Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Sometimes, people you love and that love you, hurt you.  That's a reality of life.  Yet, it is our human nature to protect ourselves from ever being hurt again by holding a grudge against the person who hurt us.  It's not that we want to be bitter, angry people.  It's that we don't want to be hurt.  And by being vulnerable, trusting, . . . forgiving . . . we open ourselves up to further hurt. 

Why am I saying all of that?  It's because I have recently learned a very valuable lesson about bitterness and about forgivenss.

Recently, my family was hurt by someone, a hurt so deep that the bitterness from it consumed me.  Not only that, my bitterness affected my youngest son who had also been hurt.  It's as though my bitterness gave him permission to be bitter as well.
One day, a sweet, precious friend told me that I needed to be on my knees and to ask the Lord to set me free because the bitterenss was consuming me. That afternoon, I got down and begged the Lord to set me free and deliver me from my anger, bitterness, and resentment. The Lord saw my heart and knew I was crying out for His help.  I could not do this without Him.
Then I went downstairs to find my youngest son (who was home from school that day) so we could talk about what God was teaching me.  We talked about my bitterness and also about his bitterness.  We both asked the Lord to forgive us and to set us free from these feelings that were controlling our lives.
As I stand (ok sit) here today, I can tell you that the Lord lifted a weight from both of us that day. We are free from the weight of unforgiveness, and it feels amazing! There is a weight, a heaviness in your spirit that comes from holding a grudge, from being bitter.  I heard it said once that bitterness is like swallowing a poison and waiting for the other person to die.  So true.
I realized that by holding onto my resentment and bitterness towards the person who had hurt my family, my youngest son was following exactly what he saw me doing.  I was bitter and unforgiving, therefore he was bitter and unforgiving. (Great mom award, right? NOT!) The bitterness that was eating me alive was also eating him alive.
So, I am here to tell you, from personal experience, you will be wronged in your lifetime.  Someone is going to hurt you.  And when it happens, and it will happen, you have two choices; forgive or hold onto the hurt and anger.   
But I have learned this; when we hold onto the hurt and anger, it eats us alive, inside and out. It physically hurts our bodies.  And, if that's not enough, it also ages us on the outside too, YIKES!  And with all we, I do to try to stay looking younger,  (ok, I am vain, I admit) why would we age ourselves and live in bitterness and anger?  We lose!
It's good to be free, and forgiven.  And it's a great anti-aging RX!
From my side of the fence, I must constantly realize that Jesus offers me forgiveness every single day, many times a day. How can I do any less?

Friday, October 26, 2012


I knew when I started this blog, that I would someday write about my brother, David.  Losing a sibling is the hardest thing I have ever been through in my life, and has shaped me in such significant ways, that I knew I would have to share his story.

David was my little brother, and I use the word "little" only because he was younger than me.  In size, he was a 6'3" 250lb, overgrown teddy bear with a heart of gold; certainly not "little" by any stretch of the imagination!

David and I in High School
Of four siblings, David and I were the closest in age, so we grew up together playing outside, riding four wheelers, dirt bikes, and go-carts, doing chores, fighting as only brothers and sisters can, and sharing our lives.   He and I were best friends growing up, even going on double dates together when we were older.

David loved life to the fullest, and he loved people.  He would share anything he had with anyone, and I do mean anyone!  If you did not know David, and he did not know you, and you approached him and told him you needed something, anything; if he had it, he would give it to you.  He was just that kind of guy!


 Uncle David with D and A

On January 9, 2007, David came home from work early. (He was the General Manager of Southern Flooring and Interiors that my older brother owns.) He came in, kissed his wife, and said he was going out for a ride on his four wheeler with his buddies. His wife asked him to be home in 2 hours for dinner, but less than an hour later, a friend came to the house and told Erin she needed to come quickly.  An ambulance had been called and was on its way. 

David had wrecked his four wheeler.
The rest of my family was 45 minutes away, at a basketball game for our oldest son, D, when David's wife called us to say there had been an accident.  We found out on the way to the hospital that David had already was the hardest thing I have ever heard over the phone. I can remember hearing those words even today.  I know right where my car was and on which road, when my sister-in-law told me. 
David actually passed away the instant he wrecked; flipping his four wheeler and breaking his sternum, puncturing his aorta when he went over the front.

David left behind a wife of 10 years, a little boy who had just turned 3 and a little girl who was not even 2. In my opinion, and I have told God this many times, David left way too soon.  I wish I had been given even one more day to tell David how much I really loved and appreciated him, and how I love the memories of us growing up together.

