Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2015 Resolutions


2014 is coming to an end and with that, it's time to start thinking of 2015 and changes I want to make in my life.  Here's my to-do list for 2015: 

Blog: 

-post regularly: at least once a week.  I have been so bad in 2014 and I need to give my blog some LOVE this year! 

-read blogs I follow and keep up with them.

-comment more on blogs.  I have tried to do this more lately. 

-blog positively. 

Personal:

-quit smoking- I picked this up hunting because the guys all smoke and it has to stop.  There is no reason to smoke and who can afford it? 

-be a more calm wife to my husband and stop sweating the little stuff. Marriage is a different experience for me and adjusting to becoming a "we" had been hard. 

-spend more time with friends: 
2014 was a crazy year personally and I lost track of time and friends. 

-work out regularly even if it is just walking

-read a book a month:
I have to find the time because I have a lot of books on my iPad! 

-finish my house, for now.  There are a few things, like refinishing the hardwoods under the carpet that will have to wait because it's a HUGE project but getting life organized for 2015 is a must. 

-do one fun project with my step-daughter a month

-work smarter 

-get up early and get things done before work. 

-cut out my sugar habit 

Now, if I quit smoking, work out regularly and cut out the sugar...all at the same time, I maybe a little bit bitchy to be around but I WILL be healthier so it's a trade off. 

What's your 2015 goal? Are you planning early?  Are you looking forward to the New Year?  Happy New Year everyone, be safe and sound and peace to us all. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

5 things I wish I could forget about 2014


In no particular order here is my list of things I wish I could forget about 2014:

-Planes going missing:
I realize that it is a big ocean and a tiny plane and relative to car accidents planes are much safer but I doubt I will ever fly in a plane out of Malaysia. Ever.

-Ferguson, Mo/ Hands Up Don't shoot:  
I have been kind of vocal outside of this blog however I have stayed away from this on the blog however not knowing where Ferguson, Mo is should still be a reality in all of our lives.   This particular case was egged on by irresponsible media and witnesses who's story changes more than my hair color in the  last 5 years.  That's a lot of change, for the record. Are there cases where police should be scrutinized and questioned? Yes! The Los Angeles case and the Cleveland case are perfect examples.   This case is not one.  You don't try and take a police officers weapon. Ever. 

-Goodbye Heathcliff Huxtable: 
My childhood isn't changed but my memories are soured by the accusations faced by Bill Cosby.   I don't think I will ever laugh as hard as I once did to reruns of The Cosby Show. 

-Robin Williams: 
What can I say? I forget he is gone and I see shows like Night at the Museum and it makes me sad. 

-The number one thing I would love to forget about 2014: ISIS.  I don't think this one needs explaination. 


Monday, December 22, 2014

So Long 2014: a year of change

2014 was a year of ups and downs and huge changes.  We lost a few friends and were reminded that nothing is guaranteed, life is precious, and never take anything for granted.  We spent time traveling Texas, going to ballgame a, planning a move and a wedding, getting married, and settling in to our amazing new life. 
The year started out with a little NYE party with the kids and included a Super Bowl party for adults later on and by Febuary we had snow! 



We spent the early spring hunting and fishing and seeing my nephew play ball. I love the times all the kids get together.  Then came Opening Day.  It was GREAT fun and in the middle of the ballgame, he popped the question!   I said "Yes", of course! 
There were trips for spring break to Caddo Lake and summer break to San Antonio and in between we spent a ton of time enjoying Lake Lewisville and our land out east.   Oh and Concerts!  There was Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton and Tim McGraw for starters! 
There was a ton of packing and saying goodbye to my home of 15 years. While we waited to move into our new home and marry we spent a lot of time with my good friend Shanna. 

There was a beautiful, amazing wedding filled with family and friends who are family.  It was perfect!  
There was an early snowstorm, Halloween, Thanksgiving and a new truck. 
We said goodbye to baseball and I said hello to a house full of new furniture and eyeglasses for the first time in my life. 

When I look back at 2014 in years to come, I know the pain of loss and tragedy that started early and the missing people who left out lives by choice or not, will fade and the good memories they leave behind will be all that matters.  The amazing love that we have is what we hold onto in times of struggle and 2014 has been polka dotted with bits of sad news for the country and trials.   I look forward to 2015 but I thank God for 2014.  I will never be sorry for this year! 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Podcast Obsessed: What I am listening to..


It started innocently enough.  I was looking for some advice one marriage and relationships.  Suddenly I found the podcast button on my iPhone that I had been ignoring for years. 

Then my friend Micah posted a status on Facebook about "Serial".  I was interested simply because I had no clue what it was or why everyone was hooked.  Two days and 11 podcasts later I found myself desperately searching Pinterest for more podcasts.  That was this past weekend. I admit it, I am a ID and Forensic Files addict so nothing will hook me faster than "Murder Who Done-It's".  I go back and forth, over and over, in my head, everything Sarah shared trying to figure out: Did he or Didn't he? 

