Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Independence, and everything that comes with it.

Earlier this week I was laying on the couch watching TV in one of those rare moments I had time to catch up a little on my DVR. Anakin had asked me several times for some milk as he had just gotten up from his nap and milk is the next step in his daily routine. Apparently the show I was watching was getting good and I brushed him off till the next commercial break. Just as I was about to get out of my oh-so-comfy position to accommodate him, he emerged from the kitchen with a cup of milk.

"Where did you get that?" I asked him, my mind racing through where I might of left an old cup of milk and if he might actually try to drink it.

"From the pridgemator," he said matter-of-factly.

"You made it yourself?"

"Yes, Mommy. All by myself."

And as if I really didn't believe him, "Show me," I replied. He proceeded to demonstrate how he used his step stool that is normally in the bathroom to get onto the counter to climb up to the cabinet to get the cup, back down, over to the refridgerator (with the stool in hand), to climb up to the top shelf to get the milk and pour himself a cup of it on the floor. Just to encourage this display, he even took the hand towel hanging from the stove and "cleaned" up his imaginary mess as if he had spilled.

So since that day, when he asks me for milk, as long as the jug is not too full, I tell him he is welcome to get some himself and thank you for asking first. The independence is welcome.

However, with this independence came a clause. There is this same point in every mother's life, I imagine. I must say, I was unprepared. How is it this time came and no one warned me about it? Or maybe they did and the warning was so hidden I didn't recognize it for what it was. You know, like when you are pregnant for the first time and everyone says "life will be so different after you have a baby" and you really feel like telling them to shut up? Until you are three sleepless weeks in and suddenly realize what "different" really meant. Yeah, it's like that. It's that point when you realize you are the mother of a bona fide, home grown, honest-to-goodness KID. He's not a baby anymore. He's not a toddler. His clothes don't have cute little dinosaurs on them with over-sized pupils and little rounded teeth. The little puppies and fire trucks get replaced with transformers and Spiderman. You used to play hide and seek in one room. You count to ten and he lays down under the dining room chair as if you can't see him, and you pretend you can't for the novelty of it. If I tried to present this game to him now, he'd think I was crazy!

I look down at him on the kitchen floor, pretending to clean an imaginary puddle of spilled milk and my heart swells up with emotions I can't describe. Is this boy really the little thing I could hold in just two hands less than four years ago? Is this boy really that thing that kicked and moved and banged around inside me for months? And if it has only taken 4 years for him to be a little boy and not a baby, what will he be in 4 more years? He will be in 3rd grade, bringing home math homework. He'll be on the baseball team. He'll go fishing with his daddy on the weekends. Certainly by then he'll even have his own set of golf clubs. What then? Another 4 years and he'll almost be a teenager. Awkward and unkept. He'll have his own friends and his own interests and I'll have a whole new set of worries to keep me awake at night.

I take a deep breath and help him cap on the lid to his cup (independence doesn't always come with great motor skills) and I give him a hug and tell him "good job." And I stay kneeled there on my kitchen floor for just a moment. Just a moment long enough to remember. And I hold him in my arms and feel his little chest rise and fall against mine and cherish the warmth of his skin against my neck until he pulls away just a little.

"I love you, Mommy," he says with a smile.

"I love you, too... baby."

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009


is that what it's called? I wouldn't know. I hadn't seen it in a while... UNTIL TONIGHT! This is the quilt, pre-tree. What does that mean? you ask... It means, I will be appliqueing a tree right in the middle of this thing that will have branches that spread out onto the other squares and the center of the tree will have a picture of my parents. Then I will applique some leaves. Yeah... I took on way too much. But it's almost over. I only took one large shot because you can always click on it and see the close ups through picasso. I'd like you to notice that my brother paul's square (top right) is doing all kinds of damage to my otherwise pretty perfect quilt. I think it's ironically appropriate that his square has given me the most trouble. I tried to fix it. SEVERAL times. Then I gave up. Because in the end: no one will care. Anyway, Dennis is helping me tomorrow make my little tree into a big tree so I should have something to post on that front in the next few days.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

squares 3 and 4

This is a joint post because I wised up and figured out that if I did two squares at once, it decreased my work time tremendously. Both squares only took me about 3 hours or so, versus the one square taking me two. Of course, that one square also had to have about 5 seams ripped and I only had to rip one seam, one time on this last square. In fact, square three (the one with the light green) was so easy, I thought maybe God was working miracles on my sewing machine. And then square 4 happened and I think I might have had a crisis of faith 3/4ths of the way through. Anyway, these are the 4 generic squares. I'm going to head to a friend's house to print the pictures in the next day or two so the other squares should be done shortly.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Square #2

I'm excited, this only took me 2 hours to do. It helped that I knew what I was doing and I set up a good routine of going upstairs to iron, then sewing everything that needed to be ironed, then going upstairs to iron then... well you get the idea. I can always set up the iron downstairs but here's the bottom line. If I burn the carpet upstairs, I'm the only one that knows about it.

Here is the second general square:

The measurements are still a little off but it's better. By the time I get to square #8 it should be just about perfect! right?! RIGHT?!

Here is a close up of the fabrics. I think they look awesome. This is also the other khaki color I am alternating with. The greens will be different for every square but I'm only alternating between the two khaki colors.

Since it only took me about two hours to do this one, I figure I can do one a day and be done by next week! Then I can get to the hard stuff! I'll keep you guys updated!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sew on, baby, sew on!!

I realize it's been a month since my last post again, but in my defense, I'm a bad blogger. Wait... that's not what I meant to say.

