Friday, March 30, 2007

does this look like it would take

till 4 in the mornng? I told Lynda I needed to leave at 2:00, which was 3 hours after the house was silent, and then we talked for two more hours. I heard the birds singing when I came home to my OWN silent house.

God is sooooo good...

Meesh got to FL ok

My heart is at peace

My kids are healthy

I have great friends who challenge and accept me for who I am

the birds are singing and trees are budding

and on a lighter note, I fit into my goal jeans and have 10 perfect nails (one with some weird acrylic coating on it, but it's all me underneath!!)

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Last night at church was

amazing. I never fail to be touched in some way on Wednesday nights...either by P. Rick's message, or the music played, or conversations afterwards. Always something and frequently profoundly touched...think about it during the week...Paul and I discuss it at length sometimes. Anyway, so we're studying Romans 5-8 and we're on Rom 7 now, which P. Rick is teaching from a different perspective than is usually taught. We are not Christians who are bound to struggle with sin and our past for the rest of our lives. We, the day we become Christians, and when we are baptized, and every day since, can leave our caca at the cross...we can leave behind the sins we lived out so obnoxously(that's me, not him!!)...we can leave behind the scars from our childhood or early adulthood...we can leave behind our low self esteem, confidence issues, etc. It may be difficult, and that's not without speaking OUTLOUD that we are changed, forever, profoundly, for the better, in Jesus, because we have to convince the evil forces in the world that we are serious about leaving it behind. We are serious about not falling to the temptation (for me) of anger, sadness, defeat, hard heartedness. We are serious about not letting others dictate our feelings, but get our positive mojo (again, me) from our faith and from the knowledge that we are forgiven...forever...completely....clean... the end of the session last night, P Rick says something to the effect of "those who have business with God, and want to leave something here, are welcome to stay". And he restarts the song...well...I've heard that song a million times. I love that song. It makes me cry. I am moved to tears that I am forgiven, because Jesus, 2000+ years ago, chose to die a horrible, humiliating death for me...for me to be forgiven...and not just be find joy and value in my existence instead of believing the lie "i wish you had never been born"...and last night, I did have business to do with God...I just didn't know it yet.

So...I lay down my broken heart regarding my marriage. I am walking on in faith that Jesus, who forgives my sin, who restored my soul from the lies and abuse of my childhood, who brought all of that to his broken,nail scarred hands and held it together until I was whole, that same Jesus is now doing that work in my heart for my marriage. I will choose

And I come home and bawl some more...not those cute little boohoo tears...oh no...the swollen eyes, booger dripping nose tears....again...because that's what I did at church. Mental note: pack kleenex!! And I share with Paul what happened and what I"m feeling and realizing.

I am so blessed...and forgiven...and restored. I wish and pray the same for you as you read this...because God doesn't play favorites and He's got the same offer with your name on it.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

some random things

1) I love this picture of Paul and me...we have remembered how to laugh together again and enjoy being together. For that I am grateful beyond if he can just STAY on track. ANd if I can just stay in the "he's forgiven and we're working on getting past it all" mode, we'll be better every day as a couple....right??

2) I was fixing my necklace at Joy's house and she's said "what's that..." it was my MUSCLE!! WOOHOO!!

3) Book club last night...fascinating conversation, great food, and of course, the required laughter as we left. I am blessed with a great group of women in my life.

4) Judy comes today!!! I won't see her till Friday, and she's flying in late...but I'll take it!! Like the old Heinz commercial...ANTICiPATION!!

5) Patrick informs me that "Auntie Ger, I was really bored on ship and there was nothing to do and I couldn't sleep one I read your blog" Now how am I supposed to take that?? Really....

6) I love my MOPS table...they are all beginning to open up alot. Sigh. Kandyce's last meeting was today....but at least there's still Victoriously Frazzled!!

7) A MOPS mom and friend told me she wants to be like me when "she grows up". She made me cry, telling me that I'm wise and don't mince words and stay calm and concise and to the point. I was really touched...not how I see myself at all...

AND what if we all lived like this???
The Clay Balls. . . A man was exploring caves by the seashore. In one of the caves he found a canvas bag with a bunch of hardened clay balls. It was like someone had rolled clay balls and left them out in the sun to bake. They didn't look like much, but they intrigued the man, so he took the bag out of the cave with him. As he strolled along the beach, he would throw the clay balls one at a time out into the ocean as far as he could. He thought little about it, until he dropped one of the clay balls and it cracked open on a rock. Inside was a beautiful, precious stone! Excited, the man started breaking open the remaining clay balls. Each contained a similar treasure. He found thousands of dollars worth of jewels in the 20 or so clay balls he had left. Then it struck him. He had been on the beach a long time. He had thrown maybe 50 or 60 of the clay balls with their hidden treasure into the ocean waves. Instead of thousands of dollars in treasure, he could have taken home tens of thousands, but he had just thrown it away! It's like that with people. We look at someone, maybe even ourselves, and we see the external clay vessel It doesn't look like much from the outside. It isn't always beautiful or sparkling, so we discount it. We see that person as less important than someone more beautiful or stylish or well known or wealthy. Or the reverse, we see only the outside clay that seems so much better than ours, and we discard it because we're threatened by their "better clay". But we have not taken the time to find the treasure hidden inside that person. There is a treasure in each one of us. If we take the time to get to know that person, and if we ask God to show us that person the way He sees them, then the clay begins to peel away and the brilliant gem begins to shine forth. May we not come to the end of our lives and find out that we have thrown away a fortune in friendships because the gems were hidden in bits of clay? May we see the people in our world as God sees them?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Recognize this guy???

Guess what we did this afternoon? With no prodding from the parental units...just funding!!

I just gotta say....

I love spending time with my family...seriously. I do. Whether it's by chat or phone or conference call or in person. I love it love it love it!! And that's literally what I've been doing since Friday...well, really Thursday!! I finally caught up with Michelle on my walk...that girl is one busy chickadee!! We talked for a half hour, getting caught up with her insane life (no really, some freaky pedophile drum teacher dude gets busted while he's supposed to be at work for propositioning an undercover internet detective...that's the kind of stuff that happens to her!!), but at least band is almost over and maybe we can hook up in person this summer. Sigh. Missed her on spring break this year. The ultimate...she's going to see her sissy!! WAAAH!!! I wanna be there!! Then, as I'm sitting down after my walk (still talking to the meeshster) and Meliss calls and we end up with this great conference call, laughing our butts off at each other's stupidity and usually at me...oh well. They don't like my leopard print cardigan...but they haven't seen it either. And I don't wear hootchie mama shorts that have photo proof they are too short either there missies!!

Saturday we celebrated Cassie's bday...she came over to a decorated chair (can you believe I found Garfield AND a unicorn at the same place???), chili and presents... Paul made her favorite ice cream pie and managed t get the candles to say "19" and IN the ice cream. We played cards and laughed and learned some card tricks from Chris and some jailhouse card game that we'll need more instruction on. Just a great time...3:00 and Paul's gotta go to church to sing at 4 and I suggest to Joseph that we go formal shopping so it's not in a panic later on (as is our usual shopping mode with anorexic tall boy). Found a pair of great black dress pants, and shirts (3--black, coral and a deep pink) and 2 ties that are cool. He's set for a while, I think to myself, just as he's opening his mouth to tell me all of his old navy shirts are getting too short. I rethink my previous gleeful thought...and add "for dress clothes" crap. He needs to stop growing. Seriously. He's tall enough. Enough with the growing!! And I think back to Paul at this age and wonder if Joseph will also grow crazy amounts in length this summer like Paul did back in the day. Maybe I should just introduce him to the nudist colony idea till he's done. Sigh.

