My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Sunday, November 30, 2008

question and answer:

Question? If you knew things would be this good would you have left him sooner?

I feel like I need to answer this question not just for myself but for anyone else who is at a crossroads in their life.

The answer is that I don't think I would have ever left him. I talked about it. I thought about it. I threatened it. But at the end of the day I believed in the sanctity and permanence of marriage. I never wanted to leave him. I wanted to change him. I wanted him to be the man I thought he was. I wanted to be able to be the girl he thought I was. Until the day he said to me that he had tried to love me and couldn't - I honestly thought that we would always just have this passionately tumultous relationship. I thought we were just quirky and spunky and spirited and dysfunctional and weird. I thought that was meant to be. It was only when I realized that not only did he not love me but that he had also shifted his energy and focus to someone else that I began to understand that we would not be married until death.

Now... understand that it was that feeling that we were committed until death that sometimes made me want to speed up the process and get to that point a little faster. I truly felt I had no options. And when I share my story and I post my pictures of my happy little cozy home it's because I know that there are people who read my blog who also feel like they don't have options.

I hate divorce. I did not want to be divorced again. I don't want to be the poster child for how great life is when you leave your husband. It was only thru an enormous amount of prayer and soul searching and honestly - fear that the next suicide attempt would be successful - that made me leave out of complete desperation.

God is faithful. All during the time that I was living in Jacksonville and soooo very discouraged... I would pray and I would hear God answer me by saying, "Be still and know that I am God". I didn't like that answer. Ok. Fine. I get it. You're God. Now do something! Fix it! MAKE HIM LOVE ME! He knew what I couldn't know... that He was orchestrating a beautiful plan that could only come about when I hit rock bottom. It was only that point of desperation that allowed others to know how deeply wounded I was. It was that cry for help that sent people to their knees in prayer... that motivated my rescue team... that made a way for me where I could see no way.

I listen to people differently than I used to. I used to get impatient and want to interrupt with my answers before they were finished presenting the problem. I look at their eyes. I repeat what they say back to them. I ask more questions. I figure if someone who talks as much I as do couldn't communicate the desperation I was feeling - how much difficult is it for people who aren't so chatty and open? I want to be able to hear cries for help while they are still whispers.

I still love Michael. I pray for him every day. I pray that God will turn his heart back to his wife and that God will heal our marriage. I pray that she will return to her husband and that her family will be reunited because I believe that God ordained marriage. I ache for her husband and for her children. I pray for them daily by name and ask God to heal their marriage. I ache for Bobby and Stephen because I love them and want to be their stepmother. I can't trust that any other woman could ever love them the way I do. I ache for Michael's nephews Elijah and Christopher because I don't know that they will have another aunt that loved them as I did (except Michael's sisters, of course). I miss my mother-in-law. It still hurts when I talk to him on the phone that I can't end the phone call with "I love you" and have it do anything other than make him uncomfortable. It hurts to not have that love received or returned.

I know that I could never live with my husband again unless things drastically and dramatically changed and I am at peace with my decision to leave... but I only have that peace because I know that I did it only after seeking God's will and direction for my life. I still don't like it. I am happy here and I am blessed and I have a beautiful life... but I still don't like that my marriage was not saved.

I couldn't have left any sooner than I did. I would say that if I had anything to do over again it would have been to listen to my heart before I married him in the first place. I knew. I knew it would not work. I knew it wasn't right. I knew I would never realize my full potential as a wife and mother and Christian and sister and aunt and daughter and so on while married to him. I knew that our paths were different. I wanted to make it fit when it didn't.

Thank you for asking. I hope my answer makes sense.


