Your Gifts

When my uncle passed away unexpectedly in 2012, the medical staff asked if we wanted to donate his organs. We said yes, but we weren’t sure they would be able to use any of them. He had passed from a second massive heart attack and had been on dialysis treatments for more years than I can recall, had lost toes and was mostly blind from complications of diabetes. We were rather sure they wouldn’t be able to use anything. Sometime later my dad received a note saying that my uncle’s corneas had been transplanted. We were all astonished that a blind man had been able to give another person sight! What an amazing gift!

For some reason I started thinking of this today, and it reminded me that we all have gifts that can unexpectedly help others. These gifts could be natural talents that we use to entertain and bring smiles or make clothes to give to those in need. The gift could also be time. It could be as simple as spending time with a loved one or as dedicated as volunteering each week with a given organization. Perhaps the best gift is the gift of listening. When you truly listen to someone, you can hear what they are really saying. What’s the old saying? You have two ears and one mouth for a reason! There are so many gifts that can unexpectedly bless people. What gifts do you possess that could be an unexpected blessing?


The Great Kaysby 

2023 – Happy New Year to You & Me!

Happy New Year and welcome to 2023! We’re two days into this new year, and if you’re like me you’ve spent some time reflecting. As the minutes ticked down to midnight, I found myself writing down my highlights of 2022. There were quite a few (more than the previous two years), and to list them all here would take a while. However, some of the biggest were all of the family travels, holidays because LilKsby finally understood them, and our household career switch. When the clock struck midnight and 2023 began, I kissed Mr Kisby, and we both started thinking about what we want to 2023 to look like. One of my goals? Blogging more! I’m shooting for once per week, and to help I’m not going to limit my topic choice. I’m going to write whatever is on my mind which is also therapeutic. Today’s topic? New Year’s Superstitions!

I’ve never been someone to believe in superstitions. I’ve never been afraid of Friday the 13th; I’ve always loved having black cats and think they are adorable; I walked under a ladder when I was like 7 in a Waldenbooks store, and I don’t think I had bad luck until I was 14. However, I’ve always found New Year’s superstitions intriguing because my grandma always insisted on having black eye peas and cabbage for lunch on New Year’s Day. She said it brought luck in the new year, and I thought it smelled funny. This year I wanted to honor my grandma (she’s been gone 12 years this month) and have the “luck” foods. So I started looking up New Year’s superstitions out of curiosity. You can see the full article that I read here, but if you want the funny version of them, continue reading!

The Midnight Kiss – This is one that I had heard of for a long time. The idea is whoever you kiss at midnight will love you for the rest of the year. This one is nice in thought, but if you’re like me, then you kissed your spouse which means (hopefully) that you want them to love you for a lot more than a year! I plan to kiss my husband at midnight for at least the next 50 years!

Eat 12 Grapes At Midnight – The thought is that you eat one grape for each month, then you will get luck for all 12 months of the year. If you eat 11, I guess you get good luck for 11 months. If you eat 13, then I guess you need to work on counting or maybe you should’ve had a snack before midnight so that you didn’t feel the need to eat that extra grape! Also, when is it safe to eat the rest of the bag of grapes???

Those New Year’s Day Foods – This is the one I knew about, but I didn’t know until this year how much the “lucky” foods vary depending on where you look. So we covered as many bases as possible by having broccoli slaw (it had the cabbage), black eyed peas, pork, and spinach (it is green, therefore, to me it counts as having greens). I forgot about the corn bread, but we had some dinner rolls that were best by 1/1/23 and didn’t get sick, so I call that lucky! I also believe that you can count egg rolls for the cabbage and bacon or sausage for the pork. That’s my philosophy!

Don’t Leave the House Until Someone Visits You First – We did this one, but we also didn’t leave the house today either. This one struck me as the funniest because I’m pretty sure it was just a way to get people to stay home on January 1. If you think about it, if ever single person waited for someone to visit them first, then no one would be able to leave the house. We’d all be waiting! Then I thought if you live in a neighborhood, maybe you draw names to find out who has to be the unlucky one for the year. Then you send that person to everyone’s homes in the morning so that they can leave and still have luck. Still thinking this one was just meant to keep people at home. Also, what if you were out celebrating New Year’s Eve and weren’t even home? Does the stay at home take effect once you are inside your own house, or do you count as your own first visitor?

