p a t c h o u l i.

This is for the sweet girl that chased me down in Whole Foods tonight and asked what I was wearing…sorry I didn’t get your name. Like I said, this happens…no lie…at least 3 times a week. Here’s the link:

I guess I’ve found my signature scent. I’ve heard that if you can’t smell your perfume and someone else stops you to say you smell really nice then you’ve found the one. If you can smell your perfume or cologne it’s too strong. Did you know that? Now you do.

I’ve tried other brands and I’m not a fan…too strong.  This is the one. I don’t know what it is about this one that makes it wonderful, but it’s wonderful.

It takes just a drop or two. Rub it on the ends of your dry shampoo’ed hair, crank up some Fleetwood Mac and go granola.

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g i r l f r i e n d s.

g i r l f r i e n d s bw

I am trying to squeeze all my thoughts on this topic into a blog post and it’s IMPOSSIBLE. Oh for the splendor of having someone in your life that gets you! That knows you. That knows you and hey…loves you anyway. The one who remembers things about you that you’ve long since forgotten, but speaks into you to remind you who you are…Whose you are…how FAR you’ve come and exactly why you are still standing.

We need our girlfriends.

Okay. Now. Stop. Before I continue I want you to write down the names of your tried and true gal pals.  Your chums. Your squad. Got it?  Now finish this sentence for each name:

I knew we were friends for life when…………………………………………………….

What happened after you met that told you this is my person. That’s MY friend. What qualities did this person possess that you knew you wanted in your own life?

I put this question out last night on Facebook and Instagram and within a few minutes I’m crying as precious friends (that I wish I could see more often!) answered my post. I knew how much these girls meant to me, but to hear they feel the same, melted me for a minute. If we don’t ask…we don’t know. I’m so glad I asked.

Years ago my daughters and I were on a long road trip and I asked them:

If you had $1000 and you had to spend it on a dinner party and invite 5 people…who would you invite, what would you serve and where would it be?

We went on lots of road trips but this one is buried in my memory because of their answers…as well as mine.

I remember laughing when Hannah, my youngest, said her dinner party would be on an island with Lizzie Mcguire (Hilary Duff) and four of her classmates from school. She was going to stretch that $1000 real good like…we love our Hannah.

After they all three finished they asked me my answer…

I thought about it and chose five friends that I’d gathered over the span of my life…we were on a back porch with a long wooden table eating woodfired pizzas. Then Paige, my oldest asked…“Why them?”

“Because these are the women that I want in YOUR life. Not just mine…but yours.”

When I think about my close friends they truly are representative of the nature I want my daughters to emulate. They are kind and funny and compassionate. They live to build others up instead of tearing them down. They are encouragers and not discouragers. If they have children, they love them well…and the ones who don’t…they love mine like they are their own.

In Search of Friendship

If you feel friendless get out there and find someone to love! You have to be a friend first. You are not the only one wishing you had a buddy! Pray about it and tell God what you need in a friend. Ask Him to allow your path to cross with someone that would enrich your life and grow you as a person! Pray for ways you can be a friend to someone and pour into their life with the wisdom you’ve gained from your own life lessons.  You will be amazed at how quickly this works…

Built in Friends.

I was over and above blessed to have sisters and daughters…built in friendships that God chose for me. I adore my sisters and they love me like no tomorrow. They are listeners and teachers and paved a sweet path of motherhood for me to watch and follow. I adore my children. I am at my best when I’m with my daughters. They encourage me to raise my standards in excellence and bow my head in prayer. They are witty and wise and the four of us together is a force to be reckoned with. These are relationships I will NEVER have to question…but I didn’t stop at this. I wanted to be friends with YOU. You know who you are…and if you don’t…ask me. Send me a message and ask me how I knew we were friends for life. I’ll tell you. I know exactly why.

 

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the anna to my elsa.

Meet Betty…

Betty is more than just my sister. Betty has been my best friend since birth…we go way back.

Think about how you define “best friend”…always there for you, would do anything for you, loves you in all your mess and encourages you to do your best, your confidant, the person you call when it hurts… and also the person who feels THEY win when YOU win! Yep…that stuff. That’s her. I could write a novel on our adventures but I’ll save it for a book….We shared a room and a twin bed until she left me for Tim…I was 9 years old and had an elementary meltdown as he carried his 18 year old blushing bride across town to start a new life…and by across town I mean a mile or two. I was heartbroken so I spent many days and nights at their house. Sorry, Timothy…package deal.  Thirty years later I moved in with them during my divorce. I left then moved back in after I lost my business. I owe them…big time.

The Q & A

How did we meet?

One of the best days of my life!  Our parents walked into the house with you and you became my living, wiggling, breathing baby doll.  I adored you then and I adore you now.