Today has been the cherry on a perfect weekend sundae for me... lots of friends, family, rest, accomplishment.... I am blessed and content and happy.
It is the first Sunday in Advent which celebrates hope. It is not by accident that today I received the ring I ordered from my friend Misty's jewelry sale... a simple silver band with the word, "hope" engraved in it. I had stopped wearing my wedding rings not long after moving here because they were a painful reminder of what should have been and was not. However, because my conviction is that I am married until such time as I am legally not married, I intend to wear a ring on that finger. The "hope" ring was a great symbol for me, that there is hope for the future.
Certainly, I have more hope than I had at the beginning of this weekend! I think that my excitement at having talked to my friend was more about being able to see past the pain and begin to imagine a life after this has all ended. There was a time when I couldn't even see my way to the end of the day, much less to a new relationship... or for that matter, a new home, a new job, living independently, feeling joy... and all those things have so beautifully fallen into place.
It is premature for me to begin to even dip a toe into a new relationship. I am, however, enjoying the possibilities around me and I am no longer afraid of being alone for the rest of my life because I can see that there is hope.
Now... having said that... there is a lot of work for me to do. My house is finally in order (other than still needing curtains and realizing that I only have one pot holder!) I am settling in. I am definitely loving my home and my job and my church and feeling so much like a part of this place and not just a visitor. Michael accused me of never really moving to Jacksonville. Whether or not it was intentional, I never engaged in that place as I have engaged here and a huge part of that is being part of the church. I just know this is where I'm supposed to be while healing. I hope this is where I'm always supposed to be because I can't imagine ever leaving! But I have learned to not use absolutes like "always" or "never". I am happy to be here for as long as God intends it.
The next step for me is to begin a physical healing. I worked so hard to lose weight and then lost my focus and really stopped caring about my physical well-being. It took every ounce of energy to survive emotionally... I made the comment this weekend that you have to want to live before you can want to live healthy. I'm there now. I want to live. I am working on a plan to begin to get back to a healthy size.
*sidebar* Let me toss this in as well- I believe that I am loveable at any size. In fact, I have had MORE success in dating as a big girl than I had in dating as a small girl. Maybe - and I'm not making any character assessments here - maybe it's possible that men who love bigger girls love more than just the outside appearance and maybe men who are attracted only to thinner girls can only love on a surface level. I have some really deep issues with the whole idea of rejecting someone because of their size. I will tell you very honestly that I am the size I am now in part because of the sadness I felt, because of the medications I was on and partly because it was a subconcious protest that I could be WHOEVER I wanted to be and still be loveable. That was a risky little experiment and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that my weight played a role in the demise of my marriage. However, I will also say that for the long term, I want someone who will love me regardless of the physical appearance, for it is guaranteed that I will age... my hair will turn grey... I will develop wrinkles... regardless of how well I take care of myself... and regardless of what I weigh. I am concerned about being with someone who is healthy and who will encourage me to be healthy as well.
I know that in the past when I have been successful with weight loss that exercise has been the key factor. I hate to exercise. However, I do love being outdoors and I love to walk and there are great places around here to walk. The problem is that I am at work from dark to dark every day now. I'm going to have to return to using dvd's and just doing stuff inside until I'm either working less or the daylight lasts longer. My goal is to put in 30 minutes of exercise every day in 2009. I tried to make it a fun goal for me so I decided I would exercise 180 hours in 2009... which gives me some flexibility if I am unable to work EVERY day but should also give me some positive results.
I also thought it was a pretty cool thought that 180 hours could result in an 180 degree turnaround.
When I begin my weight loss journey in 2005 I knew that developing an exercise routine was going to be tough. I started with only 5 minutes a day and gradually increased it until it was a habit. I think I'm in a little bit better shape now than I was then - but not by much! I'm going to spend the month of December building up to that thirty minutes a day so that come January 1st, I'm already in a healthy pattern and it's not a drastic shock to my system to begin exercising. I'm going to start with ten minutes a day this week... fifteen minutes a day next week... and be ready for that thirty minutes a day on January 1st.
I'm not sure yet what food plan I'm going to use. I've got to think about that a bit longer. I want to do something that I can really do for the rest of my life. I want it to be reasonable and usable and affordable. The good thing is that I love fresh fruit and vegetables... that bad thing it that I love bread.
I loved the comments on Austin in the refrigerator... butt prints in the butter... leftover turkey (that made me laugh out loud!)... now the poor trick is sick and I'm feeling so bad for him. He really can't afford to miss any school and his school day is so long... there is a prediction of snow for tonight but not a "snow day" kind of snow. He's sleeping now. I let him stay home from church this morning. He's just really feeling icky. I have a little bit of a cough myself and a sore throat but there should be enough antibiodic in my system to keep me from getting sick. Unless it's viral. Ha! That would be my luck! I am having some icky side effects from the high doses of antibiodics... mouth ulcers and things of that nature. But I feel like the kidney infection is better, if not completely gone.
So that's my Sunday... filled with hope for the future... love and hugs!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

home sweet home!

Our tree is up and decorated! I also put up Austin's stocking, our Christmas card holder and our Advent Santa. (ok, that may be a little secular but it's a tradition that my kids enjoy!)

Pictures have now been hung... and it seems more like home.

All of my boxes are FINALLY unpacked with the addition of the bookshelf and curio cabinet.

I'm really proud of our little home. It's mine. It's the place God gave me when I had nowhere to go. I don't take it for granted, not for a second!

Ok... this is how my day started... I was thawing a turkey in the fridge and the *juice* dripped out everywhere. I figured better to be safe than sorry and took everything out and bleached it carefully to make sure it was clean. And Austin... because he's just a big goofy kid... had to see if he fit in the fridge.

I got so much accomplished today... when I made my weekend to do list on Wednesday I was being a bit ambitious... but I really have gotten a lot done, more than I would have thought possible... and I actually feel pretty durn good. I'm still smilin'!
I didn't have company today... and that's ok. I was busy and frizzy and focused on getting stuff done. Tonight I want to just chill in my nest. Maybe I'll have another phone call... *wink*.... It's really an icky rainy day here in the mountains. I wouldn't want anyone to have to make that road trip. I felt bad enough that Cody and Marquee had to drive back home on the wet roads.
Florida is winning big! Go Gators! It's been a great football day... and I'm about to watch the Oklahoma vs Ok State game.
I made a huge early dinner for us... turkey, corn casserole, broccoli casserole, broccoli salad, sweet potatoes, beets, cranberry sauce... and there is pumpkin pie for dessert. I can't tell you the last time I cooked so much but here it just feels right. I'm definitely in my domestic element here. I think it's time for that piece of pie now....
Hope you all have a great evening! *hugs*

waking up with a smile!

