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Two Choices

On more than one occasion lately, Kenley has heard me say:

“If you think down, you will go down. If you think up, you will go up.   You will always travel in the direction of your thinking.” -Bishop T.D. Jakes

And so it goes with one of her first ‘big’ life moments. Going after something she really wants, but struggling because she doesn’t think she’s good enough.  For many people this can be a life-long struggle- never feeling good enough. As Kenley continued to doubt herself, telling me all the reasons why she wouldn’t or couldn’t be good enough I had to remind her that life is about choices.

And the night before tryouts, she had two choices.

Dwell on all the reasons why not, have a pity party, don’t try, or better yet just quit while you’re ahead. Quitting would surely protect your heart.


Make up your mind that you want this. You really want this. Why do you want it? What’s the worse that could happen if it doesn’t happen? Then go after it and make it happen. Doesn’t matter the outcome, you give it your best and you win regardless.

In true Kenley fashion, it took some much (much) convincing but I saw it click.  That moment where she allowed herself to think maybe, just maybe, I can do this. I saw it register first in her brain, then in her heart, and she decided, by golly, I am going for it.  And so she did.  One of those first defining moments for this 11 year old– where you want something so badly it scares you. Welcome to the big league of life, kid.

And for the record, you are always a winner in my book.

direction of your thinking via grateful simplicity

Two Choices




Happiest of Birthdays

Happiest of Birthdays to my all time favorite middle-child, Kenley! You are a rule following, dimple smiling, no longer little girl and so very proud of you!


kenley birthday

Marco Polo

You have two friends so you decide to introduce them to one another. You point out the good qualities of each,  cross those fingers and hope that they get along, then make the introduction. And so it goes with the annual Polo match this year. Family meets school- both close and personal, while I hold my breath and hope it’s a good match (literally). And boy was it! Such a fun event this year at my Aunt and Uncle’s farm with the proceeds benefiting our favorite school.  November weather in our town is hard to beat. In fact, I could put it up against some of the best tourist towns in our country. It can’t be beat. Throw in some snazzy tailgates, food, flowers, friends and you’ve got yourself the perfect Sunday Fun day for some Marco Polo.

Marco Polo via grateful simplicity


Marco Polo via grateful simplicity

Marco Polo via grateful simplicity


Marco Polo via grateful simplicity

Marco Polo via grateful simplicity



Marco Polo via grateful simplicity

Marco Polo via grateful simplicity


Volleyball Season has begun

Volleyball Season has begun….

It’s a new year, new grade, new season and… new fall sport.  Volleyball! Who knew it was so much fun to watch!? (Sorry, Shea and Danya- my fellow volleyball playing friends).   I love that my oldest can easily try new things, make new friends, and keep a good attitude. Maybe I should take a page from her book? 

Eighth grade is turning out to be ‘no joke’ when combining studies, sports, chores, being social and sleep. B is taking a high school math course (one that I may, or may not, have taken as a sophomore at this school-+ she can thank her finance-brained daddy for that) which adds to the load some. It’s no wonder kids in America area always so stressed out. I’ve found that I have to take my girls electronics at night, stow them away, and revert back to a strict bedtime to ensure they are getting enough sleep.  Ironically, they are more than happy to comply which tells me they have needed the sleep more than I realized. Do as I say, not as I do. Right, mom?

Even Poochie and Tucker seem more tired than usual. I mean really, what do they possibly have to be exhausted over?

Courtney has always made fun of me saying that I am always looking forward to the next big milestone. When I turned fifteen years old, I told people I was almost sixteen.  When 20 years old, I rounded up my age to 21 and so on. So I guess it comes as no surprise that I am already looking forward to dreading next year when our babies start kindergarten, middle school and high school all one the same day.  Say it isn’t so.



Baby Adah

Baby Adah

Unlike the rest of the Kuersteiners who habitually run late, Baby Adah decided she was going to shake things up a bit and arrive a tad early. Three months early to be exact.  She has fought hard showing us all what she is made of and is out on the town now, looking as cute as cute can be at 6 months old. We hosted a ‘Sip and See’ (not to be confused with a ‘Slurp and Burp’ had she been a boy) last weekend for us to formally meet the newest (and tiniest) Kuersteiner baby. Welcome, baby Adah! Cousin Karlee has one sweet baby girl! She is quite mellow like her grand-dad (Uncle Chris– who is the exact opposite of his 11 month older brother,  my Dad who was as un-laid back as they came).




Aunt Margene has one of the best grandma names ever (at least in my book)… “Ma-Marge”. Call me crazy, but I already have my grandma name picked out… Memaw. And no, I’m not kidding.






Sassy knows how to whip together a little table food fo’ sure.






Like mother, like daughter.




Baby Adah