Thursday, May 31, 2007


It's been a while, but these twelve days have been eventful!! To say the least...

Our drive out to SC was fine...went faster than we thought and my butt didn't even go numb. I found out one good book is all I need for that trip. Same was true going home,except the trip always seems longer on the way home.
    Michelle had already gotten her gown and tassels by the time we got there, so all I had to do was iron it and wait...for the duct tape to come out to make that little white thing stay on. The school gave us for 1x1 stickers, as if that would work on SC humidity. So laugh if you must, but it worked...and she looked fab.

My siblings haven't's been a year since I saw my brother and two since I saw my sister. My brother was largely unavailable but we did have a nice conversation at Denny's (yeah, that's the only place open at 10:00 in Spartanburg), and he promised to come out for Memorial Day...was a no show. that's Joe in a nutshell. Alicia and I had one good conversation while I was there. Good isn't really the word, but honest is. Her parting words to me were "keep beating me up". Ouch.

Michelle graduated, with four honor tassels that weighed down her neck and brought on endless teasing from Melissa. We couldn't even FIND her till she stood up to walk for her diploma. But I think if there's ever a time to find someone THAT IS IT!! Her graduation was outside and the weather was beautiful. They have a tradition of storming the field at the end of the ceremony so it took us a long time to find her.

Don't wear strappy sandals to a graduation unless you know you won't be walking 1.5 miles (no,I am NOT kidding) to your seat. We had to walk across three parking lots, a football sized field, down 50 stairs and back to where we were, just 2 stories lower in the field. Yeah. Blisters. Lots of them. For a week. Good thing there were flip flops for the rest of the week!!

Phase 10 is still a game that goes on far too freakin' long!!

  1. I still can't golf. More accurately, I can't get the ball past the 50 foot mark on the driving range. It might me my equipment. Flip flops and a tshirt skirt. But I did have my shades. And we had so much fun. I'm sure it takes actual golfers more than 10 minutes to blow through a bucket of balls, but not us. That includes the walking time to get the balls and get to the driving range. But admit it. I looked good while I was hacking away...

                    1. MacAllisters and Chik Fil A are the only places that know how to make sweet tea that doesn't counteract a diabetic coma. Yummy. Had it as often as I possibly could. And Chik Fil A's chicken is yummy too.

                    2. Ah...speaking of food...Waffle House (sorta a trailer version of International House of Pancakes) is fabuloso!! The cheese grits were to die for...a big ole' bowl.Yum. Crispy bacon, in IL, means, mildly floppy. Crispy bacon at WAHO is CRISPY. Delish. And perfectly cooked eggs. Really, my favorite place to eat when visiting the girls.

           has a fabulous lasagna recipe. And easy. I lost my beloved St Mary's cookbook with my fabulous recipe. So we had to go on line to find it. I am reminded again that sometimes what we get instead of what we WANT is still good. And then, the day after the party, the girls find a copy of the recipe for my lasagna in their cabinet.!!

                    I missed Cassie this trip. Cried through Kentucky...on the way there. Come to think of it, cried through KY on the way home but for different reasons.

                    1. Drove all the way to SC and went shopping at their Kohls, finding some great shirts and shorts for Joseph and a Spidey tie for Melissa
                    2. We were looking for jean initially, but no luck there. I guess we'll have to get his jeans altered to fit. But we did expand Jofee's wardrobe beyond the 4 pair of khaki shorts he brought with him. And of course he got compliments on his new clothes, including a baseball-ish hat. My son the fashion plate. Who'da thunk it??

                                                                          Next trip Will be a girls' trip. No men. Seriously. Not sure where or when, but it's gonna happen!!

                                                                          So I"m home now and the laundry is done, the house is clean again and Joseph is gone again. Off to FL with a friend for 2 weeks. I missed my friends tremendously and can't wait to see them all.

                                                                          I think I've even gotten Paul on the WAHO train...but he won't admit it!!

                                                                          Sunday, May 20, 2007

                                                                          heading out soon...

                                                                          and I have to say:
                                                                          I am anxious. Family dynamics aren't at our best right now.
                                                                          I am sad. This is our first family vaca without Cassie. I miss her daily.
                                                                          I am excited. I haven't seen M&M for almost a year. (Well, Meesh, but it's different when we are all together)
                                                                          I'm conflicted. Too chopped up a trip and too many roles competing for a wee bit of time.
                                                                          I am happy. I have an MP3 player on my phone and we can all listen to our own music. The plugged in more listening to Joseph's music, brewing a headache for an hour. No more Meatloaf till I could regurgitate. On the other's Kelly, Nick and Faith till THEY would regurg...but they won't hear it either!!
                                                                          Oh for the dominoes, the golf games, Quaxby's, sweet tea at Chik Fil A, cheese grits at WaHo.
                                                                 butt is going numb at the thought of spending all the time in the car!! LOL
                                                                          I'm anticipating the beauty that is America. Nothing better than a road trip to see it. Waterfalls on both sides of us, trees growing from cracks in mountains. Mountains that invite me to whisper in awe. Sunrise in a forest. Being able to breathe. Winding roads, tree lined and dripping with trees bowing in the wind. Simply beautiful. God inspired, amazing nature. Far more beautiful than we could ever bring to be. A reminder...we are not alone in this life. We simply need to look around to be reminded.
                                                                          So I am, finally, on the eve of our trip: glad the laundry is done, the snacks are made and the piles of clothes are together, the lists are complete; I am content...surrounded by reminders of all I have been blessed with...and I know that whatever happens, I am called to filter it all through "I am a Christian woman"...and I believe I can do that, with God's blessing.

