Snow Much Fun!

The last few days have been quite fun with all the snow we've gotten.  I believe we ended up with about 5 or so inches with about an inch of ice on top.  On Friday afternoon, we tried sledding with a box but that did not work so well. Nevertheless, we had a good time anyway.  The ice came on Saturday night so the snow was packed down underneath.  There was no snowman making yesterday.  But we got a plastic tote out and had some fun in that.  Our neighbors, the Lloyds came out and we realized they lived on a huge hill which is their front yard.  We started using the tote lid and that definitely was a hit.  My neighbor Aimee came over to play with us and the kids and that was so fun.  It's much better if there are other adults around.  I love when our neighborhood comes out...just standing in the road talking.

We shared some leftover chili with Aimee and Tim and then Tim and Steve ventured out to the grocery store for us.  Anyway, today the sun is shining and I have some laundry to finish up.  But sitting here looking at the sun shining on the iced over trees is begging for me to come out and take pictures.  Until I get those taken and loaded, enjoy these few from this weekend.



SNOW DAY (I mean it this time)

(Edited to add:  For some reason only 2 of the four pictures I uploaded are showing.  I can see all 4 in my blog window, but after publishing, only two show up.  If you have an idea of how to fix this, let me know.  It is VERY frustrating!)

A few weeks ago (first week in January actually), we had a snow day which resulted in 2 days out of school, but really we got little to no snow.  It was a huge letdown.  And because JG loves school so much and had JUST gone back after Christmas break, she was NOT happy.

Now, we are in the midst of The Blizzard of 2010 (hereinafter referred to as "the blizzard").  And there's no tongue-in-cheek to that.  It is crazy nuts around here.  Most schools were closed by the 10 o'clock news last night.  I slept with my blackberry on my bedside table so I could know immediately when JG's school closed.

It was 5:45 before they called it and again, yet a flake of snow had fallen.  The dilemma was now whether to try and make it in myself to work.  My concern was that I would get in just to have to turn around and come right back home.  Living 30 minutes outside the city, that just wasn't worth it for me.  Back in 2003, something similar happened, but I was only living about 15 minutes out and it still took me about 6 hours to get home.  Yes, you read that right...6 HOURS!  No exaggeration.

So, ultimately, I made the decision to just work from home.  And it was a good one (even though it didn't look like it for a while).  I worked way more here at home waiting for the blizzard than I would have at work because I'm sure most people were too busy staring out the window waiting for the snow to start.  And they didn't have to wait long.  At 9:15am, they closed the corporate office.   I felt vindicated. And then I proceeded to work until almost noon.

By about 11:15 it started snowing here where I am.  I'd say that now, almost 3 hours later, there is probably an inch and 1/2 of snow.  And it is a veritable snow monsoon here.  It just keeps coming down.  I have been out just to get the mail and take the trash out.  We did go out on the deck and catch snowflakes for a minute...I'm sure there will be a snowball fight and snowman in our future....


Date Night

Tonight, I am enjoying a quiet evening at home.  Alone.  Quiet.  Without noise.  Did I mention...alone? If you are wondering why that is, it's because Steve and Jenna are on a "date".  Steve and I have season tickets to TPAC.  Tonight was our night to see 101 Dalmatians.  Of course, we decided a while back that one of us would take Jenna instead of our regular date night.  I just assumed that it would be Jenna and I and we'd make it a girls night.  I've done this before with Annie and it was a great time.

However, about a week ago, Jenna asked if I thought Steve would take her.  I said he probably would be glad to and it could just be a date night.  Well, that notion took right off and she has been excited about it all week.  She asked him to dress up and wanted to dress up as well.

She got her bath and picked out her dress and shoes and asked me to curl her hair (which I did, but you can't really see in the picture).  When they were almost ready to head to dinner (a delicious gourmet meal at La McDonalds), Steve presented her with a beautiful pink rose just like a real date would!  She was very impressed and we made out over how beautiful she looked.

If you have a daughter, I would highly recommend this to your husband.  In fact, Jenna was so excited about this that they have already scheduled a second date in 2 weeks.  Our local Rec Center is hosting a Princess Ball for Daddy's and daughters.  We tried to do that last year but we called too late and it had already filled up.  She is so excited and it thrills my soul to no end to know that they are spending quality time together.  And the fact that I get a night to myself helps.  :)

And if you are wondering what a night to myself consists of...well...a shower (since I hadn't had one all day!), a Weight Watchers Smart One frozen dinner (macaroni and cheese), a little Bible Study and now a little Facebooking.  It will be late when they get home, so I have several hours left in my night of quiet.  And I think I'm about to head upstairs to do a little scrapbooking.  I'm way far behind and every little bit helps. Speaking of scrapbooking, the long awaited scrapbook retreat is coming up in March.  If you are interested, let me know and I can get you the details.  There is always room for more and I promise, you'll be hooked after one time!  Ahhh...I get giddy just thinking about it!

