Category Archives: Thoughts & Such

Empowered A Learning Journey with @LysaTerKeurst



A little back story, my life has taken a detour that I’m not happy with.  I’m not even sure what the detour is or what caused it, all I know is I’m off track.  So, I have been throwing myself at the mercy of God.  And just in case I forget to toss myself his way, I’ve joined two Bible study groups (one focusing on exploring in depth the book of Mark, the other going through a Christian based learning objective about cravings).  This post is about the second.

We are going through the book Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst.  You can check out her site if you want, she has a 21 day devotional there that you may enjoy.  It’s not a dieting thing, or a ‘lifestyle change’, but rather an exploration of a base set of feelings and helping us to overcome our own demons.  For me, that would be food and cigarettes.  I was supposed to have quit, but frequently I find myself having ‘just one’.  Prayers welcome and I’m still working on it!

Anyway, we had our first group meeting (though I don’t think you have to have a group to do the study).  It was pretty enlightening.  She brought up some great points that have began to change my perspective.  This weeks word is Empowerment.  I can’t quite recall exactly why it is Empowerment, but I think it had something to do with knowledge being the first step to empowerment, and empowerment being the key to overcoming.

If you’d like to go through this book with us, I’d love to go back and forth with you.  I just started today, but I will happily go back and go over any of it again if you join in later.  If nothing else, check out the devotional.  I’m doing the 60 day devotional and day 1 was quick and simple yet very thought provoking.

Yes, today, I am feeling empowered.

My God bless you and keep you.

Originally posted 2013-09-09 09:31:28.

Trust: A Venting Session

I have no idea why we, as human beings, ever go against our natural instincts.  Animals don’t.  Ever.  That’s why they say animals can sense evil.  It’s not that they sense evil, they just trust their own instincts.  They don’t fill their heads with worry and concern over whether or not it’s the right decision, they just listen to what God tells them through their instincts.

I made the mistake of going against my natural instinct because my heart was screaming to do so.  I knew better, I have since done better.  Last night my instincts were confirmed for an event that took place a while back.  The wound of betrayed trust hurts even now.  I’m hurt and angry, and somehow not quite as surprised.  I wish I could say otherwise.

The kids like to say ‘epic fail’.  I hear it all the time out of their little heads.  So, in the interest of irony, my heart’s judgement was an epic fail.

Yesterday I didn’t post, I don’t have much of an excuse.  I just didn’t do it.  Today I’m venting.  Perhaps tomorrow will be normal again. 

Originally posted 2013-08-25 09:24:51.


DivorceNormally I don’t do this, but today I’m going to make an exception.  I’m hurting and I need to express myself.  I don’t want my family to feel guilty so I’m expressing it to you.  😀  Prayers welcome.

My parents divorced when I was little.  I honestly don’t remember what it was like having two married parents so usually it doesn’t bother me.  There were things that thoroughly sucked growing up with divorced parents, a LOT of them, but I’m grown now and I have long ago accepted that my parents just weren’t meant to be.  Apparently I was some sort of silver lining in the storm that became of their marriage.  Whatever.

divorce (1)My Mom has had a couple of failed marriages since then and a few more bad relationships but my Dad managed to find someone he loves and stay happily married living for God.  My Momma causes drama, I get that and I’m not even going to go there right now.  I will say this, apparently she wished my Dad a happy former anniversary or some crap a few years back and one of my little sisters (born from my Dad and StepMom) had the audacity to blame me and say it was because I wanted them back together.  That just made me angry, they have NO idea what it’s like to deal with divorced parents, the feelings of rejection or what it was like to watch your parents fight, screaming and yelling, when you are too little to even know what’s going on.

Yep, that’s it, I miss THAT, because that is ALL I remember from my Mother and Father being married.  FIGHTING.  No good memories whatsoever.  In fact, I have very few good memories growing up.  The ones I do have came not from my parents but from my Grandparents and one of my Aunties who has always been such a blessing to me and I took for granted for so long.

Anyway, I got over that.  Mostly.  I just don’t think about it.  I told my sister what I thought about her stupid comment that was wrapped in pure ignorance and I’ve moved on.  Really.  I’m not even upset with her anymore because I understand that the comment came from emotion and a lack of knowledge.