I have cried and watched my parents and brothers cry until we have no tears left to cry. The pain of this has been the most intense I have ever experienced.

But five years later, I want you to know that although I do not always like what God allows to happen, I know He will use it all for HIS good.  (He promises this in Romans 8:28) We had the plan of salvation shared at David's funeral...and do you know 5 people were saved, and their lives were changed forever, for eternity! 

Remember I said David would do anything for anyone?  I think David would have said, "I will go through that again, for others to find Jesus."  He was that kind of man.

David is missed daily, and will always be missed. There is a hole in our family and a void at all family gatherings.  But the one thing that makes it better is knowing my little brother is perfect now; he does not struggle with life, with the economy, with the influences of this world.

He is perfect and rejoicing with HIS Savior whom he loves so much. David knew Jesus personally, and because of that, we will see him again someday.  He is waiting with my grandparents, in heaven. I love that picture.

From my side of the fence, I just want to say,
"I miss you, David.  And I love you."

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Afraid of a little dirt?

I am kind of a girly girl.  (Okay, that is a HUGE understatement!  I am a serious girly girl!)  I like pink.  I love anything Lilly (and if you don't know who and what Lilly Pulitzer is, we need to talk!)  I like love monograms.  I think EVERYTHING should be monogrammed, and I do mean everything, right down to your underwear! 
My close friends and husband and family, okay pretty much everyone, all call me a princess.  And I am totally okay with that.  In fact, I have a princess crown.  A fact that I am not even remotely embarrassed by, because a princess should  have a crown!
Now that I have laid the foundation, let me tell you what I did last weekend.  A MUD RUN and OBSTACLE COURSE!  (Yes, I have the pictures to prove it and the the bruises on my body!)
 Let me tell you how this came to be... a couple of years ago, some friends did a run called the "Warrior Dash." It's a muddy, fire jumping, overall dirty 5k. I told them no thanks, but thanks for the invite.  I mean, I like to run, but when it's all said and done, I just want to be sweaty, not muddy, ya know?
So, for the life of me, I have no idea what came over me, but in an obvious moment of weakness, I told a friend of mine that I would do this run called the Down and Dirty with her!  Had I lost my mind?  I mean, I'm not afraid of dirt, people . . . I just prefer to be fashionable and clean when I'm working out.  If I'm gonna get dirty, it'll be riding a 4 wheeler (and yes, I do that too!)
Anyway,as the date got closer, I was questioning my sanity, seriously.  But I would not back out with my friend. So, on the day of the run, I picked her up bright and early, and we headed to the race.  The more we saw as we passed the course, the more knots I got in my stomach, and the more it churned . . .mud pits? rock wall? slippery soap wall? hurdles?  OH MY!
Can I just say that when it was all said and done, I was so proud of us! I pushed myself through things I did not think I had the strength to accomplish!  I am glad I did this run with Steph, and when everyone thought this girlie girl would never do something like this (myself included) I did it!
Don't get me wrong, I have no plans to do this again anytime soon.  I will stick to my normal races.  Probably.  I think.  Until next year? 
From my side of the fence, I'm glad I took a risk and did something out of my comfort zone.  Let's see, what should I do next?  Maybe I'll  . . .

Monday, October 22, 2012


When I was young, there was this board game called Mystery Date.  I never played it because I was too little to understand what the game was about.   I not only understood very little about dating, but I certainly wouldn’t have grasped the idea that a “Mystery Date” would have been exciting. 

(Oh trust me, I totally understood dating later on . . . but that’s a whole other blog!)  In the game, you took the chance that you’d end up with a dream or a dud (horrid, I know, but true!)

Now that I’m older, I LOVE a good mystery.

So today, I’m going to throw a Mystery Thirty One party.  This party is complete with prizes and even has a mystery hostess who will walk away with ALL of the FREE Hostess gifts! 

Here’s the way it works:

Click on this link For the entire month of October, for every $31 you spend, you will get one of five items for HALF OFF! Here’s a special flyer for the sales items


AND,  no mystery is complete without a surprise ending,  so, every person who makes a purchase through my mystery party will be eligible to be the winning Mystery Hostess.  At the end of the party, I will draw a name from among all the people who played.  The winning name will be named the Mystery Hostess and that person will receive all of the Hostess Gifts (just like a real 31 home Party!)

From my side of the fence, this is going to be awesome!  There’s a game, a sale, a surprise ending, and oh what the heck . . . I’ll even throw in free shipping.  Don’t forget, you have to click this link, place your order by going to “Events” and selecting “Mystery Party.” 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Togetherness Makes a Mama Happy

There's nothing that makes this mama as happy as having all her boys together!  And this mama had a happy weekend!

