Blogs / Life

Getting Married! (and Signing Off)

My fiancee and I began dating in late 2011. I first met him on a blind date that had been set up by our best friends (who were also dating at the time and are now married with their own little girl). When I think back to the night, I remember how I did not even want to go out, and how my best friend forced me to go on the double date. God knows I have a lot to thank her for.

When I first met him in person, he was so shy, he barely said a word to me, preferring to talk to his best friend instead of me. I remember being frustrated and asking my best friend if he remembered that he was going on a date with me and not his best friend. But as the night went on he came out of his shell and I realized he was sweet, funny, a little crazy (driving at least) and immensely kind. One of my favorite things about our first few dates is that he never pressured me to hold hands, to kiss, or anything else. When we had our first kiss it was because I asked him.

He was my first boyfriend, my first kiss, my first love. It only took three months for us to realize that we wanted to get married, but we were still so young. He gave me a promise ring and told me that one day he would marry me.

Well, it’s been seven and a half years since then and I am grateful for every moment: the good times and the hard times. Don’t let this world fool you, true love DOES exist, but it is nothing like the movies. True love is deciding to stay in love every single day. True love requires active participation on both sides. We stay in love with each other because we choose to. I can honestly say that I love him more today than I did yesterday and the day before that.

Now seven and a half years later, I finally get to marry the love of my life. In the next week, I will be married and the weeks following I will be going on my honeymoon. Having waited for this moment for so long, I want to be able to focus on us without any outside distractions. And so, it is an easy decision for me to say that I will be off WordPress until the end of June.

I know that all of my friends and followers will understand my absence and I am grateful for them. During the next month or so that I am gone, I will be reposting my older blog posts. Please feel free to comment, but know that I will not see them or be able to respond to them until the end of June.

Until then . . .

I’m off to get married!

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Blogs / Life

LAST DAY of the Spring Break Blog Party

In lieu of my regular M-W-F postings, this week I am hosting a blog party and will be referencing back to that all week long.

Don’t Miss Out on the Party! Today is the LAST day!

Join the Spring Break Blog Party by clicking HERE!

(This post is not the blog party, please do not leave your comments on these posts as they will be deleted).

Blogs / Life

Spring Break Week-Long Blog Party (NOW CLOSED)

***This Blog Party is now CLOSED. Thank you to everyone who participated! I got to meet a ton of new bloggers this past week and I hope to develop my community even further. Thank you to the wonderful participants who talked with other guests and visited other blogs. These parties only work when we really engage with one another. Until the next party!***

Hey Everyone and Happy Spring Break!

Any other teachers or students out there exhausted by this semester and so grateful for a week off?

Unlike my normal blog parties that only last a weekend, this blog party will be lasting ALL. WEEK. LONG! That’s right! ALL WEEK! I’m hoping to meet some new bloggers and expand my blogging community!

Let’s celebrate Spring Break Week the way true bloggers do!

(Indoors and avoiding direct sunlight).

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For those of you who are not aware what a blog party is let me break it down. Generally speaking, a blog party is an online gathering for bloggers of all kinds to meet and engage with one another.

Here are some simple rules:

  1. First off, everyone is welcome to participate in this Blog Party (even if you do not currently follow me, although I would LOVE it if you did!) -> If you are a new follower of my blog, say hi and let me know so that I remember to drop by your blog and check you out.
  2. Leave a Comment and a Link! Say hi and tell us who you are and what your blog is about. Feel free to leave a link connecting back to your blog’s home page or to your favorite or most recent blog post! (Post this only once please.)
  3. Mix and Mingle! This is where the party begins. I am blessed to have nearly 2,000 followers and this is a great opportunity for many of my friends to meet each other. You guys are amazing and I think a lot of you would enjoy meeting and following one another.
  4. Remember, you never have to follow anyone just because they follow you. However, it is good manners to always return a page visit for a page visit. Did someone stop by your blog, like or leave a comment? Do the same for them! It only takes a minute.
  5. Don’t forget to REBLOG! Spread the fun by encouraging your own followers to join in the party! This is the best way to attract new bloggers by spreading the word.
  6. Lastly, please do not comment “I just followed your blog, please follow back!” or anything similar. You will be booted from the party. Follow the blogs you honestly like, don’t play the “follow game.”

As we are celebrating spring break, feel free to share with the group what you plan on doing this Spring Break! Will you be grading papers like me? Will you finally sit down and write that book that you’ve been working on for years? Or will you actually go outside and maybe even hit the beach?

The possibilities are endless!

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Can anyone spot the “blogger” on Spring Break in this picture?

