My People

My People
My People - Cosette, Austin, Oliver, Cody, me & Ryan. Just think, had I not lived, these people wouldn't be on the planet. They are my whole heart!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

my weekend

This weekend went by so fast!

Yesterday Angie picked Austin and I up at 9:45 to head to the southside of town. We stopped at Weight Watchers for her weigh in - she has ONE MORE WEEK and she'll make lifetime!
We stopped at the IGA to pick up yeast rolls which smelled AWESOME.
The car was packed out to the max. We looked like the Joads heading to California in the Grapes of Wrath.
When Angie came out of the grocery store with the bread Jamie said, "You can't put that with me, I have watermelons". She did. Watermelons in the floorboard at her feet.
Austin was crammed in between his two sweet cousins. He's incredibly tolerant. He didn't complain - even when Jamie used his shoulder for a kleenex.
We stopped at Zaxby's for lunch.
We stopped by my parents' to drop off Austin and let the girls visit with their mawmaw and pop.
We headed to Angie's parents' church to set up for their 40th anniversary party.
Angie's dad met us at the church to pick up the girls so we could get busy.
It was hot.
It was a lot of work.
I surveyed the situation and decided we needed a man. Jim is in Africa. Mandy's husband Scott was working. I took a shot... and called Barry, as it was not too far from his house. He was working.
Angie, her sister Mandy and myself set up the luau in the woods. The church has a nice outdoor fellowship area set up a couple hundred yards from the church out in the woods. It has a stage and was the perfect luau setting.
We set up tiki torches. Tables. Prepared food. Cleaned off the stage.
Pop and Austin came with a truck and some chairs... that was a lot of help... I was worried about having to tote all those chairs out to the woods.
Angie's dad showed up with a golf cart to help transport guests from the church parking lot to the luau site.
It turned out that Angie's parents' pastor was also my friend Scott's pastor and former neighbor. It took a few minutes for us to figure out how we knew each other and then we spent a little bit of time catching up.
Mostly I just kept the food replenished and made sure the girls were safe and close by since we were out in the woods.
I was really proud of how it turned out. Angie worked so hard. She had been up until 2am Saturday morning baking hams and cutting fruit.
I added a ton of pictures on facebook. We had a really nice time. I was glad my daddy was there to help. Yay for Pop's truck!
It took awhile to clean up and get the cars loaded back up and the dark was approaching. For a brief ten minutes Angie lost her keys. We only semi-panicked. I walked back through the woods to the church and prayed... because I serve a God of lost things... and the keys were found!
Finally - around 9pm we were cleaned up and packed up and ready to head home. Hugs all around....
Angie and I stopped at Starbucks - since we don't have that luxury very often... and while we were in the drivethru line I checked her for ticks.
Sarabeth and Jamie entertained themselves by looking at the pictures I had taken.
Angie and I had girl talk - the whole hour and a half home. I love my sister!
I've been talking a lot about wanting to get back to NYC to see a show or two and spend some time with Candice. And Bryan too... just a long weekend. I'm hoping to do this sometime before the end of the year.
Angie asked if I would consider a Walt Disney World vacation with her, Jim and the girls so we could do the whole princess thing together while the girls still love princesses. I almost cried! I didn't have little girls and these little girls are my heart... the idea of a Disney vacation with them really would be a dream come true for a boy mommy!
I got home around 11:30 last night and my head was killing me from being outside for so long - a combination of allergy and heat. I crashed.
I woke up this morning... checked email...
Went to Sunday School. I was running a few minutes late... had to put air in my tire. My friend Kim had to zip up the back of my dress in Sunday School. Good thing I go to a women's class!
Then we had worship service. Angie was leading worship today as our minister of music left to go to the New Orleans Seminary.
We had a great worship service... I was hungry because I didn't take time to eat before church.
After church I picked up the girls from their classes and got a squeeze and an update from each of them... then turned them over to their mom.
Then a quick trip to the grocery store and home to chill...
Watched Showboat and Pollyanna.
Took a nap.
Fixed a chicken and chickpea burger for dinner.
I'm working on a weight loss blog. I'm keeping it private because although I LOVE how many of my people in my real life like to keep up with me through my blog, I don't want to necessarily show the nitty gritty of the actual horrific numbers on the scale with them. There's a group of women who helped me lose weight before and I've invited them to the private blog. It's just girl stuff. Things that make me fat. Confessions.
I'll still blog here. But I needed a private place to really hold myself accountible weight wise.
Now I'm in my jammies and am ready for bed.
Austin is at my parents'.
Monday is like a speeding train heading towards me.
Love and hugs, y'all!

Friday, May 29, 2009

stupid people tricks

I watch Nancy Grace. She grates on my ever lovin' nerves but I still like to watch her. I think it's sort of like the Kate Gosselin thing. Apparently I am entertained by assertive women. People. I don't know. At any rate… I do enjoy how passionate and dramatic Nancy Grace gets about parents who display less than exemplary parenting skills.

Like… the guy who killed his wife and two boys recently… I think their last name was Coleman. He had a girlfriend in Florida. WHAT IS IT WITH men KILLING THEIR WIVES rather than just deal with a divorce? You know how I feel about divorce, cheating husbands and all that but why ya gotta kill 'em?

Drew Peterson and his "win a conjugal visit with Drew" joke on the Mancow radio show. Really? In jail for one murder, suspected of another and this is how you spend your time? Has he no concept of the gravity of the situation.

Casey Anthony and poor little Caylee. So you want to party? Give the girl to her grandparents. Admit you're not parenting material. Why kill the kid?

And the mother from Pennsylvania who called in a 9-1-1 report that she and her daughter were stuffed in the back of a car… while they were really on their way to Disney World. Like no one would notice? And why involve the kid? "Hey sugar… we're going to Disney World… er… jail…"

The little girl Neveah (stupidest name ever, with apologies to any of my readers who have a loved one with that name. heaven backwards? Really?) who disappeared on Sunday. Her mom kept company with convicted sex offenders. Stellar parenting!

I went to Sarabeth's kindergarten graduation this morning. I'll post pictures in my facebook later - SOOOO CUTE! But it really surprised me the parents who got to the graduation late. It's not like they've had time to get all burned out on school functions yet. It's not like it's an event that will EVER happen again in their child's life. I've been doing the whole school deal since 1992 and I get that it's not always pure joy to sit through one of those assemblies… Honors Day, PTA meetings, etc, etc … but your kindergartener? You should have seen Sarabeth's face. Well, you will see her face once I upload the pictures… that baby was thrilled to look up in the stands and see mommy and daddy and Aunt Heather and sister. Nothing makes a child feel more secure and loved than having parents who are invested in their lives. It wasn't even MY kid but I knew that I needed to get there in time to get a parking spot, to get a seat, to find Jim and Angie and so forth.

BTW… she won the award for best music student in kindergarten… I laughed and said, "Of course she is!"…

It's bad when a client comes in with such bad children that Theresa and I simultaneously give office speak for "not it". We say, "Can you help her?" We gave her to Kevin. He thinks he wants kids. Again… stupid people tricks. I always say that people do their best parenting before they have kids… and I sorta feel like after 22 years of raising kids, I have earned the right to be judgemental of a parent who can't keep their kid under control in the three minutes it takes to make a payment on your insurance.

It's not that my nieces don't get silly from time to time… but on the very rare occasions that they get a little carried away it only takes a gentle reminder for them to remember their manners.

Eating chocolate covered raisins. I had a lean cuisine for breakfast, a salad for lunch. I'm getting there. Still considering the new blog. Maybe a video blog, that would be fun, wouldn't it?

This has been a short week time wise but it's been a long week physically.

Tomorrow I'm heading south with Angie. Her parents' 40th anniversary party is tomorrow afternoon and she needs a little help. Jim left for Africa today. I hugged him this morning and said, "don't be a hero".... because he used this cheesy "Billy Don't Be a Hero" video the last time he preached.

We're also dropping Austin at my parents' house. I think. I hope. It will be a long day but it's a long day with my girls and I'm glad to help. It makes me feel useful and needed and all that happy stuff. Sunday I have two life apps that I'm supposed to submit. Why Sunday? Because the people couldn't finish the paperwork and get by here today and we need to submit them before June. So I'll be at the office on Sunday - at least for a minute.

Had this sweet spanish guy come in and tell me his name in rapid-fire spanish. Or at least with a strong accent. He laughed when I didn't understand him and said, "you want I should tell you in english?" And gave me his drivers license. I really do enjoy our clients. I have so many spanish clients who want to teach me spanish. I'm willing... and I've picked up a lot.

You know how I whine about needing life insurance sales? Today - by the luck of the draw - Theresa has had two people walk in off the street for no other reason than to buy life insurance. That neveeeer happens. Both are older so I don't know that they'll actually buy… but sometimes just having someone take a nibble is encouraging.

My desk is a mess.

Hope you guys have a great weekend. Love and hugs, y'all!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thankful Thursday

It's Thankful Thursday again, people! I left a status update on Facebook challenging people to list what they're thankful for... and I'll do a quick one here as well... just 'cuz...

I'm thankful that I'm not feeling as sick as I had been over the past couple of days. A wave of nausea here and there but for the most part, I'm cool.

I'm thankful that SO FAR into the summer, Austin hasn't destroyed anything. Yet. That I know of.

I'm thankful that the heathens who banged on my door all night Tuesday night didn't come back last night. I was prepared to meet them at the door with the bb gun.

I'm thankful for Theresa's help... Ginger's out today (tomorrow, Monday, etc) and I have to take on her tasks when she's not here... but since I was feeling so bad on Tuesday and out yesterday, I'm swamped. Theresa jumped right in to help... which took a lot of stress off of me.

I'm thankful for lean cuisines. I'm considering starting a separate weight loss blog because there are so many *real life* people who read this blog who I really don't want to share my weight/weight struggles with, if you know what I mean... and I feel like I can't speak openly about those issues. Glad folks love me enough to read my blog... wanna keep some details just between me and my girls. Lean cuisines, however, are a great quick, easy, low cal lunch for me. I'll let you know if I start the other blog and invite the ones who have been part of the weight loss struggle with me.

