June 26, 2016


Happy birthday little one!

Oh the blessing I received on this day! At 4:00 a.m. June 26, 2016 I became an aunt to a beautiful little girl who weighed 7 pounds 11 ounces and was 20 inches long! I wish more than anything that I could have been there in person. My big sister is my best friend and we have been right there for each other for everything and it kills me at times like this that I live 1,317 miles away.


My view of the nursery.

Thank goodness for the internet and family who were willing to Skype with me so I could be apart of it all. At one point during it all I was sitting in the windowsill of the nursery as I waited for her precious self to make her way into the world.IMG_1466

I can not even begin to explain the overwhelming joy I felt when I saw her Daddy walk out into the hallway and into the nursery with her in his arms. I also became instantly jealous of everyone that was there that would get to hold her and love on her multiple times before I would even have the chance to meet her. Then again I was also thankful I could watch it all happen on my computer screen from the comfort of my bed, unlike everyone who waited several hours in stiff chairs in the hospital waiting room.

She was nearly a month old when I finally got to meet her and hold her in my arms. I had to fight back the tears when my sister placed her in my arms.


Even when she goes cross-eyed she is still adorable.

If I reacted that way to meeting my niece I can only imagine that I will probably cry like a big baby when I finally get to hold my own child in a couple of weeks. The next baby my sister has I fully intend on being there the whole time photographing it every step of the way (decent photographs of course, nothing x-rated). I enjoyed the time I got to spend with all of my family and especially the newest member and I can not wait until I can hold her and love on her again. Until then I will just have to watch her grow through pictures and videos. Hopefully she will not forget me. I do not think that is possible seeing as I am pretty sure I am her favorite aunt!


That smile says it all.

The Family I Found!

bubba ritos

For the past three years I have been working at a place called Bubba Ritos. Bubba Ritos is a southwestern restaurant similar to that of a Moe’s or Chipotle, only way better in my book. Bubba Ritos was my first job and I started work there right after I graduated from high school. I have just 24 more days before I leave the place I have spent the last three years.

I have just 24 more days before I have to say goodbye to the family I have made there (I got married and I am moving several states away) and it’s going to be hard.

Since I have started keeping a countdown of how many days I have left on the dry erase board in the office, I’ve been thinking of what I wanted to say to everyone and thought I would make it easy and put it here so everyone can read.

When I first started this job I had no idea it would be all that it has been to me. I mean when I started it I didn’t even want to work at the location I was placed at and I certainly did not think I would be there for three years. This place is my second home and the people that work there my second family. I see them way more than I see my own home and my own family. There has even been times when I had preferred to be there than anywhere else. I am good at my job and I love doing it, but those happy feelings for my place of work have not always been there. Trust me there have been on more than one occasion where I have wanted to quit and times where I would have rather wrote a blog about all the negative things.

The truth is I am thankful beyond words for the family I made and the job I was given. I would like to thank everyone for putting up with me on my really bad days. Thank you guys for letting me rant to you about my personal life. Thank you for letting me cry way more than one should at their job. Thank you guys for all of your advice, love, friendships, criticisms, patience, adventures and support.

Dylan and Delieta, where do I even begin! Thank you, thank you, thank you! This isn’t a goodbye because I know I will see y’all again and who knows I might never stop working for you guys (I have some ideas I need to share). Thank you for believing in me enough to be a manager and thank you for trusting me. Thank you for not giving up on me after my first night of work! Thank you both for letting me voice my opinions even when I didn’t agree with the choices y’all were making. Thank you for not firing me after that night I argued with y’all rather loudly. Thank you Dylan for the relationship advice that I will never forget, you said “You have to run your life like a business. If someone is dragging you down, you have to cut them lose”. Thank you Delieta for being you. I am so grateful and can’t thank y’all enough for everything y’all have given me. I love you both and I am glad I get to call y’all friends.

