Thursday, December 20, 2007

Words can sting like anything but silence can break a heart.
So true.
But does the heart heal after the silence is over?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The 12 days of Christmas...

A question someone asked me:
Your true love just presented you with all the items of the Twelve Days of Christmas. That’s right, you’ve got a partridge in a pear tree, 2 turtle doves, 3 french hens, 4 calling birds, 5 gold rings, 6 geese-a-laying, 7 swans-a-swimming, 8 maids-a-milking, 9 ladies dancing, 10 lords-a-leaping, 11 swans-a-swimming, and 12 drummers drumming. Here’s the thing, your true love gave you all of those things last year……. If you could exchange them for something else, what would it be?

a partridge in a pear tree, I'd take a maid. Just to come in and dust and do laundry. Ok, and vacuum. Just once a week would be fine

2 turtle doves, a Cricut machine and the extension pack
3 french hens, three new fonts for said Cricut machine
4 calling birds, four girlfriends, one trip, tons of fun and laughter. Let's see. A week on the beach
5 gold rings, a wedding ring that I loved
6 geese-a-laying, 6 months of a personal trainer
7 swans-a-swimming, a bird bath for the back yard
8 maids-a-milking, peppermint mocha creamer for the year. Never running out
9 ladies dancing, salsa dancing lessons. Alone.
10 lords-a-leaping, a trip to a Beth Moore confernce with back stage tickets
11 pipers piping, an ipod preloaded w/all my favorite songs
12 drummers drumming, a trip a month for the entire year. Wherever I want to go

Two two days Meliss will be disembarking to freeze her patootie off here in Chicago for almost a week!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Michelle has landed!!

Michelle came in on Saturday, and it was as if the weather man heard her land. Before we hit Bolingbrook, the snow began and she had a snowball fight before she got unpacked!! Then it was on to "hot now" a/k/a Krispy Kremes for what turned out to be not so great donuts. But the free samples were fabulous. Mental note: yes, the custard ones DO need to be refrigerated. Joseph found out by waiting a few days and eating (or beginning to) one that had been sitting out. Patooie best describes the sound emanating from the kitchen.
Then to Theresa's where we chatted for a while and sorta planned Christmas, but not totally. She wants me to change the plan so that she has less running around to do. Not sure what we're going to do. Whatever we DO decide, it will be additional running for us since as of today Cassie is no longer driving. She's got spotty vision, I guess, as I understand it from the texts. It's frustrating to communicate only by texts, while I hear that two full days are spent at Denise and Ron's. Sigh. I guess it's better than nothing, but I'm feeling the shove of being pushed aside again.
With Michelle here, things are in a holding pattern. Paul is still trying to get me to tell him how to make this all up to me. How exactly does one make up being shunned for 5 days? Not sure on that one. I don't trust him. I don't want to even try. I've seen this too many times for too many years to believe THIS is the big "I get it". Even so, it's nice to have a breather.
And...da da da daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!! Kimberlee's birthday and I was even in town. Two years in a row. That's some kinda record.
Tomorrow is a sleep in day with nothing on the agenda. YIPPEE!!!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Paul describes our marriage as a battle field with bombs dropping...which is funny because my mental image is a minefield. I never know what I"m going to do to set off his judgment and cold distance and all that fall out.

I told him to find a place to stay, that it was clear to me that he'd be gone by Christmas. He didn't. I told him that it didn't matter to me if he had somewhere to go, that this last round of things that culminated in him telling me to prove that I was truthful in what we owed and were paying pushed me over the edge. I don't even know why I'm letting him stay at all. I wonder how he felt when he saw the numbers and I was actually overstating our debt. I wonder how he felt when he saw me walk away crying. From what I can see, he didn't get it. He says he did, but his big "I"m so sorry and I DO get what I've done" move was to text me yesterday. That's it. A text "I am glad you can express your feelings". Well that will certainly make things monumentally better.

These questions came through on a devotional I get, and I thought they were good.

What areas of your life are on hold because you are waiting for "it" to happen?
A lot of them. I have no energy to deal with much beyond my crappy marriage. I'm depressed and not working to even though I know I need to, don't care about Christmas coming, the IT is for my marriage to improve for more than a week.

What dreams have you discarded for fear that they will never be realized?
That one. That my marriage will improve, or even survive. That he will understand and act on that understanding, what the last three years have been like for me. That he will GET the damage he's done and WANT to fix things, not feel entitled for me to love him.

Do you see God as the only source of joy in your life?
Yes, but He's more the sustaining rock than a source of joy right now.

Identify and eliminate the "joy-stealers" at work in your life.
Expecting Paul to grow up. Thinking that he gets it. Waiting for or even thinking things will change for the better. Staying up too late. Complaining spirit. Criticising him.

What steps do you need to take in order to become a woman of joy?
Stop complaining, criticizing and get to bed at a decent hour.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

It all started out so well...

Paul got diagnosed, tentatively, with ADD. There's a specialist in Naperville who may help. His counselor gives him the name and number and tells Paul that this maybe a huge part of him not following through and not keeping his promises to me. Paul tells me that he's going to wait until January to check it out so it can be on next year's deductible. No conversation. Just informing me of his unilateral decision. Soooooo...this could be what's holding him back and we can jsut put it on hold for a month?? Sooooo....he just makes that decision on his own. Really, what does he need a wife for?

Then the game...Rex was throwing well, the receivers who were SUPPOSED to catch it, did. You know, like a football game is supposed to look. And then the fatal error. I turned to Joseph and said: I'm starting to not get a sick feeling in my stomach when Rex touches the ball. Literally those words left my mouth and Rex got NAILED. He's out for the season. He may have played his last game as a Bear. And the injury fest continued. I lost count how many guys were injured in that game, but it was ALOT. And we lost. Thus effectively ending the season for the Bears. Sigh.

Paul went over to Cassie's...brought over Hairspray for them to watch together. She told me they didn't have all the extra stuff during the credits like I saw when I went to it in the theatre. Kinda weird I thought. But they do have at least 2 versions of Hairspray on DVD, so I guess they got the not extras one.

Friday morning, Kimberlee came over to drop off her final secret sister thing. I had gone back and forth this whole semester with she was/she wasn't. Well, SHE WAS!! LOL I was so sorry she didn't come to SS, but what are you gonna do when the kids have ickies????
Soul Sisters was great. I love those guys!! Right now, it's one of the things that is keeping me going...I am really fighting the inclination to hide. To not answer the phone. To not go anywhere.

It's been a really tough week. I talked to Paul about the gifts I had already gotten him before the game came up, knowing how he is about money, and wanting to be up front about it. He told me to return them. I tried to explain how it felt, for the first time in 3 years to WANT to get him something, to be EXCITED about what I got him, and then be asked to return them. He shut down. Five minutes later, after waiting for a response, I leave. End of conversation.
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, same thing. Then a note saying "sorry we haven't gotten to talk about your stuff". I wrote him a note back. Things are so crappy. Why can't they ever STAY improved? It's not that we haven't GOTTEN to talk. It's that I bring it up, and really, not in an angry way. I'm sad, disappointed, feeling like something got taken from me that I worked really hard to get back. Cried about it...with him just looking at me.

Find out from Cassie how his counseling went.

Friday night, I stop and tell him I'm home, and he says "well, goodnight then". No conversation. I go to bed hurt and angry and sad. I'm sick of this. Sick of him ignoring my feelings, shutting down in conversations he doesn't like, sick of him controlling things by doing stuff like that. Sick of trying to be positive, open, vulnerable, all to be ignored and shut out again. This is definitely the WORSE of for better or worse. Three years and the only things that has remained changed is that he's not doing his addiction crap and I'm better at expressing my anger without being violent.

But by Saturday morning, I was angry. How many times do I have to bring it up for him to listen? Two hours after he gets home, after ignoring me (yeah, like the 5 year old way...cold shoulder, not responding, etc), he sits down at the kitchen table and asks if I want to talk. are you KIDDING ME???? SERIOUSLY??? NOW YOU WANT TO TALK SO I'M JUST SUPPOSED TO BE THE GOOD LITTLE WIFE????

So maybe by the end of the conversation he heard how I felt, how it was to bring up what was important to him and not even be asked (he said it never crossed his mind to ask me what i thought...what am I in his life???) what I thought. How it felt to return the gifts that I FINALLY wanted to, not felt like I had to, get.