                                                                          Top 5:
                                                                          I FIT IN ALL MY LAST YEARS SUNDRESSES!! WOOHOO!!
                                                                          My beautiful purple flowers
                                                                          Today's sunshine and warmth on my face
                                                                          barefoot walking
                                                                          Being able to crop, even a wee little bit this weekend. It make me happy to do the silly pix of Joseph, and my Bears, and Paul with the kids. I'll have to upload them when I get back.

                                                                          Friday, May 18, 2007

                                                                          cluck cluck

                                                                          Being the chicken that I am, I procrastinated my dentist appointment. Sigh. I was chewing gum on Sunday and heard a crunch. In my experience, gum should not crunch. Given that I hadn't eaten anything crunchy, I didn't have a good feeling about what I might find. And what I DID find was a piece of my filling in my gum. Good thing the gum was white...makes a white filling oh so easy to find!!
                                                                          Anyway, the dentist I'm trying (thanks Lana!!) was out of town and now I'm going a week from Tuesday. I hope my tooth holds out that long. I hope it doesn't hurt too much between now and then. I hope that the dentist knocks me out so I feel nothing. Ugh. Hate dentists. At least I'm not alone. Small consolation when it's MY ANXIETY attack!! LOL
                                                                          Anyway, my coming week looks like this:
                                                                          Friday (today): online crop, Mary Kay party, have to upload card and instructions, pay bills
                                                                          Saturday: card workshop, lunch with my brother, home to crop for a few hours, birthday party, prayer meeting
                                                                          Sunday: Service, class, pack, bbq for small group and member meeting at church that will probably go long. May have a debrief afterwards
                                                                          Monday: 7am, leave for Spartanburg. Drive until butt disconnects from body, debate music tastes, land tired at about 10-11.
                                                                          Tuesday: WOOHOOO!!! Get Melissa from airport.Do the usual happy dance at the bottom of the stairs after countless texts flying back and forth: I'm here, off the plan, where are you, I"m walking, we're at luggage, etc. etc. I use half my texts at the airport waiting for the girlies when they land!! Meesh graduates at 8PM
                                                                          Wed-Thurs: nothing but glorious yapping it up with the girlies and nasty southern fast food. Yummo!! Hopefully there will be no meltdowns or blow ups!! Get Joseph some clothes that fit from the one store that stocks his anorexic tallboy clothes
                                                                          Friday: Prepare for Meesh's party. Party. Kiss kiss, smooch smooch good bye. Head to Huntersville with any luck to see Dori for a bit.
                                                                          Saturday: leave for home. Sigh. Another butt numbing experience
                                                                          Sunday: Go to service to experience first hand the fall out of the meeting last week.
                                                                          Monday: laundry for Joseph so he can leave for FL on Tuesday for two weeks!!

                                                                          Thursday, May 17, 2007

                                                                          Big sad sigh...

                                                                          and another one.
                                                                          American Idol booted Melinda. Really. Sheesh. Honestly!! Blake stays and SHE leaves. Wah. A travesty. Sigh.

                                                                          ABCs of Me again

                                                                          Well, here it is!! My long awaited red phone. I went from a motorola to a samsung, which has a different way of doing things. It has a great digital camera, a MP3 player and it's REEEEEDDDD!! I'm still loading things on it and transferring my calendar. It has taken me 4 days just to get my address book right. Today and tomorrow is calendar days...I want to have it all taken care of before we leave for SC.

                                                                          Mothers Day...a really great day. We went to the Promenade in Bolingrook and walked around on a beautiful sunny day. Nice breeze. Music piped in to the fake town and a fabulous dinner at a new restaurant that I loved. And home for a relaxing night and a short visit with Cassie in the evening. All in all, a good day!!

                                                                          THE LETTER A

                                                                          Are you available?: Today, by phone. No car. Just give me a call if you need anything.

                                                                          Age?: 43, I've been saying I"m turning 43. Somewhere I lost a year. Sigh. Didn't even notice!!

                                                                          Annoyances: Being broke. People who ask stupid questions. Judgmental people. Feeling unheard when I think I"m making myself clear!!

