Sunday, November 28, 2010

If Today Was Your Last Day....

So it's no secret that I have had my fair share of death this year.  This has forced me to really look at the saying "Live everyday as if it was your last".  I have realized that to most this means party like there is no tomorrow, or to the people who have more money it's taking that dream vacation to Europe before you pass.

Because I have a toddler and am pretty much broke, I've found myself unable to do neither.  But this has forced me to realize that our view of this saying is more than misguided.  Why is it that if it's our last day we think of pleasing ourselves?  If we are gone, what does it matter?  Why don't we think more about the people we are leaving behind, the regrets that have, or the wrongs we should have righted?

Getting to see my son after 5 days forced me to appreciate everything I have, including the small things.  I realized that if today were my last day...spending the day at the pond with my son and feeding the ducks wouldn't be a bad day at all.  Appreciating his smile, his joy, the cute little things that he does everyday, and most of all the love we have for each other.  Funny isn't it, how a young child's innocence can bring such clarity.  Kids are full of love, the spend their days living it as if it were their last and have no worries for the future.

I've decided that if today were my last I would want the people that have changed my life for the better to know, I would want the stupid fights to be reconciled, and each person that I love know how truly special they are.

So here we go:

Mom....I know you don't feels appreciated or feel like you're helping out just because you can't help me financially.  But the truth is, you are my strength.  There is no way I could survive right now without your loving supportive phone calls.  Some people say "actions speak louder than words" but they're wrong because the words of wisdom you have given me over the years will always ring in loud and clear.  You are the strongest person I know, you have a full time job, 2 crazy and wonderful little girls, and still find time to suck up all your own pain and focus on mine when it's needed.  I know I don't always say it mom, but you truly are my hero and I will always be your Brittnee Boo who loves you the mostest.

To all my sisters: Shelby, Riley, Bridgette, Melissa, & Megan....Each one of you brighten my life everyday.  My only regret is not spending more time appreciating you guys and spending more time with you all when I had the chance. 

Dad & Kim....It's no secret that we have had our fair share of issues, but today we have push through it all to find a wonderful relationship I never would have dreamed of.  Kim I love you for bringing out the best in my dad and pushing him to be the dad I knew he could be.  While our relationship has been mended dad, I think there are a few things I still have never said but feel that I need to.....I'm sorry, I forgive you, and I love you.

Bilijo....You are an incredible person, I thank you for always being there for me.  Most people wouldn't expect a step parent to treat you as an equal, especially after being divorced but you have always treated me as one of your own and I love that about you.

The rest of my family....As you know there are way to many of you to name, but to my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins....I love you all.  You are everything a family should be.  You are all full of constant love and support that truly helps me survive day after day.  Each phone call, text, and card has helped to encourage me to push on and I would have never been able to make it without you.

My in-laws...Again another group that is too large to name, but all the same is very supportive.  You are always there to give a helping hand with Nathan and have never once blinked an eye at me when I was having troubles.  Each of you have understood with more compassion than I ever thought possible and will always remain in heart, especially you Alisha.  Thank you!

Luke...Yes, I'm sure most are confused by this including you, but the truth is I will never have a first love.  And even though we may not have made it, I still had 4 amazing years you gave me the most wonderful son in the world.  I have never hated you, nor will I ever.  I've learned that even if the love doesn't last doesn't mean it was all for naught.  I am sorry for any pain I have ever caused you, but you will always have a piece of my heart and have been a monumental part of my life.  Always and Forever.

Morgan & 2 have been my own personal guardians.  Neither have ever failed to be there for me when I needed it.  We have been friends since 7th grade and each time we get to visit, its as if now time has passed.  You have both endured many phone calls, texts, and fb messages at all hours of the night and have always been there to help me out as soon as you could.  I know a friendship like ours will beat the odds and last forever because the love you have for family never dies and that's what you 2 have become, my family.  So to my sister and the cat (still don't know if you were the cat & i was the hat or vice versa but oh well) I love you 2 4eva!!!!

Michelle, Krissy, & little trio!  You three crack me up every time I see you.  You also try your very best to rearrange your schedules as well to ensure we can all at least get together for dinner.  I know you have back if I ever needed to call you and Nathan's back as well.  I know you three will continue to amaze me, but just in case...never stop being yourselves!