Today, however is apparently my Great Grandmother’s 90th birthday party.  Guess how I found out?  A friggin’ picture on facebook of the amazing cake my Auntie done for her.  I’m use to feeling left out but I guess it’s been so long that this one snuck up on me.  I Maybe it’s because I love my Granny so MUCH and would have LOVED to be there to celebrate with her.  Whatever it is, I sit here venting to you (my husband calls it screaming into the void, and I get it because I’m sure most people stopped reading 2 paragraphs ago) and crying because if I say anything to my family it’s just going to hurt them and I don’t want them to hurt the way I do or even worse continue feeling sorry for me because ‘Poor little Kaycee was innocent in the situation and it wasn’t fair for her’.  I got sick of hearing that a long time ago.  It really, really didn’t help.  I know it came from a place of love, but it wasn’t helpful at all.  I knew my situation, I lived it.  Can’t tell my husband because he will eventually comment to my family how much it hurts me when my Dad forgets that he has a kid out here.  That wasn’t a fair comment, I know my Dad loves me.  I’m just hurting.

I ask you now for prayers, I know I serve a healing and restorative God.  If you don’t believe in God, or are in doubt, I wish I knew how to show you what an amazing God He truly is.

If not prayers, I’ll take positive energy or whatever it is you do for the people you want to help.  I’m hurting right now and it sucks.  That is all.

Originally posted 2013-08-10 12:07:09.

Getting Personal: Confessing My Crazy


I took that ‘Are you open’ quiz and got 48%.  I guess that’s okay, but as a blogger I thought I should be WAY more open than that.  If nothing else, then with my readers!  Besides, if you don’t like it, what are you gonna do?  Throw tomatoes?  I guess stop reading, and that would stink, but all things must end eventually, right???

In honor of that sentiment, and to throw it in their face that I’m not JUST 48% open (though who knows, maybe this is part of my 48) I decided to share some of my crazies with you…  Things that most people don’t know, that I really don’t tell them, and that you are now privy to.  Feel free to share your crazies, as perhaps it will take some of the red off my face!  LOL.

1. I talk to people that aren’t here, like the other day I was looking for my keys and was very excited when I thought I found them (I hadn’t) so I say out loud (to my husband) “Yeah, I found them…  They were in my jeans pocket…”  I didn’t.  They weren’t.  And he wasn’t here…

2.  If TatorBug (my dog) is in the laundry basket I need in, I make him a bed in another one then move him…  He typically jumps back after I’m done if there are still clothes in it…

3.  I hide things, REALLY well!  So well, in fact, that I frequently lose them for very long periods of time…  Like  a Christmas present from last year I found 8 months later…..

4.  Even if I don’t like something, I don’t want to throw it away….  It actually bothers me to do so…

5.  If a paper gets bent or creased it drives me insane.  I can’t stand it.  No clue why…  Just don’t bend the paper…  It is REALLY not necessary to bend it!

6.  I am very outspoken…  That being said, I am secretly terrified someone won’t like me.  I could trace that back to something I’m sure, but it’s just weird that I speak so much of my mind but am constantly scared someone won’t like me…  I had hoped I would outgrow that one…

7.  I am so scared of failure that I quit when things get tough…  Yeah, there’s one for ya…  Don’t think that one is crazy, just makes me a chicken.  This confession hurts a little…




Originally posted 2013-07-25 06:46:47.

Why I’m Having an #IconicSummer #Sponsored


This summer Pepsi is asking what is making our summers iconic.  I thought long and hard about what my answer would be.  My Monkey’s and I will be making a trip literally to the other side of the country (granted, we do live in the middle) and that seemed like the iconic memory for the summer.  As  I continued thinking, I realized what has already made my summer iconic.

I guess I will start from the beginning.  Well, sort of.  Long, long ago two girls somehow managed to become best friends.  Sisters.  A dramatic birthday catastrophe took average elementary school playmates and began a transformation into a deep, true friendship.  Unfortunately, adolescent stupidity pushed us apart.  In her defense, it was pretty much all my stupidity…  We can skip over that and save it for another day.

That stupidity took us apart for almost 10 years.  During that time, my heart yearned for our friendship.  I constantly found myself missing her, worrying about her, longing for a piece of me that was missing.