What’s your favorite memory of us?  As children, snuggling in bed with you every night and talking about whatever was on your mind that day.  You always made me smile.  I have lots of fun adult memories but when I think about you as a child I get warm fuzzies all over and thank God that you are my sister.

Morning Person or Night Owl?  Hmmmmm….I used to be a hardcore night owl and can still do that from time to time but after years of getting up early to go to work I think I’m reprogrammed to get up early, but I’m still a night owl in my heart.

Morning Routine?  Coffee first and foremost!  I sit in my comfy robe, sipping my coffee with a dog on my lap and read.  I always get up extra early just so I can sit and wake up slow.

…and night?  Tim and I almost always go to bed together but he is the one that sets that in motion.  If it weren’t for him I don’t know when I would go to bed.  His movement to the bedroom tells me it’s time to get in my jammies, wash my face and brush my teeth.  I can find so many things to do before bedtime. When he’s out of town I hardly ever get to bed before midnight.  I pay for it the next day and can’t wait til he gets home and gets me back on track. He is the epitome of routine and I am just the opposite.  We need each other!

You have $1000 and you have to spend it in one store in 30 minutes: where do you go?  Go?  Girl, I could do some online shopping damage in under 30 minutes on Amazon! No need to leave my house.

What are you listening to?  The Message on Sirius in the car but mostly I listen to podcasts.  Right now I’m totally into The Road Back to You: Looking at life through the lens of the Enneagram.  I have also been listening to Times Square Church:Sermons and  The Mark Gungor Show.  Mark’s practical marriage advice cracks me up. I love my Pandora stations… I also always have the CD in my car that Tim made me in case I need to hear some love from him. : ) 

 3 things you are loving right now?  Payton, Aiden,  Jude and Levi! Yes, I adore my grands and am looking forward to more!  ( Angie has another due any minute! )Everything else pales in comparison to time spent with them. 

But the STUFF I’m loving is:

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Makeup 3-in-1 Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm 

My new 2017 Erin Condren planner

Purification Essential Oil in my YL diffuser

What’s in your bag?  I usually carry a small purse but it is amazing what I can pull out of it at any given time.  My have-to-have items are my driver’s license, chapstick, tissue, a little money, credit card and gum.  I also carry around a few stickers at all times.  You never know when you might need to express yourself on something with a smiley face sticker.  : )  My friends call me a little rat because I’m always digging in my purse for something.

Who inspires you?  Right now, Gina Miller is high on the list. The way you and Kurt “keep on keepin’ on” is such an inspiration to me.   Overcomers of great adversity always inspire me to reach higher, dig deeper, and get over myself.  My clients inspire me daily. ***I wanted to ask her to change this answer but I was like, “you know what…if the person who at one time, or three, depended on you for shelter can one day be your inspiration then THAT needs sharing!”

What connects you to God?  The Word, worship, music (playing and listening), nature, family, and friends.  I am so blessed to have a great family and awesome friends that share their love of Christ and what He is doing in their lives in almost every conversation we have.  It is inspiring, uplifting, and causes me to seek God more diligently in my own life.

 Favorite verse?  That’s like asking which child is your favorite but I do have some I lean on more heavily than others.  Proverbs 3:5,6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”

 What tugs at your heartstrings?  Worship music, talking to my parents, playing with children, reading a great novel, reading my Guideposts every month. I’m a 2 on the Enneagram so if you are familiar with that you will understand that connecting to others really moves me.

If you ARE familiar with the Enneagram I am a 5 with a 4 wing meaning I am an introvert who has to isolate to get my energy back. After I took the test and gave my results to Betty she had an epiphany of understanding  and well… this is us…Remember the scene in Frozen where Anna wants Elsa to build a snowman…Here watch:

I lived with Betty and Tim during what felt like a hopeless time of my life. My bedroom was at the end of the hall and I would retreat there with all my sadness, giving the enemy full permission to keep me well aware of my situation.  Betty’s music room is across the hall and one day as I was literally lying on the floor in a pool of broken, music began to stir through the vents. Betty was playing the piano, as she often does, but this time I could not only hear it, I could see it. I could see the love being poured out with each note. I sat up and began to pray and I lifted my eyes and hands and thanked God for a sister who loves me SO MUCH…for a sister who does not hide her talent but lets her light shine for all to see and hear. I knew it was time for me to come out of that room and melt. I could not go back and change anything but I could move forward… and it was time.

If ever in Andrews, Texas I can assure you there’s a back porch located in the back of the most welcoming house where my sweet Betty will stop what she’s doing…ask you if you want something to drink… and sit and visit with you. She loves company…but more than that, she just loves. She loves me…and oh how I love them….

betty-and-tim
the day I left their nest..flew the coop…headed for LOOWEEZEEANNA

Happy I could share a snippet of my favorite person with you…

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…all I had to do was ask

Who better to let my readers know who I am than my daughters?!

