2017 Year Review-You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

Ok, so a lot of unbelievable things happened to me in 2017.

I visited Opryland for the first time with my teenage daughter’s show choir group, Visions, and got lost several times in the hotel because I have no sense of direction. I had several terrifying moments in those hallways where I expected The Shining twins to pop out, but overall it was a great trip. I’m telling you, Visions is a talented group of kids.

The hubs and I took a Baltic cruise to Russia, and it was gorgeous-a little scary but beautiful. It was one of those my hubby is a rockstar insurance agent so here’s your trip deals.

Trust me, it’s not something I would have planned! I was scared to go, because I just knew Putin would do something crazy while we were there, but I think he was out of the country so it worked out. I will tell you that in some areas we had to turn off all cell phones and WIFI because of hacking concerns. Yikes!

I took a one hour detour to travel fifteen minutes for Lylah Kate’s dance competition in Arkansas because I got lost on the highway. After ten minutes my friend sent me a “pin” to get me going in the right direction and her pin led me to the wrong state. Whoopsie. LK was a champ, though. She napped. I cried. Good times.

Our family went to Disney World in November and it was magical-once we got there. We hit a few snags and I had to formally report a TSA agent for his treatment of my son with autism, but hey, that happens to everyone, right? Anyway, I now have a guy at the TSA Cares Hotline and everybody ended up happy.

Our beagle, Lucy that was dog-napped came home after being gone for 357 days. Yes, Lucy came home. I’m thinking of writing a children’s book if anybody wants to volunteer to illustrate it -that’d be great.

Oh, and I moved into my dream home and now have a new life path because fate.

And God.

It all got started because Darlene wanted longer eyelashes.

Of course, I’m the person she thought of because I sell the good stuff that makes you look like Elizabeth Taylor or Audrey Hepburn or pick your celebrity and insert it here because I don’t know who appeals to you. Let’s just say that my stuff is the bomb and leave it there, ok?

Ok.

So, Darlene and I were just chatting it up and discussing life in general when she casually mentioned her uber-fabulous home was still on the market.

This is important because on my last visit to that home I remarked (to my daughters) that we would live there one day.

I don’t remember saying it, but I do remember thinking it.

I know what you’re thinking, and no, I don’t believe I have psychic abilities.

But there’s something about this that just gives me chills.

Back to Darlene.

After she spilled the news about the house, I felt a sense of urgency like never before. And if you know me, then you know how extreme I can be.

Once I get my mind set on something it’s ON.

We were leaving for Nashville for Opryland in twenty-four hours. With my husband out of town, I’d have to tour the home solo. No problem.

Spoiler alert: I loved it. I kind of feel bad for wasting the realtor’s time. I knew I loved it once I pulled into the driveway.

Don’t get me wrong, there wasn’t anything wrong with our current home, but it was outside the city limits, and it was surrounded by water. There was a pond in the front and back and a pool on the side. That’s a recipe for disaster when you have an autistic child like Nathan.

Darlene’s home-my dream home-was in the city.

You could get takeout, and it would still be hot when you got home!

Whoo-Hoo!

And did I mention it’s gorgeous and looks like a magazine cover? Well, then now I did.

It was everything I ever wanted. Ever.

All I had to do was convince my country husband who was adverse to city living.

We are like that country mouse/city mouse story except we’re adults, not rats. I grew up in a neighborhood in a city and he, well, he did not. They still don’t have a WalMart where he grew up.

It turns out; I didn’t have to do the convincing. As fate would have it, I was gone to Nashville, and the realtor was out of town when he viewed the home, so guess who gave him the tour?

The man that built it.

Darlene’s husband, Jay.

Now, I can’t think of anyone better to show it, can you?

Things got rolling pretty quickly on Darlene’s home, but there was still that tiny thing called Oh My Gosh We Can’t Have Two House Payments…

About two days after we took the gigantic leap of faith on the house, out of the blue I remembered how a friend of mine told me she would love to live out by our house. She had two boys, and they loved fishing and swimming and whatever it is boys do outside to get so dirty.

So I called her and asked if they’d be interested in our home.

They came out that day and looked around and told us they wanted to buy it!

But not before they had to sell their home.

Of course, that process took a little time, and a few folks’ finances fell through-which stressed everyone out, but in the end, it ended up being sold to another one of my friends.

I am not making this up!

My friend Maggie, who also has a child with autism, fell in love with the house and ended up buying it with her husband! How cool is that?

No, I’m not getting into real estate.

This was all meant to be.

Everything happens for a reason.

I’ve been incredibly blessed, and this is only the beginning.

A toy manufacturer’s catalog came in our mail yesterday.

Of course, it was meant for Darlene’s company, Essential Play. She formed Essential Play and Brightbox because she wanted her grandchildren to have quality toys to learn with through play.

Now, Darlene and I are working together to find the best toys to teach kids with special needs like autism through play.

There are so many opportunities to teach these kids, and we can’t let them fall through the cracks. I’m talking about simple ways to teach parents to help their kids learn.

Darlene has over forty years of experience working as a Speech Language Pathologist. She brings so much knowledge and enthusiasm to every task she takes. She’s truly a remarkable person, and I’m so thankful to be able to work with her.

I have no doubt we were brought together for a reason.

I know it’s something more than lashes and houses.

It’s about helping kids.

I am so excited to see what 2018 will bring.

I hope you will follow along to find out!

Happy New Year!

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