Calgon take me away!

Oh my gosh these teenagers are killing me!!!! Seriously by the end of the day I'm screaming "Calgon take me away!". Actually I am usually wanting to take a bath....with my freakin TOASTER!!!! UGGGGGG! I'm telling you, parenting was always the best thing I've gone through....until they became teenagers. Now by the time bedtime rolls around every day my stress level is at a flaming TEN, I have chest pain, my head is throbbing and I'm on the verge of tears. And the sad part is this... my kids are good kids in comparison to alot of others! I can't imagine having to deal with anything worse! They are the most challenging thing I've ever had to deal with. Everything else has been a piece of cake in comparison. I just keep telling myself that it will make the reward even sweeter in the end right?


The theatre of life

Joleen called me today. She's been in the process of moving into a new house that they've been blessed with and she was moving some more things out of storage. She called to share with me that as she was sorting through some things she opened a drawer and found a card she had bought for me but never managed to get to me from 2003 (which was right after all of the "the evil one" stuff happened). She had written some pretty moving things in there to me but as she read it to me something stood out. She spoke about standing when others fall and she said "you're standing as tall as anyone can." Wow. What a compliment (even though I know I wasn't holding myself up). It's funny that she would write that because I remember seeing the evil one in court for the first time and he was so hunched over. He wouldn't even lift his head to make eye contact with anyone because of the shame. I remember being so sad for him. Yes, I was sad for my children and I but I was also sad for him. I was so sad that he had allowed himself to take a path so horrible that he couldn't even hold his head up and I remember praying that God would protect me from losing my integrity that way. Afterwards I made the comment to Allison that "He may be six foot two but he sure wasn't standing very tall today was he?"

I've been thinking about this alot lately because myself as well as some people in my life have been going through alot of garbage that isn't necessarily our faults and it's so easy to let my attitude sink right into the toilet. It's also easy to strike back. Fight fire with fire. I've gotta admit I've been really struggling with this lately. I want to remain graceful. I want to be able to say that I've acted with integrity no matter what happens to me. One of my "stock sayings" has always been "It doesn't matter what they do...that speaks to their character, not mine." But lately I think I've started to forget just where I came from.

Three years ago my life was in the valley of the shadow....and yet I managed every single day to live gracefully. I always said "my kids are only going to do as well as I do" and so I refused to let any seed of bitterness take root in me. But lately I can feel myself becoming bitter towards the evil one (and other people who have done me and those I care for wrong ). I wish the evil one harm for the first time. And Joleen was the one to call me out on it and remind me to stay true to who I am. She said, "You were right to not try and take that bitterness on before. You left it in God's hands...don't walk away from that. Don't give that up now." She was right and it hit home. How funny that God let her find that card from three years ago the same day that we had that conversation. God is so awesome isn't he? The way that he orchestrates things....sometimes we don't get it at the time but we just really have no idea what he's actually doing. He's writing the story of our lives and each dramatic episode is exactly that...a dramatic episode. A plot point. the evil one wasn't the main story of my life. Niether is any of the other garbage I've had to go through. They were sub-plots that helped to develop my story and my character. And I suppose, just like in any book or movie there comes a point when the main character starts acting funny, or almost makes a bad decision. You're left on the edge of your seat saying to yourself "no! they can't do that! They wouldn't really do that would they??" And hopefully, in the end...no they don't do "that"....they stay true to their characters and they do the right thing. I guess that's where I've been lately. I've been starting to act a little out of character in certain areas....and I don't like it. So I'm going to try to get back to myself. I like myself. Most people hate to hear others say something like that. It's seems so impossibly narcissistic but oh well! LOL I like myself...I'm not too shabby of a person. And I try and surround myself with people even more spectacular than I am. I have a pretty perfect life...even when it isn't. And I'm not going to blow it by growing a big bitterness tree right in the middle of my spirit!

I know where my story began, but only God knows where my story will end. Mine has been a story of amazing highs and lows. Incredible joy, the deepest love, heart-wrenching sadness and amazing triumph and victory. And it's not over yet....I can see the stage being set. I can see some characters moving in and out of my story. There are still some twists and turns to come I'm sure, but my happy ending is being written for me....and it's going to be great!


Feelin' salty!

I love a cuss word as much as the next person. Probably more. Sometimes in the heat of the moment a sentence just doesn't feel complete unless you throw in a descriptive little curse word. I used to have an inside running joke with a friend that whenever we cussed we would stop and say "appopriate use of a cuss word" lol... because sometimes they are just that...APPROPRIATE. But lately I have to admit, my mouth has turned from "an-appropriate-use-of-a-cuss-word" mouth into a plain old "potty-mouth". And I hate that. Time to rein it in. I noticed it when I watched a couple of movies lately (one was "The 40 Year Old Virgin") that would've been good movies except that I was so distracted by the constant cussing. It irritated me so bad that I found myself wanting to turn off the movie and then I realized that I probably sound like that on a daily basis! lol YIKES Now I will probably never stop cussing altogether...I'm trying to imagine it....nope, no way. LOL But the Bible does say:

Colossians 4:6 Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt...

