making the trek

Trekking through life: Faith, family, friends and a whole lot of coffee!

Where mercy lives June 3, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 7:58 AM

It is a wonderful season right now of graduations, vacations and the promise and hope of a lazy summer ahead before these babies begin the next season of life come fall.

I was commenting on one of my friend’s graduation posts the other day as to how surreal it was that her son was graduating and her response was of pride but also of trepidation and prayers that he would make the right choices at this crossroad in his life.  The reality hit me that we ALL have those same concerns for our children.

How often we savor the sweet and tender moments and share the pride and joy of our children’s accomplishments with all the world yet when our children struggle it is generally a burden we often bear alone and yet it is a natural part of growing up and preparing to leave the nest.  Sometimes that means less than ideal choices on our kid’s part.  Maybe we made some of the same or similar choices at their age.  The question is how do we RESPOND to the choices?  They are young adults, they are often of legal age or close to it and so that transition of itself is not only on them but us as parents.  In this season of life we have yet to cross over to that “friend” bridge with our kids but we are committed to the construction period, an arduous time for sure but when we exercise mercy and grace the tradeoff is priceless; this is, of course, far easier said (and written) than done.

My memory may be incredibly spotty and unreliable but this I CLEARLY recall:  the age between 17-21 was a tough road of “finding myself” and learning by the loving and ever-patient example of my mom and more often, by life’s unforgiving natural consequence.  It is a time that we no longer dictate every activity and problem solve every speed bump, nor should we, for if we do we stunt the ability for these babies to sprout their own wings and manage life on their own.  The whole “failure to launch”—it’s a thing and we parents are fully to blame.  I am eternally grateful for my own mother and her ability to calmly (on the outside anyway) let me navigate that time but knowing she was ALWAYS present for a soft landing, advice and guidance from her own life experiences.

The truth is good kids can make bad choices and it often has nothing to do with parenting.  Now don’t stone me, I realize that parenting DOES affect how our children turn out, but you don’t have to look far to see kids from “good families” making crappy choices and kids from tough situations rising above and wildly succeeding.  The point is they will all come to this transition and it is our responsibility and gift to help them along mercifully.  gracefully.  lovingly.

I was reminded recently that sometimes these kids make fatal choices when a young man and his friends were riding their motorcycles at ridiculously unsafe speeds, being reckless and lost his life the night before prom.  The devastation reached far in this community as he was well-liked but one parent (a former police officer–who clearly saw much of this in his career), responded callously with a “what do you expect?” attitude.  The comment and the attitude struck me as thinking perhaps his son would never do that, but in reality ALL of our children are one choice away from any number of consequences.  And we must respond IN LOVE.  IN MERCY.  WITH GRACE.

Our kids will make bad choices.  Just like we did.  They are human.  Just like we are.

Obviously a lifelong history of good communication and fairness goes a long way in lessening the frequency of “bad” choices, but we can start that relationship over every day by just making the choice as a parent to respond with grace, mercy and love.  For it is in these times of transition it is most needed.

The fact that we do not have to forge this period on our own is a tremendous gift.  St. Monica, St. Augustine, Mary, and a host of saints have all shared in this suffering beauty of parenthood in every season and they are there to cheer us on.  Chances are you have real-life friends and family there to do the same.

So,  may the force be with you (and me) during this transitional period.  May we all remember that: 1) free will and bad choices often go hand in hand 2) it doesn’t mean you’re a bad parent 3) your mom was right–you’ll catch more flies with honey and if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all  4) pray without ceasing



May! Mamas and birthday celebration! May 14, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 8:55 PM

Raise your hand if May is a busy month!

Throw in a few birthdays and Mother’s day and every May is SUPER MAY around here!! (followed by June’s plethora of birthdays, anniversary and Father’s day–it’s practically a month of cake!)

I know this day isn’t easy for everyone for a variety of reasons and I offered those intentions up during Mass this a.m.  Right after crying through our priest singing “Hail Mary, Gentle Woman”.   

I’ve got zero complaints and 1 trillion blessings.  It’s been a fabulous weekend all around just being with my people, getting a few things done and having some down time—allegedly snoring during my nap today.  (ok, I even woke myself up a time or two…whatever.  worth it!)