Full Cupboards – We also achieved this one, but only by accident. We went to the grocery on New Year’s Eve because I needed the New Year’s “lucky” food, and I picked up some other things while in the store. Allegedly, having a full cabinet on New Year’s Eve/Day ensures you will have full cabinets all year. I just call it smart because it’s winter and you never know when the weather is going to bad, or you never know when you are going to end up stuck at home because of illness, a broken vehicle, etc. Along the same note, you’re also supposed to start the year with a wallet full of cash to ensure wealth during the year. If I start the year with a wallet full of lottery tickets, does that mean I’m going to win the jackpot? I think that’s a great question!

For more of the superstitions and the reasoning behind them (beyond my semi-sarcastic reasoning) checkout the article I linked. Bonus, if you check it out now, then you have 364 days to get ready ready for next year! Happy 2023!


The Great Kaysby

The Healing of Love

Photo by Kristina Paukshtite on

Once again I am writing this as I reflect on a portion of Coursera class that I’m taking. At this moment, I am watching a video (it is paused for reflection) with Rabbi Patricia Karlin-Neumann about love as viewed through Judaism. One of the points of reflection was this: think about how love replenishes where as anger and outrage diminish. What a true sentiment!

Think about it. When people feel anger and fits of outrage, how are they often left? I know for me that while in the moment a fit of anger might make me feel better, in the long run anger and outrage make me feel depleted of energy and wanting to avoid human interaction. In our modern technology and social media driven society, anger even makes me want to avoid interaction via social media. Frankly, I’m glad that I’m not an overly angry person because I feel like that would be mentally and physically exhausting.

Love on the other hand, I could express love all day! Expressions of love fill my cup so to speak. When something is done in love, it brings the biggest smile to my face! It also empowers and makes me want to do more. There is something super energizing about love. I also love the feeling associated with altruistic love that comes with doing activities that lead to making the world a better place. I could talk all day about the goodness that comes from love, but I think the summation of it would be this: love keeps us going! Love gives us life!

What do you think about love?


The Great Kaysby

Change for Christmas

Winter Storm Elliott has brought many of us an unexpected gift for Christmas: change. When the forecast was made, many of us never dreamed that it would impact our Christmas plans. Even yesterday after the 53 degree temperature drop, the icy snow mix covering the ground, and spending the majority of the day at a wind chill of -17, I kept thinking there would be some Christmas magic that allowed our planned Christmas events to occur. Alas, I was wrong. The roads are still a mess, the temperature is 15 degrees with a wind chill of 0, and I don’t even know if salt works in this extreme. The result? Change for Christmas.

Let me preface this by saying that six out of ten times change is hard for me. That said, even though I know it is better to be safe at home, I got a little in my feels cooking breakfast this morning. Had things gone to plan, we would have already been having family gift time and been eating Chinese for lunch. Instead, I had already cleaned vomit (cats will eat anything even if it won’t stay down), started a crockpot of soup, and began a load of laundry. However, along the same line, if things had gone to plan, then I wouldn’t have been able to let LilKsby spend an hour laying in bed and “reading” his Christmas books to me. This was absolutely precious and priceless! Other things have also occurred this morning that made me glad to be home instead of out and about. So even though it wasn’t what we had planned, change for Christmas hasn’t necessarily been a bad gift for 2022.

As I was writing the previous paragraph, I started having memories of other times we’ve had change for Christmas. There have been a couple of times that my mom has missed out on Christmas festivities due to illness; there were Christmases (yes, plural) spent in the hospital with my grandparents. There was even one Christmas where my dad had to work because his job was essential. Thinking back on these changes, I realize that my real problem with change for Christmas is that I don’t like things that are out of my control or that I cant help fix. When my mom was sick, I could take care of her. When my grandparents were in the hospital, I could visit them. When my dad had to work, I knew that we could have things ready for him when he got home. However, in this case I can’t control the weather or how fast things are cleared. As much as it can be hard for me, I just have to wait.

So while we wait for improvements, I feel like this is a great time to slow down (the holidays can be a lot of rushing) and be thankful. Even with change for Christmas, I have A LOT to be thankful for this holiday. The first one of those is a loving like minded family also wanting to put safety first! It’s also a great time to just enjoy the moments now instead of pondering on what was supposed to happen. If you’re struggling with this gift of change for Christmas, then I invite you to also reflect on what’s going right today and for the things you have to be thankful about.

Merry Christmas Eve!


