Tuesday, November 6, 2012

November Already! Time to count blessings!

I can't believe we are 13 weeks into a life changing decision I prayed about, researched, talked about, and debated with friends. I have not doubted that decision for one second and for THAT I am thankful. I am sure there are moments Jack and Ali wish a sweet teacher was asking them to pull a clip rather than mommy sending them to time out. We have really settled into a great pattern, and I can't imagine waking up one day and having to send them off to school. I would be devastated..and I am pretty sure they would be too!! I am so blessed to have a husband that wants to provide for us the best he can to give us this opportunity, and I am blessed to have children that are open to mommy and daddy being their teachers. I have enjoyed getting to know my kids even better and having the extra time to bond with them. I can already see the benefits of homeschooling in both of them..in different ways. We've had sick days and haven't missed one lesson and we've traveled and haven't lost our momentum. I thank God so much for allowing everything to come together for the good of my little family.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Better or Bitter?

Let all the bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all the malice. Be kind to one another,tenderhearted,forgiving one another,as God in Christ forgave you.
                                                                                                                              Ephesians 4:31-32

I said that out loud today and thought..that would make a great blog!! So here I am. I feel like I can speak about this because enough has happened in my life that I could choose to be better..or bitter. Not right now..in this moment..I have everything I need..love, health, family,friends,great job, the list goes on..but in the blink of an eye..it can all change..and then I will have a decision to make. In the past, I can proudly admit(most of the time), that I chose to be better. Sometimes it took a while, and bitterness might have lingered for a moment..but it didn't darken my door long. After losing Hagen, there were many times bitterness could have taken over. When a new mom was with her beautiful newborn..I didn't curse her under my breath, I thanked God that woman had a healthy baby. When a friend won an award, earned a great job, or received a special opportunity ..I didn't turn green with envy..I thought..what did it take to get to that point in her life? Bitterness can challenge you daily, but it's our job to make the choice to better ourselves when we feel ourselves turning inside out with doubt.  There were times that I actually felt honored that I was chosen for times of great challenge..apparently God thought I could handle it, and who wants to let Him down?? Not me.

One thing that is challenging us right now..we have financial demons at every turn. Let me clarify..we can pay the bills..and we are SO THANKFUL to have jobs..but like most people..its TIGHT.  I see others that seem to be living it up..but I do not know their situations..I cannot compare our situation to theirs. I do get sad sometimes that we can't go out to eat whenever we want, go on fun trips all summer, and give Jack and Ali all they want and need. But Greg and I have both agreed..this has been the best thing that has EVER happened to our marriage and our kids. They understand why we have to say no and they do not have a false sense of reality. We are not building expectations that will only let them down one day..when a certain lifestyle cannot be maintained. As far as Greg and I..we have had to communicate better than ever, get to the bare bones of our love..spending time at home with Jack and Ali..just being a family. I know this is just the place we are at for now..we helped create it by bad decisions, but nothing is a mistake..it has a purpose. And the day will come, when we have money again. Everyday is a choice not to get overwhelmed and angry at our situation, but to become better.

Bitterness can alienate you from the very things that will ultimately bring you happiness. It is easy to get angry about a situation that might have been created to bring you closer to God. Don't ignore an opportunity to learn something and become a better Christian, a better friend, a better parent, or a better spouse.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Let's Hear It For The Boy(s)!

Anyone that really knows me, knows that this is an emotional week for me. It leads up to a day I will never ever forget, and although it definitely gets easier, the pain can still cut so deep sometimes. It's crazy how a certain temperature, or seeing Easter decorations, a pregnant woman or a newborn baby can bring back such a strong feeling..And those are all things I LOVE...that's irony for ya! When my emotions get stirred up, I think..A LOT! Greg laughs when I get that way...he can just look at me and know..oh goodness..the wheels are spinning. Well, yesterday morning I was drying my hair, and while all my thoughts initially start with my angel Hagen, the wheels started spinning..about how many Men(and boys) in my life have really made me into who I am. I love my girlfriends, I have great ladies that counsel to me, and my mom is my best girlfriend, but the Men in my life have played a HUGE part in shaping me.  It hit me like a ton of bricks..my daughter HAS to have healthy male relationships in her life! It seems every single one was given a different role, and has taught me something important..whether good, bad, or both..they all played a significant part in shaping me:

My Maternal Grandfather..Jack..There aren't enough kind words to describe this man. He was the first true father figure in my life. Yes, I had a dad, but my granddaddy was my knight in shining armor. There was no place I wanted to be more than at his house, next to him on the couch, curled up in the crook of his arm, watching the evening news or Heehaw...he loved that..and he loved me..unconditionally.  Even through the torture of colon cancer..he showed up to my softball games..donut seat and all..rooting me on...you only do that when you love someone and you truly want to be there!  What an awesome example of love and dedication.

