Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I am NOT in control

Craig has been out of town with 1200 high school students in Panama City, FL. I know that God is doing amazing things in the hearts of those students & the volunteers that are with them.

I've been doing well on my own. Kids went camping for the 1st time. We've managed to eat most meals at home. Granted, they certainly were not GOURMET meals, but they had some nutritional value.

I have been feeling lonely though. Yesterday, I did NOT want to get out of my pjs. Slight depression setting in. Thankfully, my wonderful friend, Kristin, invited us for dinner so I had no choice but to shower & get dressed. But last night... feeling as if life was out of control, I binged. I knew exactly what I was doing. I knew that the binge wasn't going to take that depression away, but I felt as though I was in control. If I wanted to eat 3 chocolate bars, then I could - and did.

Did my depression go away afterward? Nope... and I knew it wouldn't. But I will admit that the chocolate certainly tasted yummy as I ate it.

Today we ventured out of the house & went to the movies. Free movie Tuesday at a local theater. The place is ALWAYS packed!!! I don't do well with crowded places, but this wasn't too bad. It was the AFTER that made me shut down emotionally.

We (Kristin & I) decided to take the kids to lunch at Chik-Fil-A. There's a play place there so what better place to go. Food & entertainment for one low price, right?!?!? Apparently, everyone else at the free movie had the SAME idea. We actually had to WAIT for a table. Needed 6 seats, only got 4. I don't cope well with chaos. Then, we let the kids play in the play place and WE went in. Another BAD idea for me... all those kids yelling in one small place. It was hot & sticky in there..... no air & lots of nasty little feet. Throw in some STUPID (yeah, I said stupid) cog toy that made a HORRIFIC noise while it was spun; my brain shut down. I couldn't concentrate. Tunnel vision began.

Poor Craig called right as we got in the car & I had a total meltdown. We're talking tears-a-streaming, snot-a-flowing meltdown. I hate having the kids see it, but it won't scar them, right? It's ok for them to see me as a human and not SUPER MOM, right? Of course, Craig feels helpless because he's in Florida and we're here. I've learned to appreciate him more. I realized that so much of my day is made easier because I have an amazing husband.

With Craig's urging, the kids gave me some "ME" time once we got home. I took a nap. I'd love to say that I woke refreshed, but that's not the case. I did awake with a resolve that I needed a meeting MORE than I needed Zumba.

So, with the help of my wonderful friend, Amy, I dropped the kids off with her. Then my fantastic friend, Lisa, picked me up and drove to the meeting. It's EXACTLY what I needed. To be surrounded by people who 'get' me. I didn't share anything profound nor did I learn anything profound, but I still got something out of it. A gentle reminder from God that I am not alone. That all I need is to simply be WILLING. He'll do the rest.

Tonight, I am willing to let God work in my life.

Thankful List 6/29/10

1. Friends perfectly placed by God
2. Willingness
3. The love of my husband & children

Many blessings,

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Seasons of life

I'm a complicated woman. There, I said it (though any man reading this would probably say that ALL women are complicated).

As much as I like to say that I'm a 'fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants' kind of girl, I'm not one that embraces change either. I'll embrace it when it doesn't actually have a HUGE impact on MY life.

But if MY life is going to change, you better watch out!!! I'll be kicking & screaming the whole way! Trying to control everything and everyone around me so that I can 'think' that I am in control.

There's a saying:

Some people come into your life for a reason.
Some people come into your life for a season.
Some people come into your life for a lifetime.

I'm all about seeing the reason why certain people are in my life. I love when God reveals that to me. I LOVE having friends that will last for a lifetime. You know the ones: days, months, years can go by before you talk to one another, but when you do it's like time has stood still (except for the gray hairs & wrinkles).

It's those SEASON people that I have a hard time with. Don't get me wrong... some of the season people are in my life for a reason... some of them will be in my life for a lifetime too. But it's at the end of the season, when there's that "goodbye" of sort, that I hate.