So, for the last few weeks, this has been me:

I'm trying to design a quilt for my mom for Christmas. I don't think my dad reads this anymore so I think this is safe space to post this. I got done with my first square yesterday. The measurements are a little off but this is my first patchwork quilt so if it is great, then the stars have aligned but if not, then it will still be okay. I made a few calls to my friend Karen about fabric choices and measuring tips and inthe end, this is my first square:
And here is a close up look at the fabric:

Like I said, the measurements ended up just a little off but it looks pretty good. I'll be switching out the tan pieces with another tan based fabric I chose and the greens will be switched out. The four corners of the quilt will have pictures of the children (there are 4 of us) with their families in the center portion of the square and the middle will have a picture of my parents together. I'll be finishing it off with a tree applique and leaves branching out between the families. It's gonna look awesome if I can just pull it off. I'm doing well considering school is pretty light this quarter and I don't think I'm going to have any issues finishing it, I'm just not sure how I want to display it. I'm thinking a frame but I can always loop it at the top and hang it instead. Not sure yet.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Week of Hell

Monday - go to dentist for check up at 10am. Leave with 4 implanted antibiotics, a jar of prescription mouth rinse and a root canal.
Tuesday - entire city is under water. literally. below is a picture of six flags from satellite. the estimated total loss is 12 billion dollars.

Wednesday - lay around the house all day in immense pain, praying for the day to come and go quickly.
Thursday - get the call about Gramma passing around 7am. Realize after intense pain episode, that I shouldn't be in this much pain and decide to call doctor in the morning.
Friday - go back into dentist to have root canal redone.
Saturday - leave for Montgomery
Sunday - viewing
Monday - funeral
Tuesday - start school.

When this week is over: It's erased.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

finals finals and more finals

I'm so sorry I haven't been able to post lately. Even now, it's 12:30am and I sooo should be sleeping. I am tired, but I've been studying for hours and so my mind is still racing and I'm not sure sleep will find me. I've had great dreams of reporting the going-ons about us, the caterpillars eating our trees, our trip to destin, and I extensively pre-wrote (in my head) an awesome bit about my wonderful husband whom I never give enough credit that I had planned on posting on his birthday. But his birthday has come and gone and I'm still drowning. I took one of my two finals today. I needed an 84 to maintain my A in the class. I got an 83.33. I couldn't have been more dissapointed and frustrated. That gives me an 89.92 in the class and I hope to God 8 hundredths of a point doesn't keep me from my 4.0 gpa that I have been working so hard for. But you know what? I can't change it now. If the instructor rounds up, great. If not, I can't worry about it. An 89 is still a really good grade in a really difficult class that I took online while trying to be a full time mom with a full time house to keep up.

Anyway, I have one more test tomorrow morning. In that class, I have a 97, so to be honest I just have to pass the darn test and I will maintain my A. Right now, I'm not even sure I can do that. But after I take AJ to his first day of school tomorrow, I'm just going to buckle down and study for a few hours and then I will take the test before I go pick him up.

Keep your fingers crossed or lift up some prayers for me today if you think about it. I'll let you guys know how it goes.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Belated Birthday Blog

Ok so I have to say that I had the BEST birthday!! It was awesome! Dennis got up at the usual 7am with Anakin and took him downstairs so I could get that much appreciated one more hour of sleep. Then I took an inexcusably long shower. I did homework and got 100 on the subsequent quiz, ate lunch with one of my best buds and her kids (who are Anakin's best buds) and then Dennis came home at 3 so I could go get a pedicure. On the way I stopped by Target and bought myself two pairs of running shorts for $10 each (rock on!) and two long-sleeve t's each $2.50 each (double rock on!). Then I had the most amazing pedicure and shoulder massage EVA! It was pure pure pure bliss.

Wednesday night we had to go to a class so we didn't get to do a dinner celebration but instead I asked a few friends and our "family" here in town to meet at Johnny's Pizza for Thursday night trivia night with Kelly from Bustin Heads. Here's the thing--Kelly is hilarious. He makes it so fun. And even though I consider Trivia a make-you-feel-stupid game, we had a blast. The stars aligned AGAIN and the last question happened to be something we knew and no one else did. So we ended up winning the whole thing! This is awesome because there are regulars that do Kelly's trivia every week and so it's hard to even place at these things. We kind of just got lucky. But, to spend our winnings, we will be heading over to Johnny's again this Thursday. And who knows, maybe we'll take em again since my mom will be with us!!

My future postings will include: spider man reward chart for Anakin (I need a new approach) and the caterpillars eating my front yard... yes the whole yard.

Stay Tuned!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Rachael the Volcano

Hello, Everyone. This is Rachael. Rachael the Volcano.

Per Wikipedia:
A volcano is an opening, or rupture, in a planet's surface* or crust, which allows hot magma**, ash and gases to escape from below the surface.***
*planet = me
**hot magma = me screaming and crying like that of a young, immature child
***below the surface = where I bottle all my emotions till one small thing can make my entire being rupture.

I had a break down yesterday. A full-on embarrassed-other-people-were-in-the-car break down. And by other people I mean poor Danielle and Anakin. Because I more or less took it out on my poor baby because he would not stop crying and not stop screaming and not stop arguing with me over nothing and at that moment I just couldn't take it anymore. I made Dennis pull over on the side of the road and let me out. I was totally okay with walking the 1.5 miles home if it meant a little peace and quiet for more than two minutes. But when Dennis got home with Anakin, he sent Danielle to come get me and after a moment of pride, I eventually got in her car. I mean, it was hot outside. And I was wearing a skirt. And flip flops. And I'm stupid and shouldn't have been walking anyway. So yeah, I got in the car.

