Friday, February 26, 2010

Loving Anyway

Each Friday I connect up with the Company Girls to 'chat" about our weeks.  It's a fun little online community that has connected me with wonderful people.

But every Friday seems the same to me as I go to write.  I mention about how it's my day off (which is always a good thing!).  How I hope to catch up on stuff.  Whatever weekend plans I have.

Lately I've had weeks of posts on Pickle's health or my own emotional poopyness.  I'm kinda getting bored with myself!

Yet, many of you are praying, so I feel an update is in order. Here goes:  I'm still really unsure about myself emotionally, but I'm getting tired of talking/writing about it.  This week was slightly better than last, but I may still end up calling the doctor.  I don't trust my emotions right now to be accurate indicators of a situation.  I've asked others this week if it's normal to be upset about this or that. I did have some bright spots I posted about last weekend.  And I've been leaning hard on God and embracing my need for Him.  He has reassured me from His Word over and over, and for this I am truly grateful.  I feel a little out of control, but I feel safe.

So, on to something else today...please!  This morning I read a little article from a Focus on the Family newsletter about not just loving because (fill in the blank) but about loving anyway.  It made me think of my wonderful man, and our relationship.  I think that we have a beautiful relationship--because it truly is about loving anyway.  Don't get me wrong, there are lots of reasons to love because....LOTS.  But, we've had our things.  Both the big things that have rocked our world, and the little day-to-day things that sometimes are hardest to deal with.

at a dear friend's wedding rehearsal 12/08

Frankly, this hasn't been the best week of our marriage.  It has been far (FAR!) from the worst...but not a banner week.  My emotional ups and downs, his work-stress and back pain, and busyness have not helped.  We've been missing each other, misunderstanding each other, and not always having the energy or motivation to even talk it out.  When our mutual frustrations were finally expressed, it wasn't in a calm, fair manner....but in a late night, about to fall asleep, burst of emotion.

However, the strong undercurrent is still love.  Acceptance.  Of each other.  Of each other's stuff.  We are long past the self-righteous assumptions of I'm doing everything right and you're the one to blame.  (although we still go there at times, I admit).  We are well-acquainted with each other's shortfalls, and our own.  We each know we bring some, shall we say, "craft" to the table.

Hawaii 2009

I'm so glad we embrace often.  Even when we are too wiped to talk.  In the embrace comes the reassurance of love in spite of what we are dealing with at the moment.  Real love.  Love anyway.

We never finished our late night emotional burst conversation.  We didn't need to.  We've been here before, we get it.  We awoke with the unstated realization that the things that were bothering us were just symptoms of the week we had been having and our neglect to counteract them proactively.  Yes, we both need to pay better attention to us when we are struggling--and we didn't get an A+ this week on that.  But we love deeply.  We love anyway.

That's how God loves us--anyway.  We don't deserve His love, in spite of our efforts to try and have Him love us because.  He is well aware of our stuff--the stuff we have no choice about, and the stuff we choose.  He loves us anyway.

It is His love that enables us to love each other anyway.  I'm so thankful.

Monday, February 22, 2010

unwrapping on tuesday

Unwrapping gifts.  The everyday gifts that are easily missed. That's what a group of us do with Emily at Chatting at the Sky on Tuesdays.

Today, Emily writes "So whether you are in the midst of the mess, surrounded by the lovely or interrupted by things unexpected, I encourage you to pause and consider the gift, whatever it might be."

So, I sit here.  And ponder.   What is the gift to unwrap today? Am I in the midst of the mess?  Yes.  There are lots of things I'm not on top of right now.  Not even close to on top of.  My housework.  Organization at home.  Wish I was about three weeks further along in my work at church than I am.  Emotionally, it's been less than smooth lately, and that colors everything else.  I have moments of feeling really fragile.

In the midst, am I surrounded by the lovely?  Yes.  YES.  My husband's kisses comfort.  My kids' smiles light up my days.  My friends are patient with me and make me laugh.  I am allowed to be who I am right now--even though I'm not at my best.  Everyone who loves me  holds out Hope in front of me.