Next up I started listening to "Criminal". In one afternoon I finished almost the entire series, so far.  There are some crimes that just make me shake my head in that series.  I mean, really people are stealing plants! 

So you might say very quickly I have become a Podcast Junky.  Yes, I am late to the ballgame but I love listening.  I have a good size commute so I can get at least one podcast in on the way to work and home.  

If I ever catch up with what I have loaded I plan to add a few additional podcasts.  Something on writing and something on health.  I like to be well rounded.  Right now, I need escape into lives a little more crazy than mine.  Ok, I need Christmas vacation but I need escape.  

So, PLEASE tell me what your favorite podcasts are and share with me!!! I can't wait to find more obsessions.  After all, "Serial" is only once a week! 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Things I don't Understand: Fear of freedom


You really wouldn't think something as innocuous as a nativity set would upset people.  It's pretty.  It's sweet.  It's a baby. 

Apparently it is upsetting to some atheists who find the one at the state capital in Austin offensive.  Now, obviously I don't understand.  It isn't hurting anyone.  Growing up, there was always a manger outside the courthouse in the small town in Indiana where I come from.   The town wasn't sponsoring a religion it was just respecting the members who believe.  

The nativity scene in Austin wasn't paid for using public funds.  A private group donated it.  The state is simply respecting a large percentage of the population of the state of Texas who chose to celebrate Christmas.  I am sure they would do the same with any religion that choses to donate something, within reason.  (I doubt something morally offensive would be displayed nor should it be).  

So what is it about a sweet little baby Jesus that is so troubling to a group of people who choose  to believe in nothing? After all, our government is full of nothing every single day. There are hundreds of branches of Christianity so the state is not sponsoring any religion.  If atheists are so sure there is no God then a few little statues of a cute baby and his momma and daddy shouldn't upset them. After all, Jesus was a historical person. Should we remove the statues of Sam Houston next? 

If you choose to not believe I respect that. Respect my right to believe.  It isn't hurting you.  If you don't want to see the manger, don't look.  Don't hide behind the 1st amendment because we all have rights including the people who donated the nativity set.  They have a right as citizens of the great state of Texas to be Christians and donate to their state a symbol of their faith.  

People have gotten off track and way too wrapped up in things that just don't matter.  If you want to protest something, protest injustice, poverty, animal abuse, spousel abuse, traffic laws for heaven sake!  Make some difference where it matters but leave God alone, and Allah, and whomever else. 

Can I get an amen? 


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Happy sayings and Friendship

Friendships matter. 
Good friends find a way to stick together through the years.  
Today I salute some of my friends who manage to support me through my life changes.  Some have been a part of my life for years and years and some I "inherited" when I got married.   
Love you guys! 














Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Raising a child and being a Bonus Mom: it's an honor


When I married I became a stepmom.  Now, if you know me, you know I always wanted to be a mom.  I had visions of little dresses and sailor outfits, hours spent rocking my baby to sleep, taking the kids to baseball games and to pick out a Christmas tree, letters to Santa and parent teacher conferences.  I looked forward to the first day of kindergarten and crying as my baby grew up and became independent.  I have adjusted my goals as I got older and things didn't work out.  

What I have instead is a beautiful, independent, stubborn young lady who knows her mind already and is sometimes too smart for her own good. I am blessed.  

So, being a stepmom or bonus mom or whatever you want to call it is my calling instead. What I have learned in a few short months is that kids need to know they are safe, loved, and wanted no matter how old they are and how you come into their lives.   They need to be able to trust their parents to be honest, good examples of how to live. 

What I have learned from my stepchild is that what you say or do isn't just about you.  You are showing them with your actions what matters in your life.  If you make time for them, find common projects to share with them, and take the time sometimes to snuggle and watch a movie or just listen when they are upset because the school bully is calling them names or treating them wrong, they will come to you. Being a stepmom is part about being a parent and raising them and part about being a friend and safe haven.  I don't get between her and her parents, I encourage her to talk to both of them. 

Someone asked me if it bothered me that she "wasn't mine".  Not at all.  She isn't a possession to fight over.  She is a child who needs love and that love can come from 2 parents or 4. The key is that the parents put aside their differences and do what is best for the child.   I look at helping to raise her as a beautiful opportunity given to me by my husband & his ex-wife but more importantly by her.  I was lucky because she accepted me and my family.  She has embraced my nieces and loves hanging out with them. She has that boys are dumb approach to my nephews that all 11 year olds have and it makes me laugh...because boys only get dumber as we grow up! She is a great kid.  Not perfect, no child is.  

So I started thinking about all the people who miss their opportunity to parent because they are too young or too selfish and it makes me sad.  I am sad because I know first, having a baby, watching it grow first inside me and then in the world, is an experience I would have given my left arm to have and there are people who take it for granted, throw it away, or simply never give their kids the time needed or moral example to have a chance to grow up healthy and strong.  They put themselves first and never think about how their actions effect their kids.  

