Stumbles make you stronger

Imagine yourself back at 12 again, having some of the best years of your life. Until it’s just gone. You lost your world, moved, started a new school, someone new in the “dad-role”, new sister. All within a span of about a year. New everything. It all started with my dad and that was enough to ruin a person but he wasn’t the only thing I was having to take on.

Within months of my dad’s death my grandpa fell off a ladder taking down Christmas lights and could’ve been really hurt and my grandma was involved in a near fatal car accident resulting in a broken neck. I’m just lucky I didn’t lose them too.

Every time I thought I was handling everything ok again something like my grandpa falling would happen. I’d just get to the point of picking myself back up and get pushed right back down. Sometimes it seems the only way to deal with it is just lay there and wait for the dust to settle.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen that way because while you lie there life keeps going on around you. I got picked up in the prime of my life and thrown down and hard. I tried to get up so many times until I just wanted to give up. I wanted it all to go away. All the sadness and grief. All the pain.

Now that was part of an old journal, from 2014. At that point, everything was so fresh and I can remember exactly how I felt. Sometimes I still have a lingering feeling, honestly, I’m not sure if it ever truly goes away.  However, I can see that eventually, I got to a mindset and spot in life where I can stand strong through these things.

I have setbacks sure and I miss my dad every single day. I don’t let these define who I am or my life though. It used to take me literally months to get over a little bump in the road. Now it could be as few as only days.

The thing is I had to fall and get up, fall and get up countless times to be able to stand where I am now. Every single fall has somehow formed me into how I am.

                                     “If you stumble, make it part of the dance.”

There is not a single person on Earth that can coast through life without stumbling or having the feeling of wanting to give up. I don’t care who it is everyone has their own struggles at least once in life. The trick is to just make it part of your past, not your future.

There were times I wanted to give up and just stay holed up in my room. Then I realized my dad didn’t want that for me. Every fall makes you stronger and more confident just like riding a bike. Just get back on and keep riding. He’d tell me some smart remark about being a girl and to just get back up.

I believe I’m in a very good spot in life and like to believe I’ve accomplished a lot and have come quite a ways. However, with that being said I still have my days. I still have certain things I struggle with.

For instance, it’s fall now and hunting seasons are kicking in hardcore. It’s a really hard time of year for me because it was where my dad shined. He never missed an opening day and never ceased to get his family involved.

A lot of times when I’m up in my treestand it turns into a therapy session. Tears flow and I talk to God. Thet thing is when the deer aren’t moving I get bored and get thinking I am my own problem nonetheless it’s a roadblock. Every. Single. Year.

Point is yes I’ve made progress in my journey. But it doesn’t stop here. I’m still growing, and it’s ok to stumble and fall. It’s a fact of life and will follow you through. I know that if I continue to stumble and fall I will continue to grow and become stronger. It never stops. Plus those times of struggle are just more things God can use you for.



Be Happy. Be Beautiful. Be You.

The world these days is so condescending to people just being themselves. From the time we are little kids T.V., social media, and celebrities, are all constantly telling us how we are “supposed” to look or how we are “supposed” to act.

Fortunately, I grew up in a household that tends to not fall into stereotypes all that much. Before my dad died it was just him with 5 other girls. Now, don’t get me wrong we enjoyed playing house with our dolls, but we also enjoyed hunting and fishing with our dad. Every single one of us hunts and have since we were itty bitty. In fact, my littlest sister was at her first bear tree at 3 days old.

Because of the fact that I hunt and fish it sets me apart from most of the female population. However, I don’t see that as a bad thing. Everyone has something that sets them apart. Mine happens to be my hobbies. Some people it’s their gifts or talents.

I also face life with a very strong faith in God. Which causes huge controversies now. But, when someone realizes that my God and faith are the reason I am different sometimes they want the same thing. When my dad died people who came to us or other people we know noticed that my dad was different noticed that we all seemed in way better shape than we should. It brought people to God.

I’m not a teenager that parties, or drinks, or smokes. I don’t sneak out or blow curfew. I’m responsible for my actions and deal with my consequences when I do make bad decisions. I’m not in any way trying to make myself sound superior to anyone else, but I’m giving credit to my God. That’s why I don’t do those things. It’s part of my beliefs and morals.