I'm thankful for carmex, lip gloss, etc... I'm obsessed.

I'm thankful for Beth Moore. I'm reading a book about David called, "A Heart Like His" and it's a great inspiration to me. She really breaks things down in a way I can understand.

I'm thankful for the mountains. "I lift mine eyes unto the hills...." When I first moved here, my sweet friend Matt said, "you're in God's country now". I didn't fully understand what he meant but I do now. I love this quiet, beautiful, inspirational corner of the world.

I'm thankful for my job. Payday is tomorrow - which is always a little depressing because it comes and it's gone in a heartbeat... especially since I had a sick day this pay period, I'll be struggling for the next two weeks. But I'm still thankful for what I have, what I get, the opportunity to go to work every day... I know a lot of people are without and... the truth is, somehow I get by.

Hope you all have a great Thursday and that you take a minute to count your blessings. Love and hugs, y'all!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

sick day

I'm riding the couch again today... got horribly sick during the night... pain... upset stomach... it came in waves. I'd get over it and start getting to sleep and then... the doorbell would ring. Yes. Last night some hoodlums decided it was a good night for "white rabbit"... and rang the doorbell several times during the night. I finally called the police at 5am and sat up waiting to talk to them... then send Duane an email telling him I wouldn't be in and went to sleep. I slept until 10:30 or so and then watched The Bride Wars on pay per view (it was ok, not the best movie ever or anything) and then ate a little and went BACK to sleep.

Around 5pm Angie brought Jamie to me and picked up Austin - since Jamie isn't well enough to go to church yet but Austin needs to go to church as they're getting ready for youth camp and I wasn't well enough to take him. She's really quiet and subdued today... she's been sick since Saturday night, you can tell it's just completely drained her. She's eating, though. She's on her second bowl of apple jacks... which I bought ONLY because Austin likes to tease her and call her apple jacks - "A is for Amanda, J is for James" and she says, "NOOOOO Auggie! That's not it!". She's watching Spongebob and I'm on my laptop. Have to sit up to keep from falling asleep!

And that's been my day... going to check out what's going on in the blogosphere...
love and hugs, y'all!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

updates

I gave in to the icky belly... I'm home and comfy in the pink recliner. I ended up only missing about two hours work today, which isn't so bad, I guess...

Stubby loves the pink recliner too. It almost looks like one of those chairs that they used to have in hospital rooms. It's really more of a mauve than pink... and I've had it since we moved here but I've had it in the living room. Moving it to my room was sheer genius! It's my new nest! Now my bed is reserved just for sleeping!

My Codester is flying to California tomorrow. His fiancee Marquee's family is from Bakersfield. Her grandpa died on Sunday and they are having the funeral on Friday in Bakersfield. My first response was, "You can go see Jen!" He said he'll still be a good ways from Stockton (what do I know of California geography?)... so I said, "be sure to eat fried artichoke hearts!" He didn't get it. I had to tell him it was sorta like the CA version of boiled peanuts.

I'm not sure where Ryan is this week. Life changes so quickly... one day you've got a backseat full of kids complaining, "he's touching me!" and the next day you need mapquest to keep up with them... they're scattered to the winds. The best reward for a parent, in my opinion, is raising kids who can live independent lives. I'm proud of my boys.

My Auggie is still here with me... making blueberry muffins for dinner for me.

Love and hugs, y'all!

not me monday... er, um... Tuesday

I wasn't the goofy girl who got her leg stuck in her recliner yesterday and has a really nasty bruise coming up on her leg because of it. No way I'm that clumsy!
It wasn't me who left the house with soaking wet hair because I didn't want to get out of previously mentioned recliner this morning.
I didn't skip breakfast because of said laziness and go through minimal disappointment to realize the fresh fruit brought in for a co-worker's birthday contained lots of fresh pineapple - which I'm allergic to - and then have a huge surge of excitement when a vendor brought fruit WITHOUT pineapple.
I am not the one who had to write "WS" on her hand to remember to go by Windstream and pay the bill today on lunch. I'm also not the one who saw the "WS" on my hand and tried to remember what I was praying about for my friend Whitney Shapiro. It left that quickly.
I am also not the one who left a chore list for Austin on his first day of summer break… gotta keep him occupied!
I am not so grumpy that I've written about four different entries today and deleted without posting so as to not come across as a bitter, angry woman.
I'm not typing an entry instead of focusing on work. I'm not the one who got halfway through writing a "not me Monday" post before realizing it's not Monday.
It wasn't me who thought they saw a little patch they'd missed while shaving their legs only to discover the whole leg was the patch. Both legs.
It wasn't me who rolled my eyes at the email an underwriter sent… or who hurried through a new application because the child of the applicant had a dirty diaper and was banging on the glass door of my office. It wasn't me who sent an email to my friend Amy complaining and whining about work habits of… um… others… that make my job harder. It wasn't me who was tempted to wear my new red $1 Old Navy flip flops to work. It wasn't me who at a whole stinking burrito from Taco Bell from lunch even though it didn't even taste good.
It IS my sister-in-law's birthday today! Happy Birthday Angie!
It IS a beautiful rainy day with lots of lush green everywhere due to the abundance of rain we've had. Way better than the drought that Georgia has suffered the past few years.
It IS halfway through a long "Monday" and by the end of the day today we'll only have three days left in this work week.
It IS going to be a great weekend - helping Angie throw a 40th anniversary party for her parents and hopefully taking Austin to his grandparents' for a week.
Please keep our Kenya and Thailand mission teams in your prayers. I've come to love these sweet people of Helen First Baptist over the past eight months (yes! I've been here for eight months as of today!) and I'm in awe of their love for others and their commitment to missions. It's more than converting people, it's about providing compassion and comfort to those who are in less fortunate circumstances. My friend Alisa and her daughter Haili left Sunday for Kenya… my friend Jennifer leaves for Thailand tomorrow… my brother's team leaves Friday for Kenya. And there are little illnesses and issues popping up all around… my Jamie gurl is still sick. She hasn't eaten since I was with her on Sunday. She went to the doctor today and it's viral - I worry that this will hit Jim somewhere over the Atlantic ocean.
I've been working on this entry since 11am. Busy day… and I'm not feeling so good… more later. Love and hugs.

Monday, May 25, 2009

I wanna be...

I took a little time today and read back over my myspace blog from last summer. I'm so grateful that my thoughts, feelings and experiences from that time of my life have been preserved. I wish I had preserved my AOL blogs but at the time i had to go through with that process, last October, I was desperately trying to forget things, not remember. Remembering can be so helpful, though. I'm glad I looked back today.

My blog entry from one year ago today was about my - well, Michael's - niece Charity's 21st birthday party. It seems both a million years ago and like yesterday. Charity was such a precious bonus to being married to Michael. As were her brothers Christopher and Elijah. And my stepsons... who were a huge royal pain in the rear but much loved... still.

http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.ListAll&friendId=368927856&page=11

Ultimately, I wouldn't trade the peace I have now for the turmoil I lived in with Michael for anyone or anything. I wouldn't trade the financial insecurity I have now for what I thought was financial security with Michael - because as I look back, I was struggling just as much then as I am now and had very little autonomy, I was not able to purchase things without criticism. I can remember coming home from the store with some much needed items and pulling the price tags off of them and stuffing them in my purse so that Michael wouldn't know they were new - even though they were bought cheaply and on clearance and even though he was spending "his" money as freely as he wanted.

This post really isn't about bashing Michael. The truth is that I also read those old entries and saw his face and grieved, again, the loss of our marriage. I grieved those wasted opportunities on both sides to make things right. I grieve, even still, the loss of his companionship and company. I truly enjoyed him... except when I didn't. The truth is, I may have been the one to have the dramatic meltdown but he's the one with real issues and it breaks my heart for him. He's a good person with some really bad habits. Not habits in the sense of substance abuse, but habits in how he treats others and how he interacts with others and his ability to sustain relationships and that makes me really hurt for him.

I've been watching the Jon and Kate Plus 8 marathon. Don't throw rotten tomatoes... I get that she has control issues... I get that she comes across really shrewish... but as someone who LOVED someone with control issues, I see the love underneath the control. I've been analyzing their relationship throughout these old episodes in the same way that I analyze my relationship through old blog entries. Crazy, nu?

I wish I could take the best of the best of what has happened in my life and have it all happen at the same time! I mean... I want the body I had when I was 17, the wisdom I have now, the confidence I had around the time I met Michael, the exercise habits I had back at the end of 2005, the wardrobe I had when I met Michael (size 10 - how I miss it!), I want the hourly wage I was making with Kathy, the bonus structure I had with my uncle, the freedom I had when I worked for Tommy and the boss I have now. I want to have the proximity to Sarabeth and Jamie that I have now and still have proximity to Elizabeth, Caleb and Madie that I had when we lived in Woodstock... I want Ryan to be able to have as good of a job but live ten minutes away instead of a thousand miles away (I don't really know how many miles it is). I want this church and these church members with the energy I had twenty years ago so that I could be there every time the doors are opened. I want Cody and Marquee to both be finished with school already and be able to support themselves and have everything they need but still have their sweet, youthful enthusiasm and not be jaded by the work world. I want Austin to be as content as he is here and still live near the beach... or the pool... or near Brady... in other words, I want him to have the best of all the different places we've lived. I want to be able to think about Michael without tears. I want to have the opportunities I thought I would have by marrying him. I want to be able to have the optimism that I had in our relationship when I first met him and I fear that I'll never be that hopeful again. I want to not have scars but I want to keep the wisdom I grew through those scars. I want to still be ten minutes away from my mom and dad so that I can borrow sugar or yard tools or twenty bucks from then whenever I need to. I want Misty to still be alive to raise her kids but I want to have the appreciation for life that I gained through her death.

