Four years later, Hello 2020

Four years since my last post. Four years. It’s hard to compile 1,460 days in one post. A very high level overview of 2016 – 2020 would look something like this:

Austin, Texas

Austin, TX

I went to visit my brother and sister in Austin, Texas and absolutely loved it! Austin has such a rad and inviting vibe, it was hard to leave! The people are genuine and so kind. They don’t judge and accept you for who you are! It was really refreshing.

One of the cool places we went to was called Graffiti Park at Castle Hills. It’s closed now, but it was one of the coolest spots I’ve seen.

Jolene, Jaden, Mia, Kendyl, Bro.2, Me

Austin offers so much from glorious food, lots of outdoor activities, lots of really amazing towns, history, and the warmest weather!

Denver, Colordao

Arvada, CO

Went to visit two of my best friends, who conveniently live less than 15 miles from each other!

Backpacking in the Uintas

Lots and lots of camping with my fur sons! Living in Utah is such a blast. If you love the outdoors, Utah is one of the best places to live and visit. I can hit the mountains within 40 minutes from my house. Hit the desert in less than 5 hours… and so much more in between.

Wandering in Lander, WY

Angeles Landing, Zions National Park

Angeles Landing
Peek a Boo Slot Canyon, Escalante, UT
Needles Overlook, Canyonlands National Park, UT

I brought in the 2017 camping in Southern Utah. It was chilly but absolutely gorgeous. Since it was over holiday, the roads were clear and the crowds were less. The views were breathtaking!

Valley of the Gods, UT

Around 3:30 am it started to snow. Waking up to a blanket of untouched snow was pretty awesome. I didn’t expect it to snow, so I was a little caught off guard! It definitely was a camping trip I’ll never forget.

Surprise! Snow!

I bought a townhouse! It’s the most adulting thing I’ve done so far! Well, beside having my daughter. I’m really grateful I was able to purchase a home for my daughter and I. With hard work, patience, and lots of sacrifice, my dream came true!

Our first home

Visited Austin, Texas again! We checked out some really cool caves at a place called Inner Space Cavern. You go down about 90 feet into Mother Earth!

Inner Space Cavern, Georgetown, TX
Bat watching in Austin
Krause Springs, Spicewood, TX

I went to Philadelphia, PA for a work event. I was able to wander around and found some really cool places. This was my first time in PA. It’s such a cool place!

Wandering the streets of Philly
Love books
Streets of Philly
Philly Street Art
Historic Philly
Cathedrals everywhere
Streets of Philly

We love Halloween at our house! This is my favorite holiday of the year. Coming up with our costumes is one of the best parts of Halloween! Pumpkin patches, carving pumpkins, making pumpkin seeds, trick or treating, and my most favorite… dressing up!

Pumpkin Time
Halloween 2017
Cowboy Chester and Werewolf Rex

We had our very first Christmas in our new townhouse. We drove out to the Uintas, cut down a darling tree, and turned out home into the cutest cozy place for the holidays.

Christmas 2017
Christmas was a success!

I surprised my daughter with a trip to The Celebration of Harry Potter for Christmas! It was one of the best Christmas’ we’ve had! She adores HP and this Celebration is such a unique experience for HP fans! It’s a three day event inside the park with extra HP activities, panels, showcases, and more!

Surprise! We’re going to Orlando, FL
Celebration of Harry Potter
Savage Family 2017

Difference Maker…

The company I work for is amazing. @chghealthcare has a one-of-a-kind-culture, believes in their leadership and employees, creates community services and the desire to help others is outstanding. I was nominated for a new initiative called, Difference Makers. This nomination is for employees who go out of there way to help others and really make a difference in the community/anywhere. Out of 50+ nominees, I was fortunate enough to be one of the final 13! I was nominated for our precious Tembisa Tots! A small orphanage in Tembisa, South Africa I fundraise for and am in constant communication with. For the past four and a half years I’ve been fundraising and working with many people to help Mama and the 12-20 children she calls her own. There’s been wonderful changes and continue to be with the help of many from all over the world. The four finalists will be announced in February and will travel to Kenya in August with our CEO and others to help at a local school and community! The photo I’ve posted is a small but very impactful gift from our CEO, Scott Beck. I was given this rafiki (meaning friend in Swahili) bracelet that was hand made by a Kenyan woman. I am honored and thrilled to be a nominee and recognized for my Tembisa family ol that I hold close to my heart. Please visit to learn more about Mama and the Tembisa Tots. #chghealthcare #differencemakers #kenya #change #blessed #southafrica #africa #tembisa #tembisatots #give #rafiki #friend #thankful

Another push for help…

Hello everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve updated on the darling tots in South Africa. They have been doing so well for the past year! The community has really rallied around Mama in helping, volunteering, and showing support. I still receive emails and requests from people to help Mama. She is so grateful and feels so loved! So thank you very much for your kindness.

Even though Mama has been blessed with help from the community and others, she still needs to day to day necessicties. I have been working with and created a great friendship with a local woman, and a few others, who has graciously given their time to help Mama when possible and making sure things are going well.

We have created an account for South Africa and still have an account here in the States for those who would like to donate and help. If you are interested in the South Africa donation, please message me and I can give you those details.