Cassie comes back for her food that she left behind (pie, chili and corned beef) and tells me she found a wedding dress. Thus ends the good part of her birthday, by her accounts. Chris got a new game and went home and played it and all the people that were invited over to her place for her bday didn't show. :(

Sunday, I go to my fabuloso prayer class, and really get this stronghold thing with the speaker's great illustration..and am working the women's ministry desk at Patrick walks up and tells me I should really smile more. Brat!! But I was so glad to see him and Lindsay and Theresa. I just love it when they come to church...and hang out after. We had breakfast and played cards, and my cardshark sissy just quietly kicked our collective butts. She ALWAYS wins!!
Doesn't look very happy to have won, does she??? She said she was tired, but I think she's just tired of dominating cards when Meesh isn't here.

And finish Sunday night off with a great convo with Meliss...I just love talking her her. We get each other...

We took picture of each set of "losers" for each round...those that had negative points. At least we sunk as a family!! LOL Somewhere around round 8, we finally were all positive and no more pix were necessary!!

Our first bbq of the year...yummo!! Marinated asparagus and chicken. soooo yummy!!

Saw Joy on Monday FINALLY!! We've been trying to get together since'd think she lives in the Arctic,not Shorewood. I just love hanging with her's so easy to sit and yap the day away. I feel completely accepted by her and we laugh...and laugh...and laugh...and eat.

Last night, we went out to BB to buy Patrick his "happy birthday drink" and stayed fr a long time...laughing and joking around and taking stupid pictures. Just had a seriously great time!!

So's back to my world of housewife of the year and getting ready for the shoebox swap I forgot about that is this about an oh crap moment!! So, I'll be cleaning, laundering, folding, dusting, putting away, printing shopping lists, etc.etc. and slicing and dicing card stock!!
I love my life...warts and all!! And Judy comes in this week!! WOOOOHOOOO!!!

Friday, March 23, 2007

tomorrow is Cassie's bday

and it got me to thinking what she wanted to be when she grew up:

first it was a dancer

then it was an actress, on Broadway

then it was a journalist

then an FBI hostage negotiator

When I was little, I wanted to be a veterinarian, a pediatrician, and then an accountant.

But now that I am physically grown up (no comments on the mentally or emotionally part!!)

I want to be...

A woman after God's own heart

A loving wife - ready and able to support,encourage and walk along side Paul without taking his struggles personally

A loving mother - especially as the kids go out into the world and make decisions I don't agree with...that they would always know, above all, that I love them with a fierceness that words can't describe...that I value their lives in mine...that I consider them a gift from God

A willing tool for Christ - a woman who can show others the way to the complete restoration and healing that can only come through Him. Especially after last night's discussion, I realize again how faithful God has been to healing my heart and restoring my soul...if all I can do is tell my story as a story of hope, I pray that i have the courage to do that!!

An intense prayer warrior I don't want to say "I'll pray" and then flake it...I want to PUSH!!

A maker of disciples whether this is family or friends, or people that God just places in my how I live, talk, relate, showing the way toward Christ? Or am I a stumbling block?

A calm source of wisdom and advice that others feel comfortable seeking out. Someone told me today I"m a magnet for chaos...but then another countered with "there are some people who invite confidences". I hope that when people in my life trust me enough to share their stories, that I honor that trust with wisdom and gentleness.

Better....I never want to be content where I am. I want to continually improve and I want to know when it's the season to rest and let it all sift down into my soul.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

you know how you KNOW i was peeved???

I had 3 typos in one sentence!! Usually I run spell check...Oh well.. another day, another opportunity!! I think I"ll recreate that post on Meesh's bday since it was all about her anyway!! But check out the picture, it's a clue that Joseph couldn't remember what it even was!! Reminds me of the time he "met" his preschool teacher, and she's like "JOSEPH!!" and he didn't remember her at all. Guess he got Paul's memory!!

A spark buddy of mine did a talk the other day on The Seven Characteristics of Highly Happy people
Seemed like a good way to start spring, examining those characteristics!! New season, brimming with life and sunshine (they PROMISE!!)...

Optimistic - look on the bright side
The people were realistic and did see things as they were, but they were positive in their outlook on life and kept that up, even in the worst of times.
~~I never really thought of myself as optimistic, but people keep saying it, so I must be. I can't really live with sadness very long, or dark thoughts, or defeatist attitude. Just too depressing. After a while, I just gut it out and retrain my mind AGAIN. There's always a blessing to be found!!

Grateful - thankful for blessings and the good things in life
These people focused on these instead of on the negative, and always looked for something to be thankful for.
~~Given my last sentence, I'd say I do this usually. Honestly, I think the area I have the hardest time with is in my marriage. I remember my counselor talking about "attitude of gratitude," and that gratitude is a habit as much as grumbling. I do NOT want to be a grumbler. I always am disappointed in myself when that's what I choose to speak instead of life. So, onward to continue cultivating the habit of gratitude...and I think in March and April, I'm going to specifically cultivate in for my marriage.

Spiritual - relationship with God or some kind of spiritual focus
~~I"m a Christian...and thankfully so. I do not know WHAT I'd be like without the prevailing and powerful influence of God in my life. Well...I do know. I'd be sarcastic, angry, judgmental. I'd be mean and harsh and unforgiving. I'd be miserable in my own skin, defeated by life's challenges and losses. I'd be mourning my father's death without hope. And, I've learned that in ALL things I can do it with Christ...I was talking to Judy the other day and she was telling me how she's been running!! (I AM SOOOOOO Proud of her!!) and she does it with praise music and scripture because she KNOWS she couldn't do it without the power of God.
The point is that the happiest people have some kind of deep sense of the spiritual in their lives.

Friends And Family - good, stable relationships with family and/or friends.
The happiest people have some sort of support network, whether it be family or friends. I'm thankful to have both! I definitely have been blessed with amazing friends who challenge me, laugh with me, pray with nothing with me. Yep. It's good to be me!! And my family, well, that's more of a mix, but you know, I would not give any of it up. My history, such as it is, is only held with the hands of my siblings. We have no memorabilia, house we grew up in, we have memories, and stories retold. That's it. I learned to fight, forgive, play, converse, be still and be scared. I learned to pack effectively and unpack quickly. I learned that I could make friends over and over again, and in the end, it's my sibs that I chose. I learned there's a big world out there, because my sister and brother saw it. I am happy to have that history, scars and all. So I have the history, and sometimes present, with my family...and I have encouragement, hope and laughter with my friends. I don't know if many adults count their nieces as part of that...but I KNOW that my life is abundantly blessed for the history with them AND today with them...from painting rooms funky colors to the wonder of seeing them grow up into amazing people, to inside jokes and Portillo's and dippin dots...chats and cut off voicemails. Yep. It's all good!!

Helpful - do things for others, even if it's above and beyond that ol' call of duty.
I know people who have this in spades in their life...I just don't feel like I"m one of them!! I think I need to shift my focus is off of me, and more toward others. Reach out to someone in need and help her out, IF I"m able. I'm not as good with this as I'd like...something to grow on!!

