..And to all a good night.

It was the night before Christmas and all through the house, all the mamas were rushing around to tie up loose ends and the daddies were eating Santa’s snacks and building toys and getting in the way of the already stressed out mamas. The grandparents were hectically wrapping and preparing baked goods and the kiddos were anxiously listening for the tapping of the reindeers feet onto the roof until their little minds drifted to sleep with their happy thoughts.

This Christmas was different than most. The shopping was limited, the loved ones were scarce, the traditions were broken and BOY was this hard. Due to unforeseeable circumstances, we only got to celebrate with the five of us this year. This was wild to me. I came from a divorced home and my mom came from a divorced home, so I am use to a lot of Christmases. We always ran all over the country in order to make all the events in time and celebrate. Now, my daughter, Avery has that treat. She has Christmas Eve with mama, Christmas morning with mama, daddy, and our two bonuses- Day and BB, followed by many more family and friends gatherings. It is exhausting, we’re all so wore out by the end, but that is our perfect Christmas. We love seeing everyone, laughing, baking, presents, just thoroughly enjoying time together. This year, COVID really made it different. As most of you know, I am a nurse at the hospital, so it is always worrisome for me to be around and potentially make friends and family sick from the germs I pick up there. (But let’s be real for a moment- you pick up similar germs from shopping, the gym, going out to eat, etc).

This year, all those plans were taken away. We celebrated with just us. We had lasagna and watched Jingle All the Way (all my 90’s babies said HECK YEAH). We left cookies and milk for Santa and got all the stockings filled in anticipation for the big guys big appearance. On Christmas morning, we opened presents, FaceTime and called everyone, watched Mulan and ate stew. It was simple, it was family, it was us. It was a memory. 2020 has been anything but normal and we should be use to that by now and we’ve mostly learned to just go with it, but sometimes I think to myself “man, if this were any other year.. life would be easy”.

E A S Y

Easy isn’t always better though. In this hard season of life, you are an inspiration to those around you. To the single daddy that didn’t think he would ever be the sole guardian of his kiddos and dreads dealing with all the stuff “mamas” help their daughters learn. We see you. To the person who lost their job in March this year when COVID hit and you thought you would never find another occupation you loved, but here you are killin’ it and kicking booty and taking names- we see you. To the mama who checked that pregnancy test one last time before opening presents and for the millionth time saw only one line, we see you, we love you and in time, you will be the perfect mama. As we grow up, so often we see all our friends online growing, flourishing, excelling. We don’t post our failures, we post our successes.

Social media is so frustrating, so much comparing, so much sadness can come from it.. But that isn’t all it is. Social media can be connecting, inspiring, loving. We choose what we are. We choose every minute of everyday what we are going to be. What do you choose to be today?

We’re about to start a new year with new goals, new plans, and new aspirations. Months ago (literally) I bought a devotional I absolutely HAD to have. I ordered through prime to ensure it would get here in time.. Do you want to know how many times I have cracked that baby open? None. I was so insistent on being better and doing better, but I got caught up in life and never even opened it. So what do you choose? Who are you going to inspire? Connect to? Love? I challenge you to remember who you were when you were laying in bed, drifting away to the sounds of the reindeer landing on top of the roof as your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends stayed up late to make sure you experienced the magic. If you’re a parent of littles now, you probably got to see that this year- the look on their faces when they saw the cookies had been eaten by Santa, or helped nana bake, or even just watching the Grinch for the sixth time… this week.

I want to be kinder, more inspirational, connecting, loving. I want to be more. I want people to see me and my social media as the same person.. and hopefully a good one at that. I know you can be too. It’s so easy to get torn down by the world. To be sad, burned-out, and broken.. but even though there may be so much weeping in the night, J O Y COMES IN THE M O R N I N G.

Avery Grace at Christmas 2020!

