Thursday, September 30, 2010

Much ado about nothing...

All's quiet on the home front. School is in full swing for The Mayor, Songbird & Slugger. Almost report card time!

Fall baseball is up & running. His team, Coyotes/Marlins, is pretty much the same group of boys that played together during the spring. He even has 2 of the same coaches. The Mayor is the 3rd coach. Slugger got a chance to pitch a few innings. He's HOOKED! Unfortunately for us, most of the games are at 7:30 on a school night.. Makes for an interesting morning the next day.

Songbird is finding her groove in 7th grade. She decided to not really participate in school activities this year. This had me a little worried, but I think she did it so that she wouldn't overwhelm herself. I give her credit!! I don't know if I would have done that at her age.

My mom's group is working out well. Last week, I went to group - prayed before I got there - and had a great time. I'm slowly coming out of my shell. It'll take time, but I'm excited to learn more.

Our couple's Bible study moved to Monday nights. We've been blessed with 3 other couples. I'll admit, I was a little disappointed that we had ANOTHER small group, but God is beginning to show me that it's not about the quantity, it's about the quality. Each of us has told our story and have already begun building community. Friendships are already being formed.

Speaking of friendship, Kristin's in town!!!! I am SO excited. I can't wait to see her - you'd think that I'd be over her house right now. Seriously, I'm looking forward to spending time with her. I hate the fact that she'll be leaving again, but happy to have the few days I will have with her & the kids.

Like I said in the title - not much has been going on. I've got a few job prospects going. Prayerfully hoping that something comes into fruition.

My Bible verse for today:

Romans 8:38-39 (New International Version)

38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Many blessings,

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Darn comfort zone

It's amazing really. I want nothing more in life but to travel to different high schools, colleges, churches and tell my story. Stand in front of a bunch of strangers and basically bare my soul. Sure, I'd be nervous. Who wouldn't be? But knowing that it would help just 1 person would make it totally worth while for me.

Yet, I've signed up to be part of a mom's group... right now we're reading & discussing 'Boundaries with Kids'. What's the big deal about sitting around chatting with fellow moms about this book? EVERYTHING. Every week I have to talk myself INTO going. The thought of being in a room with a group of women that I just don't know scares the bejeesus out of me. Seriously to the point of almost having an anxiety attack the one week.

These are fellow moms. Moms who are there for the same purpose I am - learn more about how to get a handle on this Mom thing.

Tonight..... yeah. I got there late. I was about 2 minutes from NOT going. I mean, my son had a baseball game. What kind of mother would miss her son's baseball game (as if there aren't 8 others to go)? Heck, I couldn't even remember the name of the street I needed to get to. Wasn't even sure if I remembered the directions and, of course, our computer wasn't working so I couldn't MapQuest for directions.

As I drove, I prayed. God, please help me to calm down. Help me to open up to this group and allow myself to enjoy this experience. Help me to be open to making new friends. No one can replace Kristin (my best friend who moved), but I can allow other people into my life. Help me to stick with this. An immediate sense of peace washed over me. As I drove, I remembered where I was & found the house without ANY problems.

Sure I was a few minutes late, but I am SO glad I went. I enjoyed the 2 chapters we were discussing and could really use some insight into how to apply them to my life. One of the hard parts for me right now is that I am one of the only moms in my group with children over the age of 5. I'm struggling with the 'tween' years while all of the other moms are dealing with younger ones.

They were all so kind and allowed me to share, assuring me that they needed to hear what I was saying because one day they too will be where I am.

This is going to be a slow process, but I am going to stick this out. This will be good for me, emotionally & spiritually. I need this.... not a b*tch session about my kids or hubby, but a REAL opportunity to talk to other moms about raising children.

I'm stepping out of my comfort zone. On the surface, I may look calm & collected but underneath I am like a duck in a pond - paddling like mad.

