Tuesday, December 31, 2013

the last day of the year.

Can you believe another year has come and gone? I know. Me neither. I was so ready for a change last year and welcomed 2013 with anticipation and high hopes. And it didn't let me down...there was a lot of change and good things happened.

But if I'm honest, overall, it still felt like a struggle at times. But I'm thinking that's just life, ya know? Life isn't easy.

As for 2014? I'm kind of indifferent about it. I'm glad it's here. I'm glad God saw fit to keep me here on this earth to love my family for another year. But I'm not so done with 2013 that I am chomping at the bit for a New Year.

I am thinking this is a good thing. Because there have been some years where I couldn't say arrivederci fast enough. And don't let the door hit you in the youknowwhat on your way out. But this year I feel like 2013 is just going to sort of ease into 2014 and I am going to ease in right along with it.

I don't make resolutions. For whatever reason, a resolution seems like a good way to set myself up for failure. Rather, I've been setting goals the last few years. A goal seems to work better for me. It seems more positive than a resolution. Have I met every one of my goals? No. But I have met many of them. And that is progress.

Tomorrow, 2013 will be a memory. And we'll be starting 2014, fresh, like a blank page in a brand new journal. Don't you just love that thought? (Is it weird that the thought of a fresh new journal, blank and open to possibilities is as wonderful a thought as it is to me? What a nerd.)

I just had a thought...how about we throw caution to the wind and make one tiny little resolution together. Just one. Let's resolve to make 2014 a good year, no matter what.

Ya know, I think this is one resolution I can actually keep.

How about you? Resolutions? Or goals? 
Ready for 2013 to be outta here? Or indifferent, like me? 

I pray you have a happy and safe New Year.
I pray that whatever held you back last year will be nothing but a distant memory and you are able to start fresh tomorrow...open that metaphorical blank journal and start the story over. It's never too late to start over, ya know. Never. Especially if you have God in your life and Jesus as your Savior. Do you? If you do, then you know what I'm talking about. If you don't know Jesus as your Savior, then I pray you think about it, consider giving Him a chance. He hasn't let me down, not once. Not ever. He won't let you down, either.

Happy New Year. 

Monday, December 30, 2013

just a quick note to say...

Pablo in the linen cabinet...now I don't know
if I have the heart to install glass. 

Good morning.

I'm going shopping in Berkeley with mom today...Blick Art Supplies and IKEA. Yeah...pretty much gonna be a good day. We'll stop for lunch, of course. Maybe PF Chang's since we'll be in the area.

The weather is supposed to be nice..."unusually warm" for this time of year which seems strange (and scary) when parts of the country are literally freezing for days on end.

What are you up to today? Shopping, too? Working? Laying low? Making cool things? Whatever it is...enjoy. And make it a good day.  xo

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sunday morning.

thank goodness.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

a beautiful, sunny Saturday, anxiety and another week off...

What a nice thought to wake up to...I have a whole 'nother week off. It made getting out of bed before the sun is up on a Saturday much easier...

I got up...let animals out...or in...started the coffee...and snuggled into my easy chair under the new throw Chris and the boys got me for Christmas waiting for the coffee to brew.

I was woken up quite a few times before settling into a sound sleep last night...Ian arriving home late from a long-distance wrestling tournament...Seth arriving home even later from hanging out with friends, and having to knock at the door since he forgot his key. (Oops.) But after that...pretty sure I slept like a baby. Sound and warm and snuggling with Bear Bear. He's the best snuggly kitty ever.

Everyone else slept in this morning. (Even Bear.) So I had a good, long while of quiet time...one of my favorite things. Early morning...quiet...the peace of knowing that the day is open. Ahh...it makes for a quiet mind and a steady heartbeat, something I can't always count on when dealing with anxiety.

Yes...anxiety has reared its ugly head as of late. It comes and goes...mostly going because I don't give it anything to feed on...anymore. There was a time when once anxiety hit, I felt at the mercy of it...unable to shake it, control it, fight it. So it would take over. Often times, it became paralyzing...not good.

But over the years I've learned how to deal with it...it's become a process. It sneaks up on me, I recognize it, I tell someone that it's happening, and I pray. Sometimes this process takes 5 minutes...sometimes 5 hours...and every once in a while, 5 days. But the main thing is...it doesn't win anymore. I do. And, I'm convinced, you can, too.

