Tuesday, January 27, 2015

On my wish list - new Harley

Hey yall!! I have been so so crazy busy at work there hasn't been a single minute to blog or to read your blogs. I've worked many nights at home once I leave the office and gone into work earlier than normal.  I love that my days are flying by but holy cow it's been intense!  I finally have a minute to do a quick post.
Right now, Todd and I are currently sharing the Harley that I bought from my dad 2 years ago.  I absolutely love it and it's been a terrific bike! Todd rode it all the way to Sturgis last year without any problems.  The truth is though, as much as Todd enjoys the bike he really wants a bigger one. He used to have a Road King but he sold it a while back for financial reasons. I'm just very undecided if I am willing to trade my Harley in that I have now.  Mostly because I'm very sentimental and it was Dad's. 
Now Harley Davidson went and made things hard for me this year in the new 2915 models.  I had been a little interested in trikes ( those are the 3 wheeled bikes as in tricycle) recently. I've seen some pretty ones but they seem so big.  The new model has a sportier and sleeker look and they don't look near as big and as granny (lol) as others. 
I'm hoping to go test drive one really soon.  
Todd volunteered last Friday at the motorcycle show downtown and took these pictures. I wasn't able to go this year because it was during the day and I had to work.  What do ya think? Can you see me cruising down the highway on one of these? 
It's so cute!!  Hope to post again soon. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

My bed spring crafty project

A few weeks ago I helped a friend move. In her garage she had a toddler bed that she was going to take to dumpster because you can't donate them for sanitation reasons. I asked her if she minded if I took it. She was confused as to why but said I could have it.  I took it home and cut big deep hole in it hoping it would have the traditional springs in it and I was in luck.  They were covered pretty solid and it took me close to an hour to completely strip it of all the fabric and insulation. I don't have any pictures of me tearing it apart. I can never remember to take the Before pictures. 
I hung the mattress springs on the wall in my "craft room". It's my spare room that I'm trying to get together more organized.  I bought some glitter bird ornaments off clearance after Christmas that clip on and I added them to the springs. I also added 2 strands of battery Christmas lights to it and I love it but I don't have a picture with those added. Anyway, what do ya think?  I am currently adding photos and using decorated clothespins. 
I guess I'll take another picture and show yall soon what it looks like now. I was just excited to show you what I did so far. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

An amazing heartfelt letter from Mom to Stepmom that went viral

I am a stepmom of 2 teenagers. Todd and I have been together almost 4 years and so they were young when we started.  Being a stepmom can be intimidating. I've had a few true Step MONSTERS in my life from my Dad's past failed marriages. I truly genuinely love these kiddos.  The oldest is "C" and is the boy. He's been the slowest and hardest at coming around to accepting me. I believe that he felt guilty for liking me because he's so close to his mom.  When they were with us over the holidays, C and I got along well and I even let him drive my truck. That's a big deal if you knew how much I love my truck. LOL.  Its also been hard because the last EX was not the friendliest and it didn't end well between her and Todd (obviously).  Its been smooth for the most part with the youngest who is a girl "A".  I feel that she understands that I can love her and not try to replace her mom.  I've been in their shoes as I've stated above. I have had amazing role models though with my stepdad Don ( who I just lost a week ago), and my current stepmom Deb who is married to my dad. 
Anyways, have y'all seen this already? A blogger mom wrote this letter to her daughters stepmom.  It is so awesome! It reminded me of how blessed I was that my mom sat next to my stepmom last year at my wedding. 
The letter is written by Candace Curry:

'An Open Letter to my Daughter's Stepmom,' from Candice Curry's blog 'Women With Worth'