Goals - something to reach for and to work towards.
I"M SUPER GOOD AT THIS!! I am one of the most goal driven people I know...and put some money or competition on it,and OFFFFFF I go!! BET ME I can't do something, and I'll do it just to show you I can (hey!! This is about happy people, not mature people. You'll have to read a different blog to find maturity!!)
work related--build my business (one client is great, but really, I think I can handle more)
relationship related--from stalking Dana (I think I"m doing it well,too!!) to calling weekly or whatever, I really do set goals with relationships and act on them.
craft related--scrapbooking, cards, project. I have goals and work toward them each year
health improvement--my goal for this is daily, monthly. But really it's life long. I want to be that fun grandma and GAG. I want to be able to do things other old ladies who wear red and purple can't. I want to LOOOOK way younger than my age. I have, however, given up sky diving thought since I saw George Bush's face when he did it for his 70th. N-O. That at Leonardo DiCaprio almost dying doing it...N-O part two!!

Savor Life - take every opportunity to enjoy yourself!
In "Dead Poets Society," Robin Williams character had a line - "Suck the marrow out of life." I guess Matthew Kelly "borrowed" it from him. But ever since I heard that, that's what I want to do!! We each need to find something that we enjoy and go for it. God created us to have all of these things on this list in our lives, and this last one is like a special gift to us. He wants us to enjoy ourselves and that's why He created us with emotions and the desire to have fun and pleasure. Making the most of things is more than just merely having fun.
To savor means to:
To taste or smell, especially with pleasure: savored each morsel of the feast.
To appreciate fully; enjoy or relish: I want to savor this great moment of accomplishment.
To savor life means to feel it deaden our emotions or senses with complacency or self-protection. I probably cry more than most people...sometimes savoring life hurts deeply. But I laugh more too (I think). I breathe deep the smell of rain and spring (no skunks or blacktop though!!). I GO out in the rain, to feel the warmth of it soak into my pores. I adore being in a hot shower, and even the initial cold snap of winter (after that it gets old!! and my asthma doesn't like it). I cry at movies, books and even some commercials. I love the taste of Portillo's chili dogs for the 2.5 seconds it takes me to eat one. I hope you choose to savor life.

These are, with one exception, all things YOU can do in your life. And life is better for it.

The part of me no one sees?

The Part of You That No One Sees
You are powerful, passionate, and dominant.You have a vision of how things should be, and you do your best to make things happen.People rely on you for your strength. You are a rock to many.
Underneath it all, you aren't so sure about your passions.So many ideas spark your interest, it is hard for you to get behind a select few.However, you see indecision as a sign of weakness. So you pursue your goals full force - no matter how foolish they turn out to be.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

i oculd not be more peeved it i tried

I jsut spend 42 mintues on my blog post and the damn computer ate it. SOOOOO FRIED.

Monday, March 19, 2007

The sun is breaking through

Life sure requires a lot of trust....a lot....just to get through the day...don't you think?
I think things can sneak up on you and put you into funks that you think you'll never be able to get out of....I KNOW that those funks can make you think that the best parts of your life are over....when, really, they are necessary.....and, not really funks at's all so much like the winter-time DORMANCY of a tree.

I read this online today, and thought back to my tulips poking up through the dirt, having been all but invisible for 9 months now, right? I want to be like my tulips, poking up toward the sun (or really, the SON). I want to bask in the sun and add beauty to the world around me. But I'm just in a funk right now. Today might not be the day to reflect on life, to be philosophical, just a day to muddle through.

Two years ago today, on the way home from Hearts at Home, the Holy Spirit outed Paul to me. Big tattle tale....secret teller...Holy Spirit doesn't keep secrets well. So funny, when this happened, I never even questioned whether it was true or not. I just knew. That's the HS for ya...tells you the awful truth and then does it in such a way you don't even question. So today, for Paul, is a woowoo day. He's two years into "sobriety" and healing. And I'm still trying to trust him... and then, wishing he could say something (acknowledge the day is hard would be a start instead of pretending it's just another day)...but no. It's all about him...and then I get all encouraging and wise (not my wisdom...he walked in while I was praying and got all the good benefits!!). So it's a good day for him. I'm gonna leave it at that.

Just thinking about the people who have carried us this year:

Rick...OMG...where would Paul be without his love and unconditional support? It makes me cry with gratitude that he is the man that he is...amazing...honest...kickbutt...real.

Rich...what a good friend he was when this all started...a lifeline at a time when Paul was drowning

Scott...always calling, encouraging, checking, frequently kicking butt to quit being so self centered...knowing what Paul was going through and knew when to say cut the crap. a stand up guy who has really grown too...and they are figuring out how to be friends by being friends with each other. It's great to see.

For me...

Dori...from that first minute at church when she knew something was "terribly, terribly wrong", she was a support thoruhg the darkest hours...and spoke the painful truth when I needed to hear it.

Judy...literally walking with me from moment 1. She was there when I figured it out, there every single step along the way, there when I wanted to leave Paul, there when I need to laugh and have a cosmo.

Dana...from that first time she thought I had to go to the doctor for test because of Paul, and not literally for my heart!! Caring, concerned, faithful and challenging...and a great friend to laugh with.

Lynda and Kimberlee...honestly, great women who listen and then gently blast the crap out of my eyes and we laugh and talk and seriously...jsut great, great friends. I am blessed. of the best things that has happened in the last two years was our relationship getting closer...because I dared to tell her the truth of how we related then and she dared to listen.

Melissa...Cassie...Joseph...Meesh...just plain ole' love and fun and hanging out...dang we have laughed alot!!

I'd rather remember the blessings than the pain...even though it simmers to the top again and again...I get to choose how to handle it, not let it handle me. So a tear or two, then move on.

I don't need to remember and memorialize the train wrecks in my life. I'm planting a memorial stone right here, right now. Saying that God has carried us this far as a couple, and that I have learned so much in the last two years, that even the unbelievable disappointment in man doesn't undo the amazing UNdisappointable God. I mark this day as the day for me to climb out of my quit thinking it's going to go away without me working at it. I don't want to be sad every year at this time...Spring has always made me smile. I"m not going to let Satan steal that from me. I'm trusting God on this one...that it won't always ache the way it does (and it's so much better than the first year!!), that we WILL be a couple again, not side by side co-existers, and that I will have a healed, if not unscarred heart. I just wish it didn't take so long, or so much work, or so freakin much mental discipline. Sigh. Off the pity pot now!!

My five things:

working out n my treadmill and counting the days till it's outside!! (I was one with Kelly!!)

the sun is shining in my window and warming my hands as I type this

I can read the Bible...I don't need to hide it...Thank you Jesus!! And Prov 15...oohhh kick butt

Getting my room clean and dusted and Theresa's stuff set aside

losing 10 inches of flubber since the beginning of the year!! WOOHOOO!!!!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Whirlwind weekend...

is over. Saturday I worked on Meesh's bday present, and tripped the memory light fantastic. I sure wish they still lived in GB. Selfish, I know, but I miss them as much now as when they first moved; maybe more.

It was seriously just a crazy busy weekend and I"m not even sure why!! I scrapbooked, which was nice. I'll have to upload some of the layouts. I can't even remember Friday night... What's THAT about? Alzheimer's, senility, exhaustion...

