My Insane Search for Sanity

Moms Do Cool Stuff: Mother’s Day Presentation at FCC 5.11.14

I was asked to contribute to the Mother’s Day sermon at our church. This is what I had prepared which actually had to end up being read by someone else since I missed church after oversleeping from a night up with a sick baby. Boooo. I was asked to share and since I haven’t blogged in FOREVER…here it is. Happy Mother’s Day to all.


“When I came to First City Church almost 5 years ago, my boys were 14 and 9. I had been a single mom for 8 years. I was one half of an award winning morning show on a popular country music station here in Pensacola. For 5 years those boys pretty much tucked their mom in bed at 8pm and then put themselves to bed so that I could get up at 330am to make it to my show. They got themselves ready in the morning and with the help of some dear friends they got to school every day. Although I had become a household name in our community, I was missing EVERYTHING at home. My kids were growing up before my eyes and I was just too involved in my work and just plain exhausted from my hectic schedule of public appearances, special events, community projects, and oh…..3 trips to Iraq to report from the war zone while my kids spent 3 Thanksgivings in a row without their mom there to cook their favorite foods. Those boys NEVER complained. I guess it was pretty cool to them that people thought their mom was famous, but I knew God was pulling me in a different direction. Although I loved what I was doing and knew I was good (great, awesome, fantastic, a natural, ok I’ll stop,)  I couldn’t ignore what God was trying to tell me. To show me. To help me believe.

 In 2010 I met my now husband Larry, and his sweet 4 year old daughter who he had been raising alone since she was 2. We fell in love and were married a year later. I began to experience terrible headaches which after lots of research, turned out to be pure stress. I had no idea what horrible effects stress could have on my body.  My family size had just doubled, my oldest son was starting his senior year of high school, and I was still missing it. STRESS. Larry and I prayed diligently about the possibility of me giving up my career, coming out of the spotlight, and finally putting my family in the spotlight for a change.  I decided to leave the radio station and become a stay at home mom. I did some freelance writing, television, and voice work on my own time and really just became present at home.  Boy was it just in time! The pull I felt from God to make this drastic change was no mistake. The time I now had to focus on my family led to the discovery of some issues with all three kids that had they not been addressed immediately, could have been life altering for them.

My oldest son has now just finished his first year of college. I also have one finishing up his first year of high school, my step-daughter is thriving and happy, and……I have a new baby boy. Surprise! We are in love with our new beautiful son who I am certain would not be here today if I had continued on with my media career. As you can imagine, the range of conversations in my home is broad. On any given day you may hear, “Jake I need you to make some time to sit down and go over your financial aid stuff.” “Alex, you have less than 4 months to study for your written exam to get your driver’s permit…get busy.” “Autumn, hurry up and get your spelling homework done before it is time to leave for gymnastics.” “Knox, please don’t take your diaper off again.” Just when I had gotten down to being able to count on one hand the amount of years until my house was quiet again, it all changed. And you know? This is the life God has had planned for me. It feels right. I’m exhausted all the time…but it feels right.

 I am now working for an organization, the USO, which happened to have gotten me out of a few tight jams while I was reporting in Iraq. I have always had a patriotic heart growing up in a military family, so being able to serve our Nation’s heroes as a career is quite an honor.  I am home every morning, every night, every weekend. My husband sometimes gives me a hard time for packing lunches for all of them every day. “They are 19 and 14; they can make themselves a sandwich.”  What he doesn’t realize is I missed so many years of packing lunches, helping them get ready, and taking them to school that these tasks are not the least bit bothersome. I actually enjoy every minute of it. I know that is God’s way of bringing me joy as a reward for taking a scary risk.

Many people ask me if I regret giving up such a cool career. How could I give up notoriety and the perks of being well-known for doing good things? I always answer that I certainly miss it, but in no way do I regret it. I believe that when God pulls someone, especially a woman…a mother….to get closer to her family, NO regret will ever come from that.

