#GratiTuesday

#GratiTuesday: Meant To Be Moments

 

It may sound silly or ridiculous, or inconsequential in the grand scheme of things, but I’m grateful for live music. I’m grateful for music in general, but most of all when I’m experiencing it first hand.

Dancing with 500, or 500,000 people in a loud concert hall is where I feel the most me. When I feel the baseline pulsing through my veins and my heartbeat is indistinguishable from the drumbeat. Those are my Meant To Be moments.

What is a Meant To Be moment, you ask? It’s just like how it sounds. When you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are in the right place. This place feels like home for you. Because it is. You heart is at home. I was talking with my best friend Tara about it on our drive back from Tulsa Saturday night, it could be anything for anyone. That’s the joy about it. My Meant To Be moments, and your Meant To Be moments could be (and probably are) totally different.

Tara feels it at the zoo. Any zoo.

And I experience it every single time I go to a concert.
Every show.
Every time.
It’s such a hard concept to explain to people. Because, duhhhh? Who doesn’t feel happy when they are at a concert? But it’s more that just euphoric happiness for me, it’s contentment.

I experienced it last Saturday at Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa, Oklahoma dancing to “New Orleans” with Parachute. And I’m sure I’ll experience it at Old Rock House in St. Louis this coming Saturday when I see Parachute again.


I felt it every time my wrist band flashed at the 1989 World Tour.


I had it when I was nine years old and my parents took me to a Kansas concert.
And when I was an annoying 12-year-old with her mom and sister seeing NSYNC. And again when I was 24-years-old, but pretending to be 13-years-old, at a Backstreet Boys concert. And yet again when JT brought sexy back.


It reverberated in my heart when Billy Joel told me (and 24,000 other people) that “Vienna waits for you.” And I could hardly stand it when Hanson filled my heart and soul with Roots and Rock N Roll at the Dallas House of Blues.

That’s why every time I leave a concert, it’s such quick onset of Post-Concert Depression. Because that feeling is so fleeting and so rare for me, that Meant To Be feeling. It’s so rare, but I want to live it every day. I can’t even comprehend what it would feel like for me to work for a venue or for a tour and get to have that feeling every night. It would be more than you can imagine, more than I could ever even imagine.

Some people want to make lots of money. Some people want to be mommies and daddies. Other people want to travel the world. Others want to save it.

Me?
I just want to spend every night in a venue until I’ve lost all my proper hearing 🙂

Happy #GratiTuesday!

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#GratiTuesday: “Six billion souls. And sometimes all you need is one.”

Last Tuesday was the birthday of one of my best friends. We went to dinner and then went bowling. Because we are adults and those are the things we like to do.

Kendall is one of the genuinely kindest people I’ve ever known. Sometimes she’s so kind that it makes me mad. Kendall would literally give you anything she had if you needed it. She would do anything in her power to help you, and she will never turn away a prayer request. (I’m sure there’s been many times when Kendall’s prayers have, unbeknownst to me, intervened on my behalf in crisis times…or really anytime).

She has the sweetest disposition in life, which is why sometimes I can’t figure out what makes her like me so much. The thing about sweet people is that sometimes they are hard to be friends with. Yes, you like them, but you can never actually be friends with them. Kendall is not this way. She is sweet, but also sarcastic and funny. She is sweet, but also relatable.

We tried to calculate the other day how long we had actually been friends, and it was a long time. Approximately like 18-ish years (since fourth grade, but math is hard, so I just started guessing — also, fortunately for all of us, our awkward middle school and elementary school selves were not well photographed). That’s a long time to have someone in your life who’s not attached to you by blood. And I am grateful for every day that I’ve had her. She brightens my life with her humor and blesses my life with her spirit. And I hope there never comes a day when she’s no longer a top-tier member of my life.

Kendall is currently attending The Ramp ministry school in Hamilton, Alabama, and if you’d like to donate to her world-and-heart-changing mission, you can do so here: https://theramp.org/students/index.php. And by donating to her, I promise you, that money won’t be a waste. God has major plans for her. She can lead people in to worship, and that is one of the greatest gifts anyone can have.

I love you, Kendall! Happy #GratiTuesday!

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#GratiTuesday: Evan James

Today is my one and only nephew’s 13th birthday, and today’s GratiTuesday (yesterdays….technicalities) goes out to him.FullSizeRender

To be real honest, I never really know what to do with Evan. He’s a good kid, but he doesn’t like make-up, shoes, or painting his nails, so my aunting skills are basically useless with him.IMG_3004

 

 

 

 

 
The only thing we can agree on is dinosaurs.

