Things I’ve Learned

If you’re human and have a pulse, chances are you have been thinking back on what you did this year and most assuredly what you didn’t do. Millions of dollars are spent by big corporations to remind you that you should have a resolution and that this is THE year for you to keep it! Everyone on social media is talking about their goals and what they’ve already accomplished or plan to accomplish in the new year. Better yet, there are “those” people that make sure to announce they don’t do New Year’s resolutions. And seriously, how many meme’s about New Years could their possibly be? You know, the ones designed to make you contemplate your life’s purpose and just for a second you think you really can aspire to achieve it? Until real-life sets in of course.

With all of that, how could I not be thinking about my last year and everything I learned and did? I should warn you that this is not one of those posts meant to inspire you into greatness just by reading it. The things I learned this year were real-life lessons. Some good, some bad. The truth is, that is real life. It isn’t always all rainbows and sunshine. Life is great, but with it comes heartbreak and loss.

The hardest thing I learned this year? Giving up on your dream, even if temporarily, sucks. Like… a lot. For those that don’t know me personally, 4 of our boys were in a car accident last year paralyzing our 8-year-old son and setting off a whirlwind of hospitalizations and surgeries for our 19-year-old. I remember reading an article about Joanne Gaines and how she decided to close her very first storefront to be a stay-at-home mom. Of course, now she is a super star running a multimillion dollar business. I wonder if she easily transitioned to both roles with as much grace and ease as it sounded in that article. If she had those moments when she thought she would go crazy if she couldn’t be around other adults for one more single day. I knew that being at home with the boys was where God wanted me to be. I simply couldn’t be at my store without feeling guilty about not being with my boys, nor could I be with them without thinking about all I needed to do at the store. By nature, I am an overachiever who needs stay busy. I must have goals and something to achieve. It was difficult to switch gears so completely and abruptly. Being a stay-at-home mom is hard. You don’t earn a paycheck and in most cases, you aren’t even thanked for all that you do. But my point is this: Just because we are where God needs us to be doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. Sometimes, it is harder. But it is in those places that we are able to grow and to learn the most.

A few other things I learned this year?

It is okay to have days when it is simply too much work to put makeup on and fix your hair. This is totally acceptable. However, it isn’t acceptable to not brush your teeth, brush your hair or wear pajamas in public. For God’s sake, please don’t wear pajamas in public…

It is okay to be late or accidently miss an appointment. Believe it or not, the world does not shift course on its axis. It actually happened to me and I assure you, the world kept on turning.

It’s okay to not have a clean house every single day. Really, how many people ever actually come to your house to even know if it’s clean or not??? And if you’re OCD and you actually do want your house clean every single day like me, it’s okay to own that shit too. As I told my husband, being OCD is my coping mechanism so he is just going to have to deal with it.

I am never going to be the person I want to be. Sounds melodramatic, doesn’t it? But the truth is, we should always strive to be better than we are right now. Why was this such an important revelation to me? I am not perfect. There, I said it. And guess what? Neither are you. Isn’t that so freeing? It is okay to be who you are, right this very minute.

Some friends, even the ones we think will always be there, won’t. They will hurt you deeply and you simply have to learn to let go.

It’s entirely appropriate to scream at people while sometimes showing them your bird finger when driving because they are an idiot and shouldn’t have a license. Well, perhaps not but as I just pointed out, I’m not perfect.

I don’t have to fit my body into mid-rise jeans when high-rise jeans are so much more comfortable. That’s all.

It is okay to sometimes want to stab your significant other in the eye with a fork. Because there is no way I am the only one who has thought this. Right?!?! My point is, marriage is sometimes hard. Life isn’t all rainbows and sunshine, as mentioned above. Life is real and let’s face it, sometimes crappy. It is why we vow until death do us part. There are days when we don’t feel “the love.” And that’s okay too.

I hope that if you too have spent time thinking about your life this year and where you want to be, you have been able to accept that who you are is exactly who you were meant to be.