My fruitloop....I know we have lost touch over the past few years, but you have always been a great friend to me.  You are the girl that goes through sooo much, but always has a smile so you would never know it.  & in that you tend to focus on making others feel better, or included and it's a great quality that I hope you never lose.

Drama pals.....Amanda, Chrsyta, Derek, Julian, Jessica (Lipsky & Senden), Nicole, Samantha, Andrew, Jillian, Ashley, Brianna, Cassandra, Colleen, Alana (Mini me), Greg, Kristin, Jacquelyn, Kylea, Maddie, Lital, Maria, Paola, Megan....well I don't really know what to say about this wacky, outrageous group.  Each of you have always made me feel at home and included, even if I never actually performed.  I always felt appreciated and many of you helped me through my Army days by sending me letters.  T
his is a group that I will truly never forget.  I wish everyone the best and pray that you never change because each one of you is incredibly amazing in their own unique way.

My Teachers....Woods, Calhoon, Haar, Tisa, Mccoy, Donovan, Pence, Hinds, Belizaire, Giebler, Bezinque, Mock, Cuny, & Hammond....Each of you have taught me at different points in my life.  Some of you I still see on a daily basis and the others I still try to visit when I can.  Most of you may know the influence you have had on me, but it's never bad to remind someone, especially teachers, how truly amazing they are.  Each one of you made me excited to learn, I would never have gained the knowledge in school or in life that I have with out you.  My only hope is that you all remember what amazing teachers you are and that you have truly helped me to change my life for the better as I'm sure you have done for many others.

My Battles....Brenna, Mississippi, Florida, Gloria, Lucie, Jessi, Janetta....No one will ever understand the bonds that we have made, but none the less you all are a kick ass group of female soldiers that I know will always have my back.  We have all had our fair share of sisterly fights and devious moments, but I know for a fact that if I or Nathan was ever in need you would be on the next flight to me.  I think that's what makes our bond so great is that we would stop at nothing to protect each other, and I would die for each and everyone of you.

OTB Crew.....Heather, Kayla, Jimmy Bear, & Rachel....You have always made me feel a part of the group.  Most importantly none of you have ever flinched at the fact that I had a son and many times offered to watch him to help me out so I could work.  Kindness like yours is hard to find and is much appreciated.

Pool Crew...Last summer was amazing, can't say much more than that.  You reminded me what it was like to actually be 23.  It may sound funny but I do tend to lose myself in responsibility and getting to act like a kid in between guard breaks reminded me that I don't always have to be so intense and serious.

My Abercrombie Mamas....Mikka, Mandy, & Nicole....You made my Abercrombie experience.  I never would have stayed so long if it weren't for you three.  My favorite part abut each of you is that you never treated me life a low life employee.  You treated me as an equal and valued my opinion.  I miss you all and will never forget my mamas!

My Nursing Family....This one I am going to do a little bit differently because while I love most you (lol! jk!) I want to recognize a few people that have been truly amazing to me.
Cindy...You have been like a rock, you always ensure that I get study time in and found a way to include Nathan in that.  Most of what I have to say you probably already know but I wanted to add something you may not...I wanted to let you know that I love the way that you understand and feel fr my situation and even better you always have an open mind and never pass judgement.  Most of all in this past year you have brought me closer to my faith than ever, this has been an amazing journey because while having the amazing friends and family that I do you have brought me something that none of these can do, a trust with the Lord that in the end I have nothing to fear that everything will be ok.
Lisa...You are truly supermom in my eyes.  I know to you school is important and that your kids are a priority but to say it and juggle all that you do is completely different.  You are a wonderfully dedicated mother and somehow you find the time to open your heart to the rest of us.  I love that time and time again you ensure our class that we will stick together and that no one will ever be left behind.  You are convinced that I will make it through and because of this confidence I work that much harder.  You are such an amazing person and I pray that one these days the whole world sees how big your heart is.
Jessica...This semester has been an eye opener for me.  I have always known your situation but until now have never realized how much alike our lives sometimes are.  Your strength of succeeding so your kids can have a better life inspires me everyday.  I know that you will be one of the best Peds nurses out there, never give up.
the rest of you....if you were not named please don't feel like I don't love and appreciate you because I do.  If it weren't for our loud, obnoxious, outgoing class I would have never made it this far.  I love you all almost half way so never give up!

