that you just aren't the best person for a job can determine the legacy you leave. I've spent my career trying to teach that to young adults that will one day rise to lead our classrooms, businesses, hospitals, universities and this great country. I have witnessed them ask for help, seek outside perspectives and continue to grow knowing that they never stop learning, they never know everything. 

But yesterday, we witnessed the opposite of humility. We watched as the leader of our country exhibited such selfishness and greed that he knowingly put our entire country at risk. A hunger for power at all costs. What we witnessed yesterday was not patriotism. It was white supremacy. Insurrection. Treason. Terrorism. In my opinion, an attack that was more harmful than 9/11. These men and women didn't represent outsiders trying to take down the American way, they walked in our nations capitol holding American flags, claiming to represent the ideals of our nation and attempted to destroy almost 250 years of democracy. 

This didn't happen overnight. We watched the fall in slow motion with every lie from his mouth and horrific rhetoric on Twitter. And we won't be able to fix it overnight. Things won't magically change on January 20. It will take more work to undo the harm than it took to create it. 

And while my hope rests in Jesus, the work rests in US.

You and me. The way we speak to each other. The way we help our neighbors. The way we stand up against racism in real time with real actions and not just through a like or share on social media. We have hard conversations with our children. We create space for respectful discourse. We are open to questions and are prepared with answers. We quit blaming the media and start taking ownership ourselves. We do not turn a blind eye to obvious hate. We quit buying into ridiculous conspiracy theories. We acknowledge the injustice of systemic racism and we work to change it. 

We start with me to make it better for we. We each work to become humble, courageous leaders in our homes and communities. That's what I'm telling my kids today... the day after we witnessed us at our worst. There is still hope for us to become our best. 


Three little words...


I almost don't even know how to do this anymore. Do I make a new introduction or can I assume you still know who I am?

I've kind of lost my touch. Truth be known, writing brings me a lot of joy... but somewhere along the way I lost it.  If I'm honest with myself, I didn't really lose the joy for writing, I got frustrated that no one seemed to care what I was saying. My ego got in the way. I didn't get enough comments. Friends didn't share my words with others. The only real consistent encouragement I got was from my Momma (thanks, Mom)... but even then it felt more like she wanted to know what the kids were doing and less about what I was writing  (sorry, Mom).

So what brings me here, today?

Well.... to be specific....


All these emotions I'm experiencing have no where else to go but into words.

I committed to reading the bible this year and I'm trying not to let the fact that I am heavily into the Old Testament be a dire sign that God is trying to wipe us clean for the giant mess we've created of this world. I'm sure some of you are feeling some of the same feelings I am. So let's figure out how to get through this together, shall we?


Y'all. HEB looks like it was ransacked by some college kids needing a late night snack because they have a case of the munchies. (So I've been told - that is NOT from personal experience). Schools are closed. Conferences cancelled. Entire sports seasons have stopped. Chaos is the only way to describe it. And through so much chaos I can't help but feel a little...


This is SCARY y'all. I have tried hiding my tears from my kiddos as best as I can because I don't want them to be scared. But I am SCARED. For my family. For my parents. For my friends. For strangers. Just scared. I need my momma, but I also want her to cover herself in bubble wrap coated in bleach and stay inside a closet for the next 8 weeks, so...there's that. There's also just so much


We basically know nothing. I mean, some people know some things, but we don't really KNOW anything.

And that got me thinking about Noah and Abraham and Joseph and Moses... can you imagine the chaos and fear and uncertainty each of them felt? Noah was told to build an ark with very specific dimensions and doing that kind of precise project makes me want to weep. Abraham was told he would be a dad at the ripe old age of 100. Joseph was nearly killed by his brothers. And, poor Moses spent 40 YEARS taking an a 11 day road trip to the promised land that HE NEVER GOT TO SEE.


But through all of that, they had three things that are even more powerful...


Their faith guided them through their darkest hours. Their hope gave them reason to continue in times of chaos. And His love, well, His love is what carried them through... and that same love is what will sustain us today, tomorrow and the days after that.