Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year’s Resolutions

Ok, so I get a lot of crap from people about my New Year's Resolutions, but they work for me!! So here are my 2010 resolutions. Some are already finalized, being specific, measureable, attainable, realistic and time oriented. Some are not that specific. We'll see how it works

1    Organizing         Clean out the basement. Finish purging and get it to Goodwill by 3/1

2     Financial        Pay off bills. Keep chipping away and no travel plan probably for another year. Sucky but effective. Get at least 3 medical bills paid off and continue to live on cash.

3    Treat myself        Get a pedicure in May, July, September. See 10 movies, and read 12 books

4    Stay in Touch        Call Mondays-Judy on the way to work; Melissa on the way home. Thursdays-Michelle. Lunch with Lauren once a month, hang out with Cassie 2x/month Go to Scrap Cabana crops with Theresa

5    Give time        Continue to volunteer at the Bin, work with small groups and SW office. Step away from RFKC.

6    Health            Be aware of what goes in my mouth; stay on eating plan; work out 30 minutes on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays

7    Scrapping        365 pages, 12 projects from the tower o'projects and get my pages in albums immediately. Focus on Joseph and Cassie at Scrap Cabana crops.

8    Spiritual        Read through the NT this year. Be aware of what is coming out of my mouth..especially when I'm frustrated!

9    Marriage        Be intentional with Paul…not sure what this is going to look like in action, but something needs to change!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

ice storm here...

so I stayed inside all day!! Ok, I went to the mailbox, which was frozen shut. I chipped it open to put a POSTCARD inside!! LOL
Got all my presents wrapped except Ronnie's big one...need some man help with that one. There's a problem with wrapping when you have ghetto paper (on clearance last year...I hate that you can't open up paper to see how thick it is!!) and crappy tape. It rips. I ended up using packing tape on some of the more challenging gifts. GHEEETTTOOOO!!! Like anyone's gonna notice when they are ripping into them Christmas morning!!
I went looking for a picture of Cassie and Chris as a family from 2009...found 2, neither of which were good. Made me really pause and think how often Chris is not a participant in family things. We literally have more pictures of ANY of Patrick's or Lindsay's exes than we do of Chris...much less Chris, Cassie and Ronnie.
Continuing on in the melancholy tone, my mom friended Melissa today on FB. She has 11 friends. At least she's got a profile picture now. I'm not even sure why that makes me melancholy...well, ok, I do. Her friends consist of: her daughter's ex-husband who we all hate; her new son in law's ex-wife who spends more time suing for ridiculous support issues than she does anything else; and her "granddaughter" who has let it be known for YEARS that we don't make the cut. I find it sad that she is so isolated, but then am reminded that she chooses this lifestyle. I would find it unbearably lonely not to be in touch with my family.
Got my cookies all ready to bake with Cassie and Lindsay tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it...I realize that doing stuff at my own pace, without the pressure I feel from Paul, I enjoy it alot and it still all gets done. He's done nothing for Christmas this year...wanted me to wait until Christmas Eve to start anything so he wouldn't miss it all. GOODNESS NOOOOOOOOOOO!!! I've been making gifts, doin cards, sorting things and wrapping, shipping packages, making lists and checking them twice (or more) and would hate it if this was all done tomorrow after 4, when he'd be home and ready to get started. I am saving a batch of cookies to make with him, and he's still going to have to wrap my presents (and probably buy them!! LOL), so he gets it all on a smaller scale and I get to feel like I'm not stressing and waiting...
Tomorrow we have 1:30 service for church. Also looking forward to that, while at the same time, afraid I'm going to forget. Shoot. I just realized I have the girls coming for cookies about an hour before church starts. Hmmm...gotta figure that one out. Maybe they will want to come to church with me. Gotta text that one!
I need another crockpot. I wish the crockpot fairy would come and deliver one to my door. I'm sure we'll work it out...but I'd rather have all my little crockpot soldiers lined up on the counter and me not have to think AT ALL!! Well, I've minimized the need to think and that's the best I can do.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Forced Family Fun Game Day Menu

Crockpot #1 Turkey Chili with kidney and black beans
Crockpot #2 Meatballs with brown gravy
     Whole wheat noodles
Crockpot #3 Mashed potatoes
Deep Dish Lid Green Bean Casserole

Other menu Items:
     Broccoli and Bacon salad
     Warm bread
     Eggnog Cheesecake
     Puff pastries with ice cream & chocolate sauce
     Sugar free apple crisp with whip cream

     Aunt Lucy’s Chex Mix
     Puppy Chow
     Christmas cookies

     Hot chocolate
     2 liter flavors of the evening

Planned Games:

     Phase 10
     The Great Dal Mutti (new for 2009)

I'm really looking forward to it all...just wish the girlita's could be here. Our first year without them, and it makes me ubersad. But I'm promised that next year will be as it should be!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Busy little elf here!!