So yeah I get a lot of the “goody two shoes” stuff. But I’d rather hang out at home or with my boyfriend chilling than partying on a Friday night. For a 17-year-old, I’m very mild and to most boring. I hold myself to a high standard across the board and know I have to ability to accomplish whatever I set my mind to. It all comes back to my integrity. I know that on the weekends when others are partying I’ll be the girl studying or in bed for work/school the next day.

I don’t have a single problem standing out with my lifestyle or religion. I know God made me exactly how I was supposed to be. Yeah, it’s lonely sometimes, but I have friends and family who accept me as I am.

Yesterday I applied for a clothing company as a junior staff that is encouraging and promoting women in the outdoors. Whether it be camping, hunting, fishing, or hiking. I cannot wait to hopefully become part of the team because I know there are girls all over feeling alone that hunt and fish.

I stick out due to my hobbies, religion, morals, etc…You may stick out for your height, weight, hair color, whatever it may be, makes you who you are. Every inch, every hair, every freckle. God so carefully sculpted you into someone who has imperfections but has so many other things to outweigh them.

Everyone has insecurities about themselves it’s only natural. But that can’t stop you from still be amazing. Just in your own way. Whatever works for you really. Ya know I wish I was shorter a lot but I can’t change that. I can only be there to reach stuff on the top shelf for people, namely my grandma Eva a lot;)

As you get older you realize these little things don’t matter anymore. It hits you that nobody’s opinion matters. Someday you’ll find that guy/girl who thinks you’re perfect in all your imperfections. That will love you for all your little odd ball things or crazy habits. And that day that will be all that matters.

You are in charge of being you and no one else. Take pride in who you are and who you will be. It’s time to take negativity out. Turn T.V. off, stop following celebrities, and just be you. Do what you love and be your own kind of beautiful. IMG_5417.JPG

“You can sleep when you’re dead”-Chad Searfoss


“Some day I hope you get the chance to live like you were dyin” -Tim McGraw

I am currently 17 years old and trying to figure out the rest of my life, the age where death is the farthest thing from my mind. However, the brutal reality is my chances of making it till tomorrow are as good as a woman 5 times my age on her death bed. I could even die before her. Who knows I could not even finish this post.

The thing that scares me isn’t the dying part, I’m afraid of not making my life everything I possibly could. Of not living life to the fullest until my absolute last breath, not creating a name for myself. I don’t want to just come to Earth to go through the motions. Be born, live, and die. I want to make my mark and leave something to be proud of.

Up until 5 years ago I lived my life and knew we weren’t guaranteed one second to the next but nothing like after my dad died. Nobody saw it coming, He was a healthy, young, hard-working, and still had so much more life to live. I got slapped in the face with reality; I wasn’t guaranteed any more time that the person next to me.

My dad always lived life to the fullest, Doing what he wanted and loved not what anyone else thought he should do. Following his dreams, and really making the best of the little time he had.

I remember when I was little my dad would tell people  “you can sleep when you’re dead”. I laughed it off. However, now that I look back on it I take it at a different angle. It has so much more meaning. Don’t waste your time sleeping when it could be the only time you have. Don’t sleep your life away, get up and make a name for yourself. Live like you are dying.

Some babies don’t get the chance. There are some who only live months, weeks, days, or even minutes after birth. Sady, some don’t even make it to birth. They don’t even get the chance, that could’ve been you. But it wasn’t in God’s plan for you. I had a little brother or sister who didn’t get to see this world. Yet I complain about this that and the other thing. But I’m alive! With a family who has so much love to give.

I’ve had some rough times, but overall my 17 years have been good to me and getting better. I’m here, alive, and breathing. I have a roof over my head, clothes on my back, food on the table, and friends and family who love me.

Some people would give anything to live the life I’ve been given. There are people wondering if they’ll make it to bed one more time or tell their family they love them. People who fight for their lives every day. Here I have healthy life handed to me on a silver plate.

