One Week Until Medical School

The countdown is on! It has been a crazy year (which you are fully aware of. ) Thanks to our close friends and awesome apartment complex we had a very easy and successful move from Valdosta to Savannah, GA. Even though we would never wish it on anyone to move in the middle of a pandemic, we honestly can’t complain.

Exactly 7 days from today Adam will be finished with his first day of medical school! He feels ready, excited and as if all of his hard work has lead up till now. His last day of work was May 30th and since then he has been relaxing, sleeping, playing professional disc golf (yes he is a professional disc golfer…) in and just preparing for what is to come.

He was pretty relaxed until he got his first week of school assignments today! Let me sum it up by saying… 13 textbooks and a test on the first friday of the week. I don’t really know what all that means, but Adam does. He went from calm, cool and collected to sweating a little bit realizing that this is real and it is coming fast.

If you know Adam, you know how ready he is for this! He has been preparing for this season for over four years. Saying he worked hard to get here is an understatement. But he is about to learn a whole new level of hard work and dedication.

How you can support us? Pray for the following things:

That Adam has peace and confidence going into his first week of school.

That Adam meets great friends that will be his community through the next four years.

That I adapt and learn the best ways to support him through this new season.

And that no matter what, we both strive to live more like Christ.

Thanks so much for your prayers and support through this season!

Love your favorite Millennial Couple,

Colleen & Adam Howard

You are still loved even if…

We are all in a season. Most of the people in my life are in a hard season. COVID-19 has brought heartache and devastation to so many world wide. On a smaller scale, I have had loved ones miss prom, graduation and push back their weddings. Friends have lost their jobs, struggled financially, and have been overtaken with crippling fear.

I have personally learned a lot of lessons through this season. The biggest lesson is that I am still loved even when I am just simply alive.

This season has shown me what I never thought life would ever come to. Just simply being home, in your place with your person. Just waking up with the sole purpose to breath and stay alive. To pause all the trips, events and celebrations. To change what work looks like and keep me glued to my desk chair.

The natural leader, challenger and over-doer that is my soul has always equated deserving love with accomplishment. The more I accomplish the more I was deserving of love. I know! This is horrible and wrong but I have never had to challenge the thinking. I lived a life where I was able to feed this feeling and not have to face it.

COVID made me face it. I faced it hard. I had to wake up during April & May and remind myself that the people who love me will still love me even when I am not accomplishing. I had to tell myself that I am who I am no matter if I am working or performing. I had to write it into my being that I am enough.

Something in my gut tells me that I am not the only one who needs to be reminded that you are still loved. That you are still loved even if the world goes crazy. You are still loved if your work looks different. You are still loved if you are not able to perform at the same level due to COVID. You are still loved even if your pants fit a little too tight. You are still loved even if you did not come out of quarantine with a new hobby or side gig. You are still loved even if you are barely making it by. You are still loved because you are YOU!

The world is so hard as it is, the last thing we need to do is put more pressure on ourselves because we connect our ability to be loved through our performances. Join me in reminding yourself daily that God loves us the exact same no matter how different our year looks. That He designed us to be who we are whether we are thriving in our career or barely hanging on. You are still loved even if…..

All the love,

Your friend Colleen Howard

To My Dearest Flower Girls

 

IMG_0083To my dearest flower girls,

This is not a goodbye but a ‘see ya later’! I just wanted to take a second and let you know how much joy you both bring to my life! When we met in 2017 you both were so tiny and could basically only brush your teeth and crawl in bed by yourself! Even though you both were so small you were so hardworking and brave.

Since 2017 I have seen both of you be beautiful flower girls, learn so much at school, work so hard at different sports and befriend everyone that you meet. You both have such a heart of love and are always ready to help someone else before yourself. I have loved watching you two grow into such amazing kids!

I am so sad to leave Valdosta where I won’t be able to pick you up from school or hang out on the weekends, but I want you to know that we will always be just one FaceTime away. As you continue to get older and face new challenges that life brings please always remember the joy that each day brings. Please remember that at your very core, you two have such a strong sister bond that no one can break. Remember that you can focus and complete any task or obstacle that is in front of you! Know that you have no limits! You can dream as big as you want, then the next day, wake up and dream bigger. Never forget that everyone is your brother and sister in Christ, and they need the kindness and love that God has given you, no matter their size, shape, color or ability. Remember that you are strong! Strong enough to stand up against those who are mean or hurtful. Know that your mind is powerful and the things you put in your brain and the thoughts you have will build you into a wise pre-teen! Remember the more you create and how often you create will keep your imagination alive. Never forget that you are so loved and created to be exactly who you are and that you are a beautiful Child of God! And God has given you the world at your fingertips, all you have to do is play!