So if you are a mom who is struggling with the decision of making a change in your career so that you can spend more time with your family, I just want to assure you that God rewards those who are willing to take a leap of faith to answer His call. He did it for me. It was scary stepping out of that spotlight and giving up something I was good at and getting paid well to do. But I’m telling you the truth.  It saved 3 kids.  I don’t care if I ever get another Academy of Country Music Award….I am a winner to my family and I would do it all over again. One thing I have learned from all of this is that my plan is hardly ever God’s plan. As frustrating as that may be sometimes, I think back to the last 4 years or so and I remember how important it is to give God control. I have a sign in our kitchen that we all see every day. It says “Let your Faith Be Bigger than Your Fears.” No words have ever proven more true to me.”Image

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The House Always Wins


I wouldn’t call myself a card shark (heck, I’m not even a card guppy) but I do know the rules of the game. I’ve spent my life betting against the odds and taking big risks. Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes I just have to gather my chips (or lack thereof) and walk away. I’ve learned that it’s the same with parenting. And relationships. And my career. And dieting. And (fill in the blank.)

Sometimes I hit the jackpot (like finding my husband and being blessed with an awesome family.) Other times I have had to fold (like compromising with custody issues and career choices.) One thing I am certain of, I have done everything “by the book.” Win or lose, I have always made decisions based on what was best for my family. It hasn’t always been easy, but it has been honest. It didn’t always make me the most popular girl in the room, but I have been respected. I have learned over the years (mostly from watching my own parents,) that if you make decisions based on what is good for your family, then you can’t lose. If you are honest, unselfish, and work hard for what you have; you will always have the pride of being a good example to those around you.

I know my children have the same spirit. I’ve seen it in Jake when he over-tips a waitress who is having a bad night even though it’s his last ten bucks. I’ve seen it in Alex when takes his sister swimming and plays “mermaid” with her even though it is not very “cool.”  I see it in Autumn when she eats all her brussel sprouts (even though I know she hates them) because she doesn’t want me to think she doesn’t like my cooking. They are making decisions with other people’s feelings in mind. They care about what is best for the family.  I have tried to teach them that even if the stakes are high and the odds are not in your favor, never forget….the house (and the family which lives in it) always wins.



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End of an Era (of Errors)


My 20 year High School Reunion was supposed to take place a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, it had to be cancelled, which also meant my “29 Day Cabbage-Beet-Celery-Protein Soup/Shake/Powder Diet” was also cancelled. On one hand, it feels like a lifetime ago that I was trying to fit my graduation cap atop by big bangs. On the other hand, it also feels like just yesterday. Twenty years….what???? I think this is the time of my life that I am supposed to ceremoniously look back on all the things I have and haven’t done. This is one of those benchmark times that I am supposed to reevaluate and revise my Bucket List. This is the time that I am supposed to think of my accomplishments and smile with pride, then make anoother big to-do list.

 I was talking with someone about my upcoming reunion and was actually stunned by their response which was, “I would give ANYTHING to turn back the clock twenty years and do it again!” Really? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t mind if my bones didn’t creak so much when I got out of bed and It might be ok to not have to get my hair colored every 9 weeks to cover the gray. But go back to being 18? Or even 25 or 30? No thanks. I am not in love with the idea that I am no longer considered to be in my mid-30’s. I am terrified that my 40’s are breathing down my neck like an angry Griffin. But I am certain that I do not have any desire to be that young again. I love the idea of Brad Paisley’s song “Letter to Me,” in which his adult self writes his teenage self a letter with some helpful tips to help get him through life. That is something I could’ve used. You know, some practical advice like “stop cutting your own bangs” and “keep playing the piano.” (Oh, also “pay attention in Home Economics” and “never EVER play adult kickball.”)

My son is about to begin his senior year in High School and I know there are things I still need to pass along to him. But I also know that life is about growing from our experiences. My mother is one of the strongest and smartest women I know. I am STILL learning from her and admire her greatly. I can only pray that my kids will continue to look to me for advice when they are getting ready to go to their twenty year reunions. On this insane search for sanity, I took the time to revise my Bucket List a bit (I think we all know I am WAY too busy for the cat walk!!) Are there things I would’ve done differently? Yeah, duh. But luckily, with all the gray hair (and crack-a-lackin’ bones) comes wisdom… and that is the gift that keeps on giving!