💕C O P A R E N T I N G 💕

It’s not easy. It takes a lot of compromise, patience, understanding, and remembering that our kiddo is the only factor that is important when making most decisions. Her dad and I have made it a point since she was born to make her first. If we’re arguing, we know that Avery is the most important subject and if our arguing affects her, then something needs to change. This was our 3rd Halloween celebrating together and 2nd with all five of us. We visited 10 different houses, we had family meet and go, we made sure Avery had the most fun. We took turns holding her, showing her off, and playing like she was a “real” doctor. All of which were memories that she may not remember years from now, but it is an environment she will grow up in and can’t help but look back and be happy that although everyone said it was weird situation, she was happy. You see, we do life together. We have family dinners, My new husband and I go to event with my ex-husbands new wife’s family and my ex-husband and his wife join my family at church every Sunday. Avery knows mommy’s house and daddy’s house and that we have to share her. She may only be two and a half, but boy has she caught on quick!

I get many messages telling me they could never do it.. I didn’t think it would be so fluid either. I can’t say it was easy, because her dad and I had to work and figure out what system was best for us. What we do may not be the best for what you need do, but figure out what is best for you. For us, we found our common interests, which led to us being actual friends, and then even business partners. Not everyone is that lucky. I have a great ex-husband who works with me in all this and that is how we do so well! But it also takes:

Compromise.
Understanding.
Patience.

If you and your kiddo are happy, that is what matters. Coparenting isn’t taboo, you don’t have to hate each other post divorce. Sometimes, mommy and daddy are happier apart and that is best for the kiddos and THAT IS OKAY.

Of course, a huge thank you to our bonus parents! It can’t be easy going into this life, but you all are handling it flawlessly!

joycomesinthemorning #coparenting

It could be worse..

I remember thinking “when it rains, it pours”. If something bad was going to happen, it would happen now. Looking back, that attitude was so destructive for my mindset and I constantly wonder to myself that if I would have had a more “glass half full” mindset, would it have helped? O mean come on, it could be worse.

I constantly told myself that other people have it worse and that is probably why I continued to struggle with finding my own happiness. I immersed myself in church. I went every Sunday, I volunteered every time there were opportunities. I was present. I just knew the more I went, the happier I would be. Update: just attending church wasn’t enough. Add more

Recently, I was on Facebook and my heart broke as I watched a video of someone going through a hard time in life. They kept saying “I know people have it worse” and I thought of myself just a few years ago. I told myself so often that I couldn’t be sad because people have it worse. There is cancer, death of a loved one, loss of jobs, house, pets, etc And my struggle? So minute in comparison.

I was at our Thursday night church service one night for young adults. I can’t tell you what we learned about, who I sat with, or what started it- but one of the leaders sat and talked to me after. He asked me how I was, I answered and once again he asked me- but how are you, really? I remember telling him everything and at the end, I said what I’ve been saying all along- life seems to be rough right now, but other people have it worse. His response- “so?”. He went on to say “just because you have different struggles than others people, it doesn’t mean your struggles aren’t important. They’re important to YOU.”

I’m a crier. If I’m mad, I cry. If I am upset, I cry. If I’m super happy, I cry. It’s super annoying, but at this point I’m 26 and it is probably not going to change. So if you ever see me crying, pass the tissues and go on with ya bad self. I may have cried, but people had it worse. So needless to say, as this conversation progresses, I cry- he cries. We pray and cry. Man, when they say lay it all out and give it to God- they know what they’re talking about. I had such a sense of relief, of happiness, of understanding.

Since then, I have talked to so many people. Some people who have dealt with things that I either know about, have been through, or I maybe have no experience with, but I can at least be the person to listen.

When is the last time you listened? When is the last time you reached out? I know so many people are living their hardest life right now. They’re

B E T T E R

I want to be better.

A better mother. A better wife. A better friend. A better employee. A better person.

We just got back from an amazing vacation with family, but to get to this great location was a drive. A long drive. An 18 hour drive with a 2 year old that made it a longer drive. Being in the car that long together, my husband and I were accidentally snappy to one another.. a time or two. During that drive, we had a lot of time to talk, listen to podcasts, perform our own concert to 90’s music for all the cars to see, and think. A lot of thinking. As we made our trek, I thought about the last few years. I became a mama, married the love of my life who is super dreamy, finished RN school, and accomplished more that I ever expected, but I did not spend my time focusing on other people, making people feel wanted, needed, and appreciated.

