Friday, May 19, 2017

My College Life: What I've Learned This Year

Another semester done!!! 

This was my second full-time semester as a music major.  And boy, was it super hard!  I took 12 hours, but for a music degree, that is equivalent to about 20 classes.  Okay, not really, but it was a lot.  Plus, there are lots of requirements outside of classes. 

I learned so many instruments and techniques and was constantly practicing.  I'm a guitarist now, y'all!!!  However, I do not feel like I excel at any one instrument.  I definitely feel like I'm just an average musician.

I learned a lot about music, but what I learned even more was how to be more giving and more compassionate.  In a world full of hate and hurt, I wanted to show the opposite.  I wanted to show love and caring.  I encouraged my friends, I gave when the need arose, and I listened anytime someone needed to talk.  Hence, I earned the nickname "Mom".

I absolutely love my college friends.  I have met some insanely talented and unique individuals and am so glad they have become part of my life. Our music theory class was incredibly hard and, at times, frustrating, and we all suffered together, but that class dynamic was fun and made it bearable. 

I learned how to juggle an insanely busy schedule.  Not just mine, but my husband's schedule and my kids busy schedules.  I was the keeper of the calendar.  Craig dubbed me as his "personal secretary".  We had no idea what was in store for us these past few months.  It has been nothing but excitement and chaos all at once. 

But, I made it.  I supported my husband through his biggest career moments.  I supported my daughter through her new journey as a volleyball player.  I supported my son through his baseball journey on a new team with new coaches and new friends.  And I maintained my 4.0 GPA.   I tell you this, not to gloat, but to simply encourage.  There were many moments of tears and second guessing my decisions.  There were struggles and feelings of not having enough time in each day.  There were the thoughts of wondering if I was doing enough as a wife and mother.  I know I'm not alone in these feelings. 

So, I just fervently prayed. 

Every. Single. Day.

God guided me through these months.  He brought me peace in the midst of chaos.  He lifted me up in my moments of feeling down. 

Don't give up on your dream.  Try not to feel overwhelmed.  Keep fighting through those struggles and remember it will all be worth it someday. 

I know if I can do it, anyone can do it. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Year of Growth: We Have Been Pruned and We Have Been Planted

When God first told us this would be a year of growth, we never expected so much growing to happen in such a short amount of time.  We have felt pruned, we have felt the seasons changing, and we have felt planted.  Now, we are ready to bloom.

Preston has had to overcome the obstacle of starting on a new baseball team.  When you have been part of the same one for so long, you become comfortable.  New things can be uncomfortable.  Isn't being uncomfortable also part of growth?  Preston has had to adjust to a new team with new coaching styles.  He's had to make new friends and find his place in a team.  Fortunately, he has always been very adaptable to his surroundings.  He fits right in with this team and his teammates voted him as co-captain.  Now, he needs to learn to grow as a leader.  He needs to always be setting an example to follow.  He has been pruned, he has been planted, now he is ready to bloom.

Kaitlyn is starting her new season of growth by being part of a sports team for the first time ever.  She has made an easy adjustment to this new venture.  She has overcome her time of being a loner and staying to herself.  Now, she can grow as a volleyball player, a team player, and learn to enjoy a new hobby.  She has been pruned, she has been planted, now she is ready to bloom.

I started a new semester of college and felt God was telling me not to be overwhelmed.  I tried so hard to make it through with ease.  However, within a few weeks, I did feel overwhelmed, and broke down and had to give it all to God.  It's a lot of pressure to excel in your studies, excel as a mom, excel as a wife, and not forget who you truly are.  But that moment of breaking down, of being pruned, is what I needed to ensure everything would be okay.  It's still a lot of pressure, but I am taking one day at a time, sometimes one hour at a time.  I have been pruned, I have been planted, and now I am ready to bloom.

Craig has experienced amazing growth professionally, receiving not just one, but two promotions since January (3 promotions altogether within the past year).  He has had to overcome a lot of mismanagement and negativity to get to where he is today.  Now, he has been given an amazing opportunity of opening a brand new store, which he didn't think was possible so soon.  He has stepped up in his leadership and proven time and time again that he is capable of the duties he has been given.  He has been pruned, he has been planted, and now he is ready to bloom.

As a family, we have faced other areas of growth.  We are extremely loyal people, but when loyalty is taken away from us, it's like a branch breaking off a tree.  It hurts.  Pruning hurts.  But, there are always growing pains.  Sometimes the past hurts come back to haunt you.  How are we going to handle those pesky weeds that are not wanted in our garden?  We pray for God to continue to bring us through the growth that is needed to overpower and kill off that negativity. 

As I sit here and write about what's on my heart in between practicing my instruments, I'm watching my kids play outside with a street full of neighborhood kids and I hear the dull roar of the lawnmower as Craig does some real pruning, I cannot help but be thankful for all that we are going through.  God never said it would be easy, but He did say to trust Him. 

Life is good.

And we are ready to bloom.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Spring Break 2017

Ahhh, vacation!  We were so ready to getaway.  As we continued to check off our list of states, Colorado was next.  We packed our jackets and headed off to Durango! 

