I will try to fix you…

The way my mind works is very strange. I think I might have an obsessive personality of sorts. When I am interested in a subject I do my very best to read and learn about said subject as much as possible.

Sometimes its Stockholm Syndrome (see description here).

Sometimes its motherhood.

Sometimes its modern day slavery.

Lately it has been tragedy…more specifically the tragedy of losing a child. I somehow stumbled upon a blogger who lost her son in a tragic accident. I cannot stop reading said blog. And I find myself clicking on links to other bloggers who have similar experiences.

To some this seems morbid and odd. But let me clarify…I don’t find pleasure in reading about another’s pain. In fact, it is the exact opposite. When I read about these situations I can’t help but mourn with these families — I share in their grief.

*Side note* I honestly have not experienced a lot of death in my lifetime. All of my immediate family members are alive and well. I am surrounded by the most wonderful group of people in the world and I am so grateful for them and the fact that I have never had to experience loss or separation from them.

So, why do I read these very sad blogs? Why would anybody want to read about such tragic events?

THESE BLOGGERS INSPIRE ME! To experience what they have and still survive is AMAZING! I love reading this because it shows the strength of the humanity (the Holy Spirit really). We can’t underestimate one another. Within each of us there is strength we could never imagine!

Coldplay (as you all should know) wrote the most beautiful song called FIX YOU. When I hear this song I cannot help but shed a tear…or twenty million. It is the cry of my heart! I long to alleviate other’s pain. To lessen the grief that is weighing them down. I long to show the broken the love of the Father. The love that never fails, that never runs out, that never gives up. I long to fix people…even though I know He is the only one who can truly do the fixing. 

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you.

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We cannot underestimate the value of community. We NEED each other! We need to carry each other’s burdens. The only way these bloggers have survived was the support of friends and family. We cannot shy away from each other when tragedy strikes, when things are awkward or difficult.

I have learned so much from these bloggers about the value of life. It is precious and it is short and we should cherish each day like it is our last. Because it just might be. The Bible says that life is a vapor. And it is…it begins and ends in the blink of an eye. Each day we have to CHOSE to live life to the fullest, to experience every moment that passes FULLY and COMPLETELY! To hug our family/friends, kiss our lovers, and smile at strangers.

This has been completely cheesy but I can’t help it.

If you want to read some of the women that have inspired me lately click here, here or here.

 

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All is Ours Day

Happy Monday All! Today is National ALL IS OURS day! What does this mean?! I am not exactly sure but I like the way it sounds!

Imagine a day where everything you could ever want was magically yours! I have been picturing this all day. What would I choose?

  • A new car.
  • A big house.
  • A wardrobe that magically consisted of whatever I wanted to wear in that moment.
  • Three green eyed beautiful babies surrounding me.
  • All the money I need to pay off our student loans.

This is the list I created today…a shallow list…but a list none the less! And then I began thinking…how blessed am I?! I already have all of the ingredients I need to get what I desire! Does that make sense?! I have a job that allows me to make money in order to save to pay off our loans, buy a new car, a big house, and a large wardrobe. AND I have something even better…a handsome green eyed man who can give me (in time) three beautiful babies!

So I guess when I think about it…everything really is mine EVERY DAY! Everything that I want that is!

In other news…we haven’t spoken in a few days…so here is a quick recap in pictures.

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My husband is officially the cat man! And yes…I did paint that shirt on him…my Photoshop skills are UNREAL!

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Justin, a.k.a. my bff’s husband, ate a calzone that was basically the size of my entire body.

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I attended a BEAUTIFUL wedding with my two best girl friends…please notice the ombre!

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Oh and I dressed up like Aaron’s twin…I know…its hard to tell who is who.

HAPPY ALL IS OURS DAY! I know all YOU READERS wanted was to see a picture of me with an eyeliner beard! So, you’re welcome! Wish granted!

Babies, babies everywhere and not a one for me!

Aaron and I have been married for 1 year and 5 months now. YAY! Team Strickland 4evaaaaa!

I remember right before we got married, people would constantly ask me why I wanted to get married so young. Why I didn’t want to travel first, to experience life on my own first. They couldn’t understand why my 23 year-old self wanted to be tied down so early. Sometimes I just wanted to take their faces between my hands and SCREAM…

Why would I want to do any of that on my own?! I have found the one my soul loves! I want to experience everything with him!

In that year of engagement I learned a lesson about people…we love to tell each other what CAN’T be done! They told me I couldn’t be happy with the same man for the rest of my life, that I couldn’t experience all the things life has to offer with him as baggage, that I couldn’t be successful as a married woman. And now that we are married and considering expanding our family people are still telling us what we can’t do. You can’t have children unless you are COMPLETELY debt free, you can’t have children if you don’t own a home, you can’t have children if you haven’t been married for at least 3 years.

