Hey There Mr. Tin Man

Everyone knows I adore Miranda Lambert. My husband bought me my very first concert tickets to see her perform during Cheyenne Frontier days. He didn’t know it
in March when he bought the tickets, the concert would be during a very difficult time in our life and it would be a saving grace for me.

Mr. Tin Man is one of her Number one hits and it speaks volumes to me, but not for the same reason it speaks to most. My husband didn’t cheat on me, I wasn’t going through a breakup, nope I am a special Needs mama to a son with an extremely rare genetic mutation.

There are only 386 Children that we know of that have SynGap1. Raylan has uncontrolled epilepsy, severe developmental delays, hypotonia (low muscle tone)

Raylan has had many hospital stays, including a multi-day stay prior to the Miranda Lambert concert. During the week prior to seeing Miranda in concert I watched my son in pain and every day.

He was cooped up in a hospital for 4 days. A team of nurses plus me held him down every morning for needle pokes so he could have his blood drawn. I watched him struggle to eat and drink for 7 days and still continuing to have seizures.

By time Miranda lambert’s concert night came, I was burnt out. I was tired of watching my baby struggle and be completely helpless. I wanted to take his pain away. The moment she began to sing Tin Man tears streamed down my cheeks, because every bit of emotion I had experienced the past week was right there in that moment.

Mr. Tin man is such an amazing song and to hear it live during one of the most difficult times as a mother I had ever experienced meant the world to me.

“Hey there Mr. Tin man.

You don’t know how lucky you are

you shouldn’t spend your Whole life

wish ring for something bound to fall apart

Every time you’re feeling empty

Belter thank your lucky stars

If you ever-felt one breaking

You’d never want a heart.”

Mr. Tin Man I’d have to Agree with Miranda. In all my years I have had plenty of sadness and pain, but trust me

If you ever felt the pain of restraining your child so the doctors can help them you would Never want a heart.

Mr. Tin-man if you ever looked into your child’s eyes and saw pain you couldn’t take away, you’d never want a heart.

Mr. Tin man if you ever felt the pain I feel as

a mother every time my child was crying you’d

never want a heart.

Mr. Tin man if you ever felt the pain that goes with a parents watching their child suffer you’d never want a heart. It would shatter in pieces

As a parent the heartbreak I feel for my children is the worst heartbreak I can ever imagine multiplied by the hundreds.

As Miranda says. You’d better count your lucky stars. I’ll take your Armor and can have my heart.


Another night in a hotel after a long evening drive. Another doctor’s appointment early in the morning. Another 1hr 56 minute drive one way. Raylan has not one, but two appointments tomorrow. Then he will have another two appointments three days from now, again 1hr 56 mins away from our home. I will drive him again to these appointments.

I have been fighting for him and advocating for him since he was a baby, just as I would for any of my children.

When I realized I was going to be a mother I knew that meant the responsibility of another human being for their entire life and that meant being whatever they needed me to be.

I am not special. God did not give Raylan special parents. God gave me Raylan. I knew I had to be a good mother. When I chose to become a mother, I knew that I would have unwavering, unconditional, unbreakable love. No matter what I was a mom and that was my job.

My duties include washing messy faces, changing ripe diapers, discipline when needed, lots of snuggles, and unwavering love.

I have not always been a patient mom. I have not always been a confrontational mom. I have not always had an understanding for special needs. I have not always been non-judgemental. I have not always given grace when it was needed.

Raylan made me patient. Raylan made me be confrontational. Raylan made me understand. Raylan taught me not to judge. Raylan gives me grace everyday.

I often hear that I am strong because of what I have been through in my life and what we go through with Raylan, but it is bullshit. I am strong because how I decide to react to the situations placed in front of me. I stand up for Raylan because he depends on me to. That is the role I assumed when I decided to become a mom.

As we were driving I was stewing. I am angry, confused, broken hearted, and completely overcome by emotions that I cannot begin to explain. The article had run across my news feed, my messages, my text, and I was angrier each time I read it.

