Guest Blogger, Life or Something Like It

Fun Facts About My Grandson

Fun Facts About My Grandson

Fun Facts About My Grandson
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on

This post, Fun Facts About My Grandson, is written by my daughter. Clearly, I have permission to post it but will not post his photo. Seriously though, I could eat him and my granddaughter all the way up! I love them completely!

Here are some fun facts about my almost 10 month old baby boy!

  • He is a quarter Romani Gypsy thanks to his dad’s side of the family
  • He has strawberry blonde hair and beautiful blue eyes just like his mama
  • He is very stout and dense around his midsection and he has rolls upon rolls on his thighs
  • He has the cutest chubby cheeks!
  • He was born premature at 34 weeks and 1 day via emergency c-section due to eclampsia problems.
  • He was in the NICU for 1 month before coming home
  • He did start out as a breastfed baby but is now solely on formula (a fed baby is the best way to make sure they are happy!)
  • He is a weird little kid sometimes lol (his dad and I are very weird people)
  • He loves to grind his teeth and it drives me absolutely crazy
  • He has a fascination for wipes (loves to put them in his mouth)
  • He gets scared easily by loud noises and then he will cry
  • He is very very LOUD! He has a good set of lungs on him
  • He can clap his hands, sit up by himself, feed himself, say mama/baba/naenae, he likes to help take his clothes off, and he can sort of crawl now
  • He loves his mama and daddy very much but he also really loves his grandparents. He is shy around strangers at first but will warm up to you quickly
  • He has an amazing smile that will light up your whole day
  • This kiddo LOVES him so food. If he sees us eating and we don’t give him a bite or a drink he will cry like a banshee
  • He loves to laugh
  • He has 3 bottom teeth and 2 top teeth
  • He has some rank smelling poops sometimes and it is not a pleasant experience for both parties
  • He loves contact naps
  • He loves car rides
  • He growls at people and it freaks them out sometimes (this one is totally my fault)
  • He hums himself to sleep
  • Has been an amazing sleeper ever since he was born
  • He hates being hot and we have to keep our house at a cool 65 degrees or under or he will scream until he wears himself out
  • He loves his teddies and stuffed animals
  • If you take his bottle out of his mouth for even a minute before the entire bottle is finished he will… you guessed it.. Scream lol (#word)
  • He loves bath time and splashing around!

Love of Her Life

He is the love of my life and the most precious soul I have ever had the pleasure of knowing! I am so grateful and blessed that God chose me to be his mother. He came in my life when I needed him most and I would go through that c-section 100 times over just to have him in my life.

Everyday he is learning new things and we discover new things about his little personality. This baby is so incredibly sweet and a busy little dude. He always has places to go and people to see 24/7 and people who love him with a deep affection. He has been prayed over by many people during and after his birth.  I know when he is older, he will have people in his life that will always be on his side. I can not wait to see what other changes come around as we enter into toddlerhood with my sweet baby!

Life or Something Like It

The TikTok I Didn’t Know I Needed

The TikTok I Didn’t Know I Needed

The TikTok I Didn't Know I Needed
Photo by cottonbro studio on

The TikTok I Didn’t Know I Needed after a bad couple of weeks. I was aimlessly scrolling today and this caught my attention. Now, I have not watched all this person’s content, nor will I (probably) but this one struck a chord in me. There is music and captions that contains some coarse language, but if you overlook that, you will get the idea of his message.

This is a positivity account, from what I have gathered. Self-love, letting go of the negative, self-care, knowing your worth, etc. It is a message that people need to hear and adapt to their lives. You know, life doesn’t have to be as hard as we make it. There is so much that I “own” that isn’t mine to own.

I allow guilt and the things that people say to me impact me way too much. Honestly, I don’t view myself through the lens of what Jesus says about me. I view myself through the lens of others and what they say about me. Some of these people know me but a lot of them don’t.

Motto of Sorts

I say, a lot, that if someone has not had their feet under my table, they don’t have an opinion. However, even when they have had their feet under my table, they still don’t truly know. For instance, with the illness of one of my children…there have been people (family) that has been with me every step of this battle with my child. However, they still don’t really get it because they don’t live it 24/7. They see what I want them to see. Does that even make sense? Honestly, even my husband doesn’t know it all because he had to stay home and take care of business here.