So what does that mean? Well, grace means "Seemingly effortless beauty or charm of movement, form, or proportion; A characteristic or quality pleasing for its charm or refinement." So basically ladylike. Ok got it. So what about the salt? I've heard many messages on it and read a couple of books on it and this is what I came up with. There are many points to this.....who knew salt was so awesome? lol First of all, salt makes you thirsty. Your conversation should leave people thirsting for more of you. They should hang up the phone or walk away from you craving more. Just like eating popcorn in a movie theatre...you can't wait for a drink! Second, duh....salt seasons things....makes them taste good. Your conversation should change someones bland day into something better. Third, salt is a preservative and your words should be used to solidify and preserve your relationships. Fourth your body is made up largely of salt. If your sodium levels are too low...you're in big trouble. You will be confused and probably be having seizures. You need salt to live. Fifth, salt holds things together.....it's even in cement! Who knew? So your words should always be constructive not destructive. And last but not least....salt can melt ice. This is my favorite one. :) Living in Ohio I'm all too familiar with stupid ice! I can't stand the stuff. But throw some salt on it and it starts to melt instantly. That's how our conversation should be. Even the coldest hearts can be melted by the right words. You can heal wounds, you can create romance...nothing can stay frozen around some good salt. :)


Five hundred twenty-five thousand Six hundred minutes....

I just got done watching "Rent" the movie and I am so moved. They did a really good job of translating the musical into the musical/movie. Wow. I love the message of this play too. For those of you not familiar with it it's about a group of young adults living in the East Village of New York around 1990 and their plights....but the major theme of the play is L-O-V-E. It's all about the "messiness" of life and how no matter what you or others are going through, love is what matters. I love when one of the characters talks about how perfection isn't what she's looking for (sounds familiar...like I just typed that the other day lol). She says that she expects baggage...she's just looking for someone who has a set that matches hers.

The main song from the show is called "Seasons of Love"...but most people know it by the way it counts the minutes in a year. It asks how we should measure a year of our lives. Should it be by the number of diapers you change? The number of minutes that ticked off? The number of cups of coffee? In bridges burned? In times you cried? No...you should measure it in love. Beautiful message. How much love did you experience this year? How many times did you talk to friends? How many times did you get smiled at? How many times have you been hugged? How many times have you been kissed? How many acts of kindness have you had come your way? How many have you sent out?

Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes,
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Moments so dear.
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights
In cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.

In five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure
A year in the life?

How about love?
How about love?
How about love? Measure in love

Seasons of love. Seasons of love

Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes!
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Journeys to plan.

Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure the life
Of a woman or a man?

In truths that she learned,
Or in times that he cried.
In bridges he burned,
Or the way that she died.

It's time now to sing out,
Tho' the story never ends
Let's celebrate
Remember a year in the life of friends
Remember the love!
Remember the love!
Seasons of love!

Oh you got to got to Remember the love! remember the love,
You Measure in love know that love is a gift from up above Seasons of love.
Share love, give love spread love Measure measure you life in love.

A Sunday kind of love

I deleted my blog on melancholy. That stupid depression sneaks up on me every now and then...usually just once a month (wink, wink) and gets the better of me. It might be exactly what I'm feeling at the moment but I really don't feel that it's a fair representation of who I really am and what I'm feeling all of the time... and I hate going back and reading it. It makes me feel bad, especially for those in my life who are so good to me. They haven't done me wrong...they're genuine and loving and kind... they're the ones that deserve my time, energy and attention.

Speaking of which... :)...I got to go see Tim yesterday. Every time I'm around him it only reinforces to me what an amazing, genuine person he is. He's funny, gentle, handsome and he seems like a great dad. He hates to hear me say things like that because he's so humble but it's the truth. We just relaxed and watched movies all night....and it was wonderful. Going out on the town is nice....sometimes....but there's nothing like quiet intimacy is there? I fell asleep next to him and to most people this might not sound like a big deal....but it is for me. I can never sleep with someone "in my space". But next to him I slept. ALMOST all night....WITHOUT ambien! LOL He gave me the most beautiful (natural) sleep I think I've ever had. Amazing. Okay Tim, you can stop blushing now...I'll quit. LOL He says I'm going to ruin his reputation. :)

I love the song "A Sunday Kind of Love", especially the version by Renee Olstead. Download it if you're able...it's the best (anything by her is!).

I want a Sunday Kind of Love.
A love to last, past Saturday night.
I'd like to know that it's more than love at first sight.
I need a Sunday Kind of Love...


Choo Choo Charlie was his name

Do you guys remember this commercial from when we were little? It's been stuck in my head ALLLLLL night! lol *singing*

"Once upon a time there was an engineer,/Choo Choo Charlie was his name, we hear./He had an engine and he sure had fun,/ He used Good 'N Plenty candy to make his train run./Charlie says: "Love my Good 'N Plenty!"/Charlie says: "Really rings the bell!"/ Charlie says: "Love my Good 'N Plenty--/Don't know any other candy that I love so well!"

LOL. It's driving me CRAZY!!! I guess it's been a pretty darn good day if the only thing I can think to complain about is that I have the "Good n Plenty" song stuck in my head. :)

Today for the first time in a few months I can say that I don't feel too bad physically. WOOHOO! That's an awesome thing to be able to say because it's been a long time! Right now I'm hitting the "prednisone slump"...when it's been too long since my last dose and my body starts to shut down...it can throw you into a major standstill physically. I'm contemplating going to lay down on my break...something that is unheard of for me. The only other time I have laid down during lunch is during the throws of mono a few months ago and even then it was only one time. I think I just need to start spacing out my doses better. Other than that, not a whole lot going on. Just peaceful lately for the most part. Got to talk to Tim a few times today....always a good thing. :) Talked to a few friends on the phone. Work is going really good tonight...hurry! someone knock on some wood for me quick!...kids were well-behaved at home. Oh! and I got an email from Courtney (one of those "getting to know your friends" surveys)...and look at what she said!!!!! *tear, sniff*...