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Tale of the Awkward Hugger

I have come to the realization that I put the “UG” in hug. I don’t quite remember the exact moment I became an awkward hugger. I grew up in the south…home of the hug! Why…when…how…did this happen to ME? Although I don’t recall the exact moment, I can tell you where I have ended up. I have ended up never, EVER knowing how the heck I am going to hug someone from time to time. Where I grew up, you just hugged everyone the same. Full on, harms around their neck with a big squeeze. As I have transitioned into the “real world,” I see now that this not always appropriate. Not only that, but it can be down right embarrassing. I just don’t know why there can’t be just ONE way to hug someone who is not part of your family? Then I would never have to leave a meeting feeling like a home wrecker or some sort of sleeze bucket that just pressed my breasts against a mere acquaintance.

Let me just give you a mental picture. I serve on a couple of different Board of Directors in town. These boards are filled with people I know. Some of these people are friends and some are people who I know, but we aren’t on each other’s Christmas card list, you know? At one such meeting, I saw a friend of mine who I got to know a few years back when he held an important position at the Police Department before retiring after several years on the force. When he saw me enter the room, he went in for the “side hug.” The side hug consists of both parties turning to one side, hip to hip, and wrapping one arm around the other’s back. Harmless. Professional. I, on the other hand, was overly affectionate in my Southern ways. I went in for my usual “we may as well be dating” kind of hug. The outcome made me blush. My lips actually somehow made contact with the side of his cheek, dangerously close to his ear! This was extremely awkward because I was also saying “so nice to see you” almost in a whisper. It was after this moment of seemingly whispering sweet-nothings into a married man’s ear (whom I am really just professional acquaintances with,) that made me realize I need to change my hugging techniques.  I wish I could say this was the only incident, but truthfully…almost all my encounters have similar outcomes. I have just gotten really tired of leaving a meeting thinking “what the heck is wrong with me?? Why did I just try to full-on hug and stroke the back of the County Commissioner’s head?”  I know I am not the only one who needs some help. Maybe it’s you? Maybe it’s someone you know? My friend Lisa has a guy she hugs when they see each other. This guy wears his sunglasses around his neck or maybe on his collar. This wouldn’t even be an issue if he didn’t hug like King Kong. As much as she likes this guy….she has been recovering from a bruised sternum, no lie. Ouch! Although no one has ever told me that my full-contact hugging makes them feel dirty, I admire Lisa for letting her friend know he needs to be more cautious with his accessories while hugging (especially since I KNOW she would like a LOT more hugs from him.)

So, my days of being an awkward hugger are done. I have made a mental list of those people who are mutual over-huggers. My family members, close friends, and my children. Everyone else will receive the harmless (yet heart-felt) side hug. That’s it. I promise. You’re welcome.

(Now, if I could just work up the nerve to confront my friends who feel like it is ok to greet me with a kiss on the lips…UGH!)