Sometimes the friendship just fizzles. Sometimes it's a catastrophic event. Either way, there's a sense of loss. That little hole in your heart that only that is reserved for that person.

But then God does something amazing!!! He fills that void with His love. Sometimes He brings new people to your life that increase the size of your heart so that void doesn't feel so BIG.

It's moments like this that remind me of one of my all-time favorite Christian songs by Michael W. Smith... You know the one. In fact, the tune just popped into your head as you're reading this.

Friends are friends forever
If the Lord's the Lord of them
And a friend will not say never
'Cause the welcome will not end
Though its hard to let you go
In the Father's hands we know
That a lifetime's not too long to live as friends

Many blessings,

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

How can I let Father's Day go by without blogging about the special Dads in my life.

My Dad, Bob

I'll be the 1st to admit that I did not have a good relationship with my father when I was a child. Honestly, we didn't really have A relationship. We were like ships that pass in the night - except with a lot of yelling and anger.

Because of circumstances beyond my control (and because God knows what He's doing), my father & I were forced to form a relationship when I was 21. I was left to live with him (or I could have moved out). It was very stunted at first. But as time went by, I learned more & more about my Dad. Not necessarily from my Dad, but the knowledge I gained really helped cement the relationship that we have today.

My Dad is my hero. In the past 17 years, I have seen my father humble himself before me, asking for my forgiveness. Really putting an effort into being the Dad that I so longed to have when I was a child.

FIL (father-in-law), Skip

My father-in-law is one of those guys that just kind of sits back and absorbs life. He's not all that quick to offer his opinion on something. But when he does, be ready. He's got a dry, sick sense of humor that the kids LOVE.

Skip has been serving his community for decades as a VOLUNTEER fire fighter. He's a 3rd generation fire fighter, working through the ranks of Lieutenant, Captain, Deputy Chief, Assistant Chief (2x) & Chief (2x). I love the dedication to his service. He doesn't do it halfheartedly like some of the fire fighters. He doesn't get paid to run into a burning building when everyone else is running out. It' s just in his blood.

Craig, my beloved

I have been blessed by being married to Craig for almost 13 years. He is an amazing father to our children, one whom is SO loved & adored. He is our daughter's protector and our son's hero. We may have 2 children of our own, Craig has touched the lives of hundreds of others through teaching & being a small group leader at church.

Craig followed in the footsteps of his father by joining the volunteer fire department while we were in NJ. He chose a career, while not monetarily rich, that is VERY personally rewarding. He has become my best friend - the way God intended us to be.

We have seen a lot of ups & downs in our marriage, but have finally put God in the center of our marriage. He strives to be a wonderful husband (which he is) and a terrific father (which he is).

These 3 men have a tremendous impact on my life and the lives of my children. Ultimately, these men will have an impact on the world because they give us just a glimpse of what our Heavenly Father's love is all about.

To our 3 super Dads - HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!

Many blessings,

It's a new day...

I've been inspired today. Not quite sure why. Maybe it was the realization (again) that I am in the clutches of a powerful disease and the ONLY way to take away the power is to FULLY give it over to God.

I have been too focused on what I cannot control - to the point of utter frustration. I had my meeting tonight. Let me tell you, had I not been the leader tonight, I would have went home. The sliding doors at the meeting location were broken. So, I begrudgingly walked around to the back of the building to get in. No big deal, right? I mean, every other time the stupid sliding glass doors were broken, the back door was where we needed to go. NOT TONIGHT!! Nope, those doors were locked TOO! So were the next set of doors right next to them.

There I am, ANGRY as all heck, wheeling the material for the meeting and I'm ready to just go home. Well, not go RIGHT home - no, I was going to stop at Wally World for a little binge. I was willing (or at least contemplating) to give up my continued abstinence because a DOOR wouldn't open. Really? Seriously??

I called my sponsor who calmed me down & then saw a program friend and walked in with her. Did I really get that upset because a door wouldn't work? Because a door didn't open the way I expected it to?