I’ve taken this to heart since my dad died. I’ve made one significant huge risk 11 months ago and it was the best one I’ve ever made. He has become the best thing that’s ever happened to me. My best friend and future. But that’s because I decided to live a little, take a chance. Which is the complete opposite of me normally.

Take those chances, be spontaneous, live your life, make a name; all before it’s too late. I chose a little risk and got a huge reward. Don’t regret the chances you didn’t take. In the end, they will be what you think in those last moments. Fill your life with memories; I know in those moments I’ll want to reflect on what I did do not what I didn’t do.


Sometimes a girl just needs her dad

Today was one of those days where I look back and it was a huge reality check. See today was my last first day of high school a huge milestone and the start of my senior year. I’m so excited and ready to take on the next step in my life. I know exactly what I want to do as well as where and how I’ll do it.

However, a little part of me is heartbroken. Although I’m ecstatic and have been waiting for this day for about 4 years now realization comes that in 270 days I’ll be graduating high school. This is like one of the most important things that’ll ever happen in my life. Just like everything else in the last almost 5 years my dad is going to miss it.

IMG_6028.PNGHe won’t be there when I look out into the crowd to see my family all supporting me and cheering me on. Sure I’ll be thankful for who is there, but I won’t be able to stop myself from looking for the faces not there as well. Needless to say, it’ll be a bittersweet and super emotional day.

In the last 5 years I’ve needed my dad a lot. Whether it be for gutting my first deer to giving me advice to become a better welder I would’ve soaked it up. He taught me everything I know, but I also had so much more to learn.

Some days I just want him to be here. Nothing more nothing less just simply be here and in my presence. To get to hear that goofy laugh of his again or see those baby blue eyes.  To get to see his face in 270 days when I walk across that stage.

A bond between a daddy and daughter is like none other. He becomes a protector, role model, teacher, shoulder to cry on. Dad’s are there to teach you how to ride a bike, kiss the boo-boo, wipe away the tears, and help you get right back on when you fall off. In my case he’s there to meet your date at the door. Or walk me down the aisle to someone who will never be good enough in his eyes.

I won’t ever get some of these things though. I had only 12 precious years with an amazing man as my father. Those 12 years were filled with little tears, and lots of memories. IMG_6480

When my grandma died he was by my side in an instant; when I broke my wrist he stayed with me in the hospital. No matter what he was there. We had a bond many aren’t fortunate enough to have. There are countless times I’m faced with the question of “how would my dad do it” or “how did he show me how to do it”.

I’d give anything to have more time with my dad, to have him at my graduation or walk me down the aisle. Anything. But it’s not possible. There are days I need my dad, but can’t have him anymore. Now I rely on him in my heart and the memories he left me with.

Don’t forget to need your dad, or really any one special to you, while they are still here. My dad’s death was such a shocking freak accident it really puts into perspective that you don’t know when someone’s last day is. You’ll never be too old to need your parents, grandparents, aunt, uncles, etc.

Enjoy the time you do have and don’t take it for granted. Truth is nobody is getting any younger. You don’t realize how much you need someone or something until it’s gone. Don’t let that be you. Enjoy the time now before you can’t appreciate the time you had. I had 12 amazing years with my dad, in all honesty I almost lost him at a mere 3 months old. Yet God allowed him to raise him family and time to get to know him. Time to create such a relationship that pushes me through everyday. Build that with someone before tomorrow isn’t an option.



He was my first love and he was the first to fall in love with me ❤ my hero, my best friend, my daddy ❤



You can only disappoint yourself

From the time I was old enough to walk my dad had me out in the woods with him whether it was hunting, fishing, or getting ready to either one of them. It helped us create such an inseparable bond.

With that being said, after he died I wasn’t really sure what to do. Even though I had been doing it all my life at only 12 I still had so much to learn. Now my teacher is gone. I have others who help me out and who I can watch.

That’s just not the same tho, I’m used to having someone by my side. So now that there isn’t anyone I’m trying to figure stuff out on my own. How I want to go about things in my own way.

