Monday, June 25, 2012


WARNING...this will be a long blog post, but if you endure, i know you too will be amazed at what is transpiring in my life...

let me give you  little background before we get to the good stuff.  if you don't know me and you haven't read any previous blog posts, i am a quadriplegic as a result of a car accident when i was 16 years old. blah, blah, blah. what i'm about to share is not for purpose of feeling pity or sorry for me but to try to help you understand more about what i will write about later in this post.

almost every minute of my life is physically hard. getting out of bed is hard. dressing is hard. because i can't get comfortable, sleeping is hard.  getting from point a to point b is hard. getting in and out of my  my car is hard. fixing dinner for my kids is hard. laundry is hard, you get my point?  again, i don't mean to complain, just inform.  i really do love my life and feel so blessed despite my struggles.

i've always had a home that has been accessible for my wheelchair and for my needs. this has made my life easier for me, so when my husband left me (see "changes" blog below...) that blessing was taken away. i stayed with my parents for 5 months, which i am so grateful they were there for me and my children, but we never felt settled.  my oldest son kept referring to us as hobos because we had nowhere that we could call our own. so with help from a wonderful friend who felt it was her mission to get me into my own place, i found the home we are renting now.

finding a wheelchair accessible place to live is nearly impossible, i want you to know, and the house we are in is most definitely not.  the thing is,  all i wanted to do was to find the place my children needed to be.  they had their whole lives ripped from them, and i wanted to live where it was best for them.  after lots of searching and praying, i know the home we are living in now is where we needed to be--even if that meant my life would become even harder...

and harder it is.

although the house is a single level, there are two steps to get in.  my dad and brothers made a stellar ramp in my garage.  it works, but the angle is almost too steep, which makes getting in the house difficult.

the kitchen sink is in the corner...i wheel up and turn sideways to be able to access the sink...kind of. i can barely turn the water on because the faucet is set back so far. then when i try to leave the sink area, my wheelchair gets stuck on the cabinets which makes me want to fight every time! also makes loading the dishwasher very difficult.

i used to be able to roll under my sink and stove top and the oven was in the wall so i could bake tasty treats with ease. now i have to sidle up to the stove/oven to cook for my children...i can't even see into the pans. not many tasty treats have been made in this house-- and that's one of  the saddest thing i've heard yet!

the laundry room is a teeny joke..again i fight just to maneuver my chair around to get the clothes from the washer to the dryer.

my shower is so sad...we had to take the door off so my shower chair would fit, but the distance between the wall and the chair is so small, i get stuck in the shower almost every time i get in.

that all being said, i still feel so blessed to live where i live, in a nice home, in a beautiful place, with my sweet kids whom i love.

so enough of the background...are you ready for the amazing part? here goes...

about a month ago, i dropped off my oldest son at a friend's house. the parents of this boy came out and got in my car and told me to drive. {side note: i've known the parents for almost 20 years...i was NOT being abducted or held against my will...}  they lead me to a vacant lot at the front of their subdivision.  "mr. c" informed me that he and "mr. s" and  "mr. r" had been working on some things for me and my family this past year. {that's the understatement of the year!}  they had gotten 50 anonymous investors--some who know me and some who don't--to invest in a trust.  with that trust, they bought the lot we had driven to.  on the lot was going to be built a house for that would make my life easier.

the tears came.

they haven't stopped.

here it is!

i met this last week with the company who has agreed to build our home--BRIGHTON HOMES. we looked at plans and made some adjustments. "mr. h" who was working with me told me that the cabinet guy would be donating all the materials and labor.  the concrete guy is donating his labor.


more tears.

so do you see why i am amazed?

i'm amazed at the goodness of these men who are working so hard for me and my kids to give us a place that is ours...that will bring my life some ease on more than one level.

i'm amazed at the number of investors who have agreed  to help us.

i'm amazed that the lot has waited around for me for 15-20 years--that's about how long it's been vacant!

i'm amazed at the love i feel for all who are doing this for me--some of whom i don't even know.

i'm amazed at the love i feel for my little family from so many people.

i'm amazed this is happening to me.

i am



{i'll continue posting about this incredible journey i am about to embark on...stay tuned for the rest of the story!}

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


the idea for this blog came from a book called "change your questions, change your life" by wendy watson nelson. in one section she poses this question...

if you were the director of the movie of your life, who would you cast yourself as:

the victim?

the survivor?

the hero?

interesting concept, huh? i think we've all played each part at different times in our lives, but how do you want your story to end?

will you be the victim to all of life's unfairness?

will you have survived life's shortcomings and imperfections?

...or will you emerge the victor--the hero--who conquers all (or most!) of the challenges of life?

the fantastic thing about life is, while we cannot control what happens to us, we can control how we handle the trials, hardships and challenges in the script of our life.

he·ro  [heer-oh]   noun..

