Saturday, May 26, 2012

WHAT?! She's blogging?!?!

I am. I'm blogging. Sitting at dinner tonight, I had the urge to write. I realized after looking over my blogs that I hadn't written anything in nearly a year. (I have about 6 although I haven't attempted to keep up but three of them... and I'm going to narrow that down to one I do believe). I don't even know how I got 6 in the first place; I've NEVER been a good blogger! :/
But here we are.... the school year is ending; summer is starting, and as usual... there are BIG changes for our family! (It seems like every time I blog it's about changes!)
We found out very recently that we are expecting again and we could not be more excited!! This pregnancy comes at a very transitional phase in our lives. Last fall, we started paying off the close to $25000 in debt we had and we're over 60% of the way through it. We moved (again!) and I took a new job in January. I finished the last of my classes (finally! 7 years after starting my degree!) and will start student teaching in August. Then I will be completely done with my degree!! :D :D
So having a baby in January will add just another element of wonderfulness to all of this. But we know how blessed we are and cannot welcome the new addition to our family! We're excited about the change!

And by the way... I really WILL keep blogging! 

Friday, September 23, 2011


They say that the only thing constant is change. Today, that feels more true than ever. Today, September 23rd, was the first day of autumn. And as the weather changes this week, so have the lives of so many people I know. Today, as the wind blew cooler and continued to give us the relief we've been needing for months, I drove a hundred miles away to a town I'd never even been to. I was there for a funeral. And as I watched the changing scenery on the drive, and noticed the continuing change of the weather, my heart was heavy with the family and friends we would see when we arrived.
Today, as the world continued to turn and change, it stood still for a mother who was burying her 28-year-old son. And although it is heartbreaking for any mother to bury their baby, this funeral was particularly difficult to watch. Because two years ago, this mother buried her only other child. Her first child was killed by a drunk driver; her son's heart gave out while he slept. Neither of these was expected or even foreshadowed. And yet she had to plan both their funerals. Everything changes.
This week, a co-worker of mine and my husband's was buried as well. A 44-year old father who had a passion for life and who played fantasy football with my husband. Everything changes.
This week also marks the one-year anniversary since my high-school boyfriend passed away. It marks one year since I began emailing his parents back and forth, checking on them and exchanging stories about how our lives are going. It makes one year since I began worrying about how they were holding up, especially his fragile mother.
And one year since my world fell apart healthwise. One year that I've been dealing with the many struggles and trials that have accompanied all the health issues I've had. One year spent answering questions, coming up with new questions, and continuing on what could very well be a lifelong journey to getting better. Everything changes.
I wish I could say this was an unusual situation and that I'd never had so much change at one time. I wish I could say I hadn't lost both my grandfathers within 2 months of eachother, followed by my aunt and next-door neighbor within the next 8 months. I wish I could say I didn't find out I was pregnant at that same time and that I hadn't had many friends pass away before. I wish I could say that everything calmed down for a while, but a year after I gave birth, my brother was dead. And of course, death is not the only change in life. No, we have gained and lost jobs since then. We have made friends and watched others leave our lives. My husband and I have grown apart and together. Everything changes.
I've often felt like I just want life to stop changing... even if just for one year. But if I know anything, it's that change is the only thing I can really count on.
I wish I had a more upbeat note to end this ramble on, but unfortunately my heart is heavy tonight. And try as I might, I think God just wants me in this reflective (albeit slightly depressing) state tonight. ;-)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Dropped Cheese