We stayed at the fabulous Hilton with a room facing the Animas River.  We were greeted with warm chocolate chip cookies and a fabulous view.  We were pleased to find out downtown Durango was within walking distance, so we didn't have to drive around town.

Our first day was spent driving through snow covered mountains to Mesa Verde National Park to explore the cliff dwellings.  The climb down to the dwellings was steep and narrow.  However, once we got up close to the dwellings, we were just in awe.  It was amazing to see the homes built into the side of a mountain hundreds of years ago and imagine how the people navigated their way around the rocks.  We had another narrow climb up some ladders and we were safely on level ground again.  It is a nice national park with beautiful scenery. 

The next day was spent on a coal train going from Durango to Cascade Canyon.  The views on the ride were just stunning!  It takes about 2 hours to go up the mountain, almost an hour for lunch, and then 2 hours back down the mountain.  The time went by quickly and it was a great experience!

Durango is a small touristy town not far from the ski resorts in Purgatory.  There are plenty of outdoor activities nearby and lots of unique restaurants.  We tried Fired Up Pizzeria, Steamworks Brewing, and Grassburger

So, off to Arizona we went!  Talk about a change in weather.  We had winter clothes packed for Colorado and summer clothes packed for Arizona.  The first evening in the Phoenix area was spent with Craig's grandparents.  We don't get to see them often, but we correspond a lot.  It was so nice to hear some of their stories and we were able to share our latest news.  Times like that are very special and meaningful.

Surprise is a suburb of Phoenix and it is also where the Texas Rangers (among other teams) have their Spring Training.  We had been before and we were eager to go again.  This time, we found out guests can attend open practice in the morning before the game.  It was amazing!!!  Rangers were practicing on several different fields, working on drills, walking around, signing autographs...Craig and Preston couldn't get enough.  We watched the game where the Rangers beat the Cleveland Indians 12-11 and had such a great time.  We stayed at the fields for 7 1/2 hours, got 9 autographs, talked to a few players, and Preston even got a game ball.  I'm sure it won't be long until we plan another visit again.  It's definitely an experience I highly recommend to any baseball fan.


We finished the trip at Hard Rock Café, a restaurant we like to visit in different cities.

We woke up early the next morning and starting the long journey back home.  We were so glad to be in our own comfy beds again.  However, we are always so thankful to be able to explore different parts of America.  Until next time...
Follow our pics on Instagram @desireelkelley #KelleysExploreAmerica

Saturday, February 18, 2017


In this season of growth, God has stretched, tested, and increased our faith.  We have learned, experienced, and prayed through countless situations.  Yet, we thank God for so much that has already happened just this year.

Sometimes you have to revisit the past and truly try to understand what God was teaching you in those moments.  Those visits can hurt, but they can also bring closure and healing.  By looking back, you know exactly how to move forward.

Sometimes you have to trust that everything you've told your kids, all the lessons you've tried to teach them, are embedded in their hearts and mind.  You have to let them spread their wings, slowly, no matter how hard  it is to watch.  Just be there to catch them when they fall.

Sometimes people are simply not nice.  Their words hurt you or hurt your loved ones.  Instinctively, you want to hurt them back, but it is in those times that you must simply love them.  You must show them the kindness they did not give to you.

Sometimes you have to put down the instruments, stop the music, and just walk away.  You need to have time to refocus, remember your purpose, and then start again with a renewed mind.

Sometimes life is hard.  Life is busy and chaotic.  Life can get in the way of what you really want to be doing.  You've got to remember to be in continual prayer for guidance and wisdom.  There is a purpose for all of it.

And sometimes it's okay to put everything on pause, take a breather, and remember who and what are important to you.  Things happen for a reason, not just sometimes, but all of the time.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

The Year of Growth

2017 is the Year of Growth for this family.  And when God first revealed this to me, I didn't want to accept it.  But then, I kept hearing Him speaking it during my prayers.  He also revealed to me all the ways He wants this family to experience growth.  There was no more denying it.

When a rose bush is planted, the soil around it provides nourishment.  It needs the seasons of rain to allow it to continue to grow.  On occasion, pruning takes place to rid the rose bush of anything that is not beneficial to its growth.  And most importantly, it needs the sun for all the warmth, energy, and extra nutrients to become its fullest beauty.  Without the sun, it will wither and die.

It needs the sun.

We need the Son.

Our year of growth has already started.  Let me just say, growing pains can hurt!  But to experience all that God has to offer us, we must be willing to experience those pains.  It causes us to fully rely on Him and increase our faith.

We know we must be pruned also.  We want relationships and people around us that will help us along the way.  They will pour into us and we can pour into them.  When we take off those "rose colored glasses" and see people for who they truly are, it can be so heartbreaking.  In the long run, it will save us from even more heartbreak.  God knows what He's doing when He "prunes" people from our lives. 

We have been preparing our hearts for this upcoming year.  We know it will be a time of real intimacy with God as our trust deepens and our faith is stretched.  It's scary to step out of our comfort zone that has been our retreat.  By our willingness to step outside of it, we are allowing God to lead us anywhere and provide all we need to grow.


We need the Son.