And then he tells me that he figured that I was just ignoring the budget and doing what I wanted anyway. I screamed at him that it was all bought in November, when I was shopping for his birthday and that it was in the budget and paid for already.He I didn't mean that was what I thought. I reply. Yes it is Paul. You may regret thinking that now, you may know you are wrong now, but that IS what you thought and why you have been treating me how you have all week. You were mad because you decided that you knew the entire story and didn't need to ask me for the facts. So you may not think that now but you SURE DID think it all week. I left for errands. I was too angry to discuss this anymore. So when I get back,he backpedals some more, apologizes, and Joseph comes in from work. End of discussion.

And Sunday at church, total melt down. I'm tired. I'm sick of being married to a guy who doesn't trust me or think the best of me or even want to ask me what I think. He gets these amazing breakthroughs and then reverts. I think it would be easier w/o the breakthroughs. Then I wouldn't think he was even capable of being an adult or healthy. They invite us up for prayer, those who need to have more trust (that would be trust Paul,not God). Or just can't do the waiting for Christmas (for God to show up) any more. I start bawling...and am trying to explain it to Angela, how I'm sick of saying the same thing over and over again...having the same story for 3 years without much sustained progress. Her response stopped me in my tracks. She said "we all have the same stories...feel like we're saying it over and over again". I feel so pathetic being stuck here, but there is growth. I can't speak for Paul, but I know I handle my emotions more maturely than I used to, control them better, speak them more and scream them less. That I'm more tolerant than I used to be and am learning to forgive better. And, at the same time, I'm increasingly more alone with him and seeing where I fall on the priority list for him.

Small group last night...with a migraine and sick to my stomach. But it was good. Went to bed early and woke up to dirty dishes. This week has GOT to be better, right?????

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Look what it's doing here...

Oh sure it's pretty. But it's not so much fun while sliding through intersections!!
So winter is officially here...I don't care if Dec 22 is the actual date. I count winter in two ways:
one) When it snows and
two) when we have dates for the girls to come here.
We have now met both requirements. So winter is here!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Part 2

And on to the rest of my two week sabbatical...

Here's Cassie at 6 months. I FINALLY felt the baby move this Saturday. It was very exciting and made me smile ear to ear!! He kinda rolled over under my left hand. WOOHOO!! Long time waiting for the little Mr. to show himself to me!! Cassie said I was the first one to feel him move besides Chris, to which I say "As it should be!!"

We went to this tea room in Oswego or Yorkville or somewhere out there. It was nice...a cute little farm converted to a cash cow, with great pottery and decor things in another building.

The tea was fabulous, but I know I've had it somewhere else. Ambrosia tea in a nice pyramid bag. Conversation was nice and we laughed alot. Seemed like there were 2 different conversations, one with me and Cindi and Sherrie, and one with Catharina and Vicky. Lynda couldn't make it, which I expected but was still disappointed about. Sigh. Wish there was something I could do to help her sometimes...but this was a sinus headache thing, so there's no helping that unless you're an MD.

Cassie came over and made the CUTEST cards. I totally had card envy. She's got some natural talent there, and she works slow enough to produce nice cards...It was great spending time with her and just hanging. I always am glad to be with her...we talk and laugh and just enjoy being together with no agenda (or in this case, a card agenda)

Had some ladies over to make cards...that was fun. We are all on the Joliet flylady group, and talking about making cards, so I told them to just come over here and bring an idea. Well, they DID!! And cookies and supplies. We ended up making 15 Christmas the middle of a major ice storm. They are better women than me...I would NOT have come.

And. sigh. the bears. sigh. They lost a heartbreaker. I don't care. I still love them. They aren't alone in the heartbreak this week. The Redskins wanted to win for their teammate who had been killed. They lost on a stupidly called double time out from their coach. Amateur mistake the announcers say. Heartbreaking I say. They looked like they were all gonna cry on the sidelines. And then the Ravens last night. Oh the pain. Literally, I quit breathing. To come within TWO YARDS of winning. Killer. And that was the poor sport on the Ravens that cost them that game. 35 yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct in the last minute of the game. They could have done it!!
Debbie came in from VA to go to her nephew's wedding and we were able to spend the evening catching up. I always love talking with her. She's just one of those people who GET me and what I'm saying. And the's a long one. She informs me, 22 years later, that Paul's sister Nancy was NASTY before our wedding to her...telling her that she should not be in the wedding and that it was wrong and inappropriate since she had dated Paul. The small ingored by Nancy detail was that I was the one that asked her to stand up...we had become closer friends while going to JJC together. MAN I wish I would have known about it then...because she also tried to orchestrate Paul's dad getting pushed out of best man position and having this PIG Phil be Paul's best man as a "surprise". When she announced THAT little gem, I told Paul if Phil was one of our witnesses, I would NOT be marrying him. I really HATED that guy. Uh. Who's wedding was it? Who gets to ask who they want to stand up for them??? Even back then, the machine was working. Grrr....
Planning to spend a week in VA this summer...Debbie and Mark always seem to get the short stick when it comes to time, but this time I'm going without Paul so I don't need to be back in any specific time. I can't wait!! I love VA Beach!!

And now the countdown begins...Meesh comes in on the 15th andMeliss on the 21st!! WOO!! HOO!!! And as Meliss said, clear your calendar and let your girlfriends know you won't be available till the 27th. LOL

Monday, December 3, 2007

I seriously need an alarm

on my phone that reminds me to blog. I've sat down to do this I don't know how many times and got I'll spend the next few days catching up...
Our thanksgiving self portrait. We had a choice of Cassie looking exhausted, me with a double chin, or this one.
Chris had to work, but we sent a big plate home for him...

Lindsay made Thanksgiving dinner (yeah, I"m that far behind!!) This was for two reasons, imho. One-she invited us and we accepted, under the guise of "AG, I"m making dinner" then Theresa told me it was she was making the potatoes.I told Theresa that I accepted b/c LIndz said she was making DINNER and that she should. Well, I sent her a planner to make it easier, and it did help (if only Theresa had all my pampered chef tools like a chopper), but Lindsay did the work. And two-Lindsay told Theresa she was a crappy cook. I told Theresa it was time for her to let Lindsay find out what it was like to make food day after boring day...I don't know if that will happen, but Lindz did do thanksgiving.

Dinner was great...which honestly I wondered about when Lindsay called at 1245 and said the turkey was done (we were supposed to eat at 4) and asking what she should do, since the potatoes weren't even begun!! LOL
She also learned that I knew what i was talking about when I said if you put the turkey in the roaster it will not brown. But it was super moist and everything was hot when we sat down...which was better than the turkey dinner I made Sunday afternoon. My potatoes were steaming when we mashed them and when we sat down 3 minutes later, they were literally cold!! Thank God for microwaves and hot gravy!! LOL
We were, as usual, treated like non-entities by Don's girls. I'd like to think they treat everyone this way, but it gets really old every single holiday to be talked to only when they need something and then expect us to clean up after their princess behinds.
I guess it's worse when it's at my own house, but still...I really would like to be with people who WANT to be with me, rather than be a box they check off and say "whew" when they leave...

Joseph got up at 645 (usually this is much closer to his bed time than his awake time) to get a guitar hero 2 for dirt cheap...and then brought it to thanksgiving. We had a GH2 tournament. I didn't lose, but I"m pretty sure I won't be hired for a band any time soon. At first, I needed someone to strum while I got the notes, but by the end of the round, I could do both. I think I'll keep my day job all the same. Note Patrick strumming for me...this was obviously early in the tournament!!
And the picture with Paul and Lindsay...yeah. Joseph is shouting what color to hit on the keys. We DEFINITELY needed that kind of help...but I'm pretty sure we all got better...

More to follow...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Paul is officially

my age. Every year. I mean every year. Every SINGLE year. Paul belabors the point that I am older than him. Which forces me to belabor the point that he LOOKS older than me. Always trumps. But I like the way he's aging. I like his crinkled eyes. I like his grey hair. His blonde hair was ok, but grey just looks good on him. I like his gold reading glasses. I think they make him look hot. Seriously. I LOVE him in his reading glasses. I love the way he looks up over his glasses. I love how they make his eyes look more blue.
We went to the Promenade to celebrate his birthday. Ate at Ted's Montana Grill. Overpriced and the food was NOT that good. SO now we know. Then on to say hi to Lindsay at her job. She's working at Aeropastale now. It was fun to see her...she's all ready for black Friday. Can check a person out with 6 items and 2 accessories in under 90 seconds. Funny that they literally time their employees. At the mall, they may check out quickly, but it's the 10 minutes waiting for someone to show up that is a pain the butt!!
They had a light show, like the Siberian Orchestra, with the music piped in to co-ordinate with the music. It was fun but only 4 songs long. Perfect day for walking around outside.
He said his birthday was good. But literally noONE remembered to call him or text him. At least he acknowledged that was a disappointment...usually he'd say it was fine. Little baby steps toward being honest in his feelings.
Oh...and I gave him a CD of a book he liked and wanted to listen to again and again and a very nice shirt/sweater combo so he could wear it for Christmas.
It was a good evening and I"m glad we spent it together.

