Heart of a Fighter

Gwen was born nineteen years ago today.  She was 3 months premature and only weighed 2 pounds 2 ounces.  Gwen spent the first few months of her life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, with all kinds of tubes and IV’s coming out of her little body.

It was a precarious time and her survival was far from guaranteed.  In spite of it all, Gwen managed to thrive and is now a beautiful young woman.

My message for Gwen on her birthday, never forget you have the heart of a fighter.  You proved that by surviving and thriving during those first few months of life.  That strength and spirit will always be within you.  When struggles come your way, remember you have the heart of a fighter and you will prevail.

Birthday Clusters

For some reason, my family tends to have birthday clusters.  This week we have three birthdays.  Aaron’s birthday was yesterday.  Buddy’s birthday is today and Gwen will celebrate her birthday on Thursday.

The next cluster happens in September.  My mom will celebrate her birthday on the 6th and my birthday is on the 10th.

I think it’s strange how we have these birthday clusters, but it is also kind of cool.


Happy Birthday Buddy

Buddy and his siblings had been abandoned as new born puppies.  They were taken to a veterinarian hospital in Mobile, Alabama.  The puppies received medical treatment and care until they were old enough to be adopted.

Gwen’s dog T-Bone had recently passed away and she missed having a canine companion.  Arrangements were made for Buddy to be transported to Huntsville, Alabama.

Buddy has become a wonderful friend and companion to Gwen.  He also gets along great with the other Thaler dogs.  Buddy is friendly, caring, energetic, and intelligent.  He is a wonderful dog and is loved by everyone.

Today, Buddy turns 3 years old.  Of course we had a special doggy birthday cake and all of the dogs got a new toy.

Happy Birthday Buddy

My Birthday – 43 Years Old

I turned 43 years old today, so I thought I would share 43 fun facts about myself.

  1. I was born in Ft Bliss, Texas.
  2. I spent most of my childhood in Mannheim, Germany.
  3. I attended Department of Defense Educational System (DODES) schools.
  4. I have a BS in Cross Cultural Studies.
  5. I have an MS in theology.
  6. I attended Moscow University in Moscow, Russia, for three months.  Unfortunately, I still can’t speak Russian.
  7. I have a PhD in communication.
  8. I joined the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) in 2007.
  9. I am a member of the Sigma Chi Pi Honor Society.
  10. I know American Sign Language.
  11. I have a human research certification.
  12. I have a case management certification.
  13. I have a facilities engineering certification.
  14. I was part of a group that protested in front of drug dealers homes in Dallas, Texas.
  15. I like to do the polar bear plunge on the first day of the year.
  16. I am a certified life coach.
  17. I won the science fair in elementary school.
  18. I played the trumpet in my middle school band.
  19. I saw the Mona Lisa, while I was in Paris, France.
  20. I ate chocolate in Switzerland.
  21. I wondered around Austria.
  22. I ate fish and chips while vacationing in London.
  23. I visited Holland and saw the windmills.
  24. I was flashed in Canada.
  25. I sweated a lot during my week in Mexico.
  26. I like getting tattoos.
  27. My favorite color is blue.
  28. I am a horrible speller and probably would have flunked out of school without the help of a spell checker.
  29. I am an extreme introvert.
  30. I tend to be organized.
  31. I don’t like coffee.
  32. I can’t live without soda.
  33. I drive a Jeep Grand Cherokee.
  34. I love to read.
  35. I wear cargo pants everyday.  You never know when you might need those extra pockets.
  36. I have two pair of shoes (tennis shoes that I wear everyday and a pair of houseshoes).
  37. My family refuses to play foosball with me, because I always win.
  38. I don’t like to play checkers with my niece (Gwen), because she always wins.
  39. I am stubborn.
  40. I have a rebellious streak in me.
  41. I like to explore and try new things.
  42. When I was a teenager, I got banned from the mall, a gas station, and a movie theater.
  43. I used to be a vegetarian, but I failed.

Please share some fun and unique facts about yourself in the comment section.


Happy Birthday Aaron


Today is my brother’s birthday.  Aaron would have turned 40, but he passed away two years ago.

It feels weird to think of my little brother as deceased.  I always imagined us as old and grey, but still hanging out, having fun, and arguing about stupid stuff.

His death was sudden.  I vividly remember standing in front of the police officer, as he delivered the bad news.  The officer said, “I’m sorry, but he passed away.”  I just looked at the man and didn’t respond. It had to be a mistake, but there was no denying it.  That was my brother on the ground and he really was gone.

There is nothing I can give to Aaron for his birthday this year.  However, I promise to always be there for his daughter.  That promise is the best birthday gift I can offer Aaron.