Cheers and Happy New Year,

C.C. Andrewshappy-new-year-2016-funny-quotes

Treating Him The Same 


This was on old crate froma factory in Nashville that I absolutely loved. I had huge plans of making it into a flower planter. Jackson, however, decided he needed to tear it apart with tools. He is going through a phase of wanting to build things and using his imagination to think of alternate uses for items. I definitely want to encourage this kind of learning in normal circumstances. My vintage crate had an intended use, and it definitely wasn’t meant to be broken into pieces.

Jackson hardly ever gets in trouble, but this morning I had to lecture him about respecting other people’s personal property. I explained to him that this was something that I loved and it can never be replaced. 

It has always been hard to discipline Jackson. When he was little he would look at me with his big blue eyes and say, “I sorry.” It is even more difficult now. And yet, it has to be done. Regardless of his circumstances, he still has to learn what acceptable behavior is. 

Had the culprit been one of our other boys, the punishment would have been more severe than a lecture.  Jacob would have been expected to know better. Joshua as well, but he is still at the age where he makes mistakes and does things without thinking of the consequences. With Jackson, a lecture was enough. With tears in his eyes, he apologized and sincerely meant it. 

One of these days, a lecture won’t be enough. He will grow older, come into puberty and all of the teenage drama that entails. Although disciplining him will still be difficult, I pray that I step up to the challenge. At the end of the day, regardless if he is in a wheelchair or not, I am responsible for teaching him. It is my job to make sure that his knows right from wrong, how to treat others, and always strives to be the best that he can be. 

As we always say, Jackson is the same now as he was before the car accident, he just gets around on wheels instead of two legs. That means treating him the same and having the same expectations as we do for all of our other boys. 

Love & blessings, 

C.C. 

Yesterday I experienced one of the most embarrassing moments of my life, in front of customers nonetheless. I don’t usually cry, but yesterday the tears just wouldn’t stop. 

I have been praying ceaselessly for God to give me direction on what I should do with my store, Vintage. It takes time to establish a business in a new location and because of the accident we simply don’t have the capital we need to sustain it. My husband’s auto repair business just isn’t making the funds to provide for itself and our family so their has been added pressure for Vintage to provide an income, which it has not been able to do. 

This weekend was a make it or break it opportunity. We would either make enough money to get ahead or we wouldn’t. I poured everything I had in to it. As it is only myself and my assistant, we worked tirelessly in the heat preparing for the RC Moon Pie Festival in hopes that we would have a profitable weekend. My body aches like it hasn’t in years. 

In the meantime, I have also been seeking a job. There are many reasons why this wasn’t my favorite choice, but the most important reason is I will be unable to be with my family. For me to make any type of money, I will have to take a job in Nashville or somewhere equivalent. This means leaving home at 6am and returning at 6 or 7pm. I will not be able to take our boys to the doctor. Pick Jackson up from school when he isn’t feeling well, which happens a lot. I will also not be able to continue writing my book. As luck or fate would have it, I was offered a job on Friday in Nashville, while preparing for this make it or break it weekend. 

Sometimes God answers us, and it isn’t always what we want to hear. That embarrassing moment was the final nail in the coffin so to speak. My heart simply cannot continue to take that type of embarrassment or disappointment. I can’t continue to strive to do what I love while not being able to provide for my family. Right now we need money more than my children need me. 

I know some think that this is a road block and there will be new beginnings. You can take it to the bank, but there will not be for me. That was my one leap of faith to follow my dream, there will not be another. My heart simply cannot handle it. When this door closes, it will not open again. 

Someone made a comment on my post about how blessed I am. I should remember that I have my children and a husband who loves me. Yes, I am beyond blessed to have my children and thank God for them every single day. But there has been so much more heartache in my life that most couldn’t begin to imagine. I know that God is using me to help others, but I pray that people also remember that in order for me to have this voice and and this level of faith, it has taken insurmountable pain and a lifetime of experiences to earn it. Not just from the accident, but even as a little child. 

I am not perfect. I wish I could be positive and uplifting while I give up the one dream I have ever had the courage to go after. Right now, all I can feel is heartache and sadness. I know that God has a purpose and a plan for my boys. For them I would do or give up anything. And I am, but it doesn’t mean that my heart enjoys making sacrifices. I will do my best to process this as best I can and overcome as I always have, and I know that God will help me through. I just ask that if you can, say a prayer for me in the meantime. 

Love and blessings, 

C.C. Andrews