I've gotten all my Christmas cards out…did some by email; did some by snail mail. Decided to not do some at all!! This is the collage picture I sent, with captions…

  1. Went to a Bears game for my birthday
  2. Ronnie was endlessly entertaining
  3. Joseph and Lauren JUST got engaged
  4. We got to spend a lot of time with Cassie and Chris

It was super hard to print them the size I wanted, so I ended up printing them at home. Even better…saved money!!

Then went to make up long awaited recipe cards for the girlies…only to realize I have NO IDEA what size cards they need. We made recipe boxes last year, but they took them home and neither of them know what size. So I've picked the recipes and pasted them into word…now to format them into the proper size when one of them get the size to me.

Got all of Paul's gifts wrapped (all three of them!! LOL) and figured out that his stocking is gonna be far from overflowing this year. But, I stuck to the budget and I'm sure that gift will mean more than the candy his waistline doesn't need. Also got the girls stuff wrapped and shipped in time for Christmas arrival. Now to see if old Heath lane management office is timely in the announcing of packages. They are not always timely…

I'm trying to figure out what to make for dinner. I had a successful foray into yummy healthy eating for Thanksgiving, but Christmas is EVEN harder!! I'm at 4 hours of research and counting!! Ugh.

It's snowing here…with Christmas carols playing and a warm up of tea in my "Let it snow" mug, it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas…especially in the Christmas central room!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

My beautiful, talented, persistant niece

has walked across the stage. She has graduated with her MBA...and it was hard for her. Working full time in a state that she didn't and doesn't want to live in. Going to school part time and getting slammed with projects every weekend. Making presentations in a state of anxiety/near panic sometimes. Taking accounting classes and surviving.
And I missed it. I was there for her 3 year old recital. There for her 13th birthday. There for her marching band. There to watch her direct. There to watch her graduate high school. There to help her organize her closet (ok, multiple times!!) And, this her last foray for education, I sit here in IL while she is in (what I hear is) rainy Florida. Her friend promised he'd take pix and even video...he BETTER!!
I'm so proud of her...and the only people who really know how difficult this accomplishment is are the people who worked their way through school. Well, and Lindsey Nolan who also had the gift of mono in the middle of a school year.
Now on to living the life she's been preparing for...hopefully in lovely Chi-town!!
Congratulations amaze me and make me tear up with pride and happiness.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Full circle night

We decorated the tree last night. Turned on the Christmas music (ok, had to load up the CD player first…just doesn't seem like Christmas here!!), made some tea and pulled out the ornaments. Strategized about how to do with Ronnie this year. Or more accurately, WHERE to put the breakables. What not to put out (Paper mache Santa, the breakable nativity and Santa ball didn't make the cut). We chatted and hung and purged a little bit (have some heavy heavy red ball from Aunt Nancy?? And the blue/green star that I never liked) for the first time in my memory, we decorated alone.

It was fine until we got to the ornaments that I bought Paul right before his addiction came out. A bag of love words. Some things are better left in the bag. I didn't put them out, so they were left till last, sitting near the rejected ornaments. And that would have been fine. But Paul puts them up, can't remember where we got them (no surprise there…couldn't' remember half the ornaments!!), and notices that I'm upset. Ask what's wrong and I say "Some things just make me sad." End of conversation.

Further into his shut down cave he goes, admitting later that he didn't want to ask because the answer may have been about him (or the girls not coming in, or doing the tree alone again) Any and all of those things have shut him down completely this week. What are we going to do on Christmas morning shut him down. Insurance conversation shut him down. See a trend??? Sigh.

I leave; go into my office for a cry. He follows, says he's going to start doing his recovery stuff NOW because he doesn't want to make me cry. I pretend to believe him for the 1,000th time. I hope he does…not just for me; not just for our kids; but for himself. The mantra of the last almost 5 years…I've figured out how to live with a guy more comfortable with strangers than his family; I've figured out how to deal with the loneliness of being married to a man who doesn't show up; figured out how to have a roommate instead of a lover and be ok. But there are days I'm just not happy about it. And last night was one of those days. Sigh.