In the past year or so, we caught up.  Really, we just finally got our heads out of our butts and got together.  Through the years, we’ve had moments where we saw each other and talked for a moment, but we never made the time to find that lost love we shared.  A few weeks ago, we packed up and took our kids camping.  Me, her and 4 Monkeys roughed it at the creek for a few days.  Laughter, memorable moments, creepy pedo-man, a raccoon and a mudfight later we thrived.  Perhaps not physically, as I was super sunburned the day we managed to get the suntan lotion on the kids but not us.  Emotionally though, I feel whole again.  I am no longer missing something.

So, my summer is iconic because my best friend and I have reconnected. You know it’s true friendship when you can just pick up where you left off and everything feels the same!  I love that girl!

#sponsored Post: I’m required to disclose a relationship between our site and Pepsi. This could include the Pepsi providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

For every picture uploaded, Pepsi will donate to charities that support military and families in need and you’ll get a chance to win an iconic summer experience.  So get going, use the link below!

Originally posted 2013-07-10 20:02:35.

A Father’s Day Tribute

 30514_551164240994_7683749_n 30514_551164236004_1406402_n




Today, I am heading to spend the day with my Dad and my Pa-Pa, along with the rest of my amazing family.

5 Things I Got From My Dad

Not in Any Particular Order

  1. I deflect emotional junk with humor.  
  2. My height
  3. Big feet
  4. That ‘close your eyes when you smile’ thing.
  5. An amazing example of how to live for God, even if sometimes you stumble.

5 Random Memories that Make Me Smile

  1. My Dad fixing my pony tails when I was a kid.  Thank God I wasn’t tender headed!
  2. Watching my Dad lay carpet and kick the knee thingy.  I was always fascinated to watch my Daddy work, and now I love the smell of new carpet!
  3. When I was a kid, he was rotten.  Once, we went to McDonald’s and got food.  He said we needed to let it cool and we ran into the store.  When we came back, my burger somehow magically had gummy worms on it…  He said we shouldn’t eat there because they put worms on their food.  LOL.  Love my Dad’s humor, and that even now 20+ years later he swears it was them.
  4. That time when my world crashed around me and I called him in the middle of the night.  He not only got out of bed and spoke to me for hours, he gave me a lot of wisdom that night.  In essence, I love that if I need him, he is always there for me.  He doesn’t try to sugar coat, he is just honest.
  5. When he walked me down the aisle informing me that the truck was running by the door if I wanted to run.  LOL.  As if I would have made it away from my husbands linebacker family and friends.  LOL.  Refer back to that deflecting emotion with humor.

Not that you hadn’t figured it out, but I love my Dad.

Hope you have a great day celebrating the amazing, loving Dad in your life.

May God Bless You and Keep You.

Originally posted 2013-06-16 00:01:12.

Stop Puppy Mills—It Starts With YOU

Pet stores that care about puppies don’t sell them. That’s because the majority of pet stores that sell puppies carry dogs from cruel and inhumane puppy mills. Puppy mills are like dog-making factories with the mother dogs spending their entire lives in cramped cages or kennels with little or no personal attention or quality of life. When the mother and father dogs can no longer breed, they are discarded or killed. Consumers who purchase puppies from pet stores or over the Internet without seeing a breeder’s home firsthand are often unknowingly supporting this cruel industry.

Keep Reading!

Originally posted 2013-06-04 13:05:22.

A little Note for Everyone Before Mother’s Day

Hey everyone!  I hope that you are getting ready to have a blessed Mother’s Day!  I thought this was a cute little set of info so I decided to share it with you a day early as a little reminder.  Honestly, these days I need lots of reminders!  If your a Mom, you know it’s the hardest and most rewarding job in the world, if your a Dad, I’d bet you sometimes stand in awe of that woman, if you are a kid, I hope you know just how much your Mom loves you and does for you.  Regardless, everyone has a Mom in their lives and I hope we can all take a day to celebrate her.  May God Bless you and Keep you and yours!
-The Zoo Keeper Keep Reading!

Originally posted 2013-05-11 05:00:00.

The Little Things

A week or so ago my friend, whom I don’t often get to see, informed me that her little girl was having issues with some family problems and seemed to be very sad.  While she was getting her little one help, I wanted to do something.  This little girl lights up my life and I don’t even get to see her!  Thanks to social media, I follow my friend’s little ones as close as I can given the distance between us.  I love them so much that their pain is my pain. Keep Reading!

Originally posted 2013-04-26 05:03:00.