It was a fast weekend with 10 hours of driving for 24 hours together, but so well worth it to hug our college boy's neck!

D is our oldest son, and he left for school, to a new college on August 15th.

We have not seen him in 73 days... But who's counting? :)

Oddly, though this is D's third year in college (where has the time gone?!) having him gone is just as hard as it was his first year away.  I so miss not being able to see him, hug him, and have him home.

Yes, I know I sound over protective, and yes, I know he has to grow up, but not just yet, ok?!

So Friday afternoon,  all 3 of us (Ray, our 12 year old, and I), packed up, jumped in the car, and headed to see D, 5 hours south. 

Five Hours.

But the time passed quickly because we were all so excited to see him.

He met us for dinner at Longhorns and when he walked through the door, I SWORE he had grown in the 73 days since we had last seen him.  I know his facial hair had! Ha!

We had a wonderful evening of dinner and then he took us to a local coffee shop he likes that is right on the water. It was a perfect evening!  Wait . . . did I just say he took us to a local coffee shop?

Yep.  You guessed it!  The only thing that could get our athletic, 6'7" boy to a coffee shop (and not always in the gym) is a girl! She is an athlete, smart, very cute, and oh yes, a Georgia girl! :)  We loved getting to meet you AP!

I hate saying good-bye after a fun 24 hours together, but I guess these college years are just a part of growing up.  And saying good-bye is part of the process.  Sigh.

D, thanks for showing us around your new college home. We can't wait until basketball season starts, and we get to come watch you play!!   We are so proud of you and we love you very much and still miss you as much as we did the first day you left your freshman year. (And yes, I know that's a run-on sentence, but I just really love my kid!)

From my side of the fence, togetherness makes a Mama happy.  Guess I'll just have to keep myself busy until next time.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I love the beautiful picture of adoption.  It's incredibly close to my heart because I was adopted.

the month they brought me home

My mom and dad already had a little boy, my older brother, but after his birth, they had 5 miscarriages and stillbirths. My mom was told they would never have another child, so to consider her son a blessing. That led mom and dad down the road to adoption, and to me.

As the story goes, (I have heard it 1000 times and still love hearing it) when my mom and dad got the call,  on October 4th, 19 . . . (let's not disclose the year, haha) , they were told that there was a baby girl they could come look at and see if they were interested in adopting. My dad's response to DFCS was exactly this, "Come look at her? See if she fits our family? That's our baby, and we are on our way to pick her up!" And pick me up they did.

They drove down to the foster agency where a little foster baby was waiting, and they took me home! They had to stop on the way home to get diapers, and food and clothes.  They were completely unprepared to be bringing a baby home, and they had nothing!

my dad and me!
The next day was my oldest brother's 5th birthday party and boy were my aunts, uncles, and grandparents surprised when they arrived for more than just a 5th birthday party! They got to hold the new baby girl (me!).  Mom has told me so many times that I was perfect;  I smiled and didn't cry at all, even with all these new faces! 

The best part of the story to me is this; Mom and Dad later went on to give birth to 2 more children, AFTER they adopted me.  I have 2 younger brothers! I love knowing that God had my parents picked out for me, and that HE knew I wouldn't be the last of their children.  It's so amazing to  me, too, how much I am like my family.  I am tall like my family, same coloring, eyes, etc!! God had it all planned out, He always does!

Adoption is also special to me because of our oldest son, D. I did give birth to D, but was divorced and a single mom by the time he was 18 months old. My amazing parents and brothers stepped right in and helped me raise him. I am blessed!

Then, when D was 3,  I met and eventually married the man of my dreams. And that man adored my son, and adopted him as his own.  And the crazy thing is, that D looks like  Ray (my husband)! He is athletic like him, has the same sense of humor as him, even wears the same size shoe (14!)

From my side of the fence, I love seeing God work in my family. He knew from the start who my parents would be and who my son's parents would be... And even down to shoe size, God made things match.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Week With a Princess

As the mother of two boys, there is one thing that this pink loving, self-proclaimed, girlie-girl princess missed out on . . . the fun of having a little girl!

Well in the "be-careful-what-you-wish-for" world, I got to spend a full 5 days with my cousin's daughter last week!  And oh what a week it was!  I'm laughing to myself just thinking about some of the things we did.

First, you have to picture this sweet little princess . . .