The Great Kaysby

Kindness Starts at Home

Another night, another Coursera discussion question that got me thinking. This time the prompt was to describe how you’ve witnessed love and kindness this week. The following was my response:

Since becoming a mother, I’ve had one goal for my child: to be kind. As as strong proponent of living by the philosophies of “love they neighbor” and “do unto others as you would have done to do you,” this has been extremely important to me. At the most basic level, I’ve taught my now toddler these philosophies by teaching him and modeling to him conversational kindness by saying “Please” and “Thank you” along with other common courtesies. Additionally, we have worked on doing things like sharing with others and how to help someone when they are sad. This holiday season we’ve taken our teaching him about kindness one step further and taught him about the importance of giving to others via The Angel Tree.

The Angel Tree has been an important holiday tradition for my husband and I for as long as I can remember. We always loved blessing children in need during the holiday season, and when our own child came along, we knew we wanted to teach him to do the same. Because of Covid, we hadn’t had an Angel Tree child since 2019, but we knew immediately that we wanted to help a child this year. As we started talking about it, I started thinking that I wanted our toddler to be involved in the entire process. I thought that this would be a great way to start showing him that Christmas isn’t just about getting presents from Santa. So when the time came to choose a child, we had our toddler pick who we were going to bless this Christmas. We asked him what angel he wanted to pick, and he told us a baby boy.

Once the child was chose, we had discussions with our toddler about what things the baby from the Angel Tree wanted. We talked about how the things on the baby’s list would be for him and not our toddler. I was amazed at how understanding our toddler seemed to be of this concept. Today, we finally did the shopping for our Angel Tree child. We took our toddler with us, and we made a big deal about how we were going to be getting things to give to the baby he picked. Together as a family, we spent a few hours picking out items for the baby from the Angel Tree. I was so proud of how my toddler picked out toys and clothes for this little baby that we don’t even know. By the end of the trip, he was saying “Baby’s Name needs this!”

Tomorrow, we will be dropping off all of the items that we bought today. I always get sentimental when we drop them off because I always feel blessed to be able to help others. This year I feel even more blessed because I believe that my toddler is learning the importance of kindness and love from things like this. Why is that so important? Because learning kindness starts at home.


The Great Kaysby

What Is Love?

I’ve often heard that school is never out for the teacher. Even though I am no longer teaching in the traditional sense, I still find myself wanting to learn about a variety of topics. That said, I recently signed up for a few courses via Coursera (they did not pay me to post that). So far I’ve been working on Love As a Force for Social Justice, and our first assignment was to define what love means to us and what we believe the opposite of love is. The following was my answer:

From my experience of love and what I have read in this course so far, there isn’t just one definition of what love is as it tends to vary by person. For me love can be defined in three ways. First of all, love is a feeling. It is a feeling comprised of trust, understanding, caring, commitment, kindness, and patience. Secondly, love is an experience of joy and being one’s best self. This is the type of love embodied by things such as loving nature and feeling most alive when outside or loving to serve others and finding joy in volunteering. Finally, love is a living and exemplifying The Golden Rule. There is no greater way for me to define love than by demonstrating the ability to love others as I love myself. Thus far, this is how I would define love.

The opposite of love is hate which can be embodied in a variety of ways. One way that hate is the opposite of love is that hate involves mistreating others. When people are mistreated for any reason this shows hate. Additionally, hate is the opposite of love in that hate involves violence. Violence can be verbal, physical, or in writing. Lastly, hate is the opposite of love as it involves characteristics not associated with love such as injustice, discrimination, and deception. When these characteristics are present, love cannot be shown. These are some of the reasons that I feel hate is the opposite of love.

How do you define love?


The Great Kaysby

Thanksgiving – Open for Business

A couple of days ago, I saw a sponsored ad on Facebook for Big Lots Thanksgiving sales. I don’t have feelings one way or the other about a sale at Big Lots, but I was curious to see the comments. They seemed to be equally balanced between “How dare you be open on a holiday?” and “Great! I might come shopping!” I can be understanding of both perspectives. On one hand, it is wonderful when families get together for the holidays on the holiday. On the other hand, some workers rely on the extra holiday pay, some people don’t celebrate holidays, and some people spend time with family while shopping. Aside from both sides of the Big Lots argument, I started thinking about if people were just applying these arguments to retail stores, or does it bother them that other establishments are open on holidays?