I was up late last night. That doesn't happen often with me. I was emailing with my cyber crush *wink* and working on my blog and watching the movie "Georgia Rule" with Jane Fonda, Lindsey Lohan and Felicity Huffman. I was having a pleasant time and enjoying quality time with me and I just wasn't ready to go to sleep yet. THAT REALLY never happens! I'm always ready to go to sleep!
Then I got a phone call and as soon as the phone rang I knew that I was meant to stay up late so I would be awake and lucid to take that call. It was a blast from the past... someone I never quite got over.... the man who I once boldly told that I would be the one he thought of as "the one that got away". We have talked once since I left Michael. That phone call was about giving him a brief overview of my demise and resurrection, catching up on what was going on in his life and so forth. He told me then that he had wanted to talk to me but wanted it to be on my terms and when I was ready. I was. We acknowledged warm fuzzies then and I knew that if I wanted to talk to him, I could.
Since then... Misty died... I've had this kidney infection... I've had some additional challenges and discoveries... if you come here often, you know there's always something boiling in my cauldron. There have been a few times I've thought about calling him but didn't have the time to give him my undivided attention. Angie recently asked me if I had talked to him again. Melissa asked if I was going to see him over Thanksgiving (as he lives near my parents). I wanted to... in the back of my mind I wanted there to be some reunion... but there were just other things that needed my attention more. In my heart there has just been no hurry where he is concerned... no need to run snatch him up before someone else gets him. It has just always felt with him like whatever is meant to be, will be.
So last night... at 10:48... when I put my laptop away and pulled out the newspaper to read myself to sleep.... the phone rang... and I picked it up - because nobody calls me at that time of night - except him- and I saw his name on my caller ID and I smiled... it made sense to me why I was not ready to go to sleep yet. I had some business to take care of.
Let me help you understand the filters that I have self-imposed on my blog: it is read by most of my family members (which is fine, it helps them know things I would probably never tell them) and by my husband and some of his family members and by coworkers and friends and and church members and -who knows who all! I always look at my geotracker on the upper right side of my blog with great interest. I want to know who comes here... and most people don't leave comments.
So when I tell you that I woke up this morning with a smile like I had slept with a coat hangar in my mouth... you will understand that this was a meaningful conversation for me... and I am greatly encouraged about the future of our relationship.
We talked for two hours and seven minutes. For those of you who know me only online... you may have the perception that because I am wordy, I am also chatty... and this is true but I HATE talking on the phone. Hate it. I am far too A.D.D. to sit and devote all my attention to just one thing and yet I feel compelled to do on the phone EXACTLY what I do if I'm talking to some one in person - I stop what I'm doing and give them my undivided attention. It's what I want to receive, therefore it's what I give.
We revisited the warm fuzzies. After talking with him last time I came away with the perception that he had not dated at all since we dissolved our relationship. In fact... he has dated one person... for three months... and it didn't work for several reasons (which aren't mine to share) and ultimately he returned his focus back to his work and his family and his coaching. At this point in the conversation I interjected, "It couldn't work because we are each other's destiny". And. He. Agreed.
We talked about things that had happened while we were on separate paths. He is aware that I was unhappy (doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out if a girl tries to kill herself, she's probably not on top of the world!) and we had touched on some of the "why's" of that unhappiness in our first conversation. But last night he asked questions... and I gave answers... and it hurt his heart. At one point he said, "Stop. I can't hear any more of this. I can't stand to know how bad you hurt.".
And we talked about how I met my husband as a direct result of our decision to date other people. He said, "Yeah. I don't remember that part - the part of us seeing other people". He was kidding. I think it's just one of those things that you do in a relationship when you're not sure where else to take it. I think for us it came from a knowledge that there was going to have to be a time of tribulation... that I was going to have to see what else was out there... maybe it was only that way for him. I thought I was in search of Prince Charming. I even used the words, "fairy tale marriage" and he reminded me that there are no such things as fairy tales and that real relationships aren't always pretty... but if they're real, they aren't that much work either. We talked about the red flags I saw in my relationship with Michael. He talked about the red flags he saw from a distance.
He worried that the holiday would be hard for me. You know... the reverse is true. I am empowered by how beautiful my Thanksgiving was. I am empowered by the people I saw and the traditions that were kept and the knowledge that there is a place in this world where I uniquely fit. I am blessed to be in that place now.
We talked about our spiritual journey. He asked what my relationship with God is like... *smile*... better than ever! This was always an important foundation in our relationship. I told him that I knew that if I ever committed to anyone again, that it would have to be someone whose passion for Christ is like mine.
I explained it this way... I'm a big Florida fan. I love the Gators. I love Tim Tebow. If I were lucky enough to get tickets to the SEC Championship game next weekend... I don't have any Florida fans in close proximity... so I would have to take a friend who maybe just enjoys SEC football... or maybe just enjoys my company and goes to keep me from braving the wilds of downtown Atlanta alone. And I would go to that game wearing my Florida tshirt or sweatshirt... and maybe my Florida cap... and maybe, I might get a little crazy and get one of those game day face painting things... I would be PASSIONATE about the Gators... and it would be a big game. And my friend... although they were there with me... and would enjoy the sport and not be uncomfortable or unhappy... they wouldn't be invested in the game the same way I am.
And so it is with having a relationship with someone whose relationship with God is not where yours is... yes, they'll go to church with you... and they'll like the music ok... and enjoy the fellowship... and they'll go away with a good feeling about things... but they won't be as passionate as you are... as inspired... as motivated. I need someone in my life who will get excited with me when a passage of scripture is particularly meaningful or who will be able to remind me of scripture. I need someone whose relationship with God is established to the extent that they can teach me... learn with me...
So when he asks what my relationship with God is... he is not just so much taking my spiritual temperature... he needs to know who I am becoming in Christ and what my level of commitment is to Christ before he can ever be sure of my ability to commit to him. And trust me when I say that I wouldn't have it any other way.
We talked about commitment... about my marriage... and my divorce. I have such a strong conviction that until such time as in the eyes of the law I am no longer bound to another man... that I continue to be bound morally and spiritually as well. My husband would not mind if I began another relationship... in fact... he would be relieved on some levels. But for me.... no. Not yet. There is more to come. After last night things make sense for me that didn't two days ago. I understand more about how cherished I am... how I can be cherished and loved and appreciated by someone who has known me for a long time... and has had time to see all my warts, all my stupid decisions, all my failures... someone who has loved me fat and who has encouraged me in my journey to be thin. I had some clarification. I had some edification. And I just might get to see him today! Stay tuned!

