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Monday, July 22, 2019

Cancer Free and Our New Puppy, Frankie



Our Vizsla, General, has been cancer free now for the last 3 months!! We are believing he has been healed and beaten cancer unless he shows signs to us otherwise. We are walking in Faith and continuing to trust our Good, Good, Father and Lord in Heaven. Every day I keep filling up his dog bowl and every day he keeps eating...



Our other really exciting news: We welcomed a new Vizsla puppy to our family! His name is Frankie. He was 12 weeks old when we got him last Saturday. Frankie was the last puppy to be sold out of a litter of 8 puppies. He seems a little small, so I think he may have been the runt of the littler. He is very docile, friendly, and sweet. He is not timid but certainly not an alpha dog. And his eyes... Frankie has the most enchanting green/grey eyes. Green eyes are very rare with Vizslas, maybe only one, if that, in a litter.



It was completely love at first sight when we pulled up and first laid eyes on Frankie!! He was outside with the previous owner waiting on us as we arrived. After the 2 hour drive to the countryside, North East of Atlanta, we were eager to jump out and meet our “Little Man”, as they had nicknamed him. It was all smiles, laughs, and snuggles as we scooped him up and each took turns with little Frankie in our arms. We rode home together with me in the back seat with James, and Frankie in my lap. James has never had his own puppy before so he is so excited! James is already doing a great job helping out and playing with him!! He even made a card board box “crate” for Frankie that we decorated.



General and Frankie have totally hit it off! General already loves his new little brother from another mother. General is like a cool big brother to Frankie too. Frankie follows James and General around everywhere. General is so sweet to Frankie. They are quick friends and play so well together. Even when General wants Frankie’s raw hide. Luckily, we have multiple raw hides and Frankie doesn’t mind getting a different raw hide after General takes his. I think it is a sign of R.E.S.P.E.C.T. to General.



We started talking about getting a puppy last Fall when we tried to breed General with a female Vizsla. We thought we could keep one of the puppies from the litter, as the stud fee. We were so excited that, “General was going to be a Daddy!” General would even wag his tail when we told him that. We fenced in our back yard and first started dreaming about our puppy.



God had different plans, as you know... General was diagnosed with cancer and then the female had a false pregnancy. That means her body thought and acted like she was pregnant, but in fact there was not a litter. Which, both together, was heartbreaking. We were saddened and yet, still trusted in God’s Faithfulness! 

But we didn’t stop dreaming about getting a Vizsla puppy...

and Saturday we made another dream come true by getting a sweet little Vizsla puppy, named Frankie!!



**In my humble opinion, Vizslas are an awesome breed of dogs.There are not a lot of things cuter than a Vizsla puppy. I have a soft spot for Vizslas, though. Frankie marks the fourth Vizsla I have helped raise. Nicknamed the “Velcro Vizsla”, they are loyal and always want to be right by your side. Their fur is very short and soft. They do not shed a lot, and are considered hypo-allergenic dogs. They are very eager to please and quick to train. They don’t typically bark a lot, but they do want a lot of attention and interaction with people. They are great with kids. They are Hungarian bird dogs and can be trained for hunting, as well. They have a ton of energy and need a LOT of exercise!

Monday, June 17, 2019

How buying dog food can be an act of Faith

Courtesy of Bazemore Photography
When a dog has cancer, even buying the economy size 55 lb. bag of dog food, is an act of Faith.

Our sweet Vizsla, General, was diagnosed with cancer 2 months ago. The journey to discovering the cancer started when he kept losing weight. General has always been kind of skinny. We noticed he was getting much thinner than normal. So I took him to our vet, Dr. Haden, at Animal Medical Center of Holly Springs.

