Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Make a Difference!

As many of you know, it's been almost a year since I had a stroke. I am constantly amazed at how for I have come. But this isn't just about me. 

Stroke is the 5th leading cause of death in the United States, killing 130,00 Americans every year. 

A stroke, sometimes called a brain attack, occurs when a clot blocks the blood supply to the brain or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts.

Someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds. Every four minutes, someone dies of stroke.

Every year, about 800,000 people in the United States have a stroke. About 610,000 of these are first or new strokes; 185,000 are recurrent strokes.

Although stroke risk increases with age, strokes can—and do—occur at any age. In 2009, 34% of people hospitalized for stroke were younger than 65 years. Don't think it can't happen to you. 

In a 2005 survey, most respondents—93%—recognized sudden numbness on one side as a symptom of stroke. Only 38% were aware of all major symptoms and knew to call 9-1-1 when someone was having a stroke.

Patients who arrive at the emergency room within 3 hours of their first symptoms tend to have less disability 3 months after a stroke than those who received delayed care.

So why am I telling you all this? Because I know that I have been so blessed and I want to in turn make a difference in the Stroke community. May is not only my one year anniversary of being a stroke survivor, but it is also National Stroke Awareness month. 

With the help of Rhonda Miller at Perfect Promotions, we have created a t-shirt about stroke awareness. These shirts will be for sale for $15 with the proceeds going to the National Stroke Association. The money donated to the National Stroke Association will go to increase awareness about stroke and providing life saving information as well as helping to impact survivor empowerment and stroke community quality of life. Adult sizes small-3x available and two shirts to choose from!

The easiest way to order, will be to send me the money on my PayPal account address at To do this, click on the pay or send money tab at the top of your PayPal Home page then click send money to friends or family. On the next page, type in my email ( and the amount you are paying then click next (please add $2 to your total if you want it shipped). On the next page, in the note section, I need you to write your name, size, which shirt you want (because I care or for someone I love) and mailing address if you would like your shirt mailed to you.  If you don't want it shipped you can pick up your shirts when they are completed at perfect promotions on Lehman Avenue in Bowling Green KY! See me often? I can also take your order and payment in person. The LAST day to order these shirts will be Thursday May 7th! Don't want a shirt, but still want to support the cause? You can do the same process to donate any amount, just write donation in the note section. Don't have any extra cash to spare? You can also help simply by sharing this post! 

I am so excited about this opportunity to make a difference in the lives of stroke survivors as well as helping to spread more information about stroke awareness to save lives! Thank you so much for being part of this with me. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Starting Over

This may be the most vulnerable blog I have ever written... seriously... this is scarier than writing about my divorce. Here it goes...

I am fat...

No really, looking at a BMI scale I am not just overweight... I am obese. In fact I would have to lose another  several pounds before I am even considered overweight for my height.

I honestly don't remember a time in my life when I didn't feel fat.... especially in high school! Ahhhh.... to be as small as I was when I thought I was fat in high school.

I've always struggled with my weight... mostly because I don't ever consistently continue to try to lose the weight.

I know I am not physically healthy.

I think I have always felt like I carried my weight well... but not these days. These days, I feel like a wale!

This isn't about being skinny.

This is about being comfortable in my own skin.

This is about being a good example to my daughter.

This is about feeling better.

This is about being happier.

It's always an excuse... and as a single mom, I can use a lot of excuses.

But not anymore.

Last year before my stroke, I had lost quite a bit of weight... but after my stroke until now, I have gained it all back.

I could point to all the trauma I have experienced over the past year and all the medications I have had to be on as the reason... but that would just be an excuse. Truth is lack of motivation and a crappy diet are the culprits. 

So I am starting over. Something I don't want to have to keep doing.

I truly believe that God desires for us to take care of our bodies. Why else would the scriptures say our body is a temple? I am not some extremist trying to convince anyone to eat only organic or start a paleo diet (I mean, more power to you if you do). I think there is a balance with food that so many of us struggle with. 

We finish our plates, even when we aren't hungry anymore. We eat when we are bored or lonely. We constantly eat fast food. 

So I am going to eat better. I am going to walk more. I am not going to McDonalds just because I don't feel like cooking. 