Sometimes You Just Have to Give Yourself a Break



I think I started my first diet when I was in 3rd grade. I went to a small school in Arkansas and it was the day we were learning how to read a scale (or maybe we were learning about weight…who knows?) All I know, is that was the day I learned about humiliation. That was the day that my teacher, Mrs. Tubbs, helped confirm that I was chunkier than everyone else in the class.  One by one, we each stepped on the scale and Mrs. Tubbs called out our weight. April stepped on…”55 pounds.” Miranda stepped on…”57 pounds.” Stephen stepped on…”73 pounds.” Shane stepped on….”69 pounds.” Then I stepped on the scale( again, oblivious to the fact that I was at all different.) Mrs. Tubbs says with a hint of shock and amazement,”80 pounds!” Then I hear shouts from my friends all around the room,”EIGHTY POUNDS??!!!” Humiliated. It was a small class, in a small school, and we were all friends. I don’t think there was any mean-spiritedness going on that day, but I will never forget it (obviously, it has been over 25 years ago and I remember it like it was this morning.) I dieted throughout elementary school, middle school, junior high, high school, college, and beyond. Even until recently to be honest with you. I think I have tried every diet plan, pill, shake, bar, contraption, magic, plastic surgery, voodoo, whatever. You name it, I’ve done it. With age comes wisdom, and I am finally at the point where I know the only real solution to weight loss is healthy eating and exercise. I get that. I also know that I am the way God made me. I will never be one of those skinny minny’s with a perfect figure, zero cellulite, and hourglass figure. I remember praying to God (most of my life) to make me like the women in magazines or on TV. I begged God to please let me wake up for school the next day and be skinny like my friend Kami.  Now I pray for forgiveness for not loving the body that God gave me. I thank Him that I am without disease and that I have bright smile. I thank Him for my pretty eyes, freckle-face…..and even my curves. I don’t know if there will ever be a time that I time that I stop weighing myself everyday (or multiple times a day.) But I do know that it is time to give myself a break. A break from the agreement that I made with myself so many years ago that unless I have a perfect figure I am less than the person I should be. I know there are women like me. I know there are women who think about their weight several times a day. What I want to say to them is….stop! I read somewhere (probably in one of my HUNDREDS of weight loss books) that every time I have a negative thought about my weight, replace it with positive thought. Every. Single. Time. That became almost like a full-time job for me at first. That is how many negative thoughts I had. Doing that, along with a whole lot of prayer, I have had a much better time over the past year with this affliction. There are times when I become weak and let negative thought reappear. I’ve identified those times as times when I have let someone or something compromise my confidence. Recently my feelings were hurt by people I feel I gave 110% to for many years. They may not even know they hurt my feelings, but I let it affect the way I feel about myself. I let those feelings break the “force field” which I have worked so hard to build around my heart. I noticed it was then that the negative thoughts about my body came back. One had nothing to do with the other….but the thoughts were back. Moping around the last few days have made me realize it is time to say (out loud if necessary) “Gimme a break!” Not to the people who hurt my feelings…but to myself. When it comes down to it, it is up to me to make new agreements with myself and to throw out the old ones. My new agreement is, “I am a beautiful person with amazing God-given talents, and I will not let anyone or anything take that from me.” I hurt for that little girl in the third grade, standing on a scale, wondering what was so wrong with weighing 80 pounds. But now I am in a position to protect her and guard her heart, and that is exactly what I am going to do. In this “Insane Search for Sanity” today I encourage you, in whatever area of your life you struggle, please…..just give yourself a break. YOU are amazing.


