Archive for Parenting Joy

Father’s Day Is Truly A Joy










If you’ve known me or even followed me for awhile, you’ll remember that my daddy passed away when I was just 21 years old. You’d think today would be a little sad for me, but thankfully, that’s not the case. I remember so much love from father…and thanks to my husband, I get to witness daily a shining example of a loving provider and father right before my eyes. So, Father’s Day is truly a joy for me…and here’s a few reasons why…

My Memories

As far back as I can remember, I was loved by my daddy. He was proud of me and he told me so. He smiled when I entered a room…his eyes lit up…he greeted me with hugs and kisses. If I was asleep, he ALWAYS came into my room & gave me a goodnight kiss. I would wake up just a little, enough for me to be aware of his smell, even to this day. His leather jacket & cologne…even musty smells from his smoking habit…I relish every single, precious memory.

I think perhaps the memory I am most grateful for is being home from college the day he passed away. Actually, I consider it a gift. That day, I saw him before going out shopping with my momma. He kissed me goodbye and told me he loved me. Later that night, I would find him asleep in his chair. Yes, I did. No one else did. Just me.

Yes, that’s a special memory. I was not even suppose to be home that day…but I was. There was a reason for me to be there, God put me there. God gave me that special gift. He showed me that HE’S got my back and will always put me where I need to be. From that day, I have never questioned why something is happening or where I am led…I just go with what or who I am drawn to. There’s a purpose for every experience. I’ll be talking more about that in future posts, but let me just make it clear…I got all THAT on the day my daddy died.

That is a big lesson to learn early in life. I know it helped shape me. I would have missed so much had I not decided to go home on that one day. How can I not be grateful for that? I think about it almost daily and celebrate it every single chance I get…especially on holidays like this one!



My Man

When I was 22 years old, I went on a “first date” with the man I would marry two years later. We have been married for 33 years…he’s a loving, hard working husband and father. Without him, there would be far, far less joy in my life. Just as God put me where I needed to be the day my daddy died, He also put this man into my path and allowed us to meet, fall in love and get married. Celebrating him daily is not enough, so going on a little extra on holidays like today seems only fair!


My Mission

I am all about joy. I know God put me here to share joy, using my talents.

My father raised me around love and joy. He made sure I was involved in dance, and other activities that made me happy. That molded me into who I am today, doing what I do, loving movement and encouraging others to get up and move.

My husband helps me so much…believing in me…providing financial support…technology support…plus, all the physical labor that keeps aRoundJoy possible, from hauling hoops to events, to all the work he’s done to create my studio locations over the last 8 years. I am so blessed and need to tell you so much more. Again, in future posts I will be sharing lots more of our story.

So you see, without my daddy or my husband, there would not be aRoundJoy. It’s the truth. aRoundJoy has deep roots far beyond what you see…the vehicle I simply ended up with was a hoop, but my real joy and passion comes from my family. Thanks to them, I can keep providing an experience towards physical and emotional wellness through the joy of hooping…and I will continue to share more life experiences here with you, all with my hoop in hand!

Today, on Father’s Day, I simply thank God and celebrate these special men in my life!

aRound Anniversary JOY

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I didn’t always hoop. In fact,  I never even touched a hoop until I was 47 years old. Nevertheless, I have had abundant joy around me. With each passing year, each holiday, each birthday, each anniversary, each event, I reflect with more clarity. There is joy in my life. It’s a simple fact. Joy is there for the taking when we open our eyes.

After 33 years of marriage, I can REALLY see the joy everywhere in my life. Where it was hiding, how I tried to disguise it, when I let it slip away, who I felt it most with, what brought it around me the most and when I decided to let it take over. Joy became the most key element at some point and the rest, as they say, is history.



So, did the hoop have anything to do with this? Considering that I discovered hooping 23 years into my marriage, I can truthfully say “no”…I had lots of joy before I ever picked up a hoop. I think accepting the fact that I WAS around so much joy and being grateful actually allowed me to have my eyes more open to opportunities for more joy. Yes, you read that correctly. Joy led me to the hoop.

At some point after my youngest son graduated from high school, I just felt it was time to to not let the journey of “who I want to be” suddenly end. I knew feelings that were no where near joy. I had already experienced loss and many disappointments. So I decided to begin listening to those little happy feelings more deeply… and I would see what resonated with me most. What did I get a true sense of joy doing? That was how identified with hooping and knew I had to give it more than just a passing try. Sure glad I stuck with it. Did I have to seek outside my comfort zone, my family life and the day-to-day normalcy to embrace the hoop? Absolutely. Sometimes joy has a pull on your heart so strong. I knew this was something that would make me better in the long run, for my health and for my husband. It’s been a real blessing.

As I take a peek back into the past 33 years, however, I can say without question that I wasn’t always seeing the joy in each day. Marriage is always a work in progress. Raising children is THE HARDEST JOB in the world. I remember not being very happy on many days. Somehow, we made it through. Seeing the boys grow into real people, having their own way of doing things, being interesting individuals, THAT was when the bigger joy started happening. We taught them good morals and to care about others. We’ve accepted that it’s those two qualities that are the most important. I’m proud to keep modeling this to my family with my business. Our sons may be grown, but they still look at what we do and can learn by example. Seeing your grown children become successful is such a gift and joy! When you know they had to really struggle with ADHD and autism to get where they are in life, yet now are happy, productive adults, though? That makes the joy even sweeter, let me tell you!



As for my husband and I, being a couple again, having time for each other…THAT brings me the most joy. The hoop helps me move and stay vital, so I can continue to be active in my life. I want to still FEEL younger, have that youthful, playful spirit well into our 40th and 50th years of marriage…and thankfully, hooping will allow that.  How do I know this? Well, I have students who are a walking testimony, hooping in retirement brings them such joy! I’m watching and learning, to be sure!