The bible tells us to honor God with our bodies. This scripture is typically used to discuss sexual sin, but I think it goes hand in hand with taking care of ourselves. We were given our bodies, and I think God wants us to take care of them, and part of that is learning to be more physically healthy. 

Maybe you are starting over too. Maybe just to be healthier in general, maybe because you foresee some serious health issues ahead if you don't take control. 

This is not my attempt to turn this into a fitness blog... I am still going to write about my life and my kid and all the things God is teaching me. But this was on my heart... this was in my head. And maybe someone else is just as tired as I am of constantly starting over. 

So lets make this the last time we start over. The last time we start from scratch, and work towards being happier and healthier individuals. 

"There are seven days in a week, and tomorrow isn't one of them"

Monday, April 20, 2015

Things not to say to a single mom

So, I have been separated since October of 2013 and officially got divorced in august of last year. So I in no way claim to be an expert on single mothers everywhere, I only know from personal experience and what I have read. These are things that people say, and I know they mean well, but sometimes it's just a little too much. Some of these things I have never personally heard, some of them far too often. This is less of a "shame on you" rant, and more of an informational piece. If you have never lived it, you may not realize that your words, even with good intentions, can hurt.

1.Where is your child?
Sometimes I would like for my response to be "OMG, I have no idea, will you help me look for her?" The fact is 90% of the time if she isn't with me, she is with her dad. So, thank you for reminding me that tonight when I get home I will be all by myself. That I won't be getting goodnight kisses and getting to say our night time prayers. It will be quiet and lonely. I know that's not what you mean, you are most likely genuinely curious, and I am not angry for that. So, lets just assume she is with her dad, so you don't unintentionally make me feel crappy about it. And when people say things like it must be nice to get a break from her for on a weekend... umm no. In fact I HATE weekends she is with her dad. And if she cries when she leaves and says "Mommy, you come with me?" well I cry when she leaves too. I feel like she grows so much on her weekend away, and I feel like I miss out on so much of her life. Not fun at all. And if you do see me out on a rare occasion without her when you know she isn't with her dad, assume that she is being watched my someone I love and trust. I think its OK for me to occasionally have a life!

Want to be helpful? Maybe if you think a single mom might not have her kid for the weekend, maybe ask he if she wants to hang out. Go to dinner or come over and watch a movie... She will quickly tell you if she can't because she will have her kid, but she might be appreciative of the kind gesture either way.

2. Are you dating?
Ha... well of course I am completely open for a great guy to come and sweep me off my feet. But I don't believe when most men are filling out their dating resume's that they check yes, what they really want is a single mom. Why? Because single moms are busy and they aren't always fun. We work, some more than one job, and then we are busy with our kids, and cleaning house and doing homework... and well you get the gist. Most single mom's who aren't pawning their kids off all the time, don't have a lot of free time. Sure we can go to a movie, but I can't guarantee I won't be fighting to keep my eyes awake. And well if I do find someone that meets my standards, trust me, people will know.. because well that would be kind of a big deal. Until then, just assume I am not, or not serious enough to make an announcement about it, and that I am perfectly happy until Mr. Right decides to come along.

Want to be helpful? Don't just invite single moms to hang out in couple settings. I am OK with being single, but sometimes I just don't want to hang out with a bunch of couples. 

3. Any extreme negativity toward my ex
I get it, this divorce didn't just affect my daughter, my ex, and my self. It affected a lot of people that are close to both of us. I get it, you are angry and hurt too. But most of the time, I really don't have a lot of negative things to say about him. We aren't together for reasons that are non of your business but we still get along great and parent well together. He will always be part of my life. But I can't hate him, because without him I wouldn't have the most amazingly wonderful kid on the planet. He isn't perfect, and sometimes really makes me angry... but mostly we do well working together to be great parents to our little girl.

Want to be helpful? Just don't bring it up if they don't, and if they do, maybe listen and don't feel the need to interject your own input.