I wonder... If we had the opportunity to see the whole story at the beginning of every relationship and could know what lie ahead in the way of hurt, heartbreak, separation by death or divorce or just living in different places... would we risk it still? Would we give up on all the good stuff to protect ourselves from possible hurt? I know for me, the answer is no. I've asked myself a million times if I could say that I wish I never met him. The answer is no... I wouldn't want to trade those awesome experiences, getting to know his amazing family, the opportunity to travel and go places I never thought I'd see, and just feeling the way I felt with him when things were good... I wouldn't trade that, even knowing what it cost me in the end... even knowing that for the rest of my life I'll wonder what if... where we'd be... and I know that for every woman who is sitting home on Memorial Day in her pink recliner watching old episodes of Jon and Kate Plus 8 and dwelling on her failed marriage... that there are a dozen other women who are enduring the heartache of staying in a relationship where they aren't loved... or where they and their children are abused... and that there are another dozen women who never have felt the joys that I've felt, in having children, in being in love, in having the opportunity for a fresh start.

I know I'll cry watching Jon and Kate tonight and I don't care if that makes me lame.

I was really sick this morning... the kind of nauseated where you lay as still as possible and stay as cool as possible to keep from throwing up. I fell asleep and had the best nap I've had in forever. I woke up around 1pm and was able to eat a little whole grain bread and haven't felt sick since. Being sick wore me out, though, and I'm even more grateful for a day off! Thank God for holidays!

I don't have a good closing for this post... other than to say that I wanna be who I am, even though this may not be the most exciting time of my life thus far. Even though I'm sitting home alone watching Jon and Kate from my big pink recliner... or maybe because I'm sitting home alone watching Jon and Kate. I have a good life.

thought for the day...

"Concretely, abandonment to the will of God consists of finding HIS purpose for you in all the people, events, and circumstances you encounter. If God tears up you beautiful game plan and leads you into a valley instead of onto a mountaintop, it is because He wants you to discover HIS plan, which is more beautiful than anything you or I could have dreamed up. The response of trust is "Thank you, Jesus," even if it is said through clenched teeth." ~Brennen Manning

I'm feeling icky today. Curled up in the big pink recliner which Austin so sweetly moved into my room for me this morning. I'll be enjoying pajama Monday... Happy Memorial Day!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Jamie sings

For those of you who follow the blog only and don't see my facebook page you have GOT to check out this video of Jamie singing the theme song to the Backyardigans! It is probably the most precious thing I've ever captured!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9efFjKCHTs

And keep in mind... this baby has a fever... she's feeling horrible... you can see she has the weak eyes that Jamie gets when she's sick. I managed to get her hair brushed and in some ponytails for about ten minutes. We were curled up on the couch watching snippets of the Backyardigans on you tube and she was singing along and it was just too cute! I had my digital camera beside me so I just clicked record as she was singing.

Seriously... it's moments like this that make me so glad to be here in the hills! Susan Boyle, eat your heart out! This baby has talent!

babysitting

Babysitting should be harder. I remember it being much more unpleasant. But for some reason, babysitting Jamie is enjoyable. She's glued to my hip, in the same way that Stubby usually is... she's watching Dora the Explorer and I'm on my laptop. Every now and then we take a break to take pictures of ourselves. It's a hard knock life... breakfast for Jamie was poptarts with cookie dough ice cream and chocolate syrup for dessert. Breakfast for Aunt Heather was the usual fruit and yogurt parfait from Mickey D's.

Sarabeth loved the flipflops. Some are waaaay too big. They will be used, I'm sure, for playing dress up and the way these girls are growing, they'll fit within the next year. Sarabeth asked if she could take a pair to Stasha, a young lady at our church who babysits for them quite a bit. I was like, "YES!" Sarabeth gets it... the whole generousity thing... I'm so proud! I don't care if she gives away everything I give her... there is so much joy in giving... I want her to feel that joy as much as I want her to enjoy the surprises.

Jamie is going to get a puzzle for us to put together. She said she has one that is really american. I'm not sure what that means but we'll give it a shot. Her daddy told her (joking) that we were going to Six Flags while they are gone so she asks me about every twenty minutes when we're going to Six Flags. I would love to take them. I would not love to take a sick child to Six Flags in the rain, however, so today is not the day. She couldn't find the american puzzle so we're doing this jungle game that is electronic.

Out of the mouths of babes... the jungle game tells where the animals live... all of the jungle animals (of course) live in Africa. I said, "Have you ever been to Africa?" She said, "No, but my mommy and my daddy have been to Africa" I said, "why did they go to Africa?" She said, "To get shots". I said, "No, they get shots to be able to go to Africa, but WHY do they go to Africa?" She said, "I have no idea!" It was so cute. Now they're talking about trains on Dora. Jamie says, "I love trains but when I rode the train one time it said, Chugga-chugga-chugga - wooo-wooo and the wooo-wooo part was too loud and it hurt my ears". She cracks me up!

Once my babysitting duty is finished I'm planning a quiet nap in the nest. It's good sleeping weather and I haven't been able to get to sleep the past two nights. I'm glad that I'm having trouble sleeping on nights that I don't have to get up for work the next day but it's still no fun to not be able to sleep.

Miss Thang now wants a ham and cheese sandwich. Looks to me like she's on the mend!

I talked to my friend Cory last night. I just love him to pieces! I've been so anti-social lately that I can't stand to talk on the phone beyond what's absolutely necessary. Cory called to let me know he's coming up to work on my honey-do list. I have a lot of guys and guy friends and guy relatives in my life but I don't have any that are willing/able to take care of these sort of things. Most of the guys in my life are long distance or work all the time or both. Cory is just a blessing... always has been... and it was good to talk to him.

Then I chatted with Miss Sarah and that was also good. She asked about Dean and I have to tell you, honestly, that i haven't talked to Dean lately. I believe his divorce is final. I think Andrea is still in Jacksonville and Michael tells me that he's in Arizona so if they are still involved, I guess it's a long distance relationship. I don't know and don't want to know. I would say that I don't care, but I do care. If Michael used that relationship just as an escape hatch from our marriage, that makes it all incredibly sad - for all of us - but especially for Dean's kids. If Michael is still involved with her, that's also sad - to have sacrificed so much to have no more of a relationship than that. Not only that but Bobby needs a mom. Not one that Michael talks to on the phone a dozen times a day... he needs the kind of mom that I was to him... library and pool and ice cream and pb&j and watching tv and going to the beach and teaching him things and sharing stories and being excited for his little victories and caring if he had clean clothes and matching socks...

The other day I tried to imagine what I would feel if I saw Michael. The unfortunate conclusion I came to is that I would feel fear. That's the overriding emotion - fear. I wish that wasn't the case. I don't trust him. I don't trust his motives. I fear that he will say things to hurt me and do things to hurt me. I wish I could feel excitement about seeing him - afterall, I do miss him. I miss a lot of things about our relationship. But I don't know how to erase the fear of hurt where he is concerned.

My Jamie-gurl is advocating a trip to Six Flags since it's stopped raining. I told her we need to not go anywhere where she will be around other little children because she might make them sick. She suggested Disney World. She said, "well, where do you want to go?" I said, "New York City" she said, "but that's a very long way away". She knew that Uncle Bryan - the one with hair like hers - lives there. I offered to go for a drive but she only wants to go somewhere we are going to DO something. Silly girl!

I guess I need to stop blogging and find something for this silly girl to do. Hope you have a great Sunday! love and hugs!

Now we're watching Oswald the Octopus. This is the life!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

skidamarink a linky dink... skidamarinky doooo...

Pardon the really lame title. But feel free to sing along... "I love you in the morning and in the afternoon... I love you in the evening and underneath the moon..."

For those who are not on Facebook or Twitter, you may not know of the exciting adventure I had this morning... flipflops were on sale at Old Navy for $1 a pair! And the line... wrapped around the store. I waited in line for seventy minutes to buy 13 pairs of flipflops for me and the girls. I'm not sure if the ones I got for the girls are the right size (hard to judge flipflops) but if not, they can grow into them. I also bought a pair of some cutiepatootie sunglasses... I looove sunglasses and had about a thousand pair that Jen had sent me courtesy of her friend Charmaine who has(had?) a sunglass kiosk, I think. I'm down to about three pair so it was time for a spare.

I also made a Publix run since I was in civilization. I have been doing really good with the grocery budget lately. I kinda sorta overspent today but I also rebuilt the bounty of the pantry - stocked up on cereal that was $2 a box and dried beans and other staples that we end up eating when I'm low on funds so ultimately, although I spent more than I budgeted for this week... this will keep me from needing to spend much over the next couple of weeks. Austin keeps eating dinner at the little girlfriend's house so that's saving on the grocery bill! Maybe I should make a donation toward their grocery bill....

The little girlfriend is cute. She's in that sort of awkward stage, just like Austin, so they fit well together. My boys all have girls in their lives now... we have Marie, Marquee and Tasha Marie... notice a theme? When I got home from work last night they were at the primary school up the street riding bikes.

I really need to replace our blinds. Looks like the cat got ahold of one of them.

I had thai curry beef for lunch from the Oodles of Noodles place that I love. It came with a wedge salad with fresh mozzarella and tomato... I'm saving that for dinner.

I also went to the christian book store today and bought a new Beth Moore book. Her studies seem to keep me on track. I had been reading Oswald Chambers, who is a brilliant writer but he's a bit deep and although I want a deep theological understanding, it seems like work sometimes to try to comprehend it all.

I bought the local paper yesterday to see the big story about the fire at our office last week and there were some interesting links that I wanted to share. It doesn't seem like I have much blog traffic these days... I'm not sure who enjoys the links... but here they are, if anyone is interested... links from my corner of the sky...

I always say there is nowhere decent to eat around here, but that's not entirely true... with this being a tourist area, there are some nice restaurants... despite the fact that The Taste of White County event included the Huddle House.

http://www.nacoocheegrill.com/ is pricey... it's walking distance from church... but I've never eaten there. Looks like a nice place for a romantic evening out. If I ever had one of those.
http://www.hanselandgretelcandykitchen.com/ ok. not really a restaurant but yum. The only store in Helen that I am not tired of visiting.
http://www.bettysinhelen.com/ the little IGA grocery store in Helen that has a bit more of an upscale variety compared to the Ingles. Not that I don't appreciate Ingles (although my mountain life will be complete when a Publix opens within ten minutes of me...) but Bettys is just better. And it has a nice old country feel. What I don't like about Betty's is that it's usually full of people who are on vacation, and therefore not in a hurry. I am usually in a hurry.
http://www.oldsauteestore.com/ this is on the way to Jim and Angie's and Austin loves this place. Click on the link about the Legend of Sautee Nacoochee... it's the indian version of Romeo and Juliet.
http://www.georgiamtnrentals.com/ the "cabin" that is adjacent to Jim and Angie's home is rented by these folks.