Adoption and Trauma

It’s the same with adoption trauma or any trauma for that matter. I get so tired of hearing what a saint we are for taking in kids. No. Just no. We are not saints and we are not perfect parents. If I shared with you half of what our journey comprised of it would curl your toenails. It was a choice that we made to live out the gospel how we were called to live it out. Not perfect, but obedient. It has been hard. Honestly, it is still hard.

Geez, I have a lot to say on that but right now my head is not in the right space to do so.


That is the handle of this guy. I am sure he is on multiple platforms, but this is the one that I have seen. I have said, most of the week, that it has been really bad around here. The last two weeks have been rough. This is the caption of what he said (again, pardon the language).

“You are powerful and you’re seeing this for a reason! The devil wouldn’t be attacking u so hard if there wasn’t something valuable in you… Thieves don’t break into an empty house. You’re only stressin’ cause ur not giving up! A weak mf would’ve folded. Keep going.”

I am valuable. Worthy. Loved and a child of the King.

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What Small Thing Can Always Bring Me Joy

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What Small Thing Can Always Bring Me Joy. This may be silly to some, but to me this is one of the simplest things that my husband can do that makes me feel loved. On any given day, our minds are mostly in sync. We crave the same things, food wise. When I ask him what he wants for dinner, he states the exact thing I’m thinking of which makes my heart happy.

Yet, he always knows my needs even when I don’t verbalize them. We can go all day without talking or texting. I mean, he works and I stay pretty busy 98% of the time. What warms my heart is when he comes home with a sonic coke. For a long time, it was a 20 oz coke. I have now graduated to a sonic drink.

He doesn’t do this often but it’s like his body knows when my body needs a little extra love. It makes me feel like he is thinking about me during the day and he feels what I feel. We sort of live like ET, the movie. If you haven’t seen it, you should!

Choosing Joy

Sometimes when I feel the world is against me and I have no one in my corner, I look over and there he stands. He is my safe place. I have had a really difficult couple of weeks. Lots of unexpected things have come up with no real answers to them. We are doing all we can to find the answers but the uncertainty is difficult.

Couple that with relational issues, feelings of guilt and sadness, people yelling, and just the feeling of I am not enough has permeated my soul. I have voices of reason that speak Truth into me but it is hard to see when all you feel is less than. Right now it is hard for me to choose joy because I see and feel all the negative thrown my way.


I have a playlist on YouTube that has lots of hymns along with praise and worship songs. Lauren Daigle’s song, Remember, is one that I have played on repeat today. If you need a gentle reminder that you are not your past, you are redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb, and that you are worthy, please listen to it.

It’s okay to not be okay. Eventually, you have to wash your face and straighten your crown.

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Epically Bad Day…One for the Books

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Epically Bad Day...One for the Books

Epically Bad Day…One for the Books. I mean seriously. My intentions were to do my grocery shopping, cook supper, get the house straightened up, do my nails, wrap presents, and just chill. There was no chill. It has been balls to the wall since about 6:47 am.

If something could go wrong, it did.

I fielded about ten phone calls before 7 am.

Attended a school before 8.

Cried in the Sonic parking lot by 8:45.

Made 1.2 million phone calls.

Got several emergency doctor appointments made.

Accomplished supper, in a round about way.

Picked a kid up from school.

Finished supper.

Cried more.

Got more phone calls from people I didn’t want to talk to.

Confronted some a person.

Finished cooking supper only to realize my anxiety would not let me eat it.

Cried again.

Reached out for prayer.

Spoke the Name of Jesus.

Took a hot shower and cried more.

I am struggling in motherhood.

The thought is that I will never be enough.

PTSD at its finest.

Slept 6 straight hours.

Day is over.


Is going to be better.

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What’s In My Bag 2023 – Mom Edition

What’s In My Bag 2023 – Mom Edition

What's In My Bag 2023 - Mom Edition
Photo by Lum3n on

These are some of the most relaxing (and interesting) videos that I will occasionally watch on YouTube. So here is my What’s In My Bag 2023 – Mom Edition. I think next time, I will take pictures of what is in my bag. However, my purse is downstair and I am upstairs…you get the picture.

What’s In My Bag

I recently downsized my purse from a rather large tote back to a small crossbody type bag. Honestly, I don’t get out much and I found that when I did, I would just grab my wallet. I really don’t like just laying my wallet in a cart, so I thought I needed something with a strap.