Interesting where the mind goes when writing, isn't it? One thought leads to another leads to another and before I know it I'm sharing more than I intended. One of the many reasons that I like to write...it can be cleansing, and freeing.

But even still...the sun is shining...the air is cool...and I've got nothing on the calendar. The Christmas tree needs to go out today...and I just know it's going to drop a million needles on its way because it is dry-y-y. Man..that poor little tree is dead. So...it's gotta go. And needles will need to be swept up. And more than likely, the Christmas decor will be put away...if not today, then tomorrow. I also want to cook something good for dinner tonight and tomorrow night...other than holiday dinners, we've been living on sandwiches and waffles. Poor Seth, he hasn't had many home-cooked meals since he's been home. I need to remedy that before he heads back to school on Sunday. (Sad. I do love having him home.)

How's your Saturday looking? I hope it's full of possibilities and whatever makes you feel good and at peace. xo

Friday, December 27, 2013

close to home.

Now that the holiday is over it's time to take a breather. I am taking it slow and keeping things low-key today. It's necessary...for me, anyway. I always feel like I need time to regroup and recharge after a flurry of activity...and Christmas is definitely a flurry.

So I'll be sticking close to home today...making a list of things I'd like to get done before returning to work on the 6th of January 2014 (say what? A New Year already?)

Speaking of 2014...I got to thinking this morning about my word for the new year. That one word that will set the tone for the coming year. Nothing has come to mind...yet. So I'll be thinking and praying on that over the next few days...I'm sure God will make it clear to me. I looked back on last year's word...listen...and realized that I did listen in many ways. And...I didn't listen in other ways. (And I had forgotten what my word even was!) But...that's OK. That's life, I suppose. Something is better than nothing.

Yeah...I feel some lists coming on today...lists, lists, lists. Love them. Need them. I think I'll get my little dollar store calendar organized and ready to use...meal plans, bill due dates, appointments, etc. It's not pretty (at all)...but it'll work. Sometimes function over form is best...for me, anyway. (I came to this same conclusion last year.) I can get so carried away thinking about and researching and planning to make something pretty and useful and stressing over all of the choices that I end up not doing it at all...and what good is that?

So? Functional it is. An inexpensive, journal-style, month-at-a-glance calendar, sticky notes, binder clips and a good pen...for an office supply nerd like myself, it's actually a perfect combo. ;) Maybe I can personalize it a bit with some handmade envelopes like these to hold receipts and coupons and such. Or maybe use ready made envelopes in a creative way.

What's on your agenda today? Are you busy, busy, busy? Or taking it easy? Either way...I pray you have a blessed day. xo

Thursday, December 26, 2013

yesterday was a really good day...

From start to finish, yesterday was a really good day. We woke early, Chris and I, and enjoyed a quiet cup of coffee with the tree lights on. We wondered when the boys might be getting up...they like to sleep in, a lot, these days.

To our surprise they were up around 8:30. I popped some danishes in the oven to bake and then we opened our presents. So much fun and so many wonderful gifts...everyone was happy with everything. I loved that. We do stockings at the end...a little bonus after opening presents. I had so much fun stuffing them this year...

When we were done we ate our fresh baked danish then some played with their new "toys" (and by that I mean music equipment and pocket knives)...some tidied up (two guesses who that was...and the first guess doesn't count!)...and I discovered a new favorite thing to do...make Instagram movies!

In the afternoon we headed over to mom's to open gifts and eat some snacks then went to the family celebration at my aunt and uncle's house here in town. So much fun...and a nice surprise guest bonus. (Hi Dave and Linda!)

We started doing a white elephant type gift exchange several years ago where we choose a letter of the alphabet on Thanksgiving and the gift you bring at Christmas has to start with that letter. This year's letter was 'Y'. It's fun and makes for lots and lots of laughs...it's one of my favorite parts of our holidays together as a family.

Well...that and the just being together. I love my family so much...the immediate, the extended, the family at heart...it was a really good day. Every once in a while I would stop and look around...or listen...and realize just how truly, truly blessed I am to be surrounded and loved by so many wonderful people.

Oh...and I can't forget to talk about that photo up there. Those desserts? My mom's carrot cake on the top...she makes the best EVER. Seriously. I'm not even kidding. And the lemony goodness dessert? My aunt's delicious, best ever lemon cheesecake with raspberry sauce. I was so full after our amazing dinner...but it made no difference. There's always a little bit of room left for these desserts...always.