4. So you get along, well my ex and I..
Like, I think for some reason the fact that I am divorced makes other people think I really just want to sit and dish about it all, or listen to them. Its awkward. Like, when I am hearing about your constant arguments and such, like I have no idea what to say, because well that's not how my divorce went. Now, if we are sitting having a hear to heart about what you are dealing with personally, then yeah, lets get coffee and chat! But I have no desire to hear you degrade your ex, I have no desire to hear about you giving up, because well I am not divorced because I gave up, and it kind of makes me a little angry to hear about people who run to divorce lawyers so quickly.

Want to be helpful? Stop trashing your ex... Be a grown up... enough said.

5. Going to church must be so hard.
Umm, why? Because I am divorced? I think you are going to the wrong church if this is your attitude. I have made TONS of mistakes in the public eye of those I go to church with. Not once have I ever felt unloved or like I didn't belong. Church should be the place you run to, not from! Now, church people aren't perfect, and sometimes they don't know how to act in certain situations. I would kindly point them in the direction John 3:17, and ask if God didn't send his son to condemn the world, what exactly gave that individual the authority to do so?

Want to be helpful? Maybe ask a single mom about church, maybe she has had a bad experience. Maybe you could be the one that can show how Christian's are supposed to love like Jesus.

6. Any sentence at all that says or implies that you feel sorry for me
I despise pity more than just about anything in the world. People seem to be much more upset about me being a single mom than I am. Don't get me wrong, at times it isn't easy, but my life is good. Seriously, take your pity where its appreciated, because it isn't here.

Want to be helpful? Want to know how a single mom is doing? Ask her genuinely and without a somber look on your face. If you can't manage that conversation without portraying pity, maybe just don't say anything at all.

7. It must be so hard, I don't know how you do it.
I mean, like what other option do I have? Put my 3 year old in a basket and leave her at the door step of a church? Of course not! Wanna know how I do it? I just do. I am sure this is meant to be encouraging, but if you were in the situation you would do the same. I wake up every morning and just keep moving forward. I mean, I really don't know what other realistic option that I have. I love my kiddo more than anything in the world, as I am sure you love your kids too. You do what you have to do. You have to let the chips fall where they may and just deal. I am not some super hero, I am just a mom who loves her kid and would do anything for her... being single didn't change that.

Want to be helpful? Tell a single mom you think she is awesome. Tell her you think her kids are well behaved and it must be because they have a great mom. Tell them what they are doing right, don't remind them that it isn't always easy. She knows.

8. You look tired
Thanks, that is so helpful for my self-esteem! Want to know why I look tired? Because I am! This is just hateful to say in general... so don't.

Want to be helpful? Ask a single mom if she needs help with anything, offer to give her a night off, bring her a coffee, encourage her... never tell her that the single parent life is starting to show.

9. I feel so bad for you daughter
HOLD UP! You want to make a single mom mad, please tell her you feel sorry for her kids. WHY?? Because she has a ridiculous amount of people who love her? Yeah, so her dad doesn't live with us, but guess what, he loves her too. I think my claws would come out on this one. I worry enough about my daughter's future, and I try my best to make sure her father and I have a healthy relationship. Please don't try to tell me that she is doomed for serious relationship issues in the future. I would ask you to show me your crystal ball that tells you my daughters future. And well I know that having both parents at home is ideal, but that's just not how it worked out for us.

Want to be helpful? Be a positive roll model to her kids. Kids need lots of role models. Maybe they have a dad in the picture and maybe they don't. Be a friend that the child can talk to and learn from. 

I love being a mom! Olivia is honestly the best thing that ever happened to me. So what can we learn from all this, I mean I'm not sure I can write a blog without a moral of the story so to speak. I think if someone reads this, and feel inspired to love, support, befriend, or help out a single mom I think that's what I want. I am beyond blessed to have a crazy amazing support system, but not everyone does. That life line of support is the reason I am able to do and be and accomplish everything that I have. So hug a Single Mom today, and let her know she is awesome!

I found this list of scriptures for single parents, but I think this list can relate to parents everywhere!

