Monday, May 5, 2014

Fingerprints, or lack thereof!

Hi everyone! As always, it’s been a while. I thought I would have more time once I was out of school to blog, but not so much. In fact, the last time I checked in, I was getting ready to start my new career. It’s WONDERFUL, by the way. I could not ask for a better place to spend my days, with the most caring, inviting and helpful group of people. AND, they don’t cut me any slack…even when I pull the one 2-finger, one handed nonsense. I know…story of my life! :)

Anyway, for those who may not know, I have wanted to pass my Series 7 (Stockbroker’s exam) for YEARS. Well the time has come. But, before it can happen I had to have my fingerprints re-done because the fingerprints that are on file with the FBI when I was hired are “illegible”…I know, I couldn’t believe it either!! So, I went back, had them re-captured. When I walked in, it was almost as if the employees wanted each other to notice me first because they knew it was going to be painful. Well, it was. I froze their system again…and ended up just having to leave. It’s funny because everyone is always so apologetic, as if it’s their fault I have 2 fingers and computer systems have NO CLUE how to “override” the system. And, just as I thought, they were still illegible…dangit. So now what? Oh, of course, go get them done AGAIN! Yep, by that point it was just a joke. But, I went to the sheriff’s office this time, spent an hour…shutting down their system 3 times…but by golly, I came out with some fingerprints!!! Poor lady, she was determined we were going to give them something, but she admitted that she was “stumped”…literally. While people were still a little perturbed by the process I had to go through, I assured them that us “lucky fingerless few” never do anything easy. Why do things the “normal” way when you can change it up and make them figure out how to do things DIFFERENTLY. It’s an awesome feeling knowing you are forcing people to “think outside the box.” God forbid. After a lot of explaining to the right people, they finally understood we were going to be chasing our tail for a while, because as silly as it sounds…………..I will always have one hand. Truth hurts sometimes, but they finally accepted it. Lol.

Having gone through this, I wonder…..has no one else with a “Lucky fin” ever had to have fingerprints? Is there really no Plan B? Does that mean I re-wrote the process for the future “Lucky fins?” And WHY IN THE WORLD is there a stereotype that everyone is the same…because that isn’t the case…ever! In fact, my buddy, Ryan Haack, who is over at, is trying to publish a book to put in libraries and homes everywhere to educate kids and adults that everyone is different and DIFFERENT IS AWESOME. If you are interested in helping him, on behalf of all of us in the “Lucky Fin” community would LOVE to see him get this published. Here is the link:

So, as I sit in my hotel room on the 1st night of my “cram course”…I reflect on all of the different roads I traveled to be to this point and it’s a little (okay, A LOT) scary! As if you can’t tell, my mind is all over the place. Happy, hopeful, ready, but more importantly….blessed. I almost feel like it’s not real, but SO excited that I may actually finally achieve this dream. I have an incredible support parents, my whole WFA team, and the best guy who encouraged me to leave him at home with 4 dogs, during a busy time for him at work…and missing his birthday. I am a pretty lucky girl.

That’s all the fun I have for now, but after I lick this testing business, I guess I’ll be able focus on making more fingerprints. :)

Until next time………………

If you can dream it, you can do it! Now get out there!

Love to All,

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Life, Loss, and Love!

Hi Everyone!

It's been way too long since I have talked to y'all! I think the last time I posted we had 24 hours left of 2012. Shew, I'm way behind. These two little fingers had been all over the place the past 8 months. 2013 has been the most amazing, successful, and heartbreaking year yet. When I set my goals for the year, never did I guess they would ALL be achieved. Besides the fact I have yet to win the lottery or hunt my first bear since I've lived in NC, there's still time. Before I bore everyone with exciting news, I want to reflect on losing my bestfriend and rock this past March, my Pa.

In my previous post, I had just got back from TX celebrating his 80th birthday. Now, in 2 days I will have been without him 5 months. While he is in a better place, I would give anything to share the past 5 months with him. Pa was the one who always believed in me when I didn't believe in myself. He would've given me his right arm if he could've, just so he didn't have to watch me do things without letting him help. Granted, that's why I am such a strong, determined, stubborn little 2-fingered girl now. So, thank you, Pa, for everything...I miss you!

While the year started out with heartbreak, Pa was looking over me to make the rest of the year absolutely wonderful!