I have been lucky enough to make a few significant relationships with some fellow co-workers. Ms.Anita, God truly blessed me with you! I found a grandmother in you and I will forever love you just like one. Prepare for many phone calls from me in the future, because there is no way I could ever tell you good bye! Alydia and Heaven, you are both my sisters at heart! Alydia you are my soul mate, my best friend and my twin and to think I haven’t even known you that long. I feel like I have known you my whole life though. Heaven you are beyond amazingly talented and a friend that I cherish. Anytime I come home to visit be prepared to do my hair! We share many many memories and I plan on continuing that. Leila, thank you for always laughing at my singing and for all your amazing goodies! I have more to thank you for, but not enough room for it here.

This is getting really long. Everyone else be prepared for really long mussy Christmas cards.

I have been lucky to have friendships with not only past and present co-workers, but guests too. To all the loyal guests that have been coming in since my first day and the ones since then, you know who you are. It saddens me to have to tell you guys goodbye and to some of you, I hope we stay in contact. I love seeing you guys walk in! Some of you have cheered me up on my worst of days. I am truly going to miss seeing all of your smiling faces every day/week. You all mean more to me than you realize.

Leaving the only place I have worked is scary and sad. I do know that where ever I go from here I will forever have a family supporting me every step of the way!




To My Love


I promise to always love you no matter what. I promise to be slow to anger and quick to forgive. I promise to always support your dreams and goals as long as you support mine. I promise to always be patient and kind. I promise to always be your best friend and loudest cheerleader. I promise to always share your happiness and sorrows. I promise to turn the air/heat the opposite of what you just turned it. I promise to keep chocolate milk in the refrigerator. I promise to encourage you and inspire you. I promise that I will always be loyal, devoted and respectful to you.I promise to fight for you not with you or against you. I promise to share my food with you and try not to get mad when you hog the covers. I promise to listen when you’ve had a bad day and need to rant. I promise to love your family and love your little sister more than you do. I promise to always cook your favorite meal on your birthday and I promise not to complain when we have to watch Alabama football games.

Most importantly I promise to love you through the good times and the bad times. I promise to always pray for your safety when you are home and even more when you are on foreign soil. I promise to compromise. I promise to always put you first only after God. I promise all of this and so much more. My love you are my family now and forever. I know that there will be hard times and I have faith we will make it through it. I look forward to all the adventures our future holds and look forward to sharing many many years loving you.


A Letter To My Mother

img010 (2)

Dear Mom,

I have come to realize there are things I do not say enough to you that I should. I do not tell you enough how much I love you. I do not tell you enough how thankful I am for everything you do for me. Thank you for being my mom. Thank you for being my voice of reason. Thank you for sharing your opinions even when I do not want to hear them. Thank you for everything and so much more. I do not tell you enough that I am sorry. I am sorry for every time I have hurt your feelings. I am sorry for saying I did not like it when you would tell people we share a birthday. I tell everyone too. I am sorry for every time I have disappointed you and for the times that are sure to come. I am sorry for all those times when I would tell you I hated you, I did not mean it. I am sorry for wanting to be my own person and prove that I will not make the same mistakes. I am sorry I am always a source of worry for you. I am sorry for not being the daughter you wished I had been.

One thing I do not think I have ever told you is I am proud of you. I am proud to call you my mom. I am proud of all the hard decisions you have had to make when it came to raising my sisters and I. I am proud of you for loving me when I was not all that loveable. I am proud to tell people I share a birthday with you. I am proud that you have raised me to be the strong, independent, and caring person I am today. Mommy I love you to the moon and back and 20 times more. Thank you for being my mom.

Forever and Always!


My American Soldier

combat boots

So I was driving home from work the other day when a song I have heard one billion and one times came on the radio. For the very first time though this song made me cry like a baby and I’m not talking the cute crying. I’m talking about the ugly crying. The red face, tears everywhere and yes even snot. I apologize to anyone who saw me like this.

For the first time in the 12 years that this song has been out it finally touched my heart. Toby Keith’s “American Soldier” touched me in such a way that all I could do was think of my American soldier and cry. I cried tears of happiness, sorrow, and pride, but most importantly love.

