Wednesday, February 28, 2007

unconditional love

Many human beings say "I love you" one day and reject you the next. That is not love. One whose heart is filled with the love of God cannot willfully hurt anyone. When you love God without reservation, He fills your heart with His unconditional love for all. That love no human tongue can describe....The ordinary man is incapable of loving others in this way. Self-centered in the consciousness of "I, me, and mine," he has not yet discovered the omnipresent God who resides in him and in all other beings.

This quote made me pause for thought this afternoon. After really struggling with depression and feeling lonely for this last week, and finding myself crying Saturday for the first time in a long time, and then Cassie announcing that she is moving her wedding date up AND that she's not sure she wants to marry Chris, I have spent some time thinking about love and what it means...what it calls me to be; requires of my time and heart; and how I meet the standards of a Christian woman wanting to "represent" in the world. I know I cannot love as I should without God's help. I am a selfish, self centered, scared to be hurt woman who bears too many scars on her soul, put there "in the name of love". Cruel words, stated as "I hope you accept my words as a gift", being told to not get too full of myself to the point of me struggling with being confident at all, being told "I wish you were never born" That takes a sledge hammer to the whole concept of love and how to act on it. But when I love well, when I allow God to ooze out my pores, when I look to others for what I can offer them instead of what they can give me, well...that is a whole different story. THEN I can touch the edges of this idea of unconditional love. So I guess, the question to ask myself when I fail at this love this, is "WHAT IS STOPPING ME FROM LOVING GOD UNCONDITIONALLY????" and then taking that to thought and prayer and moving toward that omnipresent love that CAN ooze from my pores...not for my benefit (although I certainly DO), ,but for the benefit of those I say I love so much.

Who do I love most unconditionally? My kids. without a doubt form the moment I knew they existed, they have been the best and hardest work of my life. They light my day and haunt my nights. They are the best and worst of me. They, shining for the world to see, are the continuation of tea parties, and snuggling/reading in our waterbed, precious memories that are shared with no one. Silly traditions and dreams. They are faith come in the future and in love and in the belief that tomorrow can be a better day. They challenge me on who i SAY I am versus who I REALLY am. I am a better person for loving them. for setting my selfish heart to the side to revel in their sweet baby kisses, their toddler sweat (and Cassie's wild hair), their questions and wonderings and growing up. I am amazed. And it doesn't matter if they do anything GREAT in life, or accomplish anything the world recognizes as valuable. They did one amazing thing...they created a mother in me.
I love my nieces and nephews in the same way... they make me laugh, cry. They make me wonder what the world will be like for them...what their children will be like, if their futures plans will pan out to resemble at ALL what they think it will. What will their faith grow to be? What will challenge it...will they stay close or travel far? Do they know what an impact they have made on my life and my soul? How blessed I am to spend summers and weekends and holidays with them. To have travel memories, both literally and figuratively? My best memories, without a doubt are with my family around.

I love my sibs unconditionally...I've been disappointed, for sure, and hurt. But they are the rock on which my memories are built. They are my history. The DNA of my personality and dreams and nightmares. We walked together through soooo many things. We are all so different, but we are still the Hanlini's!!

I love Paul unconditionally. Doesn't mean I didn't wish he'd grow healthier. But not for me to gain (I certainly wouldn't walk away from THAT prospect), but for his own PASSION for life to grow, for his FAITH TO BE real, and deep and amazing. For our see their dad at his best and brightest, each day better than before. So he can set aside those gaping wounds in his soul and allow them to be healed by God...and then see the sweet result of what He can do with those scars...the miracles He brings to us to show us how He uses our pain for His gain. WOOHOO!!!

My, we have shared some butt ugly truths about ourselves and they still love me. What a blessing. Thanks Judy...for listening to my sorrow and understanding; Dana...for challenging me to be a better wife; and Lynda...for giving me a gift just when I longed to feel thought of...
And the flip side...who do I think loves me unconditionally...well. God. My grandma did. Her hugs were like balm to my soul. Judy Dori, Kimberlee, Dana, Lynda, Melissa, Sherrie. I think they do. I am a blessed woman. Paul does.

Everyone needs twelve hugs a day for optimal physical and emotional health. Bear hugs are especially good for relieving stress and tension. I'd give anything to hug today, 12 times at least:
Cassie, my dad, grandma, Meliss, Meesh, Judy, Dor. Yep. Cyber-hugs and God-hugs sent to you in my thought and hearts.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Heart of a woman

They smile when they want to scream.
They sing when they want to cry.
They cry when they are happy and laugh when they are nervous.
They fight for what they believe in.
They stand up against injustice.
They don't take "no" for an answer when they believe there is a better solution.
They go without new shoes so their children can have them.
They go to the doctor with a frightened friend.
They love unconditionally.
They cry when their children excel and cheer when their friends get awards.
They are happy when they hear about a birth or a new marriage.
Their hearts break when a friend dies.
They have sorrow at the loss of a family member, yet they are strong when they think there is no strength left.
They know that a hug and a kiss can heal a broken heart.
Women come in all sizes, in all colors and shapes.
They'll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you to show how much they care about you.
The heart of a woman is what makes the world spin!
Women do more than just give birth.
They bring joy and hope.
They give compassion and ideals.
They give moral support to their family and friends.
Women have a lot to say and a lot to give.

HOw's that for a rallying cry??? Im glad there are women in the world...and Im glad I'm a woman. Well, except for those occasions when it would be beneficial to void standing up on the side of the road, but I still don't know if I could do that even if I COULD do that. LIke I want anyone seeing my patootie.

Ok, week 6 of my big fitness plan has brought me 3 less inches to love!! Only 3 lbs lost in all that time, and none in almost a month, but maybe I'm building some hot muscles!! BWAHAHAHAHA!!

Crappy humor in it. Meliss didn't do so well on her GMAT, but there's still one piece left to be evaluated. Paul and I did NOT see eye to eye about much and lots of ugly conversations. Ugh. I just don't know what to do at this point, but I'm going to keep moving forward with my life and health building sutff, and hopefully he'll get it someday. Hard to love somone who is such a mess most of the time. Says he can't listen to my stuff/concerns/etc. because it makes him feel ashamed. So I just listen to him and help him process his stuff and 2 years later, I"m sill bringing it to God because Paul can't deal with the fall out of what choices he made. Sigh. I"m going back and reading that woman thing again!!

My five:
reading a book that Dana suggested and I had tried; I really like it this time!!
my treadmill...will be great training on my couch to 5k attempts!!
pumpkin pie spice creamer and the gal who told me I could freeze it for later in the year!!
talked to Cassie yesterday...she wants to go to the women's conference
our shiny new garbage disposal!!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

what a day!!

