The past few months have really been a roller coaster ride. For starters, my Dad was diagnosed with cancer in November. It was three days after my sister’s wedding when we got the news. We were devastated. Life without my Dad in it was unimaginable. The scariest part was that he was to have a scan done to see if the cancer had already spread. I will never forget the day we waited and waited and waited for those results. Finally, they came…the cancer was contained to one area! Thank you Lord. We were so relieved. Even though we had a long road to go we still had our hope…we could beat this! Well, shortly after the New Year my Dad had surgery and although he has had a difficult recovery I am thrilled to say that he is now cancer FREE!
Two days before I found out my Dad had beat the cancer I had another terrible call, this time from someone I have been friend’s with since 1st grade. Her 9 year old little boy has a brain tumor. A total shock and hard to absorb. My poor friend was devastated and scared to death. As a parent I could only imagine what she was going through and because I could only imagine I knew I was one of the lucky ones. My friend listens to a local radio-a-thon every year and cries. Within a week she happened to be at this very hospital getting tests done on her son and ended up on this radio-a-thon. Days later her son went in for an eight hour brain surgery. Seeing all of those children being wheeled around on beds, some crying for their mom, some hiding under a blanket…absolutely broke my heart. Waiting with my friend while she tried not to panic until the doctor came out with some news, broke my heart more. Finally, this mother got the answer she prayed for…he was out of surgery and doing well. A few days ago my friend received the best news she has heard in weeks…the tumor was benign, not cancer. Eventhough her son has a VERY long road ahead of him, living without his pituitory gland that the tumor took, we thank God that he doesn’t have to fight cancer too.
A week ago my husband’s grandfather passed away in his chair while watching golf. He has suffered many medical conditions over the past years including cancer. It literally took over his body.
Cancer…one scary word and you know what? Cancer sucks! It seems to be affecting people I know everywhere. It doesn’t matter their age or their race. It is a horrible, horrible word I wish nobody had to hear. But I have to admit this ugly little word has been teaching me and in some cases reminding me of some important life lessons:
-Good things DO come out of bad situations.
-You can never take one healthy day on this earth for granted.
-I could not make it through this world without my family, friends and faith in God.
-Children should be cherished.
-Prayers do get answered.
-I still hate cancer.
Fight cancer by supporting a cause. Here are some great examples of what is out there:
Happy Valentine’s Day!!!
So I thought today would be good day to share my personal love story. I have yet to do this on my blog but I have to admit I have thought about it many times. So here goes….here is my love story…
I can honestly say that my husband, Josh, is the love of my life. We will celebrate 13 years of marriage this August but our love story started long before our wedding day. Many of you may believe in “love at first sight” but do you believe this can happen when you are only 9 years old!? I do…I experienced it. OK, I don’t know if it was love at first sight or a CRUSH at first sight but needless to say I remember it like it was yesterday.
I was sitting in the cafeteria in the 3rd grade eating lunch when I noticed a new boy walk in and get in the lunch line. “Wow he’s cute” I thought to my nine year old self. Come to find out this new boy had just transferred from a nearby catholic school. He left for middle school at the end of that year and I didn’t see him again until I too was a big middle schooler. By 7th grade I had an even bigger crush! However, at the time I was going through that “awkward” stage….tall, too skinny and not very confident. (you couldn’t pay me to go back to those days when you feel so weird and insecure!) Well, the “Sun-In” and baby oil must have worked because by the time I entered high school I finally caught Josh Berry’s eye. Our first date was a game of basketball at the park and being the oldest of 3 daughters my father was less than thrilled when my mom told him a B-O-Y was walking me home.
We dated on and off through high school and shortly after Josh graduated he was signed onto a Single A baseball team in Canada. By the time he returned for good I was getting ready to head off to college in Florida. We had many break ups during our adolescent years of dating but looking back I am really proud that we never stood in the way of each other’s dreams. Too many young couples do that and because we followed our dreams we live with no regrets. Josh would visited each spring break while I lived in Florida and we would see each other when I came home on breaks. But for the most part we were not together so this gave us time to date other people which I am grateful for because it prooved my heart was right all along. I had the time of my life attending college in South Florida but still no matter where I was or who I was with Josh was never far from my mind. I remember one day in particular…I had not been in Florida long and found myself on a date. The guy was good looking, wealthy and we were spending the day cruising down the inter coastal on his yacht. I was a girl from a small town who had never done this before…I should have been ecstatic! But, my heart wished I could replace the guy on the yacht with Josh…then it would have been the perfect date 🙂
I spent the summer before my senior year of college back home in New York. Josh and I spent the entire break together. By the end of the summer we made a decision…we would someday get married. By November Josh caught a ride to Florida with a friend. He only had room for one suitcase and a TV but itdidn’t matter, we were together again! I graduated that spring and by July we said goodbye to our friends and moved to North Carolina with a little money and big dreams. Shortly after arriving in NC we got engaged. By the following summer we were married…August 7th…the date after our first basketball game.
Our wedding day was a dream come true and we reveled in every single moment. That day was a long time coming. I knew in my soul I was meant to be Josh’s wife. I also knew that the road to get there was not always easy but it was worth it. We had grown to appreciate each other in a way that only miles and miles and time apart would allow us to.
We lived in North Carolina for five years. It was where we bought our first house and had our first baby. Those were such happy years, with the exception of one day. I was following behind Josh and I witnessed him get into a terrible car crash. I stopped my car in the middle of the street and hysterically screamed and screamed. In that moment my entire world crashed with him. I believed there was no way he survived and the pure shock of watching it happen immobilized me. I physically could not move. If his life was over so was mine. I stayed that way until a strange woman came to my rescue telling me I was going into shock. Only by the grace of God did my husband survive that day. I am thankful for this each and every day. Thinking of that day always reminds me how precious our time together is.
Josh and I have built an incredible life together. We have two amazing children, we have since moved back to our home town, we built our dream home last year and like I mentioned earlier we have been married over 12 years. I am proud of what we have accomplished together and I am really proud that we have stuck by each other threw “thick and thin”. I love his dedication to our life, his work ethic and big heart. I love that we still laugh over things that only WE think are funny. I love his family and he loves mine. Mostly I love Josh because he lets me be ME which is the ultimate in unconditional love. We’ve come a long way since that day in the cafeteria 🙂
|Forms being set so they can pour the foundation.|
|Here is my Dad and Hubby working.|
|Cletus taking over where Reece left off and protecting the property.|
|Luckily the bulldozer escaped and could continue making our yard!|
|I am not sure if our son is being “serious” in this one or “cool”.|
Dear Jennifer,I finished reading your book, “Organize Now!” It’s copyright year is 2008. I really like this book, and I think that the format of it is very good. Why do you love to organize?
-It is my passion and my purpose. I believe organizing is a talent God gave me and it was given as my purpose to help change people’s lives. By helping people to acknowledge and remove the clutter from their lives I am able to help them realize their own goals. Once the clutter is gone, joy and energy return helping these people to focus on achieving their dreams.
-I am motivated by the “before and after” process. There is something exciting about taking a cluttered, chaotic mess and turning it into a gorgeous, peaceful space.
-Less IS more and I love being able to proove this 🙂
-I am good at it!
I hope this helps you understand why I LOVE to organize!