The lyrics say, “Up and at ’em bright and early” all I could think about was when I visited him in July and having to wake him up at 5 a.m. to make sure he got to PT on time. “I can’t call in sick on Mondays when the weekend’s been to strong, I just work straight through the holidays, sometimes all night long”, I can’t believe that I spent all week complaining about the fact I was having to work all week and doing overtime. I realized how lucky I am that I get to see my family every week and how lucky I am that I get off work for all major holidays. I realized how much I take granted and how grafteful I am towards my soldier and others like him.

I cried because I know he’s counted up the cost and he knows the sacrifices. I cried because I know he would proudly take a stand. I cried because I miss him. It has been two weeks since I heard from him last.

My American soldier is the love of my life and my best friend and I will proudly stand behind him no matter what people say, what people tell me I should do or how many times people tell me it’s too hard to be with someone in the military and that I am crazy for being in a long distance relationship. The song made me think of the commitment he has made to our country and in turn the commitment I am making to him.

I may not know where or what he is doing all the time, but I do know that no matter what he has my back just like I have his. I may not get to hear him say it when I need it the most, but I know he loves me. I may not get to see him when I want, but I know he is doing what he is meant to do and I will see him soon. I know that I am one lucky and blessed girl to have such an incredible man in my life. I wouldn’t trade him for the world.


The City Life Is Not For Me

alabamaWow, Chicago! What a crazy, scary and weird city you are. I may have only been in the city for four days, but I saw and experienced enough to last me a very long while. I really did enjoy my trip even if I didn’t get to see some of the things I would have liked to have seen. Now although I didn’t get to see everything on my list, it is very unlikely I will go back anytime in the near or very distant future.

Before I get ahead of myself let me start from the beginning. This was a business trip that I went on with my aunt. A trip that required me to fly on an actual airplane, I say actual because I have flown on many pretend airplanes over my 21 years of existence. This trip required me to fly on not one, not two, but four different planes. I was really nervous about flying for the first time not only for the fact that my life was depending on a man-made machine to get me from point a to point b all while being thousands of feet in the air, but for the fact that I get motion sick very easily and am prone to the occasionally vomiting.

Day one of flying: I must say I really appreciated the laugh I received from the man next to me when he found out it was my very first time flying. It really made me feel great! After being laughed at my aunt was able to reassure me after every bump that everything was going to be okay. Only after we got off that plane did she tell me that even for someone who has flown quite a bit like herself that flight was very very bumpy. The second flight of the day was a lot more enjoyable mainly because I knew what to expect and it wasn’t no where as bumpy as the first one and because I sat next to a gentleman with a very lovely English accent.

Day two of flying: Flying back I felt like a pro. I knew what to expect. I knew how to walk down the aisle without hitting a fellow passenger with my laptop case and how to stow away my carry on without any help. The first flight was a short one from Chicago to Detroit. The only downside to this flight was the fact it departed a little after 5 o’clock a.m., but being able to watch the sunrise above the clouds was absolutely breathtaking and totally worth the two hours of sleep I had the night before. I enjoyed watching the sunrise and re-reading one of my many favorite books. Now flight number two is where things got sketchy. Our flight got delayed an hour and only after we were already on the plane and after we had to abort a take off. Yes you read that correctly. We were on the plane going down the runway about to take off when the plane powered down and pulled to the side where we sat for a few minutes only to hear the pilot say we had to abort take off due to mechanical issues and that we were going back to the gate where they would try to fix the issue while we waited or they would move us to another plane. After an hour of waiting they told us they had fixed the issue and we were off again. For the rest of the flight I stayed busy sleeping or reading anything to keep my mind from thinking we were going to crash every time I felt a little bump. To reassure you all we did make it to our final destination without any further difficulties.

Keep in mind this was a business trip so I didn’t get to do as much sightseeing as I would have liked but at the end of each day we did manage to see some stuff. The first night we visited the Shedd Aquarium. How can you go wrong when visiting cute fish and sea creatures. We also visited the Sears Tower now called the Willis Tower and yes I even walked out on the Skydeck. We also ate some deep dish pizza of course. The second night it rained and considering we had to walk everywhere we went we stayed in. The third night we took a boat tour at sunset where we went out on the lake and saw the whole chicago skyline at night.