So I went to my fabulous bible study on Thursday...seriously, I love those ladies. We started a new round of it and 4 new people came. It was really great. Everyone has such a different perspective on things, to hear someone else's thoughts just triggers my inner thinker!!
Of course, it's Sherrie's birthday so we have lots of yummies to share...and Melissa's pumpkin swirl cheesecake is fabulous...two pieces please!!
We stayed talking till 3:00. The first time I looked at the clock, it was 1:00. It's nice to be able to do gut level sharing about what's going on and know it will stay in those 4 walls...but it was hard to hear what's happening in some other people's hearts. Gotta keep it in prayer and not in the gossip mill...
I realized that I hadn't done my homework for my Saturday morning marriage class, so that set off a little panic. But doing it at the hour of the day wasn't going to work!!
Woke up sick...lack of sleep does that to me; eating delicious high fat food does that to me; hanging out with Sherrie last weekend might have meant it was the flu. Either way...I didn't feel good till 7:00 Friday night. At which point ,Paul and I go to the mall to do some walking.
We ran into Miguel, Maria and Juan from St John's. that was such a blessing. I miss those guys so much and they are all such great people. I thought I was over the whole "I love youth ministry" thing, but its just been dormant. I literally walked away with the biggest smile and was just HAPPY!!
St Johns had such an amazing lifelong affect on who I am and who I know God to be...I don't think, before these last two years, I've ever grown as much as I had there. I still miss some of hte people there, and to quote Ed Shea, "It takes a minute to have a crush on someone, an hour to like someone, and a day to love someone - but it takes a lifetime to forget someone." I will never forget my time at St John's, or the people there, the lessons learned, and how blessed I was then...I loved every minute of working with the youth group. ANd I have never, to this day, been as challenged as I was then.
Meliss takes the GMAT today...and I don't care what she says, Grey's was not totally stupid. I love the layers that were revealed about the different characters. I loved how Cristina finally stepped into being a friend; I love how much you can SEE the love the Derek feels for Meredith. TV show or not, there are an awful lot of life lessons there: We impact each other's lives profoundly. When we are hanging on by a thread, it's the people in our lives that weave the broken pieces back together (hopefully with God's blue print and not their own). Our wounded hearts and how we act that wound out does show up elsewhere. Like, look at how hard it is for Cristina to be a stand with them through the tough times...because she's still a little bit of that 9 year old girl who watched her father die. And love is an amazing thing...we should never miss an opportunity to tell those we love/respect/care about that they are anything BUT ordinary... Great writing...chew on THAT awhile!!
My five for today:
marriage makes me think
Sherrie and Scott...their birthdays this week gave me opportunity to think about their blessing in my life
Cassie's email...maybe we can hook up this week
Melissa and our gigglefest...we sure can make each other laugh!!
seeing the McYouth kids at the mall...

Thursday, February 22, 2007

defeated technology...

well, we needed a new router. Knew we did. Put it off as long as possible. But finally got it, and then took forever to install it. Joseph tried; couldn't do it (and got quite the attitude about it). I tried; side stepped the wizard that wasn't working anyway, but it wouldn't recognize the info from our computer. Step in PAUL, the least techno-geek person I know. Seriously. Can barely do email and has just conquered the web for car stuff in the last 6 months. He flips over the router and say "did you try instead of" BAM!! Instant fix. Oh the joy!! The relief!! The loss of a Gears of War. Well, you can't win them all!!

Worked my booty off (sadly, only symbolically) yesterday. Walked with Melissa C (that girl can MOVE), did my pilates tape (I'm getting closer to a roll up...woohooo!), did my 40 minutes on the bike (sweating, glistening/glowing here!) and did my PT/weight training exercises while watching American Idol. Incidentally, I want the girl from Naperville to win. She's got edge. I like that. But there was that kid who did Tracie Chapman song, and I loved her voice. Joseph always comes up with these weird I was giving him my two second impression of all the girls, he's like " don't like any of the white girls"...until I got to the Naperville chick. But she's so bluesy...I guess I just like SOUL, in music an din people. Stay tuned for his next weird insight (his last one was, "All those women who age well are not married")

Quote of the day

“Unless we can hear each other singing and crying, unless we can comfort each other's failures and cheer each other's victories, we are missing out on the best that life has to offer. The only real action takes place on the bridge between people.”

Isn't that the truth??? We all are so busy pretending to have it all together, we forget that it's only when we drop our masks, dare to run into someone on a bridge, that we are truly intimate. Judy is seeing that BIG time in Seattle...everyone is a little too perfect, their marriages a little too wonderful, their kids a little tooo...well...tooooo much!! There's alot of loneliness in living with people who hide themselves... and then an invitation to insecurity (as in, what the heck is wrong with me to feel these thing/struggle with this, if no one else does???). But that is just a freakin' lie. We all struggle...we all have our stuff. Just some of us are better at identifying it and dealing with it than to need to hide it. I for one, am happy to drop my mask (not like it was ever on very straight anyway). I WANT to, LONG to, NEED to, see people int heir laughing and singing and crying. I have this inner radar for wanting to be with others in their failures and victories... and sometimes it's painful. So many people want to hide behind this mask of perfection and not get to the heart of things. To me that is just a wasted time, wasted life moments. I used to be so upset that people do things to check it off the list (ie, gifts that are meaningless, gatherings without heart, etc). But now I realize it's their problem, not mine. Their loss. God has blessed me with lots of heart sharing people in my life...and I count each one as precious!! I hope I can continue to invest in the lives of those people who want to be intimate and real and not a cut out version of a woman/friend/christian.

So...Meliss is loving her new internship and I"m loving that she is so excited about to get over the GMAT this weekend...and the whole knee thing...the amazing thing is they actually made her take a drug test. I don't KNOW ANYBODY that has had to have one... or any one that talked about it...

Grey's Meredith is NOT dead. My little prediction toward making the world a better place. LOL

Here's my 5 happy thoughts for today:

Sherrie is picking up my bread, so I don't have to!! WOOHOOO!!

Victoriously Frazzled picks up again...I've missed it

Strawberry tea from Teavana. Yummm....

The cold is supposed to be over and that means spring is NEAR!!!!

I'm below 37% body fat (36.9 and dropping) I don't know what a good % is, but I"m pretty sure over 1/3 of my body being FAT is not it...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I had been typing

for 30 minutes when my freakin' computer ate my blog. Oh the pain...the pain...

In a much less funny nutshell, I realize I"m a dork. Seriously...without hope...dork. I dropped dinner about5 times last night, after I launched the cinnamon from the cupboard into the blender full of faux white sauce. Then splotted my moisturizer all over myself, then dropped my mascara wand on my face (am I the ONLY one who does this????). Finally, spray creamer all over the stove that got cleaned 57 times last night due to my dorkiness. Sheesh.. Just tell me you have days like this....

Here's a quote for ya:

"Few things in the world are more powerful than a positive push. A smile. A word of optimism and hope. A 'you can do it' when things are tough." -Richard DeVos

What if we all lived that? I found this list...look at all the ways we can build each other up!!! I've highlighted the ones I need to work on...