"32. What do you do most often when you are bored? Chat to my mom. she is pretty much my best friend. i know i can tell her anything sure sometimes she is gonna get mad but in the end she always finds a way to help me. and we always have a blast together. I love hangin out with my mom."
Awwww!!! That makes it all worthwhile! :) She called me tonight from a friends house where she was spending the night and we were goofing off on the phone...of course I didn't realize that she had me on speaker phone the little wheezle-cheese. LOL I was serenading her with the song from the end of Napoleon... "Whyyyyyy do you luu-uuuuv meeeeee? Whyyyyyy do you neeee-eeeed meeeee?....Always and foreverrrrrrrrr......" hahahahaha I love that no matter how bad we can fight it all comes back in the end to the fact that I have GREAT kids and we love each other. And just like Choo Choo Charlie we will keep pluggin along down those tracks. :)

Taller than the tallest tree is, that's how it's got to feel

I've had enough broken-heart surgery performed over the years to know that love is a place that I need to tread lightly....it's much safer ground keeping to myself rather than venturing into the unknown. Don't get me wrong, I love the thought of being in love. Living happily ever after...happy endings. Oh yeah, that's the life for me!...but how do you get there? I mean love is fire...how do you know if it's going to warm your heart or burn your house down??? I want the "warm" but I don't want to be left feeling even colder when it's gone.

I try my hardest to do "the work" and get rid of the baggage so that I can move on...but being the ever-cautious capricorn that I am....it's not always so easy. Especially after surviving hurrican S.A.M. last year (....you thought Katrina was devastating??? ) My goal is to be aware of my past, learn from my past, but never let my past hang so ominously over my future that I'm paralyzed. I know that life will always be uncertain to an extent. Actually I kind of welcome that. Total certainty is something that only fools or maniacs claim to experience and I'm a firm believer that we all kind of like surprises to a point (even if, like me, you emphatically exclaim that you HATE surprises). That's the whole reason that we program songs into our ipods that we hardly ever listen to. That's the reason that our eyes scan crowds looking for faces that perhaps we just might know. Deep down we want to be at least a little surprised in this life. We want some flavor....some punch. Just not too much right? After all, we're all just really like a big bunch of onions sitting around waiting for someone to peel our layers. Yeah, some of the layers might be stinky and even make your eyes water, but after all of the peeling is said and done...if you're cooked and seasoned just right....DELICIOUS! The flavor is so worth it! Carrie Bradshaw once said on SATC:

"You have to figure...if the world's fattest twins can find love, there's hope for all of us. Somewhere out there is another little freak who will love us, understand us, and kiss our three heads and make it all better."

I love that quote! Over the years and through all of the heartache the one thing that I have come to know without a shadow of a doubt is that I am not perfect. I'm oh so far from it. But that's okay with me. And I want someone to love me who that's okay with too. I want someone to fall in love with my particular fragrance....something that they can't imagine living without. There has to be a hole left in their lives if I'm not there...or it's just not real enough for me. I want to be cherished. Desired. I want to fall in love with the way that he says my name...knowing that I've never heard it spoken like that before...knowing that my name is safe in his mouth. And I don't want perfection in a partner either. I want to enjoy peeling away their strong layers and seeing how they come to life with the proper seasoning. Perfection isn't even desirable to me. What is desirable to me, however is someone who is well aware that I am delicate. Just like everyone else in the world, I've been through alot too and I need you to be as gentle with me as I should be with you. I'm so ready and willing to climb out on the limb....but I'm not willing to lead the way....and I'm certainly not willing to climb out there alone. I am willing to be patient with you. I'm willing to be careful with you. I need the same in return...and I trust you to give that to me.

I've learned over the years that desperation leads to settling. I've also learned that one thing that leads to a desperate-feeling life that makes you think you need rescued from is purposelessness. Well, I am working on learning my purpose...and I certainly don't feel like I need rescued from my life anymore. I love my life and that's a beautiful thing because that means never again will I be willing to settle. I now know what real love looks like and I will settle for nothing less. Here's another Carrie quote that I've always loved....

"Later that day I got to thinking about relationships. There are those that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started, and those that bring you back. But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you find someone to love the you YOU love, well that's just fabulous."~Don't look for the one person you can live with...find and keep the one person you can't live without.~


My lifestyle choice

"You were planned for God's pleasure.The moment you were born into the world, God was there as an unseen witness, smiling at your birth."
That's how chapter 8 of my "purpose" book starts and it doesn't matter how many times I read that I am moved by it every single time. In my minds eye I can picture a delivery room in January, 1973...God and all of his angels hovered around waiting with baited breath....and then...YAY!!!!!!!!!!! SHE'S HERE!!! SHE'S HERE!!!! :) Sounds of heavenly rejoicing flooding the universe. Hugging, smiling, tears. I love that! Do you realize that's how he felt about you too???? He chose everything about you! And he was....and is still....so happy that you're here!

GOD, the very creator of the universe...the one who has created every sunrise since the beginning of time....

REJOICED at your creation.