Earlier in the week, I got upset because my expectations of people weren't being met. Yep, that's right. MY eating is out of control, so let me try to control those around me. That works!!! (NOT)

Tomorrow is a new day. I have remained abstinent, but need to really get back with the program. It's not just about maintaining my abstinence. It's about working the Steps. It's about connecting with God and working through this TOGETHER - not alone. I am not alone in this. I have my husband, children, family & friends, but most of all I have God. He will never leave me or forsake me.

Thankful list (6/20/10)

1. A loving & supportive husband
2. A safe place to talk about my disease
3. Opportunity to spend time with my children

Many blessings,

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Hello new friends

Sadly, I have a handful of friends who have lost their children. Either at the age of 14 or newborn. No matter what age the child was, they were loved from the very 1st moment. I have been told by these friends that they believe God send them little reminders of their angels. One friend says every time she see a blue bird it reminds her of her son, Tyler.

Another friend shared her children with me today. I feel so blessed. This friend believes that yellow butterflies represent her son and ladybugs or red cardinals represent her daughter. While I will never meet her precious children here on Earth, I have faith that I will one day meet them in Heaven. Yet, today I feel as though I have a little connection with them.

Maybe I just don't usually pay that close attention, but maybe, JUST MAYBE God was sharing these babies with me. On my way home from my friend's house, I noticed a yellow butterfly pass by my windshield. Coincidence? Possibly. When I got to a stop sign, I noticed a BRIGHT red cardinal just sitting. Another coincidence? I guess.

But tonight, while having ice cream with other friends, one of the little girls in our group came over to us. In her hair was a ladybug. I don't think I can call that a coincidence anymore. I believe that I MET those children and God wanted me to remember them in my daily life.

Now, every time I see a delicate yellow butterfly, I will remember Travis. Every time I see a beautiful red cardinal or a tiny little lady bug, I will remember Emily.

I love that through God's creation, I was able to meet my friend's children.

Many blessings,

Friday, June 18, 2010


Many of you have been following me for quite some time. Occasionally, I'll post pictures of my off-spring, but RARELY will I post a picture of myself. Why? Because I'm usually the one BEHIND the camera (and I kind of like it that way)

My online friend though I hope to meet her one day in real life, Lynnette challenged her readers to post pictures of themselves being themselves. Well, being that I'm usually behind the camera, I don't have any really goofy pictures to show you. But I can assure you, those that actually know me can attest that I am GOOFY!!!

So, I present to you, my family!

Me & the "mayor"

Our princess

The boy

As for an update, things have been going pretty well. My in-laws have come & gone. It was a nice visit. The kids had a blast with them. Not that Craig & I didn't, but let's face it, the in-laws come to visit the grandkids!

Having people visit is usually very stressful for me. I want to be the perfect hostess, then I wind up not doing ANY hostessing because it's too overwhelming for me. I did maintain my abstinence while my in-laws were in town though. It was tough - I won't lie. I had to have some snacks hidden because they were just TOO tempting. I am blessed that I have family & friends who are so supportive of my journey.

There you go, my family & an update. We may be a small family compared to most, but we have hearts as big as mountains!

Many blessings,

Saturday, June 12, 2010


For several months now, we've been trying to get to North Georgia College & State University to check out the FREE planetarium show. I attempted back in February, but got there too late for us to get a seat.

Last night, while my in-laws were still in town, we headed out early, had dinner at Sonic and then headed on up to Dahlonega to check out the planetarium. The show was great! Ok, it doesn't rival the Hayden Planetarium in NYC, but I was still impressed!!!

The best part of the evening was heading out to their observatory after the show. I won't even try to explain the telescope they had (I don't know how). Even one of the students brought their own telescope.

I've always had an interest in astronomy. Probably dating back to my senior year of high school. A boy I dated was a boy scout and taught me to look at a few constellations. Orion was my FAVORITE (still is). I even toyed with the idea of changing my major to astronomy. Regretting it now.

