philippians 4:8

I’m sure a lot of you are wondering, “Shake a Tower…hmmm…” So I decided that it was time to reveal the history behind the title of this blog.

Growing up, I was very lucky to have such wonderful parents who decided to take shifts at work that allowed one of them to be at home with my sister and I at all times.

We never had daycare.

Well, unless there was an emergency or something weird came up and we stayed at my Aunt Terri’s house.

My mom or dad was always home. Always. That is just how it was. My dad worked night shifts at the police department and my mom worked mornings and mid afternoons at FedEx. Looking back on it, I can see how much time together they sacrificed (probably why there are only two children in my family) to make sure that they were the ones raising us. Nothing against daycares, I have worked at one, but there is something to be said about parents who take the time to be with their children at young ages.

Spending time with my dad was always one of my favorite things to do. Don’t get me wrong, my mom is one of the most important people in my life, but my dad was always fun. Even when he took my sister and I to pull weeds (we never did much of the actual weed pulling) at the apartments he managed across town, we always looked forward to an ice cream cone after. When he finished our basement by himself, he bought me a tool kit and let me bang my plastic hammer against the fresh drywall he had just put up. When he painted our living room wall, he let Madelyn and I sit on the tarp and peek over the other side of the couch to watch him and when we took spur of the moment road trips to his hometown in Marshalltown, Iowa, we were sure to be blasting Kenny Chesney and 38 Special the whole way.

He knew how to have a good time. And he has always loved his daughters more than anything in the world.

One of my earliest memories is of a frequent dialogue that went a little something like this:

“Dad, I’m gonna go take a shower.”

“You mean shake a tower?”

“No, dad! I said I’m gonna go TAKE a SHOWER!”

You see, you have to understand something. My dad does this thing where he likes to mix up words to songs, sayings and people’s names. I was the kid who took everything way too seriously and always thought he meant everything he said for real and got upset when he said the wrong thing. (And now that I think about it, this is definitely the reason behind my epic sarcasm.)

So what does this have to do with anything? What in the heck was I thinking when I decided to make the title of my blog some random, nostalgic dyslexia?

I was thinking about the things that I would most likely end up writing. Things that might change the way people saw the world. Or the way they went about their days. Things that would throw people off even though the idea might be simple. Things that were clever, had not been written before. Things that would change the way people feel. Things that would jumble me up as much as my dad used to. (Okay, hopefully a little more than that but you get the idea, right?)

My family came to visit me this past weekend for Mizzou’s Family Weekend and I could not help but notice that my dad seemed a little distant. A little sad. Maybe because I still bickered with my mom over directions. Maybe because his little girl is growing up and has built a world for herself that is new to him.

And then I realized something:

I looked up the definition of the word ‘upstanding.’ Some synonyms included; Honest, honorable, respectable, high-minded, law-abiding, worthy, moral, ethic, virtuous, incorruptible. To sum it up, my dad is the single most, upstanding man I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. The way he looks at my mom has shown me how every woman deserves to be looked at. The way he always does the most just thing. The way he sacrifices his self and his needs for his family has shown me how important it is to be humble, and that it is almost never the easy thing to do. And dang-it, sometimes I just forget. I take it all for granted. I get selfish and I think only about myself and I let all of his hard work and dedication slip away for a second and by the time I realize it, he is driving away, back home to a sleepy Urbandale, Iowa.

I urge you, dear reader, to please please please take those who love you and let them know that you do. Whatever is holding you back, let it go.


Know that every word has been meant for you. Every one I have ever written. You believed in me and took a chance that I could go out and do something great. And I will forever be eternally grateful. I love you.

Love, Carmen


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Marylu says:

    Beautiful, Carmen! Instead of the like button, they need a love button! I’m not registered, otherwise I would like your posts. Great work!


  2. Curt Vajgrt says:

    I have received so many comments & complements today! Thank you Carmen! So proud of you! Set your sights high Sweetheart!!

    Sent from my iPhone



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