The Broken Road

Photo Credit: The Great Kaysby

There’s a song by Rascal Flatts with the lyrics “This much I know is true/That God blessed the broken road/That led me to straight to you.” The song is aptly titled “Bless the Broken Road,” and though it came out a number of years ago, it has been in my head today. I saw a post from a Facebook connection (sometimes it seems weird to me to say Facebook friend when it is someone you knew years ago that you’re not really sure if you were friends or acquaintances with then much less now) reflecting on the journey of their life and how some of the must unexpected parts yield the biggest blessings. That post moved me because I felt like it was talking to me in that most of what I thought would be my future 22 years ago hasn’t been my path at all; however, I could not be more blessed and happy than I am today on this road.

When I look back on those days, I think of a person who just really wanted people to like her. At times I felt like I would do anything just to try and get/retain friends. As a smaller kid, I was always heavy set and far from the “pretty, popular type” which meant not always having a lot of people want to be around me. Looking back, I realize that this need for people to like me could occasionally come at the cost of hurting others. It was never intentional, and since I haven’t seen a lot of those people in a long number of years, I hope they have either forgotten or forgiven the wrongs I did to them. If they haven’t done either, then I get it. Sometimes I wasn’t the nicest way back in the day.

Thankfully, a long my journey through various roads, I have learned to like me for me. I’ve met a wonderful tribe of friends along the way thanks mostly to theatre, LARPing, teaching, and Mary Kay, and a long the journey I met an even more wonderful husband! I know that Mr Kisby is the absolute best husband in the world because he’s my best friend, my biggest cheerleader, and so much more. I could keep going, but the lovey dovey overload might make you sick at your stomach. The best way to put it is we love each other and like each other. Mr Kisby is also the one who gave me the biggest blessings in the world: the baby in Heaven that taught me just how much I wanted to be a mom and the sweet little boy here on earth that calls me Mama. ❤️ As the boy and the husband lay asleep next to me, my heart could not be more filled with love and joy! Thank you God for leading me to them!

Personal growth aside, there are a lot of other parts of life that I never would have imagined 22+ years ago. You may not believe it, but at one point I wanted to be a lawyer. What can I say besides Clueless and Legally Blonde made it look glamorous? I would have been a terrible lawyer because I absolutely do not like conflict. In fact, having conflict with people has been know to make me so upset I get physically sick. Then, I started college with the intent of getting a double major in theatre and journalism with a minor in sociology. I ended up changing schools because I didn’t like the college and I missed home with all of my friends. That change led to a couple of business degrees and eventually a teaching degree. All of these led to job changes which saw me through various relationships and a lot of time LARPing (these I’m confident enough with who I am to admit publicly how nerdy I am). Each of those choices were little roads that also brought me to where I am today.

Today, I am on the best road I ever could have imagined! I absolutely love being wife and mama, and I am so thankful to be in a position where I am able to be home caring for them full time. Each day with them is an adventure, and as I am watching LilKsby grow and change, I feel like I’m also watching myself grow and change for the better each day! I love the person I am becoming, and I believe that allows me to love all of the important people in my life that much more!

I realize this is pretty deep for a Friday night, but I feel like turning 40 this year is going to be filled with a lot of similar reflective retrospection. I’m not one of those dreading 40. It’s actually quite the opposite. I feel like 40 is going to be fabulous! Since the broken road has led me to where I need to be, some of the greatest chapters are still to be written!


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

10, 7, 5 Principle!

This evening I was listening to a recent conference from my direct selling business, and there was a concept that really stuck out to me. In 2017, Pamela Waldrop Shaw discussed three things that drive change. Her three things were as follows: 10 – Significant Events, 7 Critical Decisions, and 5 Influential People. When I heard this, I immediately thought about the recent change in my life to Work From Home Mama and how the 10, 7, 5 Principle applied to that change. Here is my reflection so that you can see the Principle in application!

10 Significant Events

  1. First Pregnancy & Miscarriage – 2018
  2. Princess Court of Sales Achievement – 2018
  3. Second Pregnancy – 2018 and 2019
  4. Birth of LilKsby – 2019
  5. Mr Kisby Layoff – 2019
  6. Covid Pandemic – 2020-Present
  7. Pandemic Teaching – 2020-2022
  8. Mr Kisby Graduates – 2021
  9. Mr Kisby New Job – 2022
  10. Social Issues and Injustices – Ongoing

7 Critical Decisions

  1. Mr Kisby deciding to go to school instead of finding “just another job”.
  2. Keeping LilKsby at home during the 2020-21 school year. This made me realize how much I longed to be at home with him.
  3. Realizing that I don’t like being made to feel expendable. Also the existential dread associated with starting the last two school years during Covid peaks was mentally overwhelming to me.
  4. Deciding that homeschool feels like the best option for us as we want our child to grow up with an education that reflects our values. This means more than just intertwining faith and academics. It means teaching equality, respect, fairness, and how to be an ally!!!
  5. Determining that an abundance of money is not as important as living a fulfilled life by our priorities. Yes, I know things cost money. Yes, I know you have to have enough money. Yes, we like to play the lottery. However, money is not the most important thing to us.
  6. Realizing that it is more important to live by our priorities than the priorities others give us.
  7. Making the choice to leave teaching after 11 years.