How do you describe this feeling? It feels like drowning. I used to hear people say that and I would just think they were being overly dramatic. And that was a selfish, naive perspective. That's a perspective you have when the most difficult decision you make in a day is where to eat lunch. I had no idea what it meant in life to have so much expected of you by so many people and to think in one moment -- in one single moment -- I. can't. do. this. Your chest is tight and your head is spinning and you're gasping for air. You feel the walls around you closing in and each task that seems impossible is hanging like a yolk on the napes of your shoulders, tearing in on the skin and you hold your hands up desperately to break through the darkness that is eminently falling all around you. You are drowning. And in that moment, that moment when you know you can't possibly take one more thing, you hear this faint voice, somewhere outside the chaos ask "Hey sweetie, what's for dinner?" And any strength you had that was holding anything together dies. Your fear and struggle and little-bit-of-courage turns into fury and anger and horror. You slash at everything around you, making you sink only deeper into the water till the darkness takes over and you can't do anything but let it sink in. When you finally come to, everything is broken. Now instead of holding things together, you're picking up the pieces.

Maybe it's not that bad. But that's how it feels. I'd like to say when it's over I feel better. Like a shooken-up bottle of soda that finally gets the release it so desperately needs. Sure, now there's soda fizz all over the floor but I bet that darn bottle feels like it just got a huge load off it's shoulders. But the truth is, when it's all over, I just feel defeated. Like this stupid world got the best of me. That the pressure of being a mom and student and wife (and a good one of all of those things all at the same time) beat me out today. I feel like a failure. I feel like I just ran in a race I didn't even finish. I guess breaking down, to me, feels like giving up.

So today, a little bruised, and still with the sour taste of disgust in the back of my throat, I'm picking up the pieces and trying to start again.

For those of you that read regularly, this is what happens when I actually talk about how I'm feeling. Usually when I feel like writing crap like this, I don't write at all. But today I did. So it's out there now.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

updates and all things associated

It's been almost a month so it's time I posted something. We're coming up on the end of the quarter at school and I'm holding weakly onto a 4.0. I'm not sure it's going to make it through finals but gash darnit I'm gonna give it my all. My Anatomy & Physiology grade is creeping lower and lower but I'm just going to keep plugging away and hope I can save it from B-dom.

I whole heartedly don't have anything else to post about at the moment. School has been an all consuming beast that has taken over every moment of my life whether it be free or otherwise. So, I'll hit you guys up again soon.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Adding Water to the Soup

Ok let me preface this by saying a few things that some of you may not know about me. When I was 19, I moved away from home... far far away. I was the only one of the four children to do this and I was very purposeful about it. I wanted out. So when I started this blog in the not so long ago past, I briefly considered choosing to make it private because I didn't really want anyone from my family to see it. In the end, I decided if I wanted anyone to read it (and I do with the exception of a few people), I needed to leave it out there on the open market. Within only a few weeks, my father stumbled upon it. I was upset at first, but the truth is, although he and I have our differences, out of the bunch of us, he probably is the one that "gets" me best. So I casually mentioned to him that I'd rather he not mention anything to my mom and now this blog thing is our little secret. It's not that I don't like my mother--in fact, she's become one of my best friends over the years. It's just that she has this view of who I am and what I'm about and I'm okay with all of that. I don't have this need to have people understand me. It really doesn't matter to me. But if they don't, they obviously might get hurt by something I say and I obviously don't want that.

So all that to say, my in-laws obvoiusly don't have any knowledge of this blog either. I mean, if I need to talk about people who don't "get" me, I could devote an entire blog to that alone and the people who produced seinfeld would probably purchase it for their next series that I'm sure would have enough topicless information in it to run a whole new 7 year hit. Yeah.

In January, Dennis's friend from college asked if he could live with us. We charged him a minimal amount rent, and were honestly appreciative of a little extra income our way. But so began the adding water to the soup as I like to call it. Except we never eat soup, so if there's a more suitable term, let me know. It was really no big deal. We usually have one plate of leftovers every night anyway and about 80% of the time, it gets stuck in the fridge to grow mold until I decide to do my monthly clean out anyway. That plate became Pete's... without the mold. It's been a better-than-expected situation, honestly. People ask me all the time "You have a roommate? How does that work?" Pete's very respectful of our space and time and he's great with Anakin so it was a smooth transition.

Well this week, Dennis's 19 year old sister moved down to Georgia. She's not staying with us as we are obviously fresh out of room anyway. All the same, when she talked about moving here, I told her it would be best if she found another place to stay. I felt, being her older sister (more or less) for the last ten years, that this would be a good growing up experience for her. She's the baby and extremely spoiled and she needs to learn what it's like to be on your own--to have to work for things you want, and sometimes, to work hard for those things and still not get them. These are invaluable lessons I wouldn't trade for any time in my life, hard or good, and she needs those. However, until she gets her feet on the ground, obviously she will be over here a lot. In fact, after she gets her feet on the ground, I suspect she will still be here a lot. And that's okay with me. I'm glad she is part of our lives and honestly, it's nice to have some family near by. We have some aunts and uncles on Dennis's side that never talk to us, but hopefully Danielle will help us bridge that gap too.

Anyway, so adding water to the soup continues. I made quesadillas for dinner tonight and poor Anakin didn't get any meat in his. All the same, I don't think he cared--he picks his out most of the time anyway. I just hope that this water doesn't kill us. It means I'm going to have to learn how to make a lot more recipes where the chicken breasts are cut up and not served outright. Because I don't really have the means to add two more pounds of meat to our grocery list per week. But I will figure it out. I always do. I'm super mom/wife/sister. *insert thumbs-up with cheesey smile

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

OMG she's posting three days in a row!!