I want to be better.

I remember a few years ago, I heard a speaker talk about appreciation. You glow different when you feel appreciated. You work harder when you’re appreciated. You do more when you’re appreciated. You’re better when you’re appreciated. So now that we have made it home, I am making it a goal to be the person people in the room want to talk to, vent to, and share their life with.

I want to be better.

I know it won’t happen overnight and it will take constant, intentional moves, but I will be better. When is the last time you checked on your grandma out of state? Texted a friend whom you haven’t talked to in years, but you know is going through a hard time based on vague Facebook posts? Gave your spouse a 30 second hug instead of just a quick side hug and peck on the lips before you storm out the door with your avocado toast and red bull to tackle a 14 hour day? It’s time to be intentional. It’s time to be loving. It’s time to be understanding. It’s time to appreciate others for all they do.

It’s time to be better.

In the book of Isaiah (1:17), it talks about being better. The verse reads “Learn to do right, seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.” WOW. How true is that? Imagine if we did what was right the first time and sought justice in all things we do as well as defend. What would the world be like? How many people would do better and be better is we defended them, appreciated them, cared for them, and loved them? It’s our jobs to do better.

My best friends daughter’s birthday party was today. We had been counting down, planning, and chatting for weeks about it. I didn’t sleep well last night and when I woke up, I had 20 minutes to get to the party. In that 20 minutes I had to not only get myself ready, but also my 2 year old and husband. I thought to myself as they slept, “I could just skip”, “would anyone even notice?”. I then thought yes- yes they would. The almost 3 year old may not, but her mom, her moms mom, her moms moms mom would because I have been best friends with her since like 2003 or earlier and they know me. They would know me and know I wasn’t there. They would notice.

I’ve got to be better.

I reminded myself of that phrase as I frantically got us all together. I have got to be better. How am I suppose to expect people to show up to Avery’s functions if I don’t return the favors? I’ve got to be better.

You can be better. You can be intentional. You can change your norm and be the person others need. You can be appreciative, loving, caring, and understanding. You can, we can. We can be better. Remember, although there may be pain in the night, Joy Comes in the Morning. ❤️

I WILL BE BETTER.

Dancing with the Angels

I was standing next to my papa John when he passed away. I was giving him his medication that would help ease the pain as he left this hectic world and went to dance with angels. Moments before, I listened to my aunt Terrie read a passage. A passage that was so important to my papa and I.

The Lord is my Shepard, I shall not want.

I heard the words and I reminisced to a time when I would memorize bible verses. I memorized for AWANA’a (if you know, you know), I memorized for Christmas programs at church when I got to say my three lines that I had practiced for E V E R Y D A Y for weeks, I memorized because I had someone so godly in my life to show me how important digging into the Bible was. We watched Jack Van Impe weekly at dinner then undoubtedly, he would turn off the news, the westerns, the infomercials and read a chapter or two of his bible and then go to bed.

As my papa passed, we all gathered around, shedding tears of sadness- but knowing he was finally no longer in pain. My papa was on hospice, so we called his nurse and then the funeral home. It took them a bit, so my aunt and I sat in the room with him. We read psalms 23 over and over. I’m not sure if it was to give him ease or us, but I think it worked all around.

There’s a part in the the passage that talks about your cup running over. Your cup being so full, you have more than enough. There was a season in my life where my cup did not run over. It seemed everything was wrong and would never go right. This time was so hard and I kept to myself, but held the pain. When I got in the car to drive home, when I had good news, when I needed someone to vent to, I wanted to call him- but he wasn’t there. This was a hard concept for me. I felt as though I would never feel happiness or joy again because I felt so lost and knew if I could just have one more phone call, one more hug, or one more Oklahoma goodbye that consisted of saying “okay, bye I love you” twelve different times then it would all be okay.

It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to have hard seasons. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to realize your sadness is more. It’s okay to realize maybe it is time for depression medication. It’s okay.

