Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Open Letter To Harry Connick Jr.

Dear Mr. Harry Connick Jr., 


I am looking forward to watching your new show.  I do not want to rush summer, but September can not get here soon enough!!  Who doesn't want a daily dose of HCJ??  I know it is going to be great. I have an excellent idea for it,  but before I share that thought, I would  like to share a few things with you. 

I am a huge fan!!! I don't recall the exact moment I became a fan, it must have been about the time “When Harry Met Sally”.  I liked you even more when you made “Hope Floats” and then you came into the lives of my friends “Will and Grace”.  Tales about dolphins helped too! was when I attended my first concert that I became an even bigger fan.  It was a Christmas concert.   I was about 6 months pregnant, the night started out rough, but when you and your band took the stage it was worth every minute.   I was mesmerized.  My second concert was “Oh My Nola” and my favorite song became “Yes We Can Can”.  The way you performed it, the motivational lyrics, the insrutments, and the notes all came together perfectly.  I love to blast that one in the swagger wagon, AKA, my minivan.  My third concert was a surprise.  I was given clues and had to guess each week, starting 13 weeks in advance.  I knew by clue 4 it had somehting to do with you, but I had already checked tour dates and wasn't sure how this was going to work.   Clue 6, confirmed it was you.  The clue was:  “You are correct in you assesment that the person at this event is also a musicain. In fact their first album was released the year you were born.”  I knew it was you!!! This concert was a blast.   You even played a few new tunes from your upcompoing album, which quickly became my favioite album.   Just a few months later I attended my fourth concert. I posted on social media: I love to write and read words, they help me process, but as Hans Christian Anderson says “Where words fail, music speaks.”  I loved hearing the music speak that night.  

I love getting to see you perform, but I also love getting to see those gentlemen on stage with you perform.  The amazing Mr. Lucien Barbarin dueling it out on stage with you, there are no words. The talent of Mr. Jerry Weldon.  Mr. Jonahtan Dubose Jr. just about brings me to tears.  Hearing the talent God blessed him with is an honor.  When y'all played “How Great Thou Art” at the last concert I attended, my heart just about burst.   I purchased albums from Jonathan Dubose Jr., thanks to you sharing the stage with him.  And lets not forget the talent of Geoff Burke, Augie Haas, Dion Tucker, Neil Caine, and every other amazing muscian that gets on that stage.  I wish I could name every one of the them!!  The  language y'all speak on stage is captivating.  I love hearing how the puzzle pieces of each musician and each note fit together.   It is a language that speaks to people.   

During my last HCJ concert you talked about your show.  You stated, you would be interviewing ordianary women.  The other day my husband surprised me with a trip to New Orleans and I thought this would make a great segment on the Harry show!!!  I have only been to New Orleans once, briefly.  We stopped for dinner on our way home from the beach...with our kids.  I loved the archticure, the history, the talented saxophone player I met on the street, but I struggled with really getting to take it all in because we had our kids.  I told my husband for our 15th wedding anniversay I would like to go back without our kids. At the end of June we are!!  Wouldn't it be a great segment to have you personally be the tour guide of a mega fan? This Mr. Harry Connick Jr., is my excellent idea!   I would loved to see Musciain's Village and tour the Ellis Marsalis Center!!!  I would love to know the name of every band member as well!

Even if you can't be our tour guide for a few hours, could you at least give us a list of things we shoud see and do?  Is anyone playing in New Orleans we should make sure we see??

Thank you, 

Shelly, a mega HCJ fan


I even got my fan club card in the mail yesterday! 




Monday, January 25, 2016

Book Review: Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World, written by Kristen Welch

Recently, I had the privilege of being apart of the launch team for Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World, written by Kristen Welch.  You may have heard of her....just scroll through Facebook and momma's everywhere have shared her post from her blog  Her writing is real on her blog and in her book. 

There are books for raising babies, raising toddlers, but there are very few books about raising kids.  I need wisdom for raising these humans that call me mom and Kristen Welch provides that through this book. There is so much in this book that excites me, validates, me, encourages me, and convicts me.

In a society where everyone wins it is hard to rear kids that don't feel entitled.  Kristen shares her struggles, her triumphs, and charges us to parent upstream. 

As I read, I felt like I was having coffee with a best friend who is knee deep in this parenting mess, just like me and together we wrestled parenting topics. I love seeing how other people do life and she offers excellent application ides to help raise less entitled kids and more grateful ones. And she moves me to be a better mom. 

If you are knee deep in parenting this book releases tomorrow.   I can't recommend this enough and I know I will read it again and again. 

