To be a little vulnerable with you..

To be a little vulnerable with you…

This past Monday evening, I cried & cried until Tuesday morning when I realized I needed to put on my “fake it ’til I make it” smile as I left for school. I was humored when the school newspaper came around to interview me first thing that morning AND take my picture (we’ll see how that turned out haha!).. everyone will now know the baggy-eyed crazy lady as the new first year math teacher who loves mashed potatoes. :]

A lot of days I really just want to quit. This is the most overwhelming & exhausting etc thing I have ever done in my life.  But I try to find those ‘far & few between’ happy moments and cling on to those.. like the football player who comes to me before class to share with me something funny that happened in the latest game.. or hearing a “hey Ms. Record!” when I see a student outside my classroom.. or watching the girl who made a 30 on her first quiz study her butt off in my classroom before school every morning and go on to make one of the highest scores on the last test! ..or the random day when I know that I taught something well and hear a lot of “oh wow! now I totally understand math!”

I may not know the full reasons why I “stumbled upon” this new profession as a high school math teacher, but I am trusting that no matter what, God has a plan to use me.  And He definitely does every day.  Some days I am just so blinded by my own “pain” that I forget to see all the good going on around me.

But I do know that each week goes better than the last.  I am getting more (not a lot more, but more) sleep than the first week of school.  I am not as anxious about things as I was, therefore I am back to eating normally too.  I still cry, but not as often.  And I typically go home at the end of the day smiling.  All of that to say…..

Thank you again for your love and constant support and encouragement.  I couldn’t do any of this without all of you and your beautiful souls!
..& why yes I did just reference Jesse McCartney ;]


For the LOVE of Stilettos

I am a firm believer that every woman should have a pair of stilettos in her closet.

I don’t care if you will never be able to walk in them.  There is just something so feminine about owning a pair of heels that make you feel like you could run the world.  ..Even if they just sit on the shelf for you to gaze at.

These are my favorite “Black Friday” purchase (Amanda & I only went out for shoes, hehe) and I couldn’t be more proud…


$8, baby!

Gold & Glitter, my favorite!  I am confident that if I were 6 years old at the moment, sparkly gold is all that I would want to wear.

I probably will never wear these out of the house, but mind you, I definitely wear these every evening when I get home from work.  They are also great for those spontaneous dance parties you love to have in your bathroom.

So, ladies, do yourself a favor and go buy yourself a beautiful pair of 4 inch heels..  You’ll thank me later. ;]

Letter to My Friend in Seat 7F

To the sweet older widowed woman sitting next to me this morning on a US Airways flight from Tucson to Phoenix (Arizona),

I just wanted to say hello again.  Thank you for being so kind. Sharing in my joys & letting me ask you tons of questions about your journeys around the world.  It’s people like you that make me excited about flying alone.  If I had a travel buddy, I wouldn’t have had the lovely opportunity to meet you.  Perhaps I’m not so bummed they cancelled my previous flight & switched the airline I was previously traveling with.  If I have any understanding about how things happen not by chance (quick shout out to my grandfather’s book!), it’s so true.  You are proof that all the crappy things life throws at me, God intends for something even better than before.

I’m sorry it took them so long to get my bag.  I was really bummed that you weren’t waiting when I finally made it off the plane.  I looked for you everywhere.  But I understand that you had a connecting flight that was leaving soon. Thanks for offering the idea to walk to our next gate together though.  It brought a tremendous smile to my heart that you would choose to spend a few extra moments with me.

I’m sad we didn’t get to say goodbye, but perhaps we’ll meet again when you come visit your sister in Kernersville.  Small world, it is.

Hope you made it safely to Pennsylvania & have tons of fun with your friends. You deserve it. :]

Sincerely, the young woman in seat 7D

I am so not ready.

Just so you know, I have stared at this blog post for the last six hours, at least.  I have written, deleted, written, deleted, and repeated about a hundred times.  I would have said a thousand–which would probably be closer to exact–but I thought you’d think I would be exaggerating.

It’s been a year.  Yeah, one whole year since I have stepped foot on American soil after a wonderfully intense 11-month adventure around the world.  I’m not sure even those words sum it up.  And I’m not sure those words sum up what has been happening in my life over the past 365 days.

I remember landing in NYC on July 30, 2011, and the whole plane (filled with mostly Q & R squader’s) erupted in cheers and joyful laughter that we had survived The World Race and finally made it back to our homeland.  I remember walking off the plane and out of customs/immigration to a sea full of  beautiful American faces.  It was absolutely insane.  But then came the goodbye’s to 30-some friends who came to know me better than anyone else in this world; 30-some people who had seen me at my absolute worst and some of my best of times.  30-some friends who I had laughed with, cried with, fought with, peed with (ha!), and so much more.  I just remember everything about that night flew by so fast without even a moment to process all that was going on.

Since then, I have walked through some really hard times.  Happy times.  Emotional times.  New times.  Exciting times.  Depressing times. and so many more.

I had all the best intentions in the world about keeping you updated on my life via this blog.  I mean, that’s why I created it.  Obviously, I have done a pretty poor job.

I can blame it on busy-ness, etc, but honestly… it’s mostly because I didn’t want to.

If you know me, you’ll most likely know that I am a very open book.  I won’t hide anything from you if you ask.  But I have to be honest, I have [obviously] been very quiet with my emotions when it comes to these heart issues.  Because it hurts.  And because I’m not sure that I even understand all that I have been and am currently going through.

I can’t promise you that I am going to be any more consistent than I have been in my writing’s, but I just wanted to let you know that I am at least going to try.  Please bear with me though, because I am so not ready to do this.

Airports and Hospitals

Wow, I have had one of THE best days today.  Yes, despite the rain and all …AND it’s only 2pm!  So much more fun can happen! ;]  But even if not, I can at least be happy that I was at the airport and the hospital all in one day!