Friday, November 28, 2008

random things

Do you guys remember the Sears Christmas Catalog? I think it was called the Wish Book. Do they still make those? I haven't seen a Sears catalog in ages. Mama and Daddy had an Ikea catalog that was pretty exciting...

I've been watching Tori and Dean all evening. One of those ridiculous fascinations. I don't know why they interest me.

I think I need a Garmin.

If I HAD been shopping today Macy's had some great deals. I can tell that retailers are really trying to move merchandise this year. There was this great chafing (sp?) dish that was only $8.99.

I am starting to love cranberry juice.

Austin has a sore throat but he is rearranging the living room for our Christmas tree. He is also cleaning out the litter box... apparently the poop is getting to him. Usually you can't smell it. Today you can. My husband is gagging while reading this.

I have a new afghan on my bed... it's this really beautiful columbian blue color that matches my other bed linens. My grandmother made it during her martyr period (may God rest her soul). She always told my mom that she went blind making it. Mom didn't have a use for it but we couldn't throw out something that grandma sacrificed her eyesight on... so it's on my bed. And it's beautiful.

My cousin Melissa told me a story yesterday about Grandma serving possum when her parents were newleyweds. My first question was, "where did she get it?" I mean... it's not like you can pick it up at the Piggly Wiggly.

I just saw a Horton in the Macy's ad! I have a Horton that Michael bought me earlier this year. I was so excited about Horton that he bought me Hop on Pop, Yertle the Turtle and Fox with Sox too. The Macy's Horton TALKS! I wonder if I can buy one online....?

Not that I exactly have dough to blow but I've been thinking about investing in a good handbag. I've never been materialistic... but I like the idea of having a good, grownup purse instead of my Fauxch purse. (it's like the target knockoff of Coach).

I don't understand the whole threadcount thing. Is higher better? Candice... help me out... I just always smile and nod like I know the difference. I usually sleep on top of the covers. I know it's crazy... it's just what I do. I love a made up bed so much that I can't stand to unmake it to sleep in it. Sheets don't matter so much to me.

Tomorrow I'm also getting my curio cabinet that is being recycled from Jim and Angie, I think. I'm very excited about how nice my house is going to look after this weekend. I need to have a housewarming party or something... hmmm... entertaining... am I ready for this?

I had this epiphany this afternoon about why God ordained that marriage should be for life... I mean... you fall in love when you're both young and hot. You procreate when you're still in that category... you go through all the insanity of raising kids... by the time they're teenagers and nobody can stand them - even themselves - you're both genetically invested so you team up and join together to battle the forces of evil... after going through all of this together, when she starts going through menopause and he has his midlife crisis there is enough of a deep rooted bond to forgive each other for their shortcomings... and then when you get old and grey and start losing parts, you love the person inside the aging shell so much that you couldn't stand to leave. That's what I believe marriage should be. I'm about twenty years behind schedule...

I am craving ahi tuna. I don't think there's anywhere to have it here. The nearest Outback Steakhouse is about 45 minutes away.

Maybe a Dooney & Burke purse.... I'll have to get tires first. That's my next big money expenditure.

Have you seen the Barbie Karaoke Styling Head? I had one of those big Barbie heads that you could style. Now they kind of freak me out... this big ole random decapitated Barbie... but I've got to check out the Karaoke feature since Jamie has asked for a new Barbie for Christmas and that child loves to sing...

It's Friday night y'all... and I'm laying on my big cozy bed with my laptop, the sales papers and Tori and Dean... I'm living large!

There is a place near us where they sell log furniture. Austin REALLY wants a log coffee table. I don't know why. It wouldn't be terribly out of place with our living room furniture but I'm not sure why he likes that look so much. I need to take him by that store and let him browse. I have a feeling it will be terribly expensive.

Ok... enough random thoughts for one day... g'night y'all!

Christmas decorations are coming

I realize that I'm probably the last blogger on who still has a fall motif. I have picked out a cute Christmas background but when I went to update my template, it said I was going to lose all my widgets. I love my widgets. I don't want to lose or recreate them. I have to figure out how to update the template without losing my stuff. If anyone knows... please leave me some simple instructions!

I have some pictures from my day... I tried to arrange them in chronological order and that wasn't as successful as I had hoped. Oh well. You don't come here because I'm a webmistress... but because I say a lot.

So I will say... today was a good day. I started with breakfast with my school friend, Mary.... we then made a run to the mall... I bought ONE thing... a comforter set that was marked down from $140 to $20... and then I had to get the heck out of dodge. I'm just not a Mall Girl. Mary stayed and did some more shopping but she's way more hardcore Christmas than me. I'm the flakey one. She's always responsible... she probably has finished her Christmas shopping now. I haven't even thought about it.