Have I been interrupted by things unexpected?  Yes.  My car clicks instead of starts.  Snow delays change plans.  But even in emotional fragility, I know the unexpected factors in life are only unexpected by me, not Him--and in reality, are often part of the (big G) Good.  As my car sits sadly quiet in my garage, I skim Facebook status updates as I wait for my ride to work.  And the unexpected jumps out at me.  A friend's update says this: 

"The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail."Is. 58:11

His Word falls on my soul.  He will guide.  He will satisfy.  He will water.  He will never fail.

And I thank Him for my need.  It is making me keenly aware of my dependence on the only One who can truly satisfy and who will not fail me.  My fragility is my gift today...for without it, I may just forget that I'm leaning on Him all the time.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

bright spots

Even amidst the dim and dreary, there are bright spots that give hope.  

As I posted on Friday, my emotions are pretty shaky right now.  It's easy when I'm in this mode to just assume every moment of every day will be difficult.  Yet there are bright spots.  Sometimes they are more than spots--they are big bright patches.  I have had some bright patches since I last posted, and wanted to share them with you.

So, grab some popcorn, sit back and relax and watch the slide show of my bright patches.

Wait.  There's no slide show??

Ohyeah...that's because I either don't bring my camera (Friday night), don't remember to use it (most of Saturday night), or don't remember to make sure it's usuable with charged batteries (this afternoon).  I hate that I don't have many pictures of my bright patches to share with you...please try to control your disappointment, it will make me feel worse. :)

Friday night we celebrated my dad's 66th birthday.  The family went out to eat at Carabbas.  Um...can I just say yummmm!?!  I tried their special surf and turf instead of my normal choice and it was SO yummy.  I can't remember the last time I had a steak.  I had a great time talking, and eating and drinking diet coke.  Afterwards we went to my parents house for ice cream sundaes and gifts.  I was in good spirits the entire time.  Bright patch! Check out the smile on my face:

Oh wait.  No picture.

Saturday night was Girls' Night Out.  I debated whether to go up until almost the last minute.  I had a rough, cranky afternoon.  However, I decided that my desire not to miss out outweighed my desire to stay at home in my safe emotional place--and I went.  Dear Carly organized us a fun fest--starting with dinner at Salsa Brava.  I need to have a moment of silence here out of respect for the goodness of God that is their blackened tomato salsa............ah yes.  As my pastor likes to say, it could change your life.  And then, as if eating three days worth of calories in chips and salsa wasn't enough, I managed to force down Margarita Chicken Enchiladas.  I mean, look at how good it looked...

Oh nevermind.  No picture.

Next, The Girls (Becca, Becky, Beth, Carly, Kerry and me) went to an improv comedy show.  It was hysterical.  Seriously. HYS. TER. I. CAL.  Kerry's pregnant and I thought she might either go into labor or pee her pants.  Instead she cried from laughing so much.  All of our faces hurt from laughing.  A highlight for our little group was when Carly and Becky got pulled up on stage to be part of the vacation-slides game.  They had to randomly strike poses up there...and I was impressed with their creativity.

And, miracle of miracles!  I actually have pictures of this!  Here are a few:

Here is Becky striking a pouty-face pose.

And Carly "praying"--she was trying to covertly share her faith with the crowd I guess.

And Becky selling out to the game as well as trying not to flash the audience.

And Carly sporting a truly sassy bird necklace that she hoped would make us think of the Holy Spirit. 
 It didn't, but it was really cute.

We had a great time, and I was able to laugh and chat and be in good spirits again.  I was glad I went.  Bright patch!

This afternoon, after a few days of gently falling snow, there was enough snow cover to go sledding.  I took the kids.  Even though all I wanted to do was cuddle up with a blanket and take a nap (usually what I want to do after a morning "on" at church).  Even though hubby didn't feel up to coming and I realized I wouldn't just be a spectator--but actually, youknow, sledding.  The kids had a great time.  I cracked up at Bubba's silly antics and Pickle's squeals.  And I sledded too.  And didn't hurt my old-self.  And I had fun. Bright patch!