1. Give encouragement

2. Express thanks ( I think I"m pretty good at this!!)

3. Acknowledge others ( I hate it when I'm not acknowledged and Jodi Weller tells me I do it...)

4. Extend greetings (so...I'll be doing this a lot more...even though I thought I was, I need to work on it apparently and get out my head)

5. Give a compliment (ok, I do this a lot too...I hope people learn to just say "thank you")

6. Congratulate someone (not a lot of occasion for this, but I think I do it in the form of "WOW!! That's great...exciting, fabuloso, whatever)

7. Teach, give instructions (does Joseph count???)

8. Offer words of comfort (I realized how precious these are when my dad got sick...)

9. Inspire others (but how does one inspire others???)

10. Celebrate and cheer (oh yeah...I'm the queen of let's celebrate or drown our sorrows in chocolate)

11. Inquire, express interest (I wish I could remember details better than I do...can I write them down???)

12. Mend relationships (I do what I can, but it IS a two way street)

13. Make others laugh (laugh at me or with me?? I do laugh alot I think, so I'm going with I"m doing this OK)

14. Show faith and trust (this is brutally hard for me...)

15. Share good news (burn the phone up when there's something good to share!!)

16. Praise, honor, build up (do I???)

17. Express caring (cards, emails, phone calls, gifts. I think I'm pretty good at this)

18. Show understanding and empathy (I hear this is one of my strengths)

19. Give approval (How's this work??? I give Joseph approval alot...but is this like "I think you're dong a great job, or you are on the right track???)

20. Extend an invitation (heck yes...tea, Panera, Italian night)

21. Show courtesy and respect (I think it is painfully obvious when I don't respect someone. I do, however, show courtesy a lot)

22. Give advice and counsel (Kimberlee thinks I do this alot!! "you know what you should do...")

23. Apologize (I suck at's a big thorn in my side)

24. Forgive (I've had more than my share of practice and I think I"m good at it!!)

25. Offer to help (yes, but then sometimes I regret offering!! LOL)

26. Tell the truth (I HATE PEOPLE WHO LIE!! So I tell the truth...)

27. Point out the good (I'm told I do this well, so I guess so)

28. Use terms of affection (which shall remain private, since I value my life)

29. Provide valuable information (not sure I do this...unless it's about organizing or chilling about what your babies/toddlers are doing)

30. Communicate love (to some this is very easy, to others, sooooo difficult)

Well, I have my work cut out for me...because I do want to be a positive influence on the world. I want people to say behind my back things like "She's nice; I can tell she's a Christian", I like spending time with her; she lifts me up."

one little day at a time... parting thought...for crying out loud! I dropped my towel IN THE TOILET!!! Now, seriously, I couldn't do that if I tried...but there it was, dripping disgusting (really, how clean IS toilet water,even if no one has voided in there???) water all over my now, on Wednesday, my normal lazy day, I"m washing clothes....Just in case up till now you were thinking "well, she's not THAT much of a dork..."

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

a day off school means a day

behind the wheel!! I know I'm in the waning days of driving Joseph places, or if he had his way, letting him drive and me ride shotgun (not that brave yet!!). And I do love having him "trapped" because he talks and talks and talks. Seriously, yesterday I was in the car from 12:45-4:00. And I'll do it again Friday I think. He's a great kid...and I'll miss it when I don't drive him places. He's been going through such a tough time, with Cassie setting her wedding date and what's going on in church....I think I need to remind him:

Light Will Always Outshine the dark....
I remember back when the dinosaurs roamed and I was directing Vacation Bible School and we used to sing this song: "this little light of mine" and then again when I was doing youth ministry and we'd sit in a perfectly dark, pitch black room on a night where there was no moon (yes,I can plan things well!!) and light a single votive candle. And the room had light...and our eyes adjusted and we could see... even how all of that black darkness surrounding the candle could NEVER, EVER put that light out….

So why is it that I forget that lesson when I"m drowning in circumstances or my kids are struggling? WHYWHYWHYWHYWHYWHYWHYWHYWHYW???If I trust God for me...why do I question him for others???

“No amount of darkness can put out even the tiniest light.”
But, no matter what….no matter HOW BIG THE DARKNESS….the tiniest light can overcome it….THE TINIEST…and sometimes, all we have is a tiny little light.
But, the darkness sometimes makes us feel like it’s too big and powerful for our tiny little light to ever make a difference. DON’T EVER LET the darkness fool you….because, what I know for sure is that WE ALL have a light…sometimes it’s bright and sometimes it’s dim…and brightening it is only a prayer away, always…but, no matter what, we’ve always got some, and it’s always more powerful than the darkness.

I know your darkness is different than mine…and your friend’s is different than yours….but, what we all have in common is that we can all overcome it with our light.
“To be a star, you must shine your own light, follow your own path, and don't worry about the darkness, for that is when the stars shine brightest”

And sometimes, just sometimes, we are blessed to be able to lean over to someone's dim candle and join flames so that both our candles are brighter for the intimacy of shared hope.

That's what I want to pass on to Joseph in this difficult time. That's what I want to lean over and touch my candle to his...and we will stand together against the dark just a little brighter than we were before. And what if we all did that? Just stood together with our little bitty candle flames...wouldn't we light the whole situation? ANd maybe build a bonfire? Wouldn't we????
My five things:
trying on clothes at home (I don't care if I have to return things. It just makes me happy)
a sweet note left by my husband this morning (You are and look amazing). Bless his failing eyes
working out and sweating...just makes me thankful for those bad shoulders getting better
this blog...a place to think things out and put a voice to ideas I'd probably never share
my sissy stopping by last night. She makes me laugh.

Monday, February 19, 2007

All of it is ordinary to everyone but me.

This was a quote sent to my email box and it really reflects how I feel. It IS ordinary to enjoy being with Paul...but not to me. To me it is a miracle that God keeps working on us, keeps bringing Paul to a new level (if he would only STAY there), a miracle that after killing my heart again, I can forgive him...

It's ordinary to smell steaks cooking and baked potatoes baking, but that means another family dinner with maybe even Theresa joining us...which make is special to me.

This morning, a day off school, so Joseph climbs into bed in his smelly sweats and we talk for an hour...and every time he does it (once in a bluuuuuuue moon), I think "this is the last time". Anything but ordinary.

The car is clean again...thank GOD for car washes...ordinary to the 3000 people in line in front of me, but a delight when I got out of the car and remembered it was BLUE!! Not white, not grey. A beautiful, sparkly with glitter in the paint, blue. And I love my car. But to everyone else, it was just a clean car!!

Sunday, just an ordinary small group meeting....but not to me!! I was literally overcome twice, with tears (it's embarrassing, but HEY!! It's me) Once when we were discussing ISA 53, and pondering how much God love That he knows the hairs on my head, that he knows the dreams of my hearts, how to fix my heartbreak, what I struggle with. He knows it all, all my ugliness and hateful thoughts, my difficulty in forgiving others, and loves me. Delights in me. Itches to spend time with me (or really, for me to show up at his heavenly throne). He wants to spend every spare moment I have with HIM like I do with the girlies and Joseph. He considers me a friend...waits for me to talk to him like I talk to my closest friend. He paints sunsets for ME to other reason. He sent his son to die for I'd know the freedom of forgiveness...yeah. Pretty overwhelming. Anything but ordinary to me.

And then...we did this cold water baptism thing with our hands and speaking a blessing to our spouses. And I was able to remind Paul of his value in God's eyes...regardless of what anyone tells him (me included.) He is adored by God...forgiven and precious. He is delighted in. Tears running down my cheeks...that I would have the honor of what was a sacred share that with Paul, the person who hurt me the most deeply in life...and mean it...that God sees him that way and allowed me to. Yeah. Nothing ordinary there. Profound. Amazing. Just some ordinary water and whispered words.