My first thought to this question was that I am glad essential care places are open on holidays. Twice in my life, we have been thankful for emergency health services being open on the holidays. The first was when I was ten. We had family visiting from Kansas for Christmas, and my cousin got really sick. Luckily, the hospital emergency room and a pharmacy were both open for the holiday. The second instance didn’t impact me directly, but the memory is crazy vivid. We were in Oklahoma having Thanksgiving with family, and my uncle’s neighbor accidentally got run over by the car he was repairing. Literally ran over! Guess how glad we all were that medical professionals were working that holiday? Seriously, the neighbor may not have lived otherwise. We were thankful for all of those working that played a part in those instances!!!

I understand that medical facilities are a far stretch from Big Lots, but gas stations aren’t that far of a stretch from Big Lots. I’ve been very thankful that gas stations are open for holidays. We’ve almost always traveled for holidays be it for 20 minutes or 12 hours. Guess what is necessary for travel? Gas! I can also say that never were we the only customers at gas stations on holidays. There were always other people getting gas, using restrooms, and getting travel snacks.

Speaking of travel, on holidays we have also been very appreciative of hotels and restaurants being open for breakfast. Yes, a big part of Thanksgiving is eating, but those meals are usually later in the day. I still remember a delicious diner on Thanksgiving morning in Oklahoma. It was close to the hotel where we were staying, and they had the best waffles with strawberries and whipped cream on top! Seriously, I remember them almost 30 years later! Likewise, we’ve also been appreciative of restaurants open on holidays when we’ve had relatives in the hospital. When a close relative’s life is in the balance, the last thing you want to do on a holiday is cook a big meal at home. Also, and I say this from experience, there are only so many hospital cafeteria meals you can eat. Even if the food is decent, it is unsettling hearing “code blues” announced on speakers when your relative is in ICU/CCU. Sometimes to keep your sanity, you need a non-hospital cafeteria meal on a holiday!

Another essential to keeping sanity is having entertainment. How many people watch football on Thanksgiving and Christmas? I’d almost wager that some of the people acting like Big Lots is the evil incarnate for being open on Thanksgiving are watching the NFL today. In my head, I hear them arguing “Those players get paid millions! They know what they signed up for! Their families can have Thanksgiving another day!” What about the officials, the parking attendants, the concession stand employees, and the stadium maintenance staff? When you’re watching at home, there still has to be people working on site that make the game experience possible. Likewise, how many people have been to the movies on Thanksgiving or Christmas? I have! Growing up, we would go as a family. It was always fun after a meal early in the day. Also fun on a holiday? Watching parades! I’ve never seen a single person complain about all the people who have to work on Thanksgiving and Christmas to make parades happen. I’m sure thousands of people have to work to make these parades happen!

So if we are thankful for medical services, travel services, and entertainment being open on holidays, why do people get so bent out of shape about stores being open? Is it because people like saying “greedy retail establishments”? That doesn’t make complete sense given travel services and entertainment also generate income on holidays. Is the root of it because people like to complain about things they don’t understand? Whatever the argument is, I hope that everyone who reads this has a blessed holiday season!


The Great Kaysby

And Now For a Very Sensitive Subject…

Warning – this post is going to contain some very poignant questions. Writing this comes at a time when controversial elections are coming and more people who indirectly impacted my life are dying from their demons. If you’re open to reflection based on that, then please continue to read.

Currently where we reside, there are signs everywhere that say “Vote Yes for Life.” Every time I see one, I feel compelled to write. Until now, I’ve been afraid to write because I’ve been afraid of the backlash that could come with it. However, I keep thinking that not writing about it is worse than what people will think about what I write. I concluded that not writing is kind of like the concept that there are no innocent bystanders. So here goes!

Why does a sign get me all in my feels (like just typing this makes me shaky with emotion)? Because on paper I’ve had an abortion. At the time, I didn’t know that is what it was. I had suffered a miscarriage, and I was told that the best option would be a procedure called a dilation and curettage commonly referred to as a D&C. Without that procedure, waiting to fully miscarry naturally could have come with a lot of health risks including severe hemorrhage. Given that I wanted a healthy outcome in a horrific situation, we scheduled the procedure. Grief aside, everything went well. When the medical report came to my online chart, I read it the same as I would have any other medical results. Guess what the medical report called a D&C? It called the procedure a “medical abortion.” My grief over the loss of my child was quickly matched with feeling confusion given how often the uninformed masses assume any woman who has had an abortion is a horrible person. In my heart, I knew that I was (and am) a good person. From my own experience I got to thinking about if strong “Yes For Life” people know that abortion isn’t a black and white topic. I also wondered if they revere all life as much as that of unborn babies. As my mind kept going I kept thinking of all of the following questions for adamant “Yes For Life” people.

