“DON'T FORGET TO PRESS RECORD!” … I tell my family that this would be the title of my book if I ever wrote a book. I always intend to record memorable moments but somehow I always seem to forget to press record. This week, I was documenting what I was sure would be a lifelong memory, only to realize too late I hadn’t pressed the record button until it was all over. Even with my below-standard videoing skills, I have managed to document much of my kids’ lives, but they will never understand the joy of watching the VHS tape recording of a dance recital made with an 80s camcorder.
“I thrive in the chaos.” … I jokingly say this to people amid packed schedules and the constant challenges that arise. A typical day for us is running a business, working full time, household chores and all the after-school activities our three kids enjoy. While we all seem to complain about the monotony of the everyday, if we are honest, we recognize that every day comes with a certain amount of uncertainty. … For example, something I seem to be frequently holding my breath about these days is paper. A nationwide paper shortage is a very real problem when you are in the magazine business.
My favorite all-time entrepreneur is the one and only H. Ross Perot. Every story I’ve ever heard about him I find fascinating. I remember when I was in elementary school, he ran for president. I became intrigued when I learned he was from Texarkana, attended Texas High School and Texarkana College and was running for President of the United States! This blew my little elementary mind. That old saying “You can grow up and become president,” was actually in motion for someone from my hometown.
I always had the desire in my heart to go on a mission trip to Africa. I never really knew anyone personally who had done this, but it was still something I always wanted to do. When I was offered the opportunity in 2016, my heart was full of joy! … This trip, through IF:Gathering (IF) and Africa New Life Ministries, was to Rwanda. IF:Gathering was something I first experienced in February 2015 when an acquaintance invited me to an IF watch party at her local church.
I truly believe that every day is the perfect day to start living better. This is the reason I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions. I’m sort of an “if it is worth doing, it is worth starting today” kind of gal. I even ramped up my running back in November just to make sure I had a jump on the fitness resolution crowd that inevitably doubles in the new year.
Like a general going into battle, we are laser focused as we march toward the holiday season. We have decorating goals that would make Joanna Gaines dizzy, and the range of holiday dishes we have waiting in our Pinterest would make Betty Crocker curl up in defeat and eat straight from the jar. … Reconsidering my over-zealous ideas, I shake my head when I concede that my holiday dishes will probably be prepared and purchased from some of our local restaurant favorites that thankfully do the hard work to make holiday dinners easier.
This is a season I look forward to every year because it comes with a break from the heat, and yes, my friends, football season is finally here in full force. I know I am not alone in saying the seven long months between Super Bowl Sunday in February and the beginning of September without football are like spending time on the dark side of the moon. I truly think I function at full capacity during football season. … Football season is a way of life at our house. We love flag, fantasy, college, professional and any other kind of football equally.
Our family has embarked on a new and exciting journey. We have welcomed a new member to our crew! In early August, a 15-year-old German boy flew across the globe to join our family and live in Texarkana for the next eleven months as an exchange student! … People have asked me, “How in the world did this all come about?” I credit my friend Lacey McCulloch for helping to make it all fall into place. While spending the day together, Lacey mentioned she had received a text from Jayme English about hosting an exchange student.
I’ll never forget the day John Henry entered the world. As most new parents are, we were nervous and excited about meeting our newborn son. John Henry’s arrival was anxiously awaited, as our arms had been left empty almost exactly one year prior. August 27, 2009, Fred and I thought we were going to be first-time parents to a healthy baby boy. Unfortunately, life took a different route after a long 39 weeks, and instead of leaving the hospital with a healthy baby, we left to attend our son’s funeral. … Reflecting twelve years later, it is surreal how his birthday unfolded.