Motivational Monday…

Hey y’all!  Guess what?  People seem to like me!!  I have friends:)  So this weekend was a certain erm birthday.  My husband isn’t known for planning things.  That isn’t his fault necessarily…it’s just the way things are.  However, in my family, birthdays have always been a big deal.  So my mom planned to take me shopping…and everyone came along.  The kids, my dad and good ole’ hubby.

We went to the outlets…but it was like they were giving away free puppies or something.  So it wasn’t really a good idea.  I did enjoy myself in one store, but after that, I was like, oh yeah, this is why I do not shop.  I don’t.  I can’t stand the commercialization of things.  Lines out the door just to get $5 off or whatever.  Maybe you all like it, but meh.  I don’t.

So anyway, it was all they could do to keep me out to a certain time.  But when we finished dinner, I told them I was coming home to put on my special comfy jammies…I bought myself for my birthday.  Shh.  I did.  I bought erm these like snuggie, zip up long john things.  Hahahaha.  But seriously.  I did.

MeProof.

But surprise!!  People were coming over to my house…and some were already in my house.  And it was wonderful because they had food and things.  Ok, they had wine.  But the food was gluten-free and that was oh so thoughtful that they went to that kind of trouble for little ole me.  But I had to stay in real clothes…but that was ok.  We had a fire pit and we talked.  I miss talking to people.  I did pick up my phone to snap a few photos, but really almost forgot to do that.  So I appreciate the party because it was about being real again.  Talking and being in the moment.  The one that is right now.  Now tomorrow, or a few days from now, or I have to do x,y,z because x, y, z will be there.  Please connect in the here and now with your peeps.  They will be ever so thankful and appreciative…and grateful.

Friends

And they will be really HAPPY.

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Rules are to keep us safe…

So my daughter got into a bicycle accident at a friend’s house.  I was almost there.  Almost.  There.  I got a call from a number I didn’t know while standing on the porch of her friend’s house.  Now, be warned.  We have rules at our house.  What do you get when you have a military raised dad and a teacher mama?  You get a few rules.  Wear closed toe shows at all times when riding a bicycle.  Wear a helmet.  Simple enough.

What do you get when you go to a friend’s house with perhaps not the same kind of rules.  You get a phone call.  On the porch.  Then they said come in and your child is bloody.  Not cool.  I tried really hard to be cool.  But I was so not cool.  I was way beyond not cool.  I was furious.  Furious at this other momma for letting my child get hurt on her watch because my child rode her daughter’s bike without closed toe shoes and a helmet.  Furious at my child for forgetting our rules at another person’s house.  Furious at the blood.  Furious at the toenail that was no longer on her foot.  And furious I had to do this alone because my husband was in a class all day.

It was all perfectly rational in my head.  But at that moment, all I could do was be calm.  I could only say “What happened?”, and thank you. I’ve got it from here.  We never let her ride a bike without a helmet and closed toe shoes so I am taking her to urgent care.  Thank you.  I think I did a pretty good job of being cool.

She knew I was mad.  My daughter knew I was mad.  But mostly I was worried.  Upset and worried.  I could not let that show through because there was so much blood.  When it was all said and done, my daughter’s knees were torn up.  One so bad I could hardly look at it.  Her toes were all damaged on her right foot and she was missing a toenail.  I hope you can read this…sorry.  But you have to know.  Please, please, please understand that if anything happened to another person’s child at my house I would never forgive myself.  So I had to calm down.

The momma called me later and I said, it’s ok.  She knew better.  She did.  She was upset as well, so I felt better.  I also felt better knowing the momma was going to buy helmets for all 4 of her little children.  How did they not have them already?  I have no idea.  So I extended grace because I needed to come at this from a place of mutual understanding.  She did not want my child to get hurt.  I know this.  I know how I would feel; however, she did need to remember that wearing a helmet is a law for a reason.  So maybe I saved her children’s lives.  I don’t know.  All I know is I had to be calm.  Look at my hurt child.  And tell her it’s going to be okay.  She’s going to have one heck of a scar on her knee, but we all have scars.  They help us remember. 

Scar

And cue hilarious sitcom…

Sometimes, I think there is a show being written about my family.  I know at any minute someone is going to pop out of the bushes and yell “cut!” or maybe just tell me that was best take ever.  I really wish someone had been around my folks house yesterday getting all on video.  Since there was no one hiding, I’ll tell you about it…right after I tell you about my dad.

Growing up, I swear I had the meanest, most strict dad in the universe.  At least, I was sure I did.  I couldn’t get phone calls from boys, he embarrassed me to pieces.  When I hung up my Sean Astin posters, ahem, I was afraid he was going to say something to make me take them down.  They were near my Lord of the Rings poster and calendar, NO LIE, how funny is that now?  Ha, but anyway.  So he was a bit overprotective.  JUST a BIT.