It's a cruel world.  Life isn't ever going to be easy for any child.  Every family has a unique set of challenges and struggles but parents, in my opinion, have to grow up and be responsible adults and good examples.  Things don't really matter to kids but time does.  Giving your children the time by taking them to the park, woods, or fishing and teaching them the value of a dollar by giving them chores and an allowance and making them earn things.  These are the things I have found matter.  Take it for what it's worth from a part-time mom of someone else's amazing kid, who lets me be a part of her life and family.  Count your blessing and thank God for your chance because once you screw it up, the kid won't forget or forgive easily.   






Monday, December 8, 2014

Marriage Monday: Learning MARRIED: A little help please!



First let me say that Every Single Day, I thank GOD for my husband.  Being single today is hard.  Harder than most people think.  There are a lot of good single people out there but unfortunately, there are a lot of single people out there who are single for a reason.  Don't believe me?  Ask your single friends about their last date from Hell.  I bet most of them will tell you about the last date they actually had.  :(

I came to a realization very early on in my marriage (I have been married 3 months so everything is early on right now but this was about week 3) that I had no clue how to "be" married.  You see, I had been a "me" all of my adult life and now I needed to start thinking like a "we".  This was all new to me, even though my husband and I lived together first, I was still doing my stuff.  

So at some point I decided I needed to find some help on just being married. This stuff doesn't exactly come naturally and relationships, all relationships, are hard.  I mean, all relationships are really hard, family, friends, kids, and husband and wife.  You only have to look at the divorce rate to know that marriage isn't easy.  

So, I turned to a sweet and awesome couple I know and asked them for some books.   Thanks Donny and Katie for helping me out on not only on recommending books for me but also on making me feel, not so alone in learning how to be married.     I admit, I came into marriage thinking everything was going to just be natural.  Living with another human isn't natural automatically, it takes work.   Especially, when one or both of those humans are stubborn, know it all's who have been doing things their way for a long time and not expecting to change.  GUILTY!

Anyway, Donny and Katie individually sent me a list of books and being the cutest couple on earth, they of course sent me the same list without knowing it.  (Seriously, y'all).   I completed one book so far in the Donny and Katie healthy marriage series of books.  (Okay, that's my name for it, like it or not) and that book was AMAZING!

   The first book they recommended was The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.  I read this book very quickly and part of it is because it is an easy read.  The thing is, it makes so much sense.   I realized very early on in reading that my love languages were physical touch and gift giving.  Now, physical touch doesn't mean getting busy for all the guys out there reading thinking, "Oh yes, that's me!"  It means hand holding and kissing that doesn't lead to getting busy and just cuddling.   Yep, that's me.   Next is gift giving.  Much to my husbands dismay, whenever I come home from the store, I usually have a little something for either him or my step-daughter.   Nothing big, mind you but a little gift.  Gummy bears or peanuts or something I know they like.  It drives him nuts but I realized immediately, that's me saying "I love you and thought about you while I was shopping."   Now, I am not going to share his love language but know that they are not mine.   It took a while for me to figure him out but when I did, I started adjusting some of my behavior to speak his language.  Not only has life gotten easier but it has made us closer.


I also did some research and found a lot of books with high recommendations on Amazon.  How we Love by Milan and Kay Yerkovich is one of those books.   Now, to be honest, I just started this book so I can't give you a ton of input on it yet, however, it gets 4.5 stars on Amazon and that is always a good sign to me. 

Finally, I discovered iTunes has a LOT of podcast material and since I have a good little commute everyday, I have enjoyed the ability to listen to several on my way to and from work.   Here are the three I am enjoying most:

Ohana Baptist Church Marriage Classes podcast: 

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/marriage-classes-at-ohana/id78822318?mt=2&i=320476482

I am not Baptist, I am Catholic but that makes absolutely no difference when I am listening to the pastor in this series.  The pastor is funny and speaks in a friendly manner that is inviting and captures your attention.   A little background.  This is a class he gave at his church in 2004.  The class is based on a handbook they provided and some of the audio is hard to hear because you can't hear the questions but you still get this amazing weekly or daily pep talk about God's plan for marriage.  I highly recommend this series.  



Save the Marriage podcast with Lee Baucom PhD.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/save-marriage-podcast-how/id680884572?mt=2&i=326678847

I am not going to lie, this is my favorite.   The podcast is enjoyable, easy to listen to, covers a vast amount of information and situations and even though it is called SAVE the marriage it doesn't mean you have to have a troubled marriage to learn.  In fact, Dr. Baucom mentions a few times that he does the podcast with the idea of teaching people how to have healthy relationships before their marriage needs saving.   The latest podcast, by the way, has Dr. Gary Chapman being interviewed about the 5 Love Languages.  The interview is funny, insightful, and I wanted it to go on and on.

Marriage today with Jimmy and Tammy
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/marriage-today-jimmy-karen/id209659095?mt=2&i=326568253

This is a series I just started listening to but I have to tell you they seem cover a variety of personal issues that effect the marriage and it is done, again, from a biblical basis so they are teaching family values with a sense of humor and the information is spot on covering subjects that trouble most people in today's society like fear, anxiety, and insecurity.  