Wow, that gets me! It's so hard for me to wrap my brain around! Me? Little 'old me??? But it's true and not one person on this planet will ever have a problem with feeling insignificant again if they remember this. Our very first purpose on this earth is to live for his pleasure.

What does that mean? How do we do that? What brings God pleasure? Well that's simple and it's a one-word answer. The problem is that alot of people misunderstand exactly what this one word means. The word is WORSHIP. We were created to worship...and worship is what brings God pleasure. The problem that we run into, though, and where most people tend to tune-out is that when that word is spoken, most people instantly get images of boring church services. No, no, no my friends....ANYTHING that you do in life with passion, joy and a good heart is worship. Taking your kids camping, watching a sunset, taking your neighbor a plate of cookies, petting your cat or your dog. Anything you can think of that you do with a happy heart and every time you even subconsciously are grateful for something/count your blessings....THAT IS WORSHIP. God notices...and he is pleased! And when he's happy...you're happy! LOL

I think most people either forget or they just don't realize that God has emotions! He is the CREATOR of emotions. To quote the book, "He feels things very deeply. The Bible tells us that God grieves, gets jealous and angry, and feels compassion, pity, sorrow, and sympathy as well as happiness, gladness and satisfaction. God loves, delights, gets plesure, rejoices, enjoys and even laughs!" Every time you smile, so does he. Every time you hurt....so does he. He knows the final plan even when we don't, but that doesn't mean he doesn't feel the emotion right along with us. And in turn, one of the greatest gifts he has given us is the ability to enjoy pleasure!

Worship isn't just a "thing"...it's a lifestyle.

A lifestyle of choosing to be happy. Drama free. Grateful. Gracious. Choosing to see the wonder that remains in the world. Noticing the flowers growing on the side of the highway as we drive. Laughing when someone tries to do or say something funny...even if it isn't particularly funny. :) The mere act of acknowledge that they're trying to be funny or trying to do something to please us can go along way to feed someone's spirit and encourage them. It's using your body for everything it's created for....work hard, love hard....no matter how battered we feel, or sometimes can even start to look. Live....love....laugh....touch....enjoy each other!....be grateful....dance....smile......WORSHIP.



Try to focus, even for just a moment on the face of every person you've ever met. There have been so many. Some you will never be able to recall...and others are all too familiar to you. Now imagine each of those people as a thread. Some vibrant colors, others muted. Some black. Each one being woven together on the loom of your life. In and out of each other...sometimes only a single color runs through....sometimes they work together to form a beautiful design. Sometimes the threads get tangled and forms a big knot. This is your tapestry. A tapestry that is very personally yours....no two will ever be the same...just like snowflakes.

I spent all morning getting caught up on this season of "The L Word". And I just finished the episode where Dana, one of the main characters, had found out she had breast cancer and it was far worse than they originally thought after performing a mastectomy. So sad. So scary. But the part that got me, was that even though in the beginning, she had lied to and hurt the people in her life to protect them by minimizing what was wrong with her, after they found out what was really going on, it was like the emergency "phone tree" was activated and they all came running and held vigil around her.

When she woke up from surgery all of the people in her life....past and present....were there. They didn't want her to go one moment without support....not one moment without knowing that she was loved. As a matter of fact, those were the words spoken to her when she first opened her eyes and her dear, dear friend Bette leaned in, smiled and said "I love you. Do you know that I love you?" Oh the power of that.

As Dana...still groggy-eyed from anesthesia....slowly looked around the room, her eyes rested on each and every face for just a moment. Some were new loves, some were old. Some had been tangled messes of relationships. But one thing was evident.....every face had played a part in the weaving of her tapestry.

My tapestry....what does it look like?

I can remember when I was in third or fourth grade teaching myself how to knit. My grandma had taught me how to crochet...but I wanted bigger and better things. I started to knit an afghan and I was so frustrated because whenever I would start it would be an utter mess. I didn't know how to keep a consistent tension on the yarn so all of the stitches would be different sizes. I would miss stitches and accidentally do some of them twice. I finally decided after restarting sooooo many times that I would just let this one be my "practice" one. I wouldn't restart anymore...I would just keep on going. I didn't have enough of the first thread to make it very far so I ended up having to continue with some different colors...whatever scraps my mom had to give me....and I just kept plugging along. At first I continued to have the same problems that I had all the other times, but then something happened. As I would step back and look at what I was creating I noticed that it was becoming smoother. The stitches were all starting to look the way they were supposed to look. It was looking like a real afghan! I was doing it! Yes, the first foot or so of it was an utter mess, and the colors were all screwed up....but as I went along it was getting better and better because I was learning what I was supposed to do...and I was learning which yarn would go nicely with the other yarn.

I bet that's how my tapestry looks. The beginning is probably a real mess...full of hand-me-down yarns that don't match from experiences in my young life that I had no control over. Then once I got to start buying my own "yarn"...I still didn't know what I was doing. I made mistake after mistake. Chose the wrong colors and made poor choices. But as I go along....wow....I'm actually starting to get better at this. I'm making better choices. Better decisions. I'm also choosing "threads" that are more similar and blend together better and they are all coming together to make a breathtaking design in the fabric of my life. I'm even lucky enough to have a beautiful golden thread consistently weaving throughout every row.....the name of that thread is Jesus. That was an expensive thread....it came from royalty....but I didn't have to buy it. It was a gift to me. You see the king is enthralled with my beauty...that's what the Bible says. And so even with all of the inconsistencies you can see at times if you look close enough...it's still mine...and it's beautiful. I accept each and every person who has been in my life and their designated place in my design.