So far everything sounds great right? Well let me tell you it wasn’t all that great. The transportation is awful. The two forms of transportation we used were our feet and the train. Walking wasn’t all that bad you just have to have some really good shoes and be prepared to sweat like a pig. The train on the other hand was gosh awful! I am not exaggerating in the least bit here. You are smushed in a small tube with too many people and far too many people who don’t believe in personal hygiene. You better be quick when boarding and quick to sit down or have both hands free to hold on tight. I almost fell over twice! Had I fell over I’m pretty positive no one would have helped me back up or even noticed for that matter. Avoid the train if you suffer from motion sickness like myself, also be prepared to see the occasional homeless person sleeping on the train and or the occasional drunk person.

My conclusion from this trip would be that Chicago although full of amazing things to see it also has too many people and not enough trees for someone like me. One thing I know for sure now is that the city life is not for me. This girl needs trees and mountains.


How To Tell When Someone Is Worth It


How do you know when someone is worth it? Worth the tears? Worth the pain and heartache? Worth the worrying and sleepless nights? Worth your attention? Worth your time?

Worth your love?

How do you know when the one person you love most in the world is worth it all?

He is worth it when you see him for the first time after being apart for months. He is worth the butterflies you still get. He is worth it when you see the look in his eyes when he says he is never letting you go and you know this time he means it. He is worth it when after a bad day one FaceTime call from him makes it all better. He is worth it when on those rare occasions he sends you all the really cute emojis when talking about your future. He is worth it when he says he wants a future with you. He is worth it when your relationship is going through a rough spot and he tells you not to worry that God wouldn’t give us anything we couldn’t handle. He is worth it when he smiles and it warms your heart, because you know you’re the reason for his happiness.

He is worth it because I made a promise to always be here for him no matter what. He is worth it because I don’t make the same mistake twice. He is worth it because I love his family like my own. He is worth it because he is my best friend. He is worth it because I remember the exact moment I fell in love and the moment he stole my heart.

He is worth it because my heart has only ever belonged to him.


God’s Plan Is Greater

DSC_0021You know what, these past couple days I have been giving my life a lot of thought. My conclusion is that my life is no where at all close to where I thought it would be right now. I like having things planned out, it doesn’t matter what it is that’s just what I do.

Since before high school graduation I knew exactly what I was going to do with the rest of my life and I knew exactly where I would be in my life right now. After graduation I would go to Snead State Community College where I would spend my first two years of college majoring in music education and then I would transfer to either Jacksonville or Auburn where I would finish up my college education. I would then go back to my high school and become band director.

My life so far, I spent three years at Snead. I spent one year studying music education before deciding that wasn’t what I was meant to do. I changed my major to journalism and after two years graduated with my associate’s degree.

Now what? What’s next? The answer is I have no idea. I have no idea what I am doing with my life or what I want to do. My life has never been more chaotic, uncertain or without plans. I don’t know what to do.

I used to have a real good friend that I would go to with every little hiccup or problem in my life. I went to them so they could tell me what to do to fix everything and every time I got the same answer, “Jodie stop stressing and just go with the flow”.

I guess I am finally learning to go with the flow and for now I will do only things that make me happy. For now I will do only things I enjoy and one day hopefully I will find the one thing I am meant to do for the rest of my life. I do know one thing for sure though, the people who say that you can’t do what you love, you have to do what makes you the most money are wrong. I would much rather be doing something I love and enjoy, even if I don’t make a lot of money over doing something that makes me miserable, but pays well any day.

After all God’s plan for my life is far greater than mine could have ever been. I just have to be patient and have faith that one day God will lead me in the direction I need to go. Until then I will continue to take pictures, write, travel the world and be happy.


