Monday, November 9, 2015

I Believe

I believe.

Those two words are so simple, yet so profound. Those two words are life changing, life saving, and life giving. Without those two words, my life would probably look much, MUCH different than it does now. Those two words are my daily compass, my gut check, my end all, be all and my promise that no matter what happens today, tomorrow or decades down the line, I am spoken for, I am loved, I am held and I am His.

Heavy. Heavy is the one word that I would use to describe how I feel lately. My heart is heavy. My mind is heavy. My chest just feels...heavy.

Over the past six months, I've watched someone I love tremendously battle a serious illness and there was such a feeling of helplessness. I've watched a dear friend struggle through the even more serious illness of her precious child, all while trying to sort through and navigate through a very real and altered "normal". I've given my all through my work and found myself tossing through sleepless nights wondering if it'd be enough. If I was enough. And most recently, I've found myself sitting next to hundreds of coworkers, waiting to see if our positions will survive the budget crisis facing Illinois. Some of us will not have jobs at the end of this month, regardless of how much our employers wish they could keep us. Heavy. That one word is ever present for me and so many others right now.

As I stood in church yesterday, a wave of emotions flooded over me. It was heavy, but it was also LIGHT. For the first time in weeks, I felt as though I couldn't breathe, not because of the heaviness, but because of the lightness. Everything that I had been carrying was caught in my chest, and for the first time in awhile, there was hope and there was promise. There were two small yet HUGE words that delivered so much. I believe.

In those moments as we sang out to God, I was reminded how much I take for granted my belief and what that truly means. I DO believe in God our Father. I DO believe in Christ the Son. I DO believe in the Holy Spirit, Our God is three in one. I DO believe in the resurrection, that we will rise again, for I believe in the name of Jesus.

It is because of these beliefs, that although I may feel heavy, I do not need to allow that to consume me for I'm not alone in these matters. The God, the Father who I believe in is with me and always has been. I am held. I am loved. I was fought for for an insurmountable price. In Him, there is a rise after every fall. There is redemption following our failures. There are great wins following our loses, and there is always, always hope. I just need to remember to believe. And not just to believe inwardly, but to declare it. To sing it. To stand shoulder to shoulder with others who believe with me. And to repeat it. And repeat it again.

I hope to remind myself every single day, no matter what lies ahead, that there is freedom and LIGHTNESS and hope in the declaration of my beliefs and in the name of Jesus. No other two words carry as much weight, do they? They are the perfect type of heavy.

Monday, November 2, 2015

A Spooktacular Halloween

Who goes there???

Have I mentioned how much I love Halloween? From the candy to the festivities to any excuse to dress up and decorate my home, it all just makes me oh so happy. I hope our Munchie grows to love it as much as I do, because this momma will be dressing up for a long, long time. Embrace it or be embarrassed by it. The choice is yours, kid.

With us being in New York last year for the Hubs' NY City Marathon, we missed our first Halloween in our new neighborhood which meant this year I sort of guesstimated on how many kiddos we'd get. I knew there were a lot of kids in our area, but how many, well, apparently I had zero clue.

Armed and ready with "tons" of candy (or so I thought), Little Debbie Halloween cakes, glow bracelets and small rubber duckies for the littlest of ghosts and goblins, I was READY. For approximately the first 30 minutes. When my neighbor said they've gotten between 200-300 kids in 2.5 hours, I laughed. He was not kidding.

After taking our un-cowardly lion to a few houses, I hopped in the car and ran to buy 8 more big bags of candy, which was still not enough. If you came to our house in the last 30 minutes of trick or treating, my sincerest apologies. I hope you enjoyed your gluten free crackers, Mardi Gras beads, and anything else I could rummage from our pantry. I was one knock on the door away from handing out, K-cups, y'all.

Next year. Next year I'll be ready and we will dominate this holiday like the Halloween bosses we are. There will be mounds of candy, cakes and non-food treats. We've got this.

And although I've already started to brainstorm costume options for 2016, I have to give a shout out to the Hubs who didn't fight me on throwing on a scarecrow costume so we could escort our little lion to the neighbors' homes and then to a party later that night. He's a good sport and that lion of ours, he loved handing out candy and roaring at the kids at our door.  And I loved having our families over for chili, cornbread and pumpkin bars. Is there a better way to spend a cold, rainy Halloween night? I do not believe so.