As I was unloading my purse these are some of the things that I had in there.

  • Wallet (with all the necessary items)
  • Tide Pen
  • Empty chapstick with electrical tape wrapped around it and necessities stuck inside it (survival tool type things)
  • A piece of leather my dad created that says “hold onto hope.”
  • Ink pens
  • Notepad
  • Boogie board
  • Sharpie
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Chapstick
  • Lipstick

Mom Bag Portion of the Purse

  • Finger nail clippers
  • First aid kit
  • Essential oils (peppermint, digestzen, lavender)
  • Meds for all occasions
  • 3-D printed meds holder
  • Kleenex
  • Sanitizing wipes
  • Bug spray
  • Eye glass cloth
  • Eye drops
  • Toothpicks
  • Mini sewing kit with mini scissors

Protection from the Elements

  • Cat eye-gouger
  • Knife
  • Pepper spray

Questionable Items from Mom Bag

  • 3-D printed Penis-dinosaur keychain
  • Teeth
  • String cheese
  • Lemon Drops
  • Chewed up gum
  • Some object that I’m not sure what it is…a rock or a dried piece of poop
  • Lego men
  • Kite
  • Paci
  • Sock (just one)

Seriously, no clue why or how some of this stuff ended up in my purse. What’s in your purse?

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10 Fun Facts About Me

10 Fun Facts About Me

10 Fun Facts About Me
Photo by Miguel u00c1. Padriu00f1u00e1n on

I have an about me page that you can always go and look at to get a better glimpse into my life. However, I’m going to try and list different 10 Fun Facts About Me. We shall see if I can actually do it because I find nothing interesting about myself.

  1. My first car was a 1977 Chevette that I paid $900 for with my own money. I loved that car.
  2. I got my first tattoo at the age of 42, the night before B was ordained as a deacon in our church.
  3. When I (or anyone else) brushes my teeth, I close my eyes the entire time. If I open them, I will start gagging.
  4. I have an unhealthy fear of touching my eyeballs or watching anyone touch their eyeballs.
  5. I have dyscalculia.
  6. I watched the movie Shag before every single test in college.
  7. I can create a meal out of absolutely anything and it usually tastes good.
  8. I homeschooled for 20 years.
  9. Graduated high school at 18, PCC at 20, MSU at 32, Liberty at 40 and 50 🙂 #overachiever
  10. I believe that Bart is, hands down, the best human on this planet.


My Husband’s List for Me

  1. Your love of animals (mainly old, mangled, on their last leg).
  2. Your heart for the broken.
  3. Your ability to see through bullshit.
  4. That you say you’re not a people person but you talk to strangers all the time.
  5. Your mother’s heart.
  6. The fact you like to feed people.
  7. That you work hard and succeed in school even through you don’t think you are smart.
  8. You love to travel but only with me.
  9. You like the oddities of life.
  10. You love more fiercely than anybody I know.


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A Holiday Gift that is Memorable

A Holiday Gift that is Memorable

A Holiday Gift that is Memorable
Photo by Element5 Digital on

There have been gifts that I have been given over the years that have been unique. These non-traditional gift ideas come straight from the minds of those that love me.

One year, I got what I thought was an odd home decor piece. I remember opening it and looking at it intensely. After much examination, I set it aside while the chaos was going on around me. We were at Martha and Pop’s house for our annual Christmas get together. Kids and adults were everywhere, paper was strewn about and I sat bumfuzzled about this piece.

Now, I must say my mother is an expert at creating all things. She is crafty and brilliant. If she thinks it up, daddy builds it. They are an amazing team. I knew that this was a gift that she thought up and that he put together but still, I pondered. Amongst the chaos that surrounded me, I heard my mom’s voice say “Brandi, do you know what that is?” I looked up at her and said “it’s a door knocker but why is it framed?”

She smiled. Daddy smiled. Then she told me to look closer. As I looked closer at this framed door knocker, I noticed that there was some black paint on the brass. It had been rubbed off, but still there was some there. Then it hit me and tears began to well up in my eyes.