Here’s a list of the basics the kids need

Rice, pasta, cake flour, mealie meal
Sugar, coffee, tea
Mabele, morvite, lentiles, split peas, beans
Oats, cooking oil, salt, soup packets, spices
Washing powder, dish washing liquid, Sunlight bar soap
Frozen vegetables
Tinned food: pilchards, beans, Bull brand
Tissues, toilet rolls
Tooth brushes, tooth pastes
Disposable nappies for 3-18 month old babies
Fissan paste/bum cream
Roll on deodorants for the teens
Sanitary pads for the teen girls
Long life milk/powder
Nan no. 2 baby formula
Soya mince, meat, chicken pieces

Thank you all for your constant support and interest in helping these Tembisa Tots. ❤

Tembisa Tots Video Update…

For the last few weeks our friends Dominic and Moipone have been here in the United States. They traveled from South Africa to visit a handful of families they’ve grown to know and love. Many couples have had the oppurtunity of opening their hearts and lives to these wonderful people while serving in Johannesburg, South Africa.  The Tshabalala family are one of the most incredible families I have met. With six children, Moipone and Dominic do an amazing job raising their kids in today’s world.

The cultural differences between South Africans and Americans range from many things. Both countries have many things each can learn from, and also many things that are hard to understand since we aren’t familiar with it.

In meeting Dominic and Moipone in 2011, I’ve come to understand a little bit of their culture and history. Less is more. It’s okay to not have everything. Really cherish what’s in front of you. Don’t take anything for granted. History is powerful. Your roots are strong but don’t shape your future; you shape your future. Faith is endless. Hope can be eternal. Family is home.

Dominic and Moipone have been a huge part of the Tembisa Tots. Dominic has been a wonderful translater for me and my family when we’ve visited. He’s been able to explain how things work in Tembisa. From the township’s system, explaining things to Mama, and working with the community in helping where they can. He’s been able to build a trusting relationship with Mama and the kids living in the orphanage. Moipone has grown to love each and every child and knows them individually and collectively.

I trust them completely. They have the best interest in mind for the children and Mama.

Since Dominic and Moipone are such a large part with the Tembisa Tots, Dominic and I made a short video message for all of those who have donated and those future donations. We want everyone to know that their donations go to a wonderful cause and truly help dozen of children.

With the funds that have been donated we have been able to do many great things at the orphanage. But there is always more to do. The kids need funds to attend school, uniform costs, and school supplies are always needed.

Please share and think about helping these darling tots this upcoming holiday season.

God bless and many thanks…

The Monumental 35th…

The last few weeks I’ve been anticipating my birthday. I usually love birthday’s, espcially mine! For some reason, I felt a little differently this year. I’ll admit I don’t look my age, I don’t act my age, and I don’t feel my age. I look like I’m 20, I think I act like I’m 30, I feel like I’m 25. And then reality sets in and I’m 35.

Thirty-five. Thirty-freaking-five.

For the first time I cried about turning another year older. I don’t think it’s the actual age, but this year’s birthday seemed to be a trigger for self reflection. Taking a step back and really understanding where I’m at in life. What I’m doing with it and where I’m going.

Things seemed pretty heavy and depressing for a couple of days before my big day. I woke up with a stomach ache and the thought of my 35th gave me butterflies. (Not the good kind)

My friends asked and would tell me I have no reason to be sad or upset about turning 35. They were right. I don’t. I I have been blessed with a beautiful daughter. I have been able to experience motherhood and have loved every minute of it. I know I have so much to be thankful for.

After thoughts, pondering, and soul searching, for me, it boils down to these things:

  • We live once. We have one life to create our own happiness.
  • Find a career or establish a career that you love. We spend most of our life working to live. We might as well do what our hearts desire and especially find happiness in it.
  • I want to find something where I can incorporate my passion and talents and use them to the fullest. I’m still searching but am more determined than ever.
  • Time is precious and goes by too quickly.
  • Keep those close to you closer. It’s so easy to get comfortable with those you’re around all the time. Take the time and do thoughtful things for your loved ones.
  • Don’t be so careless. It seems like today’s society is teaching our peers that “oh, it’s okay” or “it doesn’t matter” attitude is okay. It’s not okay. It lessens ones character and doesn’t teach our youth or generations younger than us what it’s like to be a genuine and solid person.
  • Don’t be lazy.
  • Take chances.
  • Learn from your mistakes and actually don’t repeat them.
  • Don’t be afraid to really know yourself. Figure out who you are, what you love/hate, don’t be someone else because of culture, preer pressure, or being afraid. Stand tall and be proud.
  • Don’t take things for granted.
  • Don’t let the “culture” play mind games with your head. It’s okay to be 35, not be married, not have your own home yet, and not have that dream job. (Man, saying all of that sounds depressing!) But it’s okay! Those are things that I can still gain and have plenty of time to do so.
  • Be happy. Sounds simple, but I’m finding it’s very hard for people to be truly happy. Especially with themselves.

I have read and re-read these things and know I could add to this list. I think everyone has those “mid-life” crisis moments and self reflection where we have to put ourselves back in check.

I am very happy to have such wonderful friends and family who really support me and love me throughout this thing called LIFE.

I enjoyed my thirty-fifth birthday. My morning was a little emotional but my the afternoon and evening I wasn’t feeling as bad as I was. My wonderful parents took me to lunch and I was able to go to dinner with some very close friends. We had great conversation, laughed all evening, and created some wonderful memories.

Cheers to turning another year older!

Goofy faces with my mini!
                 Goofy faces with my mini!

Love my friends...
                    Love my friends…