After leaving the mall I went to the thrift store. My last winter in Georgia I was a size ten. I am no longer a size ten. I needed some winter clothes. I needed some work clothes. My budget is limited. Therefore... the thrift store was the place for me. I bought fifteen new pieces of clothes for $45. B-uh-uh-argin! Three of the items still had the store tags on them. Lots of people buy things and never wear them and never return them and end up donating them. That's where Heather comes in... giving abandoned clothing a home!
Then I met Austin's dad to pick Austin up (did I mention he spent Thanksgiving night with his dad?) and me, Cody and Austin and Marquee (Cody's girlfriend) went to the Christmas Tree Farm to cut down a tree. If it was up to me... we'd have an artificial tree or a precut tree... but for most of my kids' lives... well, all but the last two... we have gone to this same tree farm and picked out a tree. They wanted to do that this year... Cody is coming up in my dad's truck tomorrow... it was a perfect time for us to get one... so we did. Last year we didn't have a tree... the year before we bought one at the catholic church... so it was particularly special to us this year to do this as a family.
Tonight I'm getting the house cleaned up and moving furniture so that when Cody comes tomorrow with the tree - and with my new/used bookcase, thanks Mom and Dad!, I will be ready for both. Cody is also hanging pictures up... so this house will very much look and feel like home after this weekend.
I've been complaining about not feeling good so much... I hate to make this a "heather's health update blog"... but truly, I am feeling soooo much better! Next time I get sick, I will have them START with the shot instead of waiting until I get completely run down first.
Time to get back to work... *Hugs, y'all*

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Sarabeth lost a tooth!

What better day to lose your first tooth than Thanksgiving! How cute is Sarabeth with her big gap?

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tea party pictures

Jamie and Sarabeth...

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still more pics

1. My Uncle Al - Melissa's dad and my mom's oldest brother. My mom has four brothers, just like me, but she also has a younger and older sister. Aunt Ginger is her oldest sister.

2. Sarabeth loved the purple hats!

3. Jamie and the tea party hat! We had yoohoo to drink and chocolate chip cookies!

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more thanksgiving pics

1. Me sick on Sunday... looking a little drained...

2. Me and cousin Melissa today... I'm looking a bit better, right?

3. PART of the food.. we had a huge spread and there were tons of leftovers. We had turkey, dressing, sweet potato casserole, squash casserole, green bean casserole, corn casserole (It's the south, y'all!) broccoli salad, fruit salad, green salad, deviled eggs, cranberry sauce, sausage balls, pumpkin pie... and so on and so on!

4. My aunt Ginger and my sister in law Angie

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Sarabeth and Jamie

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My niece Jamie makes the funniest faces... here she's all blinged out... and looking a bit pouty...

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thanksgiving scenes

My best cousin Melissa and myself. We also took pictures with my other best cousin, Christie, who is about ten months pregnant... but we didn't take any of those on my camera... I'll have to wait to share those...

You'll notice in the picture of the table scape that my overloaded first plate is in the bottom right hand corner... complete with cran-grape to drink! We ate at the "Princess Table" where you had to wear earrings and have manners.

Later we had a tea party in the dollroom... I mean... it doesn't get much more girly... and you'll notice Austin there with his own little teacup. Jamie is wearing one of Aunt Ginger's red hat hats.

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It's been a good day. Here's one picture of me and Cody from a few minutes ago. I've got a couple dozen more pictures to share... but I'm not sure I'll get there tonight.

Just a few things - Ryan, Stephen, Ali... I got your texts today and was not able to respond yet. *hugs* to all of you.

Michael - your pie looked amazing.

Purple Michael - are you in Chicago or Atlanta?

Melissa - thank you for trusting me. Having family is not such a bad thing.

Jen - did your family end up with salmonella? Did the turkey thaw? Any tips? I have a turkey to cook on Saturday and I am pretty sure it's not thawed and won't be.

I made the most amazing corn casserole... I'll post the recipe later.

The sausage ball problem from yesterday was my fault. I miscalculated. Oops.

I have a cyber crush. You know who you are!

Tomorrow will be another busy day... busy=happy.

Love to all y'all.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

getting my exercise

I have tried to make an entry several times today and it's just not happening. Bear with me. I have too many thoughts.

Yesterday I wrote C or A on my hand... to remind myself to do everything without complaining or arguing. That was from my bible study yesterday morning. Having that blue magic marker temporary tattoo was a great reminder and a great opportunity to share. By last night, even my little niece Jamie (who is almost 4) asked me, "have you been complaining?" It was a great way to keep my attitude in check.

You know... being miserable and grumpy and angry hurts me far worse than it hurts anyone else.

This morning I prayed that God would help me not feel so frustrated/disappointed with the outcome of my marriage. God told me I was going to have to suffer a bit longer. Ok... no, there wasn't a loud booming voice... but some scripture came to my mind...

"... but the God of all grace who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast" 1 Peter 5:10

I hate to exercise. For a period of time I was very consistent in my exercise routine, starting every morning with at least 30 minutes of treadmill or elliptical. I hated every minute of it. I hated being hot and tired and sweaty. I hated that my lungs burned and my legs ached. But the reward of consistent exercise was feeling good and looking good and being able to wear cute clothes.

Suffering, I believe, is exercise for your spirit. I got way more exercise than I wanted today.

I went to work for about five hours. I went to the doctor. I came home. Simple enough, right?

Work was fine. I have a car loan that will probably close next week... which gives me a nice little addition to my next paycheck... just in time for Christmas. I didn't feel good at work... but I haven't felt well in awhile.