1. Do you believe the life of the baby is more important than the life of the mother if she is gravely at risk? Personally, I cannot imagine keeping a woman from her own life saving medical care! Side note, some doctors have been afraid of performing life saving procedures for those miscarrying or having ectopic pregnancies with all of the trigger laws. Is that being “yes for life”?

2. Do you believe the life of a baby is more important than the life of children with bodies physically not developed enough to safely deliver the baby that they conceived from rape, incest, or both? Because I cannot imagine risking the life of a ten year old who is practically still a baby herself.

3. Do you believe the life of a baby is more important than the mental and physical anguish of forcing a woman who was raped to give birth? I can’t even fathom the damage done just by rape much less the added anguish of an unplanned pregnancy.

4. Are you for the death penalty? Because last I checked, the death penalty takes lives too. If you’re truly pro life, shouldn’t you strive to save their soul instead of judge and execute them for their sins?

5. Do you believe that you should be able to kill someone who is an intruder in your home? Because that would effectively end their life.

6. Does it bother you that in 2021 over 21,000 people died from opiate overdoses in the US? That’s around 57 people per day. Are their lives not valued? What if you could have saved them with Narcon? Addiction is a disease, and shouldn’t they be afforded opportunities to live and find treatment? Isn’t that part of being “yes for life”?

7. Does it bother you how many people die because of mental health issues? Don’t those people deserve to have access to help so that they may say yes to a good life?

8. Do you believe in assisting those who need help with housing, basic necessities, and income benefits in order to survive? Because I’m pretty sure that surviving is a key part to staying alive.

9. This one I’ve asked before, but hypocrisy drives me batty. Were you yelling “My body, my choice” when it came to vaccine mandates for your own body, yet when it comes to someone else making a personal decision for their body that does not impact you whatsoever, you yelled “Vote yes to life! Outlaw abortion!” Does that make you pro saving lives or pro birth?

I know these are a lot of questions, but I for one am tired of feeling judged by a sign by the road because I’ve on paper had an abortion, and because I don’t believe it is a black and white issue. At the end of the day, here is what I know. The two biggest things that I have learned from my own walk with Jesus is that (1) his ultimate request of me was love thy neighbor be they a sinner or saint and (2) leave judging someone for their actions to God. Additionally, I know that the last time this country was a theocracy, which seems to be what some people want, men and women were hung as witches because people didn’t like their actions. By the way that wasn’t very “Yes For Life” either. At the end of the day, I know my thoughts won’t change people’s opinions on abortion laws. However, it makes me feel better to get my thoughts out of my head and into words.


The Great Kaysby

Yoga – A Safe Space

I’m writing this as I sit in my car after a yoga class. As I was practicing at a local studio this morning, I realized why I love yoga so much. Of course, I thoroughly enjoy the wellness benefits of yoga. I truly believe yoga helps you mentally, physically, and spiritually. Seriously, there’s nothing like the calm of yoga for talking with God (or your chosen deity)! The biggest reason I love yoga? It is a safe space! At yoga everyone is welcoming and kind to you. Today, I met new people who were so caring, and they invited me back again with no qualms! Additionally, no one judges you for how you practice, your level of ability, or appearance. A yoga studio is one of the most freeing spaces in the world. When you leave, you feel recharged and rejuvenated because you’ve been in a safe space to be yourself and improve yourself. If you’re looking for a safe space, then try a yoga class.


The Great Kaysby

Three Is a Magic Age

There is a song from School House rock called “Three Is a Magic Number,” and one of the main lyrics is this: “A man and a woman had a little baby, yes, they did. They had three in the family, and that’s a magic number.” This lyric has stuck with me since I first heard the song last spring. At the time it stuck in my head because of our little family of three: me, Mr Kisby, and LilKsby. Now the song keeps popping in my head because three has been such a magic age so far for LilKsby!

The first reason it has been magic is the increase in communication. LilKsby wasn’t much of a talker before turning three. However, he must have been quietly listening and observing because he went from just a few words to using complete sentences with A LOT of words and singing seemingly over night! Now he can repeat anything – and I mean anything – after hearing it once! For a while I was concerned, but it turned out that three was his magic number for speech!