This is the only other picture I have from this weekend-- Beth's car antenna.  The frost clinging to it (and basically everything) was truly spectacular this weekend.  Even after driving the car it was hanging on.  Kind of like I Hope.  Hope that this season of emotional blech will come to an end--however God chooses to rescue me.  I'm holding on to Hope.  And thankful for the bright spots (patches?) that remind me He is there--sustaining.  And holding onto me.  I'm safe.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Company Girl Coffee 2.19

Wow, is it Friday already?  How does this happen?  (and do I always say that?)  It's time for my weekly update with the Company Girls, which besides catching up with bloggie friends, serves the purpose of me remembering each week that flies past in a blur.

Valentine's pops for Pickle, Bubba, and Pickle's friend

Well, first of all, thanks to so many of you who said you'd pray for me last week when you read I was feeling emotionally poopy.  It is very humbling to think that women all over who (whom?) I've never met in person, would take the time to bring my heart and me before the Lord.  Deepest, deepest thanks.  Can I be so bold as to ask that you not let up?  I had a great weekend with Pickle's friend visiting from CT and the Olympics and Valentine's Day and an extra day off...but this week has proved pretty tough emotionally again.  Yes, there are stressors I could point to...but not enough to make me feel how I'm feeling most days.  So, I've made a decision to at least start documenting the whole thing, and on the advice of my counselor-sister Kerry am going to give myself a timeline that if I don't feel back to normal by the end of--I'll be off the doc to talk about getting back on my meds. Boo.

(My thoughts about going back on the meds are weird and complicated and probably affected by my emotional state, so I'll spare you them at this point.)

two of my biggest emotional supporters--Hubby and sister Kerry--isn't this a cute pic of them?

Now, lest you worry too much, I am not curled in the fetal position or stuck in bed sobbing or anything.  (at least not yet...ha!).  But I'm grumpy (ask my coworkers!) and too teary and not enjoying my normal things so much.  So yeah...if you've struggled with depression, you know those aren't great signs.

But enough of that.  Blech.  I don't like typing it any more than you like reading it...but since I aim to be real here...there it is.  In all it's ugliness.

There's plenty of good going on in my heart too.  Bible Study has been great.  We are studying Esther.  I am getting a ton out of it.  My quiet times have been good too.  I have no doubt that my Redeemer is walking with me.

I have been adventuring into the land of twitter.  So I have been tweeting or twitting or twittering....whatever the correct lingo is.  I even joined my first twitter party this week regarding sponsorship for Relevant '10 (which I'm dreaming about) and I was TO.TAL.LY out of my league.  It twitted by so fast, I was overwhelmed!  Maybe I'm too old to be a twit!?!  You can follow my twit-ness if you so desire by clicking on button on my sidebar...perhaps its good for a laugh.

Tonight we are headed out to dinner with the family to celebrate my dad's birthday.  I love my dad.  And my family.  It should be fun. And tomorrow night the groupies girls and a few others are headed to a wild and crazy girl's night out. Watch out, here we come!

I have a fun community event I'm planning at church called Easterrific!  I finally got my little planning team together this week, and they totally ROCK.  They have already been productive and are making things happen.  I'm so blessed.  My biggest task for the event at this point is the "Easter Walk" part of the event--where families travel from room to room experiencing the story of Easter.  I am rewriting the curriculum, and I think God has given me the main direction. (Hooray!)  Now I need to find time and creative energy to get that puppy written!  If you care to add that to your prayer list while you are praying for my sanity--that would be awesome.

Fun on Valentine's Day with Pickle's Valentine, Pickle, Pickle's friend and Bubba

Our family has started our little lenten journey through the Jesus StoryBook Bible.  We have already had some wonderful discussions.  I'm praying we stay the course.

Well, if my emotional life is a little shaky, there should be no surprise that my house is a M.E. double S!!  Getting that taken care of today and this weekend ought to lighten my mood substantially.  Looking forward to housework might be the true definition of insanity...but I am.  Kinda.