Got my first paddle board of the season in on Saturday before the rain with the hubs, snuggled the SWEETEST puppy and spent some quality time with my kiddos and hubs.  We even tried to recreate a favorite Mother’s Day pic of mine (click HERE for the original) and it erupted into a li’l fit….that’s parenthood….not perfect.  and it is all good.

Wishing you a lovely week ahead!


Quick taking and sisterhood March 31, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 6:37 AM

Linking it to Kelly and all the Quick Takes of the week gang because LONG LIVE THE LINKUP (without it I barely blog…..).

  1. Last weekend I had the awesome opportunity to present a renewal retreat for women at church.  This gift of faith and growing together in sharing and caring for others is flat out amazing.  Exhausting.  Exhilarating.  Fulfilling.  Healing.  Peace in the midst of the upper room.
  2.   I actually had to present a witness and if you know me, you know how difficult that was.  Truth is though, it is incredibly difficult for ANYONE to present a witness on their life because life is hard and to place yourself in that spotlight is making yourself vulnerable to the unknown and that is scary.  However, the reality is, if that is where God is calling you, He will make it happen.  He will protect you, give you the strength  you need and bless the heart that needs to hear what you are saying.  Easy?  Nope.  Freeing?  Definitely.
  3. Six months ago the process of the retreat was restful and rejuvenating to my faith and key to building a faith community.  The past six months opened my heart to amazing women whom I’ve come to know intimately and despite our differences in ages, backgrounds and lives He has knit us together to support each other.  I have been through this before and it is still just awe-inspiring that I would be blessed again with another phenomenal group of women to do life with.  What a gift!
  4. Life is busy.  Work and home life balance are tough, never mind taking care of ourselves as wife, mother, daughter, friend, woman.  But, man….do we ever need to take that time,  not only to take care of ourselves with exercise and good food and all that jazz but to tend to that spiritual side, that mental side—-they drive it all;  if we can’t give our heart and soul some love the rest will crumble.  Find the time, you’re worth it.
  5. My Blessed is She Lenten study, “Put on Love” by Elizabeth Foss is amazing and I don’t know what I’ll do when it ends.  It is so good.  How have I gotten out of this habit????  Another example of amazing sisterhood….BIS….and the faithful work of Elizabeth.

I’ve run out of time, my people and will have to call it a 5 QT.  It’s time to be intentional with my family and get this Friday morning freight train rolling!!  FriYAY!!!


Springing in to Friday! March 24, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 6:11 AM

It’s been a few weeks so I thought I’d jump in with Kelly et al. and catch you up a bit!

  1.  It is spring!!  I celebrated the other night with a walk on the beach to switch it up.  Shorts, t-shirt… was a little cool, but if you walk fast enough and long enough you warm up, so it was good!  The surfers in the water with wetsuits though…..I’m not ready for the water; I’ll keep it on the sand for a little bit longer!

2.  With spring comes the planning for the next school year which means…..our BABY enters high school.  Our BABY!!!   That’s all, folks.  Elementary=check.  Middle school=almost check.  High school.  You’d think since I have been there and done that x3 it would have been easy.  It was.  Truly.  She’s ready.  I’m ready, too.  But, I swear it was a hot minute ago that no-sleeping toddler was waking the house at 2 a.m. to come down the stairs…”Mama, I talkin’ to  you!!”  Sigh.  But it’s good.  We were born to do this.

3. Speaking of milestones…..another driver enters the arena.  She is essentially the driver anytime we leave the house and even though I’ve done THIS x2 you’d think it would be easy.  You’re wrong.  It’s hard.  I suck at not grabbing the door handles, imaginary floor break and raising my voice unintelligibly instead of using words like, “slow down.  that’s a red light.  coming in a little hot.”  Instead of mgjhkdflkdgkkgmj.  But.  It’s been a few weeks and we’re both improving, so that’s a plus.   And so we motor on…….sometimes to a yummy breakfast!

4.   This dude.  Can’t find a spot ON the couch to his liking so he just stuffs himself between the couch and ottoman so that I can’t get up without stepping on him.  So cute!!  No worries, that’s just a leaf on the floor, not poop.  Plus, he’s just killing time until we go to bed and he can lay across my shins and trap me in my bed so I can’t put him in his crate.