Don't consider this routine, I just happen to get all my homework done this morning and now I am left with all this time and nothing to fill it. Well... "nothing" is probably inappropriate. I could be doing lots of other, more productive things like... laundry. Or mopping that kitchen floor I mentioned yesterday. But internet time is good reward for time well spent doing homework and I've certainly earned myself that as I studied for over 6 hours yesterday and got a 92 on the subsequent quiz. (applause isn't necessary, but thank you)

Today, Dennis took some time off and we went to see the new Harry Potter movie. I totally had tears in my eyes as it began and I initiated the applause when the credits rolled. It was beautiful. It was edited a little more than I liked but the story was still there and it was awesome. I think if you haven't read the books, you may have a hard time but you'll get through. However, if you haven't seen the other movies, you may be wasting your time. Don't get me wrong, the cinematography is reason enough to see it, but you don't stand a chance understanding what the heck is going on. It'd be like watching the last Matrix... you'd be like "Why does that other guy keep calling Neo Mr. Anderson?" "Who the heck is the Oracle?" "How come he can fly?" Yeah, just like that. I mean, you need to know who the characters are because there are a ton of things that happen with no explanation and it's kind of just like either you get it or you don't. I will see it a second time when Danielle is here next week so I am looking forward to maybe getting more out of it. We'll see. I'm debating trying to work the book in before then. I'm not sure it's going to happen.

I just want to let everyone know, that Anakin was so much better today, too. He did really well while I worked on my last anatomy assignment and we had no major meltdowns today which was especially significant considering he had no nap. On the way home from church, he asked Dennis to ride in the back with him and Daddy was so sweet! He rode in the back and played dinosaurs all the way home from church even with a stop at Target where the boys stayed in the car. It was so precious to watch my boys together. They love each other so much! Anakin literally pines for 6:00 every day, asking me often "where's daddy?" "When will he be home to play with me?" I also worked really hard to be super patient with him today and it made a huge difference. I held him a lot, let him sit on my lap and talked with him often even while I was doing my school work. I made sure he was respectful of my space so I could finish my work, but we still sang our ABCs, talked about the birds in the backyard, and even played bubbles out on the porch. Well he was out, while I was in. But still, it was more than we normally do. And I saw a significant change in his behavior. I know that this means I just need to continue to juggle all my responsibilities, but just because it's hard, doesn't mean I'm giving up. I'll continue to work at trying to give my school work as much attention as I can, but motherhood has to be my priority and I will continue to make that happen.

Okay, off to bed for me!

Monday, July 13, 2009

what are you impressed with?

I posted this on my mommies' forum so it's a little detached in the sense that you guys already know some of this but I wanted to get my words out and once they are out, they are out so I just copied it:

For those of you that don't know me as well (and that's a lot of you I'm sure), I just started going to school. Originally, I figured I'd go and take one or two classes at a time and get my MA certificate as time allowed, not really with any kind of end goal in mind. But when I went for my orientation last month, I found out I was actually going to have to take a significant amount of classes as the program does not allow "part time" students. So here I am, a full time mom, a full time wife, and a full time student (not to mention a part time worker when the occasional job finds its way) and even though three weeks into classes I am having a little trouble balancing it all, I'm pretty impressed with myself. And I don't even mind saying so. I'm toughing it out on all fronts and though I've faltered a little (probably on all fronts there, too) I can honestly say I'm doing better than I expected myself to do. And that means a lot. I'm sure it means a lot to my husband. Eventually it will mean a lot to my son, when he's old enough to appreciate what I went through to give him a better life. But it means a lot to me. Because when we become moms, we have to give up so much of who we are. We give up our interests to elmo, lightning mcqueen, and dora. We give up our identity--I can honestly say at this point in my life, more people I know, know my son's name than know mine. We give up our hobbies as finger painting, play doh and potty training replace sewing, scrapbooking and reading. And we often don't even look back other than the occasional "before I had kids, I used to..." We replace our identities as women with our identities as moms. And we're more than happy to accept such a rewarding change.

Even though, in the end, I went back to school for my family--to earn a better life and to be able to give my son the education I'd like him to receive--I really went back for me. And it feels so good to know that I did something that I really wanted to do, that nobody else told me I should do or had to do or needed to do--but I wanted this for myself. And now I'm doing it, and I'm doing it well. And even though I miss my naps, and the laundry isn't all the way caught up, and the kitchen floor could have used a mopping a good 5 days ago, I'm balancing it all pretty well. I'm beyond proud of my current 4.0 and I can't even describe to you how impressed I am that I even went through with it. That I knew it would be tough, and I knew it would take the life out of me, and I knew it meant giving up a few precious moments of freedom in my day, and I did it anyway. Because I could. Because I wanted to.

So all that to say, what have you done lately for YOU, that you've impressed yourself?? What did you do that you thought you couldn't or thought you couldn't handle, and you stuck your neck out there, and you achieved it anyway? What have you done to feel like super mom/wife/you today?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

School and all things associated.

Stella asked for a school update and to be honest, I'd been thinking I should post something but just hadn't really had the words to put out there yet. So ready or not...

From a GPA standpoint, school is going well. So far, I've gotten A's on all of my quizzes and I'm a little ahead of schedule on my typing class. However, although the classes are online and therefor, not proctored, I had hoped to do all my quizzes without relying on my notes and book. None such luck as evolved. I am studying, taking notes, making flashcards, and going over as much as I can before the tests. But I just don't have the time to study as much as I'd like. So I've had to rely on my notes a little more than I wanted but I think I'm doing a pretty good job considering. The considering part would refer to the 3 year old that sucks up every last minute of my time and unit of my energy. Whomever dubbed the ever popular phrase "terrible twos" apparently missed the third year of their child's life.