Well, girls, it's more than time to hit it.  Housework, dentist for the kids, visit a friend in the hospital, and shopping for my dad are all on the agenda for today.  Hope you all have a great week, and that you are able to take time to reflect in the midst of the days blurring by!

A special welcome to anyone who might be visiting from Heart to Heart with Holley.  

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

a little lenten idea

Lent. Beautiful season of reflection and of awareness of our need for Christ's sacrifice.

Love that SO much...but how to observe lent?  Many have a Lenten fast and give something up for the 40 day season that leads up to the celebration of Easter.  Others add something to their lives during the season.  Either way, the practice is to remind us of Jesus and our need for His forgiveness and grace.

I debate every year how and in what way to lead my family in some sort of observation of Lent.  Last year we had a centerpiece that was similar to an advent wreath.  One cool idea I learned about today is of a lenten centerpiece that looks like a crown of thorns.  Read about it on Meredith's blog here.  For another idea that greatly moved me today--read Ann Voskamp's post here.

What our family decided to do together this season is to focus on God's story of redemption that is woven throughout the Bible and culminates in Jesus' death and resurrection.  We are going to do this in a simple way--and that is to read from my absolute favorite Bible storybook each evening as a family.  We will be reading from this:

I love, love, love this book because it ties all of the stories together and points to the Big Love Story God is telling throughout His Word.  We read from it a lot...but tonight we started from the beginning and will plow through so that we end up at Jesus' death and resurrection right about Eastertime.  It is my hope that focusing on the Big Story of God's love for us and our need for Him 40 nights in a row will help us reflect on the way God has rescued us.

And the illustrations are wonderful--they make me smile and enjoy the reading that much more.

( I realize many of you are great at sharing Bible time or devotions with your family every night anyway.  At this season of our family's life--it only happens sporadically at best.  Wait--aren't you a Children's Ministries Director, Dawn??  Yes.  Yes, I am.  Doesn't mean I always have it together at home.  Just sayin.)  :0)

Sounds simple, yes.  A sacrifice, not really at all.  But not a small feat either--between our crazy run-around schedules and our terrible ADD-impaired memories--it will be a small miracle to pull off consistently.  And a small sacrifice of time and effort to get us all together for a bit every single night.  But I believe we can do it.  Our own little Lenten observance.  One that will whisper Jesus' name into our hearts every day.

Are you observing Lent in your family?  I'd love to hear about it...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

words written on the page

I love blogging.  It's a newish hobby (how long can I say that?--it's been about ten months).  Like for many of you, it's an outlet.  I process best outside of myself, which means talking (mostly) and writing.  Blogging has been a way to write and connect with others at the same time--which is wonderful for me. I learn from all of your feedback on what I post, and I learn from what I read from all of your amazing hearts and minds.

But today is Tuesday, and time to unwrap a gift with Emily at Chatting at the Sky that may otherwise go unnoticed.  And today I am unwrapping the gift of words written on the page, the gift of writing in my journal.

In my journal, I unload what's on my heart.  I document the things God is showing me in His Word and through others.  My heart's struggles pour out through my pen and end up as ink on paper--where somehow they lose some of their power over me.  I pray in writing.  And I wonder things in words I'd never say out loud.

I love paging through my journals and remembering the places I've been emotionally, and seeing God's Grace entwined in the midst of it all.

Tuesdays are my Panera I'm off to put my (preferably colored) pen to paper, and give my  soul a written breath.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My new look!

My awesome brother-in-law Jeff, gave me a blog makeover for my birthday.  He is a web designer and graphic designer, but this was his first blog makeover.  I think he should do more of them!  We are going to tweak a few things...but I think it looks great now.  This is so much more me than the other look was.

Hooray for new blog looks!!!  Do you like it??


Friday, February 12, 2010

Go team USA!

my nephew watching Team USA enter the Olympic Stadium in Vancouver

friday hoopla and a confession

Do you know what today is???  Of course you's Friday!  (I make it sound like you are a bunch of preschoolers during "calendar time" at school, huh?)  But it's not just Friday, it's my day off, it's the beginning of a three-day weekend, and Groupies night.