My red-head is very strong-willed. And impulsive. I say go; she stops. I say stand still; she runs off. I say lay down; she stands. Up, down. Left, right. Go, stop. Walk, run. No, yes. All day long we do this.
The other day she had requested a band-aid. And although my rule is typically "no blood, no band-aid", I caved and let her have one. Five minutes later, the boo boo was healed and the uber-expensive fancy band aid she insists on having was off. I sighed and told her "Ok, here's the thing. #1... No more band-aids unless there's blood. #2, you don't get one next time you ask." Without missing a beat, my child told me "And #3, I DO get a band-aid any time I ask!" It's little things like band aid conversations that we have all day long.
I give her choices A and B; she will ALWAYS choose C.
And bless her heart, she will try and talk her way out of anything.
Tonight, she INSISTED she needed one more little snack before bed. She wanted a banana. We're out, I told her. She wanted an apple; I wasn't cutting one, I said. She told me she wanted fruit, but of course accepting my offer of grapes wasn't acceptable. She chose cheese. And in true Abbie fashion, she ate 3/4 of it and said she didn't like it. (Because to say "I'm done" would be to admit that she'd once again dramatically insisted on something she didn't need or hardly even want ;-) ). I explained that she had requested that snack even AFTER brushing her teeth and, by golly, she was gonna finish that last bite of cheese. I throw enough food in the trash every day to feed the whole neighborhood, thank you!
And what did my darling do? She PUT the cheese ON THE FLOOR. Didn't drop it. PUT it on the floor and picked it up and said "Well, it fell on the ground. I can't eat it now" Then she pranced over to the trash can and threw it away.
I turned to my mother and told her "I thought the deceitful behavior came LATER in life" She just looked at me and said "well, she is YOUR daughter".
I love my daughter with all of my heart. I do. But she is too smart for her own good sometimes!
That's all that's on my mind tonight ;-)


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Late night car rides

Last night, as I drove my daughter home after an eventful evening spent with friends, I felt as if I was driving down memory lane. It was pitch dark and there were very few other cars on the road. Abbie, who had played her heart out, was exhausted and quiet. I drove through our friends' neighborhood, which has a lot of twists and turns. And as I turned my blinker on and off again and again, I heard a familiar and peaceful sound.
When I was young, we always travelled everywhere by car (mostly because our only vacations ever consisted of trips to all the lakes in Texas). And we often found ourselves travelling home late at night. And I remember waking up countless times to the sound of nothing else but my mom's quiet radio and the blinker. It was like the world was just like those almost empty roads: sparsely populated, safe, and peaceful. During the day, everyone always seems to be in a hurry. And there's traffic and people are cutting each other off and then hurrying onto the next place that they are eternally late for. It's stressful and loud and exhuasting. And waking up in those quiet cars with nothing much more than the sound of the blinker just always felt so.... safe.
So I drove Abbie home and I listened to the sound of that blinker, taking it in with the soft music playing in the background. And I relished in the fact that maybe she was feeling as peaceful and safe as I used to during those late-night car rides.
A few months ago, I had a plan for everything. Go to school. Get a degree. Become the best teacher anyone has ever known. Buy a home. Have more children. Lead a successful life juggling a full-time career, 3-4 kids, church, and a bootload of other activities. Do it all with a smile on my face and fresh-baked cookies in the oven.
But last night, driving home, my only goal was to take more late-night drives. So maybe the next time I'm feeling the need for a little more security and peace in my life, I'll put Abbie in the car for a few minutes, drive around the neighborhood, and listen to the blinker blink.

God Bless!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Blue Ornament

I'm sitting here, wrapping presents and starting at my Christmas tree. The one my daughter and I took such care and time to decorate together. The one she has since decorated (and undecorated) each day since. The one that has brought her so much joy over the last couple of weeks. And it makes me happy. It makes me happy to put more presents under the tree for my husband and to fix the ornaments the way I like them and to have the presents arranged so that the whole thing looks pretty.
But about 3/4 of the way up that tree is a dark blue ornament with a white ribbon. And on that ornament is written "Josh 1988-2008" You see, you could take every meticulously placed blue, silver, and red ornaments off of that tree. You could take all the things off that Abbie and I worked so hard to put in the right place. You could tear the star off the top and unwrap all the lights. You could take the presents out and take away the skirt at the bottom of the tree.
But if you left that one blue ornament there, all alone on that tree, it would look the same to me as it does right now. Because when I look at that tree, that blue ornament might as well be all that is there. The less than 20 years my brother lived might as well be the only thing staring me in the face. And as far as I'm concerned, memories of his face could replace those presents. The candy canes could be snippets of his voice and every twinkling light could be his laughter. Everything about this wonderful tree reminds me that he is not here. And that he never will be for another Christmas. Everything on and under and around that tree reminds me that, while I'm here on earth, I'll never see him smile again or hear him laugh. He'll never pick my daughter up or tell another silly joke. Not here.
But it also reminds me of Jesus's sweet birthday. It reminds me of a time when there were no decorated Christmas trees. No tricked out light shows on every other house on the block. And when a humble man and woman brought a perfectly innocent and vulnerable baby into this world in a stable. When they wrapped him in cloth and laid him in a manger. It reminds me how gifts were brought to him and how we now give gifts to the ones we love today. That tree in my foyer reminds me of a precious baby that would grow into a man. A man who would die for my sins so that I might be saved from all of the many wrong things I have done. And because of that baby, because of that gift, I will see all the things that my Christmas tree represents.
I WILL see my brother smile again. And he will run and grab my daughter in his arms and swing her around. And he will laugh and he will tell jokes and he will be beautiful. I won't see those things here again. I'll have to wait. But that's okay because the best gifts are worth waiting for.
So this Christmas I will remember the joy that our tree brings. I vow to look to the promises of God and not of this earth. I promise to remember the treasures I have here on earth and in Heaven. And I promise to never forget how important the blue ornament is.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Everything's gonna be all right...