Saturday, I had a friend (hey Birgit!!) drop by with this delicious chocolate smelling one minute manicure. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO fabulous. OMG!! It was like a zero cal treat...I just kept smelling my hands.

Today, it was church (very emotional and sad...there were shots of Cassie in the slide show and I was so caught off guard and cried the rest of the way through service)

Then Peg came over for breakfast and stayed till 4:00. SHe just cracks me up. She is one of the most real people I know...and she does goofy things like me (set her apartment on fire, for example!!)

Small we laughed and laughed at the end of the evening. Which was good because I, for one, needed it. Silliness know the laugh out loud, who can get the last crack in before we leave (Rick won!)...and some of us shared our very abbreviated testimonies of where we saw God's hand in our lives and what we were like before.

I was miserable...mean, sarcastic, judgmental. I literally get tears in my eyes at the kind of person I was then, and how that person pops up from time to time. Just when I think she's gone, WHOOPS!! There she is! Sigh...God's still got alot of work to do in me!!

FInally got to wear my leopard print reflect my animal like strength the other day. Luckily, I did not create any holes...maybe my super strength is fading.

Man...I LOOOOOOVE corned beef. Yummo. Just fabulous. So fabulous, in fact, that I burned the roof of my mouth (reminded me of how dad used to do that on my cookies!!) because I didn't wait for it to cool long enough.

Last addled thought for the night...look what's budding!!!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

happy st patricks day...

so...St Patrick's of the few "holidays" we celebrated as a family. It helps me track when I had my appendix out,because the day I came home was St Patty's Day and everyone ate corned beef but me. Sigh. So, it must have been March that I got that bad boy taken out, huh?

It's also the day, 23 years ago (Paul might think 24, but I don't think so), that Paul and I hooked up. We were friends, and went down to take Sam (another friend) back to school after spring break. Drank like idiots (me, more than most, on the idiot behavior part) and went back to the apt. we were all staying at. Paul and I had had this freaky chemistry thing going on, but didn't want to "ruin" our friendship with trying a deeper relationship. So...nothing like drinking to forget your reasons for not doing something!! LOL. I wouldn't recommend that to all, but it obviously worked out for us.

So here's my reasoning on 23 years. We've been married 21, we were engaged for a year (that's 22) and we were dating from March till September. Got engaged 9/84 (Labor Day a bar...seems to be a theme in our life those days) So, that would make it 3/84 we hooked up. 2007 minus 1984....what is that? 23. That's my story and I"m sticking to it!!

Man, we were such babies then...don't even have pix that go back that far. Paul still had blonde hair and no beard. I had pony tails and a perm, contacts and no stretchmarks!! LOL
God has certainly brought us far and taught us much in these years since...not the least of which is don't go bar hopping!! LOL

Friday, March 16, 2007

A question...

Do i talk to much????
My blog posts are wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy longer than my little side things...or maybe I just need to add more side things! LOL

I had a big mac

last ironic is that???


I did have Comfort and JOy last night, which was nice but very empty. Too was all about how to be in relationships. Took tons of to just apply them to my life!! Respect, respect, respect. That's the theme...respect your husbands, your boss, the call on your life as a Chrstian to look different than the rest of the world.

Paul's breathing machine broke...well, more accurately burned a hole in itself that probably could start a fire. Good thing it was him and not me, I probably wouldn't have noticed it. He notices little things like that (and it was like 1/4" by 1/4")...not me. He hung my "Bear Fan Parking" sign...and I didn't even notice. Maybe that's why I hit the garage wall so much...I don't LOOOK at it when I'm pulling in. LOL

So I go to put on my shirt today and stick my finger right through the armpit. NOw, I know I've been lifting weights, but COME ON!! I"m not THAAAAAAAAT strong!! Sigh. Out ocmes the sewing machine.

AND>>>>>>>>big news here for short peeps!!!! (Ignore this Meliss!!) I found pants at PENNEYS that fit those of us that need a 30" inseam. Most petites are 29" but I need that extra inch for my fabulously long petite legs...I'm so happy because I got the dark blue dress pants that I"ve wanted. YEAH!! No Erkels here...

Joseph got his pix taken yesterday...stylin'. Again at Penneys. He's just amazing to me... how much he's growing and how much he looks like Paul. If he had blonde hair, with the mannerism and everything, I'd be in a freak out all the time. Dana says Brennan is the same way...weird how we produce kids who don't even need our genetic makeup to come into adulthood. At least she's got the girls who look like her!! I got the "I have a blind son"..he got my eyes. That's it. And just the crappy vision, not the color or shape!! LOL


yippe, skippee news. happy news...celebratory news....good for all your hard work geriann news....

I have lost 7.5" off my body!! and am on the brink of breaking into the next poundage segment!! SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO close!!


here's my five for today....

SUNSHINE!!! YEAH!! It may be cold, but at least it's not grey!!

SCRAPPING!!! Online crop for the weekend...getting ready to laugh out loud!!!

SLEEPING IN!!! I got up at 840, which is like a two hour sleep in for me!!

Cassie's meeting with the priest went well...she found out he's pretty likable

Running into Olga Martinez at the mall...I just love her...

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Watched Supersize me last night

you know how CRAZY I am about fast food to begin stomach turns at the smell of McD's and I can EAT Wendy's and the occasional Burger King, but seriously, if I eat fast food 6 times a year, it's a big year. We have Portillo's when the girls come in and when they leave...and even at the mall, I'll wait to go home and eat 99% of the time...
Since beginning to learn about nutrition and fat and sodium intake, and then adding on the Body by God knowledge like "natural and artificial flavors added" is actually a drop of really dense flavoring that if you have ALONE, you will still think you are eating a burger, I just don't do fast food.
It all started, though, when my sister worked at Arthur Treacher's Fish and Chips in high school and came home smelling like rancid oil and fish. Seriously, after a year of that smell late at night, would YOU be a fast food fan??? Oh gag me with the Long John Silver's. Blech. Pause while I wait for my stomach to settle down. tick tock, tick tock, tick tock.

Some facts from the movie:
Each day, 1 in 4 Americans visits a fast food restaurant
In 1972, we spent 3 billion a year on fast food - today we spend more than 110 billion
McDonald's feeds more than 46 million people a day - more than the entire population of Spain
French fries are the most eaten vegetable in America
You would have to walk for seven hours straight to burn off a Super Sized Coke, fry and Big Mac In the U.S., we eat more than 1,000,000 animals an hour
60 % of all Americans are either overweight or obese
One in every three children born in the year 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetime
Left unabated, obesity will surpass smoking as the leading cause of preventable death in America
Obesity has been linked to: Hypertension, Coronary Heart Disease, Adult Onset Diabetes, Stroke, Gall Bladder Disease, Osteoarthritis, Sleep Apnea, Respiratory Problems, Endometrial, Breast, Prostate and Colon Cancers, Dyslipidemia, steatohepatitis, insulin resistance, breathlessness, Asthma, Hyperuricaemia, reproductive hormone abnormalities, polycystic ovarian syndrome, impaired fertility and lower back pain
The average child sees 10,000 TV advertisements per year
Only seven items on McDonald's entire menu contain no sugar
Willard Scott was the first Ronald McDonald - he was fired for being too fat
McDonald's distributes more toys per year than Toys-R-Us
Diabetes will cut 17-27 years off your life
McDonald's: "Any processing our foods undergo make them more dangerous than unprocessed foods"
The World Health Organization has declared obesity a global epidemic
Eating fast food may be dangerous to your health
McDonald's calls people who eat a lot of their food "Heavy Users"
McDonald's operates more than 30,000 restaurants in more then 100 countries on 6 continents
Before most children can speak they can recognize McDonald's
Surgeon General David Satcher: "Fast food is a major contributor to the obesity epidemic"
Most nutritionists recommend not eating fast food more than once a month
40% of American meals are eaten outside the home
McDonald's represents 43% of total U.S. fast food market

Between that and seeing the guy barf after his first double quarter pounder with cheese value meal, which took him like 40 minutes to eat, I'm MORE anti-fast food than ever.