I admit, Christmas hasn't been my favorite holiday. But this year I adjusted my attitude the day after Thanksgiving and decided I was going to embrace Christmas...enjoy it...be positive about it...and I gotta say, it made a difference. Maybe this Grinch heart is no longer "three sizes too small". *wink

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Even the Grinch gets it...


Monday, December 23, 2013

just about ready...

I went out and did a little bit more shopping yesterday...evened things up for the boys and now their piles are the same. Do you do that? Make sure each kid has the same amount of gifts while at the same time spending the same on them all? I do. Not everyone does, apparently. My mom always kept it "fair"...so, I do, too.

Today will entail grocery shopping, vacuuming, mopping and gift wrapping. I made a dent in the wrapping last night while watching The Holiday (for the 20th time, probably)...but there's more to wrap. So I need to finish that up today.

I have to say...I haven't dealt with crowds or lines much at all this season. I was at Walmart yesterday (against my better judgment) and there was NO line at all. I was surprised and pleased...not just because I didn't have to wait forever...but also because maybe that means that Walmart isn't getting ALL the business ALL the time. We need to spread the wealth.

Our poor little tree is already dry as a bone. And doesn't have not one ornament on it. Lights? Yes. And a glittery star on top. But not one.single.ornament. And you know what? I'm OK with that.

My wish list was small this year...and it said the same as last year...perfume and slippers and a few clothing items. I added a few things on for some variety (to appease my husband)...but nothing big. Usually I want something nice for the kitchen, or for my camera, or for a creative endeavor...something.

But this year? Nothing. I guess working full-time has taken over. I'm not thinking about self-reliance or preparing for a homestead. I'm not making things or photographing things. And while it's a little bit sad, and maybe somewhat frustrating, I realize that it's a season of life. My focus is elsewhere these days and my time is filled with other things.

Even still...Christmas is almost here. The lights are twinkling, the presents are waiting and soon we'll be spending time with our amazing families. Life is good.  And we are most definitely blessed.

If I don't make it back here before Christmas...Merry Christmas to you and yours. xoxo

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sunday morning...


It's true. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

one week.

Christmas is in one week. I've purchased maybe seven presents. Yeah, you could say I am not ready.

What I am ready for? Two weeks OFF. Definitely a perk of working for the school district. And I can't wait. I have been hitting the snooze button one too many times for the past few days...it'll be nice to wake without it.

Our tree is up, and has lights...thanks to Chris. I have a few decorative items up around the house...so at least there's that.

My oldest is home from college for three weeks...it's good to have him home.

My youngest is taking a girl to the Winter Ball tomorrow night...I hope I don't forget to pick up the corsage! (Better write myself a sticky note.)

Are you ready for Christmas? I hope you're further along than I am!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wednesday in the Word

Good morning...I haven't been spending much time in the Word, for months now, really. I decided last week that I would use my Bible app on my phone to read a bible passage and a devotional (or two) each morning before checking email or Facebook. 

I can feel it settling in already. 

Amazing how powerful the Word of God is...

The following scripture is one of my favorites...I read it once in a desperate time of need and it's stuck with me now for over 5 years. Please take the time to read it through...it's powerful.

Make it a good day...xo

* * *
I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
    and I have been saved from my enemies.

The cords of death entangled me;
    the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.

The cords of the grave coiled around me;
    the snares of death confronted me.

In my distress I called to the Lord;
    I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
    my cry came before him, into his ears.
The earth trembled and quaked,
    and the foundations of the mountains shook;
    they trembled because he was angry.
Smoke rose from his nostrils;
    consuming fire came from his mouth,
    burning coals blazed out of it.
He parted the heavens and came down;
    dark clouds were under his feet.
He mounted the cherubim and flew;
    he soared on the wings of the wind.

He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him—
    the dark rain clouds of the sky.

Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced,
    with hailstones and bolts of lightning.

The Lord thundered from heaven;
    the voice of the Most High resounded.[d]

He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy,
    with great bolts of lightning he routed them.

The valleys of the sea were exposed
    and the foundations of the earth laid bare
at your rebuke, Lord,
    at the blast of breath from your nostrils.

He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
    he drew me out of deep waters.

He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
    from my foes, who were too strong for me.

They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
    but the Lord was my support.

He brought me out into a spacious place;
    he rescued me because he delighted in me.