On the other hand, I have a plan for the rest of Christmas. I got to catch up with Meesh…such a fun conversation. Even got to talk to Melissa for the second time n a week. Chatted with Cassie on FB and got my pictures uploaded. Finished the Christmas card (love it!!) and Joseph is printing it off tonight at work. Bean soup was ok…all in all, the day was good. Just one little (ok, kinda big) bruised heart. And the tree looks great!! I can wrap now that my ambiance has been set!! J

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The 10 days of Christmas

So...I almost pooped when I realized that today is the 15th. I have NOTHING done for Christmas but the shopping. And I'll be getting slammed at work next week because it's a short week AND we have two services to prepare and a bulk mailing to get out on Monday. Guess I didn't pick a great week to take off...I told Paul I don't think there's ever a good week for me to take off. Doesn't lessen the guilty feeling!! Like I'm letting them down or something...making things harder for them.
I need to plan, so I"m doing it here. This is really hard to do now that I realize Paul has once again failed to communicate ANY of his plans for the next week. Which normally wouldn't matter but he mentioned a trans job that will literally take him out for the whole weekend if he decided to do it. GRRRRR
(T)15th-wrap Paul's presents, sort through all the others and determine what needs to be done. Start laundry. Call Kimberlee about picking up card stuff; call Meesh back; call Joe. Put up tree tonight.
(W)16th-send out Christmas cards that are already made. Dry run the stockings. The Bin.
(R)17th-make dinner for girls. Finish laundry.  Wrap SS gift and girls gifts. Get stuff out to make cards with them. Girl's Christmas party.
(F)18th-plan meals for Christmas and the 26th. Shopping list.
(S)19th-wrap college group gifts. Make cookies possibly?
(Su)20th-college group Christmas party followed by watching the Warriors.
(M)21st-work.  Probably a long day.  Assuming Paul has off so he can make cookies if they don't get done on Sat.
(T)22nd-wrap presents either with Paul or without him. I want them under the tree by tonight. Call Theresa to confirm the 26th and see what she's doing the afternoon of the 25th. See what Cassie is doing on Christmas proper.
(W)23rd-work, Bin Christmas party. Whole day is pretty shot. Reminder texts to family about the 26th.
(R)24th-1:00 Christmas Eve service. Would love to drive around and see the lights at night.
(F)25th-up in the air. Christmas dinner for 2. Joseph is assuming he's working at 10 and then going straight to Lauren's. We literally won't see him. Really sad about this. Get that he wants to spend time with her, and it's her bday. He'll be with her the entire night before for her family Christmas. Guess I better get used to this.
(S)26th-family game day. Making chili in the crockpot. Need another meal for the other crockpot.  Think there will be 12-ish adults.

Now that I've thought it out, it doesn't seem so overwhelming at all. But I feel like I'm forgetting stuff...

Follow up to my word of the year...

my word for the year is Focus. I debated between discipline and focus, but i think they go hand in hand, so focus it is. I'll remember it because Ford has a focus but not a discipline!! LOL  Well, I didn't know it at the time, but 2009 needed alot of focus. In late May, after a routine physical, I was diagnosed with kidney disease and put on a fierce regimen of diet and exercise. While I spent some time in tears at first, overwhelmed at the diet restrictions and how to implement them, and honestly had to deal with alot of fear that I'd get even sicker and the likelihood was good for dialysis, I did get into a groove after a bit.  Ended up losing 20 lbs, 20 inches and some of the results of the kidney disease. The damage is still there, but I went from a 75+ kidneys to a practically adolescent 70 year old kidneys!! Plus I feel a lot better most of the time!!  Took ALOT of focus, but I did it.

My thoughts...(posted in early 2009 and added to in late 2009)