One of the things I found most interesting in all of these classes is how they all agree on the basic principal that making a marriage work, in the end, is a lot healthier than letting it fail and falling into a pattern of marriage and divorce which seems to happen, a lot.  The failure rates on 2nd and 3rd marriages are even higher and people tend to get on a merry-go-round searching for a 'soul-mate' who understands them perfectly never realizing, that person doesn't exist.  I mean really, do you even understand you perfectly?  I don't.  
 *With the knowledge they are not recommending you stay in every situation.  Abuse is abuse, pure and simple.

Alright, that is my list.  So what books or podcast have you found most useful in making your relationship healthier?   Any relationship, parent, friend, husband-wife, kid.   Seriously, I am going to need that kid one soon.  I have an 11 year old now!


Friday, December 5, 2014

Dear Santa

I believe in Santa.  Yes, it's true.  I am a Middle Aged woman who believes. 

So when I sat down to figure out what I want for Christmas this year I realized that I don't need much.  Oh, sure we need new plumbing in our old house but we have that under control and the fix is coming.  Let's be real, in 2014 I sold a house, bought a house, got married, gained a daughter, and a new truck.  I am pretty set. 
So here is what I want for Christmas: 

-ISIS to go away and all the prisoners to come home.  Santa has enough room on his sleigh to do what the U.S. Military can't, rescue them! 
-Racial peace:
This is a tall order even for Santa so he is going to need God to help and our prayers.  

-The protection of good police everywhere:
Yes, there are good police, in fact most of them are good regardless of what the media would have you believe. 

-No matter what your politics, I ask for wisdom for the POTUS in the last two years of his presidency.   Not that I am going to be sad to see him go, but we have crucial times ahead and he has to get us through them so until we get to elect someone stronger in World issues, Santa, give him courage. 

-Ebola & Cancer: 
Santa do you have a cure in that bag? Can you bring one? While you are at it, cancer has been plaguing us forever and I would sure appreciate a cure for that one personally! 

-Peace: 
In the Middle East to begin with and basically everywhere else.  I am exhausted watching the news.  We need Santa to pull out a peace pill or something.  

Maybe I expect too much from Santa. After all, these are our problems and we got ourselves into this mess so we need to get ourselves out but it sure would be nice if we could all remember, especially at Christmas that we are all human and we share this little planet.  We should try and get along while accepting our differences and celebrating our commonalities.  After all, we are mostly the same, red blood, flesh, brains that we tend not to use most of the time, and a lot of untapped forgiveness and love.  


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Surviving Hormonal Women, an Open Letter to Men



Women have that special time of the month, followed by that special time of life. If you are really a lucky man, somewhere in there you get to experience the extra special pregnancy years too, which I am sure are a special kind of hell on their own.  I am here to share with you how to live with your woman during that extra special life phase and survive her hormonal rages. 

Without further ado here are the top things not to do or say around a hormonal woman, and no this isn't a don't tell her she looks fat list, of COURSE you don't tell her that, what kind of a death wish do you have?  This is more practical stuff.  Stuff you already know but may need reminding.  Simple, everyday stuff. 


- Never ask a hormonal woman for a back rub, foot rub, or for anything ELSE to be rubbed.   Why?  Everything from her hair to her toenails aches so she doesn't really give a rats hind end about your pain.  Go take a hot shower and put your big boy panties on.  

- If you want dinner, go get a pizza.   Really, she is hormonal!  You may end up with something special in your sweet tea if you aren't careful....like antifreeze. 

- When a woman is hormonal, it isn't a good time to bring up laundry, dishes, or the fact she forgot to make the bed unless you want a switchblade between your eyes.

- Spending time with the boys is okay but when your woman is hormonal you have two choices; spend time with them and get in trouble or don't spend time with them, and get in trouble.   Either way, you are in trouble.   Hey, I didn't say women are logical, I said they are hormonal.   

- During the special times of the month when your woman is PMSing, it is not the time to discuss your ex's.  Let me let you in on a secret, we don't care in general but during that time of the month, not only do we not care but we are liable to burst into tears because the sun is shinning or it is raining so you can't win.  When you can't win, don't talk about other women.  Don't think about other women.  Okay, really, just don't breath for a week. That is probably best.  

- Never say these words to a hormonal woman:  "You are freaking out over nothing! Your period must be coming."   First we are probably going to run to our phones to pull up our tracking app to prove you wrong then we will be forced to throw our phones at your head in anger because, of course you are right and we can't have you being right, damn it!  Just shut up.  Really, you know we are hormonal, it should go unspoken.  There is no need to point out the fact that we are hormonal in the illogical hope that we will suddenly snap into the loving, reasonable woman we are 3 weeks out of the month.  This won't happen.  Deal with Hell Week like we have to and keep quiet.

- When you catch your wife or girlfriend eating chocolate during that time of the month, don't ask her if she really needs it, offer here another piece.  Seriously, there is nothing that is going to make her feel better except that little bit of foil wrapped heaven.