Starting to Breathe Again



I don’t think I could take on any more changes than I have in the last 6 months…except for maybe getting pregnant (yikes…that is not going to happen!) I have left a career, gotten married, become a step-mom, and moved out of my home of 6 years into a condo by the sea. While all of these things are pretty great, I can’t help but be overwelmed a bit. I know my husband must be racking his brain trying to figure out why, after all these seemingly positive things, am I not smiling from ear to ear and jumping into his arms every evening when he walks in the door? Trust me, I have been trying to figure it out myself. I am starting to realize that as a woman, I am constantly trying to perfect the situation at hand. I left my job, but now I am struggling to find my “identity” outside of the home. I have a wonderful new husband, but I feel like I am over-compensating around the house since that is my new “job.” (Although, I will tell you, he NEVER acts like it my job. He is very appreciative of all I do.)  I have a beautiful new stepdaughter who I truly love as my own, but I wonder if I am having enough time and influence with her. And as far as moving, I felt it would be the right thing to do to get rid a bunch of my old “junk” to make room to start collecting junk together. I’m not going to lie, it was a little disheartening to haggle with garage-sale goers over the period of 4 Saturdays, who were trying to nickel and dime me to death over my old clothes, shoes, and knick-knacks.  The end result was worth it. A fresh start with my new husband in our new beautiful home. Yes, I am going to have to stifle my God-given talent of acting like I am holding the elevator door while frantically pushing the “close door” button…I want my new neighbors to like me.  But I can do it. I can get used to this condo-life. I have also started to do some side jobs and serving on a few boards which keeps me in the community and keeps me busy without compromising my time at home with the family. My schedule allows me to pick up my daughter more often which helps me feel like I am influencing her more.  My original goal of becoming more present at home with my family is certainly being accomplished. By all accounts, I should have no complaints. What it comes down to, is I need to have a little talk with myself. Remind myself of the blessings I have in my life and frankly, get over myself! Boo hoo….I can’t go out and shop like I used to because we have adjusted our spending to make up for the income I don’t bring in anymore. Woe is me… I have to go pick up the kids from all their extra-curricular events (which I never used to be able to go to.) I think as women (or maybe I should just speak for myself) we will always find something that needs to be improved upon. What I am praying about and what I would like to change, is to be CONTENT. Not that I ever want to be the type of person who doesn’t have goals, but I do want to be the type of person who lives in the moment and appreciates the opportunity at hand. I also want to learn to roll with the punches and take on the motto “it is what it is.” I believe I can do this. I believe I can be the woman God wants me to be. While listening to KLOVE this morning, I heard an old song that always touches me and stops me in my tracks. There is a line in the song that says “I’m sorry Lord for the thing I’ve made it, when it’s all about You. It’s all about You.” In this Insane Search for Sanity, my “me” time today was spent praying. Thanking God for the blessings in my life and asking forgiveness for making it all about me. When I have order in my life, I feel like I breathe better. What I am slowly (but surely) learning about myself is that my lungs work even when the house is dirty, the bills aren’t paid, the kids are sick, and dinner is burned. I want to be the woman who, even though she loves order in her life, is strong enough to punch disorder in the FACE and get through it without lashing out, crying, or pouting. The example I want to set for my children is that when the going gets tough the tough get going….and I don’t mean to Krispy Kreme to drown my sorrows. In my family, when mom is under control then the whole world spins in harmony. That is a big responsibility but it is MINE. My mother did it and she had FIVE kids at home. FIVE! Shoot me in the face if I have five at home….why the heck have I been complaining all this time?? So, lesson learned… I get it. When I come upon a snag in my new (and wonderful) life, I will put on my big girl panties and just deal with it. There are still going to be some things I need to work on like getting dressed in real clothes, for instance.  I think after 7 years of doing a job which had me in the public eye, I am enjoying being in my gym clothes, hair in a ball cap, and wearing no make-up WAY too much for someone who hasn’t been to the gym lately. (Although, the lengths I am willing to go to avoid somebody I know in a grocery store could qualify as cardio.) I also need to keep working on being a good condo-neighbor. When I say “Good Morning” in the elevator and the person corrects me by saying “Good Afternoon,” I could just let it slide with a smile instead of walking away mumbling “clock-watcher” under my breath. But hey….one step at a time right? One deep, deep (donutless) breath at a time.