I left my husband two months ago today. I still miss him. I'm still angry about what happened and why. I still resent her. I still hurt. This random thought in the middle of another train of thought is a perfect example of what my life is like... happy happy happy sad angry happy frustrated happy grateful happy blessed strong sick happy sad... all over the board.

I left work and went to the doctor and my suspicions were correct... I am not better. She gave me a shot of rocephin... if you haven't had a shot lately... they still hurt. It hurts afterwards. It hurts bad enough that you forget what ailed you that made you need the shot in the first place. She did blood work. She ordered an ultrasound to check for kidney stones (there are none) and signs that my kidneys aren't working correctly (they are). She gave me a prescription for levaquin which is relatively strong and which always makes me nauseated. She also gave me a prescription for something to ease the nausea and something for pain.

I left the doctor's office and did my grocery run. You can imagine how crowded that little Ingles was. I was really in pain. I saw my friend Pam who is a cashier there and she cheered me up a bit. I then went to the pharmacy to get my meds. There was no line and they were ready and I was in and out quickly.

I came home to a huge mess. Austin had not only NOT done his chores but had taken apart this toy that had a couple hundred tiny plastic pegs and they were all over the living room, kitchen and my room. He had dirty dishes intertwined with his blankets. It looked like a frat house. I wanted to cry. Actually, I did cry. I have been home for over four hours and I have been dealing with him and his chores and his messes ever since. I am beyond frustrated. I am overwhelmed. He is too old to be so destructive. I am too sick to have to hover over a kid to get him to understand that he can't leave cheese shreds to mold on the counter or that he can't put dirty dishes under the couch or that he can't eat a whole dozen eggs for breakfast and then leave the remains stuck to the pan on top of the stove. Every. Single. Thing. He has done today. Has been. An enormous. Battle.

I put broccoli on to steam for my broccoli salad and asked Austin to watch it (while he was cleaning the kitchen - the mess he made) and tell me when it boiled. He forgot... it got mushy. We'll have broccoli casserole instead. I had Austin mix up the sausage balls for me. He somehow got too much water in it and the dough was runny. He carried the big Home Interior picture that I have had for twenty years that he broke *accidentally* to the trash and managed to get shards of glass everywhere. He has gone in and out of my room a thousand times this afternoon while I was trying to sleep off the nausea and affects of the anti-nausea meds and he has managed to slam the door every time except one. Instead of folding the washclothes and dish towels he rolled them into long tubes and tried to store them on the counter in my bathroom.

I am no Martha Stewart but dish towels do not go on the bathroom counter and a child who has lived with me for 14 years really ought to know that.

Before anyone starts thinking that I am breaking child labor laws... you should know that his chores are pretty basic... he has to clean up behind himself... run the dishwasher and empty it... sweep the kitchen floor... take out the trash. Minor.
He ends up having a lot to clean up because he makes a lot of messes.

Sidebar... it really gets on my nerves when people pronounce the word, "children" chur-dren. There is an L in it.

Between seeing the doctor... waiting on an ultrasound... waiting on blood work... waiting to see the doctor again... I had a lot of time to read my friend Matt's book. Here's an excerpt (shared without permission) "Sadly, we live in jails of our own making. We walk in the unseen prisons of pursuits that leave us more empty than when we began. The hunger of the heart will not be satisfied in the love of another person."

Yes, there is suffering in my life and I believe it will be there for awhile still to come. My hour by hour life is really not bad. When I look back over big stretches of time it is painful. When I try to think ahead over a big stretch of my future, it is scary. The here and now is ok.

PS... yes, I am taking my medicine and drinking cranberry juice and resting.

don't worry, I'll catch up....

I'll be going in to work early this morning to try to make up some of the hours I'll miss going to the doctor today. I slept well last night and woke up around 4am. Not as much sleep as I wanted... but better than the night before. I will be doing WHATEVER the doctor tells me to do, I promise. I am soooo looking forward to time off, even though we're going to be heading south Thursday morning and I plan to stay overnight at my parents so that Austin can stay overnight at his dad's (his dad live about 45 minutes south of my parents). We'll be back to the mountains by Friday afternoon and I'll have lots of hibernation time. For the next month we don't have Sunday night or Wednesday night Bible studies and although I dearly love my Bible Study groups and my girls.... going to church *only* once a week will help me.

Last night I called my husband about the whole illness thing. I don't know exactly what I expected him to say but ... there is still a part of me that relies on him, his wisdom, his input, his concern, his advice. It's kinda stupid because if there was one aspect of our marriage that he hated, it was when I was sick. He was NOT meant to be a caregiver! But he was kind and remembered that part of my problem in April was that I can't keep antibiodics down... and therefore don't take them all. I have been taking them... not in the morning but at night. The only way to keep from throwing up is to lay perfectly still and I can't do that in the morning. So I need to tell my doctor this... that I'm probably going to need something different.

Sorry to rattle on about this... that's how I blog... whatever is on my mind is what comes out. That gets me in trouble sometimes... but it's just what it is. Someone asked me yesterday how long it takes to write a blog entry... oh... about half an hour... it takes about the same amount of time it would take me to say it. It's just me talkin' to ya. I've had a request to write a book for a friend who has had an interesting real life experience... they don't feel like they're articulate enough to put it down in words so it would be a collaboration. I'm interested. I am not sure that my chatty blog writing style would translate well in a book- but it's worth a shot, I suppose.

Baby Eden, my friends' baby who was born eleven weeks early on 09/28/08 went home this past Monday! She looks amazing and they look delighted! Grandparents are on their way to spend the Thanksgiving holiday...