My Life Is Mine

This life of mine is mine. Let me make this clear! This is my life! I have recently discovered that there are quite a few people in my life that think for some reason that they have some sort of power over me, that just because they tell me to do something means I will do it.

I have given┬áthis topic a lot of thought after some recent events that have happened in my life and I found myself really upset by the fact that there are several people who think this way. I understand that they probably think they are doing what is best for me, but there’s a point where it goes from caring to irritating.

Now, I understand you can’t stop people from voicing their opinions, but do they have to voice them so loudly. My mom has this way of telling when I have reached my limit with people and has on more than one occasion told them to, “Ease up on her. The more you push the harder she will push away”. This is true. The more people tell me to do something the more I want to do the opposite.

You know, come to think of it maybe this isn’t something I have recently realized about people in my life. People in my life have always done this. The only difference now is that I don’t care what people think of me and the choices I make. After all this is my life and I am the one who has to live it and I am not making the mistake again of listening to others and doing something that results in me loosing something or someone important.

I know the things I want in my life and no amount of nagging from others will make me change my mind. Please don’t get me wrong I care for all these people deeply and I know that what they say comes from a good place, but what ever happened to supporting my happiness even if you can’t see it or I don’t show it all the time. Believe me I would not be doing anything if I didn’t get some sort of joy out of it. To quote Steve Jobs, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary”.


Missing Someone Is Hard

Missing someone is hard rather it be a loved one who is passed away, a dear friend you have lost contact with or someone you care about who moved incredibly far away. It never gets easier and you never really get used to it, you just learn to handle it. You learn how to avoid the things that remind you of them.

I have recently been going through a lot of missing people. I had my moment of missing my mawmaw and pawpaw brought on by a friend (older than I) calling and talking to her granddad on the phone, just to see how he was doing. It wasn’t until much later that night after I had been crying for a good hour because all I wanted to do was go stay the night with my mawmaw and pawpaw, so I could sit in mawmaw’s lap and have her rock me like when I was little or lay in the floor watching movies while pawpaw made popcorn or watching pawpaw cook Sunday morning breakfast, that it hit me it was 10 years to the day that my mawmaw passed away.

I have also been feeling like I am losing contact with a dear friend of mine and yes I have attempted to make plans with her. Our lives, however, are at two different points. Shes getting ready to get married and settle down and I’m still just trying to figure out who I am as a person and enjoying seeing the world. I miss that I don’t talk to her everyday like I once did. I’m upset that I don’t know what’s happening in her life and I’m upset that I’m no longer her best friend. I’m also saddened by the fact that I won’t be her maid of honor at her wedding like we had once planned on, but people change I guess. I just hope she knows I will always be here for her and that I wish her all the happiness in the world.

Now this next one comes in two parts. I have two people I care about who have moved far away. They both mean the world to me and they both moved for different reasons. One moved so she could find herself and truly embrace life and all that it is. The other moved so they could do the job they were trained to do.

The first one I miss, but I miss more for my mom than myself. My mom’s very best friend and the woman I feel like I am most like moved to another country. She was the person my mom ran too when she needed an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on or a friend to share a laugh with and she was the person I ran to when I needed someone to understand me. We both still run to her with our needs it’s just not in person anymore it’s over the phone or over the computer.

The best and worst for last. This one is the best because he is my favorite person and the one who holds my heart, but that also makes it the worst. I miss him more than anyone. You see, he is in the military and is currently stationed several states away and he will be there for the next two years. I miss him like crazy. I miss him on the weekends when everyone else is hanging out and going on dates with their signficant others and I’m alone in my room watching Netflix. Those people who say they miss their girlfriend/boyfriend after only a couple of days of not seeing them would never make it in a long distance relationship and yes I have been told I am crazy for making such a commitment (that’s a story for another day). Having to be so far away from the person you are in love with and not really knowing when you will see them again is hard, but for me it is worth it.

I have to constantly remind myself everyday that all the people I miss I will see again one day rather it be here on earth or in heaven. Missing someone is hard, but missing someone is your heart’s way of reminding you that you love them.