In January, I met the most amazing man a girl could ask for. He has not only accepted me for who I am, but so supportive in all my crazy life decisions! He's a keeper just knowing he has to put up with me everyday! We will be taking our first vacation together to TX in hunt, of course! I'm sure there will be another fun post about another hunting trip!

In April, I bought my first home. As exciting, scary, and nerve-racking it was, I love it. As I have said before, when people question your ability to accomplish goals outside of your comfort zone, you will find a way to achieve them. Buying a home in the middle of the woods by ah ha moment! Yep, that means I get to do all of the weed eating, hoeing, snake-wrangling, and all the other fun stuff that goes along with home ownership. Only I do it with one hand. Yea, take that Mountain Men!

In June, my Mom, Aunt T, and Grandma (Sam), set out to NC in a big Penske truck to haul some furniture from TX to my house (thanks T and Pooh). And along for the ride came 2 little (not really) lab/border collie pups, Nora and June. And, my life has never been the same! While they are a pain in my side and keep me on my toes, they have warmed (and dirtied) the house right up! They're just precious..and buying me some time before I have little ones running around that I can't lock up in a crate! :)

And, last but not least, my career. As most of you now I went to school to be in the brokerage business. To ride the wild and crazy roller coaster of investing. To me, it was a no brainer, but to some, it a question of how I would be perceived in the business. Not only as a woman, but a woman with one hand. Apparently, that was reason to do something in my comfort zone, like bake cupcakes or cookies for a living! While that sounds delicious, it's not what I wanted for myself. I knew I would turn heads (what's new?), but you know me.....stubborn as a mule! It was going to happen. I stepped out on a limb and went for what I have worked so hard the past 5 years on....and just like that, I got my break!! In 3 days I will start my new career at a brokerage firm, here in Asheville, paving my way to the life long career goal I knew I could achieve if I never gave up.

So, to all my Lucky Fin families, and those of you who may just need a little advice from a one-handed girl (for whatever it's worth...) don't give up. It's been a long road...some detours...some road blocks...some off-roading...bumps, brusies, battle wounds...but it's all worth it in the end! While the road to success never ends, it will open new doors to things you never thought you could endure or overcome. It's scary, it's fun, you will be anxious, proud, exhausted...Embrace it.

I hope your year has been adventurous and joyful so far. Until next time, enjoy your life however it was dealt to you....there is a reason!

Now get up and get out there, Lucky Fins!!

Love to All,


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Reflecting, Reminiscing, and Remembering 2012!

It hard to believe another year is about to end.  It seems like yesterday I was posting about starting 2012 off with a bang.  In fact, I ended the post with this exact paragraph:

"So, after I thought about how many things and places I have not done or been, with less fortunate kids who need a mentor, the new year only brings hope I can do and share those events with the ones who look up to me for help and hope. This is the year I graduate from college, start a new career, and hopefully reach out to so many new people at home a abroad. Everyone can reach a goal, whether it's to tie your shoe for the first time or get all A's in school. You don't need to have one arm and 2 fingers to reach it. Big or small, decide what YOU want this year and decide how you will accomplish it.

If you can dream it, you can do it! Now get out there!"

With that, I sit here, in the same spot as last year, typing the same message, with a different perspective.  Just a little rundown of how the past year has played out:

I started the year off with a "bang" by killing my first white elk. 

Then girls cruise for spring break....

Followed by graduating with my Finance degree....FINALLY!! 


Then, I moved to North Carolina full-time, took the summer off by hem-hawin' around the mountains, vacationing, and started a new job in Asheville

Pretty boring stuff, I know...BUT THEN I went to Texas to celebrate my main man's 80th birthday.  That was probably the highlight of my year, getting to see my Sam and Pa and seeing my family.

  Lastly, I spent the holidays with the people who mean the most and have made all of the above parents. 

So, as I look back on the last paragraph of what I wanted to accomplish this year, I have to say it has been beyond what I imagined.  Yes, there are things I wish I could have done differently.  Yes, there are people who I wish were still around.  Yes, there are places and people I did not see who I have wanted or should have.  But, No, I would not change it for the world.  I have been touched by hundreds of new Lucky Fin friends, connected with many new organizations, and learned so, so much from everyone who is determined to inspire so many by living their everyday life. 

Here are just a few of what I have managed to collect this year from some amazing people:

Regardless of what others think of you, or what they think you should what makes YOU happy and remember, you probably already have everything you need.