If anyone knows me, and knows me well, it’s them…right?!

That’s what I was thinking when I sent them this quick little Q&A. I simply asked them to answer in their own words and text or email me back their answers…wow. I’m so glad I asked….

Mother’s Day is this coming Sunday…You want to know what will top any gift? Asking your children a few questions about their memories of you as their mom. Wow. I had no idea when I sent this text out that the answers would bless my boots off.  Honestly, I was just curious and working on a blog post…their answers trumped anything I could write!

The Questions:

  • Your first vivid memory of me
  • What is a habit of mine
  • What do you remember me cooking
  • What makes me laugh
  • What makes me cry
  • What would I do if I won the lottery
  • What do I do to make you feel loved
  • Describe me in 3 words

The Answers:

Paige

First vivid memory of you is hard to answer…for some reason I am drawn to think of events like you picking me up from school and seeing you in the crowd at school events. I can remember back to things in Jasper so that would’ve been when I was around 4 or 5.

You cooked chicken nuggets, ranch style beans and macaroni and cheese! I’ll never forget Christmas when all of dad’s family came down and we planned a huge grocery list…from sandwiches to desserts. I was excited to have everyone come stay with us…Oh, and also pie for my birthday.

What makes you laugh? Let’s be honest…I totally make you laugh.

Cry? I think you cry most when you question yourself…whether that be past or potentials.

Lottery? You would totally take all of us on a dream vacation. We would make memories. I also think you would write a children’s book and purchase a beach house somewhere.

I feel super loved when you do acts of kindness. I know that sounds silly but laundry, cleaning house, buying something simple that you know I will like, or playing with my hair. There is just something about a mom’s touch. I appreciate those things because there is a lot of thought put into it and you are willing to give your time…that makes me feel loved.

3 words: damn. good. mama. (lol…okay maybe don’t put that on your blog)

I’m totally putting that on my blog.

Laken

It’s hard to say…every memory you were there. My memory of you is just “present”…at all, doing all.

Your habit? Taking all the hot water for your baths!

You cooked taco soup, gumbo, rainbow beans…Ritz chicken and I always remember your homemade gravy for breakfast that would be served in that white dish shaped like a cow. In high school you made us shiner beer brownies…oh, and Lean Cuisines.

Laugh?…she left this blank.

Cry? Driving away from us.

Lottery? Buy a lot of land and build all of us our own house so we could be close to one another. Your house would also have a long wooden farm style table for family dinners that we’re not allowed to miss…and probably buy cute shoes.

You go above and beyond for all three of us. If you had 3 dollars you’d find a way to give us 4 if we needed it…and in times I should have been ashamed you loved me even harder and I’ve never had to hide who I am in fear of losing your love.

3 words: Creative. Loving. Courageous.

 

Hannah Kate

My first vivid memory is whenever I fell asleep with gum in my mouth and I ran into your room around 4 am because gum was wrapped all around me, in my hair, EVERYWHERE. You threw me in the bath and began to put mayonnaise and peanut butter in my hair, trying to get it all out.. Not to forget that we are both halfway asleep…I remember apologizing so much and you said, “It’s what I’m here for.”and continued washing my gummy hair.

I honestly cannot think of any habits…that’s a good thing I guess!  Maybe fixing every crooked thing on the wall or straightening a picture on the coffee table…but I think we all have that habit. OCD runs in our blood, I swear!

Taco soup and Ritz chicken! Yum!

Laugh? I think everything can give you a good laugh…especially when I go into “Oh victory in Jesus!”

Distance makes you cry.

Lottery? You would give back to others…then purchase land somewhere and build houses for all of us. You would build your dream home with your dream kitchen and a porch…and of course purchase the prettiest porch swing! You would buy a new car and A LOT of shoes…You would give us the world.

You make me feel loved by simply being my mom…Your love. Your advice. Your courage. Your faith. Your endurance. Your passion. Just the thought of knowing that I am always loved, no matter what decisions I make, you will love me!  Regina Lynn is love, and I am just lucky enough to call you my mom and experience it!

3 words: Imaginative. Immaculate. Intelligent.

So there you have it…the Me from the eyes that matter most to me.

Now you see why I’m glad I asked!

We are a special tribe of laughter, tears, mood swings, understand you better than anyone, distance can’t break us, division can’t shake us,  Jesus trusting, silly giggles, couch cuddling, play with my hair, can I borrow that shirt, can’t wait to see you, hate to leave you, nothing can separate us love.

christmas 2013

Being a mom is a gift…We don’t need the breakfast in bed or the flowers …we don’t need your oops-I-forgot last minute trip to the nearest store that sells greeting cards or the gift bought with money you don’t have to spend…

Can I get a witness?

Perhaps I’m just speaking for myself, but I know enough mom friends to vouch for this declaration…

All we really need is for you to know us and love us anyway.

 

love gina