Another reason three has a been a magic age? The amount that LilKsby loves learning! We have opted for home school for preschool, and since starting two months ago, he has learned so much! He’s working on obvious things like numbers and letters, and he enjoys them. He also loves math, science, music, yoga, shape art, painting, learning the states, and working with the calendar. His thirst for knowledge is absolutely magical!

Something else that is absolutely magical is how much LilKsby understands holidays now that he is three. Since around August, he’s been working on his list for Santa! (In case you wondered, he wants noodles, an orange pencil, and a blue notebook.) He’s super excited for Christmas for the first time ever. Mr Kisby and I love this given it is our favorite holiday! LilKsby has also been super psyched for Halloween. For the first time he picked his own costumes, and he has been elated to wear them trick or treating. So far we’ve attended five different ones, and he’s not showing any signs of slowing down! Bonus, he’s loving trying new to him candy! It’s been so magical to watch him understand holidays for the first time!

He’s not even three and a half yet, but so far three has been magic! I can’t wait to see what the rest of this age brings! What’s been your favorite age?


The Great Kaysby

Is There Anything More Beautiful Than Fall?

Photo Credit: The Great Kaysby

Is there anything more beautiful than fall? The landscapes are a plethora of bright colors that delight the eyes, and the crisp, gentle breeze tickles you with a mix of winter’s chill and summer’s warmth. The sounds of nature are melodious, and the scent of nature is clean and fresh like everything. Fall may be bustling with activity, but there is a beautiful sense of calm associated with it. It’s like you know that exciting happenings are just around the corner at every turn!

But wait! What about winter? Is there anything more beautiful than a fresh winter snow? There’s something gorgeous about the silence that comes with great snow on the ground. It’s deafening yet musical. There’s also something beautiful about the innocence of snow. It’s a blank canvas untainted by the world around it! Also, winter means fuzzy blankets, fireplaces, and hot cocoa! Those are some of the best feelings ever!

But wait! What about spring? Is there anything more beautiful than spring? There’s something renewing for the soul in seeing the first blooms of spring! There’s also nothing like the fragrant aromas of fresh flowers, trees blooming, and grass cut for the first time! In spring, music is made by the thawing cold and animals awaking from their slumber! It’s also one of the brightest and most pleasing to the eye times of year!

But wait! What about summer? No feeling can compare to the warm summer sun on your face. It makes you feel comforted and loved yet also like a small piece of the greater whole. There’s also nothing like a warm summer rain to leave you feeling refreshed and youthful. There is no laughter as joy filled as that of laughter while dancing in the rain!

Is there anything more beautiful than having four seasons? In nature nothing can compare to how Mother Nature can impact all of the senses all the time!

This was written as I stood staring at the foliage over a lake and listening to nature. 😊 The. It started raining on me, and I returned to the car!


The Great Kaysby

I Am…

Have you ever researched the stories of successful people? If you have, then you know that no matter their field, successful people tend to utilize positive affirmations. I know it can seem silly and even embarrassing to talk out loud to yourself and tell yourself how awesome you are. In fact, when I first heard about the concept of positive affirmation, I thought it was absolutely nuts. Turns out I’m wrong, and there is even some science to prove it! (Seriously, check this out for more info: Plus, after many years of using them on and off, I must admit that things just seem to work out better when I’m using positive affirmations!

So let’s say you’ve realized the benefits of positive affirmations, and you want to start using them. Sometimes the hardest thing is coming up with your affirmation. One option is to Google positive affirmations. However, sometimes those can seem cliche. If you’re looking to get started, here are some that you can use or adapt to fit your needs.

  • I am confident!
  • I am courageous!
  • I am abundantly blessed! (For added impact say the ways you’re blessed out loud.)
  • I am beautiful!
  • I am capable!
  • I am powerful!
  • I am strong!
  • I am able to overcome any obstacle!
  • I am smart!
  • I am creative!
  • I am passionate!
  • I can do anything I set my mind to do!
  • I can be X! (Put your goal in place of the X.)