Door Knocker

A Holiday Gift that is Memorable

This door knocker was from my house. I loved that house. It was the one that I was raised in until I was 18 years old. She had painted that old door knocker black to match the front door. That silly thing held so many memories to it that came flooding back as I sat there holding it. When I was 18, my parents sent me to stay in Oklahoma with a ‘sister.’ This sister was the daughter of my other mother, Susie. Susie and mom were best friends for 53 years before Susie passed away on Mother’s Day 2022. They raised each other’s kids and we were all family. It made sense that I go there and stay for a bit.

In that time, my house was literally falling apart. Mom and dad had bought a modular home and placed it behind the old house and I just wasn’t having it. That was not my home and I didn’t want to live there. Now, I realize that it wasn’t safe to live there anymore because we were literally falling through the floor. My mom had never had anything new and this new house was her pride and joy.

While I was away, they had to tear my house down and they didn’t want me to see it because they knew it would devastate me, which it did. I came home to it being cleared out and my new room was waiting. In that mess of debris, mom found the door knocker and kept it for about thirty years. She cleaned it up, framed it and presented it to me for Christmas. The fact that she kept it and gave it to me at the exact right time…when I was moving into my new house, amazes me.

Parallel of Life

Moving was very difficult for me to do. I raised the majority of our children in our previous home yet it became unsafe. It was not unsafe due to structure, as was my old house. It was unsafe due to the things that had happened the previous two years (actually more) of living there.

In an effort to get my most of my children to safety, we made the decision to move. It was not easy but it was necessary. I now see that parallel with my old house as a child. That house was not safe and for my safety, we had to move. My mom knew that was necessary but she shielded me from the pain of watching it go away.


Having an ah-ha moment.

My mom did for me exactly what I had to do for most of my children.


I’ll be dipped.

Gotta go cry for a minute.

………5 hours later………..

I get it. It has been 32 years since my house was torn down and now I get it.

My door knocker hangs in my house. It is a sign of protection, safety, a mother’s love, and newness.

Memorable Gifts

When the season hits again, whether that is birthday, holiday, Christmas, etc., think outside of the box. You don’t have to buy the newest and most expensive item in the store. Take something simple, save something from the past and repurpose it, one day the recipient will thank you. Newness fades away but something given from the heart will create a lasting core memory.

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Recent Holiday Pictures with a Twist

Recent Holiday Pictures with a Twist

Recent Holiday Pictures with a Twist
Photo by Irina Iriser on

Our family Christmas pictures are so precious to me. The holidays can be hard on so many people for so many reasons. This year was no exception for us. There were hard elements but we pushed those aside and just enjoyed those that were here and reveled in seeing our children and grandchildren embrace this season.

It is epically hard to get Christmas photos of my crew. First, there are a lot of us. Second, it is like bathing a thousand feral cats getting them to all sit down. If you add in the two babies and getting them to look in the same direction, you have our family chaos. I love it.

I hope you all had a great holiday season. For those of you that didn’t, know that you are seen and loved. The holidays will always be slightly incomplete with my family as I am missing a piece of my family. One day, maybe, the Lord will put us all back together this side of heaven. That will be a glorious day!

Family Christmas Pictures

Recent Holiday Pictures with a Twist

As you can see from my pictures, I do put stickers, purposefully have their heads turned, blurred, etc. over the faces of my youngest children and my grandchildren. I do this for safety reasons. The internet is not a safe place and they are not in a position to give any type of consent. I have worked hard to understand that dynamic and to scrub my blog and social media platforms of all information relating to them. That is where the ‘twist’ comes in for the title of this post.

Recent Holiday Pictures with a Twist

My big doll baby wanted to hold my little doll baby. The only thing is is that my little chunker is as big as my girl. She is so stinking sweet with him and he loves her. Grandchildren are simply the best thing ever.

One could argue and say that I could ask their parents for consent, but in my eyes, that isn’t the same. I have talked with them about this and they post what they want to post on their controlled social media sites. However, this blog is a bit bigger and again, safety is #1. It is sad that it took me a long time to fully even realize that concept. I do now, so if you ever scroll through my stuff and see something that I need to take out/blur/put a sticker over, please email me at and I will certainly do that!

Christmas Family Photos

Recent Holiday Pictures with a Twist

Here, I do put a sticker over my brother’s face because he does not want to be on social media.