Monday, November 12, 2007

It's been quite a week. but

not even a week i guess. I could go on and on about Paul's family and all of that. But I think I'm going to try to put it in the rear view mirror. The good thing that came out of all of it is that Paul can live free of keeping secrets (although I wept at my part in not protecting his wishes) and he didn't have to tell them and see the looks on their faces. I will say that for all the horrible things that were said that night, his specific addiction wasn't up for discussion. That is a big comfort to me since I always thought it wouldn't be that big of a deal if they knew...except his mom, who is scathing with her judgment and tongue, but she was too busy skewering me to judge him. I'm thankful for that.
And even in the midst of all of this, good things have happened. Talks and heart level sharing and our kids REALLY rallying around Paul. I just bawl at him sitting there and listening to what his mom had to say about could anyone EVER say stuff like that to their son with such a cold heart, not with an ounce of concern for HIM? And his dad's heart being so tender and sweet...

Saw Theresa's house finally. It's really nice...roomy and open and a clean slate for them to do what they want. I'm excited for her. She got rid of a TON of stuff...and is really trying to keep things orderly. It's about 10 minutes closer to our house...and way less of a pain to get to, so I'm excited about THAT too!!

Cassie and I had our first girls night in...just the two of us tired selves. It was funny and nice and relaxing...even though we got TOTALLY lost going to the Chinese food place. It was good to just talk and help her out a little bit. I'm looking forward to our next one already.

And...I've been literally mourning the loss of my beloved cookbook for a year. It's the only one I really use with any regularity and I KNEW I wouldn't give it away...but I couldn't' find it anywhere. I also didn't think I'd lend it out because it's a treasure. Well...I DID Lend it to Kimberlee. I'm telling you I"ve torn my house apart more than once looking for it. And then the other day we were talking and I was lamenting my beloved lost cookbook and happened to mention the name of it, saying "I canNOT believe I still can't find my St Mary's cookbook. I wonder where it is?" To which she my hands. I about died. I thought she was kidding, but the next day, there it was...once again in my hot little hands!! WOOHOO!!!

Final thoughts...someone asked what it was like before I was a mom...and here's my answer.

Before I was a mom…
I never knew the comfort of smelling clean baby smell
Or the disgusting smells small boys can create.
I never read a book I didn’t like just because someone else did
Never swallowed a lump in my throat as someone walked out the door
Or stopped reading a storybook because it was making me cry
Never worried about someone else’s driving, or making friends in school.
Never felt so much responsibility for a life that wasn’t mine.
Never scrubbed caked on poop in places I should never see on another body
Never lost nights and nights of sleep to comfort a sick child who couldn’t breathe
Never played barbies ad nauseum, memorize entire passages of star wars, or bought oatmeal. (really what child LIKES oatmeal???)
Never bought new underwear while out for the day because of a major accident.
Never had a gigglefest
Never went to mcdonalds against my will
Never cleaned up a soda spill so large it created its own tide pool
Never made a tide pool (yep, did it for a school project)
Never prayed for just one more night of sleeping through…and then used a spoon to see if they were breathing
Never stuck my finger in someone else’s mouth to see what was ingested
Or growing…
Never scraped another person’s poop onto a popsicle stick for diagnostic purposed
Never cleaned blood out of a beloved sweatshirt by scrubbing it and washing it 10 times in a row
Never dreamed that a small body could create that much work…or that much love…or grow my faith in a way that is beyond description.
Before I was a mother I lived an incomplete life and didn’t even know it.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

IN case you're wondering...

my blog is private again and will be private from now on.
Paul's family "the girls" to be exact, found my blog, read it and decided that I was defaming him, poisoning our kids against him, telling all our problems to anyone who wants to read it, taking no responsbility for any problems in our marriage, and printed out excerpts so his mom could read it and present it to Paul last night.
I"m devastated at my own naivete. That I never thought that they might do something like that. That in 180+ entries, they find 2 that are raw in my brokenness and that's all they see.
So sad and sorry for Paul. That I created this mess. That his family is who they are and react how they do. That they don't care in any kind of healthy way.
SO my thoughts will be for those I trust. No wonder he trusts no one. Now I struggle with who to trust.
I'm so angry. Sad. Fighting the feeling of guilt...

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Ten things I'd tell my younger self...

Top 10 Things I’d Tell My Younger Self
1. Don’t be afraid. Most of the things you’re afraid of are either completely overblown or extremely unlikely to happen. There's alot to be said for "there is nothing to fear but fear itself"

2. Live for now. Find things to enjoy about life right now that make it worth living. Things won’t magically get better without your effort. Stop fantasizing about how great it’s going to be in the future and make it better today.

3. Don’t waste time. You are NOT going to have more time to do things you want to do in the future. Get that idea out of your head. Quit waiting for the next phase of life to do things. It will NEVER slow down...

4. Chase your dreams. Don’t dismiss your deepest desires as pipe dreams. Take a good look at them and think about what you want out of life. Just about everybody is telling you to take the safe path and get a safe, boring job. Don’t.

5. Do what you want. Stop doing what everyone expects you to do and start doing the things you want. No one can live your life for you. Don't be so concerned about what everyone else thinks of what you are doing. Be smart and straightforward and don’t be afraid to speak up about what you want...but do it with respect.

6. No one is responsible for your happiness. Decide what you want to do and do it. Make friends with people who value you. Cultivate hobbies. Finish college now. Do whatever it takes...and don't stay home for a guy. Live your college dream, not a watered down version of it. Read great books that you love. Laugh more and dwell less. Choose each day to be content. Don't wait for someone else to deliver you happiness on a platter.

7. If you spend money now assuming you’ll have plenty later, you won’t. Everybody thinks they’re going to make a ton more money in just a few years. You might, but you’ll have more than enough expenses to eat up every bit of it and more. Do NOT run up your credit cards. DON'T DO IT DON'T DO IT DON'T DO IT!!

8. Set goals. Make plans for what you really want to accomplish. Write them down and stick with them. It’s worth it to spend a bit of time hashing out the things you really want. Don’t worry, you can always change them as your life changes, but they’ll give you something concrete to shoot for.

9. Do something every day to work toward your goals. Don’t let a day go by without having contributed in some way to the goals you have set.

10. Choose your battles. The world is NOT your enemy. Remember that when everything seems set against you. The world simply doesn’t care. Don’t view everything in terms of us against them. Don’t argue when it does more harm than good.

specific prayers...and answers

One of my specific prayers (which in this case was a result of our Bible study agreeing to pray specifically for our needs in November) was for Paul to have an emotional connection regarding our marriage. In a nutshell, to feel on a heart level, what damage his addictions have done to our family…to me…to our relationship. Not so that I could beat him up but because the ONLY time I’ve seen an iota of change in behavior has always been preceded by him GETTING it at a heart level, not just saying the words.
Following a night of fights for him not showing up for the ONE THING he said he wanted (pay bills together), last night going to bed was not filled with hope to say the least.
Well, he read Psalm 13 as part of his devotional this morning, and I do not even know how to explain what happened. He came to the door, said “ger, can I come in?” and started weeping. I thought one of his parents died. Really, I did. And after about 20 minutes of him crying, he was able to tell me what happened and that he understands how he’s made me alone in our marriage all these years. That he understands "the anguish of my soul" and me crying out to God regarding this (one of the things I told him Thursday night was I prayed when the kids were little that I would pray that I lived (esp. when I found out I had cancer) till the kids were old enough to take care of themselves (like 20's) because not only was he checked out he didn't even care to find out where the insurance stuff was...that I would cry to God about that at night sometimes)
I’m still stunned. Happy for him. But stunned.
God is amazing…and I’m amazed that Paul allowed those feelings to surface. And I was able to comfort him and show him that I would not belittle his feelings and he was able to realize that his fears (losing control and never getting it back, dying, seeming weak) were unfounded. And that not only did he not seem weak to me, praise the LORD, I felt respect for him. Tenderness and compassion and kindness.
Can I tell you that sincerity is one HOT characteristic??? I seriously have never been more attracted to him than this morning, with him bawling and boogers and all of it. He was real.
Now my specific prayer is that he will remember this and stick it. That he won’t hide back behind his mask again. 22 years I have waited. Literally, have NEVER seen him connect emotionally regarding me. NEVER. Until Friday.
And so...
resentment of me gone, he says. Raised his hands in church Sunday, went to communion, says he feels like he's really making progress mentally.
I am trying hard to stay in the present, to be positive, to be supportive and kind and all that.
I am thankful for him, for what he is allowing God to do in his life, for him really HEARING God's voice on Friday. I think this is what the result of being jealous FOR someone, not jealous OF them gets...but that's another bible study story!! LOL

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Thoughts from my Tapestry devotional in October

God has provided a way for His cihldren to lead disciplined lives. He gave the indwelling Holy Spirit who produces this characteristic in us. John 16:13 shows the Holy Spirit to be a gentle helper. We have to listen for His voice, acknowledge Him, and then obey.