Thank You, Kidd Kraddick

The sudden passing of Kidd Kraddick has hit me hard. I know I am not alone.

The outpouring of emotion for this man really is a testament to how he lived his life. He truly approached each day from a place of service to others. I just keep thinking about it and want to honor this man. Writing this will help me find some peace.

You see, my husband and I have a wonderful memory because of Kidd. He helped lighten our load at time we REALLY needed it.  I think it set us up to be better parents in the long run, I really do. It’s been weighing heavy on my mind the last 24 hours.

Now, for you to understand REALLY why, you need to know a little more about my past life as a mom. Many of you do know, but for those who don’t, there happens to be a new essay I wrote on  and I hope you will go read first. I just submitted that story last week, coincidentally, and in writing it, I was already “back” mentally to those early years, if you know what I mean. It was a pretty emotionally challenging time. Hearing about Kidd this week put me back there even more so, very deeply, since we have a backstory with his generosity. We still remember it very often, even as often as last weekend, while driving in the car. It only takes one song on the radio, and we mention Kidd’s name, smile, laugh and ramble on about what happened…we are instantly transported back to January 1992…

Robert wanted to do something special on my birthday to surprise me that year. We were living paycheck-to-paycheck at the time. I am talking Spaghetti-O’s & canned green beans were staples for dinner. Popsicles for dessert were a big treat! We hardly ever went out to eat or did much outside the home except school events and doctor/therapy appointments. We certainly didn’t go out on dates. Although money was very tight, he still wanted to do something different, and he figured out something that would really be shocking, but cost nothing. He called the radio station during Kidd’s morning show and actually got through! All he wanted to request was that Kidd say Happy Birthday to me “on air” that morning…you, know…have Kidd call me at home, unexpectedly, and make me freak out, on the radio, so it would be funny & brighten my day. It worked!

Our oldest son, Kevin, was in 1st grade at the time. He had been diagnosed the previous year with ADHD and was taking medication to help control it. This was a balancing act, to say the least. I was a stay-at-home mom, so I got to see the good and the bad of all that. From side effects of the meds to calls from the school, it was really hard. IT was my job, though.

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My youngest, Kyle, had been diagnosed with autism the summer of 1991, and by the following school year, was in pre-K classes, getting therapy for speech and we were all getting some counseling. You get the picture. I had a lot on my plate, and no time for myself or my husband. These boys consumed our every thought and free moment. It was overwhelming. We couldn’t complain too loudly, however, as they were otherwise healthy. To want free time away from them made me feel very guilty.

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With all this, I recall Robert was also just returning to work after yet another back surgery, and I know that’s why money was especially tight. We just had a lot going on and both accepted that even if all we can afford is a cute birthday card, that was enough. I was OK with having a simple dinner at home. I even had planned to DO IT UP,  buy some Ragu, cook some REAL spaghetti, make garlic toast and have a salad, to boot! I also had cake mix ready to make dessert, my own birthday cake, just to save money!

Then, that morning, I was in the kitchen, probably doing the dishes or starting to bake,  and the phone rang. YOU know, the one on the WALL, not in my back pocket (ha!!) …YEP, I was in shock! Here’s the kicker, though. Kidd carried on this nice conversation with me, discussing how impressed he was with Robert’s simple request. Kidd took the time to ask him a few questions and he could tell we both needed something MORE. He decided he would send us on a date! He gave us dinner for two at a nice restaurant in Las Colinas. THAT made me jump for joy and scream like a little girl! Yes, on the radio! He was laughing! He kept telling me to calm down! THEN, he went on to say, he wouldn’t want us to have to travel back to Arlington late, so he gave us an overnight stay at  the Embassy Suites hotel. At that point, I went nuts! I really don’t remember much else, other than he said something about we deserved it and he hoped he could be the kind of parent we were striving to be. I don’t remember the exact words but I do recall him praising us for being there for our kids and reminding us we have to take time out for ourselves once in awhile. He wanted to make that happen on my birthday. He was so nice!

Robert called a short time after the segment actually “aired” (it was delayed a few minutes and I got to listen, too…what I would GIVE to have a recording of it!). We were both just giddy and he was JUST as surprised as I was! We ended up having a wonderful evening and I seem to recall his mom stayed with our boys overnight. It was the first time we’d ever been away from them both. I wonder how long it would have taken for us to do that if Kidd never gave us that gift? I’m pretty sure it would have been awhile.

After dinner, we spent time walking around some local stores near the hotel. We stopped inside a Sound Warehouse (any of you locals remember those?) and picked up a cassette tape (oh, boy! how’s that for Old School?)…Be With You, by Mr. Big…

92Bday1Every time this song comes on the radio, and like I said, it just happened last week, we look at each other and say something like, “What does this make you think of?” Sometimes, all it takes is a look, while we sing-along…LOUDLY…and we think of that night. Kidd’s generosity stuck with us. It reminded us to have a giving spirit, to do something random and make people smile…he validated that we were being loving, hard working parents and gave us a night on the town, an evening of respite. It was only one of two evenings we ever stayed out overnight, away from our kids, while they were school aged. That evening was a really was a special time for us.

SO, that’s  what I remember most about Kidd Kraddick and I will always be grateful to him. He made me laugh, smile and gave me a life-long memory with my husband.

I cried tears of joy the day Kidd gave me that surprise. Yes, he brought me some random JOY…and his spirit will live on in so many of us because that was just what he did best. We can all learn from him.

Kidd continued to share the JOY, for YEARS…he sure did…let’s keep it up…in his memory.