Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A summary of my memoir 'Gift of Grace'

“What if I show up on your wedding day, will you still marry him?” 

Tony’s question haunted within as I stood with my beautiful white blusher veil delicately covering my freshly dolled up face.  I was twenty-six and marrying Ryan, the man I loved, but as I stood on the cement church steps, my body started to shake. Could I have been second-guessing the decision I had made when I said “Yes,” to Ryan while simultaneously saying farewell to Tony?

When we went our separate ways, I numbed the pain by collapsing hard into the arms of Ryan, the perfect charmer. Tony made attempts to change my mind, but I pressed on in my professional dance career. Determined not to live in his shadow as an NFL quarterback’s wife, I kept the hurt for him buried silent in my heart.

Meanwhile, complacency in the present had me desperately creeping back to my past with late night phone calls and an unexpected visit.  But when I arrived at my destination, I was too late to salvage what I had come for and consequently my marriage was ruined.

I wanted to run away. I dug deep into faith and began pleading for God to take over the tangled reigns of my life. God began a new work in me and by God's graces I was given the most precious life changing gift; a second chance.  

I trusted God with my future of the unknown and could feel His presence giving me confidence to embrace this new beginning and learn to grow in Him along the way.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old is gone, the new is here!  2 Corinthians 5:17

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

For those who are new to becoming a military spouse, I write these words to you in hopes you will find comfort.

It was inevitable that if I wanted a life with Jake, I would eventually have to leave all I knew behind.  On January 1st, 2009, with the inception of a new year, I too was starting fresh. Moving away from family and friends was something I swore I would never do.  So it took me by surprise, when I decided to not only take a graceful leap of faith that this new path paved out for me be the right one, but more accurately I went full throttle landing into a life of the unknown.

Now, those of you who know me know that I am a planner.  This uncharted world of constant change was giving me anxiety, but because of my missteps in the past, I resolved then to give the reigns over to God.

A life as a military spouse was foreign to me.  To be honest in all my years, I never envisioned this type of lifestyle for myself, but God has a clever way of knowing exactly what we need when we are feeling lost.

I continued fervently praying that God's hands were wrapped around our 4 month old, Jake and I.  This gave me confidence as we packed up our things that although I was scared, this was what He had intended for me.

This leads me to present day, almost 7 years later...

At the moment, Jake and I are raising our two amazing and beautiful little girls, in a small town in the center of the USA.  We have moved several times and never has it been somewhere I have ever been before.  In our future there may be more boxes to pack and a new place to call home, this is again unknown, but what I am sure of, is what I have learned along the way...

As a couple we have grown to become best friends, family, significant other, shoulder to cry on and everything in between, because even when we can't agree on anything at times, there is no one to turn to but each other.

There is an immense amount of strength you gain when you have no choice but to do things you otherwise would have shook your head and said, "Absolutely not!" to before you embarked on this journey." i.e. Mowing the lawn with a 7 month old bun in the oven and a two year old napping inside the house.

Let's talk Military spouses. These individuals are amongst some of the most amazing people I have ever met.  Providing meals for families in need, organizing charities, supporting one another when significant others are away, and best of all they can relate to all of the emotions you feel at times, because hey, you are on this crazy ride together!  

I know hands down, that if we can survive living in Minot, ND, than we can live anywhere!

Throughout the years we have lived temporarily on bases around the country. My favorite memory was a powerful one in that everyday at 5:00pm to show respect, all vehicles come to a halt at the sound of our National Anthem playing. Even more uplifting is watching children playing at the park, stop what they are doing to stand and raise their little hand to their heart, it truly is a magnificent sight.

Trust me when I say it isn't easy.  There are seasons of separation and unexplained absences that leave us lonely at times, but there is important work to be done and homecomings truly are the best.

~Absence really does make the heart grow fonder.  
Missing my family and friends hurts just as bad now, as it did that first day we waved goodbye.  We try to always have a plan for the next visit, to give us something to look forward to.

Mostly, I learned that if I would not had taken a chance all those years ago, I would have never experienced all this life has to offer and for that I am grateful.

On Veteran's Day and always, I am proud to call the man in uniform standing by my side, my husband. For my Grandfather who served in WWII, for Jake's Father and Uncle who both served in Vietnam, thank you for representing what God and country exemplify.

Future spouses, hang on and enjoy the ride, you are in good hands. 

(Jake's homecoming 2012, Sophie was just a little excited to
see him:)

Friday, October 30, 2015

Fashion Frenzy Friday...

My name is Tiffany and I have a deep, borderline crazy connection with my clothing and accessories.  There are items in my closet that I simply can not get rid of, quite possibly because the sight of them brings me back to the event that I wore them to.  I know it's creepy, right?  It's as if I believe that getting rid of them will somehow simultaneously dispose of the memory right along with it. The dress I wore to my baby shower, yep 7 years ago, both outfits I wore to my girls 1st Birthday parties and don't get me started on the baby cloths I have in bins packed away...never getting rid of them, ever! 