Anakin and I are getting by on a day-to-day basis but this last Friday was especially rough filled with yelling, kicking, screaming and tantrums. Anakin did some of all that, too. I spent the weekend with my thoughts and resolved that I would show more patience in the coming days (years) and remember that he is the three year old, and I am the grown up. And I understand why I am upset, and he does not. Even when the reason he is upset is that he is so tired, he can't keep his eyes open and yet still insists he's not taking a nap. Yeah. Good times.

And I've been working to try to retain the information in my books a little harder. I spent all of yesterday and today getting caught up on my Medical Terminology class and I did almost all of the tests without looking at my books, only using my notes when checking my answers. However, the chapter 4 quiz had a LOT of wrong answers, so I'll be reviewing that information again this week. Tomorrow I'll be hunkering down to work on the next three chapters of my anatomy class. The quizzes are due next week so it's pretty important that I get crackin. This class is by far the most difficult class I've ever taken and I gave a preface that I thought it would be. It's an insane amount of information per chapter, not to mention science isn't my strong suit anyway. But I'll get there. I'm determined to push myself further than what I think I can handle. And I'm intent on getting a 4.0 this time. And by "this time" I mean, I'm not going back to school to half-ass it. I'm going back to gain in my life a purpose and meaning in my career. I'm tired of just having a job. That means that I'm going back for bigger reasons than just because it's the thing to do after high school, you know? I'm goign back for me. And that's a big deal. I want to prove to myself that I can do this. And that I can finish. And that I can kick a little butt while I'm doing it.

So there's the update. Maybe I could try to make these a weekly thing instead of a monthly thing? At least then you'd know Anakin and I had made it through seven more days.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Monthly posting is thumbs up!!

Hey Look! It's been a month! Guess it's time to post again!!!

School starts in two weeks. Scared? Yes. Senseless. My mouth is dry and my throat grows numb just thinking about it. So so so scared. Scared of failing. There's something different about being a grown up and suddenly realizing that if I do fail at something, it's not just myself I'm letting down. On one hand, it fills me with a surge of adrenaline in realizing that failure is not an option. But on the other hand, knowing that I got a C in biology only because I sat next to Laura Buchanon in 10th grade reminds me that this is going to take a lot of work. And effort. And time. All things I am often running a little low on these days.

On a brighter update, I've been doing Jillian Michael's 30 day shred and it's actually going really well. I've been doing it for three weeks and I'm losing a pound a week on it which is super awesome for me! I have been battling the last of my weight from Anakin for about 6 months (and by "battling" I mean looking at the scale and being mad about it and making a half-hearted attempt at actually trying to lose it.) with little luck. I hit a plateau in January and haven't made a lot of progress since then, whether my effort was half or whole-hearted. But with this, I got below that barrier that has really been hurting me and I'm pretty excited about that. For those of you that follow me on facebook, I've also been supplementing my daily workout with a bi-weekly run on Tuesdays and Thursdays while Anakin is at school. That's been awesome. It's so nice to get back to running and I'm so excited to have a running partner--not only because she keeps me accountable, but she also runs about the same pace I do so it's been great running together. Now, let me not even start about the fact that she is running with a stroller and I'm not... *sigh* At least I'm running.

So that's the current update. I'm hoping (like always) to update more often. Since I will have my own laptop soon, that may acutally happen. No promises.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Gwinnett County Road Race

So, Anakin and I had our first official race together... Ok. Not really together because let's face it: he's not ready to pump out 3 miles, but at a 5k I ran in, they also hosted a little quarter-mile "fun run" and for $10, he got to "race" (there were no winners), got a medal, and also got a tshirt that won't fit him for a few years. So, it was worth it all the same.

I beat my last time by a ton, clocking 27:03 and winning my age group. I got a nifty little trophy, a shirt, and a water bottle. Rock on.

Monday, May 4, 2009

I'm sitting here staring at the computer screen because I don't know what to do. I don't know what to do because nothing I can do feels like the right thing to do and so there is nothing to do. Except nothing seems to be the polar opposite of the right thing to do and so every other wrong thing that doesn't feel like right must be close to right and maybe I just don't know what right is at all right now.

I need to go to Montgomery. I need to go because my grandmother is dying. Her heart is failing and she is 93 years old. The doctors are going to do surgery in the morning but for what reason? I need to go because if I don't, and she doesn't make it, I'll always be sorry there was no real reason that I stayed. I'll always be sorry that I didn't go when I could. I don't want to go because Anakin has a runny nose. I don't want to go because Dennis can't come. I don't want to go because there are a hundred things I'll be leaving undone here at home. Even going doesn't feel like the right thing to do. And yes things will be left undone, but life happens. And death is a part of life. And that part is happening right now.

I'm looking out the window and listening to the world move and for no reason I can pinpoint, I'm really pissed off about it. The birds are still chirping and the wind is still blowing the branches and cars still crowd the busy street that runs behind our fence. "HEY" I scream in my head. "SOMEBODY IS DYING!!" Don't they care? I remember, with the death of my godmother, the feeling that sank so deeply in my chest, that I was alone in this sorrow. That I was sadly, utterly alone. I watched people walk by me with their careless faces, laughing and carrying their conversations. And I was alone. And I am alone. And misery eats my insides. I'm hungry but I can't eat. I'm tired but I can't sleep. I'm empty in places I didn't know could feel. And I am alone.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

So I've been absent. If it's been painfully obvious for anyone, they haven't said anything so we can call it all a wash. ;) Lets do a little March/April catch up as they were busy busy months.