~Let God be the consistent thread in an inconsistent life~


R.E.S.P.E.C.T., find out what it means to me!

I have chest pain and my temples are thumping. It's been another wonderful afternoon with my one and only son. What is it about that boy? When he was tiny I just adored him, but for the last several years to say that our relationship is strained would be putting it very mildly. To try and express the guilt that I feel over this would be futile....I could never paint a clear picture of how guilty I feel as a mother about this. Mothers are supposed to ADORE their children. Well I do love Darren very much, but adore??? No. Sorry, no way. Tolerate because I have to is more like it. And that brings the waves and waves of guilt. He has had to go to counseling for various reasons and the counselor actually had to pull me aside several times to talk to me about my "inappropriate guilt." His words were,

"I know I'm not going to offend you by saying this because it's nothing you don't already know. But I have never seen, in all my years of counseling, a child more difficult than this. He is abrasive, rude and defiant. If your girls were the same way I'd blame it on you as a mother...but they aren't. And from what I've seen you've gone above and beyond what you could possibly be expected to do....you've just got to release yourself from this inappropriate guilt.....IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT."

That helped for about two seconds before the guilt came back. lol Since then it comes and goes and today is a particularly bad day. It's one of those "I wish he was 18 and I could just wash my hands of it" days. GUILT! God knows I love him, but oh man! So all afternoon I've been praying about this...and it boils down to this.....

If he were a coworker, friend, husband of a friend or even simply a person on the street....anyone besides my SON....would I tolerate or accept that kind of behavior?
Well the answer is, of course, HELL NO! To be honest he's not the kind of person I would even think of being friends with. He would be the kind of guy that people warn me about...."oh you definitely wouldn't like him!" I have to, at this point in time, take care of him, nurture him and attempt to teach him right from wrong. Beyond that, my relationship with Darren is going to be equivalent to earning my Ph.D. in boundaries setting. In my "40 days of purpose campaign" it talked of how EVERYTHING in this life is a test. The way we react to everything...even the weather. It mentioned things like opening doors for others, picking up pieces of trash, how you treat your waiters and waitresses. I'm reading it and thinking, "well crap...that's all easy stuff!!" Let me tellllllll you!!! This boy probably will be the biggest test of my entire life!!! It all boils down to respect. I've tried my best to teach him right from wrong. How to treat other people. Why is none of it sticking? He's like teflon for respect!

What is it that some people just don't understand about respect? What is it that makes people think that they can speak to another person however they feel like. If you're mad, frustrated, unhappy.....you can say whatever you want right? Afterall, you have a right to your opinions and your feelings don't you??? Well, yes you have a right to feel however you're feeling, but......


And this DOESN'T just refer to Darren either! This is to ALL of the people out there who just don't get it! Oh how many people have I witnessed treating myself or others with total lack of respect just because they have no clue that they are not allowed to act that way! Or they just don't care that they're acting wrong! So this is for all of the people young and old....and frankly I'm more worried about the young ones who still have a chance...maybe they've just never heard it said before.

*If you are speaking to your parent, especially if you are still young: you MUST show respect at all times...no matter how you are feeling! It is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS what they do, how they do it, or whom they do it with! You ARE NOT their peer...you are their CHILD! *No matter who you are talking to always remember one of the basic rules you SHOULD have learned as a child.... IF YOU DON'T HAVE SOMETHING NICE TO SAY, DON'T SAY ANYTHING AT ALL!!! No insults, verbal blows below the belt or snide remarks. *If someone says to leave them alone....do just that!!! You ARE NOT ALLOWED to harrass someone with phone calls, texts, emails, sarcastic remarks,etc, etc, etc just because you're frustrated!!! Say it with me people.....BOUNDARIES!!! Look it up!

Ok, so what about that "b" word? BOUNDARIES. A word with alot of play that most people don't actually understand. If they did understand it, we wouldn't have the epidemic of rudeness in the world right now! Simply put, boundaries is when you decide what you will and will not put up with from other people. It's drawing a line in the sand. When someone violates your b0undaries you don't have to respond aggresively...it's more that you just refuse to participate in that garbage. You will walk away. They are not allowed in your life or to participate in conversation with you, etc if they continue to act in a certain way. Boy that's tough to be consistent with....but oh so important. If not you continually allow other people's crazy and disrespectful behavior to suck the very life right out of you! I have to admit I have trouble not participating in the game (to a small degree anyways). It's either with certain people (like Darren) or with certain issues (when I see someone being verbally abused, etc. I feel protective and tend to want to "spring into action"). Other than that I've become quite good at enforcing my boundaries. You don't want to respect me? Then buh-bye. I'm not listening to it or putting up with it. Save the drama for yo mama!