And God knitting this friendship in the after moments of small group. Not ordinary to me. A desire of my heart...for sure...and I'm thankful to be along for the journey... ordinary Saturday for EVERYONE BUT ME!! I had my first paying client for my organizing business. I loved it...had so much fun. Came home so energized. I LOVE LIVE LOVE it!! Thanks to my first, nameless client. I got a router and a toaster oven that works!! And still had money left over!!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

I haven't laughed that hard...

in at least a year, when we went to Jokes without Smokes with Debbie and Mark. Last night we went to a Valentine Banquet at Judson (mental note...tell lots of people for next year!!) The food was great, company fabulous and, quite frankly we all looked amazing!! But the comic, Jeff Allen, was hysterical!! He reminded me of Ken Davis at Hearts at Home a few years ago.... just making us laugh at the truth of our lives. Great night!!

Just for the record, Cindi Goron is a genius. Not a run of the mill genius either. A funny, beautiful, gracious genius. First, it was her idea to go last night and get a table. (point one of genius). Second, she tells me that Lexapro causes joint problems (point shoulder is better since I'm off it) Thirdly, and as far as I'm concerned, most accolade deserving, she helped me figure out how to let other, non-google members leave comments. Yep. In the company of Einstein himself. Thanks Cindi!!

Got back to scrapping yesterday...did 4 pages before I had to leave. I don't know why it's so darn hard for me to get started on these weekend crops, but it always has been!! I scrapped the 10 reasons I loved going to Scrapbook Lane...

There was a bunch of other things on my mind, but they are now gone. I'll have to blog later when I find my brain...probably under one of these piles of pix to scrap!! LOL

My five things today:

my Adored shirt. So what if I got it for myself, to remind me that God adores me. Really, that is why I got it. saves me from Joseph's morning breath

pretty snow without the frigid temps

online crops and the people who laugh with me

chocolate fountains...'nuff said

Parting thought for now...

"Mediocrity attacks excellence" That's why when we are striving for excellence in our lives, in any area, we get nailed by our "loved ones" They want to remain in their mediocrity and by us seeking to leave ours, we threaten them.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Another day, another drama

I thought yesterday was going to be a slow day, and quite frankly, at some points I was bored. But I used my boredom well, reading another chapter in Bob Greene's book. He explains things very well, as far as exercise,and eating and why we should do what we should do. But I'm very frustrated with my healthy living results. I'm working out, eating pretty well 90% of the time, and I swear my pants are getting tighter. I could just cry....or maybe it's PMS. SO I"m going to stick with it because it's the right thing to do, RIGHT????

Talked to Cassie yesterday. She tells me the story of how they picked their wedding date, and it's so discouraging. She doesn't think Chris really wants to marry her. She isn't happy with the date or the place he wants (and doesn't seem to be backing down or trying to compromise). She says "I don't' want to make a big deal out of telling everyone we set a date" I can't imagine that. I remember being so excited when Paul and I picked our date... To start a marriage that heart really does break for her.

I woke up this morning to this song, which I do about 3x/week. It always makes me think of Cass...and my heart breaks a little more for her.

she is running, 100 miles an hour in the wrong direction she is trying but the canyons ever widening, and the depths of her cold heart, so she sets out on another misadventure just to find, she's another 2 years older and she's 3 more steps behind,(chorus)

(Chorus) does anybody hear her can anybody see or does anybody even know she's going down today, under the shadow of our steeple,with all the lost and lonely people, searching for the hope that's tucked away in you and me, does anybody hear her, can anybody see? she is yearning for shelter and affection that she never found at home, but she is searching, for a hero to ride in ride in and save the day up and walks prince charming and he knows just what to say, momentary he laughs of reason and she gives herself away

(chorus) if judgement looms under every steeple lofty glances from lofty people you can see past her scarlet letter and we've never even met her, if judgement looms under every steeple,if lofty glances from lofty people, you can't see past her scarlet letter and we never even met her, never even met her

(chorus) he is running a 100 miles an hour in the wrong direction.

I just hope she realizes it someday....someday soon. That this is not what God wants for her, or requires of her. That she deserves so much more from life than to marry a guy who she doesn't even think wants to marry her, who never wants to spend time alone with her...I can feel her loneliness through the phone line. **sigh** If she were happy,it would make such a difference. It just doesn't seem like she is...

Went to a pampered Chef party last, laughs and I discovered I don't like goat cheese!! LOL They have some great new products...

Poor Meliss has a bum knee...I told her all that fitness would get to her someday!! Hopefully, things will improve quickly for's been bugging her off and on (more on than off this past week) for 18 months. I hope she gets it fixed and it never bothers her again!! And then there's the GMAT next weekend. Well, there's always March for her!! lol

omg!! And I'm taking new applications for a driver. My former driver, who promised to take me to the geriatric appointments I'll need in 20 years (her words,not mine!!) because I hate driving at night. Well, she had a little ooopie with another car last night. I thought she was going to have a complete breakdown. Seriously...then the owner of the car she bumped couldn't even tell where she hit it. But she's got some new racing stripes on her car now. It will be a story told again and again, I"m sure!! (note I didn't name names!!)

Off to crop this weekend...I need to find a place that crops on weekends when I'm not PMS-ing. My back is bothering me already!!

Quote of the day:

The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.- Albert Ellis

I don't know who this guy is...but that's a pretty impressive outlook.

And my five (make that six) happy things:

Joseph Paul and I last night...just sitting around yapping.

Grey's Anatomy was NOT the horrifying thing that it was presented as to moi!! Faker!! Just wait...

Connecting with Cassie...even if the conversation points weren't great...I miss her when we don't talk.

Talking to Judy, who can make me laugh about a half sliced off thumb.

that chocolate yummy dish last night (And of course, Dana inviting me!!!)

my warm yellow sweater that makes me remember spring is on its way!!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The day after...

had a great day yesterday!! I got picked up by Melissa to meet Sherrie for breakfast, since Paul took my car so he wouldn't bottom out on the way to/from work. (Good idea since he made dinner reservation at Shanghai Bistro, not the nearest ditch!!) Had a great yappathon about triathlons (Sherrie, not ME!!), husband's working out, small groups, MOPS, our kids, manicures...just a goodie. Had my former usual breakfast choice there: a cinnamon roll and fruit cup with tea from home. Then, came home and checked out my former friend Kimberlee's suggestion of She is my former friend because she ripped me out of my denial by sending me this website. IT is my former breakfast choice because just the cinnamon roll was 600 calories and 90g of carbs; 25 of fat. GOOD-NESS!! Sheesh. I'll be doing some research on what IS healthy to eat there. So I put in my food for the day at 11:00 and I"m just about shot for the day...and I know we are going to Shanghai. Hmmm...

Had a great talk with a friend, who shall remain nameless, because she's starting a private blog. I'm really excited for her. I think it will help her as much as it helps me (we think alot alike) to process things and remember all the blessings of my life.

Tried to hook up with Judy and Dor, but no luck. **Sigh** I really miss them. Thank GOD for unlimited long distance and email.