-If she comes back from the store and she purchased a new pair of shoes or handbag, now is probably not the time to remind her she has 85 pair of shoes and 55 handbags in the closet.  Especially if the new shoes have heels because, well, have you ever been hit in the head with a stiletto? 

- Sex:  Now is the time to appreciate whatever you get, when you get it and not complain about being deprived.  Suck it up buttercup.  Remember those days when you were single and you didn't know when or if you were going to get any again?   That time could come again if you aren't careful!

Okay, if you can remember those simple little tips, you should survive your wife or girlfriend with just an average amount of anger and tears.  If not, you are going to have that extra little bit of hell to enjoy every month.  It's your choice.  I am just here to guide and advise. 



*This is all tongue in cheek and my husband would NEVER do any of this stuff...of course he wouldn't....I am just guessing there are men out there who do this.   

Monday, December 1, 2014

Today I will....

This is where we spent Thanksgiving.  We had a wonderful 4 days and now...it's over. :( 

So today as I reflect I decided to find a positive post idea and decided Today I will: 

-ignore the critics, 
They are very good at throwing all your faults in your face and pretty bad at seeing their own. 

-feel pretty, 
I spent 4 days in the woods without running water so anything is an improvement in feeling pretty! 

-love first, 
No matter how hard it is sometimes, today I will love first.  

-stop nagging: 
Here is the thing about nagging, it does no good.  You put the other person on the defense and any chance you had of getting a point across fails.  Related to this, 

-not say all the sarcastic little comments that come into my head, 
They hurt the people I aim them at and that is probably what I want in anger but not later, 

-take a walk,
Especially if I am upset...walk it off. 

-work in my Christmas tree.   
It's up but the decorations aren't finished. 

-Tune out the negative, 
I am going to ignore it today.  Sometimes you realize the negativity is just suffocating you.  You either ignore it or you leave it behind altogether.  

-eat right,
Because Thabksgiving is a day, not a month! 

-be myself,
Like me, hate me, whatever.  I am me and I like me, the way I am.  If you don't, there's the door. 


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Triplets: three times the Gift from God


11 years ago today God blessed my family with triplets.  In the time I have been lucky enough to be their aunt I have watched them grow from tiny little creatures hooked up to feeding tubes to loving, beautiful, smart, amazing individuals.  

What I have learned from my nieces is a priceless gift.  You see, from birth they clearly had their own personalities even though they had experienced absolutely everything the same.  No two babies handled anything exactly alike.  No two toddlers liked the same thing.  No two children today process hurt, anger, love, affection, or independence the same.  Each girl has her own special set of gifts, likes, dislikes, and each has a very distinct personality.   Each child is a unique individual and while their lives have not been perfect, they have each learned to process and cope in their own special way. 

When they were little, people couldn't tell them apart.  I never understood this, mostly because they don't look alike. Today if you know them, you know they are completely different people but people who are connected to their sister with a special bond.  They go their own ways, playing different sports, liking different foods, having different strengths.  One is mouthy and tough on the outside.  One wears her heart on her sleeve.  One is a little con-artist. I adore them each for who she is and I can't imagine our lives without them.  

They have taught me so much about myself. Before them I thought we were all a victim of our circumstance, but they have the same basic circumstance and they are different.  From them I realized it isn't the things you face that create who you are but how you respond to them. None of us have a perfect life but we all have our personalities.  We can also overcome anything, even ourselves.  

Today I am thankful for these three babies who came into my life and have given me unconditional love for 11 years. I am thankful that each day, they remind me to be better, sweeter, stronger, and not afraid to eat a bowl of strawberries or chocolate cake or meat and potatoes...because that's how they roll. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Forgiveness Project: Saying my peace & letting go


I

I have been working lately on growing and part of that growth has been learning to forgive things from my past.   Mistakes I made and people who hurt me.  Trust has never been my strongest characteristic, with good reason.  With that in mind, I have decided it is time to formally forgive those who hurt me, not for them, for me.   So while I am saying my peace and forgive these folks, they won't be mentioned by any form of name. 

1.  Frankly you rarely cross my mind but that is mostly because of the way our friendship ended which was so cold and hateful and while almost every other friend I have lost over the years I have, at least some sense of responsibility for the end, with you I have none.  I honestly feel sorry for you. As attractive as you are on the outside it is as hateful as you are inside.  Obviously this isn't an apology.  This is forgiveness so I forgive you.  I hope you find some peace someday and I hope you stop trying to compete with your sibling and just learn to like yourself.  Maybe then other people will like you.  I hope you also learn to stop stabbing people in the back.  All the things you did to me, honestly made me laugh but I know you meant to hurt me so I do forgive you. Forgiven

2. We said some horrible thing to each other when our friendship ended and somehow I ended up the "bad guy" in the situation but the truth is you were out of line and while I will never understand how you could treat someone who was suppose to be a friend the way you treated me and you hurt me in a way no man ever has,  I hope your life improves because frankly you have always seem so angry, it makes me sad. I also know you don't care about my forgiveness and you don't care about me.  That's ok.  I am not asking to be friends with you.  I don't want to be friends again, honestly.  I would never trust you again after the things you said.  I forgive you for the hurtful things you said and the judgement you brought down on me.  You were wrong in the end, so it doesn't matter. Forgiven