But as if that is not enough, it is the first day of the Olympics!!  I love the Olympics.  My family loves the Olympics.  For as long as I can remember, when the Olympic Games come around, I am completely sucked in.  I love the pageantry of the ceremonies, get emotionally invested in the stories of personal triumph, and feel a big boost of patriotism.  I enjoy watching events I don't watch during the four years between the Games--just for the excitement of the Games.

Now that I live in Colorado Springs, where the USOC is based and where one of the nation's Olympic Training Centers is located (anyone watch The Biggest Loser this week??), I have more opportunities to connect with the Olympic Spirit.  The training center offers free tours, and we have gone several times.  One time, we spotted my Olympic crush--Apolo Anton Ohno--working out.  I'm so excited he is skating again this year.


So tonight, we are having an Olympic Opening Ceremonies party with the Groupies. I would love to tell you of the awesome decorations, food and themed games I have planned--but guess what?  I've got nothing!  We are just going to enjoy the broadcast together.  And eat (of course).  If any of you bloggies have some great ideas for our party--I'll take 'em!  Seriously.  I'll take 'em.  I'm the queen of making things happen last minute.  :)  Plans or not, it's just great to be with friends.

The other excitement at our house is that Pickle's best friend who moved across the country last summer is visiting for the first time since she left.  We are so excited to have her with us for a few nights.

Oh yeah, and it's Valentine's Day too.  I think we are keeping V-day a little low key at our house this year, but I am very thankful for my Valentine.  And his kisses.  I'll leave it there. :)

Now, the confession.  Even with all of this excitement, and all there is to look forward to--and I'm emotionally poopy. I don't know why.  I mean, yes, I am weaning off my meds as I've mentioned before.  And yes, it may or may not be approaching a certain special week of the month.  I hope that's all it is, cause I feel small.  Fragile.  A little more anxious than usual.  Easily bothered.  Easily hurt.  Ugh, how I hate that.  Anyone been there??

So, I'm praying I can shake the blahs with God's help.  Holley posted a great post today--just what I needed to hear.  She pointed out that emotions make great messengers and horrible bosses.  I am looking to the true Boss of my heart for His reassurance.  I know He is close to me.  He spoke to me VERY clearly through our Beth Moore video at Bible Study yesterday (but that's another post) and He spoke clearly to me this week when I needed inspiration for something at church.

He is right here.  With me.  Guiding and sustaining.

And hopefully helping me get over myself enough to get do all I need and want to do today...I've got a party tonight!

Happy Friday, Company Girls!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

And the winner is...

Dawn from Dawn Writes!

As you can see, I used a very scientific method to pick a winner.  I put everyone's name on torn up paper--two times for followers.  I mixed them up, looked away and pulled the slip you see above.

It is pictured on my bed.  Cause that's where the scientific method was conducted.  While I was in my pajamas.  Just keepin' in real, bloggies.

Anyway, Dawn was one of my very first bloggie friends and followers.  We found each other because of our common name--she always signs her comments to me "the other Dawn".

Dawn wins her choice of super-cute pendants from the multi-talented Cathy Walters!  Congrats to you, other Dawn.

Monday, February 8, 2010

the prayer was wrong

"Mom, I heard something wrong in that prayer."

There was an old kids' movie on the TV.  Both kids were home sick and they were getting more than their fair share of mediocre TV.  They hardly seemed to be paying attention.

I was tuning the TV noise out as I went about my housework, but tuned in as a little girl knelt by her bed and prayed.  She had some important business to do with God about some puppies.  I heard her say to God that she knows He's really busy up there and everything, but could He please keep her puppies from growing up?

I heard the part about God being busy.  He's often portrayed like that.  I was tempted to make a "teachable moment" out of it, but thought, "Let it be.  The kids are sick and hardly paying attention."  I went back to carrying laundry upstairs.

And then I heard it.

"Mom, I heard something wrong in that prayer."

From my perch halfway up the stairs I looked down on Bubba at the bottom.  He had lifted his energy-less body off of the couch and followed behind me to make that statement.

"What did you hear, honey?"

"That girl said she knew God was really busy--but actually God is never too busy for His children."