Thank you for letting me play and make so many wonderful memories with you the past few years. I know that God has big plans for each of you and I will watch and pray as you grow into those plans!

Much love, Mrs. Colleen.

 

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Adams Last Day of Work

Today, Thursday May 28th, I watched as Adam loaded up in his 2003 F-150 for his last day of work. After working at Valdosta Orthopedic Associates (VOA) for four years, today is the day he says goodbye.

I remember his first day at VOA! He was a Senior in college and had a semester rotation to shadow a sports medicine clinical setting. At this point in his education he was just a few months away from graduating Valdosta State University with an Athletic Training degree. His plan was to graduate and take a position as an Athletic Trainer. Even though this was a good plan, VOA helped Adam open his opportunities for other options he could pursue.

During his shadowing semester, he use to get dressed up in business casual clothes and be so excited for what he would be able to learn each day. On Tuesdays Adam would get up super early and watch surgeries. I got in the habit of knowing that every Tuesday during this time I would need to listen and nod while he recapped every detail of the surgery he watched!

After graduation, VOA hired him to work with Dr. Sanderlin and gave him all the inspiration, opportunity, resources and encouragement to set a goal of becoming a doctor himself. VOA set the ground floor for Adam to dream bigger than what he originally knew. Even though a job is just a job, Adam was able to work for four years at an incredible  practice, with people that love, support and deeply care for him. It gave him the opportunity to care for the broken and hurting in Valdosta and the surrounding areas. It gave him the knowledge to learn so much about medicine. VOA has done so much more than provide a paycheck. VOA became family!

As we say “see ya later” to our VOA family, we smile with excitement as just a few months away Adam will start his first day of medical school. It is crazy to think that his next day of work, he will be the doctor!

Love,

Colleen Howard

P.s. Thank you to everyone at VOA for helping Adam pursue his dream. Thank you for encouraging him every step of the way!

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19 Books in 2019

Below is a list of the books I read in order during 2019!

Below I will review my favorite books.

  1. 100 Days by Annie F. Downs
  2. If You Only Knew: My Unlikely, Unavoidable Story of Becoming Free by Jamie Ivey
  3. Switch on Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health by Caroline Leaf
  4. The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work and Team with Positive Energy by Jon Gordon
  5.  Unglued- Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions by Lysa Terkeurst
  6. Changing Normal: How I Helped My Husband Beat Cancer by Marilu Henner
  7. You Can Too: How an Aflac Rookie Built the Business in a Year by Jonny Burgess
  8. Northern Lights: One Woman, Two Teams, and the Football Field That Changed Their Lives by Cathy Parker
  9. How I raised myself from failure to success in selling by Frank Betcher
  10. You Win in the Locker Room First: The 7 C’s to Build a Winning Team in Business, Sports, and Life by Jon Gordon and Mike Smith
  11. Drop the Ball: Achieving More by Doing Less by Tiffany Dufu
  12. Hooked: The Brain Science on How Casual Sex Affects Human Development by Freda McKissic Bush and Joe McIlhaney
  13. “At Least You’ll Be Married to a Doctor” by Jordyn Paradis Hagar
  14. The Rock, the Road, and the Rabbi: My Journey Into the Heart of Scriptural Faith and the Land Where It All Began by Kathie Lee Gifford
  15. Let Food Be Your Medicine: Dietary Changes Proven to Prevent or Reverse Disease by Don Colbert
  16. Born to Wander: Recovering the Value of Our Pilgrim Identity by Michelle Van Loon
  17. The Red Bandanna by Tom Rinaldi
  18. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
  19. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

The most influential books of 2019 were: Switch on Your Brain, Changing Normal and Let Food be Your Medicine. These books really opened my mind and helped me pivot my choices to be a better and healthier human.

Tear jerkers- The Red Bandanna and When Breath Becomes Air are both real stories that WILL MAKE YOU CRY!!! Like real tears falling from your face! So worth the read.

Elevate leadership- The Energy Bus, How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Sales and You Win in the Locker Room First! Great books to make leadership fun.

Reading 19 books in one year was hard for me. Like really hard. I am NOT a reader. I use to HATE reading. But I grew up knowing that leaders are readers and I always dreamed of being a strong leader. At the start of 2019 I felt like 19 books would be reasonable. I started reading but when I fell behind I knew I needed to do something to encourage me. I decided to start a book club where book lovers could join and encourage each other to read! This group was a great encouragement to keep me reading.

As always,

Keep your head up high and your words filled with love!

❤ Colleen Howard