My one word this year is transform and this book will help me transform my parenting. 

Back to Crossfit!!

 Due to my OCD tendencies, having a clean house is vital for me and for my family.  I tend to go off the deep end when the dust bunnies look like they are creating an army,  when the toothpaste in the sink takes over, or when the toilet no longer looks white.  I have been working enough hours that we have been able to budget in some wonderful ladies who conquered my mess for me and eased the anxiety that messy creates in me.  (By the way I envy those with houses that are lived in, I envy those who can leave things undone...but this is not what this post is about, I digress)

Despite my OCDness, I have chosen to make a sacrifice and become the housekeeper again. (Even the kids are making some sacrifice in this area for something they want to do and will be helping clean as well, however on heavy cleaning  day I am hoping to find some friends who want to have house cleaning parties once a month....with 2 or 3 of us we could knock out each other's houses before the kids get home from school!!! Who's in??)

As I have been focusing on the word transform, I can't help but recall the transformation being in crossfit brought to my life.  Here is a picture of progress I made! 

It is not just these physical changes that make me miss the impact of crossfit, it is also the changes spiritually, emotionally, and mentally.  I miss the community, the encouragement, the push, the competition with myself, and the lessons I learned.

Therefore I am sacrificing house cleaning for crossfit!!!

With all my injuries and asthma I will have to modify a lot!! I am not where I was in these pictures...the last few years was a lot health wise, but I know I will make good progress again.  I have been making a lot of statements about not being able to participate in crossfit due to these challenges and my health, but with modifications it can happen.  What I really meant was we can't really afford it, but with the sacrifice of getting my house clean we can make it work.

I very much love working out at my current gym and will continue to use it and my yoga videos, but I am thrilled to say I am officially part of a crossfit community again!!!

Combine this with the gym, yoga, a 10,000 step goal (I wont lie this is not always easy), Weight Watchers, and Jesus I know I will transform.

One Word.

One Year.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Candy Land and Weight Loss

Have you ever played Candy Land?   You play by flipping over cards that tell you where to go on the path, your goal is to be the first to reach the Candy Castle.  There are few shortcuts on the path, there are also a few places that you get stuck and you miss a turn, there are even times you draw a card and must go backward,  further away from the Candy Castle.

My weight loss journey reminds me of this game.  I keep flipping over cards that tell me how to get to my Candy Castle, AKA my health, cute clothes, and a smaller waist line.   I have felt like without the cards telling me where to move I can not get to the end.  I have flipped over cards that have gotten me stuck, cards that have given me a shortcut to my goal, only to have me go back to the start.  Playing the game of Candy Land can seem to take forever....playing the weight loss game can too.

The cards in my weight loss game have been various diets, trying out for Extreme Weight Loss, carb cycling, Crossfit, Paleo,  knee surgeries, dental issues, more various diets,  thyroid surgery, asthma issues, trainers, everyone's 2 cents, ect.....constantly flipping over the cards, but never seeming to get to the finish line.  Some of the short cut diet cards have been great. I have come so close to the finish that I tasted health and it was good. I want that back!!  The Crossfit card was AMAZING.  I really miss that card.  I have met some fantastic people because of the cards that were played.  I have felt that I needed cards to tell me what to do, which path to take, and I have felt that I can't do this on my own. 

Although some of these cards would have been making the show,  staying in Crossfit, or being able to pay someone to train and help me, none of it would work unless I did the work!!!!
I have come to the realization that I can keep flipping cards and searching for the right path to my Candy Castle or I can stop flipping cards,  pick a path, and take it.

My one word this year is transform.  I am never going to transform in this area if I just keep flipping cards.

By continually turning over cards food, dieting, and searching for a path has become an idol in my life. My thoughts have been consumed with what do I do, what do I eat, what I should and should not have, and that I needed someone to help me. It was keeping me from moving forward, but I must admit it was also my excuse.

I know that I can do all things through Christ, but I also know I am required to stop making excuses and take action.  Stay on a consistent path.  Walk it, don't try to go around it.  Obstacles are going to come, but I have to stay the course. 

With that said, the path I have chosen is Weight Watchers.  I love my fitness pal, however mentally, and spiritually right now,  I need the freedom of not counting most veggies and fruit.   We each have to do what works for us.  What we will stick too.  I may make changes down the road, but right now  this is my consistent path with food.  I joined before Christmas to see the new program before I took serious action.  I changed my weigh in days to Monday to help hold myself accountable over weekends, and on 12-28-15 I stopped flipping cards. In the last 2 weeks I have lost 8.7 pounds.  I am thrilled with this and feel like food and dieting is not consuming my thoughts.