Dennis took us on a cruise that started March 28th and went 6 days with one day in Grand Cayman and one day in Cozumel, Mexico (pre swine flu). This trip, of course required a pre-trip up to Kentucky to drop off Anakin. It was a really good trip up there since my sister's kids also happened to be on spring break. Anakin got to spend an uninterrupted week with his cousin, Will which never happens since they live about 15 hours away. I got to spend a few days with my sister, too, which really only acheived to remind me how much I wish we lived closer to one another. When we went to get Anakin after the cruise, we also got the piano my mom bought me for Christmas. So now we are proud piano owners. None of us really know how to play but that is a minor detail we hope to fix shortly.

The cruise was great, but honestly, I'm not sure I'll be on a boat again anytime soon. I get sea sick and we had rough seas two nights. I did find these by the second day and felt much better. We took full advantage of being in foreign countries and did excursions at both ports. In Grand Cayman we did snorkeling at the barrier reef. There were two huge stingrays that joined us and even came up to the surface and let us pet them. It was so cool. We also saw lots of colorful fish and cool sea life. The water also felt AWESOME. It was so intensely hot when we got so close to the equator that the water was incredibly refreshing and might have been my favorite part of the whole experience.

In Cozumel we did an ATV adventure thing that took us through the "jungle" (There were plants... I wouldn't really call it a jungle) and then brought us to a beach. We made a few stops to check out a Mayan cave and a Mayan sink hole that apparently they used to sacrifice virgins to the Gods of Rain? ummmm.... ok. All the same we got really nasty dirty and it was so much fun! After that, we still had all day to waste on the island. We thought it smart to stay near port all the same and we shopped at the little vendors right around the ship and got lunch at a restaurant there as well. While I realize we may have risked our lives by eating there, the food was incredible. We bought Anakin a few souvenires and Dennis a lucha libre mask. We also got him a really expensive bottle of tequila for the bottle, not the acohol. It is beautiful. The bottom of the glass is hand blown and comes up into the bottle like a giant pineapple and it came with a cool case so it is now nicely displayed in his office... right next to that stupid mask.

April has been busy with preperations for school. I have been fervently working to get all my financial aide in place and just need a few more things to be officially "accepted" into my program of study. I will be taking just one class this summer (July-August) to get ready for the program in the fall and should be starting full-time classes in September. We're hoping with Anakin in school three halfdays a week this fall that I should be able to handle the workload since almost all of my classes will be online.

Well that catches you up for March/April. Maybe I'll get on again before June and you'll know about May while it's happening instead of after.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Part 3: Loving With Your Words

Before I really begin the blog on this sermon, let me start by saying, this was by far the most impacting and convicting sermon in the series. Our Pastor opened it by saying that he also felt the most convicted by this particular 'chapter' of the series, and so perhaps his own spirit is what communicated to us the most. But in discussions after service and throughout the day today, individuals were spoken to in a mighty way this morning... me included. It was amazing. I want to share that initially because I have a lot of emotion in these notes, and I don't want them to take anyone by surprise. Again, if you are a regular here, you know I tend to voice my thoughts openly, but keep my feelings kind of to myself. It's mostly a defense mechanism, if nothing else. So, for warning--defense mode: down.

Verse of the Week:
Indeed, we all make mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way. We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And the tongue is a flame of fire. James 3:2-6

The same tongue that destroys each other, renews each other. We defile ourselves and make ourselves unclean by the things we say. We say things to hurt each other and we begin to feel regret. We regret the hurt we have caused each other, but we also regret that the unclean words we speak are proof of our defiance--of our inequities in the eyes of God. If we allow God to transform us, our speech -- our dialect -- will be the first thing to change. And so people will know we have been changed. That we have been transformed.

1. Love people with honest words.
How would our world be different if we were all honest in love? Would we encourage one another? Would we refine each other and accept those rebukes without defense? How often (in love) do we try to help each other, only to be shut down? In turn, how often do we deny these words for each other out of fear? If we spoke the word the way God intended us to, would we be able to contain the spirit? If we lived and spoke with God's love, how many would follow us because they want to have what we have??


Are you living a life that someone wants to follow? Am I speaking words with love, so loving, that others are hungry for what I have? That others know me by my love?

2. Love people with careful words.
In anger, do not sin (Eph 4:26) In other words, if you can't speak in love, don't speak at all. What a sobering thought. How often do I speak in emotion? How often is that emotion anger??
The other thing that is important here is gossip. If you're confused about what gossip is (whether you know you are or not), here is a simple rule: If you're talking to me about it, and I can't fix it, then it's gossip.

3. Love poeple with building words.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Eph 4:29)
Are you building up your brothers and sisters? Are you saying things that only help them and never hurt them?

My first thought when this sermon was over was about people who have hurt me. I went out with a group of women yesterday and I was hurt several times by their words. My thoughts started writing a script in my head of how I could approach them to tell them that I had been hurt. In those thoughts, I was immediately convicted. It doesn't matter what other people say to me. That has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on how I control my own tongue. Am I speaking in love? If I was speaking and living in love, would those women still try to break me down? Maybe. But would it hurt me so much? Because more than anything, that hurt is convicting. Because I know, none of them meant to hurt me. Have I hurt someone today in jest? Have I spoken words that build? Or words that destroy? Even the smallest word in our mouth can make a huge impact in the life of others. Am I conscious of this fact while I speak? Is every word from my mouth spent in love or in anger? Words are like bullets from a gun, they can never be unshot. The past can never be changed. Our words can never be unspoken. Are you putting every single word out there knowing that it can never be undone? You must know, with that kind of forever on the line, caution and prayer must be considered first.