I hope you all had an amazing evening of costumes, candy and creating memories together!

 Welcome to our home. Knock if you dare.
Happy Halloween from the Oz crew!

This little lion has my heart.

That tail though.
"Roaring" at the treaters with grandma.

Off to see the wizard!
How could I pass up this shirt?
No truer words.
Until next year...



Friday, October 30, 2015

Boo, Y'all!

It's been way too long and I promise to be much better about my radio silence as we move forward, my friends! The last few months were a whirlwind and time was of the essence on almost everything in my life, or so it seemed, which meant no blogging for this momma.

But, things are a slowin' down, so I'm bbbbaaaacccckkkkkkk.

And because it's the Eve of Halloween, I thought I'd break the silence with a little walk down memory lane of Halloween's past. Enjoy!

Why not squeeze ourselves into toddler costumes?!

Halloween circa 2011 with my cadets.
I always loved making Halloween special for them if they had to spend it with me at work.

Rachel Zoe, CSI detective, Super Woman and a bat!

This costume doesn't quite make sense without being able to see me next to my date, but that year I went as Katie Holmes and my date was Tom Cruise from Risky Business.
It turned out to be a pretty fun combo.

Obligatory haunted house photo.

The cutest little hotdog I ever did see. 

One of my all-time favorite costumes thus far, Gnomes.
I'm pretty sure we'll circulate this one back through the rotation at some point.
Act surprise when we do, would ya please?
What are you going to be this year?
Happy Halloween, friends!!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Friday High Fives

I'm baaaacccccckkkkkkkkk.

It's been a LONG time, my friends. I've missed you fiercely.

Due to massive amounts of cogs and gears all moving at the same time in every direction in my life over the last few months a hiatus seemed inevitable. That being said, I figured I'd ease back in to this ole blog of mine with an easy post. So without further ado...

Friday High Fives go out to:
  • A gorgeous weekend with NOTHING on the agenda. Not a DANG thang, y'all. We're gonna wake up when we wake up. We're gonna eat what we want, when we want it. We're gonna do us. You do you, we'll do us. All weekend long. And that my friends, smells a bit like freedom.
  • A trip to either the farmer's market or the county fair tomorrow. Not totally sure which one yet, but there will be local, outdoor fun had by the Freiberg Three.
  • Fun new kicks with bling. Sometimes you just want your feet to get a little bedazzled action.

  • Knowing that Nash's BFF, Travers is being celebrated this weekend in SC as he turns ONE. Happy early Bday, buddy! We hate we can't be there to hug you and toast your parents, but you'll be on our hearts this weekend for sure. *Here's the little duo when they were 5 months old. They'll be reunited in October and I can't wait!

  • A lunch date today with my dad. No matter how old you get, your dad is just good for your soul. Especially when cheese fries are involved.

  • A random chance to visit the hospital where Nash's journey began on his actual birthday. We had a family member there, so we took the opportunity to recreate the last photo we ever took of me before I entered those doors to meet our man. It's crazy how times flies and what losing 50lbs does. Yep, I just admitted that I gained 50lbs whilst growing a human. It wasn't pretty. Everything on my body touched each other, which is super fun in the heat of August.

  • Bachelor in Paradise. I know, I know. It's crap TV, but it's entertaining crap.

  • Watching Nash relish in the aftermath of his first Bday party that is toy chaos to the enth degree. Can you spot the baby in this photo? I promise he's in there enjoying his new toys.

  • Seeing so many of friends last Saturday, many of whom we see 1-2 times a year now that we live in different states. The Jim Olson Memorial Golf Tournament is always a great day to catch up with old friends, watch everyone's babies grow and celebrate the life of our friends' dad who left way too early.
Happy Friday, y'all!

    Friday, June 19, 2015

    Life Lately

    If you've wondered why I've been on the quiet side lately, I'm about to show you. To say that I am beyond exhausted is an understatement. Simply Vintage has done two large markets in a month span and we're plum tired, y'all.