Before launching this experiment, Spurlock, age 33, was healthy and slim, with a body weight of 185.5 Pound Body Mass Index raised from 23.2 (within the 'healthy' range of 19-25) to 27 ('overweight'). He also experienced mood swings, sexual dysfunction and nearly catastrophic liver damage. It took Spurlock fourteen months to lose the weight he gained.
After five days Spurlock has gained almost 10 pounds. It is not long before he finds himself with a feeling of depression, and not much longer until he finds his bouts of depression, lethargy, and headache are relieved by a McDonald's meal. One doctor describes him as "addicted." He has soon gained another 10 pounds, putting his weight at 203 lb. By the end of the month he weighs about 210 lb, an increase of almost 25 lb. Because he could only eat McDonald's food for a month, Spurlock refused to take any medication at all.
Spurlock had lost much of his energy and sex drive during his experiment. Around day 20, Spurlock experiences heart palpitations. Consultation with his concerned general practitioner, reveals that Spurlock's liver is pâté," and the doctor advises him to stop what he is doing immediately to avoid any serious heart problems.
Spurlock makes it to day 30 and achieves his goal. In thirty days, he "Supersized" his meals nine times along the way (five of which were in Texas, the state with the highest number of "fat cities" in the U.S.) All three doctors are surprised at the degree of deterioration in Spurlock's health.

I know what you're going to say...well, I don't eat it 3x/day for a month. But the evidence, imho, is pretty clear that processed, high fat/high carb food is not good for us. And in the film, 95/100 nutritionists said we should NEVER fast food....just something to think about today.

stress test???

Your Stress Level is: 28%

You are slightly prone to stress, but generally you keep it under control.

You know how to relax and take things as they come, even when your worlds seems to be falling apart.

Occasionally, you do let yourself get stressed out, but you snap out of it pretty quickly.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I'm wondering...

I got an email today explaining how to, and I QUOTE, "healthify" macaroni and cheese. I'm wondering if: healthify is a word; and why would you want to healthify a comfort food. Isn't that the whole point of comfort food? That is ISN'T good for you????

Wondering if everyone else had as much fun as I did on Saturday night....

Wondering how in the world Sherrie can weigh EXACTLY what I weigh and look so freakin' good.

Wondering who will win American Idol

Wondering how long the war in Iraq will last, and how many will die

I wonder how REALLY unhealthy a Portillo's chili dog is. Doesn't bode well that they won't release the nutritional information, if you ask me...

I wonder what my life would have been like if I had the six kids that I wanted...

I wonder what I'll look like at 60.

I wonder how Joseph's school pix will come out, now that I finally got around to setting up a sitting...sigh...there goes my Mother of the Year award

I wonder if all this freakin' biking and walking will ultimately firm up my thighs

I wonder if I will EVER be able to balance on that ball

Wonder how Lindsey is doing with her mono

Wonder if Dori is going to survive, thrive, or break. Big, sad sigh

Wonder if I will be a complete freak again this March 19th or if I've learned to deal a little better

Will the Bears win the SuperBowl with them trading off the good guys

and wonder why nobody told me Hester and Vasher were going to be in New Lenox. Surely SOMEONE knew

I wonder if people see me as an optimist or pessimist...because the other day, I said something about a glass and said "half full" and the person I was with commented on how I said half full, but I didn't even realize I said it...I must see it as half full all the time (or at least most of the time)

I wonder if people leave my house happier than when they came, or at least feeling like they had some moments of kindness, laughter or peace.

I wonder what color I should paint my toenails...all suggestions are welcome. Well, all but black. That's just not even an option with these white legs.

I wonder what my grandfather's voice sounded like.

Wonder when I'll get to fly out of here again...

Wonder what I'd look like with a REAL tan...the kind that normal people with pigment in their skin get.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

the stupidest thing I have heard in a loooong time

so I upload a ton of pix of my niece, some of which are 18 years old, and order new prints. I get to walgreens and they tell me i need a release for photos that old???? And laws are now retroactive for companies that no longer exist?????
they tell me I have to pay for the pictures I CAN"T EVEN BUY because I don't have aforementioned release.
I am so fried....grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
No amount of chocolate or working out or griping is going to make me happy tonight. NOW WHAT DO I DO??????????????????????
Any ideas will be GLADLY accepted...three stinkin shots out of 20 and NONE of them are less than 15 years old. Sheesh. Bureaucracy stinks....
I didn't even KNOW about that LAW??? Is it a law? or a policy?????
ON the other hand...they thought one of the pictures I took of her was professional. That felt kind of good before the top of my head blew off when he told me I had to pay for the prints regardless of me taking them or not. I told him, after I picked my brain matter off the ceiling, that he could keep them all.
And...not a single expletive deleted uttered. No raised voice. Small consolations.

Monday, March 12, 2007

COnfession IS good for the soul???

Here are a few of mine -
I am a pet person....married to a guy who is NOT. I really want a pet, a cat to be it's the cats on my guest room border for now.

I hate watching movies more than once. There are very few movies that I have seen over and over - Sixth Sense, 7th Sign, John Q and Remember the Titans is about it.

On the other hand...I forget movies that I've seen and can watch them THREE times before I remember seeing them...Pelican Brief is one of those. Paul sat through it at least three times before I remembered watching it.

But I can see ONE PART OF ONE SCENE on a TV show and know what it is. Freaky.

I'm scared to death, as in paralyzingly afraid of the dark. I will stand completely still until there is a light somewhere to focus on.

I still sleep with my blankie. I need that binding. Ok, maybe not need, but I doooo love it.

I do not crave sweets - candy, chocolate... except that one day or two a month. Then I could eat a whole sleeve of girl scout cookies or bags and bags of M&Ms.

I'm beginning to have arm definition...still got the wobbles on the bottom, but there's less of them.

I've colored my hair consistently since I was 24 and pregnant with Cassie...DO NOT tell me how bad it is for you...too late now!! LOL

I hate the sound of someone biting their nails...nibbling their finger tips.

I moved every year between 5th grade and senior year of high school.

I love rock music...AC/DC, Prince, and whatever Joseph listens to

I also love country...sort of...

I blew a speaker in my car listening to music too loud...THIS WEEK. I dont think I'll ever out grow it.

I get bored easily...

I neglect my feet in the winter...and shape them up in March for my sling backs and flip flops

No one sees my toes from about October till March, and only if it's a warm feet get too cold.

I dont like beer...none of it

Wine makes me gag.

I love road trips...until my butt goes numb

I didn't know Joe's Crab Shack was a franchise

I love Chick-Fil-A's sweet tea. YUMMO!!