To My Daughter’s Stepmom
I never wanted you here. You simply were never part of the plan. Growing up and dreaming of my family I never included you. I didn’t want help from another woman to raise my child. The plan was for my family to include me, daddy and our children, not you. I doubt you ever wanted me in your life. I doubt you planned to mother a child that you didn’t give birth to. I can bet that your plan for your family included you, daddy and your children together, not me or my daughter. I can almost bet that when you dreamed of becoming a mother it would be the day you gave birth and not the day you married your husband. I’m pretty sure you never planned on me being here.
But God has plans that far exceed our own and when my little family dissolved to form two families I knew you would be coming.
In my mind you would be a terrible beast and my daughter would not want you to mother her at all, ever! I was hoping that you would be semi unattractive and prayed my daughter wouldn’t look up to you. Her daddy would know that he was settling for second best. Evil swirled in me because I never wanted to face the fact that another woman would mother my child in my absence.
Then you arrived.
When I first met you I’ll admit you weren’t what I had in mind and a twinge of jealousy shot through my body. You were supposed to be hideous, remember? But you weren’t, you were stunningly beautiful. You were supposed to be a mean old hag, remember? But you weren’t, you were a young, sweet woman.
My plans were foiled.
I realized by the look on your face that meeting me was just as hard as it was for me to meet you. My heart immediately softened. Dang your kind smile! I was planing on really hating you. Why are your ruining my plan?!
I wanted to resent you but you made it impossible and I quickly grew thankful for you. 
You’ve accepted our daughter from the very start and have unconditionally loved both her and her daddy, that’s a true gift to all of us. You’ve included our daughter in everything you do and make her feel loved and accepted. You put her relationship with her daddy above yours and only a brave and courageous woman knows how to do that with such grace.
I knew when her daddy and I decided to divorce and live in separate homes there would be times when she would need me, her mommy, and I wouldn’t be there. I’m so thankful that you are there in my absence. I’m grateful that you have mercy on her teen years and never reject her. She needs a mommy at your house and you’ve done an amazing job being that for her.
You’ve respected my position as mom from the very start. I appreciate that you always check with me when you question if you are making the right decision with her. I know our situation is rare. It’s not often that a mom and stepmom text each other to remind each other that they love and respect each other. You are a gift.
Because of you and your courage to mother our daughter the way that you do, she will be a better woman. She will grow up with more love than I could have ever imagined. It wasn’t her choice to have divorced parents and even though I wouldn’t wish that on any child I am so thankful that she now has 4 parents who love and respect her and each other. She’s compassionate because of it and understands that a failure in one area can turn into a blessing in another.
I don’t see you as a fill in for when I’m not there. You are her mother when she’s with you and when she’s with me. She’s excited to call you and tell you her stories when she’s at my house and that makes my heart want to jump from my chest with joy. I fill with pride when you wrap your arms around me and squeeze for a genuine and loving hug each time we see each other.
I am extremely aware of what it looks like when a mother cannot emotionally accept her child's stepmother in their life. Gratefulness pours heavily from me that we are able to rise above anything like that and do what is truly right for our daughter. Thank you for being mature enough and respectful enough to co-parent with me.
I promise to always respect your input for our daughter. I promise to never lessen the position you hold in her life or make you feel like you are not her mother. I promise to raise her to be grateful to have two strong and brave women in her life that have the courage to mother her together. Even though our situation is peaceful I pray that she is never in it, but if she ever finds herself here I promise to set an example for her of what co-parenting should look like. 
Precious woman, you are a rare and beautiful gem.
God bless you and I love you.
Wasn't that so cool? I can only pray that one day the kids Mom will appreciate the love and effort I really have for the kids.   Have a blessed day y'all!!

Monday, January 12, 2015

My goodbye to a great man

Last Sunday a week ago, we got the news that my stepdad Don had passed away. He was my little brother Jeremy's dad.  All last week was pretty tough and emotional.  We had a sweet service for him this past Saturday in Breckenridge, Texas where he grew up.
I was one of the speakers and this is what I said:

34 years ago, Don came into my life when I was 13 years old.  Not a good age for either one of us. But because he was DON and so laid back- he was the perfect person to be in my life.  He said “ Baby – you don’t have to like me , we don’t have to be friends, you just need to mind your momma and respect me in my own home”.    With arms crossed and rolling my eyes, I secretly knew I was going to like him A LOT!! .  I was always HolliAnn to him. Jeremy was always the Boy.