Oh, today, my friend from work, Katelyn, came and hung out with me almost ALL DAY.  She played Wii with Jenna for the longest time and I seriously couldn't decide who was having more fun, her or Jenna.  We made dream boards.  Katelyn saw this on Oprah...it's where you put pictures of your goals for the year on this board and then hang it where you can see it every day.  In looking at the board daily, studies show you are more likely to accomplish those goals.  Katelyn and I used 8x10 frames although we both could have used something bigger and we tore our pictures out of magazines.  Want ot know what my pictures were?  I have a picture of the beach because i want to try my best to make it to the coast again this year.  Especially since the family didn't have a vacation last year.  Of course, that will depend on another one of the pictures I used which said simply, "Money".  I don't necessarily want to make more money, but I do want to remain debt free and for Steve to find a job.  I also would like to add to Jenna's college fund.  Then there are pictures of 10, 25, 30 and 46 which are all signifying pounds lost.  46 is the magic number I need to lose to be at my all time goal weight!  And the biggest picture (not because it's most important but because I could find a magazine pictures, so I had to print one, is a sewing machine.  My friend Carrie has gotten me hooked on the idea of learning to sew.  My mother sewed and I have always wanted to learn.  I have an old-as-the-hills sewing machine I inherited from Steve's mother, but I want a newer, more up-to-date sewing machine.  Maybe for my birthday...

Oh, and thanks for all the comments and questions about my therapy post.  I'm doing better.  The anger has subsided and in it's place a dull ache.  I don't think that ache will ever go away.  But I plan to fill it eventually. Well, my scrapbook is calling...


A therapy post

You know how therapists and counselors tell you to write a letter or email when you are angry, upset etc. and then don't send it?  The exercise is simply to give you an outlet to say what you are feeling without making an already volatile situation worse?  Well.  That's what this post is going to be for me.  Although, I am going to publish it, I won't name names or anything.  If you aren't up for this right now, feel free to skip it or come back later when you have more stamina for reading what I'm about to write.

Some of you saw my FB status last night that asked, "I wonder why God puts people in your life that hurt you?" (with several good responses, by the way).

I have been hurt.  DEEPLY.  And it's complicated.  As most things such as these are.  I've been hurt by 2 women.  I was wounded, not by their direct action towards me, but their deliberate cruelty to someone I love.  These women claimed (at least at one time) to love me.  In the fairly immediate past, their actions have proven otherwise.  I think I might could have handled that...an offense towards me...but then they were intentionally cruel (I need another word because "cruel" doesn't even seem to cover it...ahhh yes...BRUTAL) to someone who also has nothing but love for them. 

And when I found out yesterday the depths of their cruelty, quite honestly, it was more than I could take.  I was furious.  Angry.  Hurt.  Confused.  A myriad of conflicting emotions because I just couldn't understand how someone could be so deliberately hateful to another human.  One of these women proclaim (loudly) to be Christian.  And while it is definitely not mine to judge, I can't understand how this Christian has done something so hurtful to another sister in Christ and indirectly hurt me (who she KNOWS she would hurt by hurting the other).

So, last night I was really, REALLY angry.  Angry enough to say things to my husband and my friend about these women that in essence, make me no better than they are acting.  I said I wasn't naming names and I'm not.  And I'd like to say it was because I don't want to shame or embarrass them.  But that is not true.  In my humanness, I would love nothing more than to spell out for you who these women are (not that anyone would know them really, but some would), how horribly cruel they have been and pull back the curtain of their facade to the outside world.  I would really like to tell you the whole story, gather a posse (love that word from my teen years!) of my blog readers to blast them with comments supporting me and how I'm feeling.  I'm human.  I'm hurt.  I'm angry.  But.  I'm also Christian.

I might stop here and tell you that the person that was directly offended kept these women's actions from me because she knew, in her love, that it would wound me deeply if I knew what they had done and said.  And when she was sharing with me last night (because I had come to suspect these things had gone on through another source...who also loved me enough not to tell me directly) she kept saying that she was fine and for me not to worry about it and to let it go.  She had prayed about it and would continue to pray for them every day.  Well, I'm here to tell you folks...I'M JUST NOT THERE YET.  At least I wasn't.