I was told to do “girly” things and not mess up my knees riding a bike (we didn’t do helmets, knee pads, or bubble wrap on you back then), and of course, I might have done some stunts on my bike once or twice.  We were ALWAYS outside.  Imagine that.  And I wanted to learn to skateboard after my brother got one for Christmas, but I might get hurt and girls didn’t ride skateboards.  Says dad.  I couldn’t ride the riding lawnmower, YES, this was a sore spot, because girls didn’t do that.  He taught my brother.

But maybe, just maybe, it was because he loved me and wanted to keep me safe.  I didn’t see it that way.  I distinctly remember calling him a “male chauvinist pig” one day and perhaps oinking at him.  But he was okay with that.  He played games with us, took us places, and pretty much tolerated every crazy thing I did.  I hiked in the woods all day and came back looking like a Lord of the Flies reject.  My mom had to cut burrs out of my hair once.  I had a leech on me once, ewww.  And ticks and chiggers and mosquito bites, and umm even a snake bit me once.  Long story on that one.

So I actually was a mess.  I have two girls now, go figure, and my mom said “I hope you have one just like YOU.”  Like it was an omen.  You could hear it echoing after it was spoken like Maleficent had just visited me.  So my pop wanted the girls to spend the whole weekend with him.  Plus my brother’s daughter spent one night.  Okay dad, you asked for it.  They were having a rousing game of hide and go seek, a favorite among the girls, and my oldest daughter, who happens to look exactly like me, was hiding behind my dad’s hot tub.  They saw him coming, so she ducked down and must have hit the flap.  According to her, all of a sudden, wasps came out of no where and started attacking her.  She was screaming bloody murder and the top of her lungs, but thank God she only got stung 2 times because my mom said it was horrible.

Long hair can be a pain sometimes and one was apparently even caught in her hair.  Anyway, she got inside as did the little ones, and my dad apparently went ballistic.  From what I was told, he ran outside with a broom and was screaming to the top of his lungs “Nobody hurts my granddaughter” and began smashing the wasps in a fit of rage.  I am actually laughing as I type this.  Sorry.  Ahem.  So here is my dad, with his giant bouffant of white hair, beating wasps to death with his broom, yelling at them, and the girls are watching from inside.  Bwahahaha.  I mean, it was serious.  He apparently broke his broom in two, and my mom was yelling “step on them!!!” and the girls were just staring in shock I think.  They had no idea about “overprotective” poppop.  They had NOOOO idea.  So after it was all said and done, mom says and then your dad was holding his eye and going “my eyeee, I got stung” and I was ahem, laughing.  She thought he was kidding, but he really wasn’t.

So my youngest runs to Google, you know that extended family member who knows everything, and Google says to use vinegar.  Good ole’ Google.  So the next time I think about how “overprotective” my dad was, I will remember this story.  This one takes the cake.  Ha.

Two

On being friends…

I saw some photos pop up in my news feed which reminded me I needed to message my friend again.  I had been trying to get together with her since February.  I saw the last date of my message was May 1st saying I wanted to catch up.  There were several messages before that as well.  Me asking her if she had time to get together for her birthday, and other things.  The last date night had been in December or January and we had a really good time.  We went to a local restaurant and stayed longer than we planned.  We laughed until tears came out of the corner of our eyes.  Every time we get together as couples, we have an amazing time.  I even mentioned it would be great to do a couples weekend trip.

Let me back up a few years though…eleven and a half to be precise.  When I had my two girls 18 months apart I thought my social life was pretty much over because I was not sure how to manage a toddler and breastfeeding a new baby.  I thought I would probably be stuck in the house until I weaned my baby.  After 6 months of that, I could no longer take that my favorite thing in the world was a trip to Target, because it meant seeing people.  I didn’t care if I had to figure out how to get the horrendous double stroller out and the little carrier to fit in there by myself.  I had recovered from the c-section by that point even though I still had pain where I had been cut (another story).  I had this brilliant idea to set up a playgroup and advertise it for free in our neighborhood letter.

MOMS poured in.  I got about 25 e-mails or so at first.  I couldn’t believe it.  I had the first meeting at our “clubhouse” and that’s when I met ladies who would be life savers for me at that point in my life.  After a few weeks of this clubhouse madness, a few dropped off.  That was great.  We were left with a core group at this point and then there were about 9 of us.  I decided to do a rotation of houses schedule.  Every single Tuesday at 10 a.m. we met at someone’s house.  We got close.  We laughed.  We cried.  We survived.  We were the most eclectic group ever and the stories I could tell…well, I loved every single minute of it.  When we started falling apart for one reason or another, I was extremely sad.  Some moved due to the military.  One left her husband and then didn’t talk to us.  A few of us remained. 

When my closest two friends from the group moved away, I was sad.  Very sad, but I knew it was going to happen.  This was before the “rise” of Facebook, so I know I sound old, but we had e-mail.  I was happy to have that.  Years later one of those friends magically moved back to the same area.  I was ecstatic!  We could get together again like old days.  Time melted away when I saw them.  Then yesterday, I got a message (I took out names):

Hi, I am working my way through letting everyone know (that doesn’t know already) we are leaving tomorrow. We have Sold our house, fingers crossed it all goes through. It all happened much quicker than we thought.  Husband is working more and more in Europe so it made sense to move back. I think it is now or never with the girls…. I am really sorry I didn’t get to catch up with you before we left but we just had so many things to do. The dog left today she was sent on the plane this morning. I have your details and when I get my new email address I will send it too you. So if you ever make that trip over then maybe you could pop over and see us.