Many of you may find this somewhat morbid but as a great teacher once told me "writing can be cathartic".  I do not plan on leaving anytime soon.  In fact I will fight the world for as long as I can.  However, if anything were to happen to me I would want these people above and the many others that have made my life amazing know that they are all great people who should never give up. 

I think the saying "live everyday as if it were your last" isn't suppose to be about yourself.  I think the focus should be less on fun and more on what and who you are leaving behind.  I may not always do this but this is me trying.  I also want to start volunteering more.  The feeling of helping out can be just as amazing as a party or a grand trip because I think every time you help a person whether you know them or not you are leaving a piece of you.  A piece of your heart is given with each task, and isn't kindness and warmth better to leave behind than a messy house or a depleted bank account?  Think about it!

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Heart Ache of the Past

So I was trying to take a break from statistics and started to clean out my closet....
hindsight, BIG MISTAKE!
I found my Army notebook
I knew what was in it for the most part
but never knew how much it would hurt to read my thoughts
thoughts that I spent eight months writing down
just to read later, cry a lot, and
debate with myself about whether or not I should throw it away.
Starting in May of 2006 I started an Army diary, so to speak.
It ends in Dec around the time that Luke met my parents.
I never doubted that I loved him
in fact to be perfectly honest I still do
but to read every single entry....
and see how deeply in love I was with him
and how it was sooo fast was hard to read
I never realized how much the Army makes you speed through stuff faster
At month 3 I had entries about marraige & children
and I know it was conversations I had with him and that we agreed upon but still
we picked out their names
and we have our dream wedding written in that book
our dream house
How do you get rid of book that portrays many of the happiest times in your life
how do you toss it out like I tossed my marriage?
I forgot how happy we were back then
Our days in San Antonio,
where we would walk along the River Walk and talk for hours
how we got lost trying to find the hotel be he was too stubborn to grab a taxi
I was in heels so he ended up carrying me for over 30 minutes
The day we walked by a restaurant playing one of my favorite songs
and he pulled me into the street and we just danced
how he drove 4 hours just to pick me up
and drive 3 more so we could spend the weekend alone at a cabin
Our stories at Fort hood are near the end of it
with the stories of our stubborness
but he would leave and comback with starbucks for me
he would hold me and just apologize and tell me how much he loves me
how he would think I was alseep and would tell me how much he loved me
all of the always and forevers
how he would laugh at me for singing in the shower
how he thought my line repeating during movies were adorable.
I know I made the choice, but that never it easier
I don't know how to toss such a huge part of my life away
I feel like it's saying it meant nothing
when really it meant everything to me
I miss that feeling
the butterflies
the pure happiness from a name
the warmth I would feel just from looking into his eyes
I am so lost and confused!
I just want to feel good again
not stressed
or scared
or sad
just HAPPY
just happy to be myself and be comfortable with who I am

Monday, November 15, 2010

The awesomeness of West Texas!!!!

I received this email earlier today from Palm Harbor Homes, they are the builders that are helping out Extreme Home Makeover.  Apprently there are too many volunteers which I think is amzaing! I posted what they wrote because they included an amazing story that I think everyone should remember and live by.

Ever heard the story about the boy trying to save the world one Starfish at a time?
One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed
a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. 
Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?”
The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean.
The surf is up and the tide is going out.  If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”
“Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish?  You can’t make a difference!”
After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it back into the surf.  Then, smiling at the man, he said…"I made a difference for that one."
Well, we have a strange twist to add to the story.....we have more people than starfish!  That's right, we have officially exceeded the number of volunteers we have space for on the build site.  So let me re-phrase our challenge, we have more people than Starfish "on our beach"....meaning we can't accommodate all the volunteers willing to help-specifically at the build site.
BUT that doesn't mean you can't help.  It just means we need to relocate to other parts "of the beach" where you can make a huge difference one starfish at a time.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


I am not naive enough to think that movies and television shows have all the answers.  But I do believe they can guide you and one thing I have learned from them is how important faith is. 

I think in today's world faith is hard to have.  It's hard to understand.  I mean how can you believe in something you can't see or prove?  Or more than that how can you walk in obedience and not blame faith when you fail?

