Goodbye to a GREAT year!

one of my favorite years of my life.

I made so many changes.  Did so much growing up.  I realized finally that I am have to live for myself.  I need to make myself HAPPY before I can truly make other happy.  That is the hardest thing for me to do.  I am still growing and changing, but its all for the better.  I will be the best me at 30 and well into my 30s and beyond.  Many women are afraid to hit the big 3-0, but I am really excited!

I LOST 53.8 POUNDS!!!!!!!
I changed my relationship with my mother
I became a better photographer
Built a new house!
I resigned from a job that I was bored with
I pushed myself, gained confidence and went for a job I really wanted...and got it!
I grew my relationship with both of my sisters
I gained a brother and was officiant at my sisters wedding (huge public speaking fear overcome!)
I grew my relationship with my in-law side of the family
I became closer with my entire extended family (on my dad's side)

You know, it all changed for me because of a song.  I am a big lover of country music, but not the twangy, blue grass style stuff.  The more modern, country.  This song really hit me and makes me cry every time I hear it.

Miranda Lambert - The House That Built Me
I know they say you cant go home again.
I just had to come back one last time.
Ma'am I know you don't know me from Adam.
But these handprints on the front steps are mine.
And up those stairs, in that little back bedroom
is where I did my homework and I learned to play guitar.
And I bet you didn't know under that live oak
my favorite dog is buried in the yard.

I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
this brokenness inside me might start healing.
Out here its like I'm someone else,
I thought that maybe I could find myself
if I could just come in I swear I'll leave.
Won't take nothing but a memory
from the house that built me.

Mama cut out pictures of houses for years.
From 'Better Homes and Garden' magazines.
Plans were drawn, concrete poured,
and nail by nail and board by board
Daddy gave life to mama's dream.

I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
this brokenness inside me might start healing.
Out here its like I'm someone else,
I thought that maybe I could find myself.
If I could just come in I swear I'll leave.
Won't take nothing but a memory
from the house that built me.

You leave home, you move on and you do the best you can.
I got lost in this whole world and forgot who I am.

I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
this brokenness inside me might start healing.
Out here its like I'm someone else,
I thought that maybe I could find myself.
If I could walk around I swear I'll leave.
Won't take nothing but a memory
from the house that built me.

I really can't quite explain it.  Not well, anyway.  I just have always felt disconnected from my family.  My mom and I never got along, and I always felt like I didn't belong in my family.  Really, I was just unhappy with myself.  Now that I have felt true happiness with making changes in myself, I still don't have a relationship with my mom, but I do have an amazing mother-in-law that fills in more than 100% where my mom leaves off.  My husbands grandparents are amazing, his Grandma shows me more love than my mom has ever begun to show me in my lifetime.  Its sad if I think about it, but at the same time, it makes me realize how lucky I am.  Some people never have that in life.  I could sit and dwell on how bad my relationship is with my mom, but it is what it is, it will never change and I have accepted it for that.

So, I wish you all an amazing 2011.  I know I am looking forward to even more amazing things happening for me!  If 2010 was this great, I can't wait for what 2011 holds!

Happy New Year!

Grandma & Grandpa's 60th!

Alan's Grandparents celebrated their 60th Anniversary on 09.18.10!
We had a little party for them on the 12th of September at Alan's parents house.
Here are a few pictures from that great family gathering....

Cornhole fun with Tyler, Dad, Scott, Jason & Alan

More Cornhole Fun!

Cooper gets in on the action!

Jaime and Tyler 

Jaime and Tyler

Alan, the cook; Cooper plays with Jaime and Grandma

The kiddos

Scott, Jaime and Tyler

Grandma cuts the cake
You can see all of my pictures here.


Im off this week.
I am going to get all of my pictures caught up.
No matter what!
I finally finished August.
I am in September.

Here is my little son pup!

Cooper Dog!

so thankful....

My emotions have been all over the place recently with the passing of my Grandfather.  I came upon Curious Georgi's blog and was inspired to follow along and do a top 10 list of things I am thankful for to try and kick my blues and gear me up for the amazing festivities that are happening starting today.

Thankful Thursday

1. My Husband.  Without Alan, I can honestly say I have no idea where I would be in this life.  He keeps me grounded.  He keeps me believing in all that is great in our life.  I'm sure I could eventually figure out how to handle it on my own, but it would never be the same.  He is such an amazing partner and best friend and I couldn't ask for anyone better to spend the rest of my life with. 

2. My Family.  I have such an crazy, insane family.  But, we work.  No matter what, I know I can always call my sisters, my brother-in-law, my Dad, Aunt, Uncle, cousins, Grandma, etc and they will be there to support me in the blink of an eye.  Same goes for Alan's family.  Hell, same goes for my brother-in-laws family.  They would do anything for me.  It is truly amazing and I am so blessed to have each and everyone of them in my life.

