my tribe


Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.  Jane Howard

I’m an extrovert. I THRIVE on being surrounded by friends and loved ones. I recharge best and feel energized when I’m laughing, sharing a meal or even on the phone with those who I hold close to my heart.

Over the last decade I was on a journey of personal discovery. Within the the last three years I’ve not only discovered who I am but I’m fully living as the woman I was designed to be! And It. Feels. GOOD. The kinds of relationships I’ve had and the depth of those friendships throughout the past ten years are very telling of the direction and focus of my life at that current time.

Recently I took time to write down a list. A list of my “tribe” Each of these people are valuable and have an important role in my life. And I’ve come to realize they are essential to my continued growth and journey towards all that my heart desires. I’m grateful for each and every one.

I’m thankful for my Encouragers. These are the people who give me hope. They are the best at giving high fives and hugs. They speak truth in love to me, they pick me up on days I’ve crashed and burned. They are the ones cheering me on halfway through the marathon.

I’m thankful for my Yodas. I have two people who I seek wisdom from on a regular basis. They help me navigate the path they have already walked. These “green muppets” wrote the book on hard times and failures. But they got back up, shook off the dirt and kept moving forward. They teach me and I am able to implement so much into my life from our conversations.

I’m thankful for my Back-Coverers. They fight with me in the front lines. They have my back ALL THE TIME. They stick for me and my integrity when I’m not even around.

I’m thankful for the Ass-Kickers. These amazing few bless me forward and have no problem getting in my face when needed. They are bold, don’t accept bullshit and I never doubt they have my best interest in mind. Whenever I get “off track” I know these are the people who will be calling and knocking down my door sooner rather than later.

Do you have these kinds of relationships? Are you aware of your ass kickers or encouragers? Are you a Yoda or a Back coverer to someone in your life?

I never know when I first meet someone who they will be in my life. Or what role I will play in theirs. Some of the ones mentioned above I’ve known since childhood, others have come into my life just in the last few years.

Call it a clan, call it a network. I call it my tribe. We all need at least one filled with unique and amazing souls.

This past week I jumped into a new tribe. For the next ten weeks I will be on a writing journey with 30 other women. Story101 is full of talented writers and creatives. I’m excited to see what is in store for each of us. I’m already aware that there may be lifelong friends I’ve yet to meet in this group. So cheers to a new place to create, share, laugh and cry together!


jumping into deeper waters


 “They saw the works of the Lord, his wonderful deeds in the deep.” Psalm 107:24

Deep calls to deep as the Scriptures say.

For some, the deep waters are defined by the losses and messiness of life.

The loss of my mother.

The wounds from an abusive relationship.


An auto immune disease diagnosis.

A miscarriage.

A broken friendship.

I know those deep waters well. I have experienced the overwhelming feeling of drowning. The loneliness in those situations.

But I was never really alone. Never.

I’m now so aware that God was right beside me. In fact, there are times I can look back and see that He brought me into the deep, in order to open my eyes and heart to the wonders He can do.

And that’s where I begin to see those deep waters as something exciting rather than frightening. When He brings me to that place, something amazing can happen.

Water often symbolizes chaos. But it can also be life giving.

Deep calls to deep.

The deep longings of our soul are met with the deep desires of His heart.

What a beautiful place that is. Sometimes the open water can cause us to deal with the chaos. But sometimes it pushes us to dig deep. Really deep. What are the longings of your soul? What is life giving for you? It doesn’t always have to be a loss. Sometimes taking the risk into the unknown draws out something beautiful. Something you never thought possible. Something you haven’t wanted or chosen to bring to the surface.

I’m not waiting for an invitation. I’m choosing to jump into the deep end. Where I pray I’ll discover more of myself. Where I’ll seek adventure and take more risks. Where the desires I have will be spoken and lived out.

And I won’t be alone.