1. a [person]of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.

simply making it through life is a brave act indeed.  when we can have courage to stand up for goodness, to do what is right, to love those around us, to give service to others, to brighten someone's day, to make this world we live in better.

to be happy.

to be grateful.

that's heroic to me.

so remember: you’re the director.  what role will you cast yourself in…the victim?  the survivor?  the hero?

be a hero.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


yesterday was "one of those days". once i left the house, it was just go, go, go from one appointment to another, to another until we finally got home at about 7:30. one of our stops was at walmart to get a prescription. while we were there, we picked up a snow shovel because we received the first snowfall of the season. did mother nature ever make up for lost time!

after walmart, we were off to take my oldest son to scouts. we dropped him off and as we were pulling out of the subdivision in the dark, cold, wintery night, i saw a figure in the driveway of a home who seemed to be struggling with shoveling the snow. i thought, "i should have my almost 10-year-old help shovel the walk, especially since we have a new snow shovel and all." then these thoughts crept into my mind: "oh...we're already past the house...i'd have to turn around and go back. besides, my son can't help shovel snow--he just got his cast off his arm today."

and i continued down the road with my excuses...

my almost ten-year-old also saw the figure standing in the driveway, struggling to shovel the snow. he shouted, "mom we've got to go back.! i've got to help that person shovel the driveway. turn around mom! we've got a go back!"

i turned the car around and headed back down the street. we found an older, heavy-set woman with a walker trying to shovel a path from the house to the sidewalk so she could get her garbage cans to the street. she struggled with every step.

my almost 10-year-old and my nearly 5-year-old jumped out of the van with their new shovels ready to work. the lady told my son that she could not pay him and she didn't need his help. my son said he wasn't asking for money and he insisted he was going help. they went back and forth a bit until the lady finally relented and let him go to work. all the while my sweet little almost five-year-old was shoveling away as fast as she could go!

soon the path was cleared, the garbage cans taken to the street, the pathway sprinkled with salt, and a new friend was made. our new friend was so very grateful for my children who were willing to help her in her time of need. as we left, she asked if she could give my son a hug. {she looked like the kind of person who gives really good hugs!} she gave my almost ten-year-old a tight squeeze and thanked him again.

i learned a great lesson for my son last night. when we get those feelings, those urges, to to help someone, we need to not only listen, we need to DO. both my son and i had the same feeling: the lady in the driveway needed help. i thought about it, made an excuse, dismissed that feeling and went on my way. my almost 10-year-old had the same thought, did not make excuses, did not dismiss it and acted upon it. he saw a need, wanted to help, and he DID.

as we drove away, i told my son how very proud i was of him. this was his reply...

"i just had a feeling she needed some help and i needed to go help her. a man's got to do what a man's got to do, mom."

and do you know what? he IS a man in my book.

. . .and i SO want to be more like him.

Friday, January 6, 2012


change is inevitable.  we all know that.  some changes are easier to accept than others. the change that happened to me this year, i have not full come to accept  yet.  my whole world changed this year with one small sentence and a signature:

"that the bonds of matrimony  heretofore and now existing between the parties are dissolved and forever set aside, and that the plaintiff is granted a divorce from the defendant."

and that was it.  my marriage of 18 years, which i thought would be forever, was over.

at the beginning of 2011, my husband decided he needed a change in his life, so he abandoned me.  divorce papers were filed in the middle of the year.  by the end of 2011, a divorce was granted.  the most devastating change of my life had occurred.

this is the reason i have been missing in action from this blog, so forgive me.  at times, i wasn't sure i was going to make it through the hardness of what i was going through.  at one point i wondered, if i had a choice, what would i choose:  the year of hell i went through in 1987 when i was in a car accident that left me paralyzed, when i sustained multiple internal injuries which almost took my life over and over and over again,  when i spent 6 1/2 months in the hospital just trying to live....or would i choose the year of hell i went through in 2011.  in my mind i chose 1987.

now that the pain of what i have endured is not so raw (it's still there, just not as intense!) and time is passing, i'm not sure which trial i would go through if i had a choice.  all i do know is that divorce is more painful...

through this change in my life, i am learning many great and wonderful things. i've learned that i am stronger than i ever thought. i've learned i can do really hard things. i've learned that i will not break. i've learned kindness, humility, love, patience and hope.  i've learned, amidst the most terrible experience i've been a part of,  life is still good.  have you ever heard the expression "what  doesn't kill you only makes you stronger?"  if that statement is true, here's how i feel i should look right about now...

hee! hee! hee!

anyway, i'm making some changes.  i've updated my website at  and if you haven't notice, i've made a few changes to my blog.  the title is the main change.  i think it suits me better.  i never liked the old title anyway...

change is good.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


it's been a while....i've had some major life-changes going on in my life.  because of this, i've been trying to just survive, to make it through one of the most the difficult times i have had to endure.  this has left me thinking and pondering a lot about life.  i've come to the conclusion, no matter the ups or downs we experience, what a wonderful experience is this escapade we call life!

people ask me quite often how i do i get through life with a smile on my face and a mostly positive attitude. (if this is your first time reading my blog, i was in a car accident at the age of 16 which left me paralyzed and in a wheelchair.)  i would usually say, "i don't know!  i just live my life!"  to me, the things i accomplish are just the normalities of life: raising three children, running a household, volunteering, church obligations and what ever adventures come my way i try to do to the best of my abilities.  so when people would ask me how i accomplish "life", the question would take me back a bit.