Stubby the 3legged Wondercat just realized that I am in Austin's nest (the couch) instead of my nest (the bed) and has come out here to find out what's up. He's trying to hijack my hand from the laptop... my Stubby Whisperer gift tells me that he's saying, "What's the deal? Why aren't you loving the kitty? Did you forget the kitty? The kitty requires attention"

I debated buying a tiny little hibachi grill for our place and then I thought about the fact that I am terrified of fire and the fact that the only person in my home besides me is far too comfortable with fire and thought perhaps it best that I not encourage the usage of fire under any circumstances.

TV is so disappointing today. I've been watching the Jon and Kate Plus 8 Marathon.... and performing my own analysis of "what went wrong" between them. It's crazy, I know, but it beats spending hours analyzing what went wrong with Michael. Distraction is my best course of action. I wish there was some old movie on that I want to watch...

I bought the latest copy of People Magazine and read that. My friend Casey had a letter published in this edition! Great for Casey! I also bought More magazine. I really need to do subscriptions. Also on my agenda for the weekend is laundry and thank you notes... but as usual... I'm just being a slacker... but the occasional weekend slacking is not so bad... I'm working soooo much more than I was working a year ago! This is my ying for that hard working yang.

And this is yet another boring post... so if you made it this far... love and hugs, have a great weekend!


Friday, May 22, 2009

Josiah has gained weight!

My friend Misti posted the following today:

we are HOME FROM THE HOSPITAL!!! yay! Josiah gained 10 ounces in 24 hours! What a miracle!! He's 11 lbs 5 oz now!! The doctor wants him to do Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy...and get an MRI. So far all the tests have come back good. We're happy about that. Our car is fixed! My mom is coming home from the hospital today as well!!! What a day! Thanks for the prayers!!

God is good!

the rest of friday at work

1:00 Back at work. Had lunch at the waffle house - pecan waffle and hashbrowns scattered and smothered. It was totally unhealthy. I'm ready for a trip to the produce stand. Ready to get something healthy in my system. I ran into Duane as I was leaving Waffle House. He was going to have an omelet with veggies - atkins style. My mom is sick again with diverticulitis, according to Cody, who took her to the doctor this morning. He sent me a text - which I didn't get because my cellphone stays turned off and in my purse while I'm in the office. I check it periodically but not constantly. Maybe two or three times a day. I called him back but no answer. The weather is pleasant… mild with a breeze. When the wind blows you can catch the scent of honeysuckle on the wind. It's so sweet! The magnolias are also in bloom right outside my office window - and I'm tempted to open the window to be able to enjoy the smell. By the way… my hair is still wet. I fixed my bun again after lunch and it's still wet.
1:15 Amazing. Sometimes it really surprises me the number of people who drive without insurance. I love when people tell me, "I'm not worried about carrying uninsured motorist coverage because it's a law that people have to have insurance in Georgia." Just like there are laws about not speeding. Closing in on four hours until the weekend! Studying up on individual health insurance policies this afternoon. The only constant in my industry is change. Our products change. Regulations change. You have to stay up to date. I did some training this week on farm policies because I'm really weak in that area, having never really lived anywhere there were farms. The fun thing about farm policies are the limits on livestock. We cover loss by accidental drowning except in swine under 30 days old. Apparently baby pigs are prone to drowning? I guess? We also cover attack by wild animal on livestock except sheep, if I understood correctly. I still have a little bit of a sinus headache but it's not too bad.
1:30 I really liked Adam Lambert. I doubt I would ever buy any CD he put out just because his genre is not what I really enjoy. I listen to showtunes and Contemporary Christian music and the occasional country song. I like oldies. I think Adam is incredibly talented. I didn't vote for him when I voted (not during the finals but earlier) not because he's gay… not because he wears guyliner and manscara. I'm not homophobic. (Can I get a witness?) But if I'm picking the person whose CD I would buy, it would be Kris Allen. My hope is that after his Idol contract is fulfilled that he will record Christian music. It may not have the huge moneymaking potential that mainstream music does, but it is a valid and growing market. At any rate… I'm aggravated with the claims that I've heard that Adam wasn't chosen because he's gay. It all boils down to the mindset of freedom of thought and choice unless your choice is not in line with the most liberal of values and perspective and if it's not, then you're conservative, homophobic, narrow-minded -whatever. Why is it no longer ok to say, "I just don't like that". Or "I don't agree with that" or "that's not my ideal". Why is it always about homophobia or racism or whatever? If Adam Lambert performed in a musical theatre production that I was interested and able to see, I'd be thrilled to see him. Gay, straight, black, white or polka dotted. I just wouldn't buy a rock cd. I don't need the screaming. The voices in my head do enough of that. I need to make dentist appointments for me and Austin and keep putting it off. It won't cost for either of us, other than my time away from work…
1:45 Another crazy homeowners policy. Here's my favorite statement, "You guys used to insure this before so you should have all the information". Guess what? Nope. Off the books for thirty days, no longer in my accessible database. And those statements are usually made by folks who usually can't give you basic info about what they want to insure… for instance… like the zip code. Good times. And I love how people are so insulted when you tell them you need to see the property (or a photo) before you insure it. "why? You insured it before." Yes. And you let the insurance cancel. And now want to insure it. Which makes me wonder why it became important for you to want to insure it again. I need to make sure it's still there and that I'm not binding coverage on a pile of ashes. It's my job. Sorry.
2:00 Duane has a home for rent. Someone just called to ask about it. I apologized… "I'm sorry. Duane isn't here and I don't know anything at all about the property". "Can you tell me how many bedrooms it has?" "I'm sorry, I don't know anything about it." "How much is the rent?" "Again, I apologize but I really don't know anything about it." "When will it be available?" You can't make this stuff up. Three and a half hours to go. Have to prioritize… work on the beginning of day report which I thought was about finished but isn't… or marketing… or answering emails… or getting through my documents to be scanned… or type here. Focus, heather, focus. You can do it! Phone call from a church member who needs to sign some forms… they'll just get with me at church on Sunday. Love being in a small town.
2:15 Some clients just came in with their dog. They're sweet people - older folks. That dog, however, really stinks. I'm going to have to break out the air freshener.
2:30 Three hours. Tick. Tick. Tick.
2:45 Just met with a client whose wife left him after 40 years of marriage. I saw her last week. She looks great. He looks horrible. I've been on his end of the equation before. Kevin forgot to go to the bank. Had to head back out.
And now it's 3:00 Turn the Page is playing on the radio. I really want to sing along. I won't. We have clients here. Vehicle change. Payment. Phone call to remind someone to pay. Postcard to remind someone to pay. Lather, rinse, repeat. Two and a half hours. Born in the USA on the radio. I love Bruce Springsteen since seeing him in concert but it's a bittersweet thing… since Michael used that concert as a way to bring Andrea around, which is really twisted and sick, if you think about it… bringing your mistress on a double date with your wife. Bruce gives an awesome concert, though, and it's no fault of his that he has a fan who would do that. There are rumors of infidelity swirling around Bruce as well. It's everywhere. An epidemic of lost morality. It makes me really sad. I heard a quote the other day about how it charges a price much higher than you thought you'd have to pay. Sin is a toll road - it's faster and easier but it always costs you.
3:30 Things just got busy here. End of the day on Friday. I'm chasing rabbits… trying to make sure I've done all the things I told people I would do for them before I left today. My head is spinning… and I've totally lost focus. About an hour and a half ago. Burned out. Let me see if I can do some housekeeping… need to scan some documents… update a rate book… decorate Theresa's office for her birthday on Tuesday… the headache is back but this time it's in the side of my head, like a migraine… stress/fatigue.
3:45 Austin called. The girlfriend's mom is taking them to Dairy Queen. He's happy. I'm glad he's made a friend. I hope he keeps it in perspective. It's Austin, so there's little chance of that. *note to self to have Levi and Jase, Austin's Sunday school teachers, have a talk with him about behaving himself*
4:30 Just spent a half hour on the phone with a 90 year old woman whose life insurance is cancelling for nonpayment. Seriously. Try that one on for size. Her auto insurance has already cancelled and for whatever reason - we didn't call her with a reminder. I spent most of that time trying to explain why it mattered that her car insurance is cancelled. Yes, the life insurance is super important… but she's going to get fined by the state for that lapse in coverage. Yikes. She asked if I could come tend to her garden for her like I have in the past. I told her it couldn't be me - I'm a city girl. I don't know how to pick beans. She swore up and down that I had done it before. Nope. No me. I'm sure I haven't picked beans for any of my clients. Although, that's right in keeping with our new ad campaign, "I'll be there". One hour to go. I'll never finish what I need to do in that amount of time.
4:45 balancing the deposit for the day.
5:15 posting. Got a few details to wrap up… but then I'm not thinking about work for the next three days. At all. Period. Love and hugs, y'all.