So if for some reason you are reading this friend, the reason the only word I typed back was “wow” is because this hurts.  I got a Facebook message.  A message.  I want that to really sink in.  I got a Facebook message telling me you sold your house and the only reason you sent it is because I sent you a message asking for another date night soon.  I feel like an awesome friend right about now.  So girlfriends reading this, if you have a friend who values your time together, please make time for them.  I know that your children’s lives are busy.  I know that there is soccer, swimming, field hockey, ballet, gymnastics, cheering and whatever else you have your kids in.  But if you have become so busy with “life” that you no longer have time for friends, one day you will regret it.

So when I go to my kitchen window, I will look at the little pot you gave me when you left the first time and think of our time together with a smile…

Friendship

 

 

Spirituality and “healing”…

Proverbs 27:17

New International Version (NIV)

17 As iron sharpens iron,
    so one person sharpens another.

When you have plans to help another human being, it is important to remember that they are, in fact, human.  If something tells you in your gut that maybe now isn’t the best time to talk to that person, listen to that feeling.  That might actually be God whispering it’s just not time.  Do you ever wonder why things come to you at just the right time?  Why a friend messages you just as you were thinking you needed to talk to someone?  That’s the way it was with me and a relative of mine.  It was until recently.  When we read the Bible, and pray for our friends and loved ones, are we doing so out of a sincere desire to help them or we doing so because we simply say “I’ll pray for you.”

What is really driving you?  Is it honest devotion to God or is it something else?  If we are thinking with the person in mind, we will be driven to call them.  Not continuously send them messages that have no real voice or love attached.  Why would you continue to message a person and not truly, honestly reach out to someone in a way where it matters?  What if you drove right by the person’s house a thousand times and it was well-known you were close, but all you did was message them and say “I’m thinking of you.”  Do not let your words be empty.  Show how you are, in fact, sharpening another.  In Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 it even says Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: 10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.  But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.

Words mean nothing if behind them lie empty actions.  I have a friend who has been with me at my best and at my worst.  She is there for me when the pain is so great I have cried.  She is there for me when I want to give up.  She messages me and says “I will drive to a medical research center with you.  There is someone who can help you, I know it.”  It is important that your words match your actions. So my spirituality is still good because I know that no matter what, God has put things in my path for a reason.  The reason will be clear to me one day.  Matthew 17:20  He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

 

spirituality

Motivational Monday…

The events of last week have left me wondering what in the world I could say that would motivate anyone right now.  Then my husband hugs me and simply says “I love you.” and that is enough.  It is enough to know I am loved right now.  It is enough to know that I do not have all the answers nor will I ever.  It is enough to know that I am doing the best I can.  It is enough to know that we can pay the bills.  Sometimes, you have to start with what you know to make it through the day, and that is simply enough.

“Love is a force more formidable than any other. It is invisible – it cannot be seen or measured, yet it is powerful enough to transform you in a moment, and offer you more joy than any material possession could.”  ~Barbara de Angelis

More “No”vember…

After I wrote my post last night, I decided to stick with this theme for the month.  I thought of at least 30 things I could say “no” to in some way, shape or form.  So, I’ll start with this clip:

“Just get rid of the crappy stuff, and focus on the good stuff.”  This is a profound statement and it applies to everything you do in life.  Wow.  Just think about your wardrobe for a second.  Seriously.  You try something on for the hundredth time.  It doesn’t look right, or it ah shrunk in your closet.  Are you going to wear it?  No.  Are you going to keep it?  The answer needs to be no.  Let’s focus on your decorating.  You look around your house and realize you have collected far more “things” than you need.  Do you love it?  No.  Are they making your house look better?  No.  Time to get rid of the “crappy stuff” and focus on the good stuff.

Too often I will save something because it was my grandmother’s or given to me by someone who is no longer around.  I’m not talking about heirlooms, I am talking about “stuff”.  Christmas decorations, linens, knick-knacks that have no real meaning except for the fact that I feel guilty because of the love I have for that person.  I finally realized that the old table I was holding on to just because it was my grandmother’s really could go if I decided it was time.  I need to focus on the good stuff…not the guilt.  Seriously, it will be okay.

Traditions that are not your own.  You know you have them in your family.  Why are you continuing to go if you don’t want to.  Say no thank you this year and branch out.  It will be okay (unless they write you out of the will) and start something fresh.  Something good of your own.  I know you were tired of that congealed salad with nuts anyway…ahem.  She said to no one in particular.  Anywho, go forth and focus on the good stuff.  The rest will follow your lead.

“A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.”  ~Mahatma Gandhi