Just buy the toothpaste!

Have you ever had a moment of realization that you are doing the wrong thing for the right reasons?

I know that sounds backwards, and it is… My precious boy loves candy.

I mean he REALLY



What you read was, he likes candy… but what I was actually saying was the boy adores, enjoys, absorbs candy through his pores.

This of course means we have to restrict how often he has it and how much he has in his possession, because if you give him an inch, the mile is in the rear view. We also have to encourage strong brushing habits. He hates our toothpaste.

Abhors it. It’s as though we rolled it in cat litter and forced him to use it…

He screams, he throws a fit and all I think is, it’s just mint, not much stronger than the Mint Chocolate Chip Blue Bell Ice Cream he enjoys… Blue Bell… oh, that’s for another day!

Today we have a dentist appointment, and I know my sweet boy is going to hear 4 little words that I will dislike as much as him, “You have a cavity.” What frightens me more are the 3 little words, “You have cavit…ies”.

As I was contemplating that realization, I was speaking with Tim, and I said, “why don’t I just buy toothpaste he almost wants to eat, why am I so un-budging on something that could literally cost him his teeth, and us a lot of money over the course of his adolescence”?

We are the parents that spank and ask questions later, most of the time. I realize this is an area we fail in, you don’t have to tell me… I know! This is always a fight, every single day, TWICE a day. I have not wanted to give in, because I thought, he just needs to adapt; it’s kinda like cooking two meals because everyone doesn’t like the same things- it’s unheard of and not-mentioned in our house. I was standing in the sand across the line and then noticed that the difference it would make to buy he and Loralei a toothpaste they prefer would ONLY benefit me. Does it help them, sure! But it absolutely benefits me. I am the one force brushing his teeth while he cries everyday, I am the one who will be forking out hundreds of dollars to have his teeth fixed, and all over at most $15 in toothpaste a YEAR….


So Moms’ and Dad’s… Just buy the toothpaste! For the love of all- it’s immediate impact is little, but the end results, literally  life/health changing.

An Important Announcement from Dr. Summa (In case you didn’t know, I wanted to be a doctor when I was a child, and at times, I believe I un-foundedly am one) is unfoundedly a word??? who cares, I am the Doctor on this site… lol!

: Your teeth health is directly linked to the health of the rest of your body… 32 reasons to invest in toothpaste that your children will use, instead of spit out and clog your sink drain…




Creative and Intentional Gifts

I received the most wonderful early Birthday surprise and wanted to share it with you! Most of you know how much I love to create things, and what I am sharing with you today is something completely out of my creative scope.

My Co-Worker creates some really beautiful journals, and journal jars! When I came into work this morning they were sitting on my desk with a super funny card!

Thank You Ashley! Check out this thoughtful gift!






Just wanted to share her kindness with you and tell you how you can get one of these gorgeous journals for your friends, and loved ones! Each is handmade by Ashley and I can attest that their quality is unequaled.

The Journal Jar is incredibly creative, and a wonderful gift for a new mother, a writer or an artist of any kind. The words within propel thought and expand imagination.

I have never received a handmade journal, the pages are so wonderfully textured and I can not WAIT to write in it!

Check out Ashley’s site, for a journal for yourself or someone special in your life, and I pray those moments of quiet reflection will bless you and them repeatedly!



Waitin’ on a Woman

I have struggled in the last five almost six years with losing my dad. We lost him unexpectedly, at a time that was crucial to me. It was no less important to my mom or my brother, but for me, there were so many things left unsaid. He used to chuckle at Brad Paisley’s song, “Waiting on a Woman”, because my mom and I would take so long to get ready. He was the type to sit on a bench and not complain- for the first 5 minutes.

I was 20 and looking for love, the one who was made to complete me; anybody want to testify that marriage isn’t about completing the other person? I can. If you think you are lonely without a spouse… marry one who is completely different from you, someone not even going in the opposite direction from you, but in a different lane, or pace. It can be the loneliest feeling in the world. I didn’t have to go hunting for him, he came right to me, and swept me off my feet. As most woman express later on, they saw something they could, “fix”. Yep. Like God needed me to help Him fix someone… not really, but I wasn’t exactly waiting for the job offer, I just took the job, and failed miserably.