I say I'm Irish, but my grandma adopted my dad, so the one nationality I claim is actually what I AM NOT!! LOL

I don't get along with my mom...and it makes me sad when people talk about how much they love their mom and couldn't go without talking to her

I LOVE my nieces...all of them...they are all so funny in a different way!!

I'm very competitive

I hate my voice

but love my laugh

I have monsters living in my tummy...

I love chocolate dipped ice cream cones filled with chocolate chunk ice cream, even though it totally makes me sick.

My mom's family came over on the Mayflower

I dated 2 guys with mob ties...then wised up and left the italians for a german!!

I love the Godfather

and hairy chests...but not too hairy. Not rug hairy. Just a smattering of hair. A respectable amount is fine.

I wish I could sing.

I want a flat stomach!!

And on that confession is done

Sunday, March 11, 2007

What does my look in the mirror show???

The Face In The Mirror
The good you find in others,
is in you too.
The faults you find in others,
are your faults as well.
After all, to recognize something you must know it.
The possibilities you see in others,
Are possible for you as well.
The beauty you see around you,
is your beauty.
The world around you is a reflection,
A mirror showing you the person you are.
To change your world,
you must change yourself.
To blame and complain will only make matters worse.
Whatever you care about,
is your responsibility.
What you see in others,
shows you yourself.
See the best in others,
and you will be your best.
Give to others,
and you give to yourself.
Appreciate beauty,
and you will be beautiful.
Admire creativity,
and you will be creative.
Love, and you will be loved.
Seek to understand, and you will be understood.
Listen, and your voice will be heard.
Teach, and you will learn.
Show your best face to the mirror,
And you'll be happy with the face looking back at you.

~Author Unknown~

I don't know who wrote this, but I immediately thought of what was flying in email form about our church...and I wonder if the people most involved in judging realize that the exact things they are accusing others of, they are doing themselves. It makes me sad; it convicts me to pray; to not spew venom; to choose to forgive and offer grace. I want to be a reflection of a gentle and loving God; a laughing and compassionate Christ; I want to be quiet enough to hear the Holy Spirit speak to me...and I canNOT possibly do that if I'm yapping someone else's life and what I judge them to be...I don't want to be judged in that vein. So...there you have it.

I'm thankful for laughter and friends who are transparent. I'm thankful for the warm sun beating in my window (even if it does provide irrefutable evidence i need to wash the windows!! LOL). I'm thankful for Justin being in church today...for God's reminder that we are never beyond his mercy...that he never loses track of us. I"m thankful for late night conversations and early morning chill (as opposed to early morning frigidity!!) I'm thankful for chats in the foyer and sassy comebacks. I'm thankful for tea (which is NOT the same as weak coffee). I'm thankful for fresh air and fresh starts. I"m thankful for Sunday naps. I"m thankful for music that makes me cry...and peppermint flavored lip gloss. and I"m thankful for Melissa and Sherrie staying to help clean up and then talking...even if it wasn't till 3:00 in the morning. TOLD you we need Lynda in the mix to be able to talk that long into the night!!

Friday, March 9, 2007

A few little funnies and a big realization

Ok, so Joseph and I have to go to the mall...the place I once LOOOOOVED and sought out for entertainment, friendship, a filling of my soul. It was where I went to buy self esteem, not only for myself (clothes, jewelry, great SOCKS!!) but also for others (gifts, cards, coffee). At least that's what I thought...of course we can't BUY self esteem, and in the end, I have realized it's just a place to go to get what I need and occasionally something I WANT!!
Joseph needs new contacts...that boy is BLIND!! Ahhhhhhh....finally something of ME genetically shows up in his life!! Not what I wold have chosen, but for sure he is MY SON!!! LOL
11:00 appointments: me for a haircut, him for his eye exam. 1129, I'm done and walking my 10,000 steps. My goal is 6,000 because I know I'll bike for at least 3,000. Ok, I've hit it. I've gone to NY &Co and gotten the scarf and pants I've been eyeballing. No Joseph. Text him: Uh...are you done? (I sound like HIM to me!!!) Text back: I just got in. Now it's 1145. It's 1215, 1230 and the doctor beckons me, to inform me his 1.5 hour (should have been 30 minute) exam IS NOT DONE YET!! They need to take his eyeball pictures again...he squinted. Sheesh!! Another 10 minutes, they take him back. Another 10 minutes, we are released to the payment center...another 5 minutes we are basking in the relative freedom of fresh air outside of Macy's!! And $500 lighter (honestly!! I got a pair of bifocals, an exam and RX sunglasses for HALF of that!!) As Joseph points out, well, You always said I"m not a cheap hobby!!!
Starving, we decide to reverse our plan for the afternoon and head to Portillo's FIRST. Ahhh...the anticipation. The glorious smell and sounds of chili dogs cooking and being eaten. WOOHO!! But, in keeping with the day, it's not a straight line...there's an IDIOT stopping all southbound traffic so he can get through without waiting for a break in traffic...or going to the obvious traffic break (that would be the stupid light a half a block down). Seriously....we are backing up like there's an accident while Mr Self Centered waits for the world to realize he needs to turn left onto Rte 59. He's even blocking the shoulder. He's smirking. His truck is dirty. You know why I could see all of that???I WAS THE FIRST CAR!!! So, being a Christian, I HONK and do NOT display any digits. He does. now it's MY FAULT he's blocking traffic.
Here's the little realization: He was BEYOND self absorbed and didn't care if he caused a traffic snarl, or an accident. Didn't' care about HIS need to turn messing up other often do I get blind to my perpendicular stunts like that, that instead of going with the flow or waiting my turn (esp. with God!!), I just make my own rules and the affect on everyone else is just far too irrelevant for me to see or acknowledge. Hmmmmm.....
So Mr Blue Truck gets in HIS lane, and we are off again to Portillo's. Oh the beauty of those red and white awnings. I'm salivating. Seriously. We haven't been there since Melissa left this summer. It's been 6 long, deprived months...but it's coming to an end.....what a great day!! Yeah.......till I see 4 school buses (not those little, petite ones either...the big ole, monstrous ones that hold 66 students). I say, Oh man, JOse, I don't think this is good...why would anyone do a field trip to Portillo's. He says, well, maybe it's just bus drivers meeting here. I say...OKKKKKK, but I've never seen THAT before. In we the noise level that would put planes taking off to shame. EVERY SINGLE 8th GRADER IN THE PLAINFIELD SCHOOL DISTRICT is in Portillo's. Mercifully, they had already ordered. So up we go, and order (I get the burger for the first time...and the last...chili dogs it is if I'm gonna splurge dietetically). And we wiat...wait....wait....for our food. We sit in a cozy little booth made for toddlers and talk about life and the boy sitting alone. Joseph says that would have been him in 8th grade...he didn't have many friends. Flashback to the 2 year retrospective. Talk about that for a bit. That boy can pack away the fries with cheese like nobody's business...
On to the breadstore. AT LAST...I have my whole grain bread!! YEAH!! And the library to pick up books...
now, we get to the library and Joseph goes to get his books on hold (a wonderful little service that saves us HOURS!!). Goes to check out and the woman says "You have 3 books on hold" Joseph: well, I could only find two. At which point, 4 different employees of the Joliet library system go and look at exactly where he looks and confirms to him that my 15 year old sophomore in High school can IN FACT spell and read his own name in black bold print. The book is NOWHERE to be found. Of course, it's the book he most needs for his research project. Sigh part 23 for the day. We try to ascertain whether we will get a call when they FIND the book or if they call whent he book comes in, not when they label it. No one is quite sure how this works so that is a mystery that may be solved in the future.
Back to home, it is now 3:00 and some DUDE decides that the turn lane is a shortcut, cleverly disguised as an actual turn lane for others....I am one with my horn once again. Joseph says I'm getting "FEISTY". I say I'm getting tired of rude, self centered drivers. We pull in the driveway and that discussion is put on hold for another day!! LOL
Joseph finds out that Erik left without even saying good bye. "Bogus", "now I'm really pissed", are variations of his venting theme. He's really having a hard time with the idea of Easter this year...comes in to talk about those two points...and how even though it isn't the CALENDAR date of Cassie leaving, he's already anticipating it being a sad day. Sigh part 24. I hate when our kids hearts hurt and we are powerless except to acknowledge it.'s the big realization:
Went to church on Wednesday...what a freakin' amazing, God anointed, powerful beyond words, heart and soul balm. I have been places where it has been so apparent that the Lord has been there...but literally the ENTIRE room was experiencing it...and all different ways. WOWZA!! I walked away with several thoughts: one, I am blessed to belong to a church with that kind of spiritual impact. two, I have been boxing God in...I trust HIm, but what if this stuff with Cassie, which is so awful to watch, is part of HIS bigger plan to get draw her even closer to him and Chris to know Him at all? Paul hid his addiction better, and had a better job, but it was the same life in the inside. And look what God has done through our marriage...not just in the last 2 years, but way before that. So, my new (DUH) prayer: God, your will and your power and glory will be done in this situation, in Cassie's life, and that we will continue to turn to you as we struggle....that we will not be sighted for what is before us but also what is going on in the world we DON"T see" different do I look to Chris? Am I like the people that Jacquelin was talking about Wed. night...a Christian that hurts HIM deeply? I don't need to approve OR agree with him, and I know that he and Cassie are both turning their backs on God, but I DO need to love him...and be kind to him. I am COMMANDED to do that.
Final big realization...I met a lady Wed night whose daughter just left 1/8/07. She's heart broken for herself and her other daughter; hard hearted toward the Christians in her life that didn't act the way she thought they should; scared for her prodigal. SOOOOO closed and hard and hurt. And I realize that God, once again, has healed my heart. I am so overwhelmingly blessed and I can only hope and pray that I will be of SOME help to Jacquelin. But I know the journey is hers to walk...I am thankful for the guide I have had in mine. And thankful for those people who held my broken heart in love...and in laughter!! Yep. Blessed!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Offhand comments