3. My Friends.  I am not the type of person to have a million friends.  Not even a hundred.  Just a few will do me good.  I would do anything in the world for them, and they the same for me.  I am so thankful for each and everyone of them and the little tiny things they do to brighten my life.

4. Cooper!  I never, in my life, thought you could love an animal so insanely much!  He is the total definition of complete unconditional love (besides my husband!)  He always knows when I've had a rough day and need extra attention or extra cuddles. 

5. Home.  We were so blessed to be able to build a brand new home this year.  We finally made the decision to stay in Canton, move out of my dad's house and get our own place.  We began looking at used homes, and couldn't find what we were looking for in our price range.  We went through a model home for fun, and found that it actually fit our budget very well.  I feel so blessed that it all has worked out and we have such a lovely place that we can call home.  Especially in this freezing cold weather when people do not have a roof over their heads.

6. Health.  I am so incredibly thankful for my health.  I never take it for granted anymore.  Back in March 2002 I had a huge scare and *almost* died.  I had a blood clot in my brain and my body completely shut down.  I was saved by the amazing medical doctors at Cleveland Clinic.  Mostly by a lot of faith, hope and prayer.  Every second of every day I remember that I could not be alive at this moment. 

7. 2010.  It was a year of HUGE personal growth.  I started seeing a therapist.  I lost 53 pounds.  I quit resigned from my job.  I began a new career.  I no longer let my mother have control over my life or happiness.  I don't speak to any of my mom's side of the family any longer.  I truly live my life every day.  I see and experience things like never before.  live. laugh. love.

8. Faith.  I grew up in the Lutheran Church.  I was forced to go, had no choice in the matter.  This lead to me not wanting to be there.  I took quite a long break from any type of church because I felt like I didn't belong.  I felt like I didn't fit in.  Felt judged.  Alan and I joined a LifeGroup this fall and the experience has been amazing.  While my personality doesn't exactly mesh with a person in the group, overall, its been great.  It is leading to me wanting to get back into church and feeling the need to get closer with God.  Especially after losing my Grandpa.  I've always been a believer, just doubted the way people acted.  I think I just need a different place to worship.  I am so thankful for the amazing friends I have made in this group and thankful that I have a faith to believe in.

9. My Career. The city in which I work (Akron, OH) was named the #1 worst place in the US to find a job.  I am so thankful that I have a job, let alone recently was hired into an amazing new job!  I am still learning and growing, but 2011 is going to be amazing for me at work!

10. The Little Things. Starbucks Mistos. Diet Coke. Lattes. iPods. music. palm trees. books. lotion. flip flops. cruises. vacation. beaches.  I am thankful that I can afford to have the little things in life that do make me happy.  I know they aren't necessary and I really do try to limit the amount I spend on them.


Me with Grandma and Grandpa Beggs in 1981

The Family in 1996 on Grandma & Grandpa's 50th Wedding Anniversary!

I really need to focus on taking more pictures of people.
I am have been participating in P365 but my focus is still life.
I need to be taking more family photos.

He was such a great man

I lost my grandpa on Thursday.
He passed away.
We don't really know what happened.
He fell in the bathroom at his home.
My Grandma found him laying unconcious.
Called 911.
Rushed the the hospital in an ambulance.
They did everything they could, but he was gone before they even left the house.

Hes gone.  Hes in such a better place.  He is my angel now.

He was such an amazing man.

He raised 3 amazing children.
Such a wonderful family I am so blessed to be a part of.
It became so clear to me as I sat at my Uncle's house on Friday evening.
My Uncle was carrying on as my Grandpa used to do.
Telling story after story, with my Aunt (his wife) making fun and flapping her hand as if it was his mouth.
Dads blank stare as he is in deep thought.
Grandma completely lost in her confusion.

You can see so much of Grandpa in Uncle Dave and Dad.
Even in Evan, my cousin.
It is truly amazing.

As horrible as it was and is to lose him, it was so great to see our family come together in support of one another.
At the church for the funeral, we all smashed into the front two pews.
First pew being Grandma and her children, second being all the grandchildren.
We are such a STRONG family.

I did this reading at the funeral.....following my Uncle Dan's of the toughest|bravest things I have had to do in my life thusfar....

Psalm 23
The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD

This is the first Grandparent that I have lost.
They say the strongest go first.
I will always have fond memories of this amazing man.
It will be so easy to remember him because of the wonderful family he created.

little goodbyes

Yesterday was rough.
I had to say goodbye to 3 years and 4 months of a great job.
I spent a good part of my "life" there.
A part of finding myself.
I made a lot of changes at this company.
I found myself.
I came out of my shell.
I made a TON of new friends whom I will love and cherish forever.
All good things must come to an end.

I am moving on to bigger and better.
I will never forget all the great moments.
I know I will go back and visit and still keep in touch with those I truly care about most.

I am really ready for my next step though......
I start my new career on Monday!

Bring it on!  :)