My day started off early.. picking Alicia up, catching up over a quick breakfast of biscuits and coffee, and then off to the airport we went to send her on her way to Florida.  Didn’t necessarily get to go inside of the airport, but I count dropping her off at the door close enough!  If you didn’t know, I do love airports.  I know that if this whole Medicine thing doesn’t work out, I can always be perfectly content 30,000 feet in the air serving you peanuts and directing you to the nearest exit.

Also, might as well get it out there if you haven’t heard… I love hospitals!  Always have and I can bet that I always will.  Weird, I know!  Especially when I am so adamant about the perfect environment all of the time…aka a couch in a cozy coffee shop w/ a lovely lamp kind of atmosphere.  Aka “Say no to florescent lighting!” kind of thing.  Buuut then I get to a hospital and everything changes.   I mean, come on, I literally BEG to find a reason to visit the hospital…just ask my dad!  The sights, the smells, ALL of it; I find such a comfort when strolling through the halls.  Kinda makes me realize & gives me assurance that I for sure have to do something in the Medical field.  Or perhaps I’m just some weird kid. Haha, I wouldn’t be angry if you agreed on that last statement either–weird does make me original! ;]

So yeah, today, I had the most perfect reason to go visit the hospital!…

Madelynn Lee was born last night & I got to meet her!!!
THE most amazing feeling in the world letting her lay in my arms!  Loved it and am so happy for Brianna & Ben and the birth of their beautiful daughter, Maddie!

One month later..!

Wow, ok, sorry for the wait!  I can’t believe it has been a whole month since my first post!  Despite what you are thinking, I promise I didn’t create this blog to just let it sit here.  Things got insanely crazy there for a time, yet not really at all.  Yeah I know, I confuse even myself. ;]

A lot has [sort of] happened this past month..  Random stuff, but the big thing is I started my online classes with IWU I can finally finish my undergrad degree!  I finished my first online course yesterday..whoop-dee-do!  I have decided to take the next few weeks “off” from classes to write some papers.  “Papers?”, you ask.  Well, I have been given the option for possibly receiving about 6 classes for credit towards my degree (which would save time + money!) and hopefully pushing me ahead for graduation! :]  I have this option via the “lifelong learning” program that will allow me to write a 7-10 page paper for each of those classes (eeek!) in order to show what & how I have learned the necessary skills needed.  Aka, how I learned it through my own life experiences on The World Race rather than in a classroom.  I will submit all of these papers together in one portfolio when completed & we’ll just have to pray that all of the credits are accepted!!  Pray with me on that now…especially as I begin writing papers again!?  Thanks a bunch!! :]

On other news.. yes, I am still struggling a bit.  And yes, part of me is wanting to be in California.  ..But then there is also that part of me that wishes to be back in Indiana where it’s snowing.  [By the way, why hasn’t in snowed here in NC yet?!  Today is just a little too warm for me for the beginning of February.  But hey, I’m not complaining!  I normally forget my jacket every day except today where I actually remembered and I didn’t even need it. Go figure!]
Oops, sorry for getting off topic!  But yeah.. Cali, Indiana, New Zealand…?!… I’m thinking I just need a little getaway adventure from Kernersville and then I’ll be good.. ;]  *cough cough*  If someone would like to provide that for me, I’m all for it. hehe :]

But for real, God has continually been completely faithful to me!  Never leaving me hanging!  When I am in need, He is always right there behind me scooping me up and giving me tons of kisses.  He’s got it.  I’m just reminded every day to trust that He is in control.

So that’s it for now.  Not sure how a typical blog post will look like from now.  I’m still figuring that out cause I have a fear that my rambling could bore you..?  Guess I need to get back in the habit of writing!–which could come quickly as I write these 70 pages for school! ha! 😛  If you got any, I would love some feedback from you guys!!… suggestions, comments, or really anything!

I am so glad YOU are in my life!!

With Love,


If you only knew how long it has taken me to write this first blog post…

Oh man, let me back that up a little bit more…

If you only knew how long it has taken me to perfect this blog site!  Ha

I have always been the one to try on all of the different dresses in a store before deciding on the first one I ever saw and loved.  It’s just because I want to make sure that the dress I choose is the best one for me–most flattering and all–or else I would always question if there was something better.
For some reason, that whole concept went straight with me into the blogging world as well.  I have been through every single possible layout theme and design I can choose from on this site.  And then I have been through that many more photos on my computer to create the most perfect banner for the header of the blog…and don’t let me even begin talking about colors! haha.  But I have obviously finally decided to settle my decision (well, sort of, you will notice there are a few banners on random rotation, but at least I narrowed it down to 3!).  But after all of that tedious labor (ha!)…. “Ta Da!”…Welcome to my new blog! :]

I had thought about reverting back to my “old” blog (the pre-World Race one), but decided it’s time for something completely new.  So here we go.  If you followed my old blog, you would likely note that this is actually only really a continuation of the old blog, “JOYfull”.  And, let me clarify… if you’re new to this whole “JOYfull” thing… yes, I know that I spelled it wrong.  But in my world, I haven’t.  It’s my way of simplifying the term: being “full of Joy”.  So here’s a little spin off of the old that I like to call, “Ramblings of a JOYfull Heart.”  You know, just random musings of a woman, aka ME, and my pursuit after a heart full of Him, my Savior and my God, who is ultimately the True JOY to my soul.

So, without further ado, please move your mouse over to the right-hand side of the page, enter your email address, and then click the “FOLLOW!” button.  This will allow you the privilege to receive updates straight to your inbox each time I post a new blog.  Easiest way to keep up with me and all that God is doing in my life!

Much Love to you all,


“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.” ~Psalm 28:7