I got the nicest e-card from Dana. Made me choke up that she thinks of me that way: that her laughter is louder and load a bit lighter with me as a friend. What a nice thing to say...and the feeling is completely mutual. She's one of my favorite people on earth!!

Kimberlee, same former friend, dropped off the cutest little altoid looking box (I'll post a picture tomorrow) but it was full of these amazing chocolates!! Not being one to take sabotage without giving back, I gave HER a handful of chocolate truffle kisses. TAKE THAT!!! I love her new haircut. It's so sassy and fun...I don't care if she doesn't think it looks great. I do. And it makes her look younger!!

Dinner was fabulous....Mike and Cindy are the best hosts I've ever experienced at a restaurant. Paul went in early to set a special table with a long stem rose and they added heart cut outs and kisses. The food, as always was fabulous (but sheesh, Sparkpeople are gonna wreck all my eating fun!!) and the conversation was great...real and open and back and forth (THANK YOU JESUS!!) Off to a movie, The Departed. As Melissa said "Nothing says happy valentine's day like a mass murdering blood and guts movie"...and the theatre was full. SO apparently we aren't the only ones. Well,the movie, quite frankly, sucked. If they took out the F*bomb, the Munich-esque movie would have been half as long as it was. Props to Leonardo, though, he did a great job. No wonder the trailers on TV were disjointed. There are no two sentences strung together without profuse swearing!! Ugh.

Then got a text from Cassie, called her back on her crappy landline (vonage and wind don't go together). She and Chris set a date (08/01/08) and she asked me to make her wedding dress. Quite a compliment, but YOWZA!! I don't think I sew that well. Paul Joseph and I talked for a long time last night...till almost midnight.

Great's to another!!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day...

Here's a quote for the day, to sum up how I feel about the people in my life:

"Some people strengthen others just be being the kind of people they are" (John Gardner)

That's how I feel about the people who I can say I love, no mental filtering or addendum's. I know I just wrote about it the other day, but I have been blessed with a variety of great, amazing, challenging people in my life. Some challenged me to be better by being so darn inspiring themselves. Some challenged me by NOT wanting to act like they did (a little more difficult inspiration, but effective nonetheless). Some challenged me directly, by saying things to the effect of "do you really want to act like that?"

Then there are the people who have made me laugh: a giggle, guffaw, tears rolling down our faces laughter. The traditional laugh (like a complete crack up at dinner when the girls are in). Then there is the laugh on command that still makes us laugh, 16 years later, after a bad joke: "Now laugh".

Tears, to me, are such an integral way of expressing my feelings...choked up, choked back tears in response to a story (or cotton/hallmark commercial), tears streaming down at an amazing teaching offered on Wed night (or great worship songs..feeling the presence of God), sobs of loss (the dream of what I thought my marriage was, Cassie leaving, dad), and those tears that just fill my eyes at the thought of people: Melissa and Meesh walking through security, Frank's mother's passing, Michelle holding her new baby. Take my tears or my hands, and I just don't know if I can properly express things!!

But mostly, it's just a great thing to experience life to its suck the marrow from it whenever possible, to not be living a life of desperation but of depth. And it's the little things for me, the friend calling up "want to meet me for breakfast?" or laughing with my scrapping friends in a chatroom, reading an amazing book, finding the perfect phone for Cassie, making cards, just the whole package.

It all begins...with love...because God loved me enough to create me, my parent's loved each other enough to "do the deed" making creation happen (EWWWWW!!!!), my grandma loving me through my early years with her "copper pennies" and "fairies" and books and waiting for her after school. Her friend, Mrs. Kniffen, loving me unconditionally. Joe loving me fiercely. I have been love in all shapes and sizes!!

Here's a final thought!! Isn't spell check great!?!?!??!

Tonight, it's chinese food (yep, crab rangoon!!), and maybe Dreamgirls...Paul's getting off work early and taking me to a reserved table at Shanghai Bistro, and a movie. I hope my headache goes away!!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Blizzard today????

That's what they are saying...and the wind is already blowing so hard I can barely open my back door....but being COMMITTED to bread from Great Harvest (aka the bread store), I get up at 745 without delay...go to get ready for the day. This includes squirting my foamy soap all over my sweater instead of my hand. Not sure how I did that or even if I could do that again if I tried, but given my mascara/make up escapades, I suspect I will do some variation on that again!!

Get in my cold car (note--leather seats in winter...preheat if you don't have butt warmer seats...which I now hear come with MULTIPLE settings!!) Drive through bad roads (seriously...the ABS in my car was used more than once and I slid around corners). The only bad roads are north/south roads. East/west are just fine. Queer IL roads.

Survive the treacherous trip to get to great harvest....just in time for the plow guy to have cleared my spot (pretty sweet for the wimpess that I am!!), go in and smell the delicious aromas of fresh bread coming out of the oven. aaaahhhhh. "I'll take a brownie bread heart (for MOPS) and a pumpkin chip bread (for Joseph) and pancake mix (for Paul)" Ok..."Is there anything else??" "I need a nine grain or whatever low carb bread you have today, please" "Oh...those won't be ready till after 930" 930????? I have been out of bread for two days!! I have to eat ALDI"S BREAD?????" OH the pain...the pain. Everyone else gets their yummies and unless I want to wait 1.5 hours in a storefront, or risk coming back, it's two more days without my beloved bread. I came home $18 poorer and still without my delish. bread. I switched to black to reflect my mood. Hrmph.

Here's another one (ie, true story of my weird life)

I was exercising on my little exercise bike and did a sprint for 2 minutes. Which of course shoves said bike farther and farther from me since Melissa did SOMETHING with my rubber stoppers and now it just slips all over the place. Sigh. Go to pull it toward me and now I have 9 lovely nails. (Here's the weird part) My thumbnail DID NOT break, crack or bend. The nail polish just came off in a semi circle. Right down to the "bone" How WEIRD is that??? So I whipped out my almost the same as my Christmas color polish and fixed it. Still...weird...

24 was boring last night. I have NEVER had that experience before. Bored and 24 don't usually go together.

Still in reverse through my day (like one of those flashback movies), Cassie and Chris came over yesterday. Chris wanted to surprise Cassie with a new phone for V-day. He needed my help. First time ever. So off we go (just the two of us...sliding in the passenger side door of his car because the driver's side was broken in the accident) to the Cingular store. Our service guy was the "beard comb over guy" from the superbowl commercial. I didn't know phone guys could be so completely condescending!! But he managed to treat me like MORE of an idiot than I could ever be...we did end up with the smallest phone in the world...which means Cassie should be able to keep it on her at all times. Which means no one else should be able to take it, break it,or otherwise alter it so she can't use it. Time will tell. *tick*tock*

We come home and I ask Chris (the boy needs some SERIOUS romance coaching) if he has a bag or wrap or anything to give it to her in (having already established he wasn't going to wait 2 days for Valentine's Day). No. So I go downstairs and find a bag (red even!!) Sadly, I had also put styrofoam coffee cups In the bag to run it he's like, well there's cups in here. I just started extra charge for the togo cups. We get the phone all situated and bring it into the guest room, where Cassie is. As if orchestrated by the bad luck fairy, someone calls at that ExACT time on her new phone...and everyone who has ever heard the Cingular tone knows it immediately. Chris was so upset, but Joseph and I were laughing. It may go down in history as a family story...and to make matters worse...wrong number!! LOL Seriously, could someone PLAN THAT?????