“Mom rehomes her autistic son”

“Mom places her adopted son in new home”

“Mom replaces autistic son”

I read it so many different ways, but each time hit me with anger just like before, if not made me more furious. No matter how you spin it as a mother it breaks my heart, as a special needs mom it breaks my heart, as a lover of all children it makes me furious!

How can someone “rehome” their child because they need them more than your typical child. Nonetheless use the word “rehome” as if the child is some kind of animal her family cannot handle and can just place in another home. When you step into motherhood you take on a role as a protector, a mentor, a teacher, and you provide unwavering unconditional love.

I cannot compare her to me, you’re right. We aren’t the same. We are not even on the same level. I’m not even more special than her. I just had willingness to be a damn good mom.

I need you to look at it this way.

A mother has three healthy children. They have normal doctors appointments. They have no delays. They are average kids. One day these three normal children are out playing and by a freakish accident one of the normal children has neurological damage and now requires therapy, medication, and has to be waited on way more than that mother ever could have prepared for. Would you be outraged if she decided to “rehome” this child, but keep her other two children who are still neuro-typical?

You asked people to follow your journey. You asked for support and funding to adopt a child. You asked that child to trust you. You gave that child brothers, sisters, and parents. Then you ripped it away. No child would understand why his family left him or gave him away. You taught him he is less of a child because he is autistic.

Furthermore, you have succeeded in teaching your children that when something doesn’t fit into your life you can just “rehome” it. When some one inconveniences you, it is ok for you to tuck them away. You have succeeded in teaching your children, that if they ever depended on you to 100% advocate for them, you would not be there for them.

You have successfully taught millions that special needs children “are hard to love”.

You have successfully turned a child into a returnable replaceable item.

Shame on you!!

Now I lay here in a hotel, with my son preparing my mind for his appointments coming up. Preparing my heart for battle so he doesn’t have to. Then I will drive another 2 hours home tomorrow. Turn around two days later and drive back to his other appointments. It is a royal pain in my ass to drive, it is inconvenient as hell, but my son deserves the best I can fight for.

I didn’t sign up for this special needs life. I am not a special breed of person. I didn’t know how to be a special needs mom. I just became what my children needed me to be as their mother.

I hope my children know these things

1. I would catch a grenade for them
2. Unconditionally is how my love works
3. I will NEVER leave them

Things I hope others know

1. I’m not a special person.
2. I’m a mother.
3. I would do anything for her children.
4. I will be whatever they need me to be. Including unbreakable.

Against the Ropes

I have learned as a coach and trainer is you have to coach clients past their personal limiters. You have to coach them out of their comfort zones. As a coach you need to listen to their concerns and coach them through.

This is not a comfortable spot for me. I do not like the ongoing battle and the seclusion I feel with being a special needs mom. I don’t like the isolation when I sit in a hospital room full of doctors and nurses and feeling entirely alone. I do not like imobilizing and restraining my defenseless son down to give him an IV. I don’t like being dismissed when I say no blood pressure cuff it’s too much for him. I do not like feeling vulnerable. I loath watching his help me eyes and knowing there’s nothing I could do to take the pain away. BUT I will continue to encourage him in this fight because that is what a Second is for.

The one thing that being a trainer has taught me is you cannot teach clients to push themselves beyond their barriers if you yourself will not push your own barriers.

Clients need to know that as a person I am far from flawless. My children need to know I am not error free. However, I will never teach anyone to give up. There is one thing I strongly believe, we must focus on improving daily and not being perfect. Perfection is an unachievable desire.

But because we have potential to always improve we have potential to grow. Growth can be a painful process. Growth can be terrifying. There may be days where it feels impossible, but don’t give failure a chance.

You gained instead of loosing?

OK let’s reaccess

You ate cake on your friend’s wedding day?

That’s great you enjoyed the moment. Move on

You couldn’t squat as heavy as you wanted?

That’s fantastic now you have another measurable goal to work to.

It is impossible to move forward if you are looking back.

As a person I am consistently getting knocked down, getting slammed against the ropes, but I am relentless.