God is the God of the impossible. He is able to heal and deliver those who seek His help. (Jer 3227)

Proverbs 16:9 reminds us that while we make plans, but God directs our path. God knows that is best, for individuals and families. If we are seeking Him and listen to His voice, we can be confident that He will reveal His will for our family.

Begin to think of all the blessings God has given you. If you are going through a difficult time right now and feel as if you have little to be thankful for, thank Him for your salvation, for air to breathe, clean water to drink.

If you are waiting for God to answer a prayer, ask Him to show you how He is already at work, and praise His faithfulness. Resist the temptation to step in and take matters into your own hands. Patiently allow Him to continue His work.

Temptation itself isn't a sin. It's when we yield to the temptation that we sin. We, too, have a choice every time we are tempted to believe one of Satan's lies. It's our choice, moment by moment. We can give in and act upon the temptation or we can submit our will.

Marriage can be difficult at times. We are called to serve others--and that includes our husbands. When we focus on loving our husbands for who they are and the way God made them, we will be surprised at the treasures we'll uncover. We will be more content with life as it is, more joyful when we're together and more grateful for the man God gave us as our lifetime partner. . Let's makes Paul's words to Philemon our daily prayer for our husband: "I always thank God when I mention you in my prayers"

Romans 12:9-18 outlines what our behavior should be with our friends. We are to truly love them with brotherly affection and take delight in honoring one another. This includes telling the truth, being accountable to one another, and encouraging each other in faith. Seeok to grow more deeply through transparency and trust.

God never intends for us to be hopeless. He has provided instructions in His word for handling relationships that have been damaged by sinful behavior. God has provided many avenues for help, but nearly always, that first step is up to you.

God does not always choose to eliminate the consequences brought on by past mistakes (yours or others), but the prayers of repentent children never go unheard. Agaod has a way of putting our afflictions to good use, touching lives by the testimony of someone who without God wiould otherwise be without hope.

It is expected taht every decision made iwth the desire to be obedient to God will be attacked. Spread your doubt before the Lord. Pray for correction of any wrong in thinking or doing and for His word of assurance for what action to take. If there is nothing else required of you at this moment, leave it at that. Trust God. Put the whole weight of your doubts and cares on Him.

In Mark 10:27, we are reminded that "all things are possible with God." Whether we need help with a decisin, a relationship, career or a task, He does not leave us in our weakness but provides the direction, wisdom and help we need in every situation.

There is no 'but' when it comes to God's forgiveness.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


I remember Halloween as always being cold and rainy. I mean ALWAYS! I guess that's what growing up in the midwest gets ya!! This year seems to be a half exception: rainy but warmer. YEAH!! Who needs Halloween costumes under a winter coat??
It's been a pretty tough week this past week, and quite frankly, I am being carried through on faith and scripture and prayers of friends and family.
Business meeting last week was a joke, as usual. Dog and pony show and a one way ticket out the door for many people. I promised Karla I would stay through the business meeting and I did. I'm glad to be released from this fight. Went to Southwest this weekend and really liked it. The people are not friendly, and I mean AT ALL. But our small group was there and I know 2 other people, so it'll bridge the gap till I meet more people. It's great to hear preaching from the Bible, not a little Bible squeezed in the preaching and stories and jokes. Then there was the disastrous game. Sigh.
Friday I told Paul I wanted a divorce and if he wasn't going to do that to move into the guest room. After COMMITTING almost 3 weeks ago to fight for our marriage, to plug into Joseph daily and do his recovery work daily and talk to me about it, ten days roll out with nothing but silence. More silence. More time. Waiting. Sinking realization that nothing is happening. More time. Fights. Silence. Finally, after 10 days, I say "SO I guess you aren't doing anything to fight for our marriage Paul?", to which he responds "I have been doing it. There just was nothing new to talk about so I didn't." That was Wednesday. I just don't want to spend the rest of my life pressuring, prodding, fighting, creating a crisis to make anything happen.
So Friday, of course, I have MOPS and SS and shove it all aside at MOPS and cry through SS for the most part. He comes home and has all this stuff he wants to share. AGAIN. It's a crisis, and he doesn't show up till his back is against the wall.
It makes me so sad for him. that he wold be willing to accept this kind of life, because he's afraid to let his feelings show. But if he won't show anger or grief, he also can't feel joy, or hope, or love. And the light dawns for me. NO WONDER I don't feel loved by him, and never have. You can't pick and choose which feelings you have...only feeling the good ones and never the bad.
I want him to be healthy, and whole, and how God made him to be. Not shut down, controlling and afraid. I want him to experience freedom and faith and God's amazing love and grace. Not think he has to do something to earn it or whatever it is that he thinks. I'm so sad for him, for us. For Joseph to have to watch this. For Cassie, grappling with whether she is responsible or not (NOT). For Paul. That he feels, for a brief moment, and then shuts himself down again. Life the Iceman Cometh. It's crushing to watch him do it again and again. Because I know what comes next in this process, of him shutting down his thoughts feelings and realizations. They quit coming. He quits. We lose.
I love him fiercely. Have since we were 13. Looking into his eyes, and thinking back to that track and the lockers and the catwalk, leaning against his car and kissing on my birthday. I don't think that love will ever go away. Get buried maybe, under hurt and disappointment and all that. He is the man God chose for me, brought into my life, formed our marriage and family.
And so, here it is again. I pray. I cry out to God. Literally, tears on my face, Lord help me, help us. Heal him, heal me, heal our family. And I wait.
Hoping that this time is different, but realizing that it's shaping up like all the other times. Waiting for a miracle, hoping for Paul to hear and respond this time. But is it hope when I really don't think that he will? We've been down this road so many agonizing times. God shows up, softens my heart, convicts and makes Paul aware. Paul shuts down. Round 47 or 470. I don' t know any more.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

You is great...

till you get a $700 cell phone bill. My son bought more texts with his new job's fabulous income. Well, that and his half of car insurance. Soooooooooooooooooo...with that increased text messaging he also got some internet use (5mb) but used 60 mb. That, at a penny per b is $600 in overages.
So I went to check our usage, like I always do...and surprise!! In the last week it went from the typical $100 cell phone bill to a $706 bill. Literally. I thought I was going to throw up. Then he thought he was going to when I got online and saw the detail that it was him. Then he informs me, in varying stages: (1) he was checking his myspace from his phone and (2) he was chatting online from his phone and (3) uh...woke up a couple of times several hours later with his phone still on and the Internet still connected. I think I know what one caused the problem.
Amidst much wailing and gnashing of teeth, 90% of his last check, current check (good thing he didn't buy anything with it) and his next check will go to at&t wireless via Paul and Geriann.

But besides that it was a good day!! LOL Still completely hoarse. And the upside of that little fiasco (yes, there is an upside to EVERYTHING) is we got it decreased by 10% because of Paul's job at Ford. And...switched to a package that made more sense anyway but one that we didn't know about. SO now we have unlimited texting to everyone and also picture and multimedia messages for the same price as we were paying for my unlimited mobile to mobiles and his 1500 text package. Which means I can text Cass again. Yeah!!

At first he thought AT&T should have let him know he was running low. I pointed out that in the adult world, where cell phones live, major corporations DO not have the responsibility of telling someone they are about to get pounded with a huge bill the customer ran up. It's the customer's responsibility to know what services he has used, and what applicable charges are being added. Oh the pain...seriously. Poor kid. He loves his money. He loved his cell phone. Not sure about that last one any more.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

It's a good day...

to praise God. Because it's a good day!!
Because we woke up
Because we are healthy
Because we draw breath
Because we CAN praise God
Because we are loved
Because we are created in love
Because He holds our life in His hands
Because His spirit lives in us
Because we get re-does
Because we are forgiven
Because we can forgive (ok, so sometimes it's not easy)
Because He is trustworthy
Because He is constant
Because He is kind
Because He is merciful
Because it is all we can give back...
and the list goes on...

