Happy Birthday Millan


See Party Pictures

Snuggles With Lil Bit

Daddy getting some lovin' from Elizabeth AKA Lil Bit. 

So glad he is feeling good. Makes my heart happy!


Got Spiritual Milk?

Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. (1 Peter 2:1-3 NIV)




Everything Hangs On These Two Things!

"Love God. Love your neighbor...

Jesus says it's simple, the entire Old Testament and the entire New Testament, hangs on, hinges on, is interpreted by, is simply commentary on these two things...

When you don't know what to do, you simply do what love requires of you."

Andy Stanley from

Read Matthew 22:39-40


Don't Like?


Be Still




Missing Her Momma & Daddy


Hit It Big

Getting 1000 tickets on 'Big Bass Wheel Pro' is like winning the kiddo lottery. Teagan is a happy girl! I love these stinkers so much!!! — at Adventureland Theme Park.


Praise Jesus

We praise Jesus whether we see the victory or not. Today the victory is easy to see. Momma is off the vent and much improved. Still battling to fight off the pneumonia, but overall doing great. She is already giving the doctors and nurses an earful in the ICU. Daddy continues to get stronger too!!! So very thankful for this moment! 

Daddy got to FaceTime with Momma a bit tonight and sent her a video message.  They were both so very happy.


My Baller #5

Momma To ICU

Yesterday afternoon I found momma extremely sick and almost unresponsive at her home. Jason and Darbi raced to the house and helped to get her to the ER. The hospital ran a million test and scans and ruled out a stroke. Right now she is getting help to breath and has pneumonia. She is going to be in the hospital for a while. Daddy has been amazing and he is doing great. I am so thankful for the your prayers. God is the working in all of this and Amy are so very thankful. Please continue to lift up my family in your thoughts and prayers... they are truly appreciated.


He’s Not Letting Go.


Surgery Day For Daddy

I came to this hospital before the sun was up good, for them to take my daddy's right leg off. My sweet Tobi and dad's friend Mick spent a few hours with daddy before the surgery. With the exception of a few painful flinches, daddy had the best attitude ever. Pretty much every person that entered the prep room left laughing or with a smile plastered on their face. I am so thankful for my father and the life lessons he continues to teach me. I know that it's about to get even tougher, but I am certain he will make the most of every moment.


I believe that through ALL things, even pain and the stuff that I simply can not understand, that God is glorified by us looking to Him for peace and comfort. I seek You Father. I need Your strength today.


Thank you guys so much for your continued prayers!


Thank you guys so very much. This has been a good day. No doubt about it... your prayers, positive thoughts and kind words have been felt!


Les Miserables

If you are alive and near Dothan, AL this week, go see Les Miserables! It was an amazing show!!! After the show, my crew tracked down some of their friends/cast members! — at Dothan Opera House.


Love for Enemies

Luke 6:27-36 (NIV)

27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.


32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Unpack Your Heart



1st Water Pump Install Completed

So this week was a little bit of a vehicular adventure.  Momma and daddy have my minivan, because the Nissan motor blew up and had to be replaced.  I cleaned up the truck so that I could drive it to work, and momma gave me the Corvette to drive.  It had not been driven in a couple of years so a new battery, hoses, and a water pump later, I have learned a little more about cars and I am ready to ride.  


This was the moment when I pretty much knew I could do the job… or maybe this was more like the moment when I knew I had no other option.  Ha!!!

Who Are You Seeking?


DCHS In Momma’s Vette




The Important Thing About Yelling


The important thing about yelling #handsfreemama

I cherish the notes I receive from my children—whether they are scribbled with a Sharpie on a yellow sticky note or written in perfect penmanship on lined paper. But the Mother’s Day poem I recently received from my 9-year-old daughter was especially meaningful. In fact, the first line of the poem caused my breath to catch as warm tears slid down my face.

“The important thing about my mom is … she’s always there for me, even when I get in trouble.”