The first thing he recommended was doing three different panels of tests. The results were inconclusive but Dr. Haden thought he could have a problem with his kidneys.  He recommended a more in-depth panel of one of the tests. He consulted a veterinarian endocrinologist and they concluded it was probably not the kidneys, and he recommended an ultrasound. The ultra sound revealed he had a large tumor originating from his spleen; however his heart was healthy and he would be a good candidate for surgery to remove the spleen and the tumor. The tumor was pushing against his stomach and was so big it would explain why he kept losing weight. We decided to have surgery on General to remove the spleen and tumor.

By this time General had been continuing to lose more and more weight. He was skin and bones. You could feel every rib and even his hip bones were very pronounced. His once silky fur was dried out and almost brittle. A male Vizsla is typically between 55-60 lbs. The day of surgery General weighed 48 lbs. After surgery, Dr. Haden said the surgery was more complicated because the tumor had attached to the stomach, the intestines, and the wall of the body. The tumor was the size of an orange! The day after surgery we weighed him. After removing the spleen and the tumor, General weighed 43 lbs.

Dr. Haden sent the tumor off for a histopathology tissue biopsy. When the results came back, it was the bad news we were praying it was not. The orange size tumor was actually a cancer sarcoma. Not only that, but, it was a really aggressive type of cancer. Dr. Haden said he may only have a month or two to live if it had spread.

I cried. Then I prayed. Then I asked my family to pray. Then I asked my small group members to pray. Then I asked my other friends to pray.

We had already prayed to find answers. God answered that prayer, but it wasn't what we wanted to hear. Now we had to pray that the cancer had not spread and that removing the sarcoma would be enough to save General's life.

Only God could answer that prayer. Only God could heal General. Only God could decide if the cancer would or had spread.

Only God.

"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." Mark 11:24 NIV

This is what we did: we asked God to heal General and we are believing He will.

Courtesy of Bazemore Photography
Now, back to buying dog food as an act of Faith...

Right after General had surgery, exactly two months ago today, General was getting really low on dog food. I was standing in Costco wondering if I should buy the dog food there or at the grocery store. Should I buy the 55 lb. bag or the 23 lb. bag? I had a moment. Would I buy the big bag and believe our prayers would be answered? Or the small bag in case he didn't make it?

I took a step in Faith and bought the big 55 lb. bag of dog food, believing God would answer our prayers. I believed we would have our miracle.

Here we are, 2 months later, and General is doing so well!! He has gained 17 lbs., has filled out, his fur is silky smooth, he has energy, and shows no signs of slowing down or terminal cancer.

And today, I bought another 55 lb. bag of dog food...



A special thank you to Dr. Haden for being part of saving General's life!


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Our Journey to our New Dream Home

Our Dream Home

It all started about five years ago... We started dreaming about a new house in 2013 when I got pregnant with our son, who was due in February of 2014. I had a very hard time emotionally after he was born, which turned into a trying time for Kyle and our extended family as well. It wasn’t the right time and we put buying a house on hold for the first time.

In April of 2015, my mom passed away and we all went into a season of mourning.

Later in August of 2015, we had a huge decision to make and which dream to pursue: 1. Buy a House or 2. Start a new business. We knew we could only choose one or the other at that time. If we went with starting a new business there would be risks as we were getting it off the ground. We decided to follow our dream of starting our trucking company, United Federal Logisitics Inc. We put buying a house on hold for the second time.

As with any new business and being self employed, lenders will only lend to you once you have two years of business history and could show financial stability. We were on hold for buying a house until at least September of 2017. We worked so hard with our business! We went through some difficult phases, as most new businesses do during their first couple years. God was always with us through everything!

Towards the end of 2017, we could start looking and dreaming of buying a house again. We looked at homes, narrowed down areas, styles, and made a wish list of things we wanted in a new house.

Some things on our wish list were:
The house price being in our budget
Very close to where we were currently living and where my in-laws just bought a home
Easy access to Interstate 575
Enough rooms and space so we could have a bigger office or two offices, since we work from home
A bigger room for James
A single family home with a nice, flat yard
A basement- finished or unfinished
A bigger kitchen
Stone or brick exterior
A dining room
Woods behind our home

It was quite the wish list!!! We believe in a Big God who can do amazing things, if He wills it to be. We looked and looked. We found different places that met some of our items on our wish list but not most of them.