often get me to thinking...and here's the latest one that made me STOP in my tracks and think back..."I can't believe it's been almost two years", Paul says in referring to his "clean days". To which, being in a crappy mood and ticked at him, I respond "Uh, more like 6 months Paul. It was AUGUST". End of conversation. Total silence. Walls up and cemented in place.

But two years...let's see. Cassie was just shy of 17, in fact 5 days shy to be exact. She had yet to meet Chris, and although I know she lied to us before she met him, in the two years since she brought it to a level of professionalism and polish. And, I'm quite sure, she lied to herself countless times since. She was working on karate/self defense and showing quite a gift for it; as well as writing and singing. She was headed to college, wanting to be a journalist or forensic scientist. She had dreams that she vebalized often. She also was increasingly distant with the family as a unit, although we had great conversations on a regular basis. Still, the the two years since, I've often wondered how many were real and how many were what she wanted me to hear. A question I doubt will ever really be answered in my head. She has moved out, learned what all that entails and is planning a wedding that almost every single person we know is gravely concerned about. She has learned to live in the grey of life, is beginning to exercise, and is finding out just how boring a stay at home wife's life can be. Sigh. She says she's happy and that this is how she wants to be.

Joseph was still in his "little boy" phase, still playing with legos sometimes and outside alot. He looked like a little boy, with proportions to match. Frustrated him to the nth degree. His voice hadn't changed yet, and was struggling with who he was in his circle of friends, not seeming to have an identity of his own, but borrowing whoever he was with at the time. Scottberg had just left FAOG and he was pretty heartbroken about that. He was very much a ship with a small sail, but in these last two years, he has learned alot. He's grown from a boy into a boy-man, emphasis on man. He's conquered some things in his personal life that adults get stuck on. He's developed some great relationships with new friends and left most of his old friends to the fringe of his life, as difficult as that was at the time. He's learned to hate math and verbalize it regularly!! He's started to shave and regularly tells people (Paul and I to be sure) exactly what he thinks and has started to separate loving someone from liking what they do. He has learned to accept people for who they are and still acknowledge that who they are hurts him and disappoints him sometimes.

Paul is substantially clean for 2 years, something he couldn't even imagine on 3/19/05. Wasn't sure he wanted to be, but knew it was his addiction or his family. Didn't know WHO he was without his addiction...or how he'd cope with life without it. But cope he has...and he's found out he's a guy with emotions that he denied for our entire life together, and that he has great difficulty expressing them. He's found out that it's hard work to be an adult without addiction to salve his wounded soul, and sometimes even does some recovery work to realize that he CAN be a much healthier guy when he does the work. He's beginning to accept his family of origin for who they are and how they relate, and even sees his part in some of it. He's two years into a recovery group that invites him into growth. He's learning how to be a friend, to give and take support. He's a better father than he was two years ago...and I think a better uncle. two years, where have I grown??? or changed??? I'm not the angry, hurt woman I was two years ago. I've learned I can forgive what I thought was unforgivable. I've learned not to expect things from another person just because they live with you. I've learned that we all have our wounds and unfortunately, the wounds cause us to wound others. I've learned to trust God in a whole 'nother trust him with my broken heart again and again, to trust him with my husband's mental health and our marriage; to trust him with Cassie and her life decisions, Joseph and his broken, disappointed heart. I've learned to trust him for the income we need to make up with Paul's side jobs gone, and trust him to show me what I need to know in my life. I've had my two best friends move, and survived. It's a struggle to maintain those relationships, and I'm learning how to do that with grace. I'm more patient than I used to be and alot less opinionated. I've learned that my brother isn't all that interested in being in a relationship with me or my family. I've grown EVEN closer to M&M, and count each exchange as a gift. I've made new friends who I ADORE and laugh with and cry with and process with. I'm more able to slow down and struggle with depression more than I ever have.

I work out regularly now...a lesson from these last 2 years that physical activity has a way of healing my soul. I scrapbook regularly too...looking back on memories and laughing while building new ones...celebrating every day moments...relationships.

I've learned to believe people when they say I"m strong or a woman of faith, realizing that I may never believe that for myself, but that doesn't make it a lie.

I'm soooo different, with scars that will always be there. I don't know where my marriage or my kids or my health or my loved ones will be two years from now...but it's been a long and difficult trek through these last two years. I don't know that I can honestly say I'm glad for them, but I'm glad for the RESULT of my personal growth, in relationships born and brought back. I've got many things to be thankful for these last two I guess I agree with Paul, "I can't believe it's been two years"...