Although I am sad that papa isn’t with me any longer. I remember him in everything I do. When nursing school seemed like too much for me, I remembered how papa always encouraged me to do my best and never give up. I just officially graduated nursing school without my papa Friday. My friends and family were there, my support was amazing- but I still missed him every minute. This morning, when I heard what the verses for the church message were going to be, I heard the 23rd psalm, and I knew he was giving me a shout out.

If you’re having a hard season and think it won’t get better, I promise it will.. it may feel like an eternity- but time heals all wounds. Time, prayer, forgiveness, love, understanding. It all heals.

I’d like to say I’m not broken 3 years later, but I am. I’d like to say I never cry, but I do. I’d like to say I have it all figured out, but I don’t.

It is so important to find a tribe. Find someone to talk to, someone you can text at 3 am and tell them how rough life is and how much you need help, prayer, and love. Find joy in the small things. Give yourself slack, you’re doing the best you can. Whatever season or struggle or hardship you’re in right now- it will pass in time and you will remember how strong you are.

As hard as it may be when there is pain in the night; I know joy will come in the morning. ❤️

IT ISN’T GOING TO BE EASY

Being a nurse isn’t easy for me. I didn’t take the classes and just breeze through. I remember from third grade on, I said I would be a doctor- I knew I was made for the medical field. I then realized that although math comes naturally to me- science does not. I decided to get a business degree and only then did I realize that I still love nursing. I have a passion for it. I love the people, even when they are mean. I love helping. I love the ever-changing “change” that constantly occurs in nursing, but that does not mean it is easy.

Business was easy. I never studied, I got straight A’s. I tutored people. It was easy, but I wanted more.

Nursing isn’t easy for me. I went the untraditional route. I became an LPN and wanted to make sure my passion for nursing was real. I began to work as a nurse and that love for nursing would shine through every shift. I love the nurses, providers, front staff, I love the patients, I love the atmosphere, I love the research- but that does not mean nursing is easy for me. I worked as an LPN for a couple years before I decided to go back for my RN.

I decided to apply to nursing school last year. I took no additional classes, I only applied to one school, and I just studied and decided that if it was meant to be, it would happen. It was meant to be because I got in and I knew it would be long, it would be time consuming, but there was one thing it would undoubtably be- not easy.

The early mornings for clinical, the late nights of homework, the completing remediations at friends gatherings, the stress. None of it was easy.. but it was worth it.

So often we become consumed in thinking we can only do what we are good at. We think that is the only calling on our life and we miss opportunities we never would have thought of because of it. When we try new things, we tend to discover more about ourselves. We remember we’re not as fragile as we tend to think. We’re strong, we’re resilient, we’re capable.

“You never know what you can do until you try, and very few try unless they have to.” –C.S. Lewis

It’s not going to be easy, but we have to remember- Joy Comes in the Morning.

B U B B L E S

I always try to tell people that I am a realist. I don’t just look at the good or bad in a situation, I look at it all for all that it is worth and typically that makes me seem like a pessimist. Tonight, my hubs and I bought the T.V. we’ve been saving for, checking every store for the best deals, and saying “we’ll get it next month” for months.. We got it home and began the mounting process. I’m not sure if you have ever mounted a T.V, but let’s just say the wife is always right (kind of like when you’re building furniture or playing monopoly.) In my head, I knew how to put this T.V. up, but I could not get the words out to save my life as we held this T.V. above our heads and I kindly threatened his life if we dropped it.

The mounts on the back of the T.V. (which I screwed in) were too high. So the T.V. kept hitting the ceiling. My side was locked in, but David’s was not. This became an even bigger fiasco because now we couldn’t get my side undone, but his wouldn’t lock. We bickered back and forth, sweating as we held this T.V. and tried to think of how we were going to make this work. Every time I said move it back, he moved it up and vise versa.

We were on edge.

After getting the T.V. down after what felt like an eternity, we looked at each other and giggled.. Although we were incredibly frustrated with the situation, we knew it was just a T.V. and we would be silly to take the bickering any farther. After a quick fix, we put it back up- but it was lopsided. Someone put the mounts lower like we needed, but then they didn’t match them up.. So although it was close, it wasn’t right. Again, it was me. Through all this, my husband was so kind and smiled and kept telling me how cute I was (even though I was so mad we had to keep redoing it). After removing it and putting it back a few times- we decided we are now professionals and will be opening a business in mounting T.Vs….. NOT.