You see, it hasn’t always been this way.

In the midst of my highly distracted life, I started a new practice that was quite different from the way I behaved up until that point. I became a yeller. It wasn’t often, but it was extreme—like an overloaded balloon that suddenly pops and makes everyone in earshot startle with fear.

So what was it about my then 3-year-old and 6-year-old children that caused me to lose it? Was it how she insisted on running off to get three more beaded necklaces and her favorite pink sunglasses when we were already late? Was it that she tried to pour her own cereal and dumped the entire box on the kitchen counter? Was it that she dropped and shattered my special glass angel on the hardwood floor after being told not to touch it? Was it that she fought sleep like a prizefighter when I needed peace and quiet the most? Was it that the two of them fought over ridiculous things like who would be first out of the car or who got the biggest dip of ice cream?

Yes, it was those things—normal mishaps and typical kid issues and attitudes that irritated me to the point of losing control.

That is not an easy sentence to write. Nor is this an easy time in my life to relive because truth be told, I hated myself in those moments. What had become of me that I needed to scream at two precious little people who I loved more than life?

Let me tell you what had become of me.

My distractions

Excessive phone use, commitment overload, multiple page to-do lists, and the pursuit of perfection consumed me. And yelling at the people I loved was a direct result of the loss of control I was feeling in my life.

Inevitably, I had to fall apart somewhere. So I fell apart behind closed doors in the company of the people who meant the most to me.

Until one fateful day.

My oldest daughter had gotten on a stool and was reaching for something in the pantry when she accidently dumped an entire bag of rice on the floor. As a million tiny grains pelleted the floor like rain, my child’s eyes welled up with tears. And that’s when I saw it—the fear in her eyes as she braced herself for her mother’s tirade.

She’s scared of me, I thought with the most painful realization imaginable. My six-year-old child is scared of my reaction to her innocent mistake.

With deep sorrow, I realized that was not the mother I wanted my children to grow up with, nor was it how I wanted to live the rest of my life.

Within a few weeks of that episode, I had my Breakdown-Breakthrough—my moment of painful awareness that propelled me on a Hands Free journey to let go of distraction and grasp what really mattered. That was two and a half years ago—two and half years of scaling back slowly on the excess and electronic distraction in my life … two and half years of releasing myself from the unachievable standard of perfection and societal pressure to “do it all.” As I let go of my internal and external distractions, the anger and stress pent up inside me slowly dissipated. With a lighten load, I was able to react to my children’s mistakes and wrongdoings in a more calm, compassionate, and reasonable manner.

I said things like, “It’s just chocolate syrup. You can wipe it up, and the counter will be as good as new.”

(Instead of expelling an exasperated sigh and an eye roll for good measure.)

I offered to hold the broom while she swept up a sea of Cheerios that covered the floor.

(Instead of standing over her with a look of disapproval and utter annoyance.)

I helped her think through where she might have set down her glasses.

(Instead of shaming her for being so irresponsible.)

And in the moments when sheer exhaustion and incessant whining were about to get the best of me, I walked into the bathroom, shut the door, and gave myself a moment to exhale and remind myself they are children, and children make mistakes. Just like me.

And over time, the fear that once flared in my children’s eyes when they were in trouble disappeared. And thank goodness, I became a haven in their times of trouble—instead of the enemy from which to run and hide.

I am not sure I would have thought to write about this profound transformation had it not been for the incident that happened last Monday afternoon. In that moment, I got a taste of life overwhelmed and the urge to yell was on the tip of my tongue. I was nearing the final chapters of the book I am currently writing and my computer froze up. Suddenly the edits of three entire chapters disappeared in front of my eyes. I spent several minutes frantically trying to revert to the most recent version of the manuscript. When that failed to work, I consulted the time machine backup, only to find that it, too, had experienced an error. When I realized I would never recover the work I did on those three chapters, I wanted to cry—but even more so, I wanted to rage.