Monday, October 22, 2007

Busy, long, sick week

New haircut, old glasses. Got new ones since this picture was taken. Gotta love the straightener!!

So Tuesday night I went to Bible study. Have been going a couple of months now. Didn't expect much, especially when I called Lynda to say I was late (skirmish at home) but would be there, and she said everyone else cancelled and she hadn't heard from Vicki.
Well, I was wrong. One comment Lynda made, which was NOTHING. "Making a list really helps with sticking with priorities". That was it. Well, it's been a long time since I got an arrow in the heart like that from God. Because I did talks on this very thing to MOPS groups. THIS VERY THING. And what was my priority? Not getting a job so I could get divorced faster. Not leaving Joseph to a hot pocket dinner so I could make minimum wage because it was easier and less painful than being home. OH NO IT was NOT!! SO BAM!! Point made. Amidst crying. Why is obedience so darn hard sometimes? I always said (before Tuesday) that once I knew what God wanted me to do, it was what I did. Until Tuesday. I bawled, argued, cried. Anything but the hard road God. Really. Well, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me isn't paraphrased to I can do all easy thing 0r all things I want to do. So. there ya have it. Conviction. Then a realization. When asked: who are you jealous FOR (not of) (darn those Beth Moore questions!!), my response: Paul, to be healthy, for him to know God's love and tenderness, healing and restoration. Cassie and Joseph, to have great relationships and a strong faith in God. For them all to live out what God has planned for them. If I thought I was crying before, this was a new one. Literally, the Bible study stopped. I hate crying in front of others (you think I'd get used to it as often as I do it") If that is my answer, I can't very well also say my heart is cold to Paul, that I don't love him anymore. I may be wounded, frustrated, sad, hurt, angry. But clearly there is something else buried way deep down.

I went home exhausted but peaceful.

Wednesday I woke up with no voice and a really, really tight chest. No Pastor Rick's last class. One conversation all day. Late dinner, tired, cough cough cough.

The good thing about having no voice: minimal distractions by phone. I got alot of scrapping done. ALOT. Why do I have energy to scrap but not to clean? LOL
Thursday, Cassie Lindsay Joseph and I were all supposed to go to a movie. Joseph forgot and made plans. Just as well since I was really miserable by then. Double just as well since the movie we wanted to see as a matinee had a first showing time of 4:20 and we needed like a 1:20 show. Maybe next week.

Friday, dragged myself to Soul Sisters, where Lynda did all the talking. I love that group. What an amazing group of ladies. I am blessed. Come home to find out my niece BROKE HER KNEECAP. I won't say how. But man. She is in some serious swelling and PAIN. And it was her good leg. Not any more. She sent me a picture. It looks like a stomach, it is so swollen. No definition. Poor thing. And here I am and can't do a darn thing from so far away. She's drugged. She needs to be. Poor baby. Sigh.

Sunday. Sad, hard, sad, sad sad. Rick and Dana say goodbye to Assembly. I could editorialize about them being called up on the altar for a goodbye thing, but I'll just leave that go. A beautiful party, indicative of them as people, both in church and as friends. Tears aplenty, food abounding, stories, laughter, celebration. Their new church is blessed to have them. I envy those's a small church and everyone will have the opportunity, should they choose to take it, to really get to know them. Lucky them. I could climb on the boo hoo train, but I guess I'm all cried out. I hope our friendship withstands the move. I know how hard it is to make that transition from breakfast into lunch dates to phone and email. Luckily, I"m in practice.

So here are a few layouts I did this weekend. I'm almost done with my summer trip to FL. Those words should not go together. But the weather was great, the fun was plentiful, laughter non stop and just plain GWOOOD!! So much fun. So glad I went. So blessed to call these guys family...and also friends. Goofballs.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Slept through plan A today,

and really felt compelled to go to FAOG for church this morning. The first song I knew why. All of the songs they did this week were about hanging on, waiting for mercy, resurrection.
The final song were these words:
I'm at a loss for words, there's nothing to say
I sit in silence wondering what led me to this place
How did my heart become so lifeless and cold
Where did the passion go?
When all my efforts seem like chasing wind
I've used up all my strength and there's nothing left to give
I've lost the feeling and I'm numb to the core
I can't fake it anymore.
chorus:Here I am at the end
I'm in need of resurrection
Only You can take this empty shell and raise it from the dead
What I've lost to the world what seems far beyond redemption
You can take the pieces in Your hand and make me whole again, again
You speak and all creation falls to its knees
You raise Your hand and calm the waves of the raging sea
You have a way of turning winter to spring
Make something beautiful out of all this suffering
chorus 2:Here I am once again I'm in need of resurrection
Only You can take this empty shell and raise it from the dead
What I've lost to the world what seems far beyond redemption
You can take the pieces in Your hand and make me whole again, again
You have a way of turning winter to spring
Make something beautiful out of all this suffering

This literally has been the worse week in my marriage. Ever. I am tired. I am heartbroken and weary. And I am out of ideas of what to do. I long for peace, for a time when I don't feel like a failure, judged and found lacking, for a solution, not an excuse. It's been two and a half years of exhausting efforts, and at the end I'm told "when you pay off this bill enough, then I will be able to work on my resentment toward you and work on my part of restoring our marriage". He's blacking out of conversations, forgetting what is said, maybe realizing what I've been saying for months: you are right back where you are but instead of porn, it's money. I know I will only get through this by the grace of God. But what does the end of the road look like?

Now I've had to answer the crappy questions to both of my kids "are you two going to make it?", Cassie the day before she turned 17 and Joseph, yesterday, with "I don't know. It's up to your dad at this point." Joseph never asked. It breaks my heart. He hears us and knows. It's not like you can hide things from your kids no matter how skilled we think we are at it. They SNIFF out trouble, like a fresh brownie. And darn me for telling them I"d always be honest with them. Why couldn't I just lie and say "yeah, sure." then what? When he hears me crying or coughing in the living room at 2 in the morning. He knows. Even when I say "no, I just can't sleep". He knows.
I hate that my kids have to pay ANY price for our stuff. That my nieces and nephews are so disappointed and scared and hurt. That Joseph texts "I'm scared". It's not fair. And I don't know what to do beyond pray and get a job to pay off this all powerful bill.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

GUESS WHAT?????????????

My baby, my once wee little one who has been growing up oh so much before my very eyes...well. He's driving. For real. Got his license yesterday. We had the required ravioli to celebrate, but I dared to use storebought sauce. "too oniony" Won't do that again!!

Here he is with his license!! WOOOHOOOOOOOOO!!!!
Third time was the charm!! He went the first time and wasn't in the computer, even though he had finished 3 months earlier.
Went the second time, it was Columbus Day and the DMV is closed on the Saturday before the holiday, so no luck then. But TUESDAY, OCTOBER 9TH.. Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He drives.
Now the negotiation has begun on subs and woofers and music as a distraction. Keep checking back. I'll let you know how it goes!! Personally, I"m staying clear of it all.

Monday, October 8, 2007

I hurt my thumb

it's not a big deal, In fact, had I not hurt it the way I did, I doubt it would even be worth mentioning!!
And no, it wasn't AT a game. This picture is courtesy of my friend who DID go to a game and sent me some pix...I'll live vicariously through her!!

I was minding my own business, wearing my as-yet-undefaced Rex shirt (yes, I GOT one and just need the fabric paint to go to town on that one!!!), watchin a very intense game. Oh, very intense. First, intensely woeful, then intensely texted, and finally just intensely competitive. My boys were looking rough. ANd then I don't remember the play, but it was a gwoodie!! Freakish screaming, jumping up and down and high fives all around. Yeah. High fiving hurt my thumb. An injury to wear with pride. And so, it's the lead item on my (holy smokes it's almost been a week AGAIN) blog!!
FINALLY>>>>The Bears and my lovie came through for me. Make that a capitol L. LOVIE. He did look a bit ticked on Sunday...which Joseph pointed out via text and promptly was texted back "you're grounded". No more comments from THAT peanut gallery!!

OK, so back to my real life. Monday through Saturday life. Did a little scrapping and projecting (as in, doing projects, not barfing or skipping into the future mentally!!) and am quite happy to say that my desk is cleared off. Looking darn good if I do say so myself!!

I made this gratitude journal, and instead of doing dates, which is how most people do their's, I did categories: Family, journey and friends. I might do more to the inside cover, but I'm happy with it. I used my crop a dile, which I'm loving to pop holes in this thick cover. YEAH!! It's a darn good that is meant to be shared!!