So, today, are you speaking in love? Is every word you speak the kind of word you would like to have spoken forever?

"Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. Good people bring good things out of the good stored up in them, and evil people bring evil things out of the evil stored up in them. But I tell you that people will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned." Matt 12:33-37

Monday, February 23, 2009

Part 2: Loving Like Jesus Loves Me (2/21/09)

Verse of the week:
By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:35

In this section, we will touch on two points:
1. How much does God love me?
2. What does He want me to do with that love?

1. How much does God love me? In John 6:37 it says God loves us "always." If you go back and look at the Greek translation, the word this is derived from is the Greek word "always." Yeah, that's right, always always means always. This means in every time, every circumstance, every condition. All ways.

You may or may not have accepted God, but God accepts us as we are. We often think we need to come to the Lord meeting some kind of standard, but that assumption is not of the Lord. He doesn't love us because of who we are, but because of who He is.

2. What do we do with it? We accept each other as God accepts us. Romans 15:7

How sobering is that thought? We're not talking just about an emotional love here. We're talking about the act of love. An action of acceptance. To say "love others as God has loved you" is an almost impossible calling. I can't die on a cross to save you. I can't go to hell and demand from Satan the redemption of all your sins. But in love, God accepts us as what we are right now. Not for what He knows we can be, but what we are. Can we do that? for each other? Can we accept each other as the flawed, broken, shameful sinners we really are? Can we accept each other knowing we will be hurt? God accepts us knowing we will betray him, we will fail him, we will hurt him, but he accepts us despite that. Not even despite it, but because of it. God desires us. In that desire, He seeks us for who we are in our entirety, flaws included. He accepts us because he desires us. can we accept each other with that kind of forever?

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Cor 13:7

Part 1: Love Matters Most (2/15/09)

Verse of the week:
"Which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied:"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment and the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself."

This is the scripture that spoke to me most personally: "We can not love God whom we have not seen if we do not love those who we do see." 1 JN 4:20

When people say "I'm not perfect, but overall, I'm a good person and God knows that." Do they know that they must love to be forgiven? Love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Pt 4:8 What is love to them? Are they showing love in a Godly way? We must love God and love others the way God first loved us. And if they do not know God, how can they love? For God is love. (1 JN 4:8) And if they do not know God, they can not love because they do not know love, therefor they can not love in a way that would cover their sins. So who cares if you are a "good" person?? What is "good" by the standards of a hateful world? If you do not know God, then you can not love. If you do not love, then you can not forgive.

God, I know, if nothing else, people who know me and know my whole heart, they know my heart is full of love. I long for my heart to be full of your love Lord, a love that knows no bounds, a love that is never ceasing, ever forgiving, and mighty to save. Some people say, if you are a Christian, your greatest witness is your life. But the truth is, my life is, and has always been, a giant mess. I hope my greatest witness is my love. I will make mistakes in my life, everyday, every moment. I will have regrets, I will strive for change. I will work to be a better woman, mother, sister, friend. And I will fail. Everyday, I will fail. But God with everything you have given me, I will give back love. I will give your love. I will work to love like you love me.

Eagerly pursue and seek to acquire love. Make it your aim, your greatest quest. 1 Cor 14:1


We're doing an awesome series at church called 40 Days of Love and it's about how God loves us and also how we are to love others. It includes the sermons, bible studies and "homework" as in things our church intends us to do to help the practice. It's really been impacting me in amazing ways so I would like to blog my notes here. It's already been going for two weeks so I will go back and back blog but I will try to get it up every Sunday from now on.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

excuse me sir, but you're blocking my driveway.

So I came home from the park today to find this in my front yard:

It seems our idiot neighbors thought it would be a good idea to burn something in their yard, it caught fire, and burned the entire fence down, among some other things in their yard. The property line where the fence was destroyed is not actually ours, which is good, but it's still pretty lame that now the privacy fence is offering no privacy at all so I suspect we will help Timmy, our other neighbor, rebuild it as soon as all the waterlog subsides. This is what the back of Timmy's house looked like:
um yeah, thats not a gate. That's where said firemen took out about 10 feet of fence so they could better access the fire.

This is just to the left of the previous picture. The fire went about 200 feet or so across these people's property line.

Smore's anyone?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I seem to have lost my sanity,

if you find it, could you please be so kind as to return it to me?

Why yes, I did quit working in June to be home with my son. Yeah, I do remember why. It's funny you should ask. It seems that one woman, with only the two hands God bestowed her, can only do so much in these 24 short hours offered each day. Laundry, dinner, cleaning, mopping, and a 40 hour job, they don't seem to all fit into the same bucket. And somehow I need to find room for raising kids, sleep, and a little social life. Yeah.... riiiiiight.

So... anyway. Karen said something about one of my posts sounding happy which made me paranoid about the others sounding depressed, so let me look on the bright side of life here. The job has been awesome. I make my own hours, I work from home, and honestly it could not be any easier. I'm whole heartedly really good at it and that's nice for a change. Especially since I lost my most recent position in a giant mess of flaming suckness. So, thats great. Also the pay was unexpected so it's going straight to the cruise fund. This is great because it means we will actually have the money to spend on going on excursions and stuff which will be awesome.

On another note, Dennis's contract jobs have still been really steady so we are still totally on track to pay off the last of the second car. This has been such a God thing and I'm in utter amazement and praise that He has continued to provide. It's amazing to watch Him work and know that, despite the economy, no matter what happens, we will be provided for.