Many blessings,

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Meeting a hero's widow

After the dust settled in my life on 9/11/01, there was a 'need' to do something. I just couldn't sit back and do nothing. But I wasn't trained in anything that would have been of use at Ground Zero. Plus, I needed to stay with our children. The Mayor's fire company could have been called to Ground Zero to help in the rescue efforts.

I don't remember exactly when I found out, but a few days after the towers fell co-workers told me that a former co-worker had lost his brother that day. His brother, William McGinn, was a Lieutenant in the FDNY. He, along with hundreds of others, responded to a job on that Tuesday morning only never to return home.

I can't even remember whose idea it was, but 2 of my friends in the office decided to make pins and sell them. Red, white & blue ribbons and American flags made out of beads & safety pins. We didn't have a set price. Basically, we were asking for donations. These donations would then be given to Lt. McGinn's widow & family.

I'm still in awe at the response we got from those pins. What cost pennies to make were being 'bought' for up to $20. Not because that's what we were asking for, but because that is what people wanted to give. Eventually, we asked our HR department if the company would be willing to match what we raised. They agreed to match up to $1000.

Several weeks later, Lt. McGinn's remains were found and a funeral was taking place on Staten Island. My friends, Irene & Priscilla, and I decided to attend the funeral and present the Lt. McGinn's widow the money we had collected - over $3000.

I will never ever forget that funeral for as long as I live. There were firemen EVERYWHERE from all over. Hundreds of people had come to pay their respects to this hero. There were pictures of his family, his wife & children. Firemen flanked the casket.

As we stood in line to give our condolences to the family, reality hit me. This family, this widow was living my worst nightmare. You see, The Mayor was a volunteer firefighter. I often feared that I would receive a knock at the door telling me that my husband didn't make it out of a fire. Here was this family living that fear.

Irene & Priscilla were in line ahead of me & gave the envelope to Lt. McGinn's widow. Explained that we had once worked with her brother-in-law and her husband's story touched our lives. Then I got to her.

My eyes welled up with tears. I was choking back sobs. All I could say to her was 'You are living my worst nightmare. My husband is a firefighter too and this is my fear.'. What she did next will live with me forever. She hugged me tight and whispered to me 'Go home & give your husband a hug & kiss from me. I never got to do that to mine before he died.' There she was, in her grief, comforting me in my fears.

It has been 9 years since the events of 9/11. Lives have gone on. Yet this family will always be in my thoughts & prayers.

Lt. William McGinn will always be one of my heroes.

Many blessings,

Friday, September 10, 2010


My insecurities got the best of me for a moment and I had a bit of a meltdown today.

The Mayor & I having been leading a couples small group for the past few years. Our last small group disbanded in the spring and we've decided to gather up another group. It is important to 'DO LIFE' with people. As much as I want to be in a small group, the thought of finding new 'people' is not something I'm too thrilled about.

Starting a new group means having to put myself out there again. Exposing my vulnerabilities. I know I don't HAVE to, but in order to have a genuine group experience it is important to be transparent. I don't have a problem being transparent - hence this blog. It's just being transparent to people in person.

Besides my best friend has been in the same small group with me for 4 years. This will be the 1st one without her. Just not the same. Yet I know that it is important that I do this. It is beneficial for my Christian walk.

Tonight is a social at my house. Great idea in theory. However the execution is enough to send me into a tizzy. The thought of new people being in my house for the 1st time. I mean, what if my house isn't clean enough? What if it isn't nice enough?

Yeah - that's the enemy talking. Creating doubt so that I have a miserable time. Creating panic & anxiety so that I'll binge eat. That's my usual M.O. - life gets tumultuous, EAT!

People aren't coming to judge my home. They are coming because they honestly want to join a couples small group. They want to get together with other Christians, study God's word & make friends. It's not about my house or me. It's about God.

Then, of course, tomorrow is 9/11. That's another thing that sends me into a downward spiral. The events of that day will forever be etched in my mind. Yet, my sponsor reminded me while tomorrow is a sad day; a day of remembrance, I need to remember that my family is still here. I have my husband and children. My father is alive & well. Do not focus on what 'could' have happened. Celebrate the here & now.