I looked forward to our Friday night music nights.  He had hundreds of albums – rock and mostly country.  We would take turns getting to listen to any song we wanted (Jeremy had his own Dukes of hazard album and so we listened to the whole thing ). We would push back all the furniture and he taught me to Texas two –step and Cotton eyed Joe.  At first, I was staying with my cousin during the week finishing up my school year  and he made me a cassette tape of songs that I liked to listen to on my tape recorder. It gave me comfort every night and I would play it every night.  Silly songs that I cant think of but didn’t get radio play. They come from the B sides of albums. And cassettes- Oh the hundreds of mixed tape cassettes.   

Don’s love for music was what connected us and a little known fact that some of yall may or may not know-Don recorded a single and sent to Nashville.  His style of music included a lot of Waylon Jennings, hank Jr, merle haggard, Conway, and other classics. .    Don took mom and I to Billy Bobs to see Waylon and his wife Jessi Colter in 1986. We had so much fun. 

Don was a driver for several of his years on the Fire department and he always drove fast like going to a fire.  We did lots of fun family things like the end of Chisholm trail party in stockyards, fire vs police hose offs, etc.

When I was in college and we were stranded due to ice days, he wouldn't hesitate to go get my friend or to drop me off.   He’s the parent that was stuck with me during my driving lesson days in Wal-Mart parking lot.
Don was a smoker for most all of his life, and like water off a duck- he didn’t think twice about the fact that he fell asleep with cigarette and the bed caught on fire and the Irving  fire department had to come to his house to put out the fire.

When they moved to Wyoming while I was in college, I spent my holiday break with them.   Their first year, Don and I rented a snow mobile and went up a mountain to chop down our Christmas tree. Mom stayed at the lodge with Jeremy.  We were zipping right along and I was sitting  behind him when we went off the path and turned over. We had been going so fast, it took a minute for us both to realize we were on our sides and not moving anymore.  I laugh so much still thinking about that time. 
Don would be our calming voice.  He was sometimes too laid back and you would get aggravated that he wasn’t as upset as he should be or that you wanted him to be. He was the peace maker and my ally when I had typical teenage girl angst with my mom. Every Thursday we were supposed to check in with each other, and many times Don would be the one to call me and tell me that he loved me and to just focus on my school work and my dances.  I had dance scholarship in college and he was so proud when I was dancing in Macy’s parade– he told everyone.  I  know that he loved me and was proud of me.  As Sarah mentioned,  the love between Don and Jeremy is immeasurable. I am so Blessed to have witnessed the love of them together and that he raised my brother to be the kind loving man he is today like Don was. 
I’m married now and have 2 stepkids of my own-  My lesson to them-  You don’t have to like me, we don’t have to be friends- just respect me in my own home and mind your daddy.    I had an amazing role model and I pray that I continue his legacy of unconditional love. 
The chaplain for Irving Fire Department and a color guard member from Irving Fire Department both who served and worked with Don came to the service . They did the traditional salute and gave a flag to my brother. All the kids were also presented with a special coin that represents "once a firefighter- always a firefighter" . It was such an honor to receive it. 
There are going to be songs I hear, times I remember Don  that will make me sad but it was also a part of the closure process to have the service.  Don's wishes were to be cremated and Jeremy is going to spread his ashes in some of their favorite spots in Wyoming this summer. I absolutely love that plan for them!  Rest in peace my sweet sweet stepdad. I love you so much. 

Stopped at Walmart to use restroom and saw Jeremy who had same idea.


So I pray that this week is a little better than last. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

New Years well wishes and quotes

If you are on social media such as Instagram and Facebook, you couldn't help but see the numerous well wishes for New Years. I shared many of them myself.  Here are a few of my favorites and I certainly wish the best for everyone. 

This last one is more of a resolution but I liked it.  

My stepdads funeral is this Saturday and I'm going to be a speaker.  How funny is it that I'm a corporate trainer and speak to people and strangers everyday, yet now I'm so nervous.  Mostly, because it's so heartfelt and I loved Don so much. I would appreciate prayers for strength and clarity in my words.  