My five for today:

1) Warm tea from my tea maker...yummo!!

2) Joseph and Paul are going to the auto show (WITHOUT ME!! WOOHOOO!!!!!!)

3) Being able to get Joseph his bread. That will make him happy.

4) Waking up on my own this morning...I hate getting up to an alarm


Parting thought for the day:

"They don't know what matters and what doesn't," I said, filling in her sentence and feeling proud of myself for doing so. [But she continued,] "I was gonna say, the problem is they know what matters, but they don't choose it. You know how hard that is, Lily? The hardest thing on earth is choosing what matters."
-The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

My Meeshie had to read this one summer!! Remember that missy??? Anyway, we thought it was completely without merit and a waste of eyeball time that could be better spent doing stuff together. Then I get this quote in my email box this morning. Why is it that we don't choose what matters? And I guess that leads to the question "what matters to me?"

For me...integrity, truth, kindness, family, friends, faith, laughter, joy, peace. That's what matters. So today, I will try to live that out. Check back tomorrow to see how I do!! LOL

Monday, February 12, 2007

Terry Kelley ROCKS!!

Today, my five things are:
1>>my warm red sweater...sleeves are long, turtleneck is thick and fits up around my nose to keep my face warm when I'm freezing..and I can wear it with my favorite low rise jeans. Just doesn't get any better than that!!
2>>Cassie came with Chris, even though she stayed back at the house while we got her Valentine gift, we still got to visit and hang for a while after we got back with it.
3>>Judy's call. It didn't do much to diffuse the stuff going on, but her voice ALWAYS makes me smile.
4>>Pumpkin Spice creamer...yummo.
5>>Getting to take a nap...fabulous till my freakin' cell phone started beeping. HONESTLY!! But snuggling down in a warm bed with my favorite blankie. What a treat!!

Yesterday was such an interesting day, and seriously, some of it I can't even describe. My heart hurts for what is going on at church...but at the same time, I'm trusting that God has his hand in all of this and that the truth will be told. But this waiting stuff is for the birds!!
Terry Kelly ROCKED...he lead worship this week, after Paul had his first solo at FAOG. He sounded great...I thought it was funny when Morris said "hey...great job on the lip synch". Leave it to M!!!

Small group was fabulous, if FUREEZING. I need to wear my winter boots over there. But the conversation was great...and it was great to be back in a marriage small group. The topic isn't marriage, but being in a room with couples of all ages and walks of life is so encouraging for me. And getting the opportunity to go deeper with people I really, really like and respect is fab. Standing around talking for almost an hour after the group was, books, family, faith. Seriously great.

One question we discussed was how we could pray for each other toward spiritual maturity, as discussed in Ephesians 4. My prayer is this: I want my mind renewed. I am tired...I want to focus on what GOD wants me to focus on...not how I see things. I want to speak the truth in love, not sin in anger. I know that it all begins with a renewed mind. I was so beautifully reminded last night, If God tells us we can become more and more like him with each passing day, then I can. Because His intent is not to frustrate. It is to bless.

Sunday, February 11, 2007 hands are FABULOUS!!

I had my very first manicure EVER yesterday. GOOD -Ness!! SOMEONE SHOULD HAVE TOLD ME>>>DRAGGED ME>>>KNOCKED ME OUT!! I should not be 42 (pretty sure that's it!!) and getting my first manicure. Of course, Birgit is the ultimate in fabulous...gentle, massage extraordinaire, chocolate lotion, seriously great. If I have to scrape pennies, I'll be doing those bad boys...and I ordered some one minute manicure "juice". that is like a combination of salt and super rich lotion...and my hands are USUALLY soft. But they were like Butta when I left. Not just that...there's more!! I got this great fun perfect red color for Christmas that i LOOOOOOVE and Birgit found the match for it, so I'm uber happy. lalalallala!!
Had our monthly bible study, Comfort and Joy, Thursday and of course, I"m bawling like a baby with Glenda and Dana leading worship. I so admire those two...and love them to pieces. I was so sad when our little small group met its demise because then I never get to talk to them. And I was beyond proud of them on Thursday. As they literally walk, side by side, through the valley of tears, there they stand worshipping God, inviting us in, and trying to be the faithful women that I know they are. Dana is such a good friend to Glenda...I know other people are too...but I just get the privilege of WITNESSING their friendship. Joy was talking about putting on all those good qualities we possess as Christians...patience, kindness, compassion. Whew!! What a challenge...and then went on to talk about forgiveness and how if we have TOTALLY forgiven,then when we think back on something there will be no emotional reaction to it. I don't know about that one, because I know I have forgiven people, but I am still saddened by remembering some things...
Finally figured out g-mail chat. Doesn't seem like that big of a deal, but it is to me. Here I am a college graduate, being beaten by some cheap software...but don't YOU WORRY!! I did figure it out and had a delightful chat with one of my fave peeps in the world...
Paul and I got in an ENORMOUS conflict Friday...that would be the day after he shut down ONCE again, and then change the subject and tried to go to sleep while I was talking. I totally confronted him and told him, that although he may not be actively seeking his addiction of choice, he is DEFINITELY not sober and he was a raging addict right get it together or move into the guest room. That I was not playing the game and I'd told him several times he was getting worse and it had been progressively devolving since before thanksgiving and I was sick of it. Ugly, sad, hard...and then we had to eat. Funny how life goes on as I watch him swirl.
Had to cancel my long-awaited Italian night because Joseph had the flu. Of course, as soon as I did, he felt better like an hour later. But by then, I wasn't feeling that great. I guess God's plan involved Paul and I clearing the air for the night.
Went to my "how to be a better wife" class at church Saturday was ok, but there was a great point brought out in discussion. We canNOT say we love the Lord with all our hearts and NOT want to change. I think I'm going to focus on that for myself these days...I DO want to continue to grow in compassion and kindness...and as Joy said Thursday, sometimes loving someone is doing the hard thing...not the fun thing.
Paul came home from his 12-step meeting telling me that one of the senior guys gave him a verbal spanking. YEAH FOR THE HEALTHY PEOPLE!! He realized that he was wrong, that he was resentful and he wished it wouldn't get to this point. Here we go again... I told him I wasn't all the interested in his remorse if he didn't change what he was doing. We'll see... I hate being the firm one...and as his counselor told me..."there's a reason God healed you first"...but it's not all the much fun, quite frankly!!
Went to my first "big girl" dinner party last night...I had a great time, and the conversation was great. I just love Rick and Dana; Sonja and getting to know Don. Just wish Lynda and Les could have made it. Sigh.
Today...the first day without the Bears for the year. Sigh again. What do people do during non-football season? I used to go to crops, but they aren't in the budget. I'm sure I'll find something to fill my time with. LOL
This week is "celebrate love" week. So to start it off, I think I will list the people I love so much in my life:
my family, even when it's hard. They have helped form me into the person that I am, given my life meaning, joy, laughter, depth. I am blessed for each and every one of them: Paul, Cassie, Joseph
my family of origin: Alicia, for all the great things she has suggested over the years, Theresa, for the laughs and camaraderie and even when she doesn't remember to ask how I am!! LOL Joe, for the soul connection we have had since he was born, and the sanity we were to each other growing up. Terr, for the first opportunity to learn to love unconditionally and accept someone for who they WERE not who I thought he was. And my parents, as painful as it was sometimes to be connected to them...I have traditions, memories and values that they passed on.
My beloved nieces and nephews...they have brought so much joy and challenge as a person, the gift of a large family when my reproductive system failed!! The memories of the six of the kids going to the zoo, parading around the house, playing in the backyard...yep. Good ones. ANd then they grew up, and for reasons beyond my comprehension, God took M&M and me to a deeper level of intimacy and connection. I am truly, deeply, honestly, blessed to be able to tell the world I love them.
My friends...who add laughter, challenge, joy, tea, chocolate, scrapping, depth, a listening ear.
On this "celebration of love" week, I looooooooooooooooooooooooove you all!!