Captured heart

Today was such a lovely day. I woke up early....which in and of itself is totally unusual for me, but.......... I HAD SOMEWHERE TO BE! ;) Last weekend my plans to see Tim fell through and were pushed back to today so I was SOOOOOO excited this morning. I felt like when I was a kid and waking up knowing we were going to Cedar Point that day. The thought of the roller coasters, french fries, games, souveniers......too exciting! And i guess it wasn't just me that felt that way either because he sent me a text message early this morning saying "I'm calling off work." LOL Joleen was great enough to watch Maddie and Amelia and the other two were invited to hang out at Fraziers house....so yeehaw! :)

Things are going so great here. Ordinarily, I'd be scared to death at this point. I'd be thinking "Oh my gosh....things are moving forward....getting serious....holy crap......OKAY SOMEONE GET ME OFF THIS RIDE BEFORE I GET HURT!!!" But for the first time in my whole life I don't feel that way (which in and of itself is totally scary for me). At first I kept thinking things were moving so fast....take it easy...slow and steady. But really, they haven't moved fast at all. When most people date if they let it evolve for five months before they get serious that's considered slow and smart. I think I was just trying to find any excuse to not admit that this could be really happening. Carl, Wende and I have a running joke about "IF YOU SCRRRRRRD, SAY YOU SCRRRRRD." Okay, I was scrrrrrrd! LOL So why the change? Because now we are just full-steam-ahead. I've been thinking about that alot.

It always amazes us how much we are alike. Seriously...it's almost eerie. But now it's really endearing...in a never had it before and I like it kind of way. We like the same food, MOST of the same music lol, etc. I'm the female version of him it seems...except for the fact that his stove is spotless and he has towels folded and in the linen closet and mine are usually in a basket in the living room. So like I said I've been thinkin about what finally convinced me to relax and just let it happen. I could feel myself giving in more and more of the time, but I think the first moment that I consciously felt a real shift inside was when he sent me flowers. First of all...I have never (even after two marriages) had a guy send me flowers. I know, to the rest of the world I'm sure it's not a huge deal...people get flowers every day right? Well, I don't. And I always in the back of my mind told myself that would be a huge hint to me about a guy worth investing in. :) But I have to say, it wasn't just the flowers themselves. It was the kind of flowers. I've never asked him if he did it on purpose, or just picked what was on the first page of the website because I don't want to be dissappointed! lol Ignorance can be bliss and I'm choosing to believe it was divine intervention. LOL He sent me a huge bouquet of beautiful red tulips. *SWOON* I hate roses. I really do. Big, fat, open cabbage-type roses maybe, but regular roses...... GAG, PUKE! Of course, if i got them I'd be thrilled because of the sentiment behind them, but I think I would feel like Carrie Bradshaw when she found an engagement ring in Aidan's bag....and it was horrible. She was questioning whether or not the relationship was right or not because if you have somebody that's really into you, wouldn't they know what ring was right for you. Her feeling was that a man on the verge of making that huge a commitment should at least know if his girl is a gold, silver or platinum, round, pear, princess or emerald cut type of girl. Well, the flowers got me. They were PERFECT....they are the ones I would've picked out myself and I couldn't have been happier. So I let my guard down....even just a little bit and I'm so glad I did.

The next sign for me was the night that I drove to Marion to meet him in person for the first time. I felt like I already knew him intimately after five months of talking to him. I had Carl in my face yelling "haven't you ever read the news??? PUBLIC PLACES ONLY!!!" lol And yes....normally he would be right, but this time I just knew. And what struck me was that when I was in his home I felt as comfortable as if I were in my own home. And i felt as comfortable with him in my "space" as I am when I'm alone. Wow.....I've never had that before. I've ALWAYS had some alarm bells going off about guys I've dated that I've ignored or tried to justify....but not this time. And since I've let my guard down it's been nothing but sweet. If I get my heart broken, that's okay...it's happened before and I'll be fine. But something's telling me I won't.

I fell asleep on his couch and am now sitting here in the dark typing this. He's upstairs asleep in his bed. I went up to check on him and to use the restroom when I woke up and just standing in the hall listening to his breathing while he sleeps made my heart swell. I might be making myself way too vulnerable by saying this out loud, but....... it feels like home. Sleep tight baby.


Is it really possible?

This is a short and sweet post....simply because I want to share what on my mind and heart, but I hate spilling too much too soon. Don't want to jinx anything. :)
Is it really possible that things are going so great? I've NEVER been in a situation where my soul was at such peace. I can honestly say that at this point in time......... I have no alarm bells going off. I've never been interested in someone that I could say that about. It just seems so easy. And perfect. And beautiful. I am so happy. Is it really possible? :)


Kicking the habit

I can't say that I've never smoked because I have. But I can hardly be considered a "smoker". I smoked for probably 5 or 6 months during my sophomore year in high school. I then quit cold turkey. Threw a new pack of cigarettes out of the car window and said the following silent but very sincere prayer..."Lord, please take the desire for these cigarettes away from me...and if I ever smoke again please strike me with cancer." YIKES! Oh the impulsiveness of the young!!! lol Now I'm going...whoa! Wait a minute there young'n....you don't have to act so rash! Let's think about this for a moment!" LOL But because of that prayer...and only because of that prayer...I've never smoked again. No matter how tempted over the years to try it again... even once. Nope. I thank God though that after smoking for a short while I got out of the smoking game as easily as I did. That's a habit that for many, many people grabs ahold of them and drags them down....even to death. Today I may not be a smoker....in fact I'm the biggest anti-smoker that I know, but that doesn't mean that I don't have addictions of my own.