 You are absolutely right, Bubba.

In the midst of your croupy stupor, you heard an untruth and countered it with Truth.

And encouraged this mama's heart more than you'll ever know.

I'm unwrapping this everyday gift with Emily at Chatting at the Sky.

Gifts Galore

(Today is the last day to enter my 100th post giveaway for your choice of a super - cute pendant from Cathy Walters! Click here to enter!)

There are gifts everywhere. Once I look for them they are easy to find. Most days. That's what I'm learning on my 1000 Gifts journey. Every now and then there are nights when I climb into bed, ready to write in my gifts journal, and my mind goes blank. Surely there were gifts that day...and I think with more effort. And remember. And I find a few. Other days they flow out of my pen easily.

What's the difference between the days? I don't know. Fatigue? Discouragement? Or just a different day? I don't know. But I do know the exercise of finding the gifts--even just one--on those days is a good discipline. And those days are few and far between right now. I'm thankful for them and the practice they give.

Some gifts from this week:

83. A kiss from this guy after lunch at McDonalds with he and his mommy.

my nephew riding a reindeer (why not?) 
on his third birthday this summer

You see, he can be a little stingy with the kisses. Sometimes I think he is just messin' with me. This day, I bent over to tell him goodbye and he planted a messy one--right on my lips. Made the unhealthy lunch worth it.

89. Free DVDs checked out from the library. A pile of never-seens to choose from for our family movie night. (We watched Stardust--it was a hit!)

91. Pickle and Bubba getting along really well this weekend. Speaking kindly to each other. Laughing together. Wrestling. Hanging out in each other's rooms. Made me smile many times.

Pickle and Bubba during the SuperBowl

96. Humbling. Yes, humbling.  It's hard to think of being humbled as a gift, but without the humbling, I'm not sure change would come. And being humbled sends me to my knees...

a good place to be thankful.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Company Girl Coffee 2.5

It's been a week since my last Company Girls update. God has been faithful (He always is), so a quick update is in order.

First of all, I DIDN'T HAVE TO GO TO COURT! The day before the court date, the lawyer called, thanked me for my time, and told me they wouldn't need me after all. I was SO relieved. It felt like a gift direct to me from God. He is so Good.

Secondly, Pickle is STILL sick. But, thankfully, we got a diagnosis on Wednesday. It turns out that she has a killer sinus infection. The doctor says she is swollen shut inside. Boo. She has had migraines from it--and even had her vision affected (scary). Poor Pickle. As of today she has missed nine days of school in a row. Yikes! Yet, we are so thankful to know what's going on now and that we have begun treating it.

(And can I just confess to you all that I am working on forgiving the PA who saw Pickle last week and diagnosed her with a stomach virus without even looking up her nose? So we let that infection get worse and worse for almost a week. I'm a little frustrated. We left that appointment and I knew in my gut she was wrong.)

Here's a shot of Pickle today--in her out-of-bed spot for the majority of the last two weeks. I love that she shot me a smile for the photo.

This week I reached a little blogging milestone and I'm celebrating with a giveaway!! I would love to have the Company Girls join in on the fun and enter the giveaway. Just click here for the details of how you can win!

I am so excited today because our weekend is looking free-ish. By free-ish, I mean that we don't have much on the calendar. Nothing tonight, Bubba's basketball game and Pickle's dance class are all we have tomorrow and then just church on Sunday. We don't even have plans for the Superbowl--other than to watch it!

Boy, do we need this weekend. I just want to hole up with the four of us. Help the kids get caught up on their homework. Tackle a few projects around the house that have been just hanging there. (have any of those??) Take time with hubby to make some decisions about changing banks and other financial matters that take more energy than we usually have on weeknights.

Oh yeah, and get this smelly mop to the groomer so he looks like a dog again.

But I can already tell that I'm piling too many expectations on us for the weekend. I am dreaming of getting everything done that's on the "list" (which exists in my head alone, mind you). I'm pretty sure hubby's "list" involves putting his feet up and relaxing for most of the weekend. So, I need to prioritize. I guess I better put prioritizing on my list for today. :0)

And no matter what, I'm going to enjoy being with my family this weekend. Cause they are the best. And whether we are watching a movie or organizing the office--there's noone I'd rather be with.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Grace--why do I forget?