                                                                          THE LETTER B

                                                                          Do you live in a big house?: No, but it's getting too big for us.

                                                                          When is your birthday?: June 24th.

                                                                          Who is your best friend?: Jesus, and a few other angels on earth.

                                                                          THE LETTER C

                                                                          What's your favorite candy?: dark chocolate

                                                                          Who's your crush?: A nobrainer...Denzel Washington

                                                                          When was the last time you cried?: Last night, a song at church hit me where it should have.

                                                                          Cell phone minutes used on my old spidy phone: 274 hours, 49 minutes, 32 seconds.

                                                                          THE LETTER D

                                                                          Do you daydream?: Not really

                                                                          What's your favorite kind of dog?: Dachsund.

                                                                          What day of the week is it?: Thursday. We leave in 4 days for SC

                                                                          THE LETTER E

                                                                          How do you like your eggs?: Over medium. Not snotty stuff, but still with runny yoke for the toast.

                                                                          Have you ever been in the emergency room?: So many times!! The last time was with Cassie, bad stomach ache

                                                                          Easiest thing ever to do?: For me, to isolate myself from people. Bad thing to do, but easy

                                                                          THE LETTER F

                                                                          Have you ever flown in a plane?: Yep.Hate it. Hate it. Hate it. But it gets me where I want to go.

                                                                          Use fly swatters?: Yes. I hate those pesty thing.s (flies, not the swatters)

                                                                          THE LETTER G

                                                                          Do you chew gum?: Yes!That's how I lost my filling on Mother's Day. Gum should not crunch and mine did.

                                                                          Are you a giver or a taker?: A giver, but you'd have to check with my peeps.

                                                                          Do you like gummy candies?: Only soft, really fresh ones

                                                                          THE LETTER H

                                                                          How are you?: Anxious about a number of things. Not looking forward to this week and the feelings that have surfaced regarding it.

                                                                          What color is your hair?: Brownish red

                                                                          THE LETTER I

                                                                          What's your favorite ice cream?: President's Choice Chocolate decadence.

                                                                          Have you ever ice skated?: Yes, but I didn't like it and have been since I was a kid.

                                                                          THE LETTER J

                                                                          What's your favorite jelly?: Strawberry or jalapeno raspberry

                                                                          Do you wear jewelry?: YES. I love jewelry. Dangling earrings, necklaces, watches -- you name it.
                                                                          THE LETTER K

                                                                          Who do you want to kill?: I think if I answered this it could constitute a death threat...

                                                                          Do you want kids?: Well this question is 20 years too late, but yes I did and I love them to death

                                                                          THE LETTER L

                                                                          Are you laid back?: I'd say no

                                                                          Do you lie?: No. I do alot of things I wish I didn't, but lie isn't one of them

                                                                          THE LETTER M

                                                                          What's your favorite movie?: Hmmm...Right now...I don't have one.

                                                                          Do you like mangoes?: BLeCH!! NO!!

                                                                          THE LETTER N

                                                                          Do you have a nickname?: Yes. None of which I like or want to share.

                                                                          Whats your favorite number?: Don't have one.

                                                                          Do you prefer night over day?: Yes. I'm a total night owl

                                                                          THE LETTER O

                                                                          What's your one wish?: That everyone could just slow their emotions down long enough to hear the other person out and make peace with each other.

                                                                          .Are you an only child?: Nope. I have 2 older sisters and 2 younger brothers

                                                                          THE LETTER P

                                                                          What one fear are you most paranoid about?: Honestly, Cassie getting beat by Chris.

                                                                          What personality trait do you look for in people?: Sense of humor, wit, general optimism, open mind, humility

                                                                          THE LETTER Q

                                                                          What's your favorite quote?: "Believe who people show themselves to be the first time" Maya Angelou

                                                                          THE LETTER R

                                                                          Do you think you're always right?: Doesn't everyone? But I don't dig in and not listen, even when I do think I"m right.

                                                                          THE LETTER S

                                                                          Do you prefer sun or rain?: Sun.

                                                                          THE LETTER T

                                                                          What time is it?: 11:58 am.

                                                                          What time did you wake up?: 8:45 am.

                                                                          When was the last time you slept in a tent?: Never. Don't ever plan to either

                                                                          THE LETTER U

                                                                          Are you wearing underwear?: yep

                                                                          THE LETTER V

                                                                          What's the worst veggie: I honestly can't think of one I don't like.

                                                                          Where do you want to go on vacation?: To the Carolinas, Washington state, Europe

                                                                          THE LETTER W

                                                                          What's your worst habit?: I'll have to ask Paul that.

                                                                          Where do you live?: Joliet, IL

                                                                          What's your worst fear?: pitch black dark. It paralyzes me. Close second: bad storms with rolling thunder.

                                                                          THE LETTER X

                                                                          Have you ever had an x-ray?: I had several

                                                                          Have you seen the x-games?: Ok don't even know what they are!!