Thanks yall! Holli 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Year in review 2014

Hey my sweet blogger friends. Happy New Year to you.  My blogging has taken the backseat lately because life has been hectic.  I'm not off to a good start this year in that my stepdad Don passed away yesterday. My family is struggling and grieving right now.  I will write a post about Don soon. Until then, I am joining in on the year in review that is hosted by Nicole at Three 31.

What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before? Gone to Sturgis with my husband

Did you keep your new years’ resolutions? Will you make more in 2015? Didn’t make any for last year or this year

Did anyone close to you give birth? Yes, a few friends from church and my cousins wife

Did anyone close to you die? Yes, I lost a coworker friend Chuck

What countries did you visit? Never left the US in 2014

What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014? Better health

What date from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory? 8-31-14- Celebrated one year wedding anniversary.  Feb 14, My mom went into hospital unconscious for a few days, July 21 celebrated Dad’s lung transplant year anniversary

What was your biggest achievement of the year? I celebrated 19th year anniversary at work

What was your biggest failure? Not writing the letters I wanted to my loved ones

Did you suffer illness or injury? Same story every year- my back goes out and then hurts for weeks. I didn’t get too sick in 2014 but had more migraines than normal

What was the best thing you bought? Technically I bought my newest dog when I adopted her in October

Whose behavior merited celebration? Not sure about this

Where did most of your money go? Vacation to Sturgis and Montana

What did you get really excited about? My visit to Mom in Montana

What song will always remind you of 2014? Stay with me, All of me, Happy and All about that bass – those are the ones for me that will remind me of 2014

Compared to this time last year, are you:

Happier or sadder? Sadder. My stepdad passed away this past weekend ( Jan.4) so not good start to my year

Thinner or fatter?  Unfortunately I’m a whole size larger.

Richer or poorer? Poorer. My company changed pay structure to once a month.

What do you wish you’d done more of? I wish I was more active for my health

What do you wish you’d done less of? Worrying and stressing over things I cant control

How did you spend Christmas?  Christmas Eve day was with Todd’s family, Christmas Eve Pm was at church, and Christmas Day was with my Dad, stepmom Deb, stepbrother Draeger and his girlfriend Susie, my husband Todd and some good friends Darryl and Mickie

Did you fall in love in 2014? More in love with my husband

How many one-night stands? NA

Who were your best friends? T, Diana, Kimi, my cousin Jadona, and Wendy

What thing did you do that was meaningful to others? I volunteered more than I have in one year in 2014- I clothed the needy, fed the homeless, worked at kids toy program and helped organize it

What were your favorite TV shows? American Horror Story, Parenthood, Sons of Anarchy, the Voice

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? I really don’t want to hate anyone but I very much dislike someone this year that has caused my husband grief

What was the best book you read in 2014? The woman I wanted to be: Diane Von Furstenberg

What was your greatest musical discovery? I would say Sam Smith. His voice is beautiful. I also discovered that I can somewhat play the guitar. I began lessons in 2014.

What did you want and get?  I adopted another dog so Jax could have playmate. We have our sweet Lila now.

What did you want but did not get? I cant think of anything that I don’t have so I must not want something too bad

What were your favorite films this year? I only saw a few movies last year but I did like the last Hobbit movie I saw over Christmas

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 46 and I had a party at Strokers. It was supposed to be at Club Schmitz but we couldn’t get in because they closed a few weeks later

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Probably more peace with Todd’s job. He worked crazy hours and didn’t come home sometimes and it was stressful

What kept you sane? Venting to my friends, holding my dogs and reading

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Charlie Hunnam. He was the lead on SOA and 2014 was the shows final season.

What political issue stirred you the most? The Ferguson protests and the police assassination.

Who do you miss?  We lost Robin Williams in 2014 and that was a huge loss to the celebrity world. I will miss his humor.

Who are the best new persons you met this year? I met a blogger in person that I really enjoyed – Kathie at Hillbilly Debutante and I made new friend with someone from church and her same in Sherry. I even went to her wedding last month.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.  Don’t think about it do it. I have best intentions and good ideas and then I put it off and sometimes its too late.
Quote that sums up the year:  Life is simple, its just not easy