My goal is to teach my clients that same recoil. To coach them through those mental and physical battles. The moments they feel like they are weak and cannot recover. We can come off those ropes. We can get back up again and again. The one thing we cannot do is surrender.

Letting Go of what was for what is.

A couple days ago I posted on my Facebook page an image from the past and an image from the now. I had a tremendous amount of feedback from this post. Several people told me that it hit a spot right in the feels for them. Now here I am to make you have even more feels.

We all have something we are holding onto from our past that absolutely forbids us moving forward. It could be your high school jeans, your pre-pregnancy clothes, your accomplishments in college, or unaccomplished goals. What ever it may be, you cling to it. You have tunnel vision around what used to be, you can taste that victory, or you stare at those jeans in your closet. You don’t realize that not letting go, only prevents you from loving yourself where you’re at and moving on.

This is in every aspect of our lives. Postpartum, after graduation, our marriage, our relationships, and our career.

Self love isn’t about vanity, accomplishments, or even goals. Self love and self care is about loving yourself in the moment. Truly being proud of who you are and leaving the old you in the past.

Story time.

There once was a mom of two who lost a ton of weight. That mom of two went on to become one of the top trainers in her company.

Now fast forward a couple years, mom of two is pregnant again and excited to bring twins into the world. Mom of two loses twins, she is now a mom of two living and two heavenly babies. Mom tries again to get pregnant, is incredibly safe, still teaches group classes. Mom delivers baby healthy and full term. But Mom has gained 20 lbs with pregnancy and post partum even with teaching classes.

Fast forward mom losses two more babies to miscarriage. Mom finally delivers her fourth living baby full term. Mom has gained 40 lbs. Mom pushes to get back to were she was. She wakes up and is frustrated with her body. Mom gets really sick and gets diagnosed with a chronic illness. She begins to hate her self, because if she’d only been able to maintain a healthy weight she wouldn’t be sick. She looks in the mirror, she’s disgusted, she’s angry, and she’s lost.

She was searching for the mom two and the trainer she. That mom of two was long gone. She’s now a mom of four. Fighting for what used to be she loses sight of what is. In every moment she has focused on what used to be, she becomes more resentful to herself. Anxiety and depression are now in control. Her world is spinning out of control, she loses her grip, and plumets to the ground.

That mom is me.


When we focus on the past, we hinder the future. For so long I focused on getting back to the body I loved that I neglected the body that has gone to war for me. I lost sight of my strength and my beauty. I lost sight of the mom I was supposed to be for my children. My children want a mom to enjoy their days with them, not a miserable one thinking about how things were before she had kids.

Stop focusing on what you were like before kids, if you were supposed to be who you were before kids you wouldn’t have become a mother to begin with.

Self love isn’t about vanity, accomplishments, or even goals. Self love and self care is about loving yourself in the moment. Truly being proud of who you are and leaving the old you in the past. It’s about losing and having the respect to shake hands and move on.

“The road ahead is not always easy, but lock your eyes on what is, what will be, and leave what was for what is.”

DIY Mega Block storage Table

So many blocks all over my house. Between my two younger kids, big brother, and sister. They over run my house in every crack, couch cushions, and even in my shower. Raylan uses them in therapy as well.

The idea of completely eradicating my house of blocks has gone through my mind a number of times honestly, but then I see how much happiness they bring my children.

For a couple months I looked for a table or a bin that could hold our collection of mega blocks with no success. Then one day as we were unpacking our new home a thought came to me.

When we packed our house we decided to use the Black and yellow heavy duty totes from Home depot. That way everything stacked nicely in the moving process. I decided that after they were several empty to use one as a block bin. It held all the blocks perfectly.

As my boys were playing with it, I noticed that they began to use the lid as the base of their play. To my surprise the mega blocks lined up perfect inside the lid This was great! Once my boys weren’t using it Any more I tested out the theory that the blocks could be lined up perfectly and create a table top. Sure enough it was a breakthrough! The tables I had seen Did not have enough Storage for my son’s Block collection, but this way he could store hes mega blocks and have a take to build on. I am sure I was not the first to come up with it, but it turned out so perfect I had to share.