                                                                          Do you own a xylophone?: No

                                                                          THE LETTER Y

                                                                          Do you like the color yellow?: Yes, it makes me happy.

                                                                          What's one thing you yearn for?: The full restoration of my marriage.

                                                                          THE LETTER Z

                                                                          What's your zodiac sign?: Cancer.

                                                                          Do you believe in the zodiac?: Nope.

                                                                          Favorite zoo animal?: The red butted monkeys!! BWAHAHAHA

                                                                          Saturday, May 12, 2007

                                                                          Lessons Learned

                                                                          I've been thinking about Mothers. Not necessarily my mother, but women who have been instrumental in my life...surrogate mothers, stand in mothers, mothers for a season. The fact of the matter is, we can learn lessons in the positive or the negative. Most of the lessons I learned from my mom was in the negative. I don't blame her; I've forgiven her long ago. I know she did the best she cold with what she had, but that doesn't mean the wounds aren't still there. As Cassie said on her blog...they aren't scars...they are stories. "I also came up with a new way to identify the hurts in my heart... they're not scars, they're stories. each hurting part of me really does have a story behind it. i never thought of it that way. hmm. things to ponder."

                                                                          So what stories do I have from growing up? Roots do not come from where we live, but who we live with and what we do with them. We moved around entirely too much for the rest of the family's taste (I loved it till we landed in Bolingbrook), but some things remained the same. We did family dinners. They were often painful (sometimes literally) and humiliating (what passed for humor was emotionally devastating) but they were constant. I love family dinners now... we do them differently, but they are still constant. Sometimes we talk a lot, sometimes it's kinda quiet. Sometimes we do questions from a book that sits on our table. Sometimes we laugh until we cry over the silliest things. But we share a meal...and if we are lucky, two...every day. And when it's just Paul and I, we still sit at the table, a wee little family of two, and do the same thing.

                                                                          We had responsibilities. We all had to clean on those Sunday's or Saturday's that mom got a bug. It wasn't an option. I had to cook dinner,help with the laundry (and that's where I learned so much about my dad...we frequently did it together at the laundromat). While I didn't really KNOW or LEARN how to keep a house, I got the concept that it was kinda important. Our house was way too chaotic from emotions and clutter. I learned in the vacuum what I didn't want. I learned that I wanted a home, not a dumping ground. I wanted a place that smelled good and echoed with laughter...a place that was peaceful and quiet sometimes and invited the individuals within its walls to grow into who they were created to be, not who I wanted them to be.

                                                                          I learned that you can disagree with someone mightily and still love them. You can reject their values and lifestyle and choices and still love them. You can be hurt deeply, profoundly, life changingly, and still love them. That's MY choice...and nothing someone else does can take that choice away from me. I choose who to love and who to not love. Love isn't legislated; it isn't demanded. It comes from a well deep within. I learned that hurt people hurt people and that you can't learn to be healthy if you don't want to. It's not an easy journey, but it's one worth the effort.
                                                                          I learned to respect authority...even when I disagreed. To show respect for the position.

                                                                          I learned that I can make friends if I try hard enough.
                                                                          I learned that traditions are only good if they are meaningful. We used to make Christmas cookies every year, but the cookies were not worth the belittling and angry words that were tossed like baseballs at our delicate hearts. I'd rather buy them and do something that everyone wants to do. I'd rather not have them at all then to create those memories for my kids.

                                                                          I learned that sharing a room isn't the end of the world and having a room for yourself doesn't protect you from all the things you thought it would.

                                                                          I learned to love education for the sake of learning. I learned that a dream postponed is still a valid dream.

                                                                          I learned that it's hard to say goodbye...but we all need to learn how to do it.

                                                                          I learned that prescription drugs and alcohol doesn't numb the pain...just delays it a while.

                                                                          So what have I learned AS a mother??

                                                                          I learned how to love unconditionally. From the time Cassie was born, she marched to her own drummer. Sometimes I could hear the beat in the distance, and sometimes I had to let her lead me in the march. But all the while, I have loved her. I have loved her through fear when she was sick and nobody could figure out why. I loved her through frustration, when she would become overstimulated and scream for hours, nothing calming her. I loved her through her dreaming and her tears and her rebellion. She has done things that has hurt me deeply, that I still do not understand. But it does not, for one millisecond, reduce my love for her. Never has, never will.

                                                                          I've learned to be honest, in the most difficult circumstances. Growing up, I learned to lie. I was going to be blamed anyway, then I might as well do it. But with MY child's face looking at me with those innocent, trusting eyes. OH NO...I wouldn't lie to them. I didn't blab off all the gory details, but I did tell the truth. Even that day in the parking lot when I had to answer, "I don't know" to the question I never thought I'd have to answer that way. I learned that some truths just don't' need to be shared...there is no point and will do nothing but cause more pain. But even now, if the question was asked, I'd have to be honest. I don't EVER wanting my kids looking back and remember that I lied to them. No way. No how.