Psalm 18:3-19

Monday, December 9, 2013

Rest in Peace, Sweet Libby

We did what we could.
We tried really, really hard.
She hung in there...probably for too long. 

Last Wednesday she stopped eating.
Last Thursday my husband did the right thing...
the hard thing, the thing I could never do. 

I am so grateful to him.
And I am so sad she's gone.

Thank you, Libby, for providing us with beautiful 
brown eggs and hours of calm entertainment. 
I'm sorry you got sick and that I couldn't help you. 

Libby, 2009-2013
Rest in Peace

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wednesday in the Word

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Sunday morning...

Saturday, November 30, 2013

it feels like Sunday...

Don't you love that? When it feels like Sunday, but it's really only Saturday? It's like a bonus day off come tomorrow.

It's been a slow day...really, really slow. My mom and dad stopped by this morning on their bike ride...mom had ice water, dad had a cup of warmed up coffee. We visited a while and then off they went.

I made two big pans of enchiladas a bit ago...one with green sauce, one with red. I couldn't decide so I made both. I don't think anyone will complain.

I feel like I want to do something...something creative...but I don't know what. I wish I had just one thing I was interested in...one thing I loved to do...rather than wanting to do every.single.creative.thing.I.see. I just realized the other night that I have almost ten thousand Pins on Pinterest. TEN THOUSAND, people. Doesn't that seem like a problem? Dang. Someone please grab me by the shoulders and shake me while yelling, "Pick something  and DO IT already!!"

And on that note...it's time to put the enchiladas in the oven and make some spanish rice on the side. Then...maybe peruse Pinterest a bit more for that perfect project. ;)

Or maybe read a book.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday Schmack Friday.

I don't shop on Black Friday. And I never will. At least not on purpose. I went out the year before last on a Black Friday by accident and that was all I needed to confirm why I don't do it on purpose. What a nightmare!

There is nothing I need or want that bad that I will go out and fight crowds, lose sleep, camp out, risk being trampled...to get it. (OK, OK...I know the whole trampling thing might be a bit dramatic...but...it could happen!!)

Instead? I will stay home, eat leftovers from the amazing Thanksgiving feast my mom hosted yesterday, tidy up the place a bit, do (never-ending) laundry, and whatever else my little heart desires. Ha! I make myself laugh sometimes. Whatever my heart desires...now that is funny.

What are you doing today? Anything your heart desires? Do you brave the craziness of Black Friday shopping?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

thinking a lot, writing a little

Lego guys in the dishwasher...they've been there for
about five years now. I don't have the heart to take them out.
They make me smile.
I really wish I could be a consistent blogger...but I've come to the realization that I am not. And I think I finally figured out why. I think too much. About a lot of stuff. As we all do, right? But some people talk their stuff out...think their thoughts out loud...call a friend...whatever. And I do that, too...sometimes. But for the most part, when I have a lot on my mind, I get quiet.

But even still, life goes on around here...I'm tidying up, stocking the fridge and putting fresh sheets on Seth's bed in preparation for him to COME HOME TONIGHT. We are all SO excited to have him back home, under our roof, safe in his bed. (Well, maybe that "safe in his bed" part is just me...pretty sure that's a mom thing...) College is treating him well, he is loving every minute of it. But I'm pretty sure, even still, there's no place like home.

Monday, November 25, 2013

gearing up for the holidays...

Pablo is gearing up, too.
I've probably stated it before...Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. I love the season, I love the food, I love the sentiment...enjoy family, be grateful, spend time...it's all good. I love it, love it, love it. I look forward to it every year and love every minute of it while it's here.

I've probably also stated it before...Christmas is not my favorite holiday. Don't get me wrong, I love what it truly is about, the birth of Jesus. But I don't love what its become...commercialized and materialistic and in your face.

In the past, the thought of Christmas has only be a source of stress for me...spending extra money that we don't have...worrying about what to get for who? And worrying if it's enough? Worry, worry, worry. Bottom line? I can be a bit of a Grinch. Or if I'm honest, maybe a lot of a Grinch.

But this year I've decided to change my attitude. I've decided to get into the Christmas spirit...whether I feel like it, or not. I am going to decorate sooner than a week before Christmas. I am going to listen to Christmas music. I am going to talk positively about Christmas and everything that it entails...and do my best to look past the commercialism, rather than letting it disgust me. It is what it is...it's not going to go away any time soon. So I may as well give myself a break and do what works for me. Because let me tell ya, stressing about it every year? Yeah, that doesn't work for me.

