so, I have been trying to figure out my “one little word” for 2016. I choose a word every year to reflect on, think about, talk about, write about & try to weave into my everyday life. I have been going back & forth with a few words but nothing was clicking. I could not commit.

and then we were lucky enough to see President Obama speak here in Omaha.


that is my word. I believe in it. I feel it. I long for it.


‘to cherish a desire with anticipation. the feeling of wanting something to happen & thinking that it could happen. someone or something that may be able to provide help. someone or something that gives you a reason for hoping.’

I believe that without hope, we are nothing.

hope to me is that vision in my head of happiness. of health. of feeling safe. of looking into the future & seeing a future. for me, for my family, for my kids & their kids.

the world is a scary place. more & more all I want to do is stay home. sometimes I look at Sophia & I hope & I pray that her world will be safe. I look at jarred & I hope that his future is safe & that he realizes his potential without being pulled into the darkness. I look at Mikayla & I hope for her safety & her happiness & her strength to remain optimistic about her world.

I am not all doom & gloom but sometimes hope can fade & without it, we are lost.

seeing, hearing President Obama speak made me realize again what hope can do.

I don’t have to fall into the trap of negativity, hatred, darkness, even when it is all around us.

hope is strong. hope is real.

I believe in hope.

I am excited to bring hope into my life this year. I am excited to see where it takes me…

of course I have to share some photos from January 13th., 2016. the day President Barack Obama came to Omaha, Ne. just one day after his final state of the union address before congress & Shane, Mikayla & I were lucky enough to witness it…

we got there at 11:30 a.m. doors opened at 1. this was the line when we arrived, snaking its way thru both parking lots & onto the snowy grass, where we started. WORTH IT!!!

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we got into our seats about 2:45. WORTH IT!!!!

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President Obama was speaking by 4:30. WORTH IT!!!

I apologize for…      1. my screaming   2. my horrible camera work.  I was screaming, crying, clapping, hugging, listening & taking a video…





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let’s just stop here. I do not in any way claim to know a whole lot about politics. not at all. I do not care to get into any debate about whether anyone agrees with me.

**********  these statements & my excitement are 100% just my opinion  **********

the one thing that I feel like I need to know about politics is finding a person that can lead for all people. a person that can give hope to all people. a person that knows that we are all one people & that we can work together.

the news is horrible. bad things happen all around our world every second of every day.

I am not looking for a politician to blow smoke up my rear & try to tell me everything is all right.

that is not what hope is.

hope is seeing the suffering & the violence & the questions & being able to not become completely immersed & consumed by them.

that is the sort of politician I am looking for.

one that does not pin us all against each other for their gain.

one that is accepting & brings people closer together instead of dividing them.

o.k….. just had to put that disclaimer in here because I understand that people get extremely defensive & heated about politics. that is not what I am trying to do here, AT ALL.


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this was a life changer.

I realize that this is HOPE on a large scale. but doesn’t hope move from top to bottom & back up again.

how can we possibly hang on to day to day HOPE if everything around us is full of chaos?? how do we make sense of it all & keep going?

how can people possibly have HOPE in their lives if when they look around, they feel divided from the people around them. how is any one group of people or any one family or any one person supposed to have HOPE in their lives, when they feel none?

I don’t have any answers, never claimed to. I only have my answer. and my answer is HOPE.

sadness, hurt, death, misunderstanding of one another, day to day trials, feeling alone, feeling lost, it is all a part of life.

but, so is HOPE. if we choose to see it & believe in it.

2016. the year I choose HOPE…




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