random stream of consciousness from Friday morning at work

8:15 - Duane greeted me with a series of sneezes. He has the loudest, most annoying sneeze. It makes you say, "bless you, now stop it!" He said, "I know, put out the cat already!" Speaking of cat… I'm spending way too much time alone with Stubby. We've started having conversations where I am certain he understands me.
8:30 - eating my fruit and yogurt parfait, enjoying my mccafe iced coffee. It ain't starbucks but it will do. Have sort of a slight sinus headachey thing. Nine hours until time to start the weekend. Letter from insured wanting to negotiate value of their home. *eyeroll* At least once a week I have some genius tell me that since the resale value of their home has decreased, their insurance should have gone down. Heather's professional response: "Although your home may not sell for as much as it would have three years ago, the cost to REBUILD your home has increased." Usually the folks complaining about their homeowners premium live in homes valued in excess of $300k. So cry me a river. (that would be my unprofessional response).
8:45 - Ginger is out for the day again so I'm doing her job again. The change from receptionist to agent was great all 'cept for the fact that the receptionist is out an average of two days a week. I'm not bitter… it's been slow here… gives me something to do… but I'm jes' sayin'. Shirley has watered the plants - her official Friday chore. She gets excited when it's time to get the water pitcher out - signals the end of a week. I wore my hair pulled back in a low bun today. It's a look I usually avoid ever since Michael told me that I don't look good with my hair pulled back. I'm trying to break all those habits he instilled in me… things like being afraid to leave a speck of anything in or around the sink, making sure all laundry is folded and put away the day it's washed (who does that?), not wearing open toed shoes, not singing along to the car radio and about a thousand other of his controlling neurosis he burdened me with for two and a half years. Why I am thinking about this at …
9:00 on a Friday morning? Who knows. That's where my mind goes sometimes. I love casual fridays. I'm wearing some cute capris and my comfy walking shoes. (edited to add - and a cute top - because some of my readers would go there!) I need to put these walking shoes to work more then I could wear more of the cute capris I own… Theresa brought french toast sticks to work. I am avoiding them. I've decided that I don't care for dinner any more… just a bowl of cereal and I'm happy. My grocery list this week will be cereal, milk, yogurt and fruit. And things for Austin to eat. Austin has early release today and my summer stress begins… where is he, what's he getting into, who's he with, is he breaking any laws? Is he breaking the ten commandments? Will the City of Cleveland Police Department be calling me today? Is my homeowners insurance up to date? For the months during our renovation at the office and the months following Duane would give people what I call "the new addition tour"… since the fire, I've noticed him giving the "fire tour"… which cracks me up! And explains why he was washing off the tops of the trash cans outside… The oldies station we listen to here at work is playing some great dance/karaoke songs this morning. I'm trying to keep lipstick on today. It's a lot of work. Just remembered we have change at the bank - "Kevin…. Do you mind going to the bank?" and now it's
9:15 Baby Josiah is gaining weight. Keep praying. Since Misti is at the hospital and doesn't have internet, I've been getting updates 3rd or 4th hand but I'm still relieved to know things are improving. Wonder how busy we'll be today? The Friday before a holiday weekend can be really slow or it can be crazy. It's never middle of the road. Busy is good because time passes quickly. I've started following a lot of new blogs. My old list was not updating often. Blog traffic has slowed in my neck of the blogosphere. Over the weekend I plan to catch up and comment. Honest!
9:30 Eight more hours until the weekend! My hair is still wet. It's like a sponge. I'm seriously giving thought to chopping it all off - maybe even to a chin length bob. Don't quite have the courage yet. But I'm thinking about it. One of my clients just came in with his pinkie wrapped in gauze… cut it and had to have five stitches!
9:45 Just saw something creepy crawly crawl thru the lobby. Not sure what it was but it was big enough for me to see from my office. Ick! Head still hurts. Halfway through my iced coffee. Haven't started my water for the day. I'm determined to get the water in… so often what we mistake as hunger is really thirst. I consider this a major foundation for weight loss and heaven knows, I need to lose weight! Almost finished with the beginning of day report. I don't mind doing it… but I hate the part where we call people to remind them that their bill is past due. Makes me feel like Vinnie the Loan Shark. Just checked the Duval County Clerk of Court website to see if there's any update on my divorce. Nope. Still married. For what it's worth. We've been separated for 8 months now. Been busy with taking payments so far this morning. People are paying bills… I don't mind that kind of work day but there's no cha-ching in it for me.
10:00 Seven and a half hours until my weekend starts!
10:15 Just did a flood quote. I hate those. Hate them. For those of you who think you want national healthcare, I would encourage you to try to navigate any of the government insurance plans already in place. Seriously. I'm never confident that I do the quote correctly. The last flood policy I did was a nightmare… I get this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when someone calls for a flood quote. I'm shedding. I find my hair everywhere. I just pulled a hair out of my waistband of my capris. Long curly hair.
11:00 working on the stupid flood quote. I hate flood. I hate it. Hate it. Hate it. Duane refuses to deal with it (his perogative, right?) and therefore we have to figure it out with the help of a flood underwriter. Between the flood policy, trying to work and rework and insurance value on a home to please these folks and taking random payments every ten minutes my mind is mush. It's switching gears that messes with me.
11:30 Six hours to go. Yes, I'm counting. I'm really counting. Theresa has left for the day - gone to Honors Day at her kids' school and then to her boys' spring football game. It's down to me, Kevin and Shirley. And Duane, of course. He's a great hands on agent. Most aren't. You wouldn't find most agents hanging out on a Friday before a holiday.
11:45 My hair is still wet. Every time Ginger is out of the office SOMEBODY in her family calls looking for her. I don't know if she's not good at getting out the word when she's going to be off or what… her mom just called. I'm taking lunch at noon… not sure what I want to eat… yesterday I went out for mexican. There is a nice, quiet mexican restaurant in town with really good salsa. The waiter was so excited to see me reading my bible on lunch. He told me he thought it was great. I told him it was for survival! So far this week I've had leftovers two days, had subway one day and had mexican. I didn't bring my lunch today because there were no leftovers… I had cornbread for dinner last night. Just cornbread. I really don't have much of an appetite these days. Not that you can tell by any weight loss or anything like that. I think I forgot to take my meds this morning. Maybe. Can't remember. Just got an email from Whitney in Jacksonville. She's sick of rain. It's overcast here and there's a chance of thunderstorms but it's not bad. Posting…

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

rambling wednesday!

I woke up at 3am today and never really got back to sleep. I am so tired! It really hit me at church this evening. I just went for dinner... our bible study class is on hiatus for the summer... and I would have gone to the youth worship service but Austin went to church with his girlfriend... after dinner I thought... Hmmm... I can go home now if i want to... and so I did... and when I got in the car, it seemed like it was a million miles home, not my short little scenic drive. And now... I'm looking at the clock and thinking, "how will I ever make it through the end of American Idol? And do I even care enough to stay awake?".

I had to have dinner at church... had to see my girls... it was silly day at Jamie's school so she wore her shirt backwards... they signed up for the summer reading club at the library and got a hackysack ... Jamie's last day of school is tomorrow.... Sarabeth got me an extra piece of garlic bread to go with my spaghetti... and then we loved on Jorjanne's new American Girl doll. How could I miss that sort of fun? *smile*

Just about every time I see Sarabeth she leans in and whispers, "have you been to the store yet?". I spoil them with little surprises but I don't want them to always expect something, if they get something EVERY time they see me then it's not a surprise, right? So if I don't have anything, I tell her that I haven't been to the store. It tickles me that she asks, though, and she never acts disappointed when the answer is, "no... I haven't been to the store".

Today I went to Bath and Body Works on lunch. They had pink and blue rubber duckies and pink and blue hair bows... on the clearance rack... so I picked up three of each. And tonight... Sarabeth didn't ask! I whispered to her, "I went to the store today..." and she was sooo excited! Jamie walked out to the car with me after dinner to get our little goody bag. I want to teach the girls to share their bounty with others. On the way to the car I asked Jamie who the extra surprise should go to and she said, "Jorjanne!" Which was sweet... and a good choice, as she was having dinner with us at "our table". Jamie's shared some of her hairbows with her little friend Emily. So I think they're getting the idea of sharing.

Stubby seems to be doing better today. I greeted him with a "Merow, Merow"... which is my way of speaking cat. He answered, "merow". So I think that means he's ok. He's been napping on my feet since I got home from church.

Is this the most boring post I've ever done? Oh well. You work with what you have.

Josiah is in the hospital but has gained a little weight. Here's the update from the church about his family:

Subject: report from Misti St. Pierre - 5/20HOPE PRAYER WARRIORS:Just talked to Misti....a good report for Josiah...he has gained 30 grams of weight! The doctor was hoping to see improvement and is pleased. However, he still is having reflux problems, spitting up a lot, so may have to change his formula again. Josiah did follow the doctor around the room with his eyes...so that is encouraging.They found a small cyst in the brain, but they say it is within "normal" range....and all other tests results have come back within normal range. They do not have the results back from the "sweat test"....checking for cystic fibrosis, among other things...but should hear from that on Thursday. Jerry got the transmission pulled from his car and hopes to get it back in today. Also, he hopes to go and visit Misti and Josiah in the hospital today...and take her much needed fresh clothes. Joshua is fine...playing with friends. Misti's Mom is on Lasix pills and I.V. for the excess fluid in her body....kidneys are not working well.Please keep the St. Pierre's in your prayers...

It seems surreal that it was only two Wednesdays ago that I was wearing Josiah's "baby's breath" (spit up) and it seems surreal that they are so far away!

My friend Alisa - who leads our Wednesday night bible study - and her daughter Haili are leaving for Kenya on Sunday for a mission trip. My friend Natalie (Jorjanne's mom) and my brother will leave on the 29th. Another group is going to Thailand ... I have friends scattering all over the world, literally! My goal is to support them in prayer as much as I can and to support Angie as much as I can (although she has lots of help and she'll be FINE... she really supports me WAY more than I could ever support her, but anyways...). It would take a month for us to do all the things I've suggested that we do while Jim is out of town but number one on my list is Babyland General with the girls (OR... the American Girl place in Alpharetta but it's easier to get to Babyland General which is just a mile from me...)...

Ok, the lack of sleep is catching up with me and I'm rambling. Hope you have a great evening. Love and hugs, y'all!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tuesday rambling

I think I'm getting back into the swing of blogging. Yay again for my new laptop! I started feeding the piggy bank so there's money for the next one... maybe this one will last until I save enough.

Austin greeted me with the news that he and Tasha had their first kiss today. *screaming* I said, "Oh! You can't tell mommy these things!". He really REALLY needs to spend some time with his dad and grandparents this summer instead of being unsupervised with "baby girl" (his term) two streets away. I finally got his dad on the phone today and he is not able to have Austin for the first week after school gets out. I said, "YOU call Austin and tell him". He acts like it's soooo much trouble for him to work and have Austin. I call that... Tuesday. I mean... he's 15. It's not like he has to take him to the potty or anything. Gurgle. Gurgle. Gurgle. The sound of me drowning from the solo responsibility of raising this kid.