Recent Holiday Pictures with a Twist

My Oak thought it would be funny to put down each of her children’s names on her shirt and that said we are each her favorite child #whatever. We all know the truth and we took the liberty to show our thoughts on her shirt. This is probably going to be a yearly thing 🙂

Recent Holiday Pictures with a Twist

We got Pop a pencil sharpener and pencils. We are the last of the big spenders. He was thrilled because he could attach his pencil sharpener to his work bench.

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2023 Goals and Resolutions for the New Year

2023 Goals and Resolutions for the New Year

2023 Goals and Resolutions for the New Year
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Here we are in a brand-new year! Each year should be full of hope, prospects, dreams, and goal setting. According to Webster’s Dictionary, a resolution is something that is resolved. Have issues? Make a resolution to fix those issues. Simply. Right? 


Most New Year’s resolutions are broken within the first week to six weeks after it is made. You are setting yourself up for failure. Once it is broken, it is a free fall of poor choices and surviving until January 2024 comes barreling around the corner. 

Another new year full of hope, prospects, dreams, and goal setting. 

Broken resolutions again. 

The cycle continues until Jesus comes back. 

I do not want to begin each year with lofty expectations and ideals only to be defeated before the month ends. That is a depressing thought. So, for me, I do things a bit differently. 

Monthly goal setting is something I have done for many years. Struggling with depression can sometimes cause me not to want to do anything. I mean ‘anything,’ as simple as brushing my teeth, eating healthy, and budgeting. Goal setting was something that I struggled with because I thought they had to be big, and I knew I would fail. 

With that knowledge, I decided to set smart goals. For the first 30 days, I set the goals of drinking one bottle of water, brushing my teeth, and putting a bra on. That was it. After that month was over, I moved on to the next month. I kept the last three goals and added in getting dressed (in my clothes, not my husband’s clothes), eating lunch, and setting up a bathing schedule. After that month, I kept the last six goals and added three more.  

These smart goals were attainable and have set me up for success. Again, I was severely depressed and struggled simply to get out of bed. These goals may seem trite to some people, but they were game changers for me. 

Over the years, my monthly goals have gotten bigger. Last year, I proposed to do all the small things and add in bimonthly freezer cooking. Also, I went back to school. I have planned to stay in therapy though it has been challenging. A vulnerability has been a goal of mine. Oh, and reading books was another goal. I succeeded in those things though some are still work in progress.  

My 2023 goals are loftier than before, and I want to let you know that I still have my smaller goals on that list. They are more of a habit now, so I do not have to think about doing them consciously. It is more automatic for me. So, for this month, these are some of my goals.

  • This year, my goal is not to give a crap about what other people think of me. Today, a dear friend told me (12.31.22), “If anyone believes the BS of what others say about you, then they don’t truly know you. And they aren’t worth your breath to share your side (the truth).” That statement hit me hard. I do not want to give my breath to things that do not matter: my God, my husband, my children, my family, my heart, that is what matters. If you do not like me or believe something without asking me, that is your problem, not mine. This will be a constant move from month to month goal.
  • Another thing I want to continue to work on is my weight goal. Last year, I joined weight watchers and lost about 20 lbs. I am proud to say that I have kept it off but need to lose a bit more. It has been a slow process that is quite annoying, but I see the difference in how my clothes feel even though the scale does not move much anymore. 
  • A big goal is my health. I have focused so long on everyone else that I do not even know how to behave when I am at the doctor’s office. I fumble my words, I do not know where to begin, and we end up just staring at each other. Something is going on with me, and we need to figure it out. So far, I know that I am 100% Lupus and 100% not. Weird, I know. I have a follow-up appt this month to see which road we walk down.
  • My goal with my friend is to finish reading Psalm and since I think we will be done before the end of the month, we pick up another book. I’m not sure what book to start with but we will decide together.
  • I would like to mark off something from my bucket list,
  • stay in therapy,
  • find a job,
  • work on my perspective of certain things.
  • Give more yeses than nos.
  • Be more intentional with my kids and grand kids.

What are your 2023 goals? Are you setting smart goals, or have you thought of monthly goal setting? Let me know in the comments below! Next month, either roll-over goals or add new ones. We shall see!