Teachers/Coaches..Mr Price(8th grade math), Mr Braun, Mr Stewart(high school) and Coach Bradley(Varsity Softball)..These men helped me see how special I was and everything I had to offer the world. Two were math teachers, and don't ya know that is my favorite subject. Mr Braun loved to call me a go-getter...telling the entire class how I had a double header last night and went 4 for 6 with 2 doubles and still aced the Algebra II exam..boy was he good for the ego!  Mr Stewart never had children..his wife suffered miscarriage after miscarriage and he told me several times..if they could have been blessed with a daughter, he would want her to be just like me. Is it any wonder I loved high school..all these compliments?? haha Don't worry..there were teachers that knocked me down a few notches..making me feel unworthy for honors classes, etc..and wouldn't you know they were women! HA! And Coach Bradley..one of the BIGGEST influences in high school..he gave me an attitude adjustment right when I needed it the most, and I sometimes wonder just how different I would have been if he had not sat me out those 3 games!  He was proof that tough love is hard and it can work! He didn't want one of his best hitters sitting the bench..but those 3 little games my freshman year..changed the kind of athlete and person I was!

Ex Boyfriends..yes..Jason, Mason, and Scott..who can forget you!  Three completely different guys..that had my heart completely. You all taught me how good it feels to be in love, how a guy can come in a girls life and turn it upside down, and make you believe nothing in the world matters but being in love. Although it usually ends in heartache..each relationship ends up teaching you what is important to you and what is not. Jason was like a brother..a best friend..Mason was a joy to be around..I smiled so much..and Scott was a heartthrob that kept me wondering why me..when he could have had better. I know now that I was better.

My Step-Dad Dad..Ronnie..Here is a man that had been divorced, with a son of his own, and was willing to commit, emotionally and financially to this woman and her two children..10 and 6 years-old. Anyone that has been in a broken home, or had step-families, knows its a different love..but it's a love and respect that can grow to be big. I don't think I knew the extent of his dedication until I was grown and had step-sons of my own. It is a huge responsibility that you take on..to love children that are not yours..that already have parents they love..and you question where you fit in..and get your feelings hurt a lot. Being a step-parent is a job that requires a lot of sacrifice and you are usually the last one to be thanked or praised for all that you do..but you do it because you want to. I love Ronnie for everything he did for Jay and I..and for adoring my mom. I feel like I am a better step-parent because of his role in my life...and on that note..

My Step-Sons..Britton and Kellon..wow..where do I start..these guys were 9 and 6 years-old when I came into their lives. Going through a divorce is hard enough and then I show up. I wouldn't have blamed them for hating me, despising my existence in their lives..but they were precious. They never disrespected me(minus the time Kellon threw his shoes across the room), and they actually looked at me like they loved me! They still have that look and I hope I am not imagining that. Again..I was shown so much about love. They didn't have to love me..they just had to tolerate me to avoid punishment from their dad..but they did way better than that. They cuddled with me, they grinned ear to ear at me, they laughed with me, and they seemed truly thrilled the day I married their dad. That day, Greg said to his Lil Best Man, "Britt, are you ready to do this?" Britt said.."Oh yea!!" I love those boys so much. They taught me what a joy it can be to be a parent, and how heartbreaking it can be also..that prepared me for what was to come with Hagen, Jack and Ali.

My Brother..Jay..why do I look up to someone SO much that farted on my head and picked on me incessantly?? I guess I saw in him every good quality that a human can have..even when he had stinky breath. And he lived up to that..he is one of the HARDEST workers I know. He doesn't let anything get in his way when he decides he is going to do something. His dedication to fitness, his job, his wife, and now baby Brody are an example to me more than he even knows. He can come across quiet and withdrawn on occasion, but I know he would drop everything and be there for me when I need him. He showed me, without knowing it, the dedication I needed in a boyfriend/husband..and that I deserve that. I miss him so much now that we are grown and have our own families, but I am blessed to have him right around the corner! 