I'm noticing that as I change my thoughts and attitude toward Christmas I find myself actually looking forward to Christmas. I am looking forward to hanging the wreath and and setting up the nativity and putting the lights on the tree. Because really, I do love when the only light in the room is the lights on the Christmas tree.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday morning...

Saturday, November 16, 2013

this & that

Is it weird that I love the ampersand? It's my favorite symbol. 

The weekend is here...Food Network is on...I'm still in my jammies...and there isn't a plan in sight for this weekend. I'm taking advantage of this while I can before wrestling tournaments start.

Laundry is tumbling...muffins have been baked and oatmeal has been made for the chickens. Libby even ate some this morning (with a little butter, banana and brown sugar.) Can you say spoiled chicken? I don't know what else to do other than keep her comfortable.  I set her up in the kitchen for the night again last night...a box lined with hay and fresh pine shavings made for a cozy, warm bed. I put her outside yesterday and she seemed to do fine...so we'll do that again today. Maybe some sunshine will help, too.

Friends shared some interesting things on Facebook this morning...thought I'd share them here...

A little something about boring men.
This guy's story is incredible...God is good.
What's worse than pink slime? Molded pink slime.

On that note...I'm going to get my day going. Time for a shower...possibly a quick trip to the grocery store...probably a run to the library to pick up a book on hold, "A Pig in Provence"...and back home to sort through all of the bedding I have for our bed. It's all mismatched these days. Over the years either the flat sheets have worn out or the fitted...pillow cases have torn or become too worn...so now our bed is a jumble of all the survivors. I want to go through everything we have, see what goes and what doesn't, get rid of what I won't use, then replace whatever is necessary. I'm not the type to buy a "bed in a bag"...not into the matchy-match thing. So because of that, our room has always been a jumble. Maybe if I go through everything we have I can make some sense out of it and come up with something that looks like I meant to do it! We'll see...

Have a great Saturday...xoxox

Friday, November 15, 2013

It doesn't feel like Friday.

It's Friday! And...I have to go to the dentist this afternoon. Remind me to NEVER make a dentist appointment on a Friday again. That is NOT a good way to begin the weekend. What was I thinking?

Libby the chicken is still under the weather. I don't know what else to do...she's been in a box since Monday and I feel bad keeping her confined like that. But she's not eating much but bananas and her legs are still quite weak. On the bright side, her eyes are clear and healthy and her comb is nice and red. I'm stumped.

I am missing Seth like crazy these past few days...Thanksgiving break can't come soon enough. I need to see my boy...

(Just decided...in the middle of writing this...that Libby was going to spend the day outside. I just put her out and, though she's still having trouble walking and her tail is still tucked, she's happily eating oatmeal with her sisters. So...we'll see.)

Happy Friday...I hope YOU don't have a dentist appointment!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

sick chicken

I noticed one of the chickens was under the weather on Monday. She was walking funny and had her tail tucked under. I brought her in, made her a cozy bed in a box of hay and started searching the internet for "sick chicken" advice.

After two days of observation and not much change in her behavior, appetite or condition I deducted that she might be "egg-bound". Several of the sites I visited recommended a "chicken spa"...a long soak in a warm water bath with Epsom salts. So...when I got home from work today Libby got a soak in the spa!  Afterward, I wrapped her in a towel and held her for a bit. She was calm and seemed relaxed. Then...I dried her feathers with the blow dryer on low so she wouldn't catch a chill. (Yes, I did.)

When I put her back in her box (with nice, fresh pine shavings) she actually began eating some of her applesauce. Then I gave her a little bit of banana and she gobbled it up! It's the most she's eaten since Monday evening.

However, after all of that I am thinking she's NOT egg-bound. I have no idea what's wrong with her. So we'll just keep giving her TLC and hope for the best. Poor girl...

Monday, November 11, 2013

Feeling good about...

extra garlic, onions and turmeric...good for you!

    • an extra (much needed) day off
    • a quiet morning with lots of hot coffee
    • a long, hot shower
    • washing dishes in hot, sudsy water
    • healthful broth simmering on the stove...an extra dash of turmeric...feeling a little sneezy and wheezy the last few days...gotta kick it!
    • making a (BIG) dent in the laundry pile
    • watching morning shows...a guilty pleasure on days off
    • letting the chickens free-range
    • egg nog...or as my cousin Jenna would say, "Egga nogga"
    • celebrating the many veteran's that fought for this country...thank you.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sunday evening...