i know realize what it is that drives me to "do it" be able to overcome the difficult moments, the hardships, the trials that come my way.  to be able to enjoy the beautiful, peaceful moments or the fun and exciting parts of my journey...


hope gets me through those moments i feel like i can't go on.  hope that tomorrow will be better.  hope that the pain i'm enduring won't last forever.  hope that through the pain i will become better. stronger.  hope that i can make it through challenges and they won't break me...they won't destroy me.

so today i'm full of hope. hope that i am becoming the person i need to be: one full of love, patience, kindness, empathy, and strength. hope that eventually, i will become.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

tote bags

the miracle of adoption has blessed my husband and I not once, but three times.  we have three beautiful and strong children who make me smile every day. (just to let you know, they are real children and they make me want to pull my hair out about every other day!)

the miracle behind my children are three beautiful and strong women, whom i don't know.  they are my heroes; they are my children's birth mothers.  because of their  situation, and for what ever reason, each wanted more for their child than they could give.  with the greatest love, lots of faith, and more courage than i could ever imagine, each woman chose our home for their babies to come to. for that, i am eternally grateful!

while each of our adoption experiences were unique, this one in particular was heartbreaking.  we flew to texas the day after or second son was born.  my husband and i got to spend all the time we could with our new son until he was released from the hospital.  we sat in a small room, holding him, snuggling him, feeding him, loving him. there was a small window in the small room. the window looked out to the foyer of the hospital. throughout the day i watched many people come and go as we sat enjoying the newest member of our family.

the time was getting closer to when we could leave the hospital and start our new life.  as i was rocking my sweet baby, i happened to look up and out the small window.  what i saw still brings tears to my eyes.  there she was, the beautiful birth mother of my son, leaving the hospital, alone in a taxi.  she had no support, no one to help her, no one to tell her everything was going to be o.k.  i blew her a kiss and waved, as a tear rolled down each of our cheeks.  and then she was gone.

i tell you this story because of something i was involved in this last week.  I got a letter from the adoption agency who helped us bring home our third child.  they were soliciting help for a wonderful idea.   a new beginning adoption agency puts together bags to give to their birth mothers so they won't leave the hospital alone.  inside these bags are lotion and skin care products, a journal and pen, and a beautiful bracelet made just for them.  what was needed was the actual bag: a tote bag made with love.

because of my disability and paralysis (spinal cord injury from a car accident) i cannot sew with a sewing machine. (sometimes i think maybe i should try, but then i see in my mind, an out-of-control sewing machine and my fingers sewn together with some material attached to them. then i stop thinking maybe i should try!) i wanted to help, and in some little way, give back to my heroes. but how? the idea came to my mind to embellish all-ready-sewn tote bags.  so off to the many blogs to figure out how to make fabric flowers and to get some ideas.  here's what me and my wonderful niece (who helped me decorate totes for three days--thanks karen!) came up with:

i'm an amateur crafter.  i like to make and create things.  i'm positive there are other bags that are more beautiful or look more professional or are more elaborate and detailed.  one thing i do know is these totes bags were made with all the love in my heart...for my heroes.

if you would like more information, please contact:

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


in the united states of america we celebrate thanksgiving day--a day to help us remember to be grateful for all we are blessed with. it's a time when we reflect on what we are truly thankful for.  family, friends, food, shelter, jobs, health, and freedom are at the top of most people's lists:  those things are definitely on mine.  i have one other item that i can add to my list that most people can't; one that i am truly and deeply grateful wheelchair.

i had never really thought about being grateful for my wheelchair until i read an article a few months ago about a policeman was shot and paralyzed in the line of duty.  he talked about about how much he hated his wheelchair.  he shared how he didn't even want to see it or be near it. he then spent 2-3 years in intense physical therapy trying to regain what he had lost so he would never have to sit in a wheelchair again.  he had very little success in walking, even after all that he did in therapy to change his life.

i don't know if that man ever came to terms with his accident or being paralyzed or his wheelchair, but the article got me thinking about my own life.  before my accident i never dreamed about being thankful for a  wheelchair! how blessed i am to have not only one, but a back-up manual chair in case mine breaks and a power chair that is my "outside toy" which i use to chase my kids around the neighborhood.  i usually get a new, updated version every 5-8 years.  my wheelchair is lightweight, designed for my body, and is comfortable. my wheelchair enables me to be independent, to live my life how i want to (with just a few limitations!), to enjoy the world around me.  

from a charity organization that finds and distributes used wheelchairs around the world to those in need, they estimated only 10% of the world's population who needs a wheelchair actually has one. only TEN PERCENT!  in the 23 years i've needed a wheelchair, i've always had one.  i've owned 6 in my life. i've never had to stay in bed or been confined to my house or have had to drag my body to get anywhere.  i am truly blessed.

happy thanksgiving! roll on!!