The Love of my life..Greg..Naturally I will learn a lot from him..he's ten years older..and I like to remind him of that..heehee. Seriously..he is the smartest man I know..and I am not fluffing that up at all. I don't care if we are talking about Baseball, Golf, parenting, relationships or the weather..it doesn't matter..he teaches me something! He has more common sense than is fair..and he can come up with an analogy to make anything seem crystal clear. He could write a book on parenting techniques with Jack and Ali..he is SO good with them. I fall in love with him just watching him play ball with Jack, have a conversation with Ali about her marrying him and no one else, or see him teach them something new. :)  I never saw him pitch, but from what I understand, he had to work even harder than the next guy, and he did! I only hope that Jack and Ali have half the heart and passion that their daddy has! He is the best communicator I know..no matter what the issue, I can come to him and we will work through it. That gives me confidence that no matter what comes our way, we can handle it..together. Losing a baby can rip a marriage apart...it made us stronger than ever. We had to lean on each other, we had to pick the other up when they were having a weak moment. He continues to show me how faithful and dedicated a man can be, even in difficult times, when it would be easier to throw his hands in the air. It honestly makes me sad that his boys do not have their father all the time, and I know there were hard times for everyone in his divorce, but I thank God that Greg was led to me, and that we hung in there when times were crazy. He has taught me to never settle with being so-so, don't make excuses..always want to do better..have a better marriage, be a better parent..and be a better friend.

My Angel in Heaven..Hagen James Hibbard..what a blessing he is to me. How can this tiny human, that never took a breath of our air, affect me SO much and cause me to hurt SO bad? A parent's love is indescribable..yet so many of us do not make the connection that this is what God did for all of us..gave up his Son. I am so guilty of not honoring that gift enough. That gift means that although I only held Hagen briefly, and never got to take him home, and watch him grow, I will wrap my arms around this sweet boy again one day and watch him run and play! I would never take back any of it, I mean that. I believe Hagen was used in a big way in my life, and my family and friends' lives. I could either bury my head in the sand, or ask God to lead me through this heartache and come out stronger on the other side. Now dont get me wrong..in the midst of the tragedy, all I wanted was to hear Hagen's little cry, I didn't want to hear how God has a plan and yada yada yada..but eventually, after you've cried a river..you search for comfort and peace. Family and friends provide some of that, but God gives rest to the weary and broken-hearted. So yes, Hagen taught me how to love something so much it hurts, and his conception and death made me want to be a mommy even more, but he led me to God for understanding and for that I am thankful.

My little man..Jack..an answer to many many MANY prayers. Seconds after I want to jerk a knot in him, I could eat him up because he fills me with so much joy. He reminds me in the most simple moments what matters most in life. His innocent child-like ways show what true unconditional love looks like. I can spank his bottom, send him to his room, and he will cry for "mommy". He is mad at me, loves me and needs me all at the same time. I am the one he wants when he is happy, sad, mad and hurt. Just typing this makes me so aware of how much he relies on me, and its so easy to slip up and let him down... I will never be perfect but he makes me want to be. No one will ever take Hagen's place, but I am SO SO thankful that I got to experience Jacks sweet love on this earth. Every time he hugs me and says I love you mommy...my heart gets a little fuller.

And Last but not least..God..who paid the ultimate price for me..his Son. I am not sure how you ever thank someone for that..but I try to remember why I am here and that God has placed me in different circumstances, with different people(like all of these men/boys) to teach me something, to make me stronger and to prepare me for the gift of heaven. HE is ultimately responsible for everything I have and it is my job to make the proper choices that glorify Him.

Live to glorify God, and TELL the people in the your lives(men and women) how important they are to you. If they have made a difference, they need to know, so that they will continue to live a life that impacts others. I can't imagine where I would be today without all of these people and these experiences. And I am not done yet..I have SO much growing to do..and so much impacting to do in this short time on earth...and...to steal my mom's favorite quote.."there are no do-overs".

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

One of my Dreams is coming true!!

Yes! We are getting a Chipotle!! I first ate at one in 1999 when Greg coached in Schaumburg(suburb of Chicago). I bet we went 3 times a week. We had never been anywhere like it. We now have Moes, and Swanky's, and others..but nothing beats good ole Chipotle!! Its just good, clean Mexican! If you have never tried oneof their burritos..you owe it to yourself.  Every new city we go to we search for one..so you can imagine how I flipped out last Saturday when I pulled into Sports Authority(Target) on Poplar and THERE IT WAS! I am thru giving them free advertising now..JUST TRY IT! Should open this spring sometime!!