Last year I didn’t get out in my stand much at all. My sister always holds that against me. Or that I don’t hunt at all anymore. Blah, blah, blah is all I hear, because I don’t need her approval of what I do.

Sure I didn’t get out much but I went when I wanted honestly. It’s like it’s a dis on me because I used to hunt with my dad so much.

When she first started mentioning it, it kind of made me upset. Like I wasn’t doing something right or that I was disappointing my dad. I soon realized that couldn’t be more wrong.

I’ve decided to let her smart remarks and comments just go in one ear and out the other because I don’t have time for that kind of negativity in my life. I know that no matter what I do my dad would be proud of me.

Just because I wasn’t in my tree stand every single night doesn’t mean anything so what, neither was he. And there is absolutely no problem in that, there’s no rule book to hunting.

The thing is if you feel like you’re not doing something good enough or are a disappointment remember that you can never disappoint the ones who truly love you and are there for you. Life doesn’t come with a cheat sheet on how to go about it. Everyone has their own “best” way.

So don’t ever feel like you’re a failure comparing yourself to someone else or even a version of yourself. Everyone has their own path to find. A lot of people will struggle, but if you believe you are doing the best you can nothing else matters.

I had a very hard time trying to compare myself to what I thought my dad would be proud of. Truth is it’s just who I am now, who I’m striving to be. He would be proud no matter what whether I hunt or not. Obviously it’s a huge part of me so I will, but that’s not the point.

My point is my dad would’ve supported me through anything and was always beaming in pride about all his girls. Days in a tree stand don’t compare to what I’ve accomplished or whats yet to be accomplished. I decided I am not a disappointment to my dad, nor will I ever be.

Don’t give up or let anyone tell you you’re doing it wrong. Only you can decide that.



Changing lives one word at a time

Having my own blog has been my dream for years. Since I started my journals I knew I wanted to share with everyone, I wanted to inspire others. I always remember feeling alone and not knowing where to turn. I want to be able to help people when they feel alone like I did.

Everybody’s situation is different whether it be a death in the family, a divorce, a fire, a flood, or a multitude of other things. At some point in life, unfortunately, everyone will face hardship.

My main hardship was the death of my dad at age 12. I didn’t ever think I’d become a happy, functioning human being again. It was hard and I faced challenges everyday I even still do sometimes.

Time moved on and my mom remarried, we moved, I moved schools, it was a lot. Then other family members seemed to be dropping like flies around me. Within 5 years I’ve lost 5 people. It just seems to never end.

I started my journals as a little small town, heartbroken 8th grader. Now I’m a senior in highschool, still live in a small town but my heart is being mended back together. I’ve been through a lot, more than I would’ve picked if I had the choice, but I’m in a good spot in life.

It took 5 years to get to the point I’m at and I’m nowhere near done. God took me, a little 12-year-old girl from the tiny town of Gladwin, Mi, and gave me a story. I never had anything life-changing or exciting to share. I grew up in a Christian home, attended church, AWANA, and youth group. I didn’t have any remarkable coming to Christ, I just did it.

On December 13, 2012, that all changed and God decided he needed my dad back and that he could use me as well. I soon found my love for writing and others found that I had a gift. It took something life altering to find it, but I know I can always write my way out of moods and feelings.

I want to make someone’s life better. When someone reads my blog I want someone to leave the page thinking “It’s ok to cry, but don’t forget to smile”, “There is still hope. it’s not too late” or ” I want the God she has”.  I want to use my writing to give people their smile and life back.

I fell into a dark path for about a year or so. Sadly, that also caused me to lose God. Even though I wasn’t on best terms with Him he still took care of me. These journals, God, and a few loved ones are the only reasons why I’m where I am today.

If you’re going through a hard time have hope that it will end. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but peace will come again. Cling to God and your faith, they will stand by you and pull you through. One day you’ll find yourself with a smile on your face and you’ll be enjoying life once again.

Maybe your story will be used to inspire others and change the world. Anything is possible with God. There will be times you want to just give up. Don’t. Every mountain big or small is tough, but once you get to the top you’ll never want to look back only forward. You’ll be able to stand tall and proud, ready to take on anything. I know I am.