Meanwhile, we had some things we needed to do to our house before we put it on the market:

Take a lot of furniture out of our house and take half of everything out of our closet. This is to make the house seem bigger because there is more empty space.

We needed to depersonalize our house by taking out pictures, art work, and other items that we like but other people may not. When someone walks in to a potential home, they need to be able to envision their items and furniture so it could be THEIR home.

We needed to paint the whole house one neutral color. I love color... and almost every room and bathroom were all different colors. We wanted to paint everything grey and for trim we needed to repaint the white. We had to replace our deck and make a few minor repairs around the house. Most people want a house they think is “move in ready”, not “a lot of work” to get it ready.

So in January 2018, we started this process. I got quotes for painting and rebuilding the deck. I found someone who could do all the painting, repairs, and the deck for a very reasonable price. We got a storage unit to put things in while we were getting ready to list our house. It was a gradual process so we weren’t rushed.

Then we needed to find a mortgage broker and finish up our 2017 business tax returns. We needed a mortgage broker who understands self employed business owners. Our friend recommended Sissy Butler with American Home Mortgage. She was wonderful from the beginning of the approval process until after closing!! I highly recommend her!! Her email is sbutler@loansite.com

We had a referral for a realtor who was awesome as well! David Lewis with the Lewis Group of Atlanta. He and his team did a great job helping us list, advertise, hold open houses, and coordinate showings for selling our house. His email is david@thelewisgroupatl.com and his website is www.thelewisgroupatl.com



So we finally had all of our ducks in a row!!!

We found our dream home in a new Ashton Woods Development that checked everything off our wish list! Thank you to John Rice with Ashton Woods john.rice@ashtonwoods.com.  Then in God’s perfect timing everything fell into place and it all happened very quickly!!

We signed a contract on our dream home with a 60 day contingency that we sell our home first. We had to list our house within 5 days of signing the contract. We finished getting our house ready to list and put it on the market. We listed it for the right price and, with the help of David and his team, had a full price offer within a week!

When God is involved and you are prepared, big things can happen! Fast forward a month and everything went smoothly, including our closing to buy our home with the closing attorneys at the Weissman Law Firm. www.weissman.law Thank you!

Now, we are proud owners of our new forever home!

Thank you, especially to the Lord for all of His blessings along the way and now. Thank you to Kyle for all that he has done over the years and continues to do. Thank you to my in-laws, Jim and Susan, and my dad, Jed. Thank you to the rest of our family and friends for praying with us and supporting us on this wonderful journey. Thank you to all of the professionals who assisted us, too.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Introducing United Federal Logistics Inc.


I have been debating about writing this blog post for at least the last 2 years... 

Photo Courtesy of Jerry King, J King Images
I have never written a blog post about our trucking company, United Federal Logistics Inc., that we started in August of 2015. My husband, Kyle, and I have grown our company from 3 tractors and 6 employees to 10 tractors and 20 employees. The reason I have been hesitant to share our story about our business is because this is my professional life and my blog has been mainly personal. This has been my dilemma. 


Photo Courtesy of Jerry King, J King Images

I was recently encouraged by our photographer, Jerry King, to share our story. He thought we could inspire potential new business owners.


By starting our company, Kyle and I took a huge leap of faith in God’s promise to trust in Him. After a lot of prayer, we felt the Holy Spirit direct us to “give God a chance to work in our life” in a tangible way. We just had to take "one step in faith" at a time.


In my other posts, you have seen my story about losing my mom in April of 2015. After this major tragic event that intersected with my life, I started to view my time in a different and in an urgent way. I realized when I was older, looking back, I wouldn’t want to have any regrets. This included helping, supporting, and partnering with Kyle to live out his dream of owning his own business. He received his Master’s in Business Administration from Emory University to prepare for this dream as well!!