I was SO hurt last night, that I new I needed to sit down and do my Bible Study.  You all know how I love my ladies' Tuesday night Bible Study!  This semester, we are reading through Crazy Love by Frances Chan.  The particular part I was reading was talking about how our life is a vapor (James 4:13-15).  I especially liked the way the New Living Translation read, "Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone."  Wow.  In the general scheme of things, I'm only a visitor to this world. So, I'm reading, trying not to think about this situation and really wanting to wallow in my anger and hurt.  I mean, at least for a while.  I felt I at least deserved a little wallowing. But one of the questions was "Do you really believe you could vanish any minute?  Would your life look different if you lived like you believed each day was your last?  If so, how?"  As I contemplated this question, the word "waste" kept coming to mind.  Over and over...I'm trying to think of my answer and write it down and all I could think of is "waste".  Finally I quit trying to overcome this thought and just decided to think about "waste" and what in the world it had to do with our life being short etc.

And that's when I realized.  I felt God was saying, "If your life is so short, why do you want to waste the time you have being bitter and angry and harboring hate at these women".  Wehhheeellllllll.  That is NOT what I wanted to hear.  So, I said (in my mind, not out loud) "Because, these people have hurt me, hurt the ones I love most and all after claiming to love us.  And they didn't just hurt us, they were deliberate.  And intentional!"  And again, all I could think of was "waste"...why would I take time away from the ones that DO love me (my immediate family, friends etc.) and waste my energy on the ones that don't love?  That's unfair to me, my family and friends.  And God.

And quite quickly, the fury and deep wounding simmered down to a quiet anger and aching hurt. 

And as it has a way of doing, sleep has given me a fresher perspective this morning.  Am I still angry.  Oh yes.  Am I still hurt?  Absolutely.  Will I ever forget.  No, never.  Will I ever forgive and love these women again?  Yes.  But it's not because I'm this perfect person.  It's because God calls me to.  He calls me to love the unlovable and forgive the unforgiveable.  (Matthew 5:43-45)  Honestly, I don't want to.  I want to go to them, rage against them for what they've done and inflict hurt back.  But I can't.  It's not how I'm made.  It's not how GOD made me to be.

I'm not going to get over this for a while.  But God has already started a healing work in my heart.  And rather than fight Him on this, I'm going to let Him heal me.


One of my New Year's resolutions (not that I believe in those) was to blog more.  I see now that like most resolutions, I'm already failing miserably!  But here I am finally.  Is it wrong that I have to put "blog" on my to-do list every day?

Speaking of resolutions, I am going to share one of mine for this year (other than to blog more).  I typically come on here and share my resolutions and then promptly ignore that I ever made them.  This year, I'm just going to share one of them because this one involves many of my blog readers.

I have committed to get together with...that is, have lunch, dinner, shop, take in a movie etc.... with one of my friends that I don't see as often as I should.  I think Rachel said it best...."being intentional"...about those relationships.  (Rach, forgive me for stealing your words).

I just got to thinking about how often I allow Facebook or email to serve as my connection to some really good friends.  I decided that I wanted to get together with them...one at least once a month.  I even started to make a list of those friends so I would be sure not to leave out anyone.  It didn't take long to see that I have way more than 12 (one per month) friends that I need to seek out.  How embarrassing.

Why do I tell you this?  Because YOU may be next on my list.  I haven't done January yet...I had some tentative plans that just didn't work out, but I'm going to be calling on one of you to see if you want to go out...so just beware.  :)

But for now, I'm off to enjoy my day off work thanks to Dr. Martin Luther King.  Steve's cleaning the kitchen and I'm about to go fold laundry that I was too lazy to fold over the weekend. 

See you soon!


Last Day of Freedom

So, while most of my friends and neighbors woke up early this morning to hustle their kids off to school and get themselves to work or their errands for the day, I've enjoyed one last day of freedom.

In an effort to get us back on some schedule, I got out of bed at 8am today.  Of course, seeing that 5:30am is my normal wakeup time, that's not really that early, but after staying up past midnight for the last several nights, I think by my 10pm bedtime, I'll be ready.  At least I hope so.

Anyway, Katie had a vet appointment today for her regular shots, so off we went.  I made a quick trip to Target for a scrapbooking album my friend Leigh Ann turned me on to (thanks LAM!) and then it was back home.  I've straightened the house, played Wii, uploaded photos, surfed the net, checked emails, folded and put away laundry and put my pages in the new scrapbook album I bought.

And now, I'm watching Steve fish on the Wii, listening to JG read her favorite book and getting ready to get off the couch and get dinner started. 

For all of you who officially started 2010 today, I hope your day was great (or at least not too bad/long) and I'll be right there with you tomorrow!


2010 started....

I don't know about all the rest of you, but I sure have enjoyed my time off work throughout the holidays!  Tomorrow is a teacher in-service day at school and they just tack it on to the end of the Christmas holidays, which is nice because then I don't have to worry about childcare another day in January.  Steve doesn't work at the church on Monday and I decided to take off too.  So, the three of us will have just a little more time together tomorrow. Tuesday morning is going to be a bear though.