Unchartered territory of Daughterville

I have two boys. Jake is 17 and Alex will be 13 this summer, so obviously, I am kind of used to them. I have developed the skill set over the last nearly two decades to deal with boys. Now enter Autumn. She is my husband’s 6-year-old daughter that I am now helping to raise. It has taken me the last year and a half to figure out that girls are WAY more dramatic than boys. They are a tad more manipulative, they are ten times more chatty, and they are way more fun to buy clothes and accessories for. Autumn is a sweetheart (most of the time.) She is a beautiful little girl who is as sweet as she is sassy. Her mother also has two teenage daughters that are a big influence on Autumn, which means my new daughter’s vocabulary is more  mature than I remember mine being since I grew up with older brothers until I was almost 9 years old. She says things like ” Seriously?” and “That boy is hot!” YIKES! She has also expressed that she is tired of her old baby dolls and wants a REAL BABY of HER own!!! DOUBLE YIKES! What stresses me out is the thought that I am going to mess up with her. I mean, it has been 30 years since I have been her age and even when I was, I wasn’t prancing around with a princess dress on begging to wear my mom’s make-up. I was out in our barn with my brothers shooting mice with my BB gun. I cut all my Barbie’s hair to be short like mine and the only time I wore pink was when my mom washed my socks with something red. I am terrified that I am not going to be as great of a mom to her than I have been to my boys. I taught them to throw and catch a ball, how to build a Lego neighborhood, how to play chess, mow the lawn, and tie a tie. I have given them advice on how to act on date, how to stand up for themselves if bullied, how to put someone in a sleeper hold, and how to burp their name out loud. I adapted to being Mom AND Dad because since they were toddlers, they really only get to visit their Dad in the summer.  I never wanted anyone to say “Yep, you can tell those boys grew up with just their mom…sissies.” Don’t get me wrong, I outgrew my tomboy-ishness before I got out of Junior High and even developed a sense of style that didn’t include wearing my brother’s tighty-whitey’s anymore. (By the way….I had plenty of girl panties growing up, I just liked theirs better. I don’t want to mortify my mother by making it seem like their was no limit on the hand-me-downs I received from my brothers.) I have a blast shopping for Autumn and she always looks adorable in the stuff I buy her.  It is not the fashion advice that I am afraid may be lacking. What I am afraid may be lacking from me is the important advice. I want to be able to tell her more than just ” When in doubt, just do the opposite of whatever the girl with glitter on her face does.” I know I have a ton of advice to give…I just want to make sure that she is actually listening to me and not humoring me. I know I have made and am still making an impact on my boy’s lives. I know they look to me for wisdom and advice. I know they respect me and more importantly, trust me. I pray everyday that Autumn looks at me as someone who loves her and wants to teach her things that no one else can. Not because I am a better mother to her than her own, but because no on else is like me. No one else has the same exact experiences as I do. That is true about everyone. Sometimes I’m pretty sure she is thinking about Justin Bieber when I am telling her one of my stories. Sometimes I think she would rather be in a dark room with the BoogieMan and tarantulas than sit in a car alone with me and hear about how I once killed two mice with one BB. I can’t french braid her hair like her mother, I don’t let her listen to the same music that her teenage sisters do when she is at her mom’s even though she knows EVERY word, and I blame her for faking it when she says has a headache once she sees green beans on her plate.  I correct her bad grammar all the time, never let her eat in front of the TV, and only give her one chance to act right before taking privileges away.  I really don’t know why that child even wants to hang out with me. Then I go to tuck her in at night and she throws her arms around my neck and says, “I  love you mommy.” It is at that moment that I remember that I may not be perfect and may know absolutely NOTHING about raising a daughter, but she doesn’t care. It doesn’t matter to her that up until she came along, the toy box in my house only contained WWF figurines and Hot Wheels. All she cares about is that I love her and that I try. For the last year and a half I have been worried about what can I possibly teach this little girl? Now I see that it is this little girl who has taught ME that I shouldn’t worry so much. All she needs is for me to keep loving her and the rest will fall into place. Will she probably roll her eyes when I tell her it is important to see things through to the end which is how I became the archery AND tether ball champ at Green Valley Bible Camp? Yes…I am sure she will (my boys actually probably taught her that.) But that’s ok, because one day she will recall that story and she will apply it to her own life. It may be 30 years from now when her little girl needs some advice…but the time will come. So for all you stepmoms and stepdads, I urge you to keep doing what you are doing and no matter what…love those kids like they are your own , because it matters to them. To this day, 33 years later, I have never forgotten how my own stepdad and stepmom embraced me and my brothers as their own. They helped shape me into the person I am today.  I will never forget that and forever admire them.


Yes, I am pinterested.