Stubby is still sort of whiny. I'm not sure what's going on with him but he's clingy and seems to be favoring his stub more. I got him a new brand of food today... I know it's goofy but if I like comfort food, surely the cat does too, right?

I made the best roast EVER today in the crockpot. Dales seasoning sauce, soy sauce, a little white vinegar, butter, onions, potatoes, garlic... Austin's favorite part is the onion. Go figure.

I finally put away my clean laundry from Saturday. So glad to be single.

Ok. Not totally glad to be single. Today is 8 months. I was a bit teary today. It still hurts. I wonder if it always will. I am not bitter. I do not hate him. I have forgiven him. I have moved on with my life. I count my blessings every day but it. still. hurts. When we talked a few weeks ago he described his relationship with Andrea as "she helped me out of my marriage and I helped her out of hers". Like I was some disease he needed a cure for... or that he was trapped and needed to escape... or that an otherwise intelligent, mature man could not manage his marriage, or the ending of it, without destroying the lives of others. It's surreal to me still.

I created this "which came first the chicken or the egg" conundrum for myself today. Am I still hurting like this because I'm still single/lonely OR am I still single because I'm still hurting. Let me know if you figure it out. I think the hardest thing for me right now is this feeling that this is a wound that will never heal. I have a hard time staying focused on eating healthy or losing weight because ... why bother? Any man that would only be attracted to me if I was slimmer is someone that I couldn't trust, if physical beauty is so important... what would happened if I were disfigured in an accident? Do I want to risk shallow and conditional affection again? Never.

I don't think I'll ever get over the comment when I had the bad mammogram last year, "great. we're married less than a year and I have to deal with a wife with cancer." It wasn't cancer, by the grace of God. But our marriage was terminal.

Change of subject.

I'm excited about the new show Glee but I think it is poooooor planning to show the premier and then not show another episodes for months. It just seems risky and almost makes me NOT want to watch it because I don't want to deal with the suspense.

I'm camped out on Fox for the whole evening... TMZ... American Idol... Glee. I'm such a couch potato!

I'm seriously considering chopping off all of my hair again. Even when it's curly it still reaches halfway down my back. I'm just ready for something different. Sarabeth got herself a cute little summer bob. Jamie likes hers longer... so they don't look like irish twins right now. I've been doing some hairstyle research.

Ok... time for TMZ... have a great evening. Love and hugs, y'all!

link to story about our fire

http://www.thenortheastgeorgian.com/

if you click on the "more about this story" link - you can see a picture. The funny part - we have this huge Good NeighBear stuffed teddy bear in the window overlooking the parking lot where the car was.

fire and the power of prayer

Apparently I blissfully slept through some high drama last night at my office. A lady was driving down the little highway in front of our office and her car was stalling out so she pulled into our side parking lot. The side parking lot is literally right up against the building - beside the sunroom/fileroom/employee break room (if any of us really took break here). When she tried to start her car back up, flames started shooting out.

Ginger got a call at home from her cousin who had been listening to the police scanner (who does that?) and he told her our office was on fire. She called Duane's cellphone and couldn't get him. She called his house and talked to Duane's wife, Didi, who was able to get in touch with Duane.

Shirley's daughter Kathy's husband was listening to the police scanner (apparently if you want to know what's happening around here, you own a police scanner) and called Shirley. She drove down to the office in her pjs. She called Theresa and she came over in her pjs. Then Ginger and Duane showed up. Pajama party at the office! Woohoo! Kevin and I were blissfully ignorant.

If anyone HAD tried to call me at this point (around 9:30pm) it wouldn't have mattered since I am scared to death of fire… and since I was already in ambien land by this point thanks to my self-imposed EBT last night (early bed time). I definitely wouldn't have gotten in the car and driven the half hour to the office.
The fire was contained quickly and only damaged a small portion of the side of the building, which is brick. We will have to replace a portion of the overhang of the roof, possibly replace the windows in the sunroom and maybe the storage shed door. There was some soot and dirt tracked in by the firefighters who were trying to get into the attic to make sure there was no fire there but that had already been cleaned up by the restoration people overnight. (Helps to know people in the industry!). There is barely even a smell of smoke.

The vehicle, however, was a total loss. It was insured by State Farm, but not through our office. I think the saddest thing for me is that the woman's son had all of his baseball equipment in the car and that was lost in the fire. I know that would have been a great loss to Cody!

Today, of all days, I left my camera at home so no dramatic pictures of the "destruction".

I can't help but think… this is an office that prays. This office is covered in prayer from so many angles every single day. We have barely cosmetic damage from this fire and no one was hurt, not even the lady who owns the car. Her car was a total loss, though, so keep her in your prayers. Hopefully she had comprehensive coverage on her car and it will be covered. God is good.

My friend Misti who has the baby who is not gaining weight (remember I mentioned praying for him on Mother's Day?) is in Louisiana now and the baby is not doing well. She was at the hospital with him last night. I haven't had an update since then but definitely want to keep remembering their sweet family. Her husband Jerry was really the first person to be able to reach Austin and get him excited about going to church when we first moved here. They are a precious family of faith and I know her heart is so heavy for her baby.

Being back online and back on facebook brings me back into contact with so many people - hundreds - and everyone has some "worst thing" that they are facing right now. The economy, illness, struggles with raising children and taking care of elderly parents and marriages that are in trouble and people who are just lonely… there's so much of it out there, just in my little corner of cyberspace… we really have to embrace the power of prayer and realize the need for a higher power and a stronger hand than what we can do on our own. God is good. He is faithful and just.

Back to work… just wanted to share that story… remember to pray for Jerry, Misti, Joshua and Josiah!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday night

I get really aggravated about the amount of advertising about the DTV switch. It just seems like a big old government handout - "make sure all the poor people can watch tv". Not that poor people don't deserve to watch tv. Just that I think poor people need food and ... well... food... more than they need clear television.



I still really love TMZ and am adding my crush, Max, the long haired blonde guy, to my list of really awesome left-handed people. Like me.



Work was stressful today. Change of subject. Ok. Not yet. Work is just taking a lot out of me. I find myself getting depressed around every pay day. Go figure. I feel like I'm giving a lot of myself and working hard... and just getting tired. There are times that it's a real joy. It's no salt mine. But if I had my life to live over again, I would never have put myself in a position to take such a drastic pay cut. I know that I'm blessed... many people are out of work. It's just hard to know more, be more experienced, work harder and work longer and make less. We've talked about it. It's just not Duane's philosophy to pay more than an "administrative wage". He expects us to earn the rest in commission. Lucky me... it's a recession and nobody's buying.



I still love Kate Gosselin. She is another of my favorite famous lefties. I don't know what the real story is with her and Jon but... I don't think she's a horrible person. She's real. She is reacting like any real girl would if she came into a bit of fame and money. And no doubt Jon is reacting like any man would. I'm just saying. I'm not saying any of it is right. I'm just saying it's real. What made me start watching them in the first place was fascination with the reality of having eight kids.



The ad teaser that just came on was all about their marital problems, "Jon and Kate face each other for the first time next Monday". Oh boy! Reality trainwreck! I really want them to work it out. I always vote for happily ever after.



I have gotten to the point where my fatigue exceeds my hunger. I never thought that would happen! Tonight for dinner i had raisin bran. It was just easier. Since (if you saw in my earlier post) I "did not" forget to put the roast in the crockpot. I thought for a brief moment about making cornbread but that involved more commitment than I was willing to make. Hmmm... cereal!



I actually went to the grocery store this weekend. Austin and I are coming in at about $50 a week for groceries - which is not bad - but I also spend more than I should in picking up breakfast and lunch during the week for myself so I need to swing the pendulum a little stronger toward the grocery store and further away from the McDonald's fruit and yogurt parfaits.



I really enjoyed getting to spend time with Ryan and his sweet girlfriend Marie this weekend. My time with them was too short and their time together was too short too... they live so far apart! Where there is a will, there is a way. They'll figure it out. She has another year and a half of college and he's in a job where - although he travels quite a bit - he is based in Pennsylvania.



Watching an old episode of J&K+8 - she said, "Joel cries every time Jon goes anywhere. It's like he thinks he's not coming back. Maybe he knows something I don't". Awww... Her article in People magazine this week is sad.



I did one of those "how well do you know me" quizzes on Facebook. So far, my friend Mary (who has known me for 30+ years!) is the only one to get 100. She was always an overachiever! I'm really bad at these tests. I think it's easier for the people who read my blog than for people in my real life or old friends. Just for the record, though, I have four brothers. Crunch-n-munch didn't know that answer. How can you know me and not know i have four brothers? I mean... that's probably the third thing I say in an introduction: My name is Heather, I am the mother of three and I have four brothers.



Ok... time for me to bring this really boring entry to a close. Love and hugs, y'all!

Not Me Monday

Feel free to play along... directions are found at http://www.mycharmingkids.net/

I did NOT opt for the curly / no fuss hairstyle complete with tacky barrette this morning because I spent too much time on facebook to fix my hair.

And it was NOT ME who grabbed a razor on my way out the door and tried to tackle the most obvious long leg hairs instead of taking the time to actually shave my legs. Because who notices with my legs up under the desk all day, right?

I am not the one who was thankful that a co-worker brought Amish Friendship bread since I had completely forgotten to eat/bring breakfast and was trying to choke down a four day old fruit and yogurt parfait from McDonalds.

And I promise you that I didn't spend my lunch hour trying to think of a legitimate excuse that was not a TOTAL lie for not going back to the office this afternoon. I mean... my throat does hurt a little bit and if I thought about it long enough I could say that my head hurts and my stomach feels a little achey (maybe from the four day old yogurt). Instead... it's not me that's back at work but writing a blog entry.

There was someone in my house who broke her commitment to weigh every morning because they didn't want to get bad news on a Monday morning but it was not me. No, not me.

And I didn't sweep the crumbs off my bed last night and laugh out loud and say out loud to myself, "and you wonder why you're single..." Not me. I was not the one who ate oreos in bed Saturday night. I was not the one who ate day old boiled peanuts in bed last night and it could NOT have been me who ate flounder, broccoli and cheese casserole and mac & cheese in bed on Friday night. Certainly, that wouldn't have been me! And I definitely would never have pulled the breading off the flounder and fed it to the cat.

