Where I am

It’s day 76. I’m leaving another successful gathering with great food and amazing friends. I’m honored. I get in my car and turn it on to the sound of “Drops in the Ocean” by Hawk Nelson. My soul smiles and I begin to sing along.

As I drive, I’m reflecting on my weekend and the conversations I had with various people who crossed my path. People I haven’t seen in a while, people I am not close with, but also family and close friends. Yet, I connected with them all on some deep level about life and relationships (both friendly and intimate). Thank you. I can appreciate every moment of time I spent with each person because it contributed to my epiphany.

While the music of WGTS 91.9 feeds my soul, I begin to experience an overwhelming feeling of happiness and inner peace. I realized that I am truly at peace with myself – finally! I’m at peace with not only where I am in life, but who I am. For the first time, I feel like I am where I’m supposed to be, doing what I’m supposed to be doing, and going where He wants me to go. My purpose? Maybe. I certainly don’t have it all together and I never will, but I know I’m on the right path.

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”  – Luke 19:10

I’m home. In more ways than one, I’m home. I’m in my parking spot looking at my little home and I love it. Not everyone can say that they had that moment of clarity (for lack of a better word). People seem to look for their reason for being; at least I did. Now, I can smile because I love me and where I am. I can smile because it’s actually true. I’m blessed and I’m determined to do something big with the seed that’s been planted within me.

Inside, my puppy Bishop waits with extra excitement. It’s as if he knows I’m extra happy…ooooor, he has to pee. 😉



(Photo from – I read Purpose Driven Life years ago and I highly recommend it.)


A TV turned into a puppy…

Maximus.  When I first saw my favorite movie Gladiator back in 2000, I knew I wanted my future dog to be named Maximus.  (No, that’s not an odd thing to get out of a movie.)   I went years learning from my brother who had a dog, and a sister who had dogs that she eventually gave to my brother once she started having children, and I knew from what I saw that I didn’t want to get a dog until I was not only financially able to care for a dog, but also be able to maintain the lifestyle of dog ownership – walking, exercise, playing, feeding, less vacationing unless you take the dog with you and spend thousands of dollars to accommodate it, and basically Cesar Millan’ing up my life.  I revisited the idea of getting a dog on and off for a long time.

Fast forward 12 years later; my kids are older and the man of the house has brought up dog ownership on multiple occasions…..BUT, he’s also brought up the idea of having a TV in our bedroom, go figure.  So for his birthday/Christmas I decided i’d get him one – a TV, that is.  I went and did so much research on what kind of TV I should get for the room; from what size to where it would be hung to whether it should be a Smart TV or just the best HDTV on the market.  Not to sound sexist, but TVs seem to be a guy’s thing, so I asked the advice of my male friends, family and even my brother who actually told me that a 50″ TV for the bedroom was what I should get – what the frack?!  So, after researching the best TV, I had to then research which website or store would give me the best possible price for it and which ones I could haggle with to give me the best deal possible.  Then, after DAYS, it was done.  I made the purchase.  I was relieved yet uber excited about giving it to him.  The TV went home with me and I hid it.

A few days passed and he was sitting on the couch with my teen, Dominique, talking about who knows what and, because i’m so excited about the dag-on TV, I decide to make sure i’ve made the right decision by asking him, “hey, what do you want for Christmas?”, as if I hadn’t already purchased his gift – *wink* wink*.  This man turns his head to me, grins from ear to ear, and in an almost child-like tone says to me, “I wanna puppy!”

…………………………*blink* confusion *blink*…………………..

How in the heck do I respond to that?!  It’s a joke.  It must be.  So I ask, “Are you for real?  Ooookay.”  Nope, no joke.  So, at that moment, we read and researched and researched and read and dog-matched and quizzed and everything and finally decided we wanted a Doberman Pinscher.  He grew up with one and I had always wanted one when I was a kid just because I thought they looked awesome.  Then, again, after days and DAYS, it was done.  We visited, we fell in love, we visited again, and he came home with us on New Years Day.

Meet Maximus Ortiz Dominus Rachal


This is the falling in love picture – see my face?  Image

Maximus is still cute here and freshly cropped.


Maximus at 8 months, the big oaf.  We have a love/not-so-loved relationship because he and Daddy are BFFs and, well, i’m just Mommy.  Ok, and he’s still cute.

Oh, and that TV, I took it back to the store and the dialogue went something like this:

Man: “So, can I ask why you’re returning it?  Was there anything wrong or did you find a better deal?”
Me: *sigh* “Nothing wrong.  Just got a puppy instead…….”
Man: “Yeah, we can’t really compete with puppies.”
Me: “No, you can’t.”