Young Adult Fiction and My Mother: Guest Post

My mother, Georgia, is the oldest of five Air Force base-hopping children. It’s funny, but she doesn’t tell many stories of growing up. There’s a bit about a babysitter and a can of corn that’s rather funny. There’s one about a tarantula that scared one of her aunts, and one about a Ouija board. I know that she repeated first grade twice, once to catch-up on English skills after moving back to the States from Spain, and then again to learn the first grade curriculum. She competed on trampoline in the Special Olympics, and that she was in Special Education until she married my dad at age 17. Because of the first grade setback, she was only a sophomore.
At that time, doctors would have called her “mentally retarded.” Now, to be both politically correct and specific, they would say she is intellectually and cognitively disabled. She wasn’t born with this condition, and based on her spatial awareness and problem solving skills, it has been suggested that she may have been very smart under different circumstances.
In 1962, my mother was six years old. I don’t know how much she actually remembers, how much her family told her, or if any of the details are confabulated, but as the story goes, my mother caught measles and another illness at the same time. Her temperature shot up to 106 degrees. The base physician was on a golf course and whatever means they had of contacting this man failed. 
A nurse, or an intern came to their house. He had my mother stripped down naked and laid on the dining room table, which my mother remembers as being black lacquer and cold. He had her packed in ice to bring her core temperature down. She was simply too hot for too long, the brain damage already done.
As part of this blog tour for January Black, I have been asked why I write Young Adult. I hadn’t intended to answer it, because one, I was offered many suggestions for guest posts, and two, much like this post, January Black started out as one thing (an adult steampunk novel) and ended up as something much different.
Over nearly forty years since marrying my father, she has acquired many skills that school couldn’t teach her in the ’60s and ’70s. Waitressing required her to keep track of details and count change. As a video rental clerk, she kept a ledger of rentals, fees, and overdue charges. She became a Certified Nurse’s Aid. Her disability required the tests to be read to her because she understands questions when asked verbally, but I clearly remember a stack of study materials she had to study to prepare. 
She can read. Her progress is slow, but she’s worked very hard to build her vocabulary and comprehension. In 1979, when I was in Kindergarten, I read Dr. Seuss books to her. It wasn’t to improve my skills, but because she had trouble. This was the year when I passed her reading level. Today, she is working her way through the one million words that comprises the Harry Potter Series. 
I write Young Adult because teenagers are fascinating. I believe that intimacy in books should build character or drive plot, and a glance or a touch from someone special can set a young adult’s world on fire. I can push off second base to create more tension, or close the door on whatever comes next. I can leave the reader to their own imaginations, and then surprise them when the couple decides to hold back. In adult fiction, readers…particularly romance readers…have come to expect more than I’m comfortable giving them. My husband, my coworkers, and my in-laws will read my books. Former teachers and friends from church might read them. Young Adult gives me the freedom to unleash my imagination, and the security in knowing I won’t be mortified if and when I bump into Sister Hecht while passing through Powell, Wyoming.
Perhaps, most importantly, my mother can read my book. She has a copy, and I know she’s very proud of me. She doesn’t know this, but she could never be as proud of me as I’ll be of her when she finishes it.
Wendy S. Russo got her start writing in the sixth grade. That story involved a talisman with crystals that had to be found and assembled before bad things happened, and dialog that read like classroom roll call. Since then, she’s majored in journalism (for one semester), published poetry, taken a course on short novels, and watched most everything ever filmed by Quentin Tarantino. A Wyoming native transplanted in Baton Rouge, Wendy works for Louisiana State University as an IT analyst. She’s a wife, a mom, a Tiger, a Who Dat, and she falls asleep on her couch at 8:30 on weeknights.
January Black Blurb:
Sixteen-year-old genius Matty Ducayn has never fit in on The Hill, an ordered place seriously lacking a sense of humor. After his school’s headmaster expels him for a small act of mischief, Matty’s future looks grim until King Hadrian comes to his rescue with a challenge: answer a question for a master’s diploma.

More than a second chance, this means freedom. Masters can choose where they work, a rarity among Regents, and the question is simple.What was January Black?

It’s a ship. Everyone knows that. Hadrian rejects that answer, though, and Matty becomes compelled by curiosity and pride to solve the puzzle. When his search for an answer turns up long-buried state secrets, Matty’s journey becomes a collision course with a deadly royal decree. He’s been set up to fail, which forces him to choose. Run for his life with the challenge lost…or call the king’s bluff.

Originally posted 2013-04-25 05:00:00.