Friday, November 8, 2013


Would you believe I just hung things back on the walls
after repainting in JUNE? I know.
I spoke in front of a room full of women last weekend...on a stage...under lights...into a microphone...and I lived to tell about it. Public speaking is not on my list of favorite things to do. But when God asks you to do something...you do it. And He gets you through it.

We've got a 3-day weekend coming up...I didn't realize this until yesterday, so...bonus! Although, don't you think we should get Friday's off rather than Mondays? We've done that before and it makes so much more sense. Then you can start your new week without feeling like you're already a step behind. However, an extra day off is an extra day off...so I'll take it!

I'm going to go shopping with my mom this weekend...IKEA for sure, and who knows where else we'll end up. When we shop we can go from 9am to 9pm. And I don't even like to shop! But I DO like to hang out with my mom...so...it evens out.

The cold weather is finally here...sweaters and slippers and soups and oven baked goodness...makes me breathe a sigh of relief.

What are your plans for the weekend?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wednesday in the Word

He brought me out into a spacious place;
    he rescued me because he delighted in me.

Psalm 18:19

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

sometimes it's good to....

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wednesday in the Word

Hi Jenna. 

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
 he delivers them from all their troubles. 
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
The righteous person may have many troubles,
 but the Lord delivers him from them all;
Psalm 34:17-19

A friend shared this with me yesterday...
it was too good not to pass along to you, too.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday morning..

The devil on his best day didn't 
take you out on your worst day. 
- Christine Caine

Always remember...
You are stronger than you think you are.
God loves you.
And He's got you in the palm of His hand.

Friday, October 25, 2013


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wednesday in the Word

From the ends of the earth I call to you,
    I call as my heart grows faint;
    lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

Psalm 61:2

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday morning...

Saturday, October 19, 2013

when the weather cools.

from scratch this morning...even though I don't bake...frozen strawberries,
not enough sugar, but still edible, apparently...more than half are gone already.
The temperatures are steadily dropping. I have been wearing a sweater in the morning on the way to work. Yesterday I even turned on the heat in my car.

Good things happen when the weather cools...I feel myself coming to life, the weight of stifling heat is lifted and I finally feel like I can breathe.

I plan meals...and actually make them. Meals like chili and chowder and slow-cooked roast. I don't know if there's anything more comforting than something simmering on the stove on a crisp, cold day. Come to think of it, I spend a lot more time in the kitchen and things like muffins and hearty breakfasts get made.

And as you can imagine, this makes my family happy. Nothing like waking up to something good in the kitchen.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

making sense of it all. {the second post}

Sometimes, when I really stop and think about it, life doesn't make sense.

It doesn't make sense that sometimes I feel like I'm 7...or 15...or 24. And now all of a sudden I'm closer to 50 than to 40.

It doesn't make sense that my grandparents are no longer here on this earth. How can such a huge part of my life just all of a sudden be gone? I think of them every day. And I miss them so much...still. Death...while a part of life...makes no sense to me.

It makes no sense that when the stick turns pink you say, "I'm having a baby." And that's what I agreed to, having babies. But they grew...and changed...and matured. And I did my best to enjoy each stage. I did my best to guide them through to the next phase...sometimes doing a good job...sometimes failing miserably.

And suddenly they're voices changed, they grew taller than me, they stopped playing Lego's and video games...and they became men. And I love them. But I signed up to have babies. I didn't agree to having grown men...who grow up, mature, get lives, and leave the safety of this little nest we created over time. I didn't agree to that. 

The past few years have been a wake-up call...the loss of Noni and Papa really brought home the realization that grandparent's don't live forever. And if grandparent's don't live forever, that must mean parent's don't either. And so it goes...on down the generations. 

And now...with Seth gone...and Ian driving...and the moments of my own life continuing to tick away...it's such an unbelievable realization, isn't it? That this is it...each day...going through the same motions...waking and sleeping...working and eating and go, go, going. And then one day, it's just...over.

It all seems kinda cruel, doesn't it? 

Birth...growth...life...death... sometimes it's so surreal to me, and makes no sense. 

Yet in the midst of it all are these beautiful moments...wonderful memories...tucked away in the corners of my mind...to take out and reminisce over now and then...gifts. 