I didn't waste HOURS of time on facebook this weekend. I couldn't have been the one who didn't bother to so much as take the laundry out of the dryer last night because I didn't want to be bothered to fold it. I didn't walk out the door this morning without putting the beautiful roast I bought for dinner tonight in the crockpot. Who would be THAT disorganized? Not me! I wasn't the goofball who got locked out of her State Farm account for forgetting the answer to two of my three security questions. (Thank goodness I remembered the middle name of my youngest sibling!) I didn't JUST FINALLY get my name corrected on my checking account and then tell an exasperated customer service rep that name might be changing again. And she didn't tell me, "just leave it like it is - how bad could he have been?".

Duty calls.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

sunday

Nothing new here. Well, except my new laptop which I continue to be so grateful for that I can't even begin to explain... but I am loving it, loving being able to just surf.

I made some burgers up yesterday like I used to do back in the days when I ate healthy in hopes of rekindling that love for eating healthy. I do love healthy food. Honest. More than I love those double stuff oreos that Austin and I bought last night... that we made a special trip in to town to buy last night... but anyways... the burgers... ground chicken, mushed up chickpeas, spinach, mushrooms, garlic, a little bit of ground beef and an egg to bind it all together. These are my healthy alternative to burgers. I think next time I'll leave out the beef completely. I love chickpeas. I could live on chickpeas. I've mentioned before that one of my favorite side dishes is roasted chickpeas... just a can or two of chickpeas drained and then drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with whatever seasoning I fancy at the moment. So next round of burgers will be half and half chicken and chickpea. I made up a dozen of these burgers and froze them for "fast food". Tonight we're having the half meat/half veggie burgers and couscous. Austin loves couscous.

Ryan and his girlfriend Marie came up for a visit yesterday. Ryan lives in Pennsylvania and Marie lives in Alabama so this was a rare treat. I had hoped Cody and Marquee would come too but it was just Ryan and Marie. We did the regular tourist thing... go to Helen, have North Georgia BBQ, walk through Helen, go to Fred's Peanut Shack and then go see Jim and Angie and the girls. I still love living here! It was a thousand percent humidity but still a great time.

Today has been pajama Sunday, other than getting out long enough for Sunday School and Worship Service. Bubba was preaching today and I love my Sunday School class... but we were still home by about 12:30 and have been enjoying a peaceful, lazy Sunday ever since.

Dinner is almost ready... just wanted to say hello... more later, maybe...
love and hugs!

Friday, May 15, 2009

from the mouths of babes

This is from a little book made up by seventh graders at South Habersham Middle School. My co-worker's son is in the class.


I have learned that if you do something stupid, your parents will find out.
I have learned that your eyes are bigger than your stomach.
I have learned never to say the words, "maybe later" to your mom.
I have learned not to keep the door open when using the restroom.
I have learned to work hard now to live a good life later.
I have learned not to hate anyone you don't even know.
I have learned not to take the short way out of life.
I have learned that no one knows who I really am.
I have learned that your heart will always lead you home if you let it.
I have learned to pick my friends carefully.
I have learned not to climb up a tree that you can't get down.
I have learned when you are in water do not breathe.
I have learned that no comment is the best comment when dealing with most adults.
I have learned not to ask for something you don't need.
I have learned that you were born an original.
I have learned that you don't appreciate something until you have lost it.
I have learned that man's best friend is not always a dog.
I have learned not to cheat.
I have learned that you should try your best and never give up.
I have learned that you should never race on a bike with a flat tire.
I have learned that if you jump off of a house with an umbrella you will not float.
I have learned never to surprise my dog when he is taking a nap.
I have learned that sometimes we want more than we need.
I have learned that you have to lose in order to gain.
I have learned that little lies turn into big consequences.
I have learned that it's ok if you know the ending, but the cool thing you should want to know is how it got there.
I have learned not to talk when the teacher is talking.
I have learned that if you tell a lie it ALWAYS comes back to haunt you.
I have learned you can actually learn from your mistakes.
I have learned not to play soccer around houses.
I have learned to NEVER step on a muddy, wet rock when you go caving, just walk through the water.
I have learned to never throw a tennis ball into a tree with bees around.
I have learned that girls are really dramatic.
I have learned that if you don't know how to love someone then you never had a heart.
I have learned that it is important to follow your dreams.
I have learned to be careful who you trust.
I have learned to smile when you get your picture taken.
I have learned to work hard at school or have a bad life.
I have learned you can accomplish anything if you put your heart into it.
I have learned that if there is a skunk in your yard, don't shoot it.
I have learned not to waste your time fighting with your siblings because when it comes times for them to leave you will miss them more than you think.
I have learned to look at the label of what you drink first and see if it has expired.
I have learned how to stand better by skateboarding.
I have learned not to fall asleep when I'm deer hunting because you wake up and have no idea where you are and it can be pitch black.
I have learned that I have to be responsible.
I have learned that warm cookies and fresh milk make the world a happier place.
I have learned that boys do stupid stuff but in the end we have the most fun. (written by a boy)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

this is the week that never ends... it just goes on and on my friend...

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

Actually. It was a stressful day in that adrenaline-rush-of-a-engaged-in-life kind of way. It's like... I have a job that I love that sometimes includes aggravating responsibilities. We haven't been terribly busy but we've been short handed so I've been still working hard but not really making any cha-ching for the extra work. Job duties... filling in for co-workers... put on your big girl panties and deal with it kind of stuff. And I get flustered and slightly stressed but also sort of charged by the fact that I can do this stuff. It's my thing. Even the "juggling my job and someone else's" thing. And I have some pleasant co-workers too. I think this is the first time I've worked in what could be called a "mature environment". Meaning that we're all late thirties or older. Meaning the dramameter is dialed down.

Last night at church we had Awana commencement. Awana is sort of like Christian boy scouts and girl scouts. It's got a strong focus on scripture memory and that sort of thing. Sarabeth was a great big overachiever... she was like the most accomplished in her age group... and my Jamie-gurl was the top dog in her group too, I think, as much as a four year old can be a top dog. It was sweet to see them. I was drafted/delighted to be asked to help serve at the little ice cream social afterwards. It's surreal to reconcile the vast loneliness of Jacksonville with being part of a real church community here. I will never take that sort of interaction for granted.

I posted pictures on my facebook page from last night... it's really too much trouble to post them here.

Austin has yearbook signing tomorrow at the high school. The ninth graders are in a separate building some miles away from the high school so they will bus them to the high school, which thrills Austin to no end since he gets to potentially hang with his best cousin, Devin. Tomorrow is also Devin's birthday party so Austin has a full day ahead.

I thought we had dodged the behavior bullet with Austin this school year but Austin managed to get himself in a fight the other day. One of the young ladies at church last night told me her friend had pictures of it on his cellphone. Lovely. The good news is that Austin didn't get in trouble. The bad news is that he got his tail handed to him. That'll teach him to mess with these big ole country boys, won't it? Actually... the Austin version and the version that this young lady shared are (surprise) quite different. And knowing Austin... I can sort of guess what side the truth lies on. I didn't do anything to him in the way of punishment... I think the butt-kickin' was punishment enough.

I am a little worried about Austin at the high school tomorrow... but there's nothing I can do to protect him. He wants to do the whole yearbook thing and because the poor kid has attended six different schools between 5th grade and 9th grade, I really want him to feel the same sense of belonging that I feel here. Yearbooks are stupidly expensive but I dug up the money for him to get one. Heaven knows that if I didn't have my yearbook from high school I wouldn't be able to figure out how I know half of my facebook friends. So he's getting a yearbook and he's going to the yearbook signing at the high school and hopefully he'll conduct himself appropriately... and if he doesn't, he'll face consequences bigger than mine.

This was the talk I had with him after the fight... "I can't get you out of trouble". There are consequences to the things you do. The older you get, the bigger the consequences. If someone is treating you unkindly, you have to find a way to deal with it that doesn't involve breaking the law. Physical violence is against the law. Blah blah blah. Who knows if any of it sunk in. Sometimes kids have to figure things out for themselves. I guess if there's any benefit to the "been there done that" of him being the third child... it's knowing that there are some lessons that words don't teach.

I really want to see the season finale of Grey's Anatomy and I'm sooo sleepy! This week has kicked my butt! I'm hoping I can stay awake for it. That... and there's a news special with Evander Holyfield on the late night news. One of the teasers they've been giving is, "Do you think that some of those women you were with got pregnant on purpose?". Ok. Let me dissect that statement... 1. Yes. There are gold diggers in the world. Kanye West did not invent the concept. 2. Any man with a dozen kids by a half dozen women has most likely come across a gold digger or two. 3. Here's a clue Evander: marry one woman, stay faithful to her and you never have to worry about gold diggers.

(spoken like a woman scorned, right?)

I've been trying to eat healthy this week... but didn't do a great job today. I really need to go to the grocery store. The list that Austin and I made last Saturday morning is still on the kitchen table. Tomorrow. I promise. Or maybe Saturday. I am definitely not working this Saturday. I just can't. I need a nest day. Or... a grocery shopping day. I made a quick Walmart run today for the essentials: leave in conditioner and advil. We can run out of milk but running out of conditioner would be a crisis!

At any rate... I'm sure loving my new laptop! I've missed this soooo much! And to have a laptop without the crazy positional power cord is even better! I had been having computer issues since the week after Christmas. This is like cyber shangrila. Or something like that.

I'm watching the first season of Friends... going to turn my attention back to that. Have a great evening! Love and hugs, y'all!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

happy days!

I just uploaded my memory card from my digital camera onto the new laptop! We're in business! One more hour until I leave work... I may stay up all night! Happy days are here again!

it's here!

My new laptop is here!
Angie and the girls brought it to the office. I'm loading the software now... will be able to use it when I get home! Yay!

tuesday

I must say... I'm being very consistent about blogging lately... even though I can't really spend much time reading other blogs.