5 Influential People

  1. The Holy Trinity – I prayed a lot over the decision to make the change from teaching to work from home mama. Ultimately I was able to follow what was put on my heart, and even though my brain wants to panic sometimes, I’m doing my best to follow FAITH over Fear! When change is imminent, I highly recommend praying to your Deity. Not religious? Then I recommend lots of self reflection!
  2. Mr Kisby – My husband, my partner in life, my biggest cheerleader!
  3. LilKsby – My Sweet Boy and the one who learns more from watching us than anything else.
  4. Homeschool Friends – I see the magnificent wonders they have worked in their children’s lives, and that is what I want for LilKsby.
  5. Entrepreneur Friends – Seeing them live their truths by their priorities is impacting!

So there you have the 10, 7, 5 principle! My 10, 7, 5 spanned a four year time period. For others their time period might be longer, and for some it might be shorter. Also, a lot more than 5 people influenced me, but that gives you the concept. As I’m embarking on this change, I think it is good to reflect. It keeps the perspective fresh and the path set right.

What change are you contemplating?


The Great Kaysby

A Secret to Happiness 😊

Do you want to know the secret to happiness? With the caveat that I’m exhausted from last night’s insomnia (see the previous blog), I will tell you a secret to happiness. Are you ready? Here goes…

The secret to happiness is to realize it is okay for the things that bring you happiness to change.

As I write this, I’m lying on bed with LilKsby while he plays educational games on Mr Kisby’s phone. Normally, it doesn’t bring me happiness for him to play on phones because I believe there is a link between screen time and attention span length (I’m a mama not a scientist, so I could be wrong). However, on a day like today when I could go to bed before bath time, it brings me great happiness to just relax with him next to me. On a normal day this might make me feel reminiscent of a sloth, but not today!

This example of day to day happiness variance is not typical; however, it is reminiscent of how what brings us happiness changes throughout life. If you think back on your lifetime, I bet there are things you can think of that used to bring you happiness that no longer do or you’ve simply out grown. For example, Barbies brought me happiness from like 5 to 12. Do I wish Barbies still made me happy? Nope, but I’m glad I enjoyed them and the creativity they fostered while I did!

From about 19 to 29, a game called Amtgard brought me a lot of happiness (along with some headaches literally and figuratively). It’s been almost a decade since I’ve been active with it because it became more of a habit than an activity of happiness. However, I’m EXTREMELY thankful for the time that it brought me happiness and the skill is learned while playing. (Side note, it was stress relieving to get to legally hit people with foam sticks!) Today, I am ABUNDANTLY blessed by the husband and friendships that came from it. Guess what? They still make me happy!

Likewise some of the things I never knew would bring me happiness when I was younger have brought me more joy than I ever could’ve imagined. I am an only child, and I was never around babies much growing up. From this experience, I was sure that I never wanted kids. That is until I met my husband, and I got to see how cool kids were with our niece and nephews. This led to me finding out at 36 that being LilKsby’s mama brings me more happiness than I ever knew possible!

And there you have it. The secret to happiness is realizing that it is okay for the things that bring you happiness to change. So if you find yourself not enjoying something like you used to enjoy it, I challenge you to try something new. Read, paint, start a blog, plan a vacation, start a side hustle…invest in yourself and make time for happiness! Most of all, if you agree with me, pass the secret to happiness on to someone!


The Great Kaysby

So Long Summer!

Photo Credit: The Great Kaysby

Once again it is time to say good-bye to summer as we return to school. No matter what your stance is on returning to school, I believe we can all agree that this has been the most bizarre summer of our lifetimes (unless your over 102 and can remember the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918). Never before have we had to consider social distancing rules when going to the grocery store; never before have we had to remember to always have a mask with us so that we can be sure to follow mandates. We’ve experienced the closure of summer activities like swimming at public pools, the switch from in person to virtual summer camps, and the cancellation of favorite parts of summer such as vacations. You always hear about how summer can change people, and I think that is more true of this summer than anyone that I’ve ever faced.