3. Forgiving you means I have to actually think about you and that is something I try not to do but just this once, so I can let this go forever, here goes.  I forgive you for the lies and yes, they were lies.  I forgive you for your indecisiveness.  I actually thank you for that because I am with my husband because of that.  I forgive you for walking out on me. I forgive you for using me.  I forgive you for your lapse in pretty much anything close to honor or manhood. I am glad you found some, finally.   I forgive you for using my friends which, let's be honest, is what you do, to make yourself feel important. Most see through you, that's okay.  I even forgive you for being a huge reason why some of my friends didn't trust my judgement when it came to my relationship with my future husband. In the end I found out who my real friends are because of you but in the meantime you caused so many problems you don't even know about and you caused a lot of pain.   You are also a huge reason why I gained an amazing husband and family so because of that, and because I just don't care to carry the pain of you for the rest of my life, I forgive you. Forgiven

4. Your behavior hurts people I love and adore and I do not know how you continue to pull your stunts and look them in the eye.  I am so unclear how and why you do the things you do and how you live with your lies and criminal behavior.  You really should be in jail.  I forgive you but I am watching you and I will be there to pick up the pieces when you implode and you will.  I refuse to let those I love pay the price for your 'crazy'. I would ask you to get help but I know you don't want it.  I will simply forgive you, until tomorrow or the day after when you screw up again. Forgiven

Well, that's it.  I wrote my peace and can let go. I don't have anything to do with 3 out of 4 people and the 4th will never be out of my life until one of us dies so there is that.  There are probably a couple of other people I could add but I just don't really know that I have anything to really say.  Sometimes, you just stop being close and life goes on.  Sometimes you should never have been close to begin with. 

While I am forgiving I should say there are things I need to forgive myself for as well.  Falling for the wrong man, trusting the wrong friends, letting myself be used and getting angry at dumb things are probably the most important.   I learned from those things and forgive myself those things as well. Also, I am not perfect, shocker, I know, and probably need forgiveness from others but this is about me forgiving to heal not asking forgiveness. 

Marriage: Becoming "and Laura"



*A funny thing happened when I got married,  I became "and Laura" as in husband and wife.   Suddenly everyone was saying his name "and Laura", my mail was coming "and Laura" at first I didn't think anything about it but last night I realized my auto insurance carrier, mine you see, had sent my renewal policy to us with his name on the mail "and Laura".   I have had this policy since I was 18 years old.  I am 44.  You do the math.  

So I sit here reminding myself marriage is about becoming a "we" and wondering does that mean I have to totally lose me?  Do I become a second thought for the rest of my life?  I know I am not in his mind.  I know I am not in the dogs mind. I guess that will have to be enough because suddenly apparently the rest of the world has reverted to 1952 and I am only "and Laura".  

*some of this is tongue in cheek and some is kind of weird observation 






Sunday, November 2, 2014

Welcome to the Good Life


Blessed by Busy: 

For the last six months my life has become so busy that I have had a hard time finding moments of peace.  (Even to write which is my release and why I hardly blog right now). It's been a whirlwind of selling a house, planning a wedding, buying a house, unpacking, learning the ropes of wife, step-mom, home owner in a different part of town, getting ID's changed, names changed, just everything and then you add on the constant flux at work where my team has sustained hit after hit from either turnover or promotion.   Something had to give. 

What ended up giving was my sanity and my Jason Aldean concert.   Last weekend I was suppose to go see him in concert and I was looking forward to it. See, Florida Georgia Line is the second act and I was pretty excited.  Until the day came and suddenly I found myself at church instead of the concert.  Turns out I needed God this week.  I needed time in prayer and with God at His house. 

The week didn't get less crazy.  We ended up losing another employee and because of that, I had to send my husband out of town without me so I can work this weekend.   I am disappointed but I am trying not to worry.  Trying!   

Oh and I traded in my Jeep because simply put, it had to be done.   I decided I wanted a pickup this time.  Crazy as this sounds, I am totally in love with my truck!  I had driven my husbands a couple of times and realized that you sure can see better. 
So, I decided on Burnt Orange and although I have never named a vehicle before, this one is definitely "BEVO". 

I have been praying lately.  Praying for my friends who I don't see much because we got busy, married, and complicated lives all at the same time.  Praying for my family, of course. Praying for peace at work. Praying for Ebola victims and for friends I use to have who I lost contact with that they find the happiness they deserve. I even pray for my dogs, that they listen better and stop driving me crazy.  I love the little pains!  The funny thing about this praying is that I have realized it makes me feel better.  For a long time, I was sad about some things that happened in the past and some hurt I experienced when friendships or relationships ended.  Now, I pray for those people and it has given me peace. For a long time I worried about marrying and having kids and now, I thank God for the amazing life He made me wait for and the husband, child, and the house in the country where I can find peaceful moments to pray.  
How could you not be peaceful when this is your backyard, complete with a little red barn and the other homes are an acre away?  