I don't know...I really have no idea where I'm going with this whole thing. I'm trying to handle it all with grace...and wisdom. But sadness and fear and reality set in...and I realize that the only thing I can control in all of this is how I handle it all. Some days, I do pretty good. Others? Not so much. 

But I guess that's just part of life, too...growing, right along with those little babies of mine. And while sometimes I am so sad that the days of them being little is behind us, I do look forward to seeing them grow and mature and venture out on their own. It's what we've raised them to do...live independently of us...fly the coop...live their own lives. 

That was our dream for them all along...it's what we have worked for. This was the goal. I just wish that would make this all a little bit easier. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wednesday in the Word

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

Philippians 4:11-13

I wish I could say that I truly have learned contentment in "any and every situation". That's one of the (many) things I'm still working on...xo

Monday, October 14, 2013

grateful {the first post}

Do you ever just get so overcome with gratitude? Just...for everything? I do. Sometimes moved to tears thinking of all of the good, good things in my life...

  • my hard-working husband who loves me...good, bad and ugly...thick and thin...steady and even-tempered...and that look, that only he can give...it tells me that I am loved. 
  • a first-born...confident, creative, talented, driven, focused...on his way to living a good life. I miss him...so much my heart aches.
  • my baby...who is not a baby at all, but a young man...a strong, capable, smart, determined, sure, dependable young man. I'm grateful for the few years I still have to enjoy him here...home with me.
  • family...how I love my family...immediate and extended...I am literally surrounded by amazing, loving, giving, authentic family...my parent's, my brother and his family, aunts and uncles, cousins, once, twice, thrice removed...their wives and husbands...all of them...every single one of them...a-ma-zing, fun and real...blessed is what I am. Blessed.
  • friends...true friends that I can laugh with, cry with, be my self with...good, bad and ugly...putting up with my strong-willed self, and sometimes too many curse words.
  • a good job at a good school working with good, good people...we work hard together, support each other, encourage, and laugh! a lot!...what a blessing to enjoy going to work each day.
  • a sturdy roof over my head...keeping me safe, and warm...protecting me, and those that I love. It's not a big roof, but it's our roof.
  • food...a stocked pantry and fridge and freezer...so much more than so many.
  • God...a good God who loves me, guides me, whispers to my heart...even when I'm not completely willing to listen.
Ya know, I complain. A lot. It's always something with me. But when I stop and think about it...really think about it, my life, those around me, all of the good things...it occurs to me that I really shouldn't complain at all. But rather, I should give thanks...over and over and over...that God has provided me with so many blessings...that He has surrounded me with incredible people...that He has given me so much...and none of it deserved...but every single thing a gift...and a blessing.

Thank you God...for a good life. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday morning...


Nothing is for naught.
Everything has a purpose.
We don't always understand it.
And I guess we're not supposed to.
But we are supposed to learn from it.
And guide others through it.
Let the Light shine.
Others are counting on you.

Saturday, October 12, 2013


Last week I wrote two posts that I (obviously) never posted. One I wrote about how grateful I am for this life of mine and the other I wrote about how this isn't what I signed up for.

I let both posts sit...going back and forth as to which one to post first. It seemed strange to cry about something in one post only to then share a post about how grateful I am...or vice versa.

So...I didn't share either one. And instead decided to share about my quandary...and will then share the posts later in the week...in the order I wrote them.

The way I look at it, this is how life is...at least for me, right now. And maybe always. There are always good things happening...blessings in the every day. But then on the other hand, there is always change and evolution and sometimes that can be hard to take.

So for today...I'm going to enjoy this nice, cool Saturday. So far I've cleaned the bathroom, emptied the kitchen sink and loaded the dishwasher, dusted the living room, tidied up our room a bit and hung up a lot of clothes. And in between it all I'm doing laundry, laundry, laundry.

The dishwasher is running...Titanic is on the tv...Ian is tidying his room...Chris is on an errand...and I am moving through the day, doing what needs to be done, and trying to process these thoughts that constantly run through my mind.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wednesday in the Word

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

what mom's do.

I got a last minute invite from an old friend (and a fellow Cal Poly mom) to take a ride down to San Luis Obispo to visit our kids. It just so happened Seth was available and I could take a few hours off work Friday afternoon...so I said, "Sure!"

It was good to see him. He looked great...more mature, more confident, happy, content and even taller, maybe! When we first drove up to pick him up for dinner I jumped out of the car and hugged him for too long...who knew I missed him that much in only two weeks?