I often forget. Forget to give grace to myself. I give it to others (most of the time). I know God gives it to us all. But to cut myself some slack? It goes against my grain.

Last night I had just posted my 100th blog post (there's a giveaway--check it out!) and it was time to at least think about hitting the sack. Hubby asked me if I was ready for bed and what I said was..."But I haven't done my thankful post yet!!"

You see, I recently made a commitment to myself and all of blogland that I was joining Ann Voskamp in documenting 1000 gifts, and would post some of those gifts each Monday. It was Monday. I needed to post my thankful post!

Hubby wisely said, "Be thankful for grace. Grace says you can do your thankful post tomorrow." He was right. Thanks, honey.

So here are a few of my 1000 gifts from this week:

52. An unexpected kiss and "I love you" from my 13 year old Pickle.

61. An unexpected visit with Betsy. Betsy was one of my RAs in the 90s when I worked as a Residence Director. I'm not supposed to have favorites, but Betsy was a favorite. Since leaving college she has married and adopted two beautiful kids from China. Betsy and her family were in Colorado for the weekend from California and Betsy and her daughter found a few hours to spend with us! What a delight to see this friend after many years.

68. A peek at my new niece or nephew! My sister Kerry is pregnant again after the devastating loss of sweet Sadie in April. Kerry is due in early August and I couldn't be happier for this first glimpse of the little wiggle worm!

69. I'm off the hook! I had been subpoenaed to testify in court tomorrow against my neighbor. (yuck!) It was awkward and I was dreading it. The lawyer called today and said they weren't going to need me after all! Happy Dance!!

Well, there. I feel better. I've shared a few of my 1000 gifts. It's OK that I did it on Tuesday.

And today I am unwrapping the everyday gift of a hubby who is able to set me straight sometimes. And the reminder he is of Grace.

Monday, February 1, 2010

100th post and a giveaway!

It's my 100th post and I'm celebrating this little milestone with a bit of reflection and a giveaway!

I started blogging at the end of May. I had been enjoying reading blogs for a while, but was (am?) clueless about being a blogger. I had no idea what my blog would be about, or if I would stick with it, or if anyone besides my mom would read it. I just started.

I still don't know much about blogging compared to many, but here is what I do know, 100 posts later:

1. I love it. It is an outlet for me I didn't know I needed.

2. It has connected with me with amazing people who teach me and encourage me through their words. All the creative energy flying around the blogosphere truly inspires me.

3. I'm breaking a cardinal blogging rule. I've written 100 posts, and I still don't know what my blog is "about". As you read above--it's my "daily life processed externally". I am one of those extrovert-types that processes most of my thoughts outside of myself. (I know you are thinking--bummer for her family--and you are right! But they are very gracious with me. ) That means I need to talk or write my thoughts to process them well. So I talk. a. lot. And I journal. And now I blog! About... nothing in particular I guess.

4. I'm SO very thankful for every reader. So, for whatever reason you find yourself reading here...thank you! It is much more fun to have the writing be a conversation with you. And now, I want to celebrate you who read my ramblings with a little giveaway!

I'm really excited that my first giveaway is from Cathy Walters! She is my real life friend, a talented artist and photographer, and makes the coolest soldered jewelry. Cathy is offering your choice of a two-sided pendant from her Etsy Shop as our giveaway prize. You are going to have a hard time picking...I promise you!

Here's what you do to enter:

1. Click over to Cathy's Etsy Shop and browse around the cuteness.

2. Leave me a comment and tell me your favorite.

3. If you follow my blog, tell me that. New followers more than welcome! If you are a follower you get an extra entry.

4. That's it--easy schmeasy! I will pick a winner a week from today. Send your friends over too!

And last, but not least, I want to tell you that my blog makeover is coming...I'm so excited! Stay tuned for my new look!

Thanks for helping me celebrate my 100th post!

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