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Sometimes it is just no fun...

being a grown up!! I spent half the day yesterday on the phone...there is an awful lot of heartbreak in my circle of friends. Not much to say but "I know how you feel". Ugh. And with the stuff going on at our church, I would like to just vacation for the rest of 2007.... Double ugh. Is the truth so darn hard to speak?? REALLY??? Is it?? Not truthiness, but actual truth.
Cable is in and out because of our lovely tundra related issues...neg 8 right now, with the sun doing it's false advertising...looking all yellow and warm there. If it weren't for the icicles coming off my garage, I might believe it!!
I'm without a car,since rag top convertibles and negative 8 aren't good running partners. Paul SAYS it's an oil change...but I happen to know it doesnt take 3-4 days to do an oil change. LOL You think that would mean I'd get more done...nope....I couldn't even tell you waht I did yesterday except talk onthe phone. DIdn't even exercise. And on that note, IT"S NOT LIKE IT"S HELPING ANYWAY!!! Ok, now that I have that out of my system, I"ll tell myself it's helping my heart; it's helping me not get osteoarthritis like my mom has; I'll tell myself I feel better when I exercise. Then I"ll argue that point that I feel EVEN BETTER when I'm stuff dark chocolate M&Ms into my little mouth...which won't stay little if I keep doing it. Note to self: bring left over M&Ms to church tonight for C&J.
So all these people in my life are like "oh, your blog is so funny; I read your blog; blah blah." So I"m wondering why NO ONE comments but Meliss and Carolyn...they must be left speechless with my wit and wisdom...that's it.
I saw this on a website:
If it helps, start a "Happy Book"...get a little notebook and at the end of each day, force yourself to write down five things that made you happy that day (or that you are grateful for).
1) Talking to Judy yesterday...we laughed as always!! She challenges and encourages me.
2) Catching up with Dori...friends like her are awfully rare!!
3) My niece's new internship...sounds exciting for her!! (and they have offices here!!)
4) Watching the last of the Supreme Court series...I'm happy to live in America. Seriously. I love this country and all that it stands for...warts and all.

5) Layers...yep...4 of them yesterday!!

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

It's beautiful here today...

as long as you don't go outside!! The snow is blowing sideways a bit, and covering everything. It's big fluffy flakes...great, huh??? Till you go outside and your breath freezes in your own nose!! JEEZ!! And now I hear it's not even better in the Carolina's...and that it's 52 (perfect straight hair weather, AG!!) in FL. There is nowhere for me to run and hide!!
I think I"m back into exercising...such an overstatement, and not to be confused with "I'm into the Bears, my nieces, or scrapbooking" OH NOO!!! N-O!! n-O-ski!!! Just that I'm doing it every day...and the results are in the mail. I just know all this freakin' self discipline will pay off someday...and to fit back into my spring clothes by spring seems like a goodie!! This is exactly why I got rid of all my "fat" clothes...that I'd HAVE to get back into shape and and not just let it slide...look at that!! It works!!
Once I'm back at my goal measurements (well, minus the chest which would require surgery), I"m weighing/measuring once a week...keep it in perspective. But that will be end of March at the earliest, probably more like April.
Watched this Oprah show was about looking young for your age. Joseph, being his pithy self, said "It seems like all the great looking people, young for their age, are single" But it seemed to me it was all about being content in your own skin, doing things you love, and spending time being PASSIONATE...not coasting through life, barely noticing it. That and moisturizer. I think I can do that. I don't suppose passionate about dark chocolate fits the bill... I guess I'll stick to loving my life and the peeps in it, having fun scrapping and laughing, listening to music that makes me dance in my chair...and avoiding cold weather. A bit of a challenge these days in IL...Poor Paul's door froze close yesterday...with HIM in it!! Now THAT is cold. So I'm a hermit...I'll be like the groundhog and come out for spring...
Off to a crop...hope to finish up my Christmas pages today and start on a V-day card for PW. Got Joseph a fun little shirt of a group that he LOOOOOVES.
Parting thought...the news had a special feature yesterday about the Superbowl Blues. But I missed it...but I"m feeling it!! I guess so is my Brian...sitting out the Pro Bowl in HI. Honestly, need to talk some sense into that boy!!

Monday, February 5, 2007

There's always next year...

and far be it for me to defend Rex, but it wasn't like the rest of the team was stellar and he stank it up...they all pretty much played sub par. But they'll be back and Tank won't have his legal problems distracting him and Tommie Harris' hamstring will be good we'll see!!
It was fun watching it with Theresa and Don...they are my kinda game-mates. Here's what I realized as I waited for the game to start...and then during the first quarter...I'm a stress eater. I ate 1/2 a veggie tray (at least it wasn't cookies!!) before the 2nd quarter even started!! How did I not know that before? My voice was shot in the first minute of the Hester is phenomenal..and you know what he said in the press conference?? Doesn't mean anything if it doesn't help us get a victory. The kid's going down in history and it's nothing to him if the Bears don't win. I wouldn't want to be Rex Grossman for the next six months!!

Saw this quote in a magazine this weekend:
"The kind of beauty I want most is the hard-to-get-kind that comes from within--strength, courage, dignity" (Ruby Dee)
Yeah. that's the beauty I want...not that I consider myself beautiful, or even think of it that much, but if someone's going to notice me, or if I stood out in the crowd, I'd want it to be for what comes from WITHIN me. That's what I I want to grow, and age. To not lose the wonder of first time things, or the audacity of hope, or indignity of things that are just plain WRONG. That's what I want me to reflect....

Sunday, February 4, 2007

The real world has a way of creeping in on life...

today was the BIG day...SUPERBOWL Sunday...until Erik announced his resignation and all that that heart is broken for Glenda and the kids...but I know God has a plan through all of this and as we sang today, He is too wise to get it wrong and too good to be mean (my paraphrase). I don't know how this will all work out; while I don't see his hand I will continue to trust His heart.

Saturday, February 3, 2007


my last little blog of anticipation for my Bears...and the good news (for SOME) came down yesterday that Brett will be back next year. Yeah for Meliss and Meesh!!