This Blog Party will be held and moderated exclusively March 18th – 22nd so don’t miss out! Invite your friends and share with your blogging community!

 

Blogs / Life

My Papa, A Small Tribute

On January 14th at 5pm, my Papa heard the call of God and went home to Heaven while surrounded by his wife and family. This last summer, only seven months ago, he was diagnosed with an aggressive lung and bone cancer, and he fought it with all his might. He never gave up, because he loved his family.

My Papa taught me so many things growing up. He taught me the importance of hard work and perseverance. He taught me to stand when I had fallen, he taught me how to laugh even in pain. He taught me how to love. He loved my Nana with a love more evident and true than I have ever seen. He loved her whole-heartedly for nearly 54 years. His love inspires me in my upcoming marriage. His love encourages me to be honest, faithful, true, and full of laughter. I strive to one day have a love similar to that of my Papa and my Nana.

When I was younger, my Papa would ask me to sing in front of his friends because he knew I loved to sing. Later on, he would read my writings, my fiction stories, and always provide feedback on what worked and what could be better. I remember one vacation, he sat on the balcony of our hotel for hours reading my book and telling me “This is good.” Throughout my entire life, he encouraged me and reminded me that I could accomplish anything I set my mind to. It is because of him that I was brave enough to work on becoming an author.

My Papa will not see me walk down the aisle. He will not read my book when it gets published. But it is BECAUSE of my Papa that I strive for a loving marriage. It is BECAUSE of my Papa that I will keep working toward my goals. His memory will continue to propel me forward and when I see him again in Heaven, we will have a lot to catch up on.

I love you Papa. I will miss you, more so than I can say, but I am so glad you are no longer in pain. I love you.

Blogs / Life

New Year Blog Party!

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New Year, Same You!

While 2019 is definitely a chance for all of us to make some improvements and to strive towards those (realistic) goals, ultimately, we are the same inside. And there is NOTHING wrong with you being you! So share all about yourself in the first Blog Party of 2019!

For those of you who are not aware what a blog party is let me break it down. Generally speaking, a blog party is an online gathering for bloggers of all kinds to meet and engage with one another.

Here are some simple rules:

  1. First off, everyone is welcome to participate in this Blog Party (even if you do not currently follow me, although I would LOVE it if you did!) -> If you are a new follower of my blog, say hi and let me know so that I remember to drop by your blog and check you out.
  2. Leave a Comment! Say hi and tell us who you are and what your blog is about. Feel free to leave a link connecting back to your blog’s home page or to your favorite or most recent blog post! (Post this only once please.)
  3. Mix and Mingle! This is where the party begins. I am blessed to have nearly 2,000 followers and this is a great opportunity for many of my friends to meet each other. You guys are amazing and I think a lot of you would enjoy meeting and following one another.
  1. Remember, you never have to follow anyone just because they follow you. However, it is good manners to always return a page visit for a page visit. Did someone stop by your blog, like or leave a comment? Do the same for them! It only takes a minute.
  2. Don’t forget to REBLOG! Spread the fun by encouraging your own followers to join in the party! This is the best way to attract new bloggers by spreading the word.

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Happy New Year Everyone! What are some of your 2019 resolutions? Did you put up a New Year’s post? Leave it in the comments 😀

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This Blog Party will be held and moderated exclusively Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, so don’t miss out!

 

Blogs / Life

New Year, New Blogging Schedule

Hello Everyone!

Can you believe that we have officially left 2018 behind and are no fully drawn into 2019?

Now I’m not the kind of person who looks at the New Year as something magical. Nothing really changes at the stroke of midnight. We don’t magically become better people who will hit the gym more and the carbs less. We don’t automatically become best selling authors over night. Our problems don’t just vanish into thin air. Sometimes people look at the New Years Eve/New Year’s midnight as some mystical power to start over. The truth is, it isn’t.

That’s because we can start over at any time. Which is partly the reason why I am posting this on January 2nd instead of January 1st (even though to most my New Year post would make more logical sense to come on New Years Day). New Years Day is not physically magical, it is a mental reminder and that’s what I love about New Years. Perhaps this year will be just as wonderful or as devastating as the last, we can’t know for certain. But what we do know is this:

New Year’s Day represents a fresh start.

For the most part anyway. After all, we are still the same people as we were forty-eight hours ago with the same hopes, dreams, fears, and sins. But we always have a chance to start doing better, to start improving ourselves. This, of course, leads to the idea of New Year’s resolutions.

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Don’t we all, Kirk?