                                                                          I've learned to be happy is a simple thing. Live in the moment. Enjoy the dandelions. Put them in a pretty vase...they'll be dead in an hour anyway. Take out the china. Have a tea party. Play with play doh. Read the story again. Go for that walk with your teen instead of doing the dishes. Sit out on the porch and watch the sun come up with a cuppa something. Breathe in those amazing giggles and laughs. Memorize the smirks and twinkly eyes. Tell jokes and laugh at lames ones. Share life. Smile. Hug. Yeah. it's a simple thing.

                                                                          I've learned to laugh. My children are amazingly articulate and funny people. Cassie has a wit and quick response that makes me chuckle, giggle, smirk, guffaw. That girl gets it. I hope others can learn to appreciate it. From the time she'd tell interminable jokes and stories and announce the ending with "now laugh", to this day, I love her company and her humor. Joseph...well, he has such an amazingly funny take on life, we share a lot of the same thoughts and views on things. He can crack wise and make me laugh right in the middle of disciplining him. Darn it. And I do. I do it back to him when he's taking life too seriously. Besides their goofy kid stories, their silly outfits, Calvin and Hobbes and Garfield being quoted at a constant rate, they are just delightfully humorous, engaging people. I learned I can get out of Dr Seuss books because Paul would read them...woohoo!!

                                                                          I've learned that wisdom doesn't always come with age. I've learned much at my children's feet and am honored to have been in their classroom. They are just plain smart and it's not all about books either.

                                                                          I've learned to be strong. Holding a child while they are testing her in horrible ways, and knowing that I couldn't break down, I learned I was stronger than I thought and that strength can and should be combined with compassion. I've learned that battles aren't won in a day and that I, as their mother, needed to be strong for them. But to also allow them to see me cry and know that even when we didn't know how it would end, we knew where our strength would come from. I've learned to be strong enough to let go through my fear and sorrow. To be strong enough to let them grow up in their own strengths...and not demand that their strengths reflect mine. I've learned to be strong enough to let them feel THEIR pain and not need to fix it so they would learn to work through their own issues...and that I'd be here for them in whatever capacity they wanted but savior wasn't one of them.

                                                                          I've learned encouragement. I taught my kids to trust their instincts, stand their ground and believe in themselves and not to take any crap from anybody. If you're in a situation where someone does not value you or see what a treasure they have in you, get out, leave, move on. Because you deserve better than that. I know other mother's have said that to their kids. But for me, it was not something that I ever EVER heard growing up. I heard "I wish you had never been born" I heard namecalling. I heard verbal tirades. So this is one of the lessons learned that I take the most comfort in. I could and DID break the cycle. My kids KNOW I believe in them and value them for who they are not what they can do. That makes me smile inside. Even when they don't act on that knowledge...they know it.

                                                                          I learned to have faith in the big picture. To trust what I don't see. From that first night that Cassie slept through the night and I kept sticking my finger under her nose to make sure se was alive, I have had to learn this lesson. The hard way...every time....but learning it still is part of my journey.

                                                                          I learned I don't need to know everything and I can let my kids see that. It gives them the courage to be real and admit that they don't' either. I've learned that losing sleep over a situation doesn't do anything but make me MORE tired and LESS able to cope.

                                                                          I've learned that 10 years of the zoo membership and 8 years of the Field Museum builds memories and traditions and we do not need to go back there to relive them. That you can't feed the monkeys at the zoo and that you shouldn't lean against the rock wall at the Field. That some things are overstated but that doesn't make them bad...just a little disappointing.

                                                                          I've learned that your children never outgrow your hugs...but they definitely DO outgrow your laps (at least mine!!) I've learned that quiet does return and it is still good. I've learned that growing up and moving away doesn't mean leaving your heart, your prayers, your family. I've learned that no matter where my kids live or move or have their being, they will always be my babies but that I need to let them be THEIR adults...and I've learned to let go. Not gracefully. Not completely. Not without tears or sorrow. Just to let go. To let them go out into the world and remind them they always have a place in our home. They brought treasures to our home and it will always be a soft place for them to land.

                                                                          And I've learned that being a mother isn't just for the child you carry within you. Being a mother isnt always about the children you raise. Sometimes, if we are really blessed, we are given others in our life who need a mother-ish person. Not to replace their mom, but for a day or a season or a long time, to stand in the gap for their mom.

                                                                          I'm so grateful that God saw fit to me to be a mother. I've never regretted it one day or one millisecond of my life. There is nothing more important in my life than being a good mother. And maybe someday, I will hear back that I have been...I'm kerflempt. I think being a mother is what I was born for...and I'm humbled and honored that God has allowed that for me...

                                                                          Friday, May 11, 2007

                                                                          useless trivia about me

                                                                          There's this great scrapbooking site I go to alot...when it's not down. It's called 2peas. There's this thing on there...two about you. Here's my two about me!!