For extra impact, you can tie an inspirational quote or scripture from your faith to your affirmation. For example, my affirmation might be “I am capable,” and I can tie that to the following quote from Mary Kay Ash: “I can! I will! I must!” Once you’ve got this part squared away, then you have to figure out when to say you’re affirmation. I recommend saying them in the morning to start your day. I also recommend saying them anytime you need a confidence boost during the day. Want the biggest impact? Say them as you’re falling asleep too. This way you go to sleep on a positive note!

Aside from just start saying your positive affirmations, my last piece of advice is to give yourself grace. If you go strong for a week, then you go a month without saying a positive affirmation, know that it is okay. The beauty of positive affirmations is that you can start using them and restart using them as often as you need! You can also change them as your circumstance change!

I can’t wait to hear about what positive affirmations can do for you!


The Great Kaysby

Five Thoughts

Today is one of those days where I know I want to write, but I’m struggling to come up with one topic on which to focus. So, I’m just going to share a few thoughts with you.

1. Three-nagers! Anyone else currently have a three-nager? It is a very interesting phase! On one hand there is still the adorable toddler-ness where they want to help and spend all day with you. They don’t want to miss out on anything. However, they also frequently yell “I do it! I do it myself!” I’m pretty sure negotiation situations would be over a lot quicker if three-nagers were sent in for talks!

2. Fire! Fire is a fascinating element. Lots of good times happen around campfires. Songs are sang; stories are told; drinks are had. On the other hand, the mass amount of destruction that can happen from fire in a very short time is horrific. Thinking about Gatlinburg today!

3. Headlines are intriguing! Today, I saw this headline in my newsfeed: “Increased risk for all-cause dementia in people who abstain from alcohol”. I didn’t read the article, but my first thought was “Whew! I’m safe!” Thank you to my 20s and the current occasional glass of wine! Article can be read here:

4. Never go in a grocery store hungry! We went to the grocery today for one thing, and we came out $114 and a bunch of things later. At least we did get the one thing, and I now have breakfast and toilet paper for the next two weeks.

5. Fall is beautiful! Leaves are changing, sweatshirts are out, and there is a chill in the air. It doesn’t get much better than this weather wise. Unless there is snow up to my knees. I do like massive amounts of snow!

What are you thinking about today?


The Great Kaysby

The Wizard of…

Currently, I’m working on costumes for a production of The Wizard of Oz. The director recently asked adult friends what the show means to them so that she could share that with the cast. Since seeing the question, I keep thinking about what the movie version means to me. On one hand, I’m kind of like The Wizard of Meh, but on the other hand, I see the cultural impact and highly respect the innovate technology used when making the film.

So let’s break it down by starting with the meh. I remember watching the movie as a kid, and I know I watched it a few times because I distinctly remember that we recorded it off the TV. In fact, I remember fast forwarding through the commercials and then having to rewind when going to far! Other than that, my only major memory of watching Oz as a child is that I liked to make believe Glinda was flying around every time I played with bubbles. In contrast to my The Wizard of Oz lack of memories, I have AMAZING memories of Return to Oz!!! When I was around 7, it was one of my favorite movies! We rented it and Willow from Video Vault more than any other customer! I loved the whole thing. Dorothy gone crazy? Made sense to me! Chicken pet? Way cooler than a dog! Plus, Tick Tock was a fantastic companion, and a wicked queen who could change heads was just enough creepy and cool to my little self! I freaking loved that movie!!!!

From an art perspective, I do have mad respect for all of the technical work that made The Wizard of Oz. First of all, the use of technicolor was absolutely brilliant! It was such a thematic impact to go from sepia tones to technicolor! Secondly, Judy Garland was a gem. “Over the Rainbow” was magnificent and her rendition is still top notch (though my favorite version is Matthew Morrison singing it while playing the ukulele)! Victor Fleming should not have slapped her, and I hate that the grueling schedule of this film is allegedly what fueled the fire that would become her drug addiction! Finally, the costumes – though they literally poisoned a couple of people – and sets were brilliant for their time! The ruby slippers (fun fact, in the book they are silver) are iconic! So I definitely have to give the film props from a tech perspective, and I must admit that when I went to The Wizard of Oz museum as a teenager, all the tech stuff on display was cool!

