Wednesday, February 18, 2015


i've been staring at a blank screen for 5 months. that's how long it's taken me to even think about, write about, or even really talk about...what i've been feeling and going through these last few months. 5 months of me just staring at the screen being terrified of pulling back these layers of sadness and grief. 5 months of trying to get a hold of my emotions, get out of bed, be present and navigate this new life of mine. 5 months of feeling so disoriented and lost. 5 months of completely giving up on my faith and questioning if it was ever real. 5 months of looking back on my life and dissecting every single moment of it. 5 months of playing that day in my head over and over again and asking why. why me? why not me? If not me...who?

september 12th, 2014 my mom passed away.

just sitting here staring at that sentence brings tears to my eyes. she's gone. my mom... the most important person in my entire life. the woman who gave me life. the woman who raised me to be respectful, that anger takes more energy than forgiveness, that you should never leave your house without makeup...(you never know who you might meet). the woman who told me every single day that she loved me and that she was so proud of me and the life i built. it's amazing seeing it typed out like that. just that quickly 60 beautiful years came to an end. i went from planning a cruise with my mom to planning her funeral all in one day. literally. it's unbelievable how quickly death can consume the living. how one day you are just living life and feeling so blessed by all the things you have to feeling like everything you ever believed in was a lie. how could a God you believe in take something so important away from you... knowing it would cripple you in so many ways. knowing that you might never forgive. knowing that the very person your mom helped mold and shape could be lost forever. 

i've spent months just going over and over it in my head. how that morning my mom and i were finalizing our cruise details to the hospital calling me and  telling me my mom had collapsed. how just 1 hr before our travel agent was telling me how amazing and cool she thought my mom was...after only talking to her for 15 minutes. how in just 15 mins a stranger could tell how amazing and special my mom was. how i had just hung up with her after i told her i was at work and couldn't talk and she said " girl you better go into the bathroom or something and talk to me. we have details to finalize." and just as i had so many times before...i went and talked to my mom while hiding in my work bathroom. Who would have known my last conversation with my mom would be in the bathroom. That sums up our relationship pretty well. That's who we were.

when i was younger i always wondered why people would say "loss" when someone died.  i mean when you lose something there is always a chance of it being found. but now i get it. they are talking about the loss you feel within yourself.'s a loss alright. this feels more than a loss...this feels like a tragedy and a constant dagger just hanging out in my heart. death is such a surreal thing. i mean i have never planned an actual funeral. no one ever really talks about it. one minute you are finding out that your loved one has pasted away and the next you are expected to pick out what the person should wear and what kind of casket they would want. this isn't something people are prepared for. i mean there should be a class in high school that prepares you for a reality like this. another part no one prepares you for is the anger. i know people talk about the stages of grief but they don't really really talk about how long you can stay in those stages. it's like being pushed off a cliff...landing without a scratch but missing where and how you were when you were up on the cliff. if that makes any sense at all.

there is this amazing poem by Linda Ellis called THE DASH. I've loved this poem ever since i was a kid and my mom read it to me after her favorite aunt died. She would tell me...remember to make your dash worth something. Go out there and be amazing. My mom was always really motivational like that. Not really sure where she got this quality from but it has been so amazing for me in my life. my mom had an amazing dash if i don't say so myself. she had the most wonderful personality. she never knew a stranger and would let you have the clothes off her back if you needed them. i am so proud that i got to spend almost 31 years with this phenomenal woman i get to call my mama. she was and always will be my best friend. i am so happy to say i was brought into this world by someone so special.  
I will miss your smile. I will miss your ability to just hear my voice and know if something was wrong. I will long for our hour phone conversations about absolutely nothing but filled with absolutely everything. I will miss hearing you tell me a story that I'm 100% sure only I would understand. I will miss how you could give me just one look and I would know exactly what you were thinking. I will miss the fact that no matter how hard they friends would never know exactly what you were saying. I will miss that Mississippi slang. I will miss the made up nicknames you gave me that made no sense and had no story behind them but you loved. I will miss the unspoken prayers you always sent my way. Even if I wasn't praying I always knew you were praying enough for both of us. I will so miss your hugs. The kind of hug that just makes the world fill alright. I will miss the love we shared for all things fashion. Even if you had no idea how to pronounce a single designers name. I will miss you calling me at all times of the night and sending me pictures to see what i thought about vacation outfits. Lastly...I will miss the love. The kind of love only a mother can give. The kind of love that just makes every single day something to live for...knowing that you would be there always to have my back no matter what. 
I love you mom and will miss you to the end of my days. 
-Love Tounk


doesn't matter how tough we are
trauma always leaves a scar
it follows us home
it changes our lives
trauma messes everybody up
but maybe that's the point
all the pain and the fear
and the crap
maybe going through all that is what keeps us moving forward
it's what pushes us
maybe we have to get a little messed up before we can step up 