Oh there are many....food, Folgers vanilla vibe instant coffee (which they have been slowly weaning out of the stores by the way!!!), computer, etc. I have a very addictive personality...I know it and I own it. This is one of the main reasons that I have never done drugs. Not because I am judgemental of anyone who has. Not because I am so dead-set against it. Just because I'm a huge chicken and am afraid of becoming addicted. I don't want to hear the old argument of "you can't get addicted to pot!!!"......oh bullcrap!! lol I can get addicted to ANYTHING.....if i like it enough, i want it ALL THE TIME! So because of all of that, no matter how curious I've been over the years I have never allowed myself to try drugs. Now I won't do it because it's not the responsible, right thing to do and I know that God doesn't allow me get away with anything! If I tried to smoke a joint not only would my conscience kill me, but something would happen and I'd end up getting drug tested the next day and lose my nursing license or something! LOL See, I'm learning! Stick to the narrow road.....yes Lord I'm getting it....slowly but surely.

Along with the killer sweet tooth that I have, there was a person in my life that I wouldn't categorize as an addiction....but he sure has been hard to get over. There's alot more to this story, especially recently, but since I know he sometimes reads this blog I'm going to limit what I say about it. What I am going to say is this.... sometimes love can be just like smoking. You can quit cold turkey. Never look back. You're an ex-smoker now. You don't even really want to smoke anymore. Except for occassionally when you catch the whiff from a nearby cigarette and it smells soooooo good. You're so glad you don't smoke anymore. It was unhealthy....it made you sick. But still, you had some good times with your cigarettes. The pilot light of memory flickers in your eyes and you wonder...what if? Just one time won't hurt me will it? Suddenly it hits you that no, you don't need it.....you don't even think you want it anymore. You're not in love with smoking anymore. You can't be in love with memories, dreams or possibilities. None of those things are reality. And then you walk out into the winter night and take a deep breath. Yeah, that's so much better. Fresh air. Fresh start. Clean lungs. Clean Conscience.



I just finished watching the movie "My First Mister". It was a movie that my mom had gotten from Netflix and really, really wanted me to watch. I've had it for probably more than a month and I could just never get in the mood to watch it...until tonight. It was a tough movie to get through for the most part. Until towards the end anyways. It's about a girl...somewhat misguided, depressed and alone. It's about an older gentleman...somewhat misguided, depressed and alone. Both very different. Both have forgotten how to be young and alive. Through a course of events their lives end up colliding together and they become friends. Best friends. By the end of the movie I was sobbing because all I could see in these characters was my dear, dear friend Don. I've given him many nicknames..."Dapper Don", "Don Juan", "Big Daddy Don", but mostly I just call him "D."

Don and I are a very unlikely pairing to be good friends but you know, that's how my life tends to work. God tends to bring people into my life that are different than me most of the time. I think it's so that I can learn from them and they from me. Perhaps so that I can know myself well enough to accept someone into my life who fits like a glove when the time is right. :) Anyways, Don & I have been on a long road together. He's one of the core people in my life. We have a relationship that's so difficult to describe unless you've had one like it in your own life. But I'm going to try. Out of all my guy friends I can without a doubt say that Don is my best friend. He knows everything about me... and I sometimes get the lectures to go along with my decisions lol (hence the big daddy nickname). He gives me advice. Good advice. He is so full of wisdom. We talk about everything from music to sex to the Bible. He is a protector, he laughs at my jokes, he is a prayer warrior, he is an encourager and he's a good example. He's been married for almost 30 years and he adores his wife...... he is a godly man that has shown me exactly what I should be looking for. You know, I have seen these qualities in other friends but the one thing about Don & I that is different is that there seems to be a divinely inspired affection between us. I know, I know...that is really hard to understand. It's so hard to put into words so bear with me. lol I love Don so deeply and affectionately...yet totally platonically. Have you ever known someone that you just absolutely adore and would do anything for if you could....you just love them more than the mountains, more than forever. Not in a romantic relationship kind of way, just in a kindred spirit/soul friend kind of way? Actually, I'm guessing that it's what a healthy, thriving father-daughter relationship would feel like. I can usually tell by looking at a woman whether or not she had a father that adored her. She glows. She is happy and healthy and has a quiet confidence about her. It's the same "look" that women of Christ get. Have you ever seen a woman who just has Christ pooring out of her? You can just tell. Well, that's how I feel about Don. It's like he is a friend that my soul has known since the beginning of time. When he hurts I hurt. When he was going through chemo, I got sick. He is probably the closest that I will ever come to feeling that healthy father-daughter thing on this earth.

He always talked about how he thought it was fate that brought us together as friends. His mother's name was Veronica, a baby girl that he and Cindy had lost was named Veronica....and now there's me....the little thorn in his side. :) When we met we were both in periods of our lives that were defined by upheaval and change. Sadness. And it's like God used our friendship to remind us of the beauty in our lives. Don reminded me that there are godly men out there that are kind, sincere, gentle, protecting, funny, loving, etc. We became friends right around the time that I started dating Jesus....a time that my soul was in desperate need of restoring. I wrote in my other blog about the way that God used Jesus in my life. He reminded me that I was beautiful. Well, God used Don (and still does) to remind me that I am young and that life is full of hope. He also used him to teach me to like myself. No one can like me until I like myself and Don has taught me that all of the little things about me (things that for years I had been condemned for by the evil one) are wonderful parts of me. Because of Don I am no longer afraid to sing. He has a beautiful singing voice and I used to sit next to he and Cindy in church and he would just belt out those songs as loud as he could. He would lean over and whisper in my ear to make a joyful noise! God is in love with my voice, who cares if it's out of tune? SING! And so now I do....I sing. In that adorable little off-key way that is mine and all mine. He thinks it's hillarious that I'm clumsy. Just the other day we were working together and I asked a really stupid question and almost immediately caught myself. He just smiled and giggled and said "that's why I adore you...because you're so human!" Years ago my spirit was so beaten down that even I would've beaten myself up over saying something so stupid, but now I just smile and roll my eyes. I took what he said as a compliment. I like that I am human. I like that others see me as grounded and down to earth. And I appreciate the parts of me that are oh so far from being perfect.