There are two other things that make me feel meh about The Wizard of Oz. To get one of them, you have to understand that my grandparents lived in Kansas, and we went to see them every summer. Anytime we mentioned going to Kansas, someone would inevitably ask, “Oh, are you going to see Dorothy and Toto?” I guess they thought it was cute, but I remember being a kid around 5 years old and getting an attitude with a cashier who in my head was asking a ridiculous question. I distinctly remember telling the cashier that “No, my Grandma Dorothy lives here!” There’s a good chance I also said something about not liking dogs. The second thing that makes me feel meh about the movie is that between 8 and 10, I read the book. I was amazed at all the great differences that were left out of the movie! I loved the wolves and backstory of the Tinman the most! Also, as someone who loved Kansas as a kid, I liked that in the book Dorothy didn’t hate Kansas and farm life. I also loved the other witches! I know you can’t put every detail from a movie into a book, but I would’ve left the wolves!

I’m glad people love The Wizard of Oz. Plus, I completely understand the fandom given the number of things I fangirl about that people don’t get. Even though the movie’s not my favorite I would like to one day see the amusement park in North Carolina. What can I say? I have an interest in abandoned – or in this case mostly abandoned – amusement parks. I will also add that as a kid, I saw a stage version and loved it, but I’ve always enjoyed live theatre. I remember seeing a musical on stage way before I remember watching TV and movies. I can also say that I’m super excited to be working on the costumes, and I can’t wait to see what the cast and crew do to bring Oz alive in a little over a week!

What does Oz mean to you?


The Great Kaysby

100,000 Miles

You know those moments where you can always remember where you were and how you felt? Last week, we experienced one of those moments! I would tell you where I was, but some info has to stay classified; however, I will tell you that I was so excited, I couldn’t stop laughing and shrieking with glee! What was so exciting? Princess Zippy crossed 100,000 miles! Princess Zippy is the third car I’ve ever owned, and she’s the second one that I remember excitedly waiting for 100,000 miles! I’m not sure why I feel like this is such a major event. Perhaps because of all of the joy that she’s brought into our lives!

Princess Zippy came into our lives at a time when we were desperate for a new (to us) car. Old Blue had become to expensive to repair, and we needed a car that could take us on a business trip in five days. Luckily, I had started looking and test driving the last time Old Blue gave us fits. Plus, I had a dream of owning a Kia since they first became popular (you know, back when if you looked at them wrong they would dent). We were very lucky to find a Kia with extremely low mileage (she’d been a dealer car) under our budget! So the memories began quickly!

Since we got Princess Zippy, she’s traveled the country! She’s taken us to Dallas, Myrtle Beach, the Poconos, St Louis, Nashville, Gatlinburg, and more! During these road-trips, some of the best conversations have been had! For as long as I can remember, one of mine and Mr Kisby’s favorite things has been the philosophical and passionate discussions on car trips! These trips have also involved more laughter than the law should allow! Some of the best laughs have been had during those slap happy late night hours! These conversations have also seen goals set, affirmations made, and business tips exchanged! Oh, and the music! The music of road-trips has been so much fun! There’s nothing like flying down the interstate jamming out at the top of your lungs! Bonus, Princess Zippy even survived two break in attempts while in overnight parking (in a place not mentioned above). The score? Princess Zippy not getting opened up two and potential robbers zero! I cannot wait to see where else she travels!

Beyond trips, Princess Zippy is part of the greatest event of our lives: she brought LilKsby home from the hospital! Boy, talk about a terrifying drive! Never ever has 35 MPH felt so fast and dangerous. Princess Zippy has safely gotten us from the infant seat stage to the rear facing convertible seat phase to the current forward facing convertible seat saga, or as unlike to call it, “The now I can throw things at you while you drive” saga. Side note: never let anyone tell you a car seat can’t be put in the middle of the backseat of a Kia. It can too! Princess Zippy’s been a school on the road, helped LilKsby learn locations (by the way it would be GREAT if every McDonalds couldn’t be seen from like two miles away), and been a major part of his ever developing since of direction. He’s only three, but he can tell you if you’re taking the wrong (not normal) way somewhere, and he’s also mastered traffic lights, stop signs, and which roads we use the most! I love our family time in Princess Zippy!

In addition to family fun, Princess Zippy has been my main business transportation. She taught us the value of hatchbacks when I was at an outdoor vendor event, and it started raining. We literally threw everything in the hatchback and sat watching the street turn into a creek! She’s my advertisement on wheels, and she’s become a conversation piece when I meet mom’s at toddler/preschool events. How cool is that?

I realize it may be weird to be so excited about a car, but Princess Zippy has been with us through a lot. I can’t wait to see where the next 100,000 miles takes us!


The Great Kaysby