                                                                          Two Names I Go by: 1. Mom 2. Ger
                                                                          Two Things I am Wearing Right Now: 1. Sparkly capris 2. white tee
                                                                          Two Things I Want (or have) in a Relationship: 1. Trust 2. Laughter
                                                                          Two of My Favorite Things to do: 1. scrapbook 2. hang out with peeps i love
                                                                          Things I Want Very Badly At The Moment:1. this stuff at church to be resolved 2. be debt free
                                                                          Two pets I have: none. zip zero zilch nada Sigh
                                                                          Two things I did last night: 1. had surprise guests stop by 2. taped grey's and cut off the last 2 minutes
                                                                          Two things I ate today:How bad is this? It's 1:00 and I haven't eaten yet. I had a cup of tea
                                                                          Two people I just talked to last: 1. friend 2. other friend
                                                                          Two Things I'm doing tomorrow: 1. Flyfest at the mall 2. scrapbooking hopefully
                                                                          Two longest car rides:1. Joliet, IL to Lutz, FL 2. Virginia Beach, VA to JOliet!!!
                                                                          Two Favorite Holidays:1. Christmas 2. my birthday, which is a weeklong holiday around here!!
                                                                          Two favorite beverages:1. Bottled water (room temp not too cold!)2. tea with yummy creamer

                                                                          Wednesday, May 9, 2007

                                                                          In less than two weeks...

                                                                          so many things will be changing.

                                                                          My niece will be a high school graduate, heading off to college int he fall. Our little Meeshie all grown up into this amazing woman. Funny, articulate, enthusiastic, confident. She's so come into her own identity in the last few years; and it could have been so different. I'm super proud of her and just love hanging with her. If I had a myspace, she'd be in my top 8 for sure!! Her graduation is in 13 days.

                                                                          We head for Spartanburg in 12 days...a long drive, but we have a commitment on Sunday night that will probably run late and I don't want to have to get up at 4:00 to catch my flight out. I hate role conflict. It will give Paul and I a good chance to talk. The last road trip we went on ended so badly we almost ended up divorced in the aftermath. It will be good to reclaim that activity...we used to take them all the time and i LOVED them!!

                                                                          Speaking of road trips, still trying to put together a girls roadtrip...wouldn't that be fun? Just say : well, let's take two weeks and head west. Love it!!
                                                                          MOPS will be over 2 weeks from today. Sigh. This has been a great year and I feel like I was able to really invest in the ladies, not distracted with my personal problems. I'll miss those meetings...they are like one big party for the most part!! And great food!! YUMMMMMMMM

                                                                          We'll be done with school at the end of this week. It's the first year in about 7 that we were finished on time, without drama, and it sure feels good. No family health crises that derailed us for months. No marriage problems. No children problems. Yep. It's good to have peace.

                                                                          In two weeks, my brother will be another year older...I miss him in my life. We used to be super close, but as most adult children do, we drifted apart. He's so busy working all the time. I do worry about him having balance. Doesn't seem to be much of it sometimes.

                                                                          In two weeks, Mother's Day will have passed. Which reminds me I need to call my mom. Last year I didn't see Cassie at all on Mother's Day. I wonder what this year will bring. I'm glad for the healing in our relationship in the last six months. It was not without tears or grief, but it seems to me we are in a pretty good place now.

                                                                          Hopefully, in two weeks the fires will be out in Fl. This picture is from my niece's friend. Its actually the smoke from a wildfire...which brings me to my final in less than two weeks...I get to see her!! WOOHOO!!!

                                                                          Monday, May 7, 2007

                                                                          Numbers game

                                                                          5 everyday favorites(today):
                                                                          a great cup of tea
                                                                          smelling lilacs in bloom
                                                                          walking barefoot
                                                                          Taking a hot shower

                                                                          4 mood-lifters:
                                                                          Working out and not having my shoulder hurt
                                                                          Scrapbooking happy pix
                                                                          Having interesting conversations with my friennnnnnnds
                                                                          Listening to music really really loud in my car with the windows and sunroof open

                                                                          3 reasons to get out of bed:
                                                                          The doggone phone rings early (not a happy reason!!)
                                                                          Paul's snoring and I won't be getting any more sleep anyway
                                                                          I'm awake and done with praying and the day is starting goooooooooood

                                                                          2 people you love:
                                                                          My Friends (seriously, you think I could narrow it down??)
                                                                          My Family (ditto that)

                                                                          1 thing on my mind:
                                                                          I'm so thankful for the freedom to express my faith

                                                                          Four jobs I've had

                                                                          1. Secretary
                                                                          2. Accountant (about 4 different versions!!)
                                                                          3. School bookkeeper
                                                                          4. youth minister

                                                                          Four movies I can watch over and over
                                                                          1. John Q (and every other Denzel movie except Training Day, but that would be redundant)
                                                                          2. The Seventh Sign
                                                                          3. The Sixth Sign
                                                                          4. Star Wars (yeah, really!!)