Most of you know all about New Year’s resolutions, I’m sure. And I’m not here to down on them, there’s nothing wrong with setting yourself a goal. The problem with New Year’s resolutions comes when we set impossible goals and then feel like failures when we cannot meet them. So this year, be kinder to yourself and set realistic resolutions.

Here are some of my resolutions for 2019:

  • Be a better, kinder, and more patient professor (and person in general)
  • Finish Planning and Celebrate my Wedding without worrying if it’s “perfect”
  • Finish my book with the same excitement with which I began
    • Sell 100 copies! (Hey, it could happen :D)
  • Visit my Papa and remind him what he means to me.
  • Take advantage of the moments I have with the people I love.
  • Be kinder to myself and stop demanding more than I can give.

I am going to address that last resolution immediately by reducing the amount of blog posts that I demand from myself every week.

Currently, I publish a post every weekday (Monday-Friday), which is five times a week. Beginning immediately, I will be posting every Monday/Wednesday/Friday, which is three times a week.

I believe that by reducing the amount of times I am posting, I will not feel the need to put up sub par work. Instead, this will give me ample time to create posts with detailed content.

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Don’t worry though, I’m not going anywhere! While I plan to only be posting on Monday/Wednesday/Friday, that does not mean that I will only be active on those days. I still plan to pop in and check out as many of your blogs as possible.

Thanks for checking in and reading this blog update, I hope that you all will continue to stop by and check out the new blog posts.

So, what about you? Do you have any New Year Resolutions?

Happy Writing Everyone!

Blogmas 2018, Blogs / Life

Blogmas Contest Winners & See you in the New Year

Before I announce the winner I would just like to say thank you to everyone who participated. You guys really did what I asked and engaged with one another in the comment section. I literally just sat here smiling while reading all the comments on one another’s posts. So thank you for being a part of this blogmas community this December!

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Now, to the contest!

There were many great submissions but my top three included:

3. McGee Travel Tale’s “Hot Chocolate” recipe! Because who doesn’t love hot chocolate?

2. Ivor’s “My Lost Sock, A Christmas Story.” Because it brings together harsh reality and light-hearted whimsy!

That mean the winner is . . .

Dorinda Duclos from Night Owl Poetry!

Not only is her poem wonderful, but I absolutely adore it’s structuring. Check it out here and be sure to stop by her blog!

The
Yuletide
Spirit shines
Glows in our hearts
Brings us warmth within
Our home, filled to the brim
With love, family gathers
Exchanging hugs instead of gifts
Relating stories of days long past
Memories to share for generations

 

Thank you again folks to everyone who participated! I hope that you all had wonderful Christmases.

 

As for me, this will be my last post of 2018.

As you all know, life has been more complicated lately and I need the next week or so to simply address some of these difficulties in my life. My family deserves my full attention and honestly, my body needs some self-care. I plan on coming back strong in the 2019 and plan to see you all again in the New Year!

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Blogmas 2018

Merry Christmas Eve!

Christmas is a very special holiday for me, especially because to me it is not just about the tree, the decorations, or the holiday fun. It is a time to celebrate the fact that God loved me enough that Jesus humbled himself to come to earth as an insignificant baby.

This Christmas is harder though. My Papa is still in the hospital and he is declining rapidly. He will not be home tomorrow to join in the festivities and we all know that our smiles will be a little forced as we try to keep it as normal as possible for the children. I got to see my Papa yesterday, I sat by his side for a few hours. I’m not sure if he knew I was there or not, but I sang him some Christmas carols and I think he heard and enjoyed them. My Nana sat across from me and all I could think is that she is the strongest woman I know. As I’m getting closer to marrying my fiancé, I cannot and do not want to imagine what my life would be like without him. My Nana has had over 50years with my Papa and I know she is not ready to let go of him either.

I tell you all of this to remind you that tomorrow is not a guarantee. I pray that you all have a wonderful Christmas with your families, reminding yourself how much you should treasure their companionship. I am blessed, I believe in God and I believe in life after death in Heaven with God. I pray for my Papa’s recovery, but I know that if he does not recover, I will see him, hug him, and speak with him again one day . . . all thanks to a baby who was born in a manager.

Merry Christmas Eve!

Be sure to tell your loved ones what they mean to you, because you never know if this will be your last Christmas with them.

Blogs / Life

Please Have Patience…

Today, I was supposed to announce the winners of the Annual Blogmas Contest. Unfortunately, my grandfather took a turn for the worse last night and we spent most of the night and early morning in the hospital. I plan to go through the submissions once more as soon as time allows and post the winners (possibly this weekend.)

Thank you for your understanding and patience.

I would greatly appreciate your prayers for his recovery.

-Kayla Ann, Author