I talked to one of my old friends tonight. One of my old, old friends. We haven't spoken in at least a year or two. And my stomach lurched when she messaged me because we don't usually talk unless someone has died. And although I was actually praying that she was getting in contact with me to break news I already knew (that my first and high school boyfriend had died over the weekend), I was also terrified that she had something to add to that. And I am at my breaking point. I could not handle that. But I took a few deep breaths and answered her call.
Thank goodness, it was the news I already had (Obviously, the news itself is devastating. But I was glad to not have anything in addition to it).
And we rehashed some of the awful things we did and saw during those years in that small town that we've both since escaped. And it was obvious that these things have haunted us for years and that they still continue to do so even when we're hundreds of miles away.
But as we talked, we rejoiced more in where we've come rather than where we've been. She is successful in work and in life and is even considering going to graduate school. I am practically a soccer mom, with my "little family" (her words ;)) and my teaching aspirations.
And as we got off the phone, I realized. We're going to be all right.
In a lot of ways, we're lucky to have survived. The decisions we made were ridiculously stupid. And the people we hung around were unbelievably wrong. And yes, it sucks (excuse my language ;)) to have to hear about some of the people we once called such close friends passing away so young. But we're thankful that we've turned our lives around. And we know that that is the only thing within our control. The best we can do is to pray that God gives us the ability to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference (Yes, one of my favorite prayers and the words currently hanging in my bathroom).
Life goes up and down. Some days we have to pray much harder than other days. And others we have nothing else to cling to but the gratefulness that we made it out of something alive. But we're going to be all right.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Tonight, I blog...

Not because I have anything extra-special or any cute little anecdotes to throw out there. But just because. Because my other internet forms of communication/entertainment have worn on my last nerve and and make me feel void of morality. :-P So here I am.
And I'm feeling crummy. I feel crummy because I made the crazy decision to go to a great friend's house last night and watch the Cowboys game. And because I was up until 1 am, which is just insane for me ;)
And because I got called by a sweet teacher this morning, asking if I could substitute for her. Which I was HAPPY to do. But alas, I am cursed with the inability to barely function (much less make it past 3-4 pm) on less than 8-10 hours of sleep. And I have spent my evening at home resting and trying to pump my body full of energizing calories and minerals/vitamins to regain just a little bit of my energy.
And I say all of this to say that it makes me worry. Because one day, I *will* have more than one child. And I *will* have to go to work 5 days a week for at least 40 hours or more. And I've done all of this before, but I worry about how I'm going to hold up. And I worry about what I need to do on a daily basis to maintain my health, energy, and sanity. and I hope I'll figure it out before we are done having kids ;) ;) ;)
And, in the spirit of randomness... all of this makes me think about the incredible amount of time our society spends on nearly mindless activities, like the majority of what we use the internet for. And no, it doesn't take sleep-depriviation or a feeling of disgust over gossip websites to bring this realization about. It's just an addition to what's going on in the head of Me tonight. Because that's the only reason you ever tune into my blog, right? To know what's going on in my crazy head? ;)
Have a great night! And sign off the internet early to read a book! ;) :)