If you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, "Move from here to there," and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. ~Matthew 17:20

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


Brad and I have been married for almost 24 years and I think that during that time, I have forgotten what it's like to be truly single.  Not single as in "Oh, I'm in California with Cole and even though he's gone a lot, I still share an apartment with him."  No, I mean truly ALONE with only the dog and cats to talk to and even they don't listen.  It has been a very long time since I was in this situation and I am quickly learning that being single is H-A-R-D and maybe it is not a good idea for me be left to my own devices.

1.  The first morning I was alone, I stumbled into the kitchen and instead of turning on the kitchen light, I hit the button for the garbage disposal.  I screamed, the cats ran and Max will no longer enter the kitchen.

2.  If you are talking to the dog while making espresso and you don't pay attention to how many scoops of coffee you use, you MAY experience heart palpitations approximately 31 minutes later.  Note to self:  count, don't talk.

3.  If you accidentally leave clothes in the washer, no one is there to put them in the dryer.  And after six days, you will have to defunk them and hope you don't have to throw those brand new towels away.

4.  It's lonely.  Yes, I can pick up the phone and call the guys, but it's not the same.

5.  If you hear a sound in the middle of the night, you can't count on your husband to get up and check it out.  So, you grab the closest weapon (nail file) and creep down the hall, only to realize you left the dancing Santa on "motion mode" and the cat's have set him off.  Sorry boys, dancing Santa went to live with Goodwill.

Only eight more days until Brad and Cole return from California and ten until Spencer is home from college.  I think I will keep 911 on standby.

"We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps."
~Proverbs 16:9

Sunday, November 15, 2015

The End of a Journey

Isn't it amazing how life can be so crazy and complicated, fun and stressful, energizing yet draining.  For the past five years, our crazy LA adventure has encompassed all of these adjectives and more.  It has taken me completely out of my comfort zone yet given me more comfort than anything I could have imagined.  I have been away from my family in Arkansas but God in turn blessed me with friends in LA that have become my family.

After five years of an amazing journey in California, the time has come for me to stay home in Arkansas.  In fact, I have already gotten a great job and life is back to the crazy busy life that I love.

Of course, there was lots of fun in Cali to be had before we departed...
Mermaids do exist!

Scary people at the pumpkin patch and petting zoo.

Our first 5K Zombie run.  Michelle and I ran our best time for 3.2 miles but I think that is to be expected when zombie's are chasing you!!

Cole and I left early on November 1st and headed home with an extra passenger; Mittens!  
Wow, does she love her bro bro, Cole.

Mitty came to us through friends who just weren't home very often so the Cali kitty is becoming accustomed to life in the South.
Kobe is tolerating her and Mitty is inching her way into making herself the Queen of the castle.

Life for Spencer at OBU has been absolutely amazing.  I love seeing God's hand over every aspect of his life; his health, his determination and his commitment to great grades AND having a social life.
This cracked me up...Spencer dressed in his "scream" costume and standing nonchalantly behind the door in his Comp I class the day before Halloween.  That boy has a wicked sense of humor.

Yesterday, we spent the day at OBU for the annual Battle of the Ravine game between OBU and Henderson State.  It was a great game and even though OBU lost, Spencer and his friends enjoyed every second.

There are some kinks to be worked out since Cole will be going back to LA in January without us, but thankfully we have a network of friends and five years of experience under our belts.  Now, if only we could figure out a way to move California closer to Arkansas so Cole won't be so far away.

"Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people."
~Colossians 3:23 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

12 Days & Counting & I Am Tearfully Joyous

12 days, 13 hours, 29 minutes.  C-day is fast approaching and as the countdown continues, I know that not only will I live through this whole college experience, but I am going to fully embrace the experience and enjoy every emotion that comes my way.