We finished and put the batteries in the remote to turn it on and sat down to bask in the glory of what we had finally accomplished.. together. As I looked at this beautiful T.V we had waited months for, saved for, and scouted the best deal at every store around, I told David “I thought it would seem bigger up there”. We went from a 55 inch to a 65 inch T.V, so it was a big jump in size and I sat there in disappointment instead of excitement.

How selfish could I be?

As I sat there a little longer, I thought of my two year old, Avery Grace. The other day she was in the bathtub playing. I was mom of the year and didn’t put bubbles in because I was in a hurry- she didn’t ask for them, so I didn’t think about it. After a bit, I started to wash her with soap and the smallest amount bubbles appeared, the whole bathtub wasn’t full and the bubbles didn’t last long.. but in that moment- I heard her giggling and playing and screaming “bubbles!!” at the top of her lungs. Avery didn’t compare her bubbles to what else it could have been- she just enjoyed the bubbles for what they were. Teddy Roosevelt once said:

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”

And so often we get consumed in comparison. Someone else has the better, newer, prettier, happier life and you’re stuck with what you have. It is so easy to get stuck on that and I am the world’s worst realist and comparer around. Today, I decided to be intentional with my joy. I grabbed the remote, logged in to Netflix, and turned on Ozark to see what this T.V. could do. The picture is phenomenal, the sound is great, the size is perfect. I have exactly what I need. In life, if we chase our joy, it is so much easier to see God’s plan and purpose for us.

Psalm 20:4–5
“May he grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans! May we shout for joy over your salvation, and in the name of our God set up our banners! May the Lord fulfill all your petitions!”

Today, I am joyful for my pretty little girl who loves life, my patient and loving husband, and super awesome T.V. that will be used to binge watch Grey’s Anatomy and Ozark for years to come. Today, I hope you find joy in the little, the simple, the easy. I hope your coffee is the perfect temperature, the kids listen after the 4th warning instead of the 24th, and your Facebook post gets a hundred likes. Today, I am thankful, joyful, and loved and I will remind myself that even on the days I cannot be those things- that there may be pain in the night, but joy comes in the morning.

16.30

On November 8th, I remember vividly that I was looking for earrings for Avery. David was in the car hanging out while Avery slept, so I did not have to wake her up and bring her in the store. After looking at every option, twice, I leaned down to look at the lowest option on the shelf, found one I liked, and that was when I heard my phone go off. Typically, I wouldn’t have looked. Typically, I would have waited until I got back to the car. Typically, I wouldn’t have.. looked. But for some reason- I pulled my phone out. As I opened it… I saw those numbers 16.30. This is a small number, but it was a number that changed my life. I looked at that number, bought my single item, and went to the car. I felt stunned. Something so small, so minute, so silly to some people- was about to consume me. It was okay, I didn’t cry. I pulled out of Claire’s and drove toward home. We got about 10 minutes into the drive and I wept. I bawled. I ugly cried. David sat there and let me cry, let me complain. We were a couple weeks out from Thanksgiving and I couldn’t have any ham. I don’t even like Turkey. #TEAMHAMFORTHANKSGIVING. No more juicy, delicious steaks. No more double cheeseburgers.

It’s just food.

Maybe to some, it was just food, but to me it was the end of the world in my eyes. These test results I received were for GalactoseAlpha 1,3 Galactose IGE. This was the result of being bitten by the Lone Star tick at some point in my life. This tick makes you magically allergic to red meat and mammalian derivatives.