Long, curly blonde hair,

big blue eyes,

sweet round face,

and a darling little high-pitched voice

And, you should know that her parents (my cousins) have NEVER gone away, alone, without her, since the day of her birth THREE YEARS AGO!  Clearly they needed some alone time.  And they trusted us!  Wow.  What an honor!

I have to tell you,  I kind of expected a week of
playing dolls and dressing up like a princess.
Well, she might look like a princess,
but that little girl wanted to find the best place
to get dirty and play outside everyday.
This is the cutest picture I have of her!  I love it
because she's covered in dirt, but with a big pink bow in her hair and a sassy look on her face that only a three year old could get away with!

We rode four wheelers, played in the dirt,  and drew with sidewalk chalk (that stuff gets all over you!).  We played with rocks and trucks. That girl was all about rough and tumble, getting dirty, boy toys!
Not gonna lie, I was a little disappointed about that. But we still had so much fun.
OH, and lets not forget the Spiderman dress up costume that she LOVED! (yes, i added a pink bow to the top of "Spidey's head!)


And let me tell you, if you don't have toddlers, they are busy, little creatures!

My sons are much older now and don't need me as much (a fact that makes me very sad), so I might have forgotten how exhausting it can be to be needed all day long.  Between the potty training and the questions . . .  3 year olds ask a lot of questions . . . and the sudden urgent declarations of "I gotta go pee pee!" I was exhausted by bedtime every night!

One of the best parts of each day for me was night time (and not just because she was going to bed! HA!).  I loved it because after her bath, I would brush her hair (didn't get to do that with my boys!) and then rub her back while singing "Jesus Loves Me" as she fell asleep.

From my side of the fence, I think EVERY summer little "C" needs to come spend a week with us.  But next summer there WILL be some dress up and dolls, manicures and maybe even a trip to American Girl!

Monday, October 8, 2012


I don’t know how many of you have discovered Pinterest, but if you haven’t then your dishes are probably clean, your laundry is done, your ironing is finished (does anyone else still iron, or am I the only one who still does that?) and you aren’t just thinking about what to cook, you’re actually cooking.  I’m not kidding, Pinterest will just plain suck the hours out of a day if you let it!
Last week, I was wasting way too much time on Pinterest, and I decided that instead of just pinning things, I would actually cook something.

So, I made my first Pinterest recipe, and I'm pretty sure I'm the only person who liked them . . . (note to self – if you have never cooked a recipe before, perhaps you should not substitute ingredients the FIRST time you make it!) 

Perhaps if I had used almond milk instead of water, and regular oatmeal instead of steel cut oats, they might have tasted better . . .

Anyway, they were “okay” in my book, but I’m guessing the polite smiles (picture a smile, no teeth, lips pressed together in an awkward smile, saying “mmm hmmm.”) that I received from my husband and son would indicate THEY didn’t think they were so awesome! 

Here’s the recipe:

Breakfast Cookies

3 mashed bananas (ripe),

1/3 cup apple sauce,

2 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats,

1/4 cup skim milk,

1/2 cup raisins,

1 tsp vanilla,

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp sweetener.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients in a bowl really well. Let this mixture stand for at least 5 minutes to let the oats become good and hydrated. Heap the dough by teaspoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15-20

From my side of the fence, I think it's a perfectly healthy breakfast for me to have with a yummy cup of coffee tomorrow am!  And Ray and A. just don’t have to eat them!

Saturday, October 6, 2012


On June 30, 2010, my birthday to be exact, I decided to become a Thirty One Consultant.  It’s such a big part of who I am now and such a big part of how God is growing me to become the woman He wants me to be, that I have to tell you the story!  It’s a good story, so go grab you a brownie and a sweet tea and settle in.  Go ahead.  Go get it.  I’ll wait.

Okay, here’s the story.

I got some birthday money (yes, I still get birthday money!) and wanted to get in on this great deal where I could buy $300 worth of Thirty One products for only $99!  And one of the things you’ll learn quickly about me is that I LOVE a good deal! 

(Granted, sometimes my good deals are not so good.  Like this one time, I bought a purse off a stranger in a restaurant . . . Oh never mind, I’ll tell that story later.)

Anyway, back to Thirty One!

Fast forward to December of that same year, and a friend said, "Let’s do a vendor show at your house, you sell Thirty One, right?"

Ok . . . I am always up for a party, so I said “Yes.”   We did it, and I had no idea what I was doing, but ended up with $700 in sales!  SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS.  True Story.