What I found out, mostly is that in the middle of busy, when I am missing my friends, my down time, and my alone time, that I am surrounded by blessings like children who love me, family who needs me, and a couple of crazy dogs who think I hung the moon.   Life changes and it is up to me to change with it and make it a positive without worrying too much because in the end, God has this and today, everyday is the good life.  

SL
 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Begging for a buck, why I walk!

Light the Night


I've told the story before.   My dad died of lymphoma when I was 5.   So I do my best to try and support cancer research because it is personal.   It isn't just personal because cancer robbed me of my father.  It has robbed me of my grandmother (Breast) grandfather (stomach) and I have an uncle fighting it (liver) and another grandfather who fought it(I have forgotten now what type, there have been so many). Aside from that I have lost two people who worked with me from breast cancer and one to a brain tumor.  Young, beautiful women.   In 2010 I ran a half marathon for Team in Training. This year I decided to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society by participating in their Light the Night event on November 2.   I raise money for LLS because my father died from Lymphoma but whatever cancer we kick, all cancer will follow.  Cancer research, that is the key!

Now, I can fund myself and if my husband participates we can sponsor his entrance.  I am still asking for donations because frankly, I am sick of cancer.   I am tired of losing friends.  I am tired of seeing people I care about waste away.  I am sad to see kids grow up without Moms and Dads.  I am sad to see women who can't have kids because cancer robbed them of their chance like my friend on Twitter.  I am sad that we have all become so numb to cancer that we don't even think about it anymore. It doesn't even phase us.  We don't get angry. We aren't afraid.   My own family has become numb.   I have a sibling who feels that the war will never be won so me raising money for cancer research is a waste of my time and energy.   Maybe he is right, but sitting back and doing nothing sure isn't going to win the war.   I have to try.  Not for my father because his battle ended in 1975.   For the kids out there today struggling with childhood cancer because no child should be robbed of the chance to grow up.   For the 19 year old I saw on the news today who is suffering from an inoperable brain tumor and playing in her only college basketball game on November 2 because nobody should die young.   For the parents out there who are forced to bury children and the children forced to grow up without parents.  For the husbands and wives who lost their soul mates.   For everyone who lost a friend.  For all of us because we have probably all been touched somehow and if we haven't yet, we will be.

I am not asking you for a lot of money.  I am asking you to spare a buck.   Between Twitter, Facebook, and my blog, if everyone were to read this, and send in $1.00 we could raise over $1000!   So, can you spare a Buck to kick cancer in the A$$?


Monday, October 13, 2014

After 'I do': Life can get real, real fast!

One month ago today was the happiest day of my life.   I married my soulmate and gained a daughter.  

Two days later we closed on our 'dream home' and then life got real....real fast. 

I'm not going to go through the list of real but it runs the table from plumbing problems, badly wires that wanted to start a fire, and an overnight hospital stay (don't ask) yesterday. 

In the middle of all of the drama, tears, sickness, health, arguments over stupid stuff that doesn't matter, and dealing with children...lots of them sometimes,  I realized that nothing is that serious that we can't get through it if we just work together. Well, almost nothing, health you can't take for granted because we are fragile. 

I think everyone should spend a few hours/days in the hospital just so they remember how lucky they are. Go sit in the ER and watch the people go in and out.  When you see the 80 year old woman come in with her son after they found her slumped over at home, a slip and fall, ask yourself if you would feel lucky to get to 80.  When you see the car accident victim come in with the head brace and looking perfectly fine, ask yourself if you are tough, honest, or stupid. When you see the kid with the broken bone from skateboarding ask yourself how you would feel if that was your child then kiss your healthy kid.  Finally, when you see the 20-something woman following behind her husband on a stretcher carrying his stuff while he is being wheeled in, on oxygen, clearly in poor healthy, and you immediately think of how someone you know has cancer and could be doing that today, thank your lucky stars that your pain in the bottom spouse is not the one dying young. That's what I did.  

We all get comfortable but today I feel like God doesn't want me to be comfortable, He wants me appreciative, challenged, and gracious.   He wants me strong, faithfull, and honest.  Mostly, God wants me to think before I act and see the beauty in the chaos. Yes, Lord, even when the chaos is bad old pipes that need to be dug up and replaced.   (The house not my hubby). 





Sunday, October 5, 2014

Living without a child: learning to cry

I have covered this topic before but it is a hole in my heart that never seems like it will never be filled. Please forgive me and skip this blog if you want but sometimes I need to use this space to work things out, for me.

Before anyone calls me ungrateful, I am not.  I have a beautiful step-daughter who loves me and who I love and who is my friend but she has a mom and I am her friend and bonus parent.  I missed the baby years and the little kid years and now I have the Tweens and Teens to look forward to and I have embraced it and her. I will be there for her.