Monday, March 5, 2007

busy, busy weekend...

and in a good way!!
Saturday, I woke up with picking up Cassie on my agenda. We were supposed to spend the day together. Then Paul called and we talked for 30 minutes about his meeting, so I was late before I even got dressed. Oh was a good conversation, and for today, he's aware of how defensive he is and wants to change that. If he sticks to it, that one behavior change would majorly impact our marriage, and probably all of his relationships. I think he defenses are the number one destructive thing we get stalled on.
Go get Cassie, did some running around, went to Lorraine's Bridal to look at dresses, but they no longer are in business. Ended up on the East side, near where Melissa and I ate lunch this summer. So while we're looking for wedding dresses, I'm remembering how much fun this summer was. We found some dresses that Cassie LOVED...her style is very similar to mine when Paul and I were getting married. I think the measurement thing was a little depressing for her, and the price thing was daunting for me (HOW will they pay for this wedding when they can barely make rent????), But it's not my problem to solve...just walk along side her while she and Chris hopefully solve it in a way that works for both of them. Doesn't seem like that is how things go in their relationship, but I don't have to see that daily either. Just makes me sad for she's talking is the way Paul and I were at 10 years of marriage, as I was losing him to his addiction, but didn't know the specifics. It's really hard to watch, but I'm getting better and better at not even TRYING to control it, to talk "sense" into her, to do anything but hang out.
Anyway, we talked and laughed through our appointed time for a movie. So we went to the mall and did a little shopping. She found some earrings she likes and a cute necklace she can wear two ways...and still has money left on her Express gift card.
By the time the family "what are you doing" talk, that always seems to happen when Paul is added into events with Cassie was over, it was 830 and time to get her home. So we drop her off and come home to Joseph in the driveway...
talk to him about his evening and it's time for bed.
Sunday is church, with a great guest speaker. She talked about form over substance and how we mistake form/structure with substance/relationship. And that it takes both to succeed. Really good points.
Came home, ate pancakes as always, race off to see ZODIAC, which we didn't know was almost 3 hours. Have ONE hour to make AND eat dinner, make muffins, wrap Dana's present and write out her card, clean up and get Joseph to Grace. Well, we didn't make it...once again we were the laters.
Small group was..well...small. LOL Literally half the group was gone for one reason or another. But it was great to hang out and listen to everyone's take on grace in their life, and eat some yummy chocolate!!
Whew!! Home, day is done...'s a new layout I did. What a super fun day this was with Meesh.
A dare online for scrapping is to scrap: WHAT IS the QUESTION YOU ARE AFRAID TO ASK?
Mine is...what else don't I know... It applies to soooo many areas. It's just another opportunity to develop trust with God in my life.
I saw this on a friend's blog...and can see how SOOOOO Many of these are things to remember:
TWENTY THREE, in fact...

1. No one can ruin your day without your permission.

2. Most people will be about as happy as they decide to be.

3. Others can stop you temporarily, but only you can do it permanently.

4. Whatever you are willing to put up with is exactly what you will have.

5. Success stops when you do.

6. When your ship comes in. ... make sure you are willing to unload it.

7. You will never "have it all together."

8. Life is a journey...not a destination. Enjoy the trip!

9. The biggest lie on the planet: "When I get what I want, I will be happy."

10. The best way to escape your problem is to solve it.

11. I've learned that ultimately, 'takers' lose and 'givers' win.

12. Life's precious moments don't have value, unless they are shared.

13. If you don't start it's certain you won't arrive.

14. We often fear the thing we want the most.

15. He or she who laughs......lasts.

16. Yesterday was the deadline for all complaints.

17. Look for opportunities...not guarantees.

18. Life is what's coming....not what was.

19. Success is getting up one more time.

20. Now is the most interesting time of all.

21. When things go wrong.....don't go with them.

22. Spend your time with the people you love and the people who nurture your soul.

23. Jesus Loves you more than you can ever ever in that love

My five things

1) sweat...I love working out and feeling stronger, sore muscles and all

2) my formerly perfect 10 nails...THEY ARE REAL!!! (I'm down to 8, so they will be gone when you see me again)

3) laughing with Cassie and just hanging out

4) the sounds of Joseph and his friends having so much fun today

5) this blog...I process an awful lot of things that would otherwise probably NEVER get figured out...

Friday, March 2, 2007

Did the weather forget it's MARCH????

There comes a time when you

must stand alone.

You must feel confident enough

within yourself

to follow your own dreams.

You must be willing

to make sacrifices.

You must be capable of

changing and rearranging

your priorities

so that your final goal

can be achieved.

Sometimes familiarity and comfort

need to be challenged.

There are times when you must

take a few extra chances

and create your own realities.

Be strong enough to at least try

to make your life better.

Be confident enough that

you won’t settle for a compromise

just to get by.

Appreciate yourself by allowing yourself

the opportunities to grow, develop,and find your true sense of purpose

in this life.

Don’t stand in someone else’s shadow

when it’s your sunlight

that should lead the way.

~ author unknown

So these days it's cold and windy here. The only warmth we gather is from each other and many many layers. Last night, Paul's hands were so cold, his fingers were white. I tried to warm them up by rubbing them together, (trying to be a nice wife here!) and it wasn't till after I rubbed them and just held them that they began to be warm. Isn't that like life? We rub against things, create friction, trying to get what we want or achieve some opaque goal. But it's when we slow down to simply hold on to what we already have, in whatever form that is, that we are warmed, filled with warmth, heat, life. If I would simply be near that which I want to draw strength and warmth from, to quit running and looking for it in the friction of my days. Well, I think I'd be even happier than I am now. even more peaceful. More thankful. I'll try it and see.

Cassie moved her wedding date up to 8/07. She tells me she's happy (first time I've heard that from her in almost 2 years). And so, in keeping with the poem and the whole warmth "thing", I will stand with her in her happiness. It is not my place, anymore, in her life and she has made this abundantly clear, to guide her. She is an adult. She is living in the adult world with adult others and she doesn't need me anymore. I'm caught off guard by that. Honestly, I pictured our relationship so differently at this time in her life. But I will honor her once a week desire to talk and twice a month visit...she's not so into relationships and hanging as I am and although it hurts to be so distanced from her life, it makes sense from her personality perspective. For me, communication, hanging, being with someone is the END and the process. For her, communication is for if you have something specific to do. Another step in accepting her and loving her just like she is. And I do love her fiercely. She is my firstborn. My daughter. My baby girl. She fills a place in my heart that no one else does, and can hurt me like no one in the world. But I suspect that is only if I put expectations on her of being like me. As Debbie has said, the lie we believe that other people need to be like us. Not so. Not so.

I'm so thankful for my friends, for sitting n the guest room and yapping (and then trying to climb out of that freakin' butterfly chair). I'm thankful for layers again today...on a day that it is just frigid out. I'm thankful for Judy sending me her amazing view, so I can borrow it when I need to!! I'm thankful for scrapping today...remembering the Closet Clean Sweep at Theresa's. I'm thankful for laughter and for tears...they balance me.

I'm thankful for tea i the morning and amaretto last night..bad headache after so many tears.

I'm thankful it's March...the promise of spring is here. The month I became a mother.

I'm thankful Melissa doesn't need surgery and that her grad school options are wide open.

I'm thankful for life...for remembering that it is in giving that we receive, in loving that we are loved. I'm thankful for Dana, today on her birthday. She's a amazing gift to this earth and to my life.

And, of course, I am thankful for the Bears having the amazing wisdom to extend Lovey's contract....wooohooo!!