Joseph went to get his license on Saturday. It was closed. He thinks he's destined not to get it. I told him third times a charm. Don't know what I'll say if he doesn't make it tomorrow, when he's planning on going AGAIN!!

Cassie and I spent the day together today. It was very nice. Really relaxing and fun and just girl agenda but to find maternity pants that fit. Check. Done. And now I know she's a size 12 so I can go to the resale shop without her and still get something that will fit. She's got a little baby bump. That darn little guy wouldn't kick for ME today. Sheesh. A little respect...LOL

At present, she's wearing two pair that my friend Lana gave her...thank GOD again for my friends. My sanity, my laughter, my maternity hookup!! They are the best...

And another niece, who shall remain nameless, burned her backside in a tanning booth. Why she told me, I'm not sure. But when I texted her the next day to see how her rear end was feeling... yep. Still sore. Mental note: do not let my naked bum be anywhere it can receive a sunburn.

This is a book quote journal I did as part of a challenge...the next image is the inside cover. I was pretty happy with the result of these...and again, all from my stash!!

Rick and Dana are moving. Sigh. Got nothing to say after that. Ok, well I do. I hope that this move is good for them, that this church realizes what gems they are, values them and embraces them and speaks blessings over them. Now, I have nothing to say after that.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Ok, so it's only Wednesday, but this week...

Rick resigned from FAOG. Not like I didn't know it was coming...but still. SO hard to sit there and watch Rick stand up there and read a letter that was honest, real, compassionate, strong and good-bye. Wondering so many things...glad for them to have a place that will respect them and WANT him...not like we didn't. But not a group of people EVERYONE in the church. I wish them well, even while feeling sorry for my own self. Sigh.

Then the Bears. Really. I'm giving them another week. They can do it. They are up against GB and ole' Brett's on fire. It should be a good game...even if only for the 10,000 texts I know I'll be shooting back and forth with my nieces.

Had a great time at Mongolian unlikely group of ladies meeting up and getting to know each other, laughing and vowing to do it again!!

Went out to lunch with my son in law. It was nice. No talking points, jsut getting to know each other a little better.

And Paul and I half had it out. That would be I told him how I felt and he stared at me. THen left for Bible study. I've lost hope. I just don't know what to do or how to do it or what to say or how to say it. We drift farther and farther apart...not like we're angry at each other. Just completely disconnected. It's heartbreaking.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

What a crazy week..

it was so insane that I actually passed on scrapping last night just to stay home. It all started last week with a church meeting. Then a Bears loss. Bible study, book discussion, lunch, niece and daughter visits, baby showers, MOPS, Soul Sisters...and 2 trips to Target, 1 stop to return things at Old Navy, 1 trip to the bread store, 2 runs up to the mall...laundry, cleaning, making food. Yep. Glad that week is OVER!!

The best part of the week? Well, it was seeing pix of our grandson to be...and the long, meandering talk Cassie and I were able to have on Thursday. You can really see his head and tummy in the top picture!!

Now for this week: Rex on the bench. Cubs in the playoffs (that's for all my friends who love the wrong bear) Yep. Hopefully a GOOOOD week in store!!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I kept putting off blogging

because I was going to "catch up" on my life and blog. But I decided I'm not going to do that. I'm just gonna keep moving on.

Life has been, weirdly, mundane and hectic all at once. One many people have lost loved ones lately. Literally six people I care about have had someone pass on in September alone. Makes me want to reach out and hug everyone. So consider this a hug...

Been scrapping alot...way too much in fact. Neglecting my fam. Well, really. Neglecting the dust and laundry. Not the same as neglecting the people. But still need to do that this weekend.

Things are starting up for the fall. I'm in a different MOPS group, as a mentor mom, and am waiting to hear from another group that may be interested. AND...a dream I've had for two years is coming to fruition. It's called Soul Sisters and I'm so excited about how it's starting. What a blessing.

Prison Break started last week. I don't know that I will be as compelled one week at a time as I was when I watched it all at once, but we'll see. The driving force of a family love that overcomes all obstacles and forgives and works together for the common good is a powerful one in my life...

Read a book that disturbed me. Not that I didn't like it. Just struck a little close to home sometimes. It is called Glass Castle. If you get the chance, read it.

Spent Friday flitting about in Paul's red convertible with the top down. What fun that was...I may keep that car. There may be three way fights over it in the near future!!

Joseph got a job...he's a Dippin Dots professional now. And more importantly to him, he's getting a paycheck which means he can afford insurance which means he can get his license. So attempt two will be Tuesday. He went today and the DMV has lost his uploaded driver's ed info and couldn't test. Which was just as well since Paul didn't have the right insurance info and he wouldn't have been able to take it anyway.

So Joseph is driving and graduating and working. Cassie is married and felt the baby move and is having a son. My little ones are no longer little. But they will always be those little ones to me. I am blessed to have them in my life.

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." ~ Maya Angelou
It's good to be back...

Monday, September 10, 2007

What a weekend!!

I was, at long last, reunited with a serving platter that I've been looking for for EIGHT MONTHS. My sister has had it on her counter for that long...and we freakin' see each other at least once a month and for the last couple of months, once a week at a book study. SHE NEVER SAID A WORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I've been wondering and lamenting and asking...I knew I had to have brought it somewhere with food on it, but I could NEVER find it!!
So happy's come back home!!

Bears...well. The game was fun. We went to friend's house and watched it!! Food was great, conversation fabulous, TV huge and HD...that's definitely the way to watch a game!!!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Work, work, work...

My latest layout...and I'm "tada!!!" done with Meesh's graduation album. And speaking of done..

Got my albums done. Yeah!! They are all lined up and I'm way more plugged in on what pictures I've done and what ones I haven't. And I've done ALOT!! Some pictures I've done twice. Sheesh. Like I don't have enough to do that I'm double dipping!!

Went to Theresa's today and packed up Lindsay's room and purged Theresa's kitchen. WOOHOO!!! I love doing that stuff. Seriously love it. But I forgot how exhausting it is...And she made a huge effort to get rid of a boat load of stuff before moving it. I'm fairly certain that there will be more on the other end, but a huge dent has been made.

And...started taking an online scrapping class called Choosing Joy. It's 8 weeks and the first week I was to make a binder and journal on some "stressors" and what makes me laugh. I'm supposed to include pix of myself and, once again, I find myself not having what I need. Sigh.
For the cover of the binder, I took ribbons strips and lined the left side, used rubons to make "joy" and stickers to spell "choose". The center of the flower is just a green circle with my initial stamped on it.
This is the inside cover. I used a couple of Stampin Up kits to make a book plate with my name and the date/time I started the book. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, but I might have to add some sparkle to it tomorrow.
This book will be entirely created out of my stash. That excites me almost as much as the book. And it will be my 21st project completed this year.
Pulled out the stuff to start BBG on Monday. Then had a burrito for dinner. Probably not on the plan!! LOL

Tomorrow...Bears opening game. YIPEE or is it YIPPEE????

Thursday, September 6, 2007

So I'm reading anOTHER book

and realized I haven't started my book club book. GOtta read that one next. Anyway. Reading Tony Dungy's book, compliments of my niece. I thought I'd read one chapter and before I knew it, had read 4. The guy is really humble. His parents taught him to value the precious gift of education. He's a man of unbelievable faith and grace. And I can't wait to continue reading...
I started sorting my scrapbook pages that were randomly put in albums. Darn it...I should have taken a picture when they were all pulled out. I'll go take one now. I realized a couple of things...
1) It's not as hard as I thought it would be.
2) I'm glad I started it on Thursday so I can be done by Saturday.
3) I have scrapped a freakin' lot of pages.
4) My style has changed eNORmously. My old have to see them.
5) I STINK at dismantling albums and putting in spacers. I ruined an entire album today. GOod thing it's one I don't even like.

AND>>>>My Prison Break DVDs came!! Joseph and I cracked open disc one and watched 4 shows tonight. I have to finish watching them so Meesh can have them to get Lauren up to speed before the premiere in 11 days. Oh the pressure....