Blame is not fun, and most people rarely take the blame.  It's always easier to blame someone else.  And when a loved one hurts you, you blame what you can't see.  We want to believe that those we care about wouldn't hurt us.  So it's easier to place blame on someone we can't see, hear, or feel.

I did it.  I still do sometimes.  I question it all.  Why would he let such horrible things happen if he was that powerful?  Or maybe he just doesn't care about me.  The truth though, is we are all human.  We make mistakes, we screw up, and at the end of the day we will find ourselves bowing our heads or outside looking up at the sky asking why, asking for forgiveness, asking for help.

Majority of the time we rely on faith when we are in need.  But I think the truth is we are always in need.  We just are usually too stubborn to ask for it or sometimes even to see it.  You can't turn faith on and off and I think that's the problem.  Whenever I struggle is usually when I look up and scream, cry, or talk to the sky.  When my life is good I sometimes abandon it.

I find myself asking questions like if I just believed more, if things would be better?  If I was obedient in faith would my marriage have still ended?

I've learned that faith isn't about the questions.  Questions are just distractions, almost like temptation, its something that drags us away from what we believe, makes us question it more every time there isn't an answer.  The key is to just believe and let it all go.  To trust that you made the right decision in your beliefs.  Life is hard and that won't change, but I think if you truly believe, if you actually live your life in obedience that it will truly make a difference. 

If you look at life, at marriage, you can't understand either until you have faith.  Marriage is about unconditional love right....well how can you have that without faith.  Without faith I don't think anyone can understand the true meaning of unconditional love, without feeling it, how it's suppose to be.

How can you give yourself fully to someone, if you haven't done that through faith?  If you don't know who you are, if you can't find yourself through faith I don't think you can least not unconditionally.

My only regret is probably not finding this clarity sooner.  I wonder what it could have changed in my life?  I guess I was always just too stubborn to hear any of it.  But when I felt like I hit rock bottom I realized that even when I feel alone I'm not, because like I said earlier faith never leaves.  I think we all just need to learn how to open up and trust more because God never gives up on us.  Even at our lowest points I've found that there is always a reason even when we don't understand it...because he truly never gives up on us.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Have we lost our understnading of happiness?

I mean think about it...
Most of us get up everyday striving for happiness
Work our whole lives trying to get there
If I could only get out of my parent's house I'd be happy
If I get into my choice college I'll be happy
I'll be happy when I get my dream career
dream car
dream love
We dream of happiness all the time
It's most people's goal in life
to get something or somewhere
Where was it that we took a wrong turn?
When did happiness turn into a destination?
The truth is...
Happiness isn't a destination
Yes...maybe getting our wishes granted will make us happy
But reality is
Happiness is a mood
A feeling
And yes, I have learned this year more than ever
That it's ok to not always be happy
It's ok to be sad
To be angry
But achieving a goal isn't what happiness is about
Happiness is like any other mood
It's ok if it comes and goes
But treating it as a destination isn't a way to live
Because it's not
So quit searching for the road to happiness
Quit looking at your wishes, dreams, and goals
As the only time you can be happy as a reward
Choose to be happy
Be happy for life
Be happy for love
Be happy for the struggles
Learn for the pain of loss
And don't let other emotions make you feel that happiness is a place we get to
Because it's up to you
Control your life
Choose to be happy
And never forget that you can be happy whenever you want to be
Stop waiting to arrive at Happiness Boulevard
And love life to the fullest.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Regret comes in all shapes and sizes.
Some are small like when we do a bad thing for a good reason.
Some are bigger like when you let down a friend.
Some of us escape the pain of regret by making the right choice.
Some of us have little time for regret because we're looking forward to the future.
Sometimes we have to fight to come to terms with the past,
And sometimes we bury our regret by promising to change your own ways.
But our biggest regrets are not for the things we did
But for the things we didn't do.
Things we didn't say that could've saved someone that we care about.
Especially when we can see the dark storm that's headed their way.

I doubt anybody reads this but if anyone does and you're a friend
I love you
I care about you
And I am sorry for all the fights
For all the things I said or didn't say that hurt you
Because if you stop and take a look around
Sadly the cliche is true
Life is too short
And you should live today as your last
So if you can't remember anything about the times we shared
It doesn't matter
Because the truth is
If you are, will be, or have ever been a part of my life
I care about you
Because each person has truly made a difference in my world
So I guess all I have left to say is....
Thank you!