I also plan on continuing to hit the gym, get in at least 10,000 steps  (I am changing my goal on my Fitbit now before I keep typing, however it also needs to be charged, so this may not occur today), and I am adding DDP yoga.  I will be doing my second video for this today.  

And last, but for me the most important key is to continuing to grow in Christ, because I can not transform without Him.

Now that I have picked a card and plan on sticking with it , I can almost taste my Candy Castle... health, cute clothes, and a smaller waist line.

One Word.

One Year.


Friday, January 1, 2016


Two years ago I threw out the idea of making New Year's  resolutions.  My list of goals only seemed to be ideas in my head.  I rarely wrote them down and if I did by the end of the year, I mean January, most of them were forgotten or not accomplished.  When I quit the idea of resolutions, I began to focus on one word for the year.  In 2014 my word was CHASE.  In 2015 my word was BE.  In 2016 my word is TRANSFORM. 

According to Webster Transform means:  to change in composition or structure,  to change the outward form or appearance of,   to change in character or condition.

While this may sound like a specific goal, its not. It is a word that will journey with me through the year.  Who know what will change, but I look forward to unfolding this word in 2016.

With that said, I do have a few ideas of things I would LIKE to see transform over the next 365 days:

I am OCD, however in some areas it is an out of sight out of mind kind of thing.  One area that I would love to change the appearance of, is the clutter that has taken over my cabinets, my drawers, my fridge, and many other nooks and crannies.  Do you see the bend in that shelf??  I seriously need to transform my clutter!!!!

 I would also like to transform these areas:

(collage made with WORDSWAG)
I want to continue to learn more about putting words together, therefore transforming my writing.  I would love the appearance of our finances to change.  And of course I want to continue to transform my health - (that's a blog post coming soon).
I also pray that I transform to be more like Jesus.
 As I focus on this theme/this word I look forward to what God will do as I dive onto His word with my new bible and begin 2016.
Focusing on one word for one year takes the guilt out for me.  There is no specific goal, just one word, for one year. I can't wait to see what transforms.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Be Joyful

One word. One year.

Almost two years ago I moved from New Years resolutions (not that I really made any...if I did I certainly didn't keep them)  to focusing on one word for one year.  I am absolutely sold on this concept. Seriously, if you haven't read the book, you should!!    It came from the book called One Word That Will Change Your Life by Jon Gordon, Dan Briton, and Jimmy Page.

I love the meaning of the word BE!!

According to Merriam-Webster be is,
—used to indicate the identity of a person or thing
—used to describe the qualities of a person or thing
—used to indicate the condition of a person or thing

According to be means to exist or live.

I chose to focus on a different BE every month:

Be disciplined
Be intentional
Be fighting
Be focused
Be resilient
Be honest
Be thankful
Be listening
Be still
Be consistent
Be present

I almost feel sad writing this post, I have spent an entire year with this word. How do I end my year with this word??  This. Is. It.  My last focus. I can't believe it is almost time to pick a new word!!! I am very excited about praying for a new one for 2016, but a lot happened in 2015 with this word!!!  It is a little hard to think about leaving it....and there are so many things I want to do I pick a focus for this month??

It has been hard to pick one!!!  This has actually been the hardest one to pick.   I almost didn't make a choice...I was just going to focus on the word BE itself and what it means, but after thinking about it more today I did choose.

It sounded so cliché' to pick it, but I think it is a great focus amongst the hustle and bustle of December.  

My focus for December, my last focus for 2015 is BE joyful. 

This month is filled with so much to do..... it can be stressful.  It can be so stressful that we miss moments, moments that should be filled with joy.  Moments to remind our kids about Jesus.  Moments to soak up those favorite times of baking cookies.  Moments to give and serve. Moments to fellowship with others. 

So, this month I want to be in the moments!!   I don't want to get wrapped up in the stress and busyness of this month....I have so many reasons to be joyful!!

One word. One year.


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Be Disciplined

I am 4 days behind getting my focus for the month out!!!!  I only have one more focus for 2015!!!  That blows my mind!! How did that even happen??

My focus for November is to be disciplined.

I chose this focus because,  I signed up for a training online that I am very excited about.  I want to be disciplined to use the training, which means I need to be disciplined in my time management. 

Of course I want to carry over some of the things I wanted to be intentional about from last month, but this month I want to be disciplined to manage my time, to learn something new, and put what I learn to use.

"It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled us to follow through. " ~ Zig Ziglar

This month I want to follow through!. 


Be Disciplined.