As the college move in day for Spencer has launched as quick as an out-of-control freight train, God has been working on my heart and reminding me that we are blessed beyond measure for Spencer to make this giant step in his life, and I need to hand over the reins and chill.  Not just chill, but enthusiastically embody, enjoy, savor, revel and be in awe of God's amazing grace.  

Not just once but twice God has proven to us that He is totally in control.  Two times, doctors have told us that Spencer's end was near and to say our goodbyes but God was faithful.  In addition, four of the patients that Spencer had chemo with every Tuesday for two years have passed away and two will never be able to go to college.  How could I ever fret over the plans that God alone has set in motion for Spencer when He obviously has amazing plans for this young man?

With all that said, please don't expect me to walk away from the college campus dry-eyed.  There's no way that will happen, but I will crawl away with the knowledge that Spencer has everything he physically needs and that everyone on the OBU campus will help him to the best of their ability. And, above all else, God is by his side at all times.  We literally could not ask for anything more.

The beginning of our shopping trip when everyone is all smiles.

Only one cart was necessary.

He found the most comfortable chair which will be perfect for his new room.

I bought two of these; one for Little Rock and one for LA!

"Be strong with the Lord's mighty power.  Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the devil."
~Ephesians 6:10-11

Thursday, June 25, 2015


I will be the first to admit that I am directionally challenged, even with the aid of a GPS and my own personal Sherpa!  This problem is accentuated by the fact that I come from a long line of master navigators that could tell you from which direction they came and which direction they were headed, even if they were blind-folded and dropped in the middle of the Amazon in a brown paper bag.  My dad would get so frustrated with me when he would give me directions (go South on University) and I would ask if that was towards the mall or towards Wendy's!

I am unable to count the number of times I have been off course since coming to Los Angeles.  Even with the GPS, I get lost .  Every day.  The first week in LA, I was lost in Compton which is a part of town that the Bloods and the Crips consider their "turf".  I was thankful for a man who came up to the car and gave me directions on how to return to the freeway.

This past weekend, my inability to navigate carried over to a hiking trek that was supposed to take 45 minutes and instead took three hours.  Remember the "three hour tour" that turned into three years of Gilligan's Island episodes?  Yep, I was thinking that was going to be us.

We wanted to traipse to the Wisdom Tree, a tree that can be seen from any location in Burbank.  In 2007, there was a fire on this particular mountain and all the trees burned but this one was spared.

As I stood at the precipice of the beautiful mountain, I saw a trail to the left and decided, "Hmmm, that must be another way down to the car so let's take it."  And, because I just can't help myself, I then shared my thoughts with a Latino mom and her three children whom I had been talking with, and unfortunately for her, she followed my advice.
The trail was skinny and shrubby.

When we finally made it to a road, this kid ran backwards so he wouldn't get too far ahead of me.

Yep, we ended up hiking over six miles!

I kept hearing the Latino mom use the word "loco" and I feel that she must have been talking about me!  Lesson learned; I may get lost on a daily basis but I have promised Cole that I will never share my thoughts, feelings or my inability to navigate with a stranger again.  

"We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps."
~Proverbs 16:9

Monday, June 15, 2015

Fun in Little Rock and Los Angeles

Honestly, it can be so boring at our house for weeks on end and then BAM, we are busier than a one-armed paper hanger!

May was busy but June has been crazy!  On Thursday, we were invited to the Governor's Mansion (la-te-da) for Spencer to receive a CARTI Scholarship.  CARTI stands for Central Arkansas Radiation Therapy Institute and it is the incredible organization where both Spencer and Brad received radiation for cancer.

My mom and Gigi were able to join us and it was wonderful.  Twenty former CARTI patients received scholarships and hearing their stories made me realize that God has big plans for all these young men and women.
Love these men in my life.

How blessed we are with these wonderful, sassy, smart, God-fearing women.