I have so many blogs I want to visit and comment on... I'm behind. Most of us are, I think. Just *group hug* know that I love you all still and am thinking of you, even when I don't stop by as often.

My goals for the next five days:
48 deviled eggs
corn casserole
broccoli salad
sausage balls
trip to Riverdale/Jonesboro/Fayetteville
visit with Mary
visit with A.T.
visit with special friend *wink*
visit with my parents and Cody
get Austin to his dad's for an overnight visit
thrift store shopping for winter/work clothes - I have budgeted $50 for the thrift store - which should get me about 15-20 new articles of clothing
get new tires
get pictures hung at home
get my brother to move the curio cabinet over from their house to mine (they are giving it to me)
get the bookshelf my parents offered me moved up here and set up
do something about curtains
(I want my home to look more homey with Christmas coming!)
start on Christmas food/craft projects - at least conceptually
catch up on blogs
buy sheets for my bed (still don't have sheets!)
help Austin work on a science project (thank you SHERIE!)
find/buy a dresser to get my folded clothes organized
start to sort through my Christmas decorations - the tree will have to wait until next weekend, I think, but I can put the other stuff up
get my Christmas cards done and mailed
get well

I'm sure I'll blog a dozen times over the weekend. Most people get too busy with the 3D people in their lives to blog... I love to blog about the 3d people in my life!
Hope you have a great day!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

cardboard testimonies

One last thing... I'm still awake... I found out what our Sunday Service was about... it's a concept called Cardboard Testimonies... basically where people hold up signs that tell what their struggle was.... and then flip it over to show how they had victory over that situation.

Google "cardboard testimonies" and watch a few. I promise you... you will be inspired...

My problem would be narrowing it down to just one sign. I can't watch these videos without tears just streaming down my face.

Go watch... tell me what you think!
g'night y'all!


Oh wow. I'm so zonked! It was just a long, long day. Waking up at 1:30am is NOT the way to start the day! But I did it. I made it through the whole day... customers... putting air in my tire (again, I know, I have to get a new tire)... two Thanksgiving dinners... dishes... laundry...and so on and so forth. I don't know how, but I did it!

It was actually a pretty good day. I'm getting a bit concerned about the whole kidney infection issue as I am still in pain and have some of those other little tell-tale signs like... oh, I don't know... fever that keeps coming back... chills... feeling weak and... did I mention pain?... I called the doctor today and they said, "oh yeah... definitely we need to see you before the long holiday weekend". So I have an appointment smack in the middle of the day tomorrow which will be tricky... I'll spend an hour just getting to the doctor and back... but it's better than spending Thanksgiving in the ER.

I have this major "alone-a-phobia" about getting sick. I'm scared that something will happen and nobody will know... like they'll find my cold, decaying body a week later or something. I know this is completely irrational. I missed one Sunday and I had a half dozen emails/calls/etc. I'm unattached but not alone. There's just that idea of sitting in an ER alone.

The really ironic thing in the "My World is So Small" category... I was telling my SIL Angie tonight that I have an appointment tomorrow at 1pm... and she said, "OH! Jim has an appointment at 1:15". With the same doctor! How funny would it have been if we hadn't talked about it! Even in a small town... you'd crack up if your brother had the next appointment after you at the same doctor and you didn't know it! I asked her not to tell him.... Of course... having me as a sister for 40 years... I'm sure there's not much that surprises him.

I'm a bit stressed out about missing work... I emailed Duane and told him and he was not unkind about it... but it's the day before a holiday weekend and it's been really busy this week... and... yeah... I can't afford to miss work. I'm still trying to earn some cha-ching for Christmas money but so far this week we've lost more policies than we've written.

My friend Matt's book came in the mail today and I am forcing myself not to read it tonight. I'm so sleepy that I'm afraid I'll skim over it and not really read it. By the way... go order yourself a copy... , search for Good Hope by Matthew McCord. You will NOT be disappointed! I'm getting several copies to give as Christmas gifts. I really adore Matt. (when you say that fast it sounds like "a doormat"). He's a sweet, smart, talented, small town southern lawyer and really good guy. Buy his book. *end of marketing ploy*

Today I had lunch with Sarabeth, as planned. They had made homemade butter (which was so good that Angie and I were sneaking from Sarabeth's tray while she wasn't looking!) and homemade cranberry sauce and johnny cakes. The kids had little pilgrim hats and indian feathers and they were so durn cute! School lunch was... eh... school lunch... but it was definitely worth it.

Dinner at church tonight was also worth the trip. There was a huge crowd of people, many more than our normal fellowship meals... but it was good to be a part of things. After all my years of not feeling a part of any church... I'm just happy to be there. I sat with some of the college age kids - or rather, they sat with me! That was nice... Sarabeth came and joined us for dessert. They ran out of pumpkin pie and Austin had snagged himself a piece... and then Sarabeth snagged about half of his pie. He didn't mind... although they did a bit of cutlery sword fighting over it... and then she ate my piece of red velvet cake (which I certainly didn't need!). I told her she needs to call her Pop and tell him she wants some pumpkin pie and she's sure to get some. She just giggled. Six year old girls giggle a lot.

Ok... I'm out of gas. Love and hugs... peace...

up all night!

I've been awake since 1:30 this morning. I'm entering A.D.D. mode. Bear with me.