He picks on his sisters, but what brother doesn’t? Despite that, I think he is still kind for a 13-year-old boy (and sometimes his sisters deserve it). He makes friends easily and works hard. He can draw and can invent and fabricate things I would never think of trying or creating.

He is the only reason I even contemplate going to baseball games, and he is my favorite outdoorsman.

Happy birthday, Evan. I love you!

 

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#GratiTuesday: Side by side or miles a part, sisters will always be connected by the heart

This week I am grateful for my sister, Stephanie Bradshaw. Her birthday was last week, and this post was supposed to occur then, but as you clearly can see, planning ahead is not my strong suit.

SIMG_1749teph and I grew up in an unconventional family system. As you may know (or not know), we are technically only half-sisters. Not that that has ever really mattered to us, it just means that we had different dads. It never meant that we were any sort of “second rate sisters” or whatever. She grew up with my grandparents in their home with my brother, while I grew up at home with my mom and dad (her mom also, just so we’re clear). I honestly think that’s probably why we get along so well, because we never really had to compete for attention. And I’m sure that 8.5 year (to be exact. I was her half-brithday present) age gap helps in that as well, that meant we were never trying to share friends or make-up or clothing, so there was really nothing to fight about.

I can remember being probably about 6th grade aged and it was the beginning of the school year and my parents didn’t have the money to take me new clothes shopping, and as far as I was concerned that was the end of the world. Because what kind of girls shows up to the first day of school in something she wore to school last year? But Steph took me shopping with her own money and bought me at least two new outfits (one of them included Mary-Kate and Ashley brand electric blue plaid pants). And it was then that I knew I wanted to be like hr when I grew up. Steph is kind, and funny (sometimes the two are mutually exclusive). She thinks of others. She’s a thoughtful, creative writer. And I’m proud that she is my sister. IMG_2557

These days we’re best friends because that 8.5 years didn’t matter so much once we both because adults. Though she does still feed me on occasion because as an adult mother she cooks dinner every night, and as an adult with just a dog I don’t always cook dinner (read: pretty much never).

We like to go to concerts together (namely Taylor Swift, we’ve seen her every time she’s come to the Sprint Center) and we like to go shopping…well I like to go shopping, she probably wouldn’t agree so much on that one. What we can agree on is Cici’s Pizza, we would both eat there literally every day if given the chance.

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Love you, Steph! Happy GratiTuesday!

(Lucky for everyone I’m such a poor planner that I couldn’t find any photos of us as children. I did com across this one from her wedding though! So rejoice, sister! Also you can thank our mother who pretty much took zero photos during my childhood.)

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#GratiTuesday: Bolivar City Fire

Today, and always, I am grateful for my Bolivar City Fire Department family. All of them.

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I know I have blogged about this before, but it’s never going to stop being true, I never in a million years thought I would be working in the fire service. Like, never. The thought never once crossed my mind.

But now, after three years with BCFD, I have no idea who I would be without these people in my life. They have given me so much and enriched my life more than I can quantify. And I don’t just mean the people who work with me at the station…I mean everyone of them, spouses/significant others and children included.

These families have graciously welcomed me into their hearts. I’ve formed friendships with them that I didn’t even know I needed.

And that is what I love so much about BCFD, we truly are a family. And how many people get to say that about the people they work with? I am a lucky girl. It sounds a little exaggerated to say it, but I really believe if I was in distress I could call anyone of the members of our department and they would drop everything to aid me…I’ve seen it happen. And I don’t think there is a single crew who’s family hasn’t welcomed me to a meal (or twelve), and their wives/fiancés/significant others have spent many hours hanging out and talking with me and getting to know me. And that means more to me that I think they’ll ever comprehend. Because being accepted and loved by your work family is not a luxury everyone has, and I feel very fortunate.

I am eternally grateful for their friendships.

Happy GratiTuesday! 

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#GratiTuesday: Alexis Layne

Today is the 12th birthday of my niece, Alexis. And today I am grateful for her.
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She is funny, smart, and creative.
And when I say smart, I mean she’s way smarter than I was at 12. She’s probably way smarter at 12 than I am at 26.
And when I say creative, I mean that she has more creativity in her pinky than I could ever hope to have. She likes to paint and draw and create things.

 
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She is also thoughtful and has a mess of feelings. And it’s hard having feelings in middle school. Because middle schoolers are not the most sensitive of creatures. They poke and make fun, and bully. And I spend a lot of time worrying about her.

She’d rather play Minecraft than wash her hair, and I love her for that. Because come on, why wash your hair if you don’t have to?

Happy Birthday, Alexis! And happy GratiTuesday!

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#GratiTuesday: Colossians 3:13

This week I am grateful for forgiveness. I know that sounds cliche, but this is my blog and I’ll be cliche if I want to. And as my bfffff Tara would say, cliches are cliches for a reason.

