gas is overrated.

As I sat trying to get my car to start over and over again in the middle of 5 o’clock traffic (luckily on a side, less busy street) I thought to myself, “Why in the world did I not get gas before I went to the bank?” Yes folks, yesterday I did the stupidest thing I’ve ever done…I ran out of gas. After trying numerous times to get into the closest parking lot, I noticed it just so happened to be a Napa Auto Center. I couldn’t quite get my car over the slope of their parking lot, so I went to find some help. I found someone at the service center and asked if he’d help me get my car out of the way. He helped and I was very thankful for that.

Next, was the hardest part. Calling my husband to have him come help me. I say it’s the hardest, not because he’s not understand, but because he has told me 100 times not to let my gas tank get under a quarter tank. And here I was, stranded, when he had to be somewhere in 10 minutes. But he saved the day. He came and got me and we went to get gas down the road and brought it back to put in my car. We had to make a make-shift gas can, which actually worked out quite well. I’m just always amazed at how he knows exactly what needs to be done in situations like those. I’m so thankful for his patients with me, his generosity towards me, and his ability to forgive me and love me when I’m somewhat un-lovable.

Moral of the story: I have learned my lesson. I will not ever let my gas tank get below a quarter of a tank. It is truly not worth the stress.

wine bottle vase.

This is the centerpiece on our kitchen table right now. I made it a few weeks ago after purchasing a bottle of Bella Bolle Mascato. I have to be honest, it was definitely the bottle color and design that drove me to buy this product, so good job marketing team! After it was gone, I washed it out and peeled all of the stickers off. I like the simplicity of it, because at first I was going to decorate the bottle with either a few decals or some paint pens. But after putting the single yellow daisy inside, I decided I liked the more plain look of it. I chose to use a fake flower verses a real one so that I didn’t have to fill the vase with water or mess with petals falling all over the table. It brightens my day a little to walk out into the kitchen and see this every morning. It was a very cheap, easy, and simple project, but I’m proud of it because it makes me smile.

have a little faith.

WKU is playing UK tonight in the second round of the NCAA tournament. UK is the top #1 seed in the tournament and WKU is a #16 seed. A #16 seed has never beat a #1 in NCAA history. How cool would it be to make history? I know everyone is saying it’s so unrealistic, but it’s still fun to have your school in the tournament. No matter who they play (even if it ruins my bracket), I’m going to cheer for them. It’s important to have pride in your school.

it ain’t over till it’s over.

There are two very important things I have learned about being a WKU basketball fan; never stop having faith and never stop watching until the clock strikes 0.00. There have been numerous occasions (especially of late) that we have been down by more than 10 in the last 8 minutes of the game and we have come back to win. SinceRay Harper was named official head coach at WKU, he has not lost a game. He has done a tremendous job at taking this team of kids and turning it into a team of young men. He took over the team mid-season, after having one of the worst seasons we’ve had in a long time. That’s incredibly hard to do. And look at us now. I just can’t get over how great of a coach he is, and even more, how great of a person he is. Last night, in the first round of the NCAA tournament, WKU played MVSU. We were down by 16 with 4 minutes left in the game; we came back to win by 1 point. What a great and unexpected turn-around. I don’t think anyone saw that coming.

This is a picture from last night’s game. That is WKU’s basketball coach hugging an opposing player to console him after they lost the game they thought they had in the bag. What makes this picture so great, in my opinion, is that it shows us that we should view games for what they are – games. It shows us that winning is great, but caring about others, even our opponents, is greater. Not only is it the other team consoling this player, but it’s the coach of the other team. What a great example for our players. If there is one guy I want coaching our Toppers, it’s Ray Harper. HARPERNATION: I’m on board!

day ten – a picture of you last year and recently, how have you changed?

Last year:                                                                  This year:

 

I feel much hasn’t changed about me since last year. My hair style is a little different. I recently got it cut with layers and bangs. But other than my hair, I don’t feel there has been much change. It’s really hard to notice physical changes in people from one year to the next. It’s usually more drastic and obvious over a larger period of time.

 

day nine – something you miss.

A year ago in April, my maternal grandma (Lois) passed away. I miss her so much. She was the only grandparent I grew up with. I was very close with her, because she helped raise me. She was very involved in my life and I spent many, many days at her house during the summer. I loved it. She was a HUGE Indiana University Basketball fan. I mean, this woman was serious about this team. She watched every game on TV and always cheered loud for them. She’s the only person I know that can eat popcorn without ever needing to take a drink. She loved me and my sister so much and would have done anything for us. Grandma never pumped her own gas. She always went to the gas stations that would fill the gas up for you.

She was hilarious. She could make me laugh with her silly jokes, her funny looks, and her random comments. I remember being embarrassed when she would pick me up from elementary school in her ’92 oldsmobile cutlass, which I now proudly drive. About 4-5 years ago, my grandma was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Since she was living alone at the time, it was the best decision to have her move into a nursing home, where she would have 24 hour care and watch. She was in a really nice facility. From the time she was diagnosed until she passed away, we watched her rapidly decline. It was tough. I mean, really, really tough. Grandma always knew when we came to visit that she knew us, but couldn’t always place who we were. It didn’t matter. We knew HER and we loved HER and that’s what mattered. She was always there for us, so we needed to be there for her.