1. Acquire the 17 gallon Tough tote storage Bin from Home depot. it will fit tightly 18W x 11L Single Mega blocks. You can use the blocks that are 2 or 3 well. That is a matter of preference.

2. You’ll need a heavy glue that adheres to plastic-E 6000 is what I used

3- You will need a second set of hands.

4. Something Flat and Heavy-I used books

You will want to lay out blocks first to be sure that they fit perfect and the colors are like you want. Once you’ve adjusted how you want your blocks to look you should start gluing them down. My mom held them down as I glued. Lesson I learned is to do gluing sections, other wise your trying to hold down and glue at the Same time. The glue I bought has 24 Hour curing process. After every block was glued down I set heavy books all down on the lid this way the glue could adhere completely to the lid.

The next day my boys had the perfect table and storage for their collection of mega blocks.

5 Reasons Overwhelmed Moms Don’t Ask for Help

Why don’t you ask for Help? Why didn’t you call me? You should have called me! Sound familar? These are all well known lines that I have heard more times than I’d like to count. Everyone wants to know why I won’t ask for help. Every single mom I have spoke with recently has said that they struggle with asking for help just as much as I do. Why is that? Why do we continue to struggle after we are told to reach out?

  1. We don’t want to be let down.

Let’s be honest, you have offered to help someone or said “call if you need anything” The moment that phone rings and help is requested

we can’t provide the assitance needed. Being a mom I have been there. I have asked for help and been shut down. This makes me nervous to ask for help. I don’t want to be let down by those who have. offered help.

2. Embarrassed!

Society has this man shaming trend. Everyone is a better parent than everyone else.

“What was he doing awake by himself? He doesnt wake you up first?”

“NO Suzy, I let my three year old Run rampid every day of the week and he has to fend for himself.”

Maybe if we stop judging or being condescending to every mom who has a bad day or a parenting mishap there would be more of us who ASK for help.

3. Fear.

This is a big one for me and some people may call me crazy for Feeling this way, however it is 100% Valid! Look at our news headlines now days! I am terrified that others will not accept or understand my children.I am so scared they will not understand or love my Special

special needs son the way our family does and that terrifies me.

4. Guilt.

I hare felt guilty in so many ways. Guilty for leaving my kids behind. Guilty for in convincing some one. Guilty for not being

able to handle it all. Guilty for being tired. We just feel guilty.

5. Weak.

There are many times I have locked myself in my bathroom and cried because I did not want to be seen as weak. When people look at me I don’t want them to think that I wasn’t strong enough to be a mom.

These are very real reasons why we don’t call you. These are the driving force behind our lonely struggles. If you see an

overwhelmed mom and her struggle don’t wait for her to ask for your help, because she never will. When you see that struggle say

“let me help you, what do you need, how can I help you during this time.”

Because you’ll never hear “I need help”

Laredo Keyes Boot Review

When I worked for Boot Barn I bought these Laredo Keyes boot. Everyone who knows me knows my love for snip toe boots. After getting my second pair of Miss Kate Laredo’s I decided that I needed to add another style to my collection. Well with Fourth of July around the corner I absolutely could not pass up these perfect patriotic boots.

They are paired with breathable nylon to keep my feet dry and comfortable. These and Miss Kate’s do not too many differing factors except the outward style. They are constructed exactly the same for the interiors.

Pricing of these boots depending on where you buy them is $140-$160 US

I’d Have to say my favorite feature of these boots are the cut out of stars on the toe of the boot. Pair them with your favorite boot bracelet or on their own, these boots are meant for the American Cowgirl.


Just as the Miss Kate boots have a Dan’s Post look alike these do as well. The difference between Dan’s post and these Laredo is quality and price point. The Dan’s Post Liberty boots are roughly about $270 and can be found here.