But I couldn’t because it was time to pick up the children from school and take them to swim team practice. With great restraint, I calmly shut my laptop and reminded myself there could be much, much worse problems than re-writing these chapters. Then I told myself there was absolutely nothing I could do about this problem right now.

When my children got in the car, they immediately knew something was wrong. “What’s wrong, Mama?” they asked in unison after taking one glimpse of my ashen face.

I felt like yelling, “I lost three days worth of work on my book!”

I felt like hitting the steering wheel with my fist because sitting in the car was the last place I wanted to be in that moment. I wanted to go home and fix my book—not shuttle kids to swim team, wring out wet bathing suits, comb through tangled hair, make dinner, wash dishes, and do the nightly tuck in.

But instead I calmly said, “I’m having a little trouble talking right now. I lost part of my book. And I don’t want to talk because I feel very frustrated.”

“We’re sorry,” the oldest one said for the both of them. And then, as if they knew I needed space, they were quiet all the way to the pool. The children and I went about our day and although I was more quiet than usual, I didn’t yell and I tried my best to refrain from thinking about the book issue.

Finally, the day was almost done. I had tucked my youngest child in bed and was laying beside my oldest daughter for nightly Talk Time.

“Do you think you will get your chapters back?” my daughter asked quietly.

And that’s when I started to cry – not so much about the three chapters, I knew they could be rewritten – my heartbreak was more of a release due to the exhaustion and frustration involved in writing and editing a book. I had been so close to the end. To have it suddenly ripped away was incredibly disappointing.

To my surprise, my child reached out and stroked my hair softly. She said reassuring words like, “Computers can be so frustrating,” and “I could take a look at the time machine to see if I can fix the backup.” And then finally, “Mama, you can do this. You’re the best writer I know,” and “I’ll help you however I can.”

In my time of “trouble,” there she was, a patient and compassionate encourager who wouldn’t think of kicking me when I was already down.

My child would not have learned this empathetic response if I had remained a yeller. Because yelling shuts down the communication; it severs the bond; it causes people to separate—instead of come closer.

“The important thing is … my mom is always there for me, even when I get in trouble.” My child wrote that about me, the woman who went through a difficult period that she’s not proud of, but she learned from. And in my daughter’s words, I see hope for others.

a poem written by by daughter #handsfreemama  The important thing is … it’s not too late to stop yelling.


The important thing is … children forgive–especially if they see the person they love trying to change.

The important thing is … life is too short to get upset over spilled cereal and misplaced shoes.

The important thing is … no matter what happened yesterday, today is a new day.

Today we can choose a peaceful response.

And in doing so, we can teach our children that peace builds bridges—bridges that can carry us over in times of trouble.


For original post and really great website, click here!

If you are looking for guidance on how to choose peace and connection with your loved ones, I highly recommend these resources:

 1) Dr. Laura Markham

Book: The Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling & Start Connecting

Video: Video How to Stop the Cycle of Yelling

2) The Orange Rhino

Book: Yell Less, Love More: How the Orange Rhino Mom Stopped Yelling at Her Kids & How You Can Too!

Blog: The Orange Rhino Challenge 

3) Andrea Nair Seven Steps to Being Less Harsh on Our Kids

4) My book, Hands Free Mama, describes the 12 steps I used to transform my distracted, perfectionistic, hurried life into one of meaningful connection, inner peace, and gratitude.

5) For a wearable reminder to be kind to yourself and those you love, check out the ONLY LOVE TODAY bracelets available in leather and non-leather options.

Thank you so much for being part of The Hands Free Revolution!

Intended To Be...



Psalm 34:18

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.


Sharing 1 Of 31

Sharing a little scoop with Wonder Woman and the rest of my super hero crew! 




Daddy & Teagan

After such a tough week, daddy was so happy that Amy, Jerry, JT, Ashley and my crew.  It was nice to get to spend some time with he and momma on Sunday afternoon.  It was a good day.