    With every show that we do, the work that leads up to the event can become overwhelming quickly. There are late nights, early mornings, 14 days in a row spent in my "workshop", nights where I don't get to put my little man to bed because I'm covered in paint and dust, etc... AND the work doesn't start when the show prep starts. That's actually the tail end of the work. I give you exhibit A:


    Seriously. No truer words. There is so much that goes into this hobby of mine and of so many. We hunt, buy, haul, clean (cobwebs come along with the territory), fix, refinish, haul again. And repeat. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I love this hobby, or at least I do on 90% of the days. Don't ask me that question on set-up day.

    Our first show was The Pec Thing in Pecatonica, IL. This was my first time in the 20+ years of being a Pec Thing shopper that I was on the other side of the booth. It was so much work and sadly the weather just was not havin' it. We dealt with rain, ruined inventory, 2 inch deep mud, high winds that started pulling our staked tent out of the ground, etc... We finally waved the white flag and tore down 5 hours early on the second day. It just wasn't worth the risk of inventory loss or far worse, impaling someone with our tent should it turn into a kite. There were 9,800 shoppers who came through the gates on Saturday, but when the road your booth is on is 2 inches deep of mud, about 500 of the 9,800 shoppers brave your aisle. Just sad.

    Mud and I were pretty much inseparable that weekend. Gross!

    Our second show, and much more important show, was The Main Street Market hosted by the talented Urban FramGirl. Think 120+ vendors traveling in from all over the Midwest to create one of the prettiest, vintage shows I've seen. These people are the real deal and make me feel like a vintage chump. I still give it my all and try to hold my own, but I'm always in awe of everyone else's work.

    With this being the 2nd annual Main Street Market and our 2nd time participating as well, I was thrilled with the results. We received so many compliments and for hours we were constantly ringing someone up. The traffic was great, the sales were steady and we met some really cool vendors who share our love of all things unloved, forgotten, dusty, rusty but full of promise. It's not for everyone, but if its for you, this event is your jam, I promise!

    Here's a peek at Simply Vintage's booth...


     Phew, I'm tried just looking at everything again.
    Thank God I have at least a month to prep for the next one!

    Thursday, June 18, 2015

    Praying for Charleston

    I am 1,000 miles away from my beloved city, but my heart, my heart is right there. Smack dab in the midst of the chaos. There is not one single mile between my head, my heart and Charleston and its amazing people. I may physically be in Illinois, but I stand with you today, Charleston. Since I heard the news last night, my mind has not left your side.

    I will never understand why awful things happen in this world. I will never understand pure and unbridled hatred and anger. Today and last night make zero sense to my rational brain. How do you make sense of an irrational hatred? An irrational response to one's hatred? And the senseless and irrational act of pure evil inflicted on innocent people? You cannot.

    As I sit here, surrounded by people who may not have even heard the news or may just view it as one more sad and shocking headline, it's nearly impossible to fight tears of sadness, fear, and despair. My heart is broken for the eleven people that were part of that bible study. Although nine of them were taken suddenly and violently, we cannot forget the two that remain. Their lives, minds and hearts will be forever changed. How could they not live in fear from this day forward? How can they not replay what they saw over and over again in their already grieving minds? And how can the families and friends of the nine find answers or peace in a situation where there will most likely never be any answers? It's beyond devastating.

    Will you join me in praying for Charleston, our people, and the loved ones desperately missing their family members and friends today? Will you pray for the authorities who are working around the clock to find the man, Dylann, who brought such evil and suffering to our community? Will you keep them safe and energized in your minds? Will you pray that no one else is harmed as the shooter hides out and shirks away from the consequences of his horrific actions? Will you pray he is found so justice can be served and the terror can lessen? Finding him will never undo what he did, but it will stop the panic that people feel with him on the loose.

    Will you pray that somehow, some way, peace will fall on Charleston? And that this act unites a community versus divides?

    God is bigger than this and He is in the midst of this. He cannot undo what has been done, but He can be a refuge in the most tragic and darkest of times. He stands with you too, Charleston, and I know His heart hurts a million times more than ours combined. He is with you. You are not alone. Nor were the eleven  who were attacked. I pray He held them close in those moments.

