A year of albums....

Over the past year, I've bought many singles,
but these are the albums that I've bought and what I thought of them.

Many of the albums were actually albums that I have owned for years,
and the cd has worn out so I repurchased.

When I find an album I like, I tend to listen to it on a loop
until something different takes it's place.
This is some of the soundtrack of my past year.

"Speak Now"
Taylor Swift

Maddie got this for Christmas last year.
What can I say about Miss Swift?
She can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned.
Love this album!

Miranda Lambert

I got this for Christmas last year
Miranda is another girl we love around here.
I've loved her since before anyone knew to love her!
This album was actually kind of mellow for her,
and when I got it, it fit my mood and my life perfectly.
I think this has been a constant in the cd player in my car for a year now.

"Last Train to Paris"

Big disappointment.
I know some people shake their heads at this,
but I have always been a big fan of Diddy,
and still am.
I do like a few songs off of this album,
but most of it was a waste.

Barbra Streisand

I like a few of the songs,
but not enough to own the album.

Okay, Ms. Keys!
"The Diary of Alicia Keys"
and "Songs in A Minor"


I have always loved these albums!
I have owned them for years and years
and needed to replace them.
And I love them just as much now.

"Church Music"
by David Crowder Band

I thought I would love this,
but I didn't.
I loved one or two songs, but overall,
it was too techno sounding for me.

"All Things New"

I've blogged about this album before.
This is one of my all-time favorites.
It instantly calms me down.
This is the album that played the most during the most difficult times
I've been through in the past decade.
I have such an affection for this album
and for the female half of this marriage: Christy Nockels.

She's a solo artist now and I wanted her latest album for Christmas,
but it was sold out at every store Paul went to.
"Bedtime Stories"

Another one that I owned back in the 90's and I used to love it.
It surprised me that I don't love it as much as I used to.
I do still like it, but not in love anymore.


It took me a little while to get used to the sound
of this album, but it grew on me and I eventually loved it.
There are a few songs that I don't love,
but overall, it's a winner.

I honestly haven't dove into this album yet.
I adore Adele and her voice,
but truthfully, her music can sometimes be a lot to take.
So, I have been taking a song or two at a time
to soak them in and get used to them.
I think it will be a success,
I just don't have much to say about it yet.

J Lo

Complete waste of money.
Hated it.
It is such an immature album compared to 
some of the music I've seen her make before and that I love so much.

"Four the Record"
Miranda Lambert

This is her newest album,
and it took a little time to get used to,
but I think I finally did
because now I love it.
How could I not? :)

lurve you, xoxo v.


Happy Birthday Corki....

My big girl is twenty years old today.
How time flies!

Happy Birthday Courtney,
I love you.

lurve you, xoxo v.


Merry Christmas....

 The girls & I had a great Christmas,
and we hope you did too!

lurve you, xoxo v.


Christmas Wish....

That God would continue to bless all of the people in this world
who just keep showing up to love me.

Give them peaceful hearts, meet their needs,
and draw them closer to you in the coming year.

lurve you, xoxo v.


My Christmas Wish....

My first Christmas wish....

That my son would know that he is truly loved
and has a mother who has never not loved him, 
wanted him or desired a relationship with him.

lurve you, xoxo v.


Peace be still....

Things are going much better than I had ever thought they would at this point in time, which is good.  I saw online that the Evil One had been made to go to a half-way house several cities away from where my kids are, which made me very happy.  I figure he'd probably have more accountability there and have a curfew.  After I saw that, somehow my muscles relaxed a little bit and I found myself going a few days at a time without thinking about him much at all.  Yesterday, I got a report that he had been sighted, which temporarily freaked me out a little bit.  He must've been home visiting his parents or something.  Luckily the freak-out faded rather quickly and I was back to chilled out.  The peace that passes understanding.  It's amazing, isn't it?

lurve you, xoxo v.


Long live my girl HK

“I’m pretty amazed by Hello Kitty. 
I see so many women in their 30s 
walking around in Hello Kitty shit 
and nobody is concerned for them.”
“It’s the one iconic teenage symbol 
that seems okay for women in their 30s? 
The world seems to not have 
an issue with it.”  ~ Charlize Theron

Oh nooooo Charlize Theron.  I am not the one.  Not today.  How dare a bitch!  And by the way, this is awful big talk coming from someone who has always smoked like a chimney.  What, getting (and giving to everyone around you) cancer & smelling like a dive bar makes you more "adult" than a pathetic Hello Kitty wearing thirtysomething?

*choosing words, choosing words*

Listen up Buttercup, Hello Kitty is one of the few things in this world that is, always has been, and will continue to be pure love.  She is an institution and gives millions of women & girls HOPE.

"Hello Kitty has no mouth because she speaks from the heart."  Truth.  *fist raised*

lurve you, xoxo v.


It's official....

It's official.  He's out and registered as a predator.
He looks twice his age,
and his eyes as well as the look on his face say pure hatred to me.

Hide your women,
hide your children.
May God protect us all.

lurve you, xoxo v.


Hope is still a choice....

