Monday, September 30, 2013

60 years of memories

Last year, my sister saw a Pinterest post. For their father's 60th birthday, the kids reached out to his friends, family, and co-workers for letters. Ever since then, Claire had it put in her mind that she would do this for our  moms 60th.

Well after a lot of nagging (hopefully people weren't too irritated ;), we managed to get those 60 letters and my mom was quite shocked.

I don't think she realizes how much of an impact she has made on this Earth and I hope the letters serve as a constant reminder of just how amazing she is. Here are some photos of her opening them!

Not sure what to think.... 
We all laughed so hard! It was great. And you can totally see that my mom and I have the same smile and laugh ;) 
Claire and I both wrote about love for pulling weeds. 
60 letters for an amazing 60 year old
We have all gotten married, but we will always been the Tinsley Girls. I love you mom!

Friday, September 6, 2013

why i write

This morning I woke up and started to think about writing.

More specifically, why I love to write…

I am very talkative so you would think I would run out of things to say, but that will never happen! ;)

I was given a journal by a family friend when my dad passed and it’s sort of been my coping mechanism since.

Bad day? Write
Good day? Write
Something funny? Something sad? Something dreamy? WRITE.

I don’t write for attention or for praise. I don’t write for anyone other than myself. There is something so cathartic about putting pen to paper (or in this case, fingers to keys ;) and letting everything pour out.

Yes, I am very talkative, but not a lot of people have seen me in the raw. Ya know – emotional, scared, vulnerable... I find a way to hide that side of me behind a velvet curtain (couldn’t resist the Wizard of Oz reference ;) and find it hard to truly let people see that side of me. For a long time I thought tears meant weakness and I could never let people think I was weak.

I also struggle to tell people how much I love/appreciate/care for them, and I find it easier to express when I write. Whether is be on my blog, their Facebook wall, or a birthday card, writing my emotions makes much more sense and is much easier to do. 

So I write.

I am in my purest form when I write. I may not be the best or most eloquent writer but I write.

(and since I love pretty things, especially quotes, enjoy these :)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Another emotional blog coming your way.

I found out yesterday morning that my childhood best friend's mother was killed in a motorcycle accident.

Some idiot got behind the wheel drunk and killed two people.

I was in shock. My friend (to maintain some privacy for those who aren't my FB friends - I will call L) and I were best friends for 15 years. I'm 23 --- so that is a long time. We weren't just friends, we were sisters. Her family was my family.

When I would go out with them, they always treated me as another daughter, not a friend (if L got $5 to spend at Wal-Mart, her dad gave me $5. They took me out to dinner and celebrated special events with us)

I was always welcome in their home.

The day I found out about my dad's death, she was the first friend to show up at my house. I remember going home with her and her father that night so my mom could have some time to herself. I remember walking into their house and being greeted with hugs from her sister and her mother. She was there for me unlike anyone after my dad died.

She came to my wedding and I didn't have time to speak to her before she needed to leave but just seeing her made my heart so happy. 

L and I grew up and grew apart but she will forever be family to me. I wouldn't be who I am today if it wasn't for her and her family.

My heart breaks for her and her sister.

I know what it's like to loose a parent suddenly and it sucks. It beyond sucks, but I could never put into words the pain you feel. 

It makes  you realize how short life is and how little control we have. With my step-dad being in the hospital and the sudden loss of such a wonderful woman, I have taken the time to make sure I say "I love you" more.

L - I love you. I know we took different paths in the last 8 years but I will always love you and will always be so grateful for the love, support, and friendship you gave me. I can't remember a time in my childhood when you aren't there. From the fort in the park, to crashing the dirt bike into a tree. From late night giggle fits and late night fights. To boys, fashion, tragedy, and summer nights - we spent our childhood together. I love you so much and you are in my prayers. 

"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us."
Romans 8:18  

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”  
John 16:33

"For God is not the author of confusion but of peace..."
1 Cor. 14:33

Monday, September 2, 2013


I have always considered myself an open book. I have a tendency of telling people way too much when I first meet them, then I silently panic and shut down. I can talk to anyone about anything. I love to talk - I get that from my mom. 

Anyway, I try to stay away from getting TOO personal on my blog, especially when it is about someone else but I feel like I need to write. So I am.

My step-dad, Doug, had a stroke last week.

I'm not going to lie -- it hasn't sunk in really. I met my mom and Doug at the ER on Thursday when he was initially seen. The doctor was certain it wasn't his heart and it was a severe case of vertigo.

Friday, I spoke to Doug and he sounded good. Back to normal. 

Saturday, I spoke to him again and he sounded ok. I told him we would be by to see him later that day. When we pulled up I saw the ambulance and Vincent could barely stop the car before I was running across the yard. Doug looked terrible. He was completely grey, moaning, and sweating very badly. 

Seeing someone you turn to for strength, comfort, and humor be so helpless and in so much pain.... It knocks the wind out of you. 

It was the first time I saw my mom worried. Which scared me. 

My mom is the strongest person I know. We are a lot alike in that we tend to be very level headed and calm in horrible situations. To see her worry and tear up scared me. 

At the ER, we were all cutting jokes and telling funny stories to pass time while Doug was getting an MRI. It's how we cope. 

The whole night, we made the best of it. Vincent and I went and got Doug some red popsicles because he had been bugging the nurses all night. We watched the Braves beat the Marlins in extra innings. If you were an outsider looking in, it was a very.... jovial scene.

Tonight it hit me. 

I almost lost another dad. 

If you don't know, in 2000 my dad passed away of a heart attack suddenly at the age of 46. I was ten. My mom married Doug in 2009, and he has been the father figure I have been praying for since I lost my dad. 

I sit here and I keep praying over and over -- God, please protect him. Please don't do this to us again. We just got him. Please don't take him away. 

I can't lose Doug. 

Six years ago, I would have never guessed this man would become such a pivotal part of our lives. Six years ago, I wasn't ready for someone like him. Six years ago, God put this man in my mother's life for a reason. 

I can't lose him.

He has become a father to not only my sister and me, but to my husband as well.  He has become an important member of our entire family. He has changed my life in ways I cannot describe. 

He is my sounding board. 
He is my personal comedian.
He is my protector and friend. 
He is my dad.

I truly believe that it was intended for me to have two fathers. (for those who know me, this is big. I don't throw "family titles" around lightly). He will never replace my father and he has never tried too. He respects my dad but loves us as his own. 

I like to consider myself a strong person. When Vincent was in his accident, I broke down for about 10 minutes, then I pulled it together and pushed forward. I try to be very practical, realistic, and, when possible, optimistic. 

Tonight, I am tired. 

I am tired of being strong.
I am tired of being practical.
I am tired of being realistic.
I am tired.

With all of my being, I believe Doug will be ok. Every time I pray, I feel peace. But tonight, I am a scared little girl, who wants her step-dad to come hug her and tell her it will be ok.

Until then, I will be strong. I will have faith. I will trust in God's timing. And I will keep praying. I know God did not put Doug in my life for us to only have him for 6 years. 

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

"Those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint."
Isaiah 40:31