Thursday, September 11, 2014


8 months and 2 weeks.....
that's how long it's been since i have even looked at this blog. that's how long it's been for a lot of insane, tragic and amazing things to happen to me. that's how long it's been for me to talk myself into believing everything is going to be alright. that's how long it has taken me to see the light at the end of the tunnel. and lastly...that's how long it's taken me to realize that this little bloggy of mine is really the perfect therapy. 
so here i am...back with a vengeance and ready to spill my guts! (yet again!) 

hmm... where to start? 
well i guess i'll start with losing my job. 
yep that's right. i lost my job last fall. how you ask? well it's a bit of a long story but let's just say deep down i knew better than to take the job. but as you know... i live by the strict motto: leap and the net will appear. and boy did i leap. i leaped so far...that i literally passed the net, all common sense, all reason and fell into a deep dark hole. the kind of hole that even your closest friends and family can't pull you out of . the kind of hole that swallows you whole and blinds you to all reality. that hole is called DENIAL. oh denial! how i loathe you. you know when you find a job that you think is just calling on your heart and soul and it's all you can think about? this opportunity was exactly that. or so i thought. 

anyone else ever been here? 

so yea...i was unemployed for 4 months. this was completely new territory for me. you hear about people losing their jobs all the time. you just never think it's going to happen to you. i'm no different i know but man does it suck. you find out real fast how strong you are. you find out who your real friends are. you find out what true boredom and loneliness feels like.  you find out that God doesn't mess around when he's trying to teach you a lesson. (GOT IT GOD. YOU PROVED YOUR POINT) it's amazing how quickly you start to sink in and find out what you are made of. there are these moments when you are sitting alone in your apartment; you start to let your thoughts go negative. the kind of thoughts that make you think this will never get better. how did this happen to me? i'm a good person right? those questions.  it was in these moments that i now realize i had a lesson to learn. the good ole' lesson of patience.  you know what's crazy about's something you think you have and are great at. then BAM! not so great at it! not even the least bit. come to find out...i have no patience oh and i'm a blubbering baby. oh yea...the good tears. the kind of tears that make you pull out the ugly cry. 
(we all have one. don't judge) 

i heard this amazing quote the other day that just stuck with me and pretty much summed up my entire experience. "it doesn't matter how tough we are. trauma always leaves a scar. it follows us changes our lives. trauma messes everybody up but maybe just maybe that's the point. all the pain and the fear and the crap. maybe going through all this is what keeps us moving forward. it's what pushes us. maybe we have to get a little roughed up before we can step up. " -a.c

pretty profound huh? 
after 30 years of living i now know it's not about the lesson; it's about the navigation. it's not about the feelings; it's what you do with the feelings. it's not about the end result; it's about the war wounds you obtain getting to the end. 
Fast forward 7 months. insert the help of amazing friends, a new job i love and feeling stronger than i've ever been... i'm here feeling like i'm going to be alright. 

when you're in it you can't imagine seeing the light. 
i've think i've officially found the light. 

Friday, January 17, 2014


dear chicago, i love you so much but this weather is a little much. negative 22 degrees to 40 degrees. are you trying to get me sick? this relationship of ours is really starting to get strained. can you hurry up and bring back your gorgeous summer face? dear knit picks, thanks for accepting my expired gift card. i'm not quite sure what i would have done without my knitting during this chiberian insanity. dear  mom, if you could come back to chicago like asap…that would be great. i miss you. thanks. dear tangled friends, thank you so much for all the birthday wishes on instagram, twitter and this here bloggy. you are are so stinkin' sweet. dear youtube,  darn you…why am i just now coming to the vlogging party? i mean…why was i not told earlier how freaking cute some of these families are? shout out to the nive nulls, gabeandbabetv and Patricia Bright! you guys have made my insomnia way more entertaining. oh to you peeps who haven't rsvp'd to this awesome party…subscribe now! i's quite entertaining. dear anthony evans, kari jobe and francesca battistelli, your music has been my life raft these last couple of months. i'm about 100% sure you will never know how much it got me through some tough days. dear soul city, i have no words for how much i love you. i've never been prouder to be a part of such an amazing community of believers. i'm proud to call you my church home and grow with you in the light and love that is Christ.
love really does work.

here's to the weekend