Karen Minton on wsb tv looks like somebody scared her this morning - her hair is all poufed out and her makeup is done to make her eyes looks five miles apart. Not a good look. I know this will only be of interest to folks in/from Atlanta but it bears a google search if you have time.
I just cleaned the kitchen. Austin is supposed to do this as part of his chores every day. He had not. When I found myself clearing a path on the counter to make my coffee, I decided it was time to clean the kitchen. He had fallen asleep in the living room (which I'm actually ok with, as long as he sleeps) so I turned on all the lights and made as much noise as possible.

I was surfing for thanksgiving recipes and food gift ideas... for Thanksgiving I'm doing broccoli salad (which I always buy at the deli and luuuuv! I'm making the homemade version this time!) and deviled eggs (complete with egg salad sandwich for my Aunt Ginger) and sausage balls (for Cody) and pickled beets (yes, Jen, it is a southern thing) and maybe, if I'm feeling really inspired, I'll do that ritz cracker pie again. Austin loves it.
For Christmas gifts - since I'm appearing in the role of the broke, single mom again - I'll do my russian tea mix that people seem to like, sausage balls (they make good gifts - I do a breakfast basket with a mug, hot chocolate and tea mix and frozen sausage balls) and I'll make some candy/fudge sort of stuff. I've got to figure out a way to ship frozen sausage balls to Purple Michael in Chicago. Of course, this being his first winter in Chicago, he's got his own issues with frozen balls. Sorry. Bad joke.

I haven't slept much. I am not sure but I think I maybe forgot to take my anti-depressant yesterday morning. That usually gets me cranked up the next night- something about being off schedule. Or maybe it's the crying baby next door. Duplex living is fine except for being able to hear the crying baby thru the wall. I don't get aggravated... I mean... babies cry... and they don't ignore her or anything, you can hear sounds of comfort almost immediately. I just hear it. And wake up.

Austin has decided that our Christmas gift to "us" needs to be the George Foreman 360 grill because he is an infomercial writer's dream... he also wants us to get the steam mop and a half dozen other products he's seen advertised. The hook that got him with the George Foreman grill was making quesadillas. My boys love quesadillas. You'd think they were part mexican or something. They aren't.

We will definitely be focusing on the "reason for the season" instead of the gimme gimmes this year. God. Family. Friends. That sort of thing. I need to start working on my Christmas cards because I genuinely love doing that. Email me your address if you'd like to get something in the old fashioned mail from me! My email is I'm really not stressing over gift giving... my big boys are big enough to understand the limits of my financial situation and Austin has always been easy to please. I do want to get the tree up as soon as possible... We didn't have a tree last year and the year before we didn't do it the way I wanted.

I took on a new responsibility at work yesterday and it will keep me busy but will also make time go by fast. Georgia law has changed to allow people to choose between two types of uninsured motorist coverage... if you don't advise your insurance company which coverage you want, your insurance company has to give you the more extensive (and expensive) coverage. We are trying to be proactive and advising our clients of their options but people have a tendency (myself included) to ignore mail from their insurance company. I'm calling these folks up and trying to educate them... and of course getting a lot of slack about how we're just trying to cost them money. Um. No. We're trying to SAVE you money otherwise we'd just leave that more expensive coverage on there and not let you know you have a choice. My challenge is to turn these conversations into commissionable sales without letting people feel like we're just using these conversations to generate commissionable sales.

I set a goal of six life/bank products for November and I have sold... big fat zero. I had one life that got withdrawn, two loans that have been declined, one loan that is approved but the client hasn't come in yet to sign the paperwork. This means that I need to sell six products between today and tomorrow. Let me just tell you how excited people are about talking about life insurance the week of not! So I'm not only making the phone calls related to the change in auto insurance coverage... I'm beating the bushes to get life policies sold. I was almost hoarse by the end of the day yesterday.

On top of all that... this guy came in the office at the end of the day after having bought two trailers (mobile homes) that he intends to rent out. Not only did he not have any idea how much the homes were worth... or how much he wanted to insure them for... he didn't know the dimensions... or even the addresses! I'm like... "is this a test?"... And this guy didn't speak good english... nice guy... but... I had to send him to get more information. Insurance is matching price to risk... if I dont' know the risk... I can't give a price. It was frustrating....

Today I'm having Thanksgiving lunch at Sarabeth's school with her. I will definitely take pictures! We are also having our family fellowship dinner at church tonight. I will be leaving work early today to be there on time. Today is Austin's last day of school this week. I am working tomorrow but then have a four day weekend. I am trying to arrange to meet up with friends while I'm on "the southside" of town for Thanksgiving. I may stay overnight at my parents' house on Thursday night to be able to see a few more people. (Mary, A.T., Barry????)

Why is it that Stubby waits to do his grooming until he's in the middle of my bed?

I missed two phone calls last night... was already asleep (which may be why I was awake at 1:30) Give me a call today, if you can, hon! I'll try to call from the office if time permits.

Good luck to my friend who is on a quest for answers. I feel your pain. It's so hard not to know exactly what is going on and then sometimes when we do know... we wish we didn't. Just know that there is peace down the road for you.

And to my friend who is dealing with a broken heart... honey... all the words in the world won't make the hurt go away but please know that I know... and I care... and I'm sorry... and guys are jerks... and anyone who can't appreciate you doesn't deserve you... and that you don't want to spend a split second with someone who doesn't love you like you love them... and I'm saying all of this for me as much as for you... but I am really, really sorry.

I think it's time for a shower. Hope you all have a really wonderful, fabulous day! Send me lots of "staying awake" prayers!