I’m falling into deeper waters, calling out to Him.
I’m walking into deeper waters, going after Him.

why i love him

Today I’m celebrating my husband’s birthday! What an incredible man I married! I often remind him of why I love him but today I thought I’d share just a few of those reasons with you all.

  1. He provides for all our needs and wants, he always puts my wants and needs above his own.
  2. He is loyal, honest and trustworthy.
  3. He is my personal cheer leader, he has faith in me and in what I can achieve.
  4. He has a great sense of humor and can always make me laugh.
  5. He understands my moods and know the right things to say when I am down.
  6. He believes in me and accepts me for who I am and I’ve never felt he compared me to anyone else.
  7. He believes in the power of prayer and what God can do.
  8. He still takes me out on dates.
  9. He is kind to me and to everyone else no matter who they are.
  10. He is very handy around the house, he can fix everything!
  11. Every night he brings me a new water bottle before we sleep and makes me breakfast regularly.
  12. He is a great masseuse.
  13. I use to hate it when he snores, now I can’t sleep without hearing him snore.
  14. He is a true gentleman opening doors and carrying my things for me.
  15. I know he’s going to be an amazing father one day.


Here’s to the next year being full of many more laughs and adventures!


Thirty days ago I gave myself a challenge “Become the healthiest person you can be by your 30th birthday.” And I’m happy to say that after only 30 days and on the eve of my 30th birthday I am absolutely feeling the healthiest, happiest and most carefree I have been in a loooong time!

It’s been a frustrating and long journey to better health. I realized there were many factors affecting my ability to feel better. Once I was aware of it, I was ready to start fighting through it. And I’m so glad I did!

First, I began to speak, live out and believe in the Four Agreements. I know it’s cliche to say this but…I swear this has been life changing for me!! Each day I am now striving to be more impeccable with my word, not to take anything personally, not to make assumptions and to always do my best.

Part of my “detoxing” included doing some housekeeping when it came to my relationships. I had to take myself out of a toxic situation and I have to say that I almost immediately felt better! The stress I had been feeling disappeared, I began to not be so fearful of being criticized for the woman I am and believe it was a great decision for myself.  I encourage you to check out The Single Defining Characteristic of a Manipulator , a very helpful link that a supportive friend sent me. I fully believe that a person’s emotional health affects their physical health. It’s no coincidence I started seeing improvement in my sleep and overall health after getting rid of stress.

J11093 My body definitely needed an overhaul. After the last few years of misdiagnoses, false test results and various doctors who didn’t know what they were doing! (Mostly because they never listened enough and took the time to really walk through my symptoms, etc) I have come to the conclusion that holistic medicine is the right path for me. I still believe in western medicine but I also believe that there is a HUGE place for eastern and alternative medicine in my current and future health care needs and goals. A few resources I have found helpful are:

Sunday Night Prep to Eat Clean All Week

Good Morning Yoga

Oil Pulling (my new favorite morning practice)

Healing Your Liver the Natural Way

Soul Detox (5 week reading plan)

In addition to making these changes, I’ve gone back to a few of the things I love and which bring me joy. I’m relaunching my photography business next month. My website is nearly finishing and I already have a couple exciting opportunities coming my way! I’m writing everyday and have a few magazines articles I’m submitting today. It feels good to get creative again!

On May 28th I set a goal. Thirty days to make a change. That first day I felt a bit overwhelmed. Who am I kidding? I felt really REALLY overwhelmed! But looking back, day by day I made progress. Sometimes I didn’t finish my workouts, I didn’t get my required 9 hours of sleep, I would eat processed foods or I would forget my own worth and beauty. But as I write this nearly a month later I am proud of what I have done and where I am at now. I have been nearly PAIN FREE for 29 days!! (Those who know me and my journey well can celebrate with a big WOO HOO along side me!)

It’s amazing what God can do when I allow Him to work on me and stay strong as the woman He made me to be. This feeling of wholeness and good health is the BEST birthday gift I could ask for.

“E.E Cummings wrote, “To be nobody-but-yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody but yourself – means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight- and never stop fighting.”