Last night... while it was quite hazy outside, we were still treated to incredible sites! We were taught to find Venus, Mars & Jupiter in the night sky. Then we got to view EACH planet in a telescope. OUTSTANDING! AMAZING!!! Truly INDESCRIBABLE!

The very best part of the night was seeing Saturn & its rings. We were also treated to a peek at Titan (one of Saturn's moons). For a bit, I thought that there was a magazine picture on the other end of the telescope, that's how clear it was. Seeing it in BOTH telescopes... intense!

Can you believe it!! THIS is what I saw. Justin & I could have stayed there for hours. The professors that were with us were SO knowledgeable and were very willing to share that knowledge. Seriously, if I had a tent, I would have stayed... heck, if I had a CHAIR and a car (we carpooled with the rest of the family) I would have stayed. They even pointed out star clusters. Told stories of the constellations. We even got to see 3 satellites in just 5 minutes.

The whole time, I couldn't stop thinking about what an amazing God we serve. While we're busy trying to figure ways to put life on Mars, God just keeps showing me new & exciting things in His creation. Here I am 38-years old, been privy to see some beautiful sites here on Earth, now treated to what God has placed in the heavens.

If you find yourself having a free Friday night and looking for something fun to do, I HIGHLY recommend heading up to Dahlonega for the free planetarium & observatory. I couldn't even put a price for the experience.

Many blessings,

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My beloved, the "mayor"

Without fail, no matter where we go (mall, NJ, GA, international airport) my husband runs into SOMEONE he knows.

It happened all the time in NJ. My friend, Debbie, started calling him "The Mayor". Literally, without fail he would know SOMEONE where ever we went. Being from a small town & having your father in the fire department probably attributed to that.

When we were visiting Georgia, looking to move, we were in Newark International Airport (yeah, yeah I know. It's Liberty Airport or something like that) getting ready to board our plane. Wouldn't you know it - my husband KNEW someone on our plane.

Years later, once again sitting in Newark International Airport, hubby saw someone he knew on THAT plane to ATL too.

Anytime we ran into someone he knew, I'd sit there in the background, waiting to be introduced. Sadly, 9 times out of 10 they would say goodbye and I'd STILL be in the background.

Fast forward to today... we had to swing by the school that he works at to pick something up. He went to chat with his principal, whom I had yet to meet. What a wonderful surprise when he introduced me as his "beautiful bride".

He's STILL the mayor everywhere we go, but now he introduces me. He's been saying that more & more recently when he introduces me, yet today was the first time I REALLY heard it. It made me feel SO wonderful. He really must love me to introduce me that way. I mean, we'll be married 13 years come November. I don't consider myself his BRIDE still. But to him, I am still that bride that he married 12 1/2 years ago.

I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine. Song of Solomon 6:3

Many blessings,

Friday, June 4, 2010

Bitter sweet goodbyes (already)

Ok, so my best friend hasn't moved just yet, but her hubby is scheduled to move by next weekend. That means there's only a little time left. Granted, they haven't sold their house yet. But still..... she's going to be moving.

We had small group at her house tonight. We always have fun at small group. Except tonight. There was that big elephant in the room. Gathered in corners of her house were items they're getting rid of -- 'the store'. We were told to take what we wanted; the rest was going to Good Will.

It hurt to see the piles. The piles mean they're cleaning house. Figuring out what to bring to Iowa & what stays behind.

As we walked out to the car, saying goodbye wasn't so simple anymore. It wasn't a 'bye, see ya later'. There was MORE there. Heck, I'm probably going to see her every day for the next 5 days, but soon enough we will be saying GOOD BYE.

While I shouldn't be focusing on what has not come, I need to always keep it in the back of my mind. I don't want to be shocked when the day finally does get here.

Hopefully we'll be heading to Starbucks one night soon. Probably more like multiple nights soon. I need it. She needs it. Especially before her hubby leaves.

I'm scared yet excited to see what God has planned for our families.

Many blessings,