Friday, February 18, 2011


I have always said I would never make a good saleman..unless the product sold itself. I just hate pushing things on people.  Especially in this economy!  My boss Joey says, “Never say never”.   Well, I am not saying I will make a great salesman, but I am saying I HAVE to get the word out about a product I have been taking.  It is called Plexus Slim.  It started out being tested to help diabetes patients and it was showing promise in weight-loss and whaa-laa..the best weight-loss product I have ever taken(and there have been many). There is a correlation between healthy insulin levels and a healthy weight..so the people at Plexus might be looking at a minor fortune to be made! They even have other amazing products from bio-cleans and a breast cream that aids in self examinations! I started taking the Plexus Slim (mixed in water..non stimulant) and the Accelerator (pill..stimulant) Dec 30th..about 7 weeks ago.  The immediate affects were amazing and honestly too many to list.  The number one thing this product did for me was curb my appetite.  Anyone who knows me knows I am a bottomless pit. Not only has my appetite dwindled, I no longer want carbonated drinks.  It is the MOST bizarre thing. Water! Water! Water! I get up at 5 am most weekday mornings and workout before work, I eat healthy (with occasional splurges), and I have energy all day until I fall into the bed at night and sleep like a BABY!  I feel fabulous..I cannot stress that enough..and to top it all off..I have lost 12 POUNDS!!! I have about 4-9 more pounds to go and I KNOW I can do it. I have never been more confident in that! The unique thing about Plexus Slim is you can become an ambassador and sell it as well as use it. (You know like crack..BUT LEGAL!) heehee.  My husband’s cousin on the coast started it and it has taken off like crazy! He has lost over 50 pounds and is off all of his daily insulin shots for diabetes.  The success stories are amazing and the whole thing really does seem too good to be true.  EVERYONE that uses it consistently has success. You can’t take it two days and say "oh I don’t see a change".  My husband, Greg, started it and I said don’t take this once a week..do it EVERYDAY..he did and he has lost 15 pounds!! And he hasn’t stepped foot in a gym.  His appetite has changed and the desire to gorge his self is just not there anymore.  We keep saying, if this can change the two of us, people should be VERY convinced, and VERY excited! And if you say that could NEVER happen to you..remember what my boss Joey says..NEVER SAY NEVER!

For more information please visit Plexusslim.com/sheahibbard or email me on facebook.

A representative (Greg’s cousin) will be coming to Memphis soon for an informative meeting.  The health benefits and the business side of Plexus Slim will be explained and you will seriously be astonished at what can happen if this takes off in our area.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

If you keep on believing, the dreams that you wish will come true..Cinderella

It was a cruise in the sun, on a ginormous ship, to a beautiful island, free from worries, chores and responsibilities at work and at home..but the most amazing part of this trip was that picture right there. The look on Jack and Ali's faces at every turn of that beautiful ship, at the sight of every Disney Character, the smiles when they splashed in the Mickey Mouse pool and slid down the slide over and over again! We had the best time! It was a 5 year-old's wonderland and when they were in the Oceaneers Club it was Mommy and Daddy's wonderland! haha. It was the best of both worlds..watching our children have the time of their lives and getting time to enjoy my husband. Now this trip wasn't free..and we could have put that money toward something more responsible...like their college education, paying the car off, SAVING it..but I would not change a thing. Those memories will last a lifetime..waiting to be brought back to life when we need a smile or need to remember that times are not always hard. I highly recommend every family doing something to get away..even if its a weekend in the woods,with smores and peanut butter and jelly..sleeping in a tent. It gets you away from the hustle and bustle(and in my case the washing machine!) and allows you to reconnect with each other. The bad thing about this trip..the only bad thing I can come up with..I left with an ache in my heart to do it AGAIN. I cannot book our next family vacation fast enough!!! But maybe I really do need to work on that college fund...after all, life really isn't a fairytale. But please don't tell Ali I said that!! :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Give me an A..."A"

It was a big weekend for little Ali! She had her first Cheer Competition in Tunica, MS. We were up very, very early doing piggytails and curling hair! (neither of which mommy is good at) She was so excited that waking up at 5am was not even an issue. Ali's squad was the 3rd in line to perform and I was SOOO nervous. I felt silly..but I was nervous for Ali..and she later told me.."Mommy, I was sooo nervous but I just kept smiling!" That's my girl!! Her squad placed 2nd out of three squads..that meant nothing to Ali really..she was just thrilled with "bear bear"..the bear Coach Stephanie gave her for doing a "beary" good job! It was a great day, and Ali's love of cheerleading was fueled even more. All we heard the rest of the weekend was..."5..6..7..8.." ohhh boy..she'll be doing arm motions in her sleep!

 The excitement continues this weekend because 1.) she gets to perform again at Arlington High School, and friends and family will be there AND 2.) we leave Sunday morning for our Disney Cruise!!! I am beside myself with excitement..mainly for Jack and Ali. No matter how old we get, it is not hard to remember that giddy feeling we got as kids when we realized we were going somewhere fabulous. I think I have done them a favor by not telling them though...they wouldn't sleep a wink and I imagine they would have gotten in serious trouble at school this week!

These are the times being a mom is so much fun, and I think back to when I thought I may never have this chance...I am so thankful. But like everyone, there are times I take it for granted and let the little things drive me crazy. I pray I will do that less and less..I have close friends that would do anything to be driven crazy by whining, fighting and endless "why's?". I love you Jack and Ali. I cannot wait to share this family memory with you!