Here’s to 30 being the best year yet!

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wedding day recap

Mariea Rummel Photography It’s been over a month now since Max and I stood hand in hand in front of many of our friends and family and started a whole new journey together. We’ve already had our share of ups and downs but at the end of each day we are happy and anticipate lots of blessings in the future. I get excited every time I mention “my husband” or whenever someone calls me “Mrs.”

The morning of the wedding I had to wake up waaaay too early to start getting hair and makeup done. I haven’t had coffee in years but I was starting to consider taking up the habit once again. My amazing matron of honor and I drove up to the wedding venue and I immediately smiled. This place, this day was going to be fantastic!

As family started to arrive for pictures I thought back just how easily Max fit into my family. From the very first time he met everyone in Kentucky last summer there was laughter, common ground and a friendship started between him and my father. That itself is a gift to me.

my Matron of Honor- Rachel

Mariea Rummel Photography I remember the last hour before the ceremony began. That time was and continues to be so special and meaningful to me. One by one, the closest of my friends walked into the bridal suite to pray over me, make me laugh, of course make me cry and cause me to worry about makeup reapplications! Those moments are something I’ll cherish for years to come.

And then, my father walked in. It was time to go! I recall looking at him, looking at me. There were tears in his eyes and I was reminded of the love and friendship between us. In that moment I couldn’t help but think I was there on that day, ready to marry Max- and it was all because of my father. He taught and has continually reminded me of my worth, beauty, courage and character. And I found a caring, kind, passionate, humorous, loving and hardworking man in Max because of the example my dad gave me growing up.

Mariea Rummel Photography

Moments before we walked down the aisle, the song I had chosen began to play. The words washed over me and I was overwhelmed with emotion.

Hold onto hope love. I’ve searched high and low for you.

I smiled and was ready to run and meet my groom!

Then my dad and I began to walk and…I saw Max! The grin on his face was the only thing I was focused on. I couldn’t see anyone else. Everything around me was a blur. It felt like a dream. We both were teary eyed by the time I arrived next to him.

A friend later told me our ceremony was 6 minutes, start to finish. Short and sweet!!

And then it was time to celebrate!

Mariea Rummel Photography

The best wedding party EVER!

A Texas girl always needs her boots!

A Texas girl always needs her boots!

The reception was a whirlwind! I remember getting to eat which I had heard is rare for a bride and groom. The toasts made by the best man, matron of honor and my father were special to both Max and I. Dancing and the crazy photo booth gave us an opportunity to let loose and spend time with many of our friends and family.

Mariea Rummel Photography

Our first dance is hands down my favorite moment from the reception. (My dance with my father is a very close second.) Max and I had chosen a song that has special meaning to us. Eric Church’s Like Jesus Does. If you’ve never heard it, shame on you! Go and listen now! :)

Mariea Rummel Photography

I don’t do this recap justice. So much happened in such a short amount of time- it was all a very surreal feeling but so amazing to feel so loved, not only by Max on that day, but by everyone in our lives who took time to celebrate with us. I wish I could remember it all. Part of that I blame on the whiskey, but a huge portion was just the quick nature of it all.

To all our family and friends both near and far who chose to spend their Saturday/weekend with us- thank you for loving and supporting us!

Jonathan, Dave, Rachel, Tim, Cassarah, Daphne and Declan- you guys made up the best wedding party! We had so much fun with all of you! Cheers!

Mariea @ Mariea Rummel Photography– YOU ROCK! You truly captured our love and so many incredible moments for us. We’re grateful to you and Kurt.

Carissa @ Sugar and Spice– Thank you for the yummy wedding cake! Guests and family were raving about it for days and days!

Dottie @ Camino Flower Shop– You are an artist! I’m thankful you could create beautiful arrangements for us.

Keri and Emily @ Wedgewood Sequoia– You ladies kept me sane and excited about our big day despise all the little details. Thanks for making sure our wedding went off without a hitch!