    I love you all and I am there with you in prayer, heart and mind. I am so, so sorry. No one deserves this. No one.

    Thursday, June 11, 2015

    Surrendering Control

    As you can probably tell by my lack of consistent posts lately, I've been struggling a little with what to write. Well today, as I perused my two favorite blogs, Katie of spoke right to my heart. And because just maybe she'll also speak right to your's, I thought I'd share her words. They are wise, honest and needed.

    Do you ever feel like you're floundering? Or stuck? Or both? Well, that's been the name of my game lately and I'm about to wave the white flag. It is 100% apparent that I have zero control over certain areas of my life, so trying to control them is like herding cats. Pointless, I tell you, and the energy it requires can be all consuming.

    But, God, HE is always in control. He knows the outcome of every situation before it's even a blip on my radar. He knows how everything will play out and pan out. He knows the triumphs and victories that may lay around the corner, and He always knows what heartache lay beyond the horizon as well. The good news is that He is prepared for both. Prepared to redeem, prepared to restore and prepared to redirect when needed. He's prepared. I am not. BUT, I AM with Him. If I simply surrender.

    Tuesday, June 2, 2015

    When I Grow Up

    Today I'm linking up with Andrea over at as we share what we wanted to be when we grew up. Wait, I have to grow up? Says who?

    A Garbage Man (or Lady)
    From an early age, I was a slacker knew that I wanted to have a career but I didn't want to have to work five days a week with only two days to do whatever I wanted. Seeing as how our garbage man only came by our house on Mondays, I declared to my family and first grad class that I was going to be a garbage man when I grew up. Only work on Mondays? Done and done.

    A Veterinarian
    It's no secret that I love animals, sometimes even more than I love some people. So it only made sense to be a Vet when I grew up. And with my great uncle owning his own veterinary hospital, I thought everything was meant to be. That was until he let me observe a hysterectomy on a sweet, little pup. And that friends, is how you squash a dream. I knew in that moment that my passion was to love on animals, not to cut them open or have to tell their owners that it was time to let them go. Onward and upward!
    A Marine Biologist
    Around eight grade on into about my tenth grade year, I thought for sure I wanted to a marine biologist. I'd buy orca whale VHS tapes and t-shirts from Natural Wonders and just loved all that the ocean had to offer. Fast forward to a vacation where I was swarmed by a school of stingrays on Folly Beach, SC. Umm, no thanks. I spent the next 7 years only going about knee deep in the ocean due to crippling fear of what lay beneath. And I'm no marine biologist, BUT I do believe that one must be willing to get in the ocean to be able to study said ocean. Sigh.

    Disney on Ice Skater and Coach
    After being a competitive figure skater for fifteen years, I knew in my heart that I wanted to tour with Disney on Ice after graduation high school, and then spend my adult life as a skating coach. After audtioning for Disney and receiving word that I had been accepted, my parents told me that I had to attend college first and then I could tour. I'm pleased to report  that I did in fact graduate from college (proof in the photo below). I'm saddened to report I never did tour, BUT I did try my hand at coaching. I loved it, but it didn't pay the bills. Next, please.

    With a a B.S. degree in Health Promotion and Corporate Wellness, what does one do? Well duh, you go into fundraising for a military college. And just like that, I found myself in the non-profit world and have been there for over 15 years. I love what I do and I love knowing that my efforts help make education affordable for students regardless of income or circumstance. And I've been blessed to work with awesome students and cadets over the past 15 years who have made fundraising a fun career and not just a job. (Halloween staff photo with my cadets below)

    I also had the privilege of being a college cheerleading coach for The Citadel for seven years in the 2000's, alongside of two of my BFF's.

    And now I have the best job in the world, on top of still being a Director of Development for a college...

    I get to be a...
    Mom to Nash
    Wife to Tim

    Somehow I landed these sweet gigs regardless of previous experience or qualifications. They both gave me a shot at the job and I spend every day trying to be a better wife and mom than I was the day before. Sometimes I nail it. Sometimes I fail miserably, but I have yet to be fired. Thankfully. I love this job the most. 

    What did you want to be when you grew up?