5.  Last weekend I enjoyed some solo time while the Hubs was on retreat and the kids were all occupied and such.  I was able to nail down those pesky CEUs, enjoy the weather, some walking with my pup, get sh** done and it was amazing.  This weekend is the ladies turn to present the retreat so if you get a minute to offer a few prayers this weekend that would be awesome–especially since I’ll be giving a witness around lunchtime ish, 1, 2 o’clock somewhere!!

6.   Out oldest son is 19 and knows IT ALL just in case anyone needed a better reference than Google—I wanted to throw that out there for you.  Well, he spent the better part of the last 6 months without a motorcycle (I loved that part!), however,  he was building his own, pretty much from the frame/motor up (I didn’t love that part).  Do you have any idea how much CRAP goes into a motorcylce to make it run?!??!  A lot.  And it’s greasy and smelly.  Now you know.  Fortunately, most of the build was at a friend’s house in Orlando because he has all the tools and stuff, but by the grace of God he pulled it together just in the nick of time for the last weekend of Bike Week. Yeah.  I hated that.   It’s still not exactly where he wants it and there will be endless “tweaking”, but it’s rideable.   He even won a trophy for something and is going to be featured in a chopper magazine, so he’s pretty pumped his vision came to life.  And then some.  Regardless of my feelings about motorcycles and my children riding them I must say it’s a pretty amazing feat.  So.  He might know a few things.  But not everything.  winkety wink

7.  My sister came into town with my nephew and his girlfriend so we hit Main Street the first weekend of Bike Week with the kids and mom and her Hubby–because we are amazing moms like that.   Let’s just say, Main Street, you do not dissapoint in the holy cow department!!!  One quick stroll up and back was plenty eye burning and entertaining, so it made for a fun afternoon.  Of course, the perfect weather and the “rest” time in Joe’s Crab Shack didn’t hurt that’s for sure!!

Peace out y’all.


Be Transformed March 23, 2017

Filed under: Faith,Reading,Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 8:53 PM

I have been incredibly blessed in my life to have a few truly spectacular people who provided me with strong spiritual direction.  The kind that isn’t always comfortable but comes from a place of love and TRUTH.  Friendships such as these are both a blessing and a challenge and the end result is  tremendous growth in faith.  One of these friends is Dr. Bob Schuchts, our former marriage counselor and now friend (not to mention nationally renowned speaker, author and presenter of amazing healing conferences!).  Time with Bob is thought provoking and soul searching, at some point ususally resulting in tears–but good, cleansing tears.

If you ever have the opportunity to attend one of the conferences of the John Paul II Healing Center, I strongly urge you to take full advantage of it;  you will not regret it!  Bob is the founder and we had the opportunity to experience one of his conferences, Unveiled, a marriage conference recently and it was phenomenal.  Truly.  Such a gift.

OK.  Ending my “Bob” commercial, but onto the author portion of Dr. Bob Schuchts and enter his newest book Be Transformed.  If you are looking for some Lenten reading or just a deeper dive into the sacraments, this is it.

In Be Transformed  we dig into the sacraments one-by-one and learn how they configure in our lives and WHY they are important.  We may recognize the importance of some (like Holy Communion and Marriage) yet others we don’t always get the up-close on or see the how they can truly transform our lives.  It moves you beyond Mass and moves you INTO the sacraments one at a time and reveals how all the sacraments are truly interwoven to grow us closer to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

One of my favorite parts of how Bob gets us to participate throughout the book is through HIM:  healing, identity and mission**  We are taken through each of the sacraments with personal stories, scripture verses and a view into our own hearts and relationship with Christ.  It’s a perfect format for a small group study, as well as on your own for contemplative and personal growth.  Each chapter has questions to reflect on and a scripture verse to be read lectio divina style as it applies to the specific chapter as well as your life.  Fair warning though, be ready to dig deep and understand that you will be doing some serious heart surgery.

I’ll admit that for me, personally, some of this book was challenging as it forced me to slow down and to listen to what the Holy Spirit was uncovering in my own heart.  It was a struggle for me in being so introspective.   As Bob’s friend, Simeon says, “Reading God’s Word is like seeing yourself in a mirror…….people are afraid to see themselves.”*** Nail meet head.  Ouch.

Do yourself a favor and add Be Transformed to your collection, you won’t be sorry!