On Friday, Cole and I hit the road and headed to Shreveport, LA to visit my incredible friend, Tracy.  If ever there were someone that God created as my twin, she would be the one.  When we get together, we are akin to the Energizer Bunny on steroids!  We laugh, decorate, rearrange everything in sight, laugh more, decorate more and cry because we are laughing so hard.  Absolutely perfect!
Being the self-appointed President of the Cole Ewing fan club, a picture was necessary.

While Tracy and I were decorating and rearranging, these two were chilling.

Cole and I set out early Saturday morning and headed to Ft. Worth to see my family for a quick lunch.  Love, love, love that they were all able to meet us and visit, even if it was way too short.
Isabelle, a/k/a Precious.

Love these people so much.

After a very quick hour and a half visiting and laughing at Jason's Deli, we were back on the road and headed to Albuquerque, NM for the night.

After driving to LA for five years and taking the same route on I40, I have always wanted to drive through Bearizona, a wildlife sanctuary just outside of Phoenix, AZ.  Although we have passed this place at least 20 times, the boys always veto my vote to stop.  "We need to get home!" or "We need to get to LA!" was always the answer I received when we saw the sign.  But this trip was different.  Since Cole and I couldn't check into the apartment until Monday morning, and since we made the trip in two days instead of three, Cole was actually the one who suggested stopping!  I was giddy with excitement!!!!

This is what Cole did for each animal we saw; we named them and Cole concocted a story and then we texted it to Spencer.  So hilarious.  There were no close encounters although I did want to jump the fence and take these babies home with us.
Oh my stars, they were cute!

The rest of the drive went without a hitch and as soon as we arrived in Los Angeles, Cole hit the ground running.  For our first fun outing, we joined the Lab Rats gang at Dodger Stadium in the owner's suite to hang out and watch the game.
It's Spencer's fault that I didn't wear the correct colors for the Dodgers (I thought their colors were red, blue and white!).
Great view and we had a suite time!!!

And, to top our first week off back in LA, my dreams came true when our friends Susan and Grace called to ask if I would keep their two cats Sunday night and Monday.  What!?!?  
Meet Edgar.  This snarky, sassy, beautiful young man likes for you to pet his head ONLY (or he bites!), wants to play at 4:00am, and wants to sleep on your face.  I was happy to oblige him with all his wishes!

And this is Wednesday.  She is beautiful, loves to be petted and wants to sleep under the covers.  No problem!

Honestly, what kind of cruel friends do I have that ask me to take care of their babies and then want them back?!

While we're having fun in LA, Spencer has been busy in Little Rock with VBS at First Baptist Church last week, and with Summer Spectacular this week at Rock Creek.
Love that this young man has a heart to serve the Lord and makes friends wherever he goes.

Stay tuned for more exciting news, like maybe I will get a new kitty!  Most likely they will find Jimmy Hoffa's body before that happens but a girl can dream, can't she?

~"I command you - be strong and courageous!  Do not be afraid or discouraged.  For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
~Joshua 1:9

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The BEST Ewing vacation ever!!!!

I am UNABLE to count how many vacations have had to be cancelled due to medical issues in the past 16 years...trips to Florida, Big Cedar, North Little Rock...you name it and it has been postponed.  So this year, Brad and I were determined to surprise Spencer with a vacation that would not only celebrate his graduation from high school, but also make up for all his missed opportunities.  We made reservations in MARCH and I promise, anyone who knows me is really surprised I was able to keep a secret for that long!

The adventure began when Brad, Spencer and I left Saturday morning and all we told Spencer was to pack enough clothes for nine days and get in the car.  Spencer loves surprises as much as I do so it was important to keep him guessing.  After seven hours on the road, we stopped in Houston, TX at the airport and picked up Cole, who flew in from LA!  Surprise #1!!!!  I wish I had gotten a picture of Spencer's smile because it was PRECIOUS and PRICELESS!  What would a vacation be without your favorite sidekick?!  Another 45 minutes and we arrived in Galveston and I just couldn't stand it; I told Brad we HAD to tell Spencer or I was going to burst, so we did a drive-by of the dock and finally told him we were taking him on a cruise!  