This is still a sign for me.
I am here (not just on this Earth, but here here) for a reason.
I need to not just have an outlook, but an uplook.
And hope is still a choice to choose every day.

And as I sit here on the eve of the day I will need hope the most,
as usual, even when it's difficult,
I will choose to hope
because it's the only way I know
to get through every day.

As fear tries it's best to grip my soul,
I pray,
I try to distract myself,
I deep breathe,
I fight back tears,
but most of all...

I hope.

Because at the end of the day,
I can make all the preparations I want,
take all the precautions I want,
but hope in something greater than myself is all that I have.

~Psalm 91~

lurve you, xoxo v.

The lessons I've learned from those worst people....

lurve you, xoxo v.

Trying to learn to make it this simple....

lurve you, xoxo v.


The X Factor

"A variable in a situation 
that could have the most 
significant impact on the outcome. "

It's coming.  Eight more days.  That's all I have of certainty.  Control.  Predictability.  That's all the time left that I have to know that an evil monster is locked away where he cannot hurt me or my family.  That's it.  Eight days.  Most of the time the anxiety isn't too bad, but that's only because I stuff it away and pretend like there's nothing going on, living in denial.  But when I think about it, boom, there it is.

Therapist is wanting to try to some different techniques to get me to a place where instead of panic, I have calm and can think "there's nothing coming that I can't handle."  Which really, no matter what that's true, because this life has proven that I can handle just about anything.  I've already handled some pretty heavy shit and I assume I will be able to handle just about anything else.  However, I don't want to handle more trauma.  I'd rather life remain peaceful and joyful and safe.  And it may.  The problem is that in eight days, a whole new X-Factor is going to be introduced into my universe.  It's that unknown variable that takes away my certainty and feeling of safety, because it is unknown what may happen.  Will he choose to leave us alone when he gets out of prison?  Will he show up on my doorstep?  Will he be even worse and stalk us, making us constantly look over our shoulder to see if he's staring at us wherever we are?  Unknown.  The X-factor.

Fortunately, recently our church did a series also called "The X Factor" and it dealt with the unknown variable that is Jesus and our faith in Him.  The pastor talked about how as humans, our faith can only go so far.  Our faith can take us right to the cliff, but that's where it stops.  It takes that unknown variable of Jesus' love, ability, mercy, grace, dependability, etc to get you across the gulf.  It is Him that is the magic ingredient that makes miracles and has a significant impact on the situation.  No matter how much faith I as a person have, my faith can only protect me so far, calm me so much.  It is Jesus and His participation in the situation that really makes the difference and will get me to the other side.

One of the issues is that I trust Jesus.... implicitly.  I don't trust man.  I have lived through the evidence that men have free will and can inflict pain on my family, and although God is faithful to bring us through it and make all things new, man still has the free will to hurt us in the first place.  So, here I am looking at these two X-factors in front of me.  The Evil One on one side and God on the other.  The one scares me and the other one I know will get me through.

Last week in church, we were singing "The Everlasting."  Have you heard it?  It's my all-time favorite praise song.  I'll try to find a copy and post it below if I can.  Anyways, it is based around one of my favorite verses, which has become the mantra for my life lately.... "I will remain confident in this, I will see the goodness of the Lord."  And then it goes on to talk about how He is the everlasting God.  Not for today, but EVERLASTING.  As I was singing this, I heard God speak to my heart and say, "my love and protection for you does not have an expiration date on it.  I am the everlasting God, and just because that man got nine years in prison, doesn't mean you only got nine years of protection.  I will not leave you nor forsake you."  I was so silenced I couldn't even finish the song.  I stood there and quietly cried.

My love and protection for you 
does not have an expiration date.

 Praise God.  That's the variable that I'm clinging to.  I have no idea how it will play out or be able to count the many ways that God will protect us, but I trust that His unknown is stronger than the Evil One's unknown.  Thank you Lord for your love and protection and thank you for the peace in knowing that you go before me.  

lurve you, xoxo v.

A cover I found of two of my favorite praise songs put together.
They did an AWESOME job!
"The Everlasting"
"Oh How He Loves"


A sign?

A sign? I was just having a conversation about how discouraged I've become with my medications and this chemo and whatnot. I said I don't know what to do because I'm hitting that wall that I hit every few years where I want to quit all the meds and become noncompliant because the side effects are so hard to deal with sometimes. I said, "What's worse? This disease process or the side effects you have to live with?" I prayed for guidance and some wisdom and minutes later I saw this. Food for thought.

lurve you, xoxo v.


Makes my heart smile

Two of the best friends I have ever had,
and they're both pregnant with baby boys just a week apart!

Oh how I wish I could be there to rub their bellies!
lurve you, xoxo v.


lurve you, xoxo v.


Bad news

 I thought the "monster" got out of prison on 12/16. The website now says 12/9. *sigh* That's a whole week less time.

lurve you, xoxo v.


Things you can't unsee....

Oh my eyes!


Help me understand what is wrong with people!
I've started compiling the crazy crap like this that I find...
You can find all the pictures HERE.

Holy Cow.

lurve you, xoxo v.
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