I love my husband dearly now, and while we fight this war to stay married and loving towards each other daily, it’s hard. Very hard. It’s even more difficult when your family sees these things coming, but your blinders are on. It gets worse when you determine that you need to choose between the two. Even when neither of them asked you too. Pride rears its very nasty head and you LOSE. This is what happened to me. I went against every person I have ever known and loved to marry Tim, and while I know the Lord had a plan for Tim and I, I don’t recommend marrying anyone that the people who know you best advise you to be wary of. The friction we created between our families to be together is still with us today, and while Love is a beautiful thing, after it takes a beating- it isn’t so shiny anymore.

After less than 2 months together we were engaged and I moved out of my mother’s home during her workday and Tim and I went to live with my biological dad, who I really didn’t know very well and his partner. We were so young and dumb. I walked away from God, and my beliefs, completely traded in a life created and intentionally lived to honor Him, to fill an emptiness in me; something I thought magically marriage would fix. In the movies it always looks so easy and everyone displays such happiness, and it’s fun, and you get a house, and you decorate it and everything is perfect, especially when the baby comes…. WRONG!

Tim and I were married without telling my mother’s side of the family, my brother, my mom, grandparents, cousins, best friends, everyone who contradicted my love for Tim, was written out of my life in one fell swoop. It was devastating. I held my head high, and walked in such pride, to prove I was doing the right thing. Tim needed me, couldn’t they see that?

I left my career of teaching and went into all sorts of career fields, it was one wild ride. The ride started to calm, we decided we were going to get married, and planned our day at the Justice of the Peace, and realized I was pregnant with our first child a month before we got married. I was over the moon. The day I had longed for since I was a five year old little girl playing with my dolls was here. Until, it abruptly ended. I lost our first child at 4 weeks. I was utterly and completely devastated. Tim was upset, but didn’t display the emotions I did, and he didn’t know how to help me with my grief. We were married and somehow, by the grace of God, we got pregnant with our sweet Loralei right away. She rocked my world. Completely. She was the greatest thing I had ever experienced. God had entrusted her to me. About 9 months later, we were pregnant with Cash, something that was a positive for us, we wanted our children close together. Our parents were thrilled to be grandparents, all 6 of them.

Chris- my step dad, hereafter referred to as dad, was the one who surprised me the most. He was so good with children, I had watched him love and “adopt” children with my mom for years. He just wore such pride on his face when he held her the first time, and I had to look away to avoid openly crying. Throughout the trying times he had never uttered one foul, or unloving word to me, while my mom and I would battle round and round, he would just sit quietly by, and he just loved me. I think he always knew I would come back, but my mom who had never experienced that kind of anger, and disobedience in me, didn’t know what to do. She went through a spell during the time of chaos and he called to talk to me, and all he asked was that I would call my mom. “Just call her Melissa, she needs you right now. Do this for me, please; I need her and she isn’t the same right now.” It’s all I needed. I called and we talked and things slowly began to improve. By the time Cash was born we had begun to heal. I didn’t know how little time I would have left to spend with him.

We lost him July 21, 2008. I never got to tell him how much I loved him. He helped me be the woman that I am. He filled me with confidence in who I am. He taught me to be more than I was. He loved me, unconditionally, in a conditional world. He didn’t let me go, even when I let him go.

This Sunday during our Easter service our Pastor shared a little about Heaven, and showed a clip from the story; experience, Heaven is for Real. During this specific clip the mother of young Colton shared his experience meeting his sister, a child she had miscarried, and it caused emotions, I thought I had quelled long ago to rise up. He went on to share about how conducting my dads funeral was the most difficult thing he had done as a pastor, because he didn’t have an answer to the reason why for us. I think of him everyday, I think of my little girl often. The Lord calmed me long ago with a dream of her. How beautiful she was, so like Loralei but she had dark brown curls like her dad. She was gorgeous and in my dream she was running into the arms of Jesus. I love knowing she is waiting to meet her mama right there with Jesus. I love that my dad is sitting on a bench waiting to see us again. To hold his grandchildren, my mom and my brother and I. I love that he has been there pushing her on a heavenly swing or flying around, or sitting at the feet of Jesus, or doing whatever else he can do in heaven. I have such comfort knowing that all I didn’t say on Earth to my dad, isn’t even going to matter in the realm of heaven.