I need to put more energy into focusing on things and not drifting through my day.
~~This is better, most days. I started volunteering 2 days a week, so that forced me to schedule my week a little better. Add in the paperwork for the Bin and planning small group stuff for the HS and college group, and I'm pretty challenged to focus or ELSE!!
Focus on the relationships that matter: friends and family
~~I think I"m better at this with Cassie and Joseph, but it's still a struggle to connect with MandM. It's better and then worse, and then better and then worse. Hopefully now that Melissa is an official MBA (WOOOHOOOOOOO!!!!!), she and my schedule will mesh together more. Michelle and I still have a hard time connecting b/c she's super involved with stuff at school and church and we have totally opposite schedules it seems! Theresa and I have been getting together to crop (ok, did it 2x but STILL) and it was so much fun and we laughed so much we both decided it was a priority in 2010. Friends...I feel like they have been so NOT a focus this year. I need to prioritize how I spend my time so I can get together with them. Women raising families just don't have time for friends, it seems. We all complain about the same thing...but can't find a solution!
Focus on acting in faith and the disciplines related to that
~~I think this is the area I am most disappointed in. I just cannot hit a groove. I have read through the psalms this year, but I miss that longing I used to have for study and scripture. I miss my ladies bible study. I miss my soul sisters. Not sure how to address this is 2010, but it's gonna be addressed.
Focus on fitness and DOING IT
~~See previous thoughts on my word for the goal for 2010 is to talk to my PT guy and get my shoulder back in shape...I'm gonna have Michelle Obama arms by the end of the year. And a 2 pack. LOL
Focus on the future, not the past
~~ Think I did really well with this. Let alot of things go this year. Gave up hope on some things changing, which freed me up emotionally. I feel like I"m more present in relationships now...and far more peaceful than I was at the beginning of the year.
Focus on the important, not the urgent
~~Hmmm...I don't know about this. I feel like I was great at this until summer. I was mentoring kids I loved, spending more time doing what energized me and then it kinda drifted into problem solving alot and "clearing my desk"...This will have to be evaluated!!
So there ya have it...this year was a year of alot of challenges. Some I met well, some I let go of, but I'm generally content and balanced and happy. I think alot happier than I was at the beginning of the year. My babies are grown up...married with a toddler and newly engaged. My girlies are grown up...headed for careers and all that entails. And we have a new girl in the circle...Lauren, Joseph's fiance. I love her sassy self. I love how easy it is to talk to her...even if duct tape is needed (for both of us!!) sometimes. She lived her for almost a year and it's always great to see her "come back home".  If life is what you make it, and I think it is, I am thankful for the ingredients that 2009 added to the mix. I can do more than I thought...and in fact, to quote Jud, I can do ALL things through Christ, not just the easy things. Not just the things I want to do...ALL things.

Monday, December 14, 2009


Well, I decided to start posting again. It's been a long and crazy year and part of what I've learned this year is to not let other's insanity dictate what I do.


I ran across this list of random thoughts and thought they were funny. My thought added in red


  • I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear all your computer history if you die. Any takers?

  • Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong. Admittedly, that doesn't happen very often here!! LOLOLOL

  • I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger. And why did our Sunday afternoon family naps end when the kids didn't want them anymore?? The parents still do!!

  • There is great need for a sarcasm font. Or bubble over heads of those speaking it. Definitely texting needs a different appearance for sarcasm.

  • How are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet? I just tend to ball mine up and wrap them in the neatly folded flat sheet…which then makes the flat sheet look horrid too.


  • Was learning cursive really necessary? I do a hybrid, but I sure could have skipped the torture of perfect loops with perfect angles, something I never conquered anyway!!

  • Map Quest really needs to start their directions on #5.  I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood. True story. Start with Rte 55 or Rte 80. Everywhere I go needs one of the other!!

  • Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died. Or had their friends write stories…we'd be laughing at the obits.

  • I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired. I thought I'd outgrow it with my kids being older, but NOOOOO


  • Bad decisions make good stories. Sometimes. Sometimes they just set you up for even more bad decisions…and heartbreak.

  • You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day. I know when it will strike…about 5 minutes after I finish my tea and I'm no longer running on caffeine!!


  • Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray?  I don't want to have to restart my collection...again. I'm still holding on to my Beta's hoping they'll make a comeback!! LOL


  • I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page paper that I swear I did not make any changes to. Sooooo true!! LOLOLOL

  • "Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this -- ever. I will machine wash it and drip dry. Or not buy it at all!! LOL

  • I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello?  Damn it!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail.  What'd you do after I didn't answer?  Drop the phone and run away? I do wonder this…REALLY??? YOU JUST CALLED ME!!! WHERE DID YOU GOOOOOOOO?????


  • I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste. Or even worse, look good at home…and have no reason to even GO out!! Good hair days are meant to be shared!!

  • I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call. My old phone had a block the caller feature. Wish this one did.

  • I think the freezer deserves a light as well. I'll go so far as to say NEEEEDS a light!!

  • I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lite than Kay. Or chocolate martini. Or sappy movie. I mean, we can be literalists here and say ALL kisses start with K, but you know that wasn't what they meant anyway!!


Tomorrow…an update post. Make a cup of tea/coffee. It will be long, sometimes humorous and maybe some sad parts…but mostly, it's a good life!!