Wow…when something catches on, it REALLY catches on! That’s the case with me it seems. Pinterest.com has become almost an obsession with me since I have been staying at home with the family. Every night it is a different recipe (I mean, seriously…it’s not like I haven’t had a library of cookbooks in my house for the last 15 years but NOW I am trying new recipes??) I also feel like I could craft ANYTHING despite the fact that I can barely sew on a button. Pinterest gives me that kind of confidence. The confidence to crochet flowers, re-decorate my house to be “shabby chic,” and travel to far away lands to visit castles I have never seen before. I have found it is kind of hard to describe to people what the website is all about so I just end up saying “Just give me your address, I’ll send you an invite!” What I appreciate about Pinterest at this point in my life, is that I really wanted to grasp onto my newfound domesticatedness (I think I just made a new word.) I finally am able to be at home with  my family after working so much over the last 7 years and I really wanted to get it right, you know? I don’t know how long this will last so I want to get (and give) the most out of it.  I want to put as much thought and effort into my new “job” at home as I did at my old job. I want to be a success in my family’s eyes like I was in the eyes of my listening audience. There were so many mornings and nights that my kids were on their own, that I want to try to give them something to remember besides that there mom was a workaholic. I am also a brand new wife. I was so young when I was married (and divorced) before and I just did it WRONG. I want to get it right now…really, really right. I want my husband to be as proud of me for the things I do at home as he was for what I was doing on the air. Basically, I have figured out that I am putting an unbelievable amount of pressure on myself and if I can get a little help from a cool website…then hey, why not? I like being inspired and sharing inspiration….Pinterest allows me to do both! When it comes down to it, I would much rather be online learning to make homemade laundry soap then getting poked by people I don’t really know or reading about how Susie from second grade just finished a ham sandwich. There will always be a special place in my heart for Facebook (where else will I get my news?)…but for the time being, Pinterest has my interest. Happy Pinning!

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Found: Motivation



This morning I returned to the gym. The gym that I joined 6 months ago and have been a total of ONE time…that time was today. I have enjoyed watching my jeans get looser over the last six months but unfortunately, that weight loss came from stress. Wedding stress, job stress, etc…. Not the best way to lose weight, right? Now that the wedding is over and I am a bona fide housewife/stay-at-home mom (at least for now,) I figure it is just a matter of time before my jeans get snug again. So I decided to actually try to get my money’s worth out of the two-year gym membership that I pre-paid for six  months ago. I put on my workout clothes, got the kids off to school, and off to the gym I went. It was a little odd walking in this morning. I was trying to act like it was not my first time there considering I signed up so long ago, so I marched right in and found my way to the locker room. Grenade, the personal trainer I had for over a year, is now the manager at my new gym so I was hoping I would run into him. I was looking forward to proving to him that I  meant it when I told him I was serious about working out again (I told him this when I saw him in the concession stand line at the movies a few days ago…I had a buttered popcorn and Cherry Coke in my hands at the time.) Unfortunately, Grenade was nowhere to be seen so I just made my way to the first elliptical machine I found in front of the row of tv’s and away I went. Yes…working out was just as I had remembered it. Hard and a little boring doing it by myself. I set a small goal, just twenty minutes at a steady pace. About seven minutes into it I began making the all-familiar deals with myself. “Just three more minutes and you will be half-way there and that makes you a rock star.” etc, etc, etc… I decided to get through the next ten minutes thinking motivational thoughts. My friend recently told me how he had completed a program called “Couch to 5k.” I was a little jealous considering I had just completed the “Couch to Microwave” program. I was proud of myself for working up a sweat at the gym just days later. Eight minutes to go and I could leave this gym with pride and actually feel like I am on the right track again with my body. I actually considered staying and doing the Zumba class which was about to start, but then the thought “let’s not get crazy now” popped in my head.

Today I completed a small task of twenty minutes of doing cardio at the gym. While some might think this meaningless, it was kind of a big deal for me. See, I have started this new chapter in my life. Today I begin my second week at home not working. I am settling into this role quite nicely and while the hunt for the next perfect job continues, I am enjoying setting and meeting small goals. Work out for at least twenty minutes each day, blog more, cook dinner every night, have family time each day….check, check, check, and check. Let’s face it, I will never be that girl who is a fitness-guru. I mean, my favorite machine at the gym is STILL the water fountain. It did feel great to take a baby step and actually do something good for myself today. That is what my “Insane Search for Sanity” is all about right? Finding time everyday to do something just for me? I think this is going to be especially difficult now that I am not working. I am filling my days doing things for the family and I am loving it, but I can see already that starting my workout routine up again will benefit not just me but everyone around me. I already feel motivated to tackle some projects around the house that have been waiting for me. I encourage you to find some motivation as well. I have been without it for a lot longer than I thought and that definitely wasn’t benefitting anyone. I am not sure how long this motivation to workout will last so I am going to take advantage of it while I have it. Tomorrow morning there is a class at the gym called “Body Vibe” that I am going to try. I have no idea what it is or what to expect, but I figure “what the heck? Sounds groovy.”  I recently read something on Pinterest.com that really struck me. It was a poster that said something like “No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch.” So welcome, motivation….long time no see. Stay awhile!