I will always miss her. She taught me so much about my faith and good morals. I am so blessed to have had the privilege of being her granddaughter. Love and miss you everyday, Lolo.

day eight – a picture of your family.

Gladish/Leachman Wedding

Now that’s a good lookin’ family. Am I right? I love this picture; it is so good of all of us. Starting at the far left is my 2 year-old niece, Abby. Holding her is my older sister, Amy. In her belly is my other niece, Brooklyn (who has arrived since then!). In front of Amy, is my mom. Chris and I are in the middle. Next to Chris is my dad and behind my dad is my brother-in-law, Zach. We’re cute.

My parents are the most supportive, encouraging, and influential people in my life. They raised me in church and taught me how to have a personal and saving relationship with my Lord and Savior. They came to every extra-curricular activity I was involved in (that includes long, boring, and hot swim meets) and never complained. They gave me everything I needed, but not everything I wanted and I’m grateful for that now, even if I wasn’t back then. They set a great example for my sister and I in their loving marriage (of over 30 years). It is such a blessing to be a part of this family and I thank God every chance I get for that. My sister is always so positive and encouraging and she has done so much for me over the years, it’s like I have two moms sometimes. She has supported me financially and emotionally in things I have done and I am so glad I have a sister like her. Of course we fought when we were younger, but who didn’t? It’s called tough love. You always fight with the ones you’re closest to. I wish we were able to see each other more. They live in Virginia due to Zach’s job, but we try to Skype and stay connected as often as possible. My nieces are seriously the cutest kids in the world. I adore them. Abby was born on my 21st birthday (June 24). Brooklyn was born last September. I look forward to when Chris and I have children and the cousins can play together together at family events.

And last, but certainly not least, my husband! Where do I even begin with him? Bottom line, he makes me a better person. When I’m with him, I’m constantly encouraged and challenged to be better than I sometimes want to be. He is the most giving person I have ever met. He is constantly helping others in all kinds of ways. He truly is a light in this dark world and he makes everyone around him happy. He is goofy and a big kid at heart. The Lord is so great in the way he brought Chris and I together. He put him in my life just when I needed him the most. I’m so thankful for him and all he has done for me. I can’t imagine my crazy life without him.

day seven – a person you would love to meet.

If someone had asked me this question yesterday, I would have said Peyton Manning: QB for the Indianapolis Colts. What’s my answer today? Peyton Manning: free agent?

When I heard the news that the Indianapolis Colts were parting ways with Peyton Manning, my heart sank inside my chest. I can’t say that I was completely caught off guard, because realistically, we all saw the potential for this to happen. But hearing the words officially spoken was a bit heart-wrenching for me. I think what hurts the most, is knowing that Peyton built this team into what it is today. I remember watching my first Colts game back in middle school and thinking how cool Manning was. It was their 2003 season, when they had guys like Edgerrin James, Reggie Wayne, Marvin Harrison, Brandon Stockley and of course Tony Dungy coaching. Who wouldn’t fall in love with a team consisting of those players?

So, would I still love to meet Peyton Manning? Of course! He is one of the best quarterbacks the NFL has ever seen. He is the reason I fell in love with football. He plays smart, he is clutch, and he gets things done. I will always respect him as a player. I wish him the best wherever he ends up.

The Colts definitely have their work cut out for them. I am, and always will be, a fan, there’s no doubt about that. It’s just going to be a rough couple of seasons ahead, unless Andrew Luck turns out to be as great as everyone thinks. Who knows, maybe he’ll be the next Manning. One can only hope.

But for now….what to do with my Manning jersey?

day six – a picture of somewhere you’ve been to.


One of my favorite places I’ve ever been is Gracier National Park in Montana. It was so beautiful there! I loved every second of it and even had thoughts of living there one day. We probably never would, but a girl can dream, right? I was there last May after I graduated from college. I was president of WKU Habitat for Humanity my senior year, so I got to pick the destination of the Habitat trip. There was about seven of us total, but we had so much fun. We spent several days building frames for a house, but then we were able to spend about two days exploring the national park. It was incredible.

I got up early one morning to capture this breath-taking sunrise.

This was the first day we went into the park.

I took this the second day we went to Glacier. I promise I didn't do any editing to it, either. It is, by far, one of my favorite pictures from the trip.

I love mountains. God is amazing for all he created!

day five – a favorite childhood memory.

I have so many great childhood memories, so it was extremely hard to pick just one. Just thinking back to my neighborhood friends and all of our adventures is enough to write an entire novel. What comes to mind first, though, when thinking of favorite memories is when my parents celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. You might be thinking it’s pretty lame that that is a top moment for me, BUT how we celebrated is what made it so memorable. My parents took the whole family on a cruise and during the cruise, had a ceremony to renew their wedding vows. It was unbelievable and we had such a blast.

A fun thing we were able to do at one of the stops was swim with string rays in the Caymen Islands. At the time, I was completely terrified of the creatures, but looking back I realize how neat of an experience that was. One of my favorite things from the trip (and mainly the reason for this post) was climbing Dunn’s River Falls in Ochos Rios, Jamaica. It was incredible and so beautiful. I remember there was a section during the climb that you could jump off of a rock into a deeper area and my sister and I had so much fun with that. That vacation was one of the best our family took and I will never forget it.