For some of us, change is a very hard thing especially when it comes to personal growth as often times personal growth is difficult. In my own life, this summer has taught me to not be afraid to stand up for my beliefs. As someone who doesn’t necessarily like confrontation, this can be very difficult. However, I’ve realized that my beliefs are important, and when I don’t let them be heard, then it impacts me internally in a negative way. This summer has also taught me that sometimes you need to tell people no even though you don’t want to hurt their feelings. Again, as someone who likes to make everyone happy, this is a difficult task. However, I’ve discovered that if you’re always a “Yes Man”, then you’re denying taking care of yourself in the process. Self care is very important! I’ve always said that if you don’t take care of yourself, then you can’t be your best self for everyone else. That’s been very true this summer!

Another key part of this summer has been the difficulty of learning how to deal with the unknown. This is the hardest for me. While I may not necessarily like to have everything planned to a T, I do like having the ability to be in control of situations. (Which is why I like to drive instead of be the passenger.) During this pandemic, there has been very little over which I’ve truly had control. I can’t control mandates; I can’t control the actions of other people; I can’t control the impact of the virus. What I can control is my response to all of those things. There have been days when my response is crying and feeling sick because of the things I cannot control. There have been other days when I’ve been able to lose myself in fun things and enjoy each moment. Most days, a combination of both happens. Thankfully, I’ve got a great circle that loves me on all the days!

As we enter the last four days before teachers have to report to school, it would be really easy to have four of the rough days. However, my plan is to immerse myself in the fun moments because come Monday, I really have no control over what happens. If the weather holds, then this means four days of splash pad time with LilKsby, reading on my Kindle, painting, and finding some activities to look forward to throughout the rest of the year (this is always a mood helper for me).

As we go into the unknown of the school year, I know I’m going to have to keep working on dealing with the unknown. I also plan to keep standing up for my beliefs, and I plan to keep being okay with saying no. One thing this summer has taught me is that LilKsby observes a lot of what Mr Kisby and I do. I want him to observe positive changes in us that he will embrace in his own life as he grows up.

How have you positively changed this summer?


The Great Kaysby

LilKsby’s Splash Pad
My Kindle ❤

Resolution Revelation

It is New Year’s Eve, and there is about 2 and a half hours left in 2019 (to be honest, I started this blog on the 30th in the wee hours of the morning before pumping, but that’s mom life).  There is about to be a new year and decade.  I’m already seeing New Year’s resolutions on social media. There are a lot of “common” resolutions such as:

  • I’m going to lose weight.
  • I’m going to eat better.
  • I’m going to stop cursing.
  • I’m going to be on my phone/social media less.

90% of the time it seems like these resolutions inevitably fail (really I don’t know because stats and research tend to bore me).  If I made New Year’s resolutions, then I’m sure that I’d be in the failure group. Why? For one, because a lot of New Year’s resolutions seem to be made with a band wagon mentality.  Therefore, if my resolution doesn’t actually match my purpose and passion in life, then I’m not going to follow through with committing to the resolution.  For two, if I just make a resolution without planning, then I’m going to forget it before January 2.

Thus, here is my Resolution Revelation!  In order for a resolution to be successful it should actually be a goal. Additionally, it will help if it is a SMART goal.  In this case, SMART doesn’t mean intelligent; SMART means Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time Bound.  I feel like Achievable and Relevant are key components as it is easy to become discouraged when things seem impossible or outdated. For more specifics on SMART goals Google the term. There is a lot of information out there!  I had to Google the term just to remember what all the letters stood for at one in the morning when I started writing the rough draft for this blog.

To test my theory, here is a typical resolution versus a SMART goal:

Resolution – I want to lose weight.

SMART Goal – I want to lose 20 pounds averaging 1 pound per week by Memorial Day as measured by Saturday weight checks.

Do you see the difference? The first is very vague, but the second provides a plan of action. You could even add mini-goals within the SMART Goal such as losing 5 pounds by Valentine’s Day.

I also feel like the SMART Goal helps provide direction.  At this point in my life, I feel that having a sense of direction – a sense of purpose – is necessary.  That said, one of my SMART Goals is the following: I will blog a minimum of three times per month during 2020 as blogging helps me sort out my thoughts and provides me with a creative outlet.

For me personally, this blog is out of my comfort zone. However, they say that we often teach what we need to learn ourselves. I feel that for 2020 to be a success I needed to critically think about goal setting.  This blog came from that thinking.  Subscribe to my blog to see if I make my SMART goal associated with blogging!


The Great Kaysby