I've been talked down from my ledge of insanity. I did not binge. Oh, I SO wanted to. The thoughts of chocolate frosting were dancing in my mind like Mikhail Baryshnikov in a Russian ballet. Going to Wal-Mart to pick up a few things for tonight, it took every ounce of strength to NOT go down the cake & frosting aisle. I could have... but I didn't.

I want to keep my abstinence.

Many blessings,

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Thinking out loud

Usually only my husband is privileged to experience my 'thinking out loud'. Today YOU get the experience.

I just read an article on Yahoo about a new TV show called "Mike & Molly".

The premise of this show is 2 adults who find romance at their local Overeaters Anonymous meeting.

As a plus-sized woman, I guess I should be happy that there is yet another show about plus-sized people. All too often Hollywood portrays 'beautiful' as a stick-figured woman with plastic lips, boobs, butt. However, as someone who actively participates in OA meetings, I fear that this show is going to do more harm than good.

How can that be? Am I just freaking out about my own insecurities?

I'd love to think that a show like this would call attention to the growing problem of food addiction. People will flock to the OA rooms in hopes of finding help. Instead, I fear that OA is just going to become another 'meat market' for those who are in the market for a 'fatty'.

Overeaters Anonymous is for ALL eating disorders; food addiction, bulimia, anorexia, obesity.

Yes, I am open about my struggles with food, but not everyone is. For some people, the OA meeting is the ONLY place they can openly talk about their battle with this disease. Will the OA meetings remain a safe place?

Who am I to decide if someone attending an OA meeting is genuine? Still scares the crap out of me. I feel vulnerable. Almost as if I'll be exposed. Yet I openly talk about my issues here... but that's on MY terms. Is that what this fear is all about?

I just don't know... I won't boycott the show (just yet). I want to watch it & see what its really about before I weigh in more. Right now, I'm just addressing my insecurities.

Many blessings,

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Anyone who knows me knows that I have a bit of a germ issue. Now, I don't wash my hands 200 times a day, but I will not share food or drink with ANYONE! That's right.... I am a mother of 2, been married for just about 13 years and I will not share with my hubby or children. There is no such thing as me drinking out of my child's cup after they've used it. No eating off my hubby's fork.

I know, I know. I know what you're thinking. They're your children, you're flesh & blood. You kiss him. How can you not share germs with them? Not quite sure how to answer that - I just don't.

I also won't eat food once it's touched the table - that's a whole other post.

Reeling myself back in.

Anyway. This past weekend I took a BIG jump out of my comfort zone. You see, I had the amazing opportunity to hang out with over 600 6th grade students at Boot Camp. I was definitely intimidated to hang out with my 11 small group girls, but determined to survive.

On Saturday we played 'team building' games... you know: dodge ball, slip-n-slide, eat-the-doughnut. I made sure I participated in as many activities to encourage my girls to join in too. I couldn't possibly ask them to do anything I wouldn't do, right?

That leads me to 'Worms in my Cereal'. Imagine a large bucket of Froot Loops filled with milk and Gummy Worms hanging out on the bottom. It was a relay game.... run up to the bucket, shove your head into the bucket & pull out a Gummy Worm. Sounds easy, huh? Yeah, probably a TON of fun for people who don't have germ issues. Yet, I dove right in!!

Trust me, my brain was SCREAMING at me. My skin was crawling with the thought of other people having already put their sweaty faces in this bucket. Yet, it was just something I 'needed' to do. Even my husband didn't believe that I did it - until he could smell me 10 feet away about 2 hours later. Being covered in milk and running around in the heat does NOT smell very nice after 2 hours.

Does this mean I plan on sharing my cups with my kids? NO! Does this mean I'll have no problem sharing a fork with my beloved? NO! But it was a step for me.... I'd probably do it again too.

Many blessings,