We ate and talked and listened and shopped. We found an area rug at the thrift store to warm his cold apartment floor, made a list over coffee then stocked up the fridge.

And when it was time to drop him off at his place I pretended that I was ready. But I wasn't. But I did it anyway. Because that's what mom's do. And then I cried as I drove away...almost as much as when we dropped him off the first time.

It's weird how I can be so happy and so proud yet so sad...all at the same time.

I guess that's what mom's do, too.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sunday morning...

I've been saying this for months.

It's the "theme" of my testimony.

I was sharing it with a young lady once and as I spoke the words, 
I realized they were for me, too.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

in the kitchen.

Remember all those tomatoes our friend gave us? Well, half of them were turned into tomato sauce. I was going to make lazy man's sauce, with the peels on. But in the end, as the skins were thick and tough, I peeled them.

I simmered the tomatoes with a bit of water, salt, crushed garlic, bay leaves, oregano and parsley. Not for long...maybe 40 minutes or so. Then I let it cool, ladled it into a zipper storage bag and popped it in the freezer. I plan to use it the next time I make homemade spaghetti sauce.

It was an easy, although not a quick, process. But the weather was cool and gray last weekend...perfect for spending time in the kitchen.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday morning...

Saturday, September 28, 2013

better than a CSA box.

The other day I came home from work to find this big box of beautiful tomatoes sitting on the porch. Inside was a note from one of Chris' friends that we haven't seen or heard from in quite some time. Nothing like a visit from a long lost friend bearing amazing produce!

I was thrilled. Especially since I had recently purchased a few tomatoes from the grocery store and could have sworn I was eating a wet sponge and not a tomato. This glorious gift was going to ensure that I get to eat delicious spinach salads for a little while longer!

And tomorrow...homemade tomato sauce will be simmering away on the stove. I've never made tomato sauce from scratch before...wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wednesday in the Word

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


I know when my Iron level is low because I begin to crave spinach, mushrooms, onions and oatmeal...not all combined, mind you.

And lately, I can't seem to get enough spinach salad with Noni's vinaigrette. It's so good...and so simple. Fresh spinach, tomato, red onion, vinegar and olive oil, salt, pepper, granulated garlic. Toss a handful of spinach into a bowl, add very thinly sliced red onion, chopped tomato (fresh from the garden preferably...I bought a tomato the other day and it was so awful), a swish of oil and a swish of vinegar, some salt, pepper and garlic...toss, and eat! Not sure what I'm going to do when the summer tomatoes are gone and I am forced to buy them from the store because I'm convinced that the ripe, juicy tomato is what's really making this salad special. That, and lots of vinegar. Mm mm...

I've been having this salad with lunch...as a snack after work...with dinner...once I even had it as an evening snack.

Isn't it so amazing that our bodies tell us what we need? I'm glad that I'm learning to pay attention.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

It's official...

Seth is officially a college student! 
We moved him in Tuesday and so far he's having the time of his life. 

As for me? I've only cried a few times. 
Reminding myself that I am more happy for him than I am sad for myself.

Life is good...

Saturday, September 14, 2013

it is what it is.

Life is crazy...I just spent the last 24 hours sick with (what is believed to be) a kidney stone. Today is better but not best...taking it easy and laying low.

In the meantime, we are preparing to take Seth to college on Monday...he moves in Tuesday...and then spends the next week getting to know the school, the routine and his roommates...I can't believe it's really happening. I feel like there's so much left to do...but maybe most of it is internal. And maybe most of it really only has to do with me and how this is all going to play out in my life...in my role as mom. The hardest part is all of the unknown...but it is what it is. May as well do my best to enjoy the ride.

So for today it's laundry (a nice slow, easy thing that I can do while feeling under the weather), drinking lots of fluids (to flush that sucker out), and eating soup and crackers. Not what I originally had planned for this weekend...but again...it is what it is.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

like it was yesterday...

It was early in the morning. I was checking email. My husband had already left for work. He called me from his cell phone and said, "Turn on the news, an airplane hit the World Trade Center." I imagined a small plane...a 4-seater or something. But when I turned on the TV I couldn't believe my eyes. I hesitantly got ready for work, hesitantly took my kids to school and daycare...hesitantly got on the freeway to head to work...and about halfway there I realized there was no way I could be so far from my kids with all of this going on. I turned around and headed home.

I will never forget...