He says that I remind him of his wife when they first met.....which reminded him just how much he enjoys her company and how much he loves her and it made him excited to go home to see her everyday again (they had been in a really rough patch and it sure is easy after many years to forget who the person is that you look at every day isn't it?). One time he actually thanked me for helping to save his marriage. He said, "suddenly I remembered who my wife was and I looked at her for the first time in a long time as the young, beautiful girl that was so full of life that I fell in love with....and that can get you through alot." He does have a lovely wife....she's awesome.

He found out a year or so ago that he has cancer. It knocked the breath out of me when he told me. I wept for my friend. I prayed him through chemo and radiation. He's prayed me through lupus flares and guy troubles. I can't imagine losing him. He says he's too busy to get sicker so I shouldn't worry. lol "I have a wife to take care of and kids to get through college. My boy is getting through seminary!" His work is like a two-edged sword. On one hand I'm afraid he's going to work himself into the grave. On the other hand I think it might be just what's keeping him going. He's so proud of his family and just wants to take care of them...it gives him a reason to get up every morning and keep on chugging.

At the end of "My First Mister" the girl plans a small intimate dinner for the people closest in their lives....he's dying and it's kind of a last get together sort of thing. It's very emotional and touching especially when he asks her to dance. I cried and cried. After they dance they sit back down at the table and she proposes a toast. He had always gotten on her case about the fact that she used the "f" word too much (boy I sure can't relate to that at all!!! lol). So she made a toast to all the "important 'f' words. Family....... Friendship....... Fate........ And Forever." They just stared at each other with a look that spoke a thousand unsaid words. And with tears in his eyes he mouthed back to her the word "FOREVER".


Don't make me come out there!

What is wrong with kids??? Seriously! I swear a gene is missing from the DNA of kids today that make them just plain stupid when it comes to certain things! For instance....... what kid in his or her right mind, knowing that their mother has to work in a few hours, knowing that she is a BIG GRUMP when she wakes up.... fight, argue, kick, scream, etc. and wake her up??? STUPIDITY! And then to top it all off ARGUE with the grumpy, woken up mom when they are getting "talked to"!!! STUPIDITY! UGGGGHHHH!

I'm telling you, I know I did some dumb things when I was a kid, but one thing I KNEW was that when mom was cranky....shut up and stay out of her way! You didn't have to tell me twice! First Courtney starts text messaging me at like 6:45 this morning (as she's getting on the bus)....wakes me up early. Fine, I'm up early...big deal. So I go lay down for a while (I have to work tonight) and I'm not asleep an HOUR and she sends me two more texts....10 mins apart and wakes me up 2 more times. Fine, no big deal...I'll go back to sleep I tell myself. SO THEN she and Darren aren't home from school for 10 minutes before I can hear them screaming and fighting out in the living room. Courtney's hormonal right now and so that means that we are ALL in hormone hell! She can put me to shame any day! LOL So I'm awake now and I'm PISSED. I scream for them to get back to my room and they have the nerve to come in their still yelling! STUPIDITY!!! The madder I get the lower my voice starts to get..... see, these are all subtle clues to them that I'm getting ready to strike....kind of like a rattle snake and it's rattler. Do you think they've learned to notice??? Nope! Know why??? Because kids these days are STUPID when it comes to this kind of thing!!! lol

I end the "discussion" (and I use that term very loosely lol) by saying slowly and quietly to them..... "would you rather have me OUT THERE in your faces making sure you behave? Or BACK HERE sleeping????" The looks on their faces said this.................. "OH CRAP!" hahaha In unison they both said "back here sleeping." So I threatened to remove any and all earthly happiness from them if they went back out there fighting again.... and I thought it would work. But on the way out of the door Courtney breaks down in a hormone haze and starts this dramatic, screaming, crying fit... "Darren you *sniff* need *snort* to*sniff* just*sob* leave*sniff* me*snort*alone*sob snort sniff*". Poor kid.... It's tough being a girl at any age, but those teenage hormones are the pits aren't they? And needless to say, not only has Darren not learned to tread lightly around me, he REALLY could care less about treading lightly around Courtney!

So here I am...awake. Wondering how I'm going to get through tonight with only about 2 or 3 hours sleep under my belt. I have the first four hours off so that's a blessing....maybe I'll fall asleep in the chair or something. If not I'll look like night of the living dead tomorrow. LOL The other day one of the doctors that always comes in first thing in the morning looked at me and said "have you ever thought about going to day shift?" and I said "no, why?" and he replied, "because you're not looking so good....I don't think nights is agreeing with you." Gee, thanks buddy! lol You're looking at a sleep deprived woman who's been awake for a day or so, stressed out after working, doesn't feel good....and you're going to be heartless enough to tell her that she LOOKS like crap too???? STUPIDITY!!! Come to think of it, maybe it's NOT just kids that are missing things from their DNA! ;)
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