Also, Anakin is in school now and that's been great. He's having a little trouble adjusting, but we're getting there. For whatever reason, he seems to have an issue with goign potty there but the teachers are optimistic and they think he sill get over it. And they have been great about working with him, so that's good.

My spiderman quilt is coming along nicely. I've got the final design down on paper and should be getting started on the squares in the next couple of days. I've only got a few more days of work so I should be able to get it going soon and I hope to have it done before the end of the month. We'll see. This is only my second quilt and I have never dont squares like this before so I've got to figure out what I'm doing first. On paper it looks awesome so I really hope it works out like I want it to.

Okay well that's all for now. I'll try to do some more blogging with pictures when work is done.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

what about it?

I don't really have anything to blog about but considering I haven't really posted since I got back from Seattle and that was two weeks ago, I felt like I needed to post SOMETHING.

So let's talk about work. I really like what I am doing, but am reminded why I am not really able to work a full time job and do at home what I want to do. It's true, no wonder my house used to look like a mess!! Yeah it's looking pretty rough now too. Dennis is doing great, and helping out a lot, but he has his regular job and contract work to do on top of that. So it makes it difficult for both of us, trying to balance everything out. I make my own schedule so I have been able to work when Anakin is napping, at school, or in bed at night. This week, I cut back a little so I will have two days that I am not working while he is napping. I just need a little bit of breathing room if my family plans on having clean clothes to wear.

We are also getting the house reroofed which has been super awesome at nap time. *cue cheesey grin* They started on Monday and should be complete today, then they are going to work on the sheetrock that got damaged tomorrow. Then, $5k and four days later, crisis averted. HA!

So, I am off to work now. Hope everyone is having a good week, I will hopefully post some more soon!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The words I'd never say

I imagine the scene in slow motion like a shot from A Christmas Story. It starts with the offense, Me telling Anakin not to touch something. He says "why?" and the the camera cuts to my face. "Because..." I begin. Close up of my mouth, the words slow and the tone deapens "I saaaaaiiiid sooooooo" with little bits of spit hitting the lens. The shot moves out again and despair is my replaced expression. Oh no. I said it. It's out there. The words are in the air, hanging like mournful reminders that I'm slowly becoming my mother.

At what point do we become those parents? I know what point it is. The point that our two year old thinks the word "why" is an accessory. He throws it out carelessly at every available opportunity and with all the excuses I can find, this is the only one that offers no rebuttle. Because I said so. It is momy law. I said so and that is all there is. It's like when God said let there be light. He said it and so it was. Why? Because he said so.

So perhaps when the camera pulls back out, my narrator, just like in the movie came on and said "oh no. I said it. I said THOSE words. I felt the shame burning in my chest. What do I do? I must recover." My eyes dart around and I search for an answer. "Because I said so, and what I say goes." "There." my narrator starts again. "That fixes it. Not only did I say so, but what I say goes. That's right. Mommy law. I win." My chest puffs out and I continue with what I was doing. The camera pans back to Anakin and he is defeated in his why quest. There.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Seattle: day 1

I don't have any pictures because our digital camera is huge and it seemed like too much work to get it on the plane as I was trying to fit everything into ONE carry-on since Delta now requires $15 to check ANY luggage. Also, this is funny to me because when you get on the plane they go on and on and on about how cabin space is limited and so you may not be able to bring your carryon. *picture my face right now. yeah.*

The 5.5 hour flight was not as bad as I think it could have been. Though we spent almost an hour on the runway waiting for our turn to take off. At least that time was filled with anticipation in Anakin's eyes so it went by quickly. My DVD player died about 10 seconds into the flight, not because I didn't charge it but because I think the battery just wasn't taking the charge like it should. Luckily, the seats all had those TVs on the back of the head rest and had free cable with limited channels. You could choose from HGTV, Bravo, Nickelodeon, HBO, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN classic, NBC, CNBC and CNN. Naturally ours stayed on Nickelodeon. Unfortunately, TV shows don't hold Anakin's attention very long. Then, it ended up that we had the very last seat in the plane right next to the lavatories. At first, I was really upset about this, but then it ended up that all the flight attendants LOVED Anakin and so they ended up mooning over him the whole time. So he honestly spent most of the flight hanging out in their stations, getting free chips and walking up and down the isles with them. It ended up being a pretty uneventful flight, and I think that's awesome considering he was riding in my lap the whole time.

Lisa met me at the baggage claim about noon Seatlle time but we had to wait about an hour for m car seat to get back to there. Then we headed to the mall for some lunch with some of her other friends who just also happened to be visiting at the same time as me. After lunch, we dropped them off at their ferry and then headed to catch ours. We swung by the grocery store and picked up the goods to make homemade eggrolls and headed back to the house. Anakin was really really excited about the ferry. I think he was really impressed that our car went on a boat and that we were actually in the water. He kept talking about it all night.

Today, Lisa had to work which is why I've even got time to blog at all. She is at the club and so Anakin and I had around 7 hours to kill until she gets back. The first thing I did was give each of us a bath. We were disgusting after that trip. Then we went for a walk. Lisa's house is right on the 13th hole of a golf course so we went up to the 16th tee and back. Anakin loved it. On the way, I found a leftover pile of snow (now ice) from the big snowstorm they had last week. Anakin was really impressed as he's never seen snow before. I used my foot and broke a few pieces of it off and let him throw them around for a while and he liked that a lot. It was really cool to let him play with "snow."

So now we are back in the warmth of the house. I have the fire going and Anakin is watching Wall-E while I make iced tea and get our lunch ready. Which will probably consist of easy mac for Anakin and a turkey sandwich for myself. I'll let you guys know how it's going if I get time. Otherwise, see you next week.