I sort of piddled around with Thirty One, until one year after I made my famous “birthday money purchase,” when I was invited to attend the National Thirty One Conference.
It was a difficult decision for me . . .  Girl’s weekend, road trip, shopping . . . ummmm, yeah, not so hard.  Of course I went!
That was the weekend that changed my life, seriously.
I had been searching for something that I could call "mine" . . . not because I don't LOVE being a wife and mom, but as my boys have gotten older (one left for college in August 2010) I just kind of felt like I needed something else.

When I got home, I asked Ray if I could do it; jump in, full force, with both feet . . .

Still a little unsure, I prayed and said to God, “If this is what You want me to do, please send me my first recruit.” Within 24 hours, I got a call from a girl I go to church with (whom I did not know well at the time) that wanted to sell Thirty One! How is that for God answering prayers and sending messages to me?!
Here we are 15 months later, and my team, which I have named "31 Believers”, is now 35 ACTIVE Consultants strong! I love this company! I never thought I would be in direct sales; never thought I would be working like this...but God knew all along, and He knew I would LOVE it!

Here are just a few things I love:
·         I love showing people the super fun products.

·         I love that I get to share the business opportunity with other women.

·         I love how this company supports us in the field and how it gives back.

·         I love that I feel like I am making a difference in people's lives and in mine!

·         And most of all, I love that I know I’m doing what God wants me to do!

Plus, it’s pretty cool that every time I open a party, I get to talk about how the company got started; and I get to talk about Proverbs 31, and a little about my relationship with God.
From my side of the fence, I’m right where God wants me to be. 
(And as a bonus for my blog readers, if you want to check out Thirty One, I’m offering a Blonde Fences deal of free shipping in addition to the current monthly special! 
Just click on my website, go to “My Parties” and select “Blonde Fences.  Next week I’m going to host a mystery party and the “mystery hostess” is going to get all the hostess gifts!  So check back for that too!)

Thursday, October 4, 2012


I can’t imagine starting this blog without telling you how I met (and married) the man of my dreams.

It was another Sunday afternoon at the YMCA, watching all 3 of my brothers play basketball in a men's league they were on together.  I loved watching my brothers play, and it gave my sweet little 3 year old baby a chance to play with his cousins too!

But on THIS Sunday, they had picked up a new player.  He was tall . . .  6'7'' to be exact . . . and so incredibly hot, that I leaned over and asked my sister-in-law who the “hot guy” was. 

I loved that he seemed to be friends with all 3 of my brothers and wondered why I had never met him.

Turns out, he was a good friend of my oldest brother, so I asked my brother about him and his response to me was "No, you are not dating one of my friends, because if you break up, it will be awkward for me!’

Well, if you know me at all, you know I’m tenacious, and I don't give up easily!  (I looked up the word tenacious because I didn’t want to say I was stubborn!  HA!)

So you can bet I had my little self in those bleachers every Sunday after that until FINALLY,




he asked me out.  (That boy was sloooowwww)

I remember our first date like it was yesterday.  I was so nervous, looking out my office window (peeking out from behind the mini blinds, like a giddy high school girl).  When a white BMW 740 pulled up into my driveway, and a gorgeous 6 foot 7 inch hunk of man stepped out of that car, I think I stopped breathing for just a moment.

Three years later, we said “I do!”

He was and is everything I dreamed of (and not just the tall, dark and handsome part!)  He loves my family, my friends, and Jesus.  He loved my sweet baby boy, “D”, right from the start, and eventually adopted him as his own.

From my side of the fence, I think God saved this man for me.  He’s not perfect, but he’s perfect for me.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


I’m a blogger!  It’s official!  Which is a little funny considering my absolute WORST subject in school was English.  Of course, in my defense, it could be because I had an incredible crush on my 7th grade English teacher, and I spent way more time staring at him than I did listening to him!

But nonetheless, I’m a blogger! 

And I’m sure by now you have asked yourself why in the world I named my blog Blonde Fences.

Well, the blonde part should be obvious . . . hellooooo

But the fences part came from a conversation I was having with my friend, Carol Jones  (she’s a blogger too and writes a great blog about faith and family) and she told me that she thinks I’m such an adventurous person.

Which of course is totally true, and if you’ve ever driven through the streets of Atlanta with me, then you KNOW what she means!

Anyway, she said to me, “Cathy, you’re not like most people.  When something in life that is hard comes along, you don’t see a wall.  It’s not too big to climb over; it’s not too wide to go around.  You look at life like a big open field and you see the hard things in life as fences.  Instead of freaking out, you just climb through and keep on going.”

I like that.  Fences, not walls.

So there it is.  Blonde Fences.

I’m excited about sharing my life with you through this blog.

From my side of the fence, this is going to be one great adventure.