So, as we countdown the next 24 hours, I hope you have had a year you will always remember. And as always,

If you can dream it, you can do it! Now get out there!

Love to All,

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Push 'em ups!

Recently, I started living at my home in North Carolina and have left behind a few of my daily essentials.  One, is my treadmill, or semi-flat land to run on.  So, I take hikes up the mountain, work around the property, or use an eliptical (...boring!).  Secondly, I miss my bike.  But, trying to trek up and down these mountain roads are out of the question....without a bike arm.  So, I had my dad bring my old gymnastic arm up so I can try to find an attachment to fit the arm and bike. 

In the meantime, I thought I would pick up where I left off a dozen years ago and do push-ups with my arm.  F-U-N-N-Y!!!  I was okay until I went down and never came back up!  I looked at it that arm like...seriously, you can't even do 1 push-up, Bri!?  For someone who can lift anything, that arm was not all.  In fact, I was ready to put it back in the drawer for another dozen years and hope it got stronger!  But, it was just that!  I hadn't put it on in so many years, I was out of practice (and totally out of shape!), and of course I was going to try to do something super challenging (for me) instead of something simple (whatever that is).  As I look at all of these children that I am teaching, helping, and showing that anything is possible; I realize THEY are teaching and 'pushing' me to do more!  This weeks goal is doing 10 push-ups.  It will happen.  I may die, but it will happen!  :)

"The only disability in life is a bad attitude!" - Scott Hamilton

Whether you have all of your limbs, or none, you are 'stumped'...somehow.  ;)

So, what is your challenge?  Whatever it is....PUSH ON!!!   

Love to All,


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Hunting Humor!

The past couple of months, I have become connected to so many new people in the "limb difference" community, either via Facebook or this blog. After looking at my pictures, many have wondered "how I hunt?" The question always comes up as to "how" I pull a trigger? Well, I never really stopped to think about "how" I do it...I just do it! But, my first thought was, "with a gun?" But then I realize that's not what they are really asking. So, my next thought was, "just like you?" But then, still, I got the "you've-got-to-be-kidding-me" look! It's true! I know, it sounds like I would be a path of destruction, but actually, I am not THAT bad...and I still have one good shooting hand to prove it! So, to anyone who is born with, or has a limb difference, of any kind, don't let anyone tell you you can't do something! Like I always say in all my can! It may not be exactly like a typical person, but it will lead to the same ending result! It is all about logistics...and determination!

As many of you know, I was born and raised in Texas, which means you grow up hunting! This past January, I was visiting my family on their ranch, for an elk hunt. When we arrived, we got the game plan and headed out to scout for some animals. There were 7 of us in a Ranger: me and 6 guys! I Co-piloted, hoping to scope out the animals and point my Uncle in the right direction. And, that is where the fun began...

When you have two fingers, there are only so many ways you can point, or signal. In fact, I have the SAME signal for EVERYTHING! (Left, Right, Hi, Stop, Bye, Hold on, 1, 2, No, Yes, you get the point...) So, of course, I would point at a herd of elk and he would go the opposite direction. I would then point "harder" in the direction I wanted him to go in, and he would continue to go the wrong way. Clearly, I am pointing left...and right...How would you not understand which direction you need to go!? After a few sharp turns and a very patient Uncle, he nicely said, "If Bri is going to sit in the front, we need to give her a stick to point!" Brilliant! Never occurred to me I was not pointing in the "right" I know! Nevertheless, everyone had a good laugh!

After that, I grew fingers! Just kidding! :) We solved that minor issue, and there were no longer mis-leading directions, and was back on track! A couple hours into our hunt, we came upon an elk and was given the okay to hop out and "choot'em!" So, we all bailed and my cousin found a spot for me to rest my gun so I could keep it steady. At this point, I was shaking in my boots...literally! This was my first elk hunt...with 6 guys watching...using a gun I had never shot before! So, no pressure, right? After what seemed like an eternity (about 10 seconds), my cousin takes a deep breath (for me, I think), and I shoot! ONE shot! I was scared to look when I hear my dad yell, "You got got her, Bri!!" Everyone was just as excited as me, if not more! I'm not sure if it is because they survived my gunfire, or because they just witnessed a "one-armed girl" shoot and score, but either way, it was probably the most amazing adrenaline rush I had ever felt. I achieved my goal, and for anyone who knows how that feels, it is AMAZING!