If you aren’t careful you start to believe people. And this is what happened to me…everybody was telling me all the reasons I wasn’t ready to become a mother. All of their voices began tormenting my mind, warning of the failure to come if I did become a mother. And so, I resigned myself to the fact that before we had children we would need to have a home, be debt free and be married at least 3 years. I began letting everybody else write the timeline for OUR STORY.

WARNING: THIS IS NOT A PREGNANCY ANNOUNCEMENT

I found myself in a funk. I have never wanted anything more than I want to be a mother. I long for a child that I don’t even know. That sweet child with big cheeks and soft green eyes…the child that is so far in the future but that I want now…I WANT THAT CHILD NOW. But I can’t have him/her. If we have a child now…what will people think?

And then one day it HIT ME!

THIS IS OUR STORY…mine and Aaron’s…we get to write it. We are the one who have to live it.

And that is the point of this blog post. THIS IS YOUR STORY. You are the only one who can write it.

People will always tell you what you CAN’T DO. But…honestly what do they know? The only one who can truly tell you the things you are capable, who knows what you are capable of is Your Creator. And He says that with Him all things are possible (Matt. 19:26).

And so today I would like to announce…to the world (like the world is really reading this…pfft) that Aaron and I are going to have children…WHENEVER WE WANT TO HAVE CHILDREN! Because only we will know when we are really ready. END OF RANT. Let’s end this soap boxy post with some pretty pictures of me and Aaron from our wedding day…my favorite day. And then we can try to figure out what our future babies will look like! EEEEEP!

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Days of our lives…

These days…these days are pretty nice. Wedding festivities are over (for the time being) and life is settling back into routine…kind of.

Kind of in a not-really-at-all kind of way. You see Fine Arts is RAPIDLY approaching. Fine Arts is an arts competition held by the denomination I am a part of, the Assemblies of God…haters to the left ;). Our church is sending 3, THREE, THREEEEEEEE (10 person) human videos! That is a record for our church! Anywho, for those of you who don’t know what human video is, imaa essplain.

Human video = telling a story (most often a Bible story) to a song. IT IS NOT DANCE. Got it? NOT DANCE. It is really fun and physical and exhausting and a lot of times, even if you don’t understand everything that is going on, you find yourself inspired! To see exactly what I am talking about…head on over to that educational tool we call Youtube and type in Large Human Video…you will find hundreds of examples. Did I mention this competition is BIG like REALLY BIG?!

Now that you know what human video is I must tell you that being a coach for one of these takes up a lot of time. We practice twice a week and one of our practices is over 5 hours long. So why do it?! I have asked myself this question many times and the answer is always the same. BECAUSE I LOVE THE KIDS! I love my kids…they have become my children over the years and I can’t let them go! If this means I must lose hair because of the stress they cause me (cough cough) or lose sleep wondering how we are going to finish this thing in 15 days then SO BE IT!

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super productive practice right here ^^

Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. I think it is safe to say that my heart is with my kiddos!

IN OTHER NEWS! My posse and I went to Busch Gardens the other day…it was a blasty blast. Except for that part on the Congo River Rapids when my best friend decided to bite my head. That was a lie…maybe she didn’t bite my head intentionally but she and I turned to face each other when we were going over a bump (she had her mouth open…probably screaming) and bit me right on my head! It was a little embarrassing seeing that there were 8 other people in the raft with us. But what can you do. Things happen.

Also fun…we got to see a show about the history of dance and how it has evolved over the years. It was really good and for the rest of the day we salsa’d everywhere we went. Aaron of course was the best. He was shaking it and didn’t even notice the large crowd of women following him. I did and took care of them (they’re sleeping with the fishes if you know what I mean). That white boy can move!

Well folks…its been real…its been fun. It just hasn’t been real fun (SIKE … late APRIL FOOLS).

The Wedding of the Century!

As you SHOULD know my very best friend got married this weekend! What an event! It was every bit as emotional and beautiful as I suspected it would be!

We all went up on Thursday to prepare for this sucker. Boy did we prepare…we painted signs, made baby breathe balls (those are real and we made them) and laughed A LOT! There was a lot of laughing! We got our nails did and talked about doing the deed (as every good wedding party should when one of you is about to embark on this journey into womanhood). Basically we had a blast.

Also…it rained. I mean rained…the whole day. Rain, rain everywhere.

But even rain could not stop the love these two share. And it certainly was not going to stop us from partying like it was 1992 (appropriate seeing that was the year said bestie was born). Here are a few photos…some were taken by my hot husband (did I mention he is phenomenal photographer) and some were stolen from Instagram and Facebook but they are all beautiful!

DSC_0287 Try not to focus on my Chinese eyes.