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The Ability to Laugh Again

The ability to laugh again brings me joy. I tell you all what. I was having a moment tonight because of sheer confusion over the difference between an abstract and an introduction paragraph. So, I had Bart come upstairs to share my confusion and angst. He sweetly sat and rubbed my feet, repeating, “No, we are not getting another cat. We aren’t going to name it Suzanne or Kathy. No, I won’t write this for you because I don’t know how. Honestly, I do not see a flea in your hand.” 

At least he rubbed my feet. 

As we talked, we giggled about some of our parenting moments. When I say giggling, we were laughing so hard he had to take an Excedrin, and I might have peed a little. One of our children, to say they were guilt free of oversight, shared that they know the “brand” of poop everyone has in the house. This child went further to pick up and sniff a turd in the floor to determine that it was not animal feces but another human in our home. Let me be obvious, it was Lola’s poop (she was our dog). There was no human pooping on my floor. 

Another child convinced a sibling to “stand real still” in the yard. As I was coming downstairs, I questioned why said child was standing in the yard. This child never stands still and is never quiet. My other child informed me that this child had been convinced that a bird would eat off their head if it stood real still. 

The Pee Saga

One time, we had two boxwood bushes in front of our house. They were located right at the front door and were huge. Over a few months, I noticed they were dying from the top down. It was the weirdest thing. Then, I saw an odor that I couldn’t place. Around that time, we visited a local church. This church, at the time, was one that the pastor would come by to say hi to those that visited. He did…surprising us all. When he came up to the door, and I opened it, shocked to see him, he said, “it smells like pee out here.” We explained it was a tomcat that had sprayed, and we apologized. In the back of my mind, I reasoned that that was what it was because there was no other explanation, yet it didn’t smell like cat pee.

After the pastor left, two children said it was not cat pee. It was their pee. When they let the dogs out, they stood on the porch and peed on top of the bushes. I asked what happened when the cars went by. They said, “we smile and wave as you taught us.” Yes, they did that while peeing on my bushes. I tried to be strong and told them they could not pee in the front yard, and my husband was not happy with them because we had smelled that for months, and those bushes were huge. It was going to take an act of congress to cut them down. Bart made me leave the room because I was doubled over laughing so hard that I cried. 

Mystery Voice from the Woods

One child was outside singing by the tree one night. The rest of us (all of us) were in the house playing cards around the table. This child comes flying in, asking who was outside hiding. We stated that we were all inside and didn’t know what was happening and why this child was so disturbed. This child was singing, and someone in the dark screamed, “Shut up! Shut up! Shut up now!” This child thought if it wasn’t one of us or that, it could have been God telling this child to stop singing. We still have no idea who was screaming in the dark for this child to stop. 

Pool Noodle Mystery

We discovered that poop peels off the wallpaper. Boogers will dry and, when scraped, goes down to the drywall. A child ate all our pool noodles in one year. Ate them. The same child ate the wallpaper off the walls. One child swung on the bar because they wanted to be Tarzan…only to realize that their butt would go through the wall into another child’s room. 

Large Family Life

I mean, I could go on and on and on. We laughed and laughed. It has not been easy raising a large family with the needs some family members have and currently have. There has been tremendous trauma throughout the years, but it peaked around the time co-vid hit. We miss them all here. I miss having all my children under one roof for family meals, birthdays, and holidays. Yet, I have not allowed myself to dwell on it. We have forgotten how to laugh, and we let the bad moments overshadow the funny things that have happened over the years. 

Yet, We are healing. We are safe. I know we are good parents who are human and make mistakes. We have learned that not all “friends” are friends. Also, we have leaned on each other and gotten stronger. We were not (are not) perfect parents. However, we completely love Jesus, each other, our children, and our grandchildren. We love all of them. Each one of my children is entirely different. There is no one way to parent. Parenting must be tailored to each child. They had a roof over their heads, food in their bellies, and Jesus. 

Thankful to Laugh

I am thankful for those years of having everyone here. I am grateful for where I am today. No longer will I dwell in the shadow of the pain that happened. My joy will not be stolen. Friends…eventually, the rain stops, and the rainbow emerges. As Jesus says…there may be a pain in the night, but JOY comes in the morning. 

Joy is coming back to this household. I can pray for reunification all day long; that is what I want for my family. However, I will not let it steal my joy of living. Today, I challenge you to find your happiness! For now, I will find out how to write this abstract, so I can turn this stupid paper into my professor! 

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