Another detach issue I have with my wardrobe is the way it makes me feel when I where particular items.  I have a turquoise necklace that seriously gives me super powers.  Well, maybe that's a little extreme, but I definitely feel like I can accomplish so much more by merely slipping it over my head in the morning.

So this brings me to my most recent purchase.  Let me introduce you to my newest addition to my closet crazed frenzy.  These boots are by Naughty Monkey.  I am already addicted to them and I haven't even worn them outside of the house yet!  The detailing on these babies is perfection and I am just holding out for their first unveiling. 
Please tell me I am not alone in this. What's in your closet you can not live without??

Thursday, October 29, 2015

That's my cup of tea...

We are talking green tea today ladies and gents.  An amazing addition to our daily regimen and it is so tasty too! These tea leaves are loaded with catechins, which are antioxidants that fight and may even prevent cell damage. There have also been studies shown that it may help lower blood pressure, cholesterol and assist in regulating blood sugar levels in those who have diabetes.  I have hypoglycemia and have experienced less low sugar episodes since making this special leaf a part of my day. Researchers have also discovered that those who regularly drink green tea have greater activity in the working-memory area of their brain.  Who couldn't use a little help with that?  Mom brain forgetfulness, be gone! Green tea also has a calming effect.  Every afternoon when I lay the Gia  down for her nap, I put our tea kettle on the stove top and wait to hear the sweet sound of the whistle letting me know it is time to steep a cup of delicious green tea. I must admit I look forward to this relaxing moment everyday and to know that this little ritual of mine is actually good for me is an added perk.

Check out the article below for more information on this super tea.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Wacky Wednesday...

This is a fashion don't, but on this Wednesday anything goes.

Happy Hump Day friends!


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

To my little girl...

Dear Sophie,

From the second I saw the butterfly wings dance to the very beat of your heart on the monitor, began a love like I had never known.

Over the next nine months you and I grew together.  You developed tiny hands to one day hold mine and little feet that I would one day hear tip toeing across the floor.  I gained strength that only becoming a Mother can teach you. I continued to create a safe haven for you to be comfortable in, providing you nourishment, anticipating the day I could hold you in my arms and see your beautiful face for the first time.

We spent every day together. We took long walks down the Fox River in St. Charles where Mommy worked and we had picnics on my lunch break at the park.  At times we would sit quietly listening to the beautiful sounds of Mozart and Bach in my car between client meetings.

And most of the time, after a long day at work, we would nap with one another.  My hands gently laying on your temporary home, it was the most at peace I had ever been and it was all because of you, my saving grace.

On August 18th, the day you were born, I felt a whirlwind of emotions.  I undoubtably felt pain, mixed in with fear and in the end when the nurse handed you to me I was consumed with love and joy.

I believe on that first day we met face to face, God had me feel all of this to introduce to me what Motherhood is really all about. At times I am fearful that I am not making the right decisions for you and it pains me when your feelings have been hurt at school. But most days, I feel an abundance of love and joy and those two things trump fear, hurt and even worry, every time.

I hope you always know how much you are loved and cherished my sweet girl.



Sunday, October 18, 2015

Mama's craft corner 101

       The girls and I always look forward to making a thankful tree every year in the fall. Last October, we used construction paper and cut out colorful leaves as they took turns telling me what they were thankful for. We glued them on our hand drawn tree and boom, done.  

      This year we wanted to try something a little different.  I saw these nifty chalkboard tags on Easy and I had to have them! Sophie, my oldest and I gathered sticks at the park up the road.  I dug to the back of one of my cabinets and found this old vase that I had to wipe about an inch of dust off of and I had my youngest, Gia paint with glass chalk paint to give it a fall look and voila, we have the birth of a new tradition right here.

      Those of you that know our family well, will undoubtedly be able to pin point which one of us is thankful for what.  May the best of friends win!:)
You can get these adorable tags here:

“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.” ~ Guillaume Apollinaire



Thursday, September 10, 2015

As long as I'm living my baby you'll be...

     I have been a Mom for seven years now.  SEVEN!  I think in these seven wonderful years, I have been told these lovely words of wisdom many times over, "Enjoy every moment, because time flies and before you know it they will be heading off to college."

    Honestly, I have always acknowledged this statement, smiled and a head nod saying, "Thank you, that's what I hear."

    But this year, more than ever before those words are coming to life for me... 

    Sophie recently turned seven in August.  She began first grade this year and for the first time since she started preschool years ago, I had more tears than she did. And by more, I should be more clear she had 0, I however looked like I just stepped inside after a torrential downpour.

    Time is flying just like they always said it would, which brings me sitting here with my morning coffee at the computer early this morning, anxiously waiting for our youngest daughter Gia to wake up so we can began to celebrate her fourth Birthday. 


    In honor of Gia, I thought I would write a tribute to this one of a kind little girl I'm so proud to call my baby. 

    Gianna, since the day you arrived in my arms at 6:36pm on 9/10/11, at Trinity Hospital in Minot, ND my life forever changed.  Although you are our second child, your birth was original and brand new and I looked at you memorizing the curves of your soft, chubby cheeks, your beautiful long dark eye lashes and the adorable dimple on the center of your chin. I had never met anyone just like you before and I know I never will.