What annoys me is when I hear from people how I don't know what it is like to raise a child because I am childless.   How I don't know how hard a baby is to take care of day in and day out.   What people don't understand is that my mother and I were there with my brother when the triplets were born.  We were there helping take care of them all the time.  I gave up my life for almost two years for those girls.  I had no weekends. You think it's hard to raise one baby? Try three.  Have you ever bottle fed three at once because I have.  Have you ever had to calm three crying newborns all by yourself because I have. Have you taken care of babies on respirators, because I have.  Yet, somehow, still I don't qualify for knowing what it takes to be a parent. The kids don't need me now so I don't see them everyday. Well of course not, they are almost eleven. They have a life. I have a life.  They aren't my kids. 

I don't have kids and I never will. I don't need people to remind me of that. I missed my chance because I didn't marry the wrong person young and have a child with them.  For reasons that I can't go in to, it looks like adoption isn't available to me either.  So I cry.  I mourn the kids I wanted. I have a big hole in my heart, a child size hole that will never be filled and a lot of regrets. That's my truth. That's my life. That wasn't my choice.  What I do not need is anyone telling me I am wrong to want a child because I am too old. What I do not need is anyone telling me how much a child costs and how unrealistic I am.  

Maybe I am stupid.  I just always thought love would find a way.  I guess I was wrong in that too. Maybe I want to see God's plan where it isn't.  God isn't asking me to open my heart and my life.  Maybe I just wish He was.  Maybe I am naive to think a child that needs a home and a home that is availabe to a child is a good fit but maybe that isn't always the case.  Maybe I made a mistake. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Advice to my 20 year old self on Life, Love, Baseball and the Pursuit of Happiness!

There comes a point in middle age (otherwise known as your late 30's and early 40's) where you think to yourself, man did I really waste my 20's worrying about that crap?  Why!?!? So here is my advice to me...because who else would I be qualified to advise? 

-Go to more concerts and eat less ice cream.  You won't regret it. 

-Stop trying to "find" the one.  He isn't going to show up until he is suppose to and that is in God's time so get off the dating sights and have fun with friends. 

-Never make excuses for men.  When you meet your best friend, you will know and you will marry him.  Until that time,  the toads are just a learning experience. Don't cry over them, pity them.  They let the best thing in the world walk away. You! 

-Buy the shoes.  

-Pay the bills before you buy the shoes because that good credit really does matter. 

-Don't waste your time on people who take and never give.  Those people make terrible friends and in the end, they aren't the ones that are there for you.  

-Don't forget the friends who are and always have been there for you.  Those are the friends that are gold and won't ever leave. 

-God, Family, and Rangers baseball in that order. 

-Date rednecks because they make the best husbands. 

-"God is great, beer is good, people are crazy!"

-Stop judging yourself.  

-Have fun and be silly and for the love of all things good, don't take yourself so seriously! 

-Think less and spend more time outside! 

-Never give up on the Rangers because someday they actually are going to make it to the World Series! 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Three funerals and a wedding? Circle of life.

This has been such a strange year. It seems like in a year where everything is coming together for me personally, a new marriage, a new step-daughter, a new home, that I am losing friends & co-workers left and right.  Young people too.  I will have been to three funerals by the end of this week and the age of those lost range from 26-43.  

In a time when I struggle to comprehend God's plan, my husband reminds me that there is a plan and to trust in it because there is no way we would be together without Him.  In a time when I want to break down and be sad, I have the great gift of a home that has over an acre of yard that needs work and my attention and just this once, I can shovel and mow and not think.  In a time when it would be so easy to focus on the loss of death, I am reminded constantly that there is also the gift of life.  You see, in my same office where we have lost two young co-workers in two months, we have also experienced the joy of watching several co-workers become parents, most for the first time.  

Last Friday, I left work early and spent the afternoon at homecoming with my husband, step-daughter, some friends, and their brand new grand baby.  I held that precious child and reminded myself that every life is a gift and every child is a joy.  

God doesn't explain His reasons but He has them.  My father was 27 when he passed away from cancer and it took me 30 years to realize that God called him home because He loved him and daddy had suffered enough. Time, it is all we have so we make the most of it. 

Sorry for the rambling...this is just where I am this morning. 


Monday, September 29, 2014

Wedding Recap: Finding my Perfect Happiness

What can I say about our wedding?  It was perfect.  It was so much fun.   It was a beautiful day.
I was surrounded by amazing family!

Our wonderful wedding party. 

We had such a good time playing and being silly.

Everything turned out just lovely!


I don't know what I dreamed in the past but I can't imagine a more perfect wedding.  It was simply wonderful, fun, and very us.

*Most photos courtesy of  Lori Carr Photography

Monday, September 22, 2014

Marriage, New House, & Luke Bryan!




I haven't blogged in a little while mostly because I have been really busy getting married...





Moving into my new house and unpacking which never seems to end...


And spending some QT with Luke Bryan. Priorities! So I promise when life calms down a little I will post all about the wedding which was beautiful and the new-old house which I love. Until then just know all is really, really good!



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