I have no idea when I was bitten. About two years ago in September of 2017, I was pregnant with my sweet girl, Avery. I noticed that every time I ate red meat, I was feeling sick. I would get nauseous, body aches, extreme fatigue. All things that pregnant woman typically have issues with, so I just stopped eating hamburger meat. I switched to turkey meat and life was good. I still felt sick and nauseous, but not near as often or near as bad. I had Avery in March of 2018 and assumed things would go back to normal. My first day home from the hospital, mama got a Big Mac. I noticed it was still happening, but attributed it to other things- breastfeeding, stress, not eating healthy, really the list could go on. Now, though, something was different. I would get migraines too. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve gotten migraines since I was 13, I’m a veteran. I know to take my medication, to rest, to wait it out, but this was different. The pounding in my head was so excruciating that it is hard to put into word. I would lay down, my head would spin, I would take medication, and immediately vomit and it was painful. My family and friends would think something bad had happened to me because I would go 15 hours without waking up, answering my phone, moving from my bed. Something was wrong. It wasn’t all the time though. It was hit or miss, so I tried to figure it out. Everyone had joked that I had gotten “bit by the tick” that had been circulating around the internet. If it was on Facebook, it has to be true. So I started noticing things that made me sick and actively avoiding them and kind of felt better, but not actually better better.

I consulted with Dr. Google and went down the rabbit hole of all the things that could be wrong with me and finally I noticed that the joke may be real. I joined Facebook groups regarding Alpha Gal and saw that their symptoms were like mine and it was so crazy that this may have been what is going on with me. So, I began to eat like someone with Alpha Gal, I cut out all the meats because at this time I didn’t realize all the extras that go with it. It is more than just meat.

Wine. Gelatin. Marshmallows. Pop-Tarts.

All things that have animal products you don’t think about, but I now could not have.

I am no doctor and honestly google has helped me tremendously, but Alpha Gal occurs when a tick bites you and the sugar molecule is then transmitted into your body. For me, I get nausea, body pains (like the flu), migraines, and shortness of breath. At first I didn’t get hives and itching, but now I do. Lucky me. It is also a delayed reaction, for some 4-10 hours later.

Everyone is different.

That may be the most difficult part of all this. Some people can’t have Carrageenan, this is an additive that is in things like lunch meat, some Thanksgiving turkeys, milks, creams. It’s all trial and error. I started my new chicken and turkey diet and was still having issues, I would immediately feel nauseous, achy, and my face would feel flushed and something was still not right. I had previously been prescribed an Epi Pen because that is important when you can’t breathe, I guess. I prefer not to use it. So I made an appointment with my {new} allergist and after discussing everything, I chose to get tested and see if I am allergic to MILK. I don’t even like plain milk.. but I like chocolate. I like Reeses. I like sour cream. I like literally everything on the shelves that contain milk and I am now officially, sadly A L L E R G I C. I miss Reeses so much. Someone eat one for me. I now go back every 6 months to be retested. 50% of people will have their numbers drop if not bitten by another tick, 50% may not. So I am just going to be continuously praying that I am the 50% that God wants me to be.

My skin test for milk

I could go on for hours on all things Alpha Gal that would make me sound like a crazy person. Magnesium Stearate is in the pill form of most mediations as a filler (and some liquid kinds) which CAN contain beef and pork, so I had to stop taking my medications. Some people can be affected by their body soap, lotion, toilet paper, etc.

I plan to post more things on what I am going through and what I am learning. I do some chicken and turkey still, but the majority of the time, I eat vegan. I make many meals from scratch, so my super handsome fiancé bought me a kitchenmaid mixer for Christmas. Anytime I eat anything, I have to check ingredients in literally everything. I can’t eat whatever I want at family get-togethers. I can’t go out to eat wherever. It is getting so much easier though. I cried, a lot. I felt like it was the end of my world and happiness, but now (although I am still discouraged a lot) I am better at realizing it is just food. I like fruits, vegetables, vegan cookies.

DID YOU KNOW..

Buffalo Wild Wings fries in beef tallow? That means all the wings, I cannot have. I miss wings. I miss cheese. I miss lots of food. Sure, there are a lot of alternatives.. but it’s not the same. I miss stopping at fast food restaurants. I miss going out to eat with people without having to be “that person” asking for special accommodations. It is okay though. I will be okay. I am learning, I am happy, I am maintaining weight. It seemed like the end, but I am quickly learning that it is not actually the end of the world and sometimes you just have to be “that person” and just ask!