                                                                          Four places I have lived
                                                                          1. New York City
                                                                          2. Milan, MI
                                                                          3. Adams, WI
                                                                          4. Bolingbrook, IL

                                                                          Four television shows I love to watch
                                                                          1. 24
                                                                          2. Heroes
                                                                          3. Brothers and Sisters (reminds me of my crazy family)
                                                                          4. American Idol

                                                                          Four places I have been on vacation
                                                                          1. Florida
                                                                          2. Washington, DC
                                                                          3. Boston, Massachusetts
                                                                          4. the Carolinas

                                                                          Four of my favorite dishes
                                                                          1. Corned beef and cabbage
                                                                          2. stuffed shells, but only with my girlies around to share them with
                                                                          3. Thanksgiving—all of it
                                                                          4. Grilled cheese on whole grain bread

                                                                          Four websites I visit daily (well, or almost daily)

                                                                          Four places I would rather be right now

                                                                          1. Lunch/Shopping with Cassie

                                                                          2. Beeeuuuutteeeeeful Spartanburg with my nieces, then on to Huntersville for gelato w/Dor

                                                                          3 Snohomish, at a little coffee shop with Judy

                                                                          4 Somewhere scrapping or making cards with friends

                                                                          Four favorite CDs right now:

                                                                          1. Kelly Clarkson Breakaway

                                                                          2. Nick Lachey What's Left of me

                                                                          3. Mary J Blige The Breakthrough

                                                                          4. Casting Crowns Casting Crowns

                                                                          Four books I'm reading:
                                                                          1. The Bible

                                                                          2. Shift Happens

                                                                          3. Grown up Girlfriends

                                                                          4. My Heart is at Home

                                                                          Friday, May 4, 2007

                                                                          National Scrapbooking Day is tomorrow

                                                                          so I thought I'd get a head start. I did all my little jobbies (ironing, dusting, putting away, etc) so I could scrap today. Guess how much I scrapped? Go ahead, guess!! No really...try!

                                                                          NOT ONE SINGLE PAGE!! Nada, zip, zilch....

                                                                          but I did find my scrapbook desk...

                                                                          and get my card swap stuff ready...

                                                                          and talk on the phone to an old girlfriend to set up lunch next week...she's in red on my calendar!!WOOHOO!! It's gonna happen!! If the kids don't get sick. No, I"m not going there. They WILL be healthy. They WILL be healthy....

                                                                          and made a gift for a friend's bday...

                                                                          and hung out with Joseph...

                                                                          and talked online to all my scrapping buddies who also weren't scrapping. We are bad influences on each other...

                                                                          oh...and uploaded a martini picture of moi!!

                                                                          And now I"m off to a tupperware party...

                                                                          Maybe I'll scrap tomorrow. LOL

                                                                          Thursday, May 3, 2007

                                                                          National Day of prayer

                                                                          Today is the national day of prayer. A dear friend sent me an email that included this photo and it got me to thinking...

                                                                          the contrast of these two sweet kids is stark, and beautiful. But look at how they are so comfortable and stare straight into the camera. I want to stare straight into the camera that God holds and see myself how he sees me. I want to choose to spend enough time with someone to know their character before I decide I don't like them. To make decisions about relationships based on what I have experienced, not what I've heard. I want to spend more time building friendships than building a wardrobe. I want to have someone say behind my back: she has character; integrity; honesty; kindness. I want more people to WANT that than to want money or things.

                                                                          If I have a collection to gather, I want it to be of amazing and great people...tender stories of how we have hugged each other through life. I want a collection of memories that bring a smile to my face. I want a collection of battle scars because I didn't run from the fight just to keep the peace. I want to collect people's stories...because I spent enough time with them for them to feel comfortable sharing their lives with me. I long for a collection of hearts who see Jesus in my actions and opinions and attitudes.

                                                                          I love how these kids don't look cynical. They still believe in facing life head on. We could learn a little somethin somethin from these little sweeties...that's my prayer for our country today. And for my family. And for my friends.

                                                                          Wednesday, May 2, 2007

                                                                          the timetable of an insane day...

                                                                          Ok, so I get up "early" to get some things done before this meeting I was praying for...

                                                                          5:52: Wake up on my own (how sick is that????) My eyes just pop open like a cartoon and that's all she wrote on the sleep plan

                                                                          7:00: Finish my morning routine of getting dressed, making my bed, etc.