I slipped in the bathroom this morning while getting ready for work and landed weird on my right arm and hip. Joy oh joy. My balance has gotten really bad… I can tell it's time to get serious about weight loss again! And serious about Austin drying the floor after a shower. Brat. My right foot got twisted up between the wall and the toilet and I landed with most of my weight on my right wrist… which hurts like the dickens… so does my right elbow… and right shoulder… but nothing is broken, it's just sore. And I'm left handed so it shouldn't hamper me tooooo much. It's just an aggravation.

Austin has a new little girlfriend who lives two streets up from us. He wanted to go skating with her last night but… hmmm school night? Monday night? Night before the end of course test in Math? No… my mommy "not a great idea" radar went off. He was sorta grumpy about it at first but I said to him, "Austin. I don't think it's fair for you to be mean towards me when I'm having to make decisions about what is best for you. It's a big responsibility, it's a responsibility I carry completely by myself and it's never easy for me to not let you do what you want. But I'd rather make the right decision and have you mad at me than make a wrong decision just to keep you happy. If that was the case then you wouldn't need me at all". He calmed down about it. We made dinner together - spaghetti and garlic bread.

I'm counting down the days now until I get my laptop! I'm so excited! I've been trying to be really calm and not act like a kid counting down to Christmas but I'm really excited! I've made it this far… I tried checking email at Angie's over the weekend but I have so many and I couldn't really concentrate… I figured it would be one long internet weekend coming up - if I get it by the weekend. I've started making a list of things that I want to do when I have my laptop back. Ha! I even have the recliner in the living room set up for my comfort and convenience…

Ryan is coming through town this weekend. His agenda is pretty full…. Trying to see his long distance girlfriend, Marie, who I really adore. I picked her out for him when they were in fifth grade. They only started dating back in March. Sometimes it takes kids awhile, doesn't it? At any rate… if I see him, it will only be briefly.

What if my daughters in law ended up being Marie and Marquee? That's pretty funny. Like having a Tina and a Gina. Or something like that. Cody and Marquee are pretty focused on getting married. I adore Marquee. She's beautiful and smart and patient and giving. She'll keep Cody in line. I just want them to have a healthy foundation. I see so many dysfunctional marriages and so many marriages that don't survive and I just want to spare all of my children that sort of frustration or heartbreak. Of course, you know the old saying, "a son is a son until he takes a wife but a daughter's a daughter for all of her life". I've done - I think - a good job of letting mine out of the nest. The important thing now is creating relationships with their significant others that make them WANT to come home. Wherever home is. Who wants to drag a wife somewhere she hates to be? It's hardly worth it.

I always loved spending time with Michael's mom. She's highly educated and well spoken and witty and active. The only problem for me came when Michael became hypercritical and sensitive about the things I said in front of her. He could tease me. He could tease Austin. But if I teased him, especially in front of his family, I was disrespectful. We had a nasty fight about it over Thanksgiving while I was in Jacksonville. The thing is - his family, much like mine, are all smart people with sharp wit and they tease each other. I could either do the natural thing and join in the teasing or I could sit there like a stupid bump on a log to keep from offending him. I never found the balance. In the beginning of our relationship we would call his mom to help settle disagreements. Toward the end he didn't want to include mom… she would never have approved of what he was doing. She loves him, like any mama would and she understood, far better than I did (because he didn't tell me) what kind of stress he was under. She has stood by him and been a constant in his life and I'm grateful. I worry less about him knowing that he has a good mama.
When I get in my "go back and fix the past" machine, I always think about how IF Michael had let me know what he was going through, how I could have worked with him. I would have stood by him in everything. He just never let me on his team.

Oy. How does this stuff resurface at such odd times?

I'm really. Honestly. Truly. At a place of great peace. I feel tranquil. Rested. I won't say that I feel strong… because I'm probably more aware of my weaknesses than I've ever been. But being aware of weakness makes me aware of a need for a higher power… which, in itself makes me strong.

Today is a "counting the hours until time to go home" day. Six still to go. Hope you guys have a great day! Love and hugs!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mothers day recap

Happy late Mothers Day to all the folks I missed telling over the weekend (including my own mom! Oops!) My intentions were good… I had these cards that I was going to make and send out and… blah-blah-blah… didn't get it done… and then it was Sunday and we went to church and it was sort of emotional (more on that later) and we got home and I just really wanted to take a nap so I turned on TCM and started watching old movies and dozed in and out. I had a headache most of the afternoon… but it was still a great day.

I watched Pocketful of Miracles (starring Bette Davis) and I Remember Mama (starring Irene Dunne and a VERY young Barbara Bel Geddes - the lady who played Miss Ellie in Dallas). Then I watched a documentary on hot dogs on PBS… and the Amazing Race… and I started watching "Because I Said So" with Diane Keaton. I fell asleep. This was the second movie I crashed on this weekend - I also fell asleep watching Rumor Has It (with Jennifer Aniston) on Friday night and had to watch the ending on Saturday night (it was being replayed).

Austin WALKED to the store to get me a mothers day card… the first one he has ever actually purchased for me himself, I think. Ryan called. Cody texted. Mothers day just doesn't seem to be a huge deal for me - never has really. The thing about a holiday honoring mothers is that mothers are always on duty and life goes on.

In church this weekend they had a marriage seminar starting on Saturday night and continuing through Sunday School and church. I skipped Saturday night but came for Sunday School and church. The guy who was leading it was a good speaker. I'm not a huge fan of the topic but then again, I am. I would love to be in a healthy marriage - I mean, who wouldn't? I truly believe that strong marriages are the foundation of our society. He went over a list of clues that there is infidelity in your marriage - I could have written that list! It was hard to listen to - hard to relive it - hard to think about it. In some ways it really depressed me. I think the biggest part of the struggle in my marriage was in KNOWING that I was on a slippery slope and knowing that nothing I did would change it. Michael would fuss about me gaining weight and being "sick" (if you can call having dental work, an elective surgery and a bad mammogram "sick"… these were not chronic illnesses!) but ultimately I could have been everything he said he wanted in a wife and it still wouldn't have been enough. His mind was made up, he had checked out of the marriage before I even came to Jacksonville. Knowing that I was facing inevitable demise literally drove me crazy. The infidelity just made it infinitely worse. This past week infidelity has been a hot topic, with Jon Gosselin and John Edwards and this marriage seminar. I've been faced with the issue far more than I wanted to.

So I really needed my nesting/watching old movies time yesterday. And in that respect, it was the perfect Mother's Day.

My friend Misti, one of the first people I bonded with when I moved here, is moving to Louisiana. Louisiana is home to them. Misti and her husband Jerry moved here after Katrina… and they had some hard times here. She had a couple of miscarriages and ended up losing both of her fallopian tubes. They're young… twenties… and want babies! (to make a long story short) Last December they were able to adopt baby Josiah. Because Misti had continued nursing her first baby, Joshua, when they adopted Josiah she was able to nurse him too, which I thought was pretty durn cool! Josiah, however, is not growing. At five months old he is barely ten pounds! He's alert… you can see how he's developing… his eyes follow his mommy… he's holding his head up… he's just tiny. They started trying to supplement him with formula and he throws up EVERYTHING they try. I help him Wednesday night as Misti had planned to leave Friday - driving. The baby is just too sick. They ended up buying plane tickets to fly out today, just her and the baby. Her husband and older son drove the uhaul with a car trailer.

During the invitation time yesterday morning, Misti came down the aisle with Josiah cradled in her arms - the place he's been almost constantly since they brought him home. She was barefoot. She spoke to Pastor Jim and at the close of the service he said that Misti had asked that we lay hands on and pray for Josiah to grow and be healthy. The elders of the church were closest but Angie pulled me forward, closer… and in a mass of a crowd of people, we prayed for Josiah. When the prayer was over, everyone else went back to their seats. I sat down by Misti and took Josiah in my arms and just held him... he kept steady watch on his mommy… so tiny and precious and fragile and yet, so secure in the love of a Christian mother who is not too proud to humbly ask for intecessory prayer. I love how she had such faith… and so much love for her child… that she wanted to give him the best she had to offer - the love of her church family. That will be how I always remember Misti… cradling Josiah in her arms in her bare feet there at the altar.

There were other precious moments yesterday. Abbie wanted to hold baby Josiah so I put him in her arms and never REALLY took my hands off of him while she held him. Abbie just looked at him all sweet and maternal. Sarabeth sang with the children's choir. While they were warming up she was so busy smiling and waving at Aunt Heather that she didn't pay attention to Miss Michelle. I got a few pictures, I'll share them when my NEW LAPTOP gets here! Jamie made a little paper bag burning bush in Sunday School and I asked her about it. I said, "why was the bush burning?" She said, with great big eyes, "GOOOOOD was in the bush!". Jamie asked if I had bubble gum (of course! What kind of aunt would I be without gum?) and before she took it, she asked if I had enough for sister too… awwww… Sarabeth's sweet friend Eli got "sprung" from the nursery before I had left the sanctuary. He came running up asking if I had seen Sarabeth… I told him, no, that I hadn't been up to children's church yet, he said, "If you find her, tell her I'm looking for her"… just awwww!

Austin and I bought a sour cream poundcake from the amish bakery on Saturday for our Mothers Day treat. Most people eat out on Mothers Day… I knew I didn't want to wait in line anywhere so we bought poundcake. Austin had never really had THAT kind of poundcake. He's a believer now! I think he's eaten half the cake by himself. We had a simple lunch of turkey sandwiches on fresh baked bread for lunch… and baked potatoes for dinner. I still haven't made my grocery store run for this week. The little Ingles is ridiculously crowded on Saturday afternoons. I meant to go yesterday but with my headache and it being Mothers Day, I really just didn't want to. Maybe after work today.

The honeysuckle is in full bloom here. Behind the office is a wooded area FULL of honeysuckle. When I stepped out of the car this morning there was a sweet fragrance in the air… it was incredible! I love spring! Azaleas are also blooming and beautiful right now.

My lunch is over now… I started reading an Oswald Chambers devotional. I needed to gather some focus. Hope everyone is well. By this time next week I should be back online! Woohoo! Have a great week! Love and hugs, y'all!