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As one chapter begins, another one must end….


I made it through the wedding! The day was beautiful. I couldn’t have been happier. My friends and family were gathered, my children were there, and the man of my dreams stood before me looking handsome in his dress Firefighter’s uniform. I was a happy girl. I know I blogged a few times about having to pinch pennies in order to pay for the wedding and we did it. We managed to avoid using any credit cards and stayed out the proverbial poorhouse. With the exception of the creepiest fog storm EVER which rolled in just before it was time for me to walk down the aisle, the day was perfect. Off to our honeymoon we went and had a great time relaxing on a big boat in the ocean for 5 days. We returned home ready to start our lives and everything should have been good-to-go, right? Well, that would have been ideal but not quite the case.

As many of you know, 6 months ago I chose to come off the air ending my nearly 6 year stint of what quite possibly was my dream job. I loved doing the morning show and representing a community that I adore. I had a great partner and we made an exceptional team. About 4 years into it, the morning show job also turned into running a promotions department. (grrrrrr, budget cuts.) With the two positions, plus appearances, plus remotes and air shifts every weekend….I found I was spending all my time working while my kids were growing up on their own. It was time to put the boys in the spotlight for a change and I decided to leave the show. I was offered a different position within the station and decided to give it a try. That brings us to now….6 months later and me knowing that I am NOT made to be in radio sales. You are either cut out for sales, or you are not. It was not for me. I am glad I gave it the ol’ college try, but behind the microphone at a radio station was definitely a better fit for me. For instance, when a client says, “I don’t know Dana, that sounds kind of expensive to me.” The first response from a good salesperson should not be, “I know, right!?? Forget I was ever here.” Get the point? Dana= not made for sales. I am a creative soul meant to entertain, charm, and come up with great ideas. Hey, at least I know what kind of job NOT to look for in the future, right?

I would like to remember my time at the station differently than the 6 months I spent in sales. I choose to remember the 6 years I spent as a public servant entertaining families, visiting troops in Iraq, meeting the awesome listeners, and working with a fantastic partner. I don’t regret my choice to leave the show when I did because it was for the sake of my family who deserved to have a  mom who wasn’t working seven days a week many weeks in a row. As a single mom, I owed it to them to do what I could to try to be there more. It wasn’t fair to them to be the one’s who essentially ended up paying for a company’s budget cuts. They shouldn’t have been the ones who had to suffer. We all tried to hang in there, but after two years, it was up to me to try to make things better even if it was leaving a position that I enjoyed and loved. I think if I had met my husband sooner and had the help that I do now it would have been easier to handle all the extra work and hours and I possibly could have stayed. Then again, last season I didn’t miss ONE soccer game and that means something to my boys.

So here I am today…my first day of being unemployed. My last day at the radio station was bittersweet. It was tearful because it meant the end of era for me. (Plus, I hate saying good-bye so I was the biggest wuss.) As I start one chapter of my new married life, I am closing another in my professional life. It has been a great ride the last seven years and I have done things I will never forget and met people who have changed my life. I worked with a great group of people who are truly compassionate about radio and the community. I took a HUGE leap of faith leaving the radio station without having another job lined up. But faith is exactly what I have. Faith that God will lead me to the right job that will be the perfect fit for me. Today I woke up feeling a little lost…like I am not sure where my place is or what I am meant to do. Then I realized I was home and remembered that no matter what, there is a place for me here. I am not sure where to begin this job search, but I think the first step is definitely a strong cup of coffee. Cheers!



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