The truth is…

The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is. -Winston Churchill

The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is. -Winston Churchill

Lately I’ve noticed how much negativity I have allowed to sneak into my life. There have been days that seem like it’s nearly impossible to tune out all the noise and negativity.

When lies are being spoken to you, when it seems that the truth is all but lost, I have found its best to stop, literally, stop whatever it is you’re doing and speak truth. Out loud. Shout it if needed. Write it down.

There is a lot I am still learning about myself, but there is so much I already am aware of that lately I’ve just allowed myself to forget. So here’s my list of truths for today.

  • I’m a creative being. I thrive on using my creativity daily.
  • I’m tired of being a bride. Ready to be a wife. Eloping still sounds like a good idea.
  • I am marrying the most compassionate, kind hearted, playful and loving man that I have ever met. I am reminded how blessed I am every time I see him.
  • I’m not perfect, but I try damn hard to always do my best. Sometimes my best doesn’t mean I succeed at the task at hand, but it’s always enough for me.
  • My heart longs for a child. I would love nothing more than to prove every doctor wrong and laugh at the word infertility someday.
  • Sometimes I cry just thinking about the people who have allowed me into their lives and how much I love them.
  • I’m not a people pleaser. Sometimes I wonder if some of my relationships would be easier if I were. But then I remember that I’m not wired that way.
  • I’m not currently happy with my weight or my health. It’s a struggle to distract myself from chronic pain. It’s even harder to distract myself from the statistics and doctor’s words.
  • My favorite moment from this week is a toss up between an ice cream outing with my favorite 10 year old and laughing until I fell over during a phone call with a longtime friend.
  • The truth is, I have no idea what’s next for me in regards to many things in my life, but I am thankful God knows.

Signs of a terrible bachelor party

bachelor_party_invitation_card-p137441158189821144bfmxk_400Max  can’t stop talking about his bachelor party which is still a few weeks away. The words “I don’t wanna know” has come out of my mouth too many times already. :-) But I do hope the guys have a fun weekend!

Guys, here’s how to know if your bachelor party isn’t going well:

10.) It’s you and your parents in the basement watching Wheel of Fortune.

9.) You ordered a stripper named Erin. You got a stripper named Aaron.

8.) You just ran out of game tokens for skee-ball and that giant mouse keeps trying to drag you into the ball pit.

7.) Instead of a beautiful woman, a homeless man named Jimbo has just jumped out of your cake.

6.) The hot waitress at Hooter’s that you’ve been admiring from behind turns out to be your fiance. Surprise!

5.) You told your Best Man you wanted a bachelor party in Las Vegas, NV. You got a bachelor party in Las Vegas, NM.

4.) It’s 3:30am and you can’t find a single tattoo removal service that’s open.

3.) The Best Man was just kicked out of the gentlemen’s club for asking a stripper for change.

2.) Somehow, YOU are the designated driver.

1.) It’s 8:30 and you’re already in bed.

10 ways you know the wedding you’re at is lame.


We’ve all been to our fair share of laaame weddings. Here are ten signs that the wedding you’re attending will be one you’re sure to remember, as reeaallly lame.

10.) There’s a $15 cover charge.

9.) Every guest is required to slow dance with the groom’s Uncle Mort.

8.) The menu lists the same item for appetizer, dinner and dessert — Spam Surprise.

7.) Two and a half hours into the ceremony, the officiant lets everyone out for the “halftime” bathroom break.

6.) Due to an odd mix-up at the florist, each dinner table is adorned with Poison Ivy.

5.) It’s being live-streamed to Myspace.

4.) The bride and groom just left the reception early to go get a head start on writing their thank-you notes.

3.) The venue double booked the ballroom, so you’re sharing the reception space with the annual meeting of the North American Tarantula Owner’s Club.

2.) The band only knows songs by Creed.

1.) Your MC for the evening: Chris Brown


PS- My own wedding is only 2 months away. It’s gonna be kick ass. I promise.