An open letter to Justin Timberlake

Dear Justin,

My name is Mickey. I am a mother of 4 and I grew up in the era of N’sync and Backstreet Boys. I’m sorry you weren’t my number one pick then, but now you are my hero. Not because of the boyish charm of n’sync or your ongoing success as an individual, but because you’ve helped me discover a new world without even knowing.

This is Raylan, he is almost 4 years old. Raylan is a very special sweet boy and he never speaks a word. He is non verbal autistic, epileptic, and has SYNGAP1 intellectual disability.

Since Raylan is non verbal we have been working on a form of communication for 2.5 years. Sign language was not successful because not have the motor skills or the strength in his hand to develop the signs. So he communicates using PECs and we had given up on sign. We as a family began to focus on him using pictures for communication. We still signed as we spoke feeling that maybe just maybe one day he’d be able to understand and use sign himself.

Raylan discovered the movie Trolls in July of 2018 and it is now December 2018 and our family has every word memorized. He loves Trolls! So much to the point he used his very FIRST sign to ask for “more Trolls”. Raylan will hand you the remote and sign “more” to ask that you throw on Trolls for him. This is huge as we have NEVER seen him this enthusiastic about anything besides playing in water.

Sometimes Raylan struggles to sleep at night so him and I will sit in the rocking chair watching Trolls. It soothes him in ways that we can’t. The bright colors and cheery music have brought my little boy to life and brought expressions to his face we have never seen before.

He loves the scene where King Gristle is working out and the trolls are being chased. He laughs and jumps all through that scene.

My favorite is his reaction when Branch sings to Poppy. He pays attention very intently. Raylan sees the raw emotion in that scene and you can see it in his eyes, he understands.

Thank you and the entire Trolls cast for giving our boy something to soothe and make his day

-Mickey, proud mama of this sweet boy!

Scrunch Butt Gym leggings

I am a little obsessed when it comes to workout wear and I have been since I became a personal trainer in 2011. The new trend is leggings with “scrunch” butt or the technical term ruched leggings. I looked online for these super cute leggings and could not find any that I was comfortable buying. The ones I found were a small fortune and I wasn’t sure if they would even fit right. So I decided to make my own.

It wasn’t that hard for me because sewing is like my thing. But the easiest way to make them is to sew elastic into the seam of a pair of leggings you already own. Or you can 100% make them from a pattern and just add stretched elastic to the rump seam.

The pattern that I choose to use was the Patterns for Pirates peg leg pattern, you can find all sorts of hacks for this pattern on their very own website here. I cut everything out as normal and before I put my waist band on (double in width for high waist) I sewed a piece of elastic in to the rump. The elastic measured 2 inches shorter that the rump seam and I stretched it along the seam so it was perfect length. I will post a video in more detail of they DIY soon.

For the matching bra I used the Brazi pattern for the cross Brazi. This pattern is found here.

Material is from Joann fabrics and can be found here.

29 Days Of Halloween Tutorials

I’m just a small town country girl sooo loves makeup and costuming! What better time of year to do a series on costume makeup looks than Halloween!?

The series will costume looks I have completed before and some I’m trying for the first time. This is a challenge for me to really practice my skills.

Looks will be Makeup and Hair only no costumes.

  1. Egyptian eyes
  2. Roman Empress
  3. Lumber jack
  4. Porcelain doll
  5. Mermaid
  6. Kangaroo
  7. Fawn
  8. Fairy
  9. Sugar skull
  10. Raggedy Ann
  11. Amazon warrior
  12. Scarecrow
  13. Puppet
  14. Pop Art/Comic Art
  15. Cheetah
  16. Pirate
  17. Cat Woman
  18. lagertha or Viking
  19. Giraffe
  20. Jack O Latern
  21. Lion
  22. Elf
  23. Poppy
  24. Dracula
  25. Galaxy
  26. Ice Queen
  27. Frankenstein
  28. Poison Ivy
  29. Camo

Final Surprise look will be my Halloween costume! I am beyond excited to share with everyone!

Here are some looks I have done in the past. I will recreate each look. Lets see how much my skills have changed!

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