I love that Jesus who loves me infinitely more than my dad ever could is in heaven right now… waitin’ on a woman.

Love & Respect- In the Beginning

I have been listening to Dave Ramsey’s Live  and Archived shows lately, because I know what goes into me, comes out of me, and I want to leave a legacy. A strong legacy. A family others want to model their family after, one that honors the Lord, and makes the tough decisions for the short term to pay off big time in the long run.

His show has a commercial for “Love & Respect” written by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, and it really caught my attention. Within the commercial Dr. Eggerichs made a comment that just captured me, and since I will mess it up, I am going to paraphrase it, “Unconditional Respect is respecting my husband, because it’s what God asks of me, not what my husband fails to do to “earn” my respect.” I definitely butchered that, but that is the basic concept.

Little preview into my life. I don’t tend to see myself as disrespectful; I am typically kind, until my tongue gets out of control- which happens. I am gentle unless I must be bold. I love my husband, more than most anything, even on days I can’t stand him and wish I didn’t have to see him. Is that honest enough? Even on those days there is something on the inside of me that REFUSES to quit. I Refuse… Kentucky had a slogan last year for their Boys Basketball Team- Refuse to Lose… That’s me, everyday. On days he and I want to give up, we dig in our heels. If we didn’t, if we weren’t so very stubborn, we would not have made it past a month of marriage. He and I have both voiced that we just have to stick it out whether we want to or not. That’s not how we WANT to live, but it is how we have lived.

Until now. I found something in this book, that made me feel like I saw Tim for the first time. Really saw him. Understood why he says I don’t listen to him, and looks at me with such frustration, hurt and anger. I got it! Here’s the scoop- not the whole carton, for that you will need to invest in your marriage, and get a copy of this book. Seriously. I disrespect him. A lot. Way more than I would have said before I read this book. In a counseling session last summer, I remember looking directly into his eyes and saying, “You want me to respect you? Are you KIDDING? Do you not know respect has to be EARNED? I love you, but I do not respect you.” I saw the light leave his eyes and I was disappointed in myself for hurting him, but justified myself, “Doesn’t he know what he has put me through? This is hell on earth, how dare he expect respect from me?”

As Dr. Eggerichs teaches, If He told me He didn’t love me, or that love must be earned, or that he respected me but didn’t love me- I would be crushed. It is the same emotion Tim experiences when I boldy tell and show him that I do not respect him.

Ephesians 5:32 This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. 33 So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

It doesn’t say, “He must be worthy of your respect.” “He must never hurt you, and then you shall give him your respect.” or “If you feel love for one another, you must give him your respect.” OOOUUCH.

This hurt me so much, because I felt a blow to my gut. I don’t treat him with respect, and in front of people, I tend to be even worse, even if I am being honest, I should know it’s better to keep my mouth closed that hurt my husband through disrespectful words or actions. I have mastered the rolling eyes, half cocked head, and sigh of disappointment. I have cut him with words in front of others and forgotten that until he came to me, he was an athlete; a good athlete, one highly valued and respected by those around him. When I came along I not only showed him disrespect but  I injured his pride and taught him that while he was accustomed to woman falling all over him for his athletic prowess, that I saw nothing in him to fawn over, at all.

I am so grateful for this book, this is the third day of having it in my possession and I am certain to be finished today, and practicing these easily applied principles to turn my marriage around.

For the 1st time in almost 9 years of marriage, I see that I have to own the fault, not of everything, but at the core of this marriage there is a dysfunction that I alone caused.

Check this book out! If for no other reason than verifying that you “DO” respect your husband. I wonder how many wonderful occasions in our relationship I missed due to my lack of giving him something that God called me to give him. Tim doesn’t ask for my respect but the Lord determined for him, that I was to be respectful period, regardless of his level of “worthiness”.