  1. When You’re Overwhelmed
    But those who trust in the Lord for help will find their strength renewed. They will rise on wings like eagles; they will run and not get weary; they will walk and not grow weak.” Isaiah 40:31 (GNT)
  2. When You’re Tired 
    “Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28(GNT)
  3. When You Feel Alone 
    “’The mountains and hills may crumble, but my love for you will never end; I will keep forever my promise of peace.’ So says the Lord who loves you.” Isaiah 54:10 (GNT)
  4. When You’re Worried about Money 
    “And with all his abundant wealth through Christ Jesus, my God will supply all your needs.” Philippians 4:19 (GNT)
  5. When You Need Wisdom 
    “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. Remember the Lord in everything you do, and he will show you the right way. Proverbs 3:5-6 (GNT)
  6. When You’re Unsure about Your Kids’ Future 
    “We have not stopped praying for you since the first day we heard about you. In fact, we always pray that God will show you everything he wants you to do and that you may have all the wisdom and understanding that his Spirit gives. Then you will live a life that honors the Lord, and you will always please him by doing good deeds. You will come to know God even better. His glorious power will make you patient and strong enough to endure anything, and you will be truly happy.” Colossians 1:9-11 (CEV)

Monday, April 13, 2015

It's not about us

No, your eyes are not deceiving you. This is a picture of my ex-husband and I. We took this picture on Easter Sunday. It was his weekend to have our daughter, but since it was a holiday, we planned time together. We took her Easter Egg hunting and they came to my Church. Isn't my kid just the cutest in her Easter dress?

The weird thing is... for the most part, this isn't weird. This is normal for us. No, we do not hang out all the time. But it is important to both of us to both be in our daughters life and be able to do things together with her. We may not be married anymore, but we are her parents, for better or for worse.

I am by no means an expert on the situation, and well I know that in many aspects I am just lucky that Jacob and I get along as well as we do.

I wanted to write this blog because I see so many people having issues with doing the whole co-parenting thing. I'm not saying it's always a walk in the park, but I do have a few tips that might make it a little easier.

1.Make it legal
It seem like a lot of the issues that parents have when raising a child together comes after they begin to not get along, which makes a lot of sense. Sometimes couples who split, go into this co-parenting thing with good intentions, but then their feelings get hurt or they have a fight. My advice is, make everything legal before that happens. Don't wait until your ex is mad at you and refuses to let you see your kid. Maybe it's was a train wreck from the get go, and if that's the case even more reason to get it taken care of so everyone knows the rules. Our agreement is pretty simple, he gets her every other weekend... end of story. It's that simple because we didn't need to make it complicated. If he is off work on a Wednesday and wants to spend the day with her, that's totally fine. And we've worked out Holiday's to where we can both spend time with her at some point. I get that not everyone's agreement can be that simple, and maybe someday we will have to go back to court to adjust the agreement. For now this works for us, figure out what works for you.

2.Get over yourself
Can I be honest? Jacob still makes me angry from time to time. It's not like it's just rainbows and butterflies 24/7. Sometimes I'm still hurt by the past. Sometimes, I just plan think he is dumb. But you know what? It's not about me. He loves that little girl, and she sure does love her daddy. As long as he is doing what he needs to do to keep her safe, raise her well, and support her, why would I ever try to take him out of the equation? Now, if you ex is abusive or on drugs or any other situation that would cause them not to be a fit parent, THIS DOES NOT PERTAIN TO YOU! This if for the parents who let their hurt get in the way of what is best for their kids. Stop being selfish.

3.Stop the bashing
I honestly make it a point to not bash my ex. I'm not saying he doesn't ever make me angry, and I might need to consult with a close friend to stay calm about it. I don't air it all out on Facebook or sub-tweet about it. I don't run and tell everyone I know. Why? Because someday my daughter is going to be old enough to understand a lot more than she does now. This is my way of protecting my family. Not only should you not bash your ex, you should also not allow your friends or family to either. I get it, they were hurt by the situation as well, but this isn't about them. This is about protecting your child and doing your best to keep the peace. And regardless of any crappy thing my ex may have done, he is still the father of my child. Never EVER bash your ex in front of your kids or but your children in the middle.

4.Be a family
Like I said before, Jacob and I don't hang out. But we make it a point to make sure that we can be good examples to our daughter. We went together to get her ears pierced. We had her birthday party together. We don't hang out all the time, but I want Olivia to know that her dad and I love her so much. That our marriage didn't last, but that she is still the most important thing to both of us. We are a family, although not a conventional one. We share our daughter, and we want her to see us getting along and making this work. We would never want her to think we hated each other or that we are too stubborn to make this family work. Because once again, it's not about us.