If you get bored, come back and check out future posts to learn odd facts about living with these allergies! Thank ya’ll for taking the time out of your busy life to read about me.

“For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.”  Psalm 30:5 NLT

This. Is. Coparenting.

Tomorrow is Christmas. I sit here and write this as my ex-husband, Zach, and his new fiancé, Bailee, left from visiting Avery Grace because it is my holiday, Christmas Eve. But we share days- and that’s okay, if we’re home- they are invited over to see her and they know that. If we are out and about, they are invited to meet us up. Zach is Avery’s dad and we are all family, and that is okay.

Our coparenting plan is good and we are rocking it (not to brag), but it is not perfect. We fight, argue, and do not agree on everything- and that is okay. We have incorperated a “if it does not benefit Avery” objective. If we are arguing just to argue, we take a step back and come back to the scenario at a later time when we have cooled down. That is one great thing I would recommend to anyone, not just coparents. If you are arguing just to argue, take a step back, calm down, then reevaluate. You don’t always have to decide right then and that is okay.

Our Christmas routine is great for us. We decided to do Christmas Eve with mama, opening presents TOGETHER from Santa, then Christmas Day with daddy. Avery is so loved by everyone and has a lot of people who want to see her, so luckily Zach and I are in such great relationships that our significant other understanding the importance of us all involved. I know that not everyone is that lucky and my heart genuinely aches for those who cannot have an easy relationship and efficient coparenting situation. To those who don’t have that luxury, that is okay. I am still praying for you.

Tonight, Zach and David put together Avery presents and played while Bailee and I wrapped last minute presents. We are friends. We are family. We spend time together, we do family dinners often. We go to events, we go on vacations together. We go to church together AND we sit next to one another. We FaceTime with each other so Avery can see us before bed. We message throughout the day to check on Avery. Not everyone can do that.. And that is okay.

This Christmas may not be a good one. You may be dealing with loss, grief, sickness, sadness, being alone. I have been there, trust me. I have been that scene in the Grinch when he decides at 4:00 to wallow in self-pity. You don’t always have to be okay and you know what? That is okay. I will be thinking and praying for everyone going through a tough season in their life. I don’t need to know the reason- but if you need to talk, vent, or hear some encouraging words from someone, message me anytime. I will be your person, I will root for you, I will love you, I will encourage you.

Tomorrow, December 25th from 2-4 pm Cedar Point Church (1660 N Lynn Riggs Blvd Claremore, OK 74017) will be putting on a Gift of Christmas. It provides a meal and gifts to families on Christmas, isn’t that so cool? I will be there hanging out and chatting with all the sweet people who come to hangout tomorrow. I hope to see you there, especially if you have nowhere to go. Don’t stay home and watch Netflix because you’re being the Grinch at 4:00 wallowing. If you’re scared to be alone coming in, that is okay. I will be there and I will do everything in my power to make you comfortable. Feel free to share this so we can reach more people!

Christmas is a sweet time. I’m learning to be more festive because this didn’t use to be my cup of tea, but now that I have a sweet, tiny human- I am all about it. I hope your day is full of love and family and friend and pets and food and time well spent. I hope you remember if it’s not as amazing as you had hoped, that is okay. You are loved. You are enough. You are strong. You are brave. Joy comes in the morning.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night, except the mom still drinking wine and wrapping presents.. I know you’re not saying goodnight anytime soon. 🤣

“For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Psalm 30:5 NLT

Hey y’all, it’s Ky.

Well, my name is actually Kyla, but if you ask anyone new, they would say it’s Kala or Kylie or Karla.. I won’t correct you, it’s awkward. I once let someone call me Kala for 3 years because I didn’t want to tell them it’s Kyla. It’s not even spelled the same. 🙄

There is a lot I could tell you about me and it is constantly changing. I have had high highs and I have had low lows like anyone else. I’ve been selfish, I’ve felt grief. I’ve lived through jealousy, sadness, major life changes.. But that’s not all I am.
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