***quotes from Dr. Bob Schuchts book, Be Transformed.



Parenting the bigs March 11, 2017

Filed under: encouragement,Friends,Kids,messy,Parenting,Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 10:12 AM

I was listening to one of my podcasts**  on my way to work, Girlfriends by Danielle Bean and one of the feedback messages she had was on the limited amount of blogs for the parents of the bigs…..teens and young adults and it got me to thinking.  So much thinking.  I don’t even think I can fit it ALL in on one post, because my head just doesn’t release my thoughts sometimes….but I’ll give it a try.

Here is where I date myself and on the same hand don’t even care.  (The blessings of the backside of 40, ladies….it is a gift!!)  The advent of technology has me absolutely feeling like an old lady though.  For example,   “back in my day we made friends at the park and playgroups, cell phones were a luxury and if you were dealing with parenting issues you reached out to your group of real life friends.”  You see, internet was sparse back in the old days.  Dial up.  Sloooooooow.  And it was so new that it was just weird–because it was different.  The thought that you could make a community of friends on the internet was just well….a thought best kept to yourself.

Fast forward 15 years and my GOODNESS how times have changed!!

There are amazing communities of faith filled women, Mamas who have been there and done that for advice and Mamas who are trudging through it in solidarity.  We have the double edged sword of social media with all it’s pretty pictures, real life messes, fun videos and videos of what’s really going down in the kitchen at the arsenic hour.  What an amazing and challenging time to be a parent, especially of littles.  The world of evangelization just leveled up, BIG TIME!  And it is a club that I’m not sure if I will ever feel feel comfortable in..trul:   I only snapchat my real life friends, barely instastory and keep my grams pretty tame…facebook, you are mostly dead to me.  True story.

And then you get into the season of the bigs.  At first, I thought that perhaps just not “coming of age” with the combination of internets and parenting makes me a little leary of all things world wide–the discomfort and unfamiliarity of it all.  However, I also found upon further reflection that these babies are now growing into young adults who want the internet on THEIR terms and not of their blogging mother.  And so I resist.  And then, I hear the feedback that reminded me there are so many ways to bless others with this technology and we can all use this to encourage and build up (even though we often see it turn on honesty and genuineness).  So, it’s a balance of protecting the privacy of your growing people and sharing in the gift and challenge of parenting—what works for others, tips and life hacks to grow in faith and realize that we AREN’T THE ONLY ONES dealing with x,  y, and z.

In the past, I have shared some of our trials in this season and have even written on the very painful time of our  son’s episodic struggle with anorexia-type issues and likely I will very soon write about our daughter’s recent depression recurrence.  The fear of being so transparent in a world wide arena holds me back though.  This past week, however, reminded me that we are NOT alone and if blogging helps me process and encourages someone else in the same battle then I will do it.  But first…..Imma gonna pray on the next post.

In the meantime, if you have a second, minute, hour, pray for Leticia Adams  and family whose son ended his battle with depression this week.

St. Dymphna, pray for us.

**Adventures in imperfect living by Greg and Jennifer Willets

Among Women by Pat Gohn


Shiny, happy people February 27, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 7:14 PM

Ah social media, you double edged sword, you.

With the 2016 campaign nonsense of unimaginable choices and the resulting (yet expected) chaos of the victor in 2017… social media presence took a serious dive to what just may possibly be a permanent situation–which is awesome by the way!!  Facebook removed from my phone and checked sort of intermittently, Twitter only when I’m bored or seeking out something on the news, but Insta…..that’s my jam.  Love the variety of pictures and instastories–even though I haven’t quite figured it out (and my girls asked me in a horrified manner NOT to instastory), limited drama, just life.   BUT….Facebook.  Certainly DOES have its moments.  The article below was pulled from Facebook and I love it.  Because it is good.  It is useful and it cannot be disregarded or pooh-poohed.  So I shared it there on my rare surfacing and I’ll share it here.

Social media often just shares the shiny, happy people stories (unless you’re a drama queen and share all your dirty laundry–in case I’ve already got you hidden–b/c puhleeeze–who has time for that crap?) and rarely touches on the real. Sometimes though,  we all need to share some great ideas on parenting through the tough stuff.  Like it or not, it comes.  Fast, furious and certain.  All the stupid stuff we did, didn’t do, thought about or had friends of friends do.  Good chance our kids will do it, see it, be tempted by it or exposed to it, so let’s help each other out here.  No judgement (glass houses and rocks and all), let’s just lend a hand.  Love always wins.  Link below

This.   SO.  THIS


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