Something that personally helped me when we first separated is setting some boundaries for our relationship. No, we didn't have to sit down and discuss anything. But I had A LOT of hurt and anger built up. So I deleted him. I took him off my social media accounts or made it to wear he didn't show up in my news feed. Because I was driving myself crazy about what he was doing or who he was with, and it wasn't making me feel any better. I think it's important to realize what you need to heal from a situation, and for me that was to learn not to care about the things he was doing because they were no longer my business (unless it came to Olivia of course).

6.Stick Together
I probably drive Jacob crazy because I read way to much about things that could go wrong and kids looking at porn and why you shouldn't do sleepovers... and all these things that stress me out when our kid is only 3! But it's important to discuss big issues and make sure you are both on the same page. I never want Olivia to think her dad can tell her no and the she can turn around and get me to say yes. That takes communication! Kids need consistency. Be consistent and stick together. Don't ask kids to carry messages! Your children need to know that you communicate, otherwise it will be so easy for them to pull one over on you.

I'm not saying we have it all together and I know it isn't necessarily this easy for everyone else. It makes a big difference if you are both committed to doing the best you can for your kids. But that isn't always the case. I know it isn't easy, but you have to be the bigger person. Not because your Ex deserves it, but because your kids do.

But for me, it's so important! I know that kids that come from divorce don't fair well in the statistics. My hope is that if Olivia sees her parents loving her, communicating, getting along, making her a priority... that she can grow up to be successful and well adjusted. I know our decisions affect her.

Olivia is the most important thing in my world. I hope and pray that she becomes more and does greater things that I can ever imagine. And I believe she will, because her Father and I refuse to stand in her way... because it's not about us.

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way she should go; and even when she is old she will not depart from it.

Monday, April 6, 2015

She keeps me warm

Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone's lifestyle you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you must agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don't have to compromise convictions to be compassionate. -Rick Warren

A hot topic lately is the laws in Indiana on religious freedom.  

I found it pretty interesting that there seems to be such an uproar about this, when there are several states that have similar legislation already enacted. 

However, this blog isn't about being right or wrong, it's not about telling the gays they are sinners... this blog is for the Christian's.

Unfortunately while researching and looking at articles I found A LOT of Christian's in desperate need of putting their two cents in. 

I am not saying you are wrong... but I am saying so many of you are handling it completely wrong. 

I honestly don't know a ton about the specifics of this legislation, so I'm not going to write about my opinion, because well my opinion is not currently a well informed one. 

However, I am embarrassed of how some Christians are behaving themselves. 

Stand up for what you believe in! But do you have to call people names? 

They will know we are Christian's by our LOVE! But so often it seems that Christian's resort to hate just to be part of the conversation. 

Instead of just making noise, why don't we come to the conversation with intelligence? Telling someone constantly that they are going to Hell probably isn't the best way to convince them to choose Heaven. 

Here is the thing... gay or straight, boy or girl, black or white... we are all sinners, in desperate need of a savior. As a Christian, you are fortunate enough that you get it... you've accepted the sacrifice of Jesus and you have made a decision to follow him. There are some people who still just don't get it, and some people who are so wrapped up in their lifestyles that they don't want to... It isn't your job to condemn them. It is your job to point them in the direction of Christ.

The Bible says the road to Hell is wide, and lots of people are headed that way. But the road to Heaven? It's much smaller, and there are few that actually find it. 

So today dear friends, I am urging you to never abandon your convictions, but to never let the way you feel about something or believe in something cause you to be hateful to others. Because that is not the way to lead them to Christ. 

Don't be the stereotypical Christian. Don't bash people. Be the change. Be better. Be like Christ... love people. 

1 Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sin. 

What is Paigerific? I’m glad you asked, although I don’t have an exact definition to offer. Paigerific is my thoughts and my heart. Paigerific is my passion and my fear. Paigerific is my success and my failures. Paigerific is my blood, sweat, and tears. Paigerific is more than just simply word. It’s a million different words all rolled into one. Words like hope, grace, determination, imperfection, love, faith, insecurity… The one word I would use to describe myself? I am Paigerific.


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