Sunday morning, we boarded the Navigator of the Seas with Royal Caribbean and prepared ourselves for seven days of an amazing adventure.
Over the years, Brad has learned that I suffer from motion sickness in anything that moves; a cab in New York, a cab in Paris, the subway in Washington D.C., the Euro rail in Europe...you get the picture.  So, I was prepared with patches, pills and arm bands and I had nary a day of being sick and I was able to enjoy this view each and every day.

The view from the dining room was amazing.

Our first port of call was Cozumel, Mexico.  Brad and Cole went three reef snorkeling and Spencer and I "swam" with the Rays.  When I saw swam, I really mean Spencer held them, touched them and gave them kisses and I jumped around and screamed if one touched me.  Needless to say, I was super excited when the excursion was over!
Spencer just hangin with some sort of lizard that I am sure had fangs and a taste for human blood.

He was smiling but if you could read his mind, I am sure he was past ready to leave me behind and get back on the ship!

The next day, our port of call was Belize City, Belize.  We had no specific plans so we roamed around town and visited the shops.  However, our meandering was limited to a small section of the town where it was surrounded by a fence with soldiers guarding it armed with AK-47's.  Okey dokey, that cut our meandering short!

The last stop was our favorite...Roatan, Honduras with the most beautiful landscape and the nicest people.
Cole danced with the locals,

we explored the town, and

we ended up in the jungle where the boys decided to go zip lining!



We had to go find Mama a cocktail after that adventure.

The rest of the trip, we enjoyed all the amazing amenities on the ship...
movie night at the pool,

the wave rider,

 the ice rink,

the impeccable service we received from David, our stateroom attendant, and

seven days of togetherness with NO wifi!

  Now, it's back to reality and trying to acclimate to the fact that there will be no pool time and fruity umbrella drinks at 10:00am, but loving that we were able to spend the perfect vacation together.

"Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other."
~Romans 12:10

Thursday, April 23, 2015

I thought I was ready for college, but I was wrong!

I was fine.  Honestly.  From the time that Spencer was accepted to Ouachita Baptist University, I knew that within a few short months he would be leaving for college and living ON.  HIS.  OWN.  I knew this.  I was fine.  And then, I wasn't.  I wasn't fine at all; in fact, I was a mess and just one tear away from "the ugly cry".

We arrived at OBU on Saturday for ER (early registration) and to get Spencer's class schedule.  The fact that it was a gray day that was threatening rain did not help my mood.  But, I was calm and happy to be involved in this right of passage that so many parents before me have traveled.  I was all smiles when we saw old friends and sat through the welcome announcements.  Then, the students were sent to visit with their academic advisor and Spencer was gone.  It was just Brad and I sitting alone in the auditorium.  And, at that moment it hit me that Spencer was actually going to be living on campus and going to school and that he would be the one figuring everything out on his own...the medical issues and the school/study/fun/laundry/study/stress issues.  And it was too much.  I could feel it building but I tried to keep it in check because my husband of 23+ years has no clue what to do when I cry.  But it was futile and once the tears appeared, they would not stop.

I know what you are going to say.  "Thousands of parents have sent their children off to college and they have lived."  Did the parents live or only the kids because from where I am standing, it's not looking good for me.  Did any those kiddos have the type of medical issues that Spencer has had and does have to this day?  Maybe, but I'm sure he is not the first person to go to college who has had "challenges".

We left campus all in one piece and made it home with nary a tear from anyone in our car!  I hope a year from now I will look back and see what an awesome job we did preparing Spencer for this next adventure.  And I hope my memories do not include a padded cell for me.  Just sayin.

Mr. Smiley is working at Dickey-Stephens park this summer when the Travs are in town.  Stop by and give him a hard time!

"For I can do everything, with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need."
~Philippians 4:13