Not everyone likes hunting, so I will spare some detail, but I do...and that hunt is something that I am very proud of!

Love to all,


Sunday, January 1, 2012

New year, new goals!

Happy New Year to All! I hope it's filled with health and happiness!!

A few days ago I was privileged to watch Soul Surfer for the first time. If you aren't familiar with Bethany Hamilton, she was a shark attack victim that left her with only one arm. It wasn't until I saw her maneuver EXACTLY how I do with certain tasks as cutting food, buttoning pants, and making every adaption needed without giving up, that I realized I was inspired by her. Typically, everyone says that about me, but I rarely get to be inspired by others with the same differences. I get to actually learn new things, which is amazing! Now, by no means will I go jump on a surf board without some sort of knowledge, but it isn't out of the question.

Going back a few more days, I encountered a young man with the same hands as myself at church, also around the same age (...and quite cute). You may be wondering why I get so excited about this type thing, but typically the only people I meet with physical differences are really young or much older...which is awesome, but in order for me to teach others, I need to learn from others in the same type boat! It isn't often I get to interact with someone who understands the way our world works, in the same generation.

So, after I thought about how many things and places I have not done or been, with less fortunate kids who need a mentor, the new year only brings hope I can do and share those events with the ones who look up to me for help and hope. This is the year I graduate from college, start a new career, and hopefully reach out to so many new people at home a abroad. Everyone can reach a goal, whether it's to tie your shoe for the first time or get all A's in school. You don't need to have one arm and 2 fingers to reach it. Big or small, decide what YOU want this year and decide how you will accomplish it.

If you can dream it, you can do it! Now get out there!

Love to All,

Monday, December 12, 2011

Touch and be touched!

As many of you know, I am not very good at keeping up with this blog, but now that I am between semesters, I will do my best to update my post, as promised!

My mom and I were traveling this past week to visit our family in Texas for Christmas and during those 4 days many things happened that made me reflect on how important family-time is and how you can motivate others without realizing. The intention of my posts are to educate others on the differences of people and that everyone is different whether it is physical or not.

On our way back from Texas, we stopped to eat at Cracker Barrel and I noticed the woman next to me staring at me the entire time. I ignored it, as usual, because I am stared at everywhere I go, which is understandable. I thought she just wanted a bite of my which case she'd be better off asking for my other arm because I do not share food. :)

As we got up to leave, she stood and confessed she had been watching me eat the whole time and was amazed at how well I maneuvered. I acted as if I didn't realize she had been eye-balling me and thanked her for her compliment. She then went on about how God put her next to me for a reason and how I inspired her to not only think before she complained, but continue to think everytime she felt as if something is too difficult. She gave me a hug and said to continue to inspire others and she will always think of Me.

It made me happy to hear her say she was touched by something I have no control over. I get compliments occasionally, but when someone tells me I am put here to help others and inspire them to push forward, that is what makes me truly believe those of us who have to struggle everyday are the ones who have to push harder. I don't see me as being different, but I am thankful to those who take the time to know there is a difference and acknowledge that we are capable of the same things, just in a different way.

The other side of this is people always wonder why I try to stay fit or attempt things I probably shouldn't. Well, for one, if I don't try something, I'll never know if I can do it. (Duh!) Like, using knives, saw, hammer, ax, etc...I promise everyone who has told be to be careful has hurt themselves more times than they have warned me. It's all about logistics when you have to adapt. Trust me, you know where you can't go wrong! I have no spares, but I am willing to stretch my limits! The best advice I give is to stay out of my way because I know I am safe, but one slip and anything around me is in extreme And, for the ones who hound me about my size. Well, you try to tie your shoes with your elbow and let me know how long it takes because you can't bend low enough. Same as buttoning your pants, shirts, etc...go ahead and try. Let me know how far you get and how much time it took. I can do it without thinking, but only because I have no choice!

The typical person who goes about the day without having to worry about these little details, when you have to think before doing ANYTHING, you tend to appreciate the things you have and to not complain, because sometimes it is more rewarding to focus on what you lack.

Again, that is the reason I started the blog to begin inform others and make them realize the importance of appreciating what you have. And, that if you see someone with a physical is OKAY. The worst thing you can do is treat us different...or think we can't keep up, because I promise we can and we will!!!

Love to all,