12301754_10153186971036975_2715205849436186696_nMy gratefulness for forgiveness comes in two primary tangents. First, I am eternally grateful for the forgiveness that comes from my Savior. The guy who knows all my hidden sins and all the bad things I do, but still chooses to call me by name. Christ forgives what I’ve done (and what He already knows I’m going to do) and instead decides to see my potential for what I could be one day.

What kind of life would it be with no hope, which is what I would have without forgiveness? No hope to be better. No hope to be stronger. No hope to be happier, or smarter, or kinder. That wouldn’t be a life I would be interested in living. So I am grateful to be a loved child of the King.

Second-fold: I’m grateful for the forgiveness my friends and family extend to me on a daily basis. I am aware that I am not the easiest person to get along with all the time. I have my selfish moments, and I have my hateful moments, and my ridiculous moments, but my friends and family love me regardless of how bad I mess up. And I mess up a lot, but they always look to see the better parts of me, even on days when those parts are tucked way deep inside.

Without their gracious hearts, and their willingness to forgive my flaws, I would have no one. And I don’t think that’s a life I’d be interested in living either.

So, to my friends and family, thanks for forgiving me, and remembering that I can sometimes be cool, even when I suck.

Happy GratiTuesday! (Even though today is Wednesday. I knew this moment was inevitable. I knew I was bound to miss a Tuesday somewhere along the line…I just thought it’d be further out than week three!)

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#GratiTuesday: “It is health that is wealth, and not pieces of gold and silver.”

Today I am grateful for my relative good health.

This seems like something small, but it’s really not. It’s a really big deal that I take for granted on a daily basis. The fact that I don’t get colds, or the flu, or have any kind of chronic pain is a huge blessing in my life.

I’m not trying to brag or anything, but I basically never get sick. I’m convinced it’s because I ate dirt as a child and refused to bathe, but look Ma, it all worked out in the end! I have developed a pretty stellar immune system, and for that I am grateful.

I can remember in college living in the dorms (#B1Sforever) how when one girl got sick, it was just a matter of time until the entire floor was sick. But I was never a part of that group…and it wasn’t because I spent the month in isolation.

pizzaAlso, I can 100% testify to the fact that I don’t exactly treat my body like a temple. I eat junk food. I stay up late. I don’t fitness (yes, I just used fitness as proper verb). My body has every reason to revolt against me. But it continues to be a brick house. And for that I am grateful.

Being sick is actually one of my greatest fears. I’m afraid that one day I’ll go from totally fine, to mortally ill. And I’ll get no warning. That one day I’ll use up all of my immune system tokens and then boom terminal illness. I’m not trying to make light of it, because terminal illness is not something I joke about, but making it a little lighter is the only way to console my fears of it. I’m constantly having to remind myself that God doesn’t work like that, trading tokens for health.

So until told otherwise, I’ll continue to live in the glow that is being healthy and I’ll try to not take my working extremities for granted.

Happy GratiTuesday!

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#GratiTuesday: Mama like the roses, but most of all she cared

I’ve notice, upon review of my recent blog posts that I spend a lot of time being sad. Or lamenting about being sad. Or complaining about things.

Which is sad. Because I actually do live an incredible life. So, I’ve decided that throughout the year of 2016, I’ll be focusing on being grateful for what I’ve been given, because even through the rough patches of life, it’s still incredible. Each day that I wake up with Clark in my lap is a gift. Each time I open my phone to text message or a phone call, I’m reminded of all the people who love me, and that is a gift.

So each week (hopefully) you’ll be seeing a post of from on something I’m grateful for. These posts will conveniently be on Tuesday, because it makes a nice little hashtag 🙂

The first #GratiTuesday I’d like to go on record is for my Mom. God bless my mother, who knows how she does the things that she does? I have no idea how she manages to be so good a life.

She’s selfless, and hilarious. She puts up with me with an outrageous amount of patience. Which I know is a thing all moms do, but if you know me at all, you know this is a bigger feat that most. She has spent many hours on the phone with me teaching me how to do laundry, whether it’s really okay to leave a crockpot on ALL DAY while you leave the house, and talking me through long LA traffic jams.

She’s a lover of music, and a lover of nap time (which I think has been passed down genetically). She sleeps through movies, but still indulges my Dad and me when we drag her to IMAX showings of Star Wars on opening weekend…when we had to stand in line for 2.5 hours…to see the movie in a theater full of nerds.

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I’ve never particularly wanted kids, but if someday they appear in my future, I could only hope to be as great of a mother as she has been to me.

Love you, Mom!
Happy GratiTuesday!

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