Photo Courtesy of Jerry King, J King Images

Kyle discovered the FedEx Ground linehaul contractor model in 2012. FedEx Ground outsources it’s linehaul and pick-up and delivery services to independent business owners and logistics companies. He realized it was a great opportunity and thought it might be something that he would like to pursue. He spent over a year researching and modeling out the business.

We made a few attempts to start a linehaul business with FedEx. Then we had divine timing as we finally got the first 3 routes. FedEx wanted our business up and running and available to work within a month. So we needed to act quickly! We worked hard to secure tractors and hire drivers to get fully staffed.

Since then, we have had many ups and downs, as any business does during the start up phase. We have continued to organically grow our business and our partnership with FedEx Ground. Kyle was handling all the logistics of day to day coordinating of runs, tractor maintenance, and reporting all by himself for about a year and a half. Then a year ago, we made a great decision to promote a seasoned top driver to management. Promoting Dale Moore has made all the difference for Kyle and the rest of the company. Dale has been crucial in helping us scale and manage the business as we have continued to grow. I still handle most of the back office operations, HR, finances, and driver benefits. 

Photo Courtesy of Jerry King, J King Images
Working with my spouse, as a business partner, has certainly had its challenges! We have grown and stretched our marriage, sometimes even to it’s limits. It is kind of like the process taking a piece of coal and under stress refining it into a diamond. Many people tell me they can’t imagine working with their spouse because of how difficult it would be. They are right, it can be very difficult! But, it has always been worth it!!! 

Our journey has revealed a whole new side of Kyle to me and what makes him tick. It has shown me his incredible strength and given me a greater appreciation for how brilliant he truly is. I respected him before and it has only expanded my respect for him as a business partner and leader of our company.
Photo Courtesy of Jerry King, J King Images
God and the Holy Spirit get so much of the credit and glory!!! God has been there the whole time giving us guidance and showing us that if we are faithful with the small things he will bless us with more. He also comforts us when we are going through difficult times. Keeping the Lord at the center, as our Rock, has made all the difference!

We always wanted to be the type of bosses for which people like to work. We strive to provide a great work/life balance for our drivers. We know truck drivers will work somewhere, and we want them to be happy working for us! We know linehaul drivers have a life and we work with them, so they can still be home for important events at home. We really care about our drivers as people not just employees. We also show them that by offering full health care benefits and paid time off. We know rest and self-care is so important for drivers and their safety on the road. Safety has always been our number one priority. Everything we do comes from that mentality.

Here are tips and advice to share to any potential new business owners:
Pray about everything and for God’s direction!!
Don’t be too proud to get on your hands and knees surrendering everything to God’s ultimate control.
Trust your instincts and the Holy Spirit.
Take a leap of faith and one step at a time.
Be willing to put in the work to see things through to completion.
Be quick, nimble, and try to make good decisions under pressure.
If the decision doesn’t happen to be the right one, learn from your mistake, and move on to the next decision.
Make sure to have a lot of perseverance and faith that no matter what happens it will be okay.
You will have to work harder than you would for someone else.
You have to be willing to do whatever it takes if no one else will.
You have the flexibility to make your own schedule but have to be a great self-starter.
Have wise counsel you can talk to about decisions by getting outside input and perspectives.
You have to be willing to take responsibility for how things turn out because the burden falls on you.
Running your own business is a life style change and not for the faint of heart!!
Being your own boss and working for yourself is so rewarding!!!

To learn more about our company and apply to join our team, please visit our website:
http://www.United-Federal.com

*Website designed by Black Airplane. https://blackairplane.com/

**Images by Jerry King with J King Images. He has a great story about starting his own business in a similar way we did, by taking a huge leap of faith. https://www.jkingimages.com/