    Gia you bring such joy to our family with your quick wit, sweet snuggles and boisterous laugh that everyone who knows you, can't help but find contagious.  

    There are so many characteristics that make you unique. God made your soul a perfect combination of so many wonderful attributes and below are just a few that come to mind.

You are:

Funny and feisty

Ballet shoes and rain boots in muddy puddles

Hair bows and ball caps

Tutu's and dragon costumes

Dainty and fierce

Imaginative and logical

Forgiving and temperamental

Inquisitive and irresistible

Morning cuddles and independent

Sweet and sassy

    You are all of these things and so much more, but most of all, no matter how fast time flies and has you all grown up one day, you are and always will be my baby.  I have already learned so much from you and I aspire to see life through your bright eyes, with more excitement, curiosity, laughter and love.

Gia, you are the apple of my eye.

I love you,


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Stamp Haven is available on Etsy!!

This has been a long time coming, but I am happy to announce Stamp Haven is open for business on Etsy!  I am looking forward to growing this hobby turned small business and I am so excited to create pieces that matter for friends, family and new acquaintances.

Please stop by my shop and let me know what you think!



Friday, June 26, 2015

A quote from my memoir Gift Of Grace...

Maybe it's not about making the perfect decisions for your life, maybe it's more about living the journey of the unknown with a bit of grace and faith in your heart.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Home alone...

         I am in my house for the first time all alone for 24 hours!  So many ideas ran through my mind when I first found out that my parents were picking up the kids and taking them to the lake and coincidentally my husband would be flying a 24 hour sim.  A few immediate ideas were taking care of Dr. appointments, getting a facial, going shopping, etc.  This question of what to do with the plethora of free time was to blame for one very sleepless night, on the eve all of them shuffling out the door.

        Now don't get me wrong Mom's need free time, I know this.  I definitely enjoy have a little time to get things done on my own, but did you catch that?  I said a LITTLE time.  I have never, I repeat Never had this much time alone since before I had Sophie.  To add to this, I have actually never been in my house without any of them for more that an hour tops!

        So when the morning came and went and our breakfast dishes lay messy in the sink, coffee cups on the counter and I stood there in silence for a moment, I knew it was time for me to decide, what on earth am I going to do for the next 24 hours???

This is what I came up with...
        I have been putting off touching up the scuff marks and finger prints all over our walls. No more procrastinating, it had to be done. (I want to warn you, never paint your walls in matte finish...I'm going to get all Taylor Swift on you, like ever)!
 The garden has been looking a bit unruly, time to get that under wraps with steel wire cages.
         Next task...hard water marks are never ending on the glass shower doors. Time to squash the residue with my magic erase sponge! Boom!
               Dinner time solo. Caprese salad for one please? I mean that fancy paper plate really adds a touch doesn't it? Sorry, I am not doing dishes tonight! Not going to do it!
               Later over wine and the movie Step Up, I went through the girls clothes and gathered some items to donate and in the morning ventured out to Show-Me Christian Youth Home for a tour and to drop off the items.  This place is inspiring and I am hoping to get our family involved asap.
            When I made it home, it was time to hit the hammer to the metal and work on orders for Stamp Haven.

            I followed this up with a leisurely jog, shower and I am expecting the hubby home any minute.

            Whoa! So there you have it. My time alone for 24 hours. It wasn't glamorous, but it was productive and I am more ready than ever to see my babies.  I miss the noise, the voices calling 'Mama' and fixing meals for them.

          What I learned most about this time alone is that one day I will have a quiet, tidy house because my littles will be all grown up, so for now bring on the pitter patter of those sweet little feet and the best hugs around my legs while I'm at the stove cooking!

        My babies I've missed you, it's time to come home.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Tiny Dancer

This weekend was an exciting one with Sophie's recital on the agenda.  Her Ballet 1 class danced to Rodeo.  Despite her shy nature, it's amazing how it melts away when her little feet hit the stage.

The icing on the cake was the Daddy and Me performance that she and Jake performed together to, Twistin USA.

I mean come on, how sweet are they??

Friday, May 15, 2015

Destin for Destin...

It's amazing how a little quality family time recharges the batteries.  Seeing these two cuties brave the waves of the Gulf of Mexico, as they ran back to us squealing with delight, was an unforgettable memory.

A few highlights...

Monday, April 20, 2015

Stamp Haven

Stamp Haven is most importantly about sharing our stories and having a positive impact.  I would be honored to create a custom piece for you to help open the pages to your heart.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Oh my yum...

Now that the hubby has returned it is time to get down and dirty in the kitchen again.  I must admit while he was gone the girls and I had our fair share of simple yet tasty meals of chicken fingers, breakfast for dinner and pizza nights, but we were oh so ready for our big, strong man in uniform to return.  In honor of the having him back I wanted to make an extra delicious meal and these mouth watering chicken fajita quesadillas did not disappoint.  We garnished them with cilantro and guacamole, two of our favs!

Have a great weekend friends and enjoy all things scrumptious!