                                                                          7:30: Eat breakfast, quiet time (mercifully...that was the only quiet time in my day)

                                                                          8:00: Quick email check and responses

                                                                          8:45: 2 quick phone calls; leave messages; start to pray for meeting

                                                                          9:30: Done praying; start toilet soaks and Kaboom on faucets and sinks

                                                                          9:45: Sort through fall clothes; purge spring clothes and make bag for blessing others

                                                                          10:00: Someone at door; stop what I"m doing with the clothes and answer door. Conversation for 20 minutes or so; do my business with her and she leaves. My marching orders: find two more people

                                                                          10:30: remember that the toilets are still soaking and faucets need to be rinsed. Get the faucets done before the next interruption: two more incoming phone calls

                                                                          11:00: Call Kimberlee about card swap and Saturday's gathering

                                                                          11:15: Start laundry load: jeans; pack away winter clothes that were brought to basement

                                                                          11:20: Phone calls begin to pour in (no kidding six calls in 10 minutes)

                                                                          11:30: Paul comes home to sign something. I hang up from call number 3 and we touch base about the evening. We realize if we don't spend Wednesday together it will be Monday of next week before we have any real time together.

                                                                          12:00: IN theory, my online crop starts (well, it did for everyone else anyway) Phone still ringing. I scrapbook for about 30 minutes. Get 4 pages done (page kits are fabuloso!!)

                                                                          12:20: Catch Melissa online and chat with her for 10 minutes before the door bell rings

                                                                          12:30: Lynda stops by for a brief chat and picks up something I have for her

                                                                          1:00: Realize I never DID do the toilets and go to finish them. See the half sorted clothes and finish them up

                                                                          1:15: Start second load of laundry: sheets. Christine calls and leaves a message somewhere in here! Eat lunch on the run.

                                                                          1:45: Check laundry and realize that our water problem is back..the darn drain doesn't always work quickly enough for 2 things at once (Joseph's shower and my laundry!!)

                                                                          1:50: Text Paul to let him know...made his day!!

                                                                          2:00: Get back to my computer for multiple updates from Paul's family regarding his dad coming home today. Respond to the ones I need to. Ask Melissa when she was here when we were roto-rooting (correct answer: Christmas time because we were stuck making the cookies while Paul was stuck rooting the pipes)

                                                                          2:30: Gal comes to pick up papers that needed to be signed. Ten minute conversation at door

                                                                          2:40: Hang out laundry

                                                                          2:50: Joseph reminds me that I have to pick his friend up in 15 minutes. Quick yogurt with granola

                                                                          3:00: Leave to pick up Joseph's friend. Call Lynda on cell phone until I realize I don't know where I"m going and tell her I have to go.

                                                                          3:45: Back home; take laundry off line

                                                                          4:00: toss jeans in drier, fold what is in there first; contemplate starting another load to see what will happen. Decide I don't want to get my aerobic workout by mopping water and go upstairs.

                                                                          4:15: Joseph's friend comes over; brief call to Kimberlee about retiring stamps. Realize I need to call my mom

                                                                          4:25: Melissa calls on the way home from work and we chat about life, floods and Meesh's graduation.

                                                                          5:00: Paul calls to say he's going to work late. I have an hour to do what I need to do.

                                                                          5:15: Call Val and check Joseph's math (he got a 90% if anyone cares)

                                                                          5:30: Start dinner: marinade the shrimp, slice the mushrooms, etc. Wipe off counters and make mental note to sweep

                                                                          5:45: Les calls to say Lynda's driving the car and the brakes are going out. I tell him to have her come here since she was on her way to church. Call Paul and tell him (I find out later that he retrieves the voicemail at 1030)

                                                                          6:00: Lynda and Hannah get here with the car; Paul comes in about 5 minutes later and says it's brake line rusted through. It will be a 3 hour repair.

                                                                          6:30: We eat dinner, Paul goes out and finishes the car. I clean up dinner and print out retired stamp list to see what I NEED to buy!! LOL

                                                                          7:00: My mind is now shot for the day...but there's at least 3 hours left. I figure out what papers I need to order and find out from Kimberlee that we are supposed to have these cards done and mailed today. Too bad the swap co-ordinator didn't tell me that. Mine are clearly not going to be done!!

                                                                          7:30: I call Janine to confirm our 9:00 declutter session for tomorrow; get my labeller and put it by back door so I don't forget it. Remember to put the tag book by back door too, so I can get albums in fave colors tomorrow.

                                                                          7:45: Pull out dead flowers, water plant, think 'I should exercise...nah.'

                                                                          8:30: Jake's dad comes to pick him up. Another 15 minutes or so of small talk.

                                                                          9:00: Paul's still out in the garage

                                                                          10:00: I realize I haven't done any of my small group or bible study stuff for the week. Crap.

                                                                          10:00: Paul is done with Lynda and Les's car...calls them to come get it after cleaning up.

                                                                          11:00: We sit down to discuss the next few days...decide we'll ditch Wed. night class and spend it together...and that we'll go into the Bolingbrook Promenade on Sunday.

                                                                          So when you wonder why I don't call you back right away, or it's a couple of days till I return your email, I probably had a day like this!! This day, or something similar, happens at least once a week!!