I feel like I have gotten quite a bit accomplished while I've been off though.  I got all the Christmas decorations down and as of this afternoon, we even have the outside lights off the house (yes, Steve braved the frigid temperatures to do that).  I have a clean kitchen and living room.  We picked up the treadmill from it's foster home and I have exercised every day in 2010 which is nothing short of a miracle.  I even got groceries today and stocked the pantry for the next two weeks with only 2 days of that marked for eating out.  I even bought some healthy foods which means I went way over budget, but oh well.

I don't know what we'll do tomorrow.  I am contemplating going to take JG to see the Chipmunks movie while all the other kiddos are in school.  We did Chuck E. Cheese with our friends the Germains last week.  Movies are about the only thing we haven't done.  I even cleaned my oven, organized one of our kitchen "junk" drawers and cleaned out the fridge today.

So, I guess the immediate issue is what's for dinner. :)  Then it's back to reality on Tuesday.  I might just stay in bed all day tomrorow in protest!


Reflections and then Looking Forward

Most years on January 1, I blog about my new year's resolutions.  I think it might be fun to look at some of the past promises I've made and see how I did.  The first thing I noticed is that I've been blogging since 2006.  Really?  HOLY COW.  I had no idea.

For 2009, my goals were:
1) To read the Bible through again (using my Chronological Bible which I HIGHLY recommend)-First of all, this would have been the 3rd time in my life to read the Bible from cover to cover.  I used the chronological Bible in 2008 and loved it.  In 2009, I got to about September and then fell off the wagon, so to speak.  FAIL! (as my good friend Katelyn would say).

2) To participate in AND FINISH the Music City 1/2 Marathon-Well, this one I did.  I almost died doing it, but I did complete the 1/2 marathon.  And I have decided it's kind of like childbirth.  Right after you are done, you swear you will NEVER do it again, but after a while, the pain fades and you start thinking about maybe giving it another shot.  Also like childbirth, the year after the baby is born is NOT going to be the next time, but I do have plans to participate again...just not sure when.  I will be volunteering in 2010...I'll just be behind a camera this time!
3) To take part in the Beth Moore Siesta challenge for 2009 and memorize two scriptures a month (see below for more on this)-Another FAIL.  I did pretty good up until summer and then life happened.  UGH. 
4) To pay off Steve's hip!-This one makes me laugh.  We did have a financially tough year.  I'm happy to report that we are almost completely debt free (mortgage and one small credit card being the exception).
5) To spend more time with our parents.-Well...Mary (Steve's mom) passed away in January of 2009, so we are coming up on the year anniversary, but I think we have spent more time with his Dad.  At least Steve has.  Sometimes he sees him while I'm at work.  And of course, I spent quite a bit of time with my Dad before he passed in June.  I guess this is a moderate PASS.

You can read more about these goals here.

In 2008, I didn't do any resolutions.  Apparently I went on a resolution strike.  But I did make some pretty big life changes which I wrote about here.  Now, this is an interesting post because I could probably repost it today as my goals for 2010.

In 2007, this was my one and only resolution..."This year, I'm making only one resolution and that is to follow through on the things I commit to."  Not really sure how I did on that seeing that it's been a while.  Hopefully I did alright.

So now that we've reflected on the past years, let's talk about 2010.  If you have followed this blog (or me) for any period of time, you know that 2008 was a bad year.  And 2009 was even worse.  Don't get me wrong, there were bright spots in both years, but by and large, I'd like to forget both those years ever happened.  Of course, without the things that happened these years, I wouldn't be who I am today.  I'm not proud of how I've let the past year affect me financially, spiritually, socially, maritally.  But that's the cool thing about a new year and our God.  I especially liked how Jon at Stuff Christians Like describes it:

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
How powerful is that last section? There are two grenades in there. The first is that the old has gone. It’s not just that the old has been replaced or that the old has been shoved into a closet and if things get tense again and you feel stressed you’re going to put it back on and become the person that hurt so many people in the middle of your divorce or got fired or abandoned your kids while you selfishly tried to “reclaim your youth.” That person? That shell? That’s gone. The second grenade is that in it’s place, the new has come! The new, not the better, the new!

So, today seems like as good of a day to make some changes as any right?  My primary goal for 2010 is to take one day at a time and strive to make only THAT day a good one.  I am a real worrier, so I like to worry about stuff in the future.  But I'm going to try not to do that in 2010.  I do also need to work on my relationships...with Steve, Jenna and especially God.  And I need to get healthier.  All that weight I lost came back and more.  I hate the way I feel and look now.  My boss, Sherri and I have committed to get healthy together and to participate in some 5Ks.  

There you have it.  Reflections of years past and looking forward to 2010.  A better 2010.  Which is about to start with a serious cleaning of this house!

Happy New Year! 


Happy 2010 to all of you!  Here's hoping for a better year this year!