Today was my last Excellent Wife study here...and I"m relieved to not have that early morning commitment, but I know it has helped me so much as a wife that I don't want it to end. We were talking today about fear and anger, loneliness. I realize how much I've grown up in these last few years...still have those dark days...but I'm mostly good at taking care of my needs and not waiting for Paul to meet them. Still, I do get this twinge of fear on days like today when he completely gets into his own world and I get to fill in the blanks. Looks so much like when he was living in his addiction. The problem with that is I never had "proof" and still don't...proof that he's being healthy or not...being an addict or not. So much easier, I think,to literally sniff out an alcoholic...but I do trust God and I can't be paralyzed by Paul's actions and MY REACTIONS. So, there is answer to fear. And anger...well...I've learned that it's just an indicator like a dashboard light...what is that anger light connected to??? I think the lessons I've learned the most is about loneliness. I have a GREAT life...but mostly it's without Paul. Sad, but true. He was physically gone so long, then emotionally gone so long (still is sometimes) that I've learned to not count on him for my companionship or intimacy. So when he does show up, it's a bonus. I really do NOT think that is how God intended marriage to be,but that's my life and I'm working on dealing with in on its own terms. Can't change him but I do love him and I do love God. So I think I'll make it. And maybe even read that book when we aren't meeting! Like I'll keep reading and re-reading the book without a meeting hanging over my head!! LOL...oh for that much self discipline....speaking of which Joseph cracked open the chex and M&M mix last night...yep. Had none then either. Sheesh. But at least I didn't eat so much I was sick (which takes about 3 handfuls of that stuff!!)

Theresa informs me that she's disappointed she hasn't made the pix. To which I respond, well, you have to be IN MY LIFE to make the blog...and you haven't been around much. So, sure 'nuff, she speeds down here to hang out with her sissy...NOT!!! Given the chance, I don't know what she did, but we went to the coffee house at church last night. Stayed about 30 minutes between Paul coming home super late from work, Joseph needing a ride to the Freeze, and then home. Yeah...this almost empty nest thing is really paying off!! LOL

Called Cassie on her new landline today...she's not home. Spending the weekend with her family...that's what JP said. Hmm...wonder who that is. And not with Chris...he was sleeping. Whatever!!

24 hours from now...I'll be 4 hours into the pregame festivities and a mere 45 minutes from kickoff!! Wearing my Urlacher jersey to get into the I need that!! LOL WOOHOOO!! CanNOT wait....and DO NOT EVEN THINK OF PICKING UP THE PHONE while the game is on....

Friday, February 2, 2007


Tornadoes ripped through Florida, the headlines said. And my poor little niecie down there all alone...when I could be offering her the usual moral storm support AND getting warm all at the same time. Sadly, mother nature did not see fit to tell ME first. So there I was, reading about it on the Comcast news site. Not good. But I called her and she's fine...but her area did get hit bad. She is like a bad weather magnet...

And then Dori has a snow day and tells me she's gonna call to catch up..NOPE!!

And NOW, Judy leaves me a message that she's going to see Beth Moore...Sheesh...not fair!!

Some random facts about me....

My best feature is: my eyes when they look green

My worst feature is: my flabdomen

My favourite color is: this week, blue and orange. Normally, red

My favourite smell is: rain

My favourite food is: Portillo's chili dogs....a really cold salad with great dressing..blueberries..tea

If I was only allowed to eat three things for the rest of my life, they would be: see above! lol

My favourite thing to touch is: my blankie...either my old one or the new red one I got for Christmas

My favourite sound is: real, from the heart laughter

My favourite place is: anywhere I'm with my loved ones (no, seriously)

My best subject at school was: English

I have a talent for: I think making people feel welcome

The talent I'd most like to have is: to be able to sing

Describe yourself in 5 words: short, compassionate, married, friend, mom

My motto is: Believe what people show themselves to be the first time.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

had the conversation....

Paul finally asked "exactly how much do we owe". Good Lord...I told him the truth. He was depressed. It was like a bad Dick and Jane story book. Before I told him, I said "the number is ugly and it is NOT because I'm overspending. We have literally been living off the credit cards for the last two years while spending $24,000 on medical expenses" Having said that, we had an amazing conversation about what our plan (previously known as MY plan) is for this year. And as much as I hate to admit it,travelling just doesn't make the cut...unless my ebay stuff sells. THEN!! Well, that's a whole 'nother story. Or any occasion that calls for gift, a one way trip would be fab too...

It feels fabulous to have it out in the open...I hate knowing things that he doesn't know...and I supposed I could have just up and told him, but I"m sick of the accusations and it worked out better this time. I hope we can stay here.

And then he asked me "when I'm at my healthiest, what am I doing"... well, if that wasn't a major follow up conversation. And then he's like "I know you don't want to answer this" to which I replied, it isn't that I don't want to answer it...I don't want to hear the follow up promises that are always broken.

Anyway, great conversation...and then of course, I go check my email and hide when it's time to go to bed instead of going to bed with him. Bad, bad habit I need to break.

Did my new pilates workout...thanks to Sherrie's tip, feel it differently even though I suck I trust her when she says I"ll get better and stronger. She's had three kids, she has been belly flab, but my suspicion is I could bounce quarters off her belly. On the other hand, she gets up at 515 to do an 85 minute spinning class...seriously!! What is WRONG with her????

Finally had a chance to catch up with Joy...AGAIN!! We are the most schedule challenged friends, but I think we figured out that we can hook up in the mornings and actually stay in touch...which is great because I miss talking to her when we don't connect.

January is over, and I have lost 2 of the 12 lbs I want to lose, but I don't think any inches. I'm not measuring till 2/15... I'm going to keep with it...I can FEEL the sooner or later it's gonna work, right???

All my Bears outfits are ready and waiting for the next three days. **Sigh** So excited I get fluttery in my tummy. It's so funny....

Let's see, my goals for Feb:
keep scrapping 2x/week. Get Christmas pix done

Exercise daily with Sunday's off. Do Pilate's 2x/week and yoga once/week

Stick with my scrapping budget...and start that cash envelope system. Didn' t do it in Jan coz I spent the money immediately!! lol

Some thoughts on relationships:

Sometimes we expect far too much of the people around us, and because no one can ever live up to those expectations, we are almost always disappointed.
Wouldn't it be better if we just let go, and let people be who they are? Then we'd be able to see them as they are -- with all their beauty and goodness in which we take joy, and with all their faults which we can also see in ourselves.
When we have put someone up on a pedestal, sculpturing them to fit our needs and desires by smoothing out the rough edges and creating new curves here and there, we cannot see the real person underneath our work. All we see is the illusion we have created. That is denying the person's real identity and is disrespectful.
It's much better for our friends and for ourselves if we drop our expectations and illusions, and accept them all just the way they are.
Whether we realize it or not, everyone we know is very special to us.
The most important thing to remember is... Always appreciate the friends that you have.
The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care.

I hope my friends and loved ones (although those that I'm related to and looooove, I consider friends above all) see this in me...accepting them for who and what they are, knowing that they are so special in my life, that they are appreciated, and that I care.