DSC_0479All dolled up and ready to be wed. If you are wondering why that dress looks familiar…its because it was made to mimic the wedding dress Bella wore in Breaking Dawn (see wedding dress from movie here) — obviously Bonnie wore it much better!

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As you can clearly see we had a splendid time! Bonnie and Justin are two of the most fun, kind, compassionate, giving people you will ever meet and they are such a blessing to Aaron and I!

In other news…remember my last post about taking risks? Well consider risks taken…while my BFF and her hubby were away on their honeymoon and everybody was partying hardy for spring break I was at church speaking in front of a group of 100 kids! If that isn’t taking a risk I don’t know what is! NOTE – DON’T PRAY FOR SOMETHING IF YOU AREN’T READY TO RECEIVE IT IMMEDIATELY!

This post has been a bit boring but I promise to return with something…enlightening and fun filled! Thank you for reading!

WAKE YOURSELF UP!

take-risks

These days. Well, these days I feel myself falling into this paralytic state. Not in the literal sense of course…not to worry, all of my extremities are in working order. In the metaphorical sense.

A lot of people in my life love the show The Walking Dead. I don’t think I am a fan of it. It is graphic and to be honest zombies are not really my thing (I much prefer teenage drama…Degrassi anyone…can I get a what, what?!). Have you seen The Walking Dead?

If yes, you understand what a walker is and what they look like. They are these in-between creatures…not dead and not alive. They are almost frozen in time. They don’t exist for any purpose. They just survive. And at some points in life I find myself feeling like a walker.

I wake up, get ready, grab something quick to eat, go to work, come home and go to sleep. And while routine is good for certain periods in our lives, times that require evaluation and enjoyment, I find that only when risks are being taken can big things happen.

We are all created for a SPECIFIC purpose. This is a cornerstone of my belief.

We are not accidents.

YOU ARE NOT AN ACCIDENT.

I am not an accident.

This is why these times of routine, if allowed to persist for too long, are deadly. We are lulled into a slumber and the moments we were created to experience slip past us. So today I encourage myself and you, my friends…

WAKE UP!!!!!

TAKE A RISK!!!!!

It is in the moment of uncertainty, of discomfort, of stretching that somehow we stumble into what we were created for.

So today, seek out those moments that you spend your whole life trying to avoid. Say yes to something that makes your stomach drop. Say no to routine. DARE TO TAKE A RISK. DARE TO BECOME WHO YOU WERE CREATED TO BE.

It’s time to take a risk, sweetheart.

In Other News…

In other news…I am sick. Again. Twice in a span of 3 months! I think my body might be trying to tell me something. Something like…”OOOOOO child, you fittina be half way to fi’ty, you cain’t be runnin’ aroun’, eatin’ fast food, not restin’ and expect to be healthy…ain’t nobody got time fo dat” (Yes I do imagine my body speaking to me in that YouTube sensation’s voice). But this time I plan to listen…at least for now. I am tired of being sick! I am OVER IT!

It is IMPERATIVE that I recover quickly because…in 5 days my very best friend in the world is getting married! MATRON  OF HONOR…holla. What a perfect time to introduce my imaginary readers to the bestest friend a girl could ask for, Miss Bonnie Whealton (soon-to-be Beal).

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She is the beautiful blonde I am hugging in the picture…obviously. Bonnie is the kindest and most sincere person you will ever meet. Not only is she drop dead gorgeous on the outside but on the inside as well. Also, the girl can sing…I mean sing…like at a Mariah Carey concert, punch Mariah in the face, take the mic and give it to Bonnie so she can sing instead (ok maybe you wouldn’t punch Mariah, but you get the point). Anywho, we have been best friends since 2006 when we were literally forced to be friends on a trip to New York. Since that trip we have been inseparable. I am sure you will hear much, much more about Bonnie as time passes…so that is all for now.

Oh…I lied. Also in exciting news….I have an ombre. I would show you a picture but alas, I am sick and look like doodoo. So, when I recover…I will be sure to post a picture of it, its awesome! Thanks Margaret (I don’t know if Margaret will ever read this, but on the off chance she does…YOU ROCK)!

The end.

Why Blog?

Why Blog?

To blog or not to blog? That is the question…that faced me in 2013.

I definitely do not think that the going-ons of my life are so interesting that every person on the planet should read about it. However, I find myself forgetting things that happened a month or two ago that I REALLY WANT TO REMEMBER! I LOVE THOSE MEMORIES AND I MUST HAVE THEM! And so…blog.

This blog is going to be about myself, my husband, my friends, my cats (oh yeah we are crazy cat people) and my beautiful/ugly, significant/insignificant, exciting/boring life.

Read on if you would like…and if not go away, very far way. Just kidding…not really kidding.

The end.

P.S. This picture above is of my husband and I…a week after we were married! I know he is hot, smoking hot…it’s unbelievable! Winning!