I have had a few insights last night...

and honestly, I don't know that any of them are good. Ok, well, some of them came over night and first thing this morning.
1) I am gaining weight. (Big clue: broke a belt loop getting my jeans on today) Ridiculous that I don't work out when I have plenty of time to sit in front of a computer screen but not enough time to work out.
2) I expect to lose weight by complaining to myself that I"m gaining weight. And I'm telling you, I'm going to be in big trouble by October if I don't do something. I don't think any of my jeans will fit.
3) I"m overwhelmed by the idea of working out the rest of my life. Why can I be fine with scrapping and reading the rest of my life and not this? I think it's because I can stop scrapping or reading for a while and pick it back up with not so much effort. But working out it more like it regularly, ongoing, or else.
4) I want immediate gratification for working do it on Monday and drop lbs on Tuesday. Not gonna happen. And that's my big stall...I don't see results fast enough or on an ongoing basis enough. And I quit.
5) I hate clothes that don't fit right. I feel bloated and crabby and depressed.

Anyone got some motivation? Because even with those realizations, I STILL don't want to work out. Not one bit. And my shoulder is bothering me again from not doing it. And I STILL don't want to do it.

On the other hand...I"ve scrapped almost 900 pix this year and over 300 pages. OK, off to start my day and dry my hair before it's another baaaaaaaad hair day.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

someone sent me this list of questions...

1. What’s the last mistake you made? I made toast and then forgot about it till now I'm eating old toast and blueberry jelly
2. Is the sun shining? Sort of. It's bright but there's no yellow orb
3. Can you successfully blow up and tie a balloon? Only if I stretch it and stretch it beforehand. Asthma and balloons don't really go together.
4. Do you like text messaging? Much to my husband's dismay. My nieces are my top texting pals!
5. Are you having a good/bad hair day? Bad, it's going in more directions than it should
6. What was your last purchase? Hmmm...scrapbook paper this weekend.
7. Are you wearing any make-up right now? Not today
8. What are your plans for later? Have bible study class at FAOG.
9. What is your favorite DDR song? I don’t do DDR.
10. Is there any drama within your life? Not at the moment..thank God!!
11. What is a song they need to stop playing on the radio? Hey there Delilah
12. Are you content with life right now? Content...yep. That's what I feel.
13. Does anyone like you? I think so
14. What is your current obsession? Organizing my scrapbooks...nightmare but an obsession. Well, that and waiting for my Prison Break DVD to come. Well, that and the Bears.
15. Do you have your license? Yes...
16. Ever been kissed under mistletoe? Every year we have one.
17. Would you ever smile at a stranger? Yup, I do it all the time!
18. Ever done a random act of kindness? Yes, I believe in paying it forward. I hope you do too.
19. Do your toenails have nail polish on them? Yes, OPI red like roses I think.
20. When is the last time you wore eyeliner? Sunday
21. Last curse word you said was? probably have to ask my niece what one...
22. Are your lips chapped? Nope, being September chapping isn't a problem
23. Are you currently jealous? No. Well maybe. Of people who are in better shape than me.
24. Do you own an iPod? SIgh. No. But I do have an mp3 phone
25. Did you have a dream last night? Yes, but can’t remember what it was. I know it involved Lynda's kids...
26. Are you mad at anyone? No
27. Who is the most random person you know? Joseph is pretty freakin' random
28. What’s going on this weekend? Gloriously, nothing. I might scrap alot. Or see #14. Definitely #14 for Sunday at 3:15
29. Done any spring cleaning lately? Yes...well. it's fall cleaning now, right?
30. Anything bothering you? When I can discuss some private news...or really, to act on it.
32. Did you wish for anything last night on 11:11? nope
33. Do you drink coffee on a regular basis? If a regular basis is NEVER.
34. Do you wish you were someone else? No
35. What jewelry are you wearing? Diamond studs (two pairs in each ear)
36. Ate any exotic food lately? Oriental eggplant is about as exotic as we got.
38. Are you easily amused? I think so
39. Can you lick your elbow? What kinda freaky question is that???
40. Do you know this song, “we stay fly no lie you know this”? Nope!
41. What piercings do you have? 2 holes in one ear, three in the other.
42. Do you have a crush right now? Just the usuals...
43. What are your plans over the fall? Scrapbook, see my niece-y, spend more time with my dd, survive my son's foray into working (when he gets a job), hang out with my girlfriends, start a bible study, forgive easily, be thankful often, laugh out loud, read lots of books, and get off my lazy butt and start working out again.
44. How’s life going for you? It’s really good...
45. What is on your mind just this second? This asthma inhaler tastes like crap, even after I rinsed my mouth.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

We're in our 2nd week of school

well, actually, we completed it!! So far, so good. This school year will bring lots of changes...Joseph graduates this year and will be at JJC next fall. I won't be a mentor mom any more. So sad about that. I hate politics. But the blessing that may come is other women will be, perhaps, able to step in and experience the amazing gift of mentor-momdom. I know that's not a word, but it is NOW!!
My schedule went from Tuesday and Wednesdays being booked, to having literally the entire week free except Friday afternoons. Joseph will undoubtedly benefit, although I'm sure his opinion of mornings aren't shared by me. I'd like to be up and at 'em, doing school by 9 am and I've had to wake him every morning except one. So, he either sets his alarm this week and gets his booty out of bed or his father wakes him up before he leaves. I want to be done iwth school by 2...including checking his work...
Cassie called from her honeymoon. She called during that excuse for a Bears' game. They ended up going to Chattanooga and Nashville and will circle back to Bowling Green , Ky. She sounded relaxed and happy and just plain good. I'm glad for her...glad that she's sounding so good, glad that that had a honeymoon, glad that it wasn't 42 hours round trip in the car. Can't wait to see the pix of the wedding...
We told them we'd take them out for a "welcome to married life" dinner when they get home. There's a restaurant that Chris wants to try and this seems like a good excuse to do it. I pray that I can continue to support and celebrate them in the coming days and months and years. And that our family, now one larger, can really put these past 2.5 years in the past and begin to heal and LOOK like a family, not "Intervention"...that show on A&E I think.
OK, so I'm ready to start scrapping again. I want to crop. I want to go out and laugh with my friends. I checked out Crop Paper Scissors, which has free crops all the time and the new one back on 30 in Plainfield, ScrapAddict. I like them both. CPS is more laid back and SA is way higher energy. I guess it depends on what I'm in the mood for!! Both have free crops...but SA has free crops even on Fri/Sat and CPS has free crops when their normal Fri/Sat crops and classes aren't going on. Decisions, decisions.
Today is the first of a 30 day class I'm taking online called Choosing Joy. This is my second time doing it and I'm going to TRY to do it this time!! LOL

"He'd heard people ask, 'If you could have anyone, living or dead, come to dinner, who would it be?' Shakespeare's name usually came up at once; he'd also heard Mother Teresa, the Pope, St. Augustine, Thomas Jefferson, Pavarotti, Bach, Charles Schultz…"
"For his money, he couldn't think of anyone he'd rather be having for dinner than the very ones who were coming."
-Out to Canaan by Jan Karon

This is how I feel every single time I have an even or go to one. There are people I wish could come that maybe aren't there that month, but I love every single time I hook up with people. There's always something to think about and learn and laugh about.
Who would YOU want to come to dinner?

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Gathering quotes...

One of the most tragic things about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today. ~Dale Carnegie

Good morning! If you were to gather 100 people in a room and ask them to write down their happiest times, you would likely find the lists had one thing in common. Our happiest times come when we connect with others and give the best of ourselves. Yet, these happy times can be hard to come by since human nature is to acquire "this or that," or accomplish "this or that," before taking time to connect.Taking a moment to list out what makes us truly happy can be an interesting exercise. Often we find that the items on our list aren't things that are hard to attain--they are simply things we must make time for. When we are chasing after "some magical rose garden," we can forget to make time today, assuming that the time we create in this "magical someday" will be richer.

Your Turn:Take a moment today to think about what makes you truly happy. Is it spending time with a friend or sharing a good laugh with a child? Make the time each day to find happiness instead of looking for it in a distant someday.

I've had this little ditty in my mailbox for a week, but never stopped to respond to it... so here I am.

I was watching the 2 years ago coverage of Katrina, and quite frankly, am appalled that two years later people are still living in trailers. With their babies, their pets, and whatever they could rescue from the flood waters. Imagine if something of that significance happened in your town, or here in Chicago. I love Chicago..the energy, the skyline, the sport teams. I love the restaurants I always go to when down town and the heralded shopping days at our favorite stores. I love the windows in the winter and the crystal blue sky in the winter. The horse carriage rides I can't afford, all of it. I love this town. It makes me happy, really happy to walk down its streets and hear the sounds and smell the smells..., Kinda funny since I hate IL. But that's another blog for another time...
but I stopped and thought about, what if we were decimated through no fault of our own: terrorist attack, horrific tornado or the legendary earthquake we should be getting "any day now" for the last 30 years. What would I feel if my towns and roads and everyTHING I say I love were gone...and then 2 years later I was still in a trailer...
I lobbied last year to spend our Christmas vaca in New Orleans...helping somehow. Habitat for Humanity or something. Didn't happen. I'm lobbying again this year. We have a week left. I'd like to do it. I'll keep you posted...or do you want to form a posse to go and build a house and some memories? (Ever hear that Bon Jovi song...Wanna make a memory?)
so...what brings me happiness besides Chicago???
My family. My husband. My daughter and new son in law (OMG...I'll get used to that RIGHT???). My boy-turning-man son. My nieces. My nephew. My girlfriends. I love babies I can borrow and give back. The laughter of toddlers, that squeal that they get when they are excited. I love working with teens and hanging out with them. I love my sisters and brothers. I love good books and talking about movies, and our lives over a decent meal.
Hearing songs that make me cry and stories that make me laugh. Sermons that make me think and affect how I live my life....that makes me happy.
I love that I"m forgiven, and that I CAN choose to forgive. The joy that letting go brings to my soul...
I love internet shopping. I love exercise videos that save me the price of a gym membership. I love hot tea with yummy creamers. I love the smell of downy and fresh air in the laundry. Cell phones and IM's keep me in touch with my girlitas makes me happy and all warm and fuzzy inside.
I love a good hug and a sincere smile. I love being able to breathe without my asthma weighing me down (I'll let you know when that's true again). I love laughing till I cry and crying without shame.
I love chocolate martini's, and Panera's iced tea, McAllister's sweet tea and Portilo's hot dogs. Those local meals make me happy!!
I love to travel..that first moment when you see who you're heading for...whether it's them coming down the steps of Midway or up the steps of their airport, waiting for us when we get out of a long car ride, or walking up Cassie's scary stairs and sitting in her kitchen. Joy. Contentment. Connection. Happy.
I love redecorating...I'd love to move, but that's not going to happen, so redecorate it is!!
I love it when those jeans that didn't, now DO fit!! (Keep you posted on this little happy maker)
I love it most when people are real with me. Don't pick and choose what they tell for fear of judgment or my reaction. I love it when I can support someone through their tough times and look them in the eye and say "I LOVE YOU!!!".
I love...and I wish for you, people who live out that love in your life...and people that you love unabashedly. So take the time to connect. Linger over that meal or drink. Laugh more and sigh less. Forgive people for being people...and enjoy them. Life is short and unpredictable. Things change in a heartbeat...
Choose my friend says...choose peace...choose happiness. Because it is a choice. And like a book I used to read Cassie (because it had Cassie the caterpillar wearing glasses, among other things!!), I'd choose YOU.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


which was great, but I was ready for it to be over. It was challenging, and I hope that I re-read the book some time. I tend not to do I can memorize a book from one reading!! LOL
I went to grab something from Kimberlee's car last night and we ended up talking till after midnight.
A couple of things came from that conversation:
~~Life is short, it changes in an instant and we need to live our life to the fullest every day. Easily said, yet I fall into complacency and going through the motions far too easily.
~~We need to be friends others can count on in crises. Not just "I'll pray for you", but in action too. Joseph was so disappointed that none of his friends called him Sunday or Monday to see how the wedding went. That's what I"m talking about...reach out. Remember. Make a little meal or deliver a flowering plant, send a card. Just a "you matter on this earth and you matter to me" gesture.
~~God is amazing...developing compassion and empathy, conviction and strength in each of us differently.
~~Kimberlee gags. It makes me gag. Lord help me never to see that again. Seriously. Thought i was gonna vom.
~~Cars get hot when the air is turned off. And I"m not the only bug-magnet on earth!!

And a few questions someone passed on to me!!
1) What state are you in and have you always lived there? IL If not where else have you lived? NY, NJ, MI, WI
2) If married, how long have you been; 22 years in October
3) How many children and grandchildren do you have? 2 children, no grandchildren. Do you think you'll have more grandchildren? I hope so!! More would be ONE!!
4) Do you work outside the home? NO What is your job and how long have you been doing it? I was trained to be an accountant, and being a numbers nerd, I still love it. I'd go back to it in a heartbeat if I could find one that isn't year end psychosis!! I did it for 10 years and love it...
5) Did you go to college? yes graduate? yes, in 1990 after going part time for 9 years If so, what is your degree? BS in accounting
6) What job would you love to have? I'd love to teach or do youth ministry again
7) Will you remain in your current home/state when you retire? Sadly, probably. Do you have plans for that retirement and when it will be? No will be in another 20 years!! Sheesh
8) What is your favorite household chore? Aren't those words diametrically opposed? What is your least favorite household chore? All of them. Ok, I like organizing, but that's not an ongoing thing.
9) What do you feel confident giving advice about? Lessons learned in not spreading myself too thin
10) Have you ever met a famous person? Yes Who? Oprah WInfrey When? when Joseph was in 2nd grade, Cassie in 5ht. Whatever year that was Where? we were on her show for homeschooling, back when homeschooling was unique!!
11) Where is your favorite vacation spot? Hmmm...the carolinas, and recently FL
12) What is your favorite food? Portillo's chili dog, Drink? iced tea, chocolate martini, hot tea
13) Do you have any pets? no....What?
14) What is your favorite leisure time activity? Scrapbooking
15) What kind of books/movies/TV do you like best? books, suspense; movies, same; TV, football games or dramas

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Today is done...gone the sun

from the east...from the west. That old girl scout song is echoing in my head. And today wasn't what I thought it would be. It was beautiful indication of the weather we had on Thursday and Friday. The sky was a bright blue, the temperature was fabulous and there was jsut a light breeze. We got there early for the "rehearsal" which was the head priest telling Paul what he'd be doing, after we waited outside for a good 20 minutes. And then Cassie got there in Lindsay's car.
Thank God for Lindz...she did Cassie's hair (finished straightening it), her makeup and got her to the church. Cassie thought Ron and Denise were going to pick her up and get her to the church, and THEY got to the church 45 mintues into the ceremony. Literally, they missed the entire service up to the wedding. It was one of the few times I got really teary eyed today, wondering how they made it ok with themselves to be 45 minutes late for their own sons' wedding. But not mine to wonder....

And the service..let's just say I got a good idea of what people must feel like when they go to the Catholic church for the first time with no background. Confusing, boring, stand stand stand, kneel, stand stand, what are they going around the altar for again? What do we say? We were totally lost and didn't get it at ALL.

Paul's parents came...his dad looked great!! There were times we could tell that Phil wasn't really connecting, but he looked fabulous and followed almost everything that was going on. I was so happy to see them and I know that it meant alot to Paul that they came.
My mother decided not to come, not to call, not to answer the door when my sister went to pick her up. I am SO ANGRY at her. She tells me how she "weeps many tears for our relationship and what it is" and asks for my forgiveness for past hurts...and then can't be bothered to come to her own granddaughter's wedding. Seriously. Baffled.

Back to the wedding...Paul did walk her down, and he did a great job. They looked fabulous together and his last words to her as a single woman was "I love you". It was very touching.

Receiving line...another tear jerker for me as I congratulated them and told Chris to take care of her. He promised he would. I hope he keeps his promise. She is a treasure in my heart and I can't bear the thought of her not being valued or treated tenderly...well...except by her brother!! This picture was their idea and we were all rolling in laughter as they posed and re-posed with increasing enthusiasm!!

Got tons of pictures after the wedding, of Cassie and our family, Chris and the wedding party. Didn't get any of his family till about 2 hours into the reception...the one thing Cassie didn't want was to be pulled from the reception for pix...and that's exactly what happened. Don't know how she feels about took us a few minutes to figure out what happened.

The reception started with "I loved her first" with Cassie and Paul dancing. Which I'll just admit was a big bawl fest for me. Then "ring of fire" for my dad...and Theresa took Cassie out on the dance floor and they, well, you COULD call it danced. They had fun and we all had a great time watching them. Then they played "I hope you dance" which Cassie dedicated to me. It made me cry too...that is was and always will be my hope for fully participate in life, find joy and choose never to be on the sidelines!!

Eventually, Chris and Cassie danced together. He's soooooooooo much bigger than her. Dwarfs her!! She looked mostly happy today, occasionally very undone and sometimes tired.

We did talk, way at the end, to Chris' parents. That's another blog worthy entry and quite frankly, I"m exhausted. Here's to a day of beginnings and hope and I pray that they will be a light in each other's life as husband and wife, that they make Christ central in their marriage and that they forge a bond of love, trust and strength over the years.

OMG>>>I'm officially a monster in law!!