Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I’ve been on a bloggie break of sorts.  I needed to take a break to take care of some pressing needs at home, and I recognize that while writing is an outlet for me, it can also be an escape.  I needed to stay engaged.

I have truly missed blogland, but I must admit I've been hesitant to come back.  I’m still not together at home.  There is still more laundry to do, more errands to run, more appointments to make.  However, I’m realizing that if I wait until I feel all the way caught up, I’ll be waiting a long, long time.  Like forever.  So, I’m easing back in.

Thanks to those of you who encouraged me in taking a break and those who let me know I was missed.  How sweet to have such life-giving friends in blogland.  I truly missed you.

I decided I should post a top-ten list of newsiness (is that a word?) from my hiatus.  So here goes with more than you really wanted to know:

10.  We played.  The kids had a day off of school and we visited a nearby town, wandering aimlessly, eating treats (see below) and best of all, visiting a penny arcade!  I’ll post more about that fun day soon.
one of my favorite treats--perfect for a fall fun day
9.  I drove.   I’ve heard about it for years.  The High School Youth Group’s Great Pumpkin Chase event.  This year I was recruited to drive on this race around town finding clues that ultimately led us to the great pumpkin and a party.  I had a great time with Pickle and her friends, although I almost ran her over once, and accidently drove down the wrong side of the road.  Yikes!  We came in fourth place.  Not too bad for a rookie.

8.  We partied.   My sweet sissie Kerry started a new home business with Thirty-One Gifts.  I hosted one of her first parties and it was great fun.  I got to see people I hadn’t seen in a while—and ended the night with plans to get together for coffee (diet coke for me) with most of them.  I also got some great stuff—can’t wait until my order comes! If you are unfamiliar, check out the lovelies on Kerry’s webpage .

7.  We bought.  We made our first craigslist purchase.  We wanted to get Bubba a loft bed for his birthday and were having trouble finding what we wanted at a price that we could afford.  So I did what many others have told me about…surfed Craigslist.  I was busy with it for a few weeks—but it paid off!  We pick up Bubba’s new bed tonight!  I feel so green and recycle-ly.

6.  I was magnetic.  (or at least the particles in my body were, or something like that).  I had an MRI--a first for me.  I am not too good with small spaces and had many praying for me.  I know of people who have freaked out and needed to reschedule with sedation, and I just didn’t have the time or money for that.  I was surprised at how quickly I felt the anxiety once the machine started.  Eyes clamped shut (my strategy—I could be lying anywhere, right?). I felt my body tingling and jumped when the noise began.  My breathing quickened and my heart started beating a bit too fast…ohboy.  Then I felt the prayers.  I slowed down my breathing.  I quoted scripture.  I kept my eyes closed.  I did fine.  I don’t want to, but I could do it again.  Whew.

5.  We visited.  My college roommate for the first two years was Suzie.  Suzie married Doug, the guy she met and started dating early in our freshman year.  They are married now and wonderful friends of ours.   We don’t think we’ve seen each other in almost 20 years. They live in the Ukraine, where they are serving as missionaries.  The short story is that Doug and their 20 year old son, Nick—whom I’d last seen as a baby—were passing through town.  We got to spend a few precious hours with them, and I even got to speak with Suz on Doug’s cell.  She is on the other side of the world and sounded like she was on the next block.  What a treat.

4.  I tried something new.  My mom sent me a link to emealz—a meal planning service.  It costs $5 a month and each week I download a menu and shopping list.  The even cooler thing is that I could choose a menu that calculated weightwatchers points for me (still doing that) and was specific to the store I shop in!  It’s pretty cool.  We’ve liked the meals—and the meal-planning I hate is done for me!  Check it out here.

3.  We joined.  The  gym, that is.  It’s been a while since we belonged to a health club, but hubby needs to swim to help his back, and Pickle is no longer a dancer and needed to do something to keep fit.  We did a family plan, and so far we are all really liking it.  I’m going slow, but I hope to one day be kinda-sorta in shape. 

2.  I cried.  I’m not sure exactly why.  My doctor’s office called with the results of my MRI.  I have arthritis and a herniated disc in my neck.  When I called hubby to tell him, I burst into tears.  I think the emotion came from realizing that I had a real reason to be whining about my neck for two years…and I wasn’t imagining that something was wrong.  Oh, and I had PMS.  I’m sure that had nothing to do with the tears.  Anyway I see the doctor tomorrow to find out treatment options.

And... number 1. We rejoice!   Dave’s back has stayed better!  I’m not exaggerating when I say that it’s like he’s back from a very long trip.  He is himself again, and we had missed that guy.  Please thank God on our behalf and pray that it lasts!

Well, you are pretty caught up now.  Forgive the rambling, I'm nothing if not wordy.  But you knew that.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

do we dare hope?

Do we dare to hope?

This is what has been going through my head this morning since my hubby said these words to me, "You know, I think the pains shots might be working...".

If you've read theGoodlife much, you know that hubby has been dealing with frustrating and often debilitating back pain for over a year.  We've tried different doctors, different meds, different procedures to no avail.  We've been excited by potential solutions, only to have them disappoint.

And you see, pain is not just physical pain.  It drains.  It is depressing.  All four of us have found ourselves more than frustrated, more than once. It eats at our family life, at our ability to enjoy things together.  It eats at relationships, cause the energy goes to surviving.  It steals moments we thought were a given.

Last week, hubby had yet another procedure.  Pain shots into a different area--the joints between ribs and vertebrae.  (Did you know those were joints?  Me either.)  He spent a miserable week off of ibuprofen in preparation.  He spent the five days after the procedure in worse pain than before.  Stink.  Another procedure that didn't seem to be helping.  Doc said it could still be normal for it not to be working yet.  Don't give up hope yet.  OK.

And then Tuesday it wasn't terrible.  And then yesterday was pretty good.  And then his words this morning...

"Thank you God" was my verbal response.

The response in my heart was different.  It was guarded.  Protecting itself from more disappointment.  Do I dare hope we've found the answer or at least part of the answer?  Or do I steal myself for what might come in a day or a week?

I understand why I feel this way.  I bet you do too.  I bet you've been there in one circumstance or another...wondering if you dare to hope?  It feels like a normal response, but I'm not sure if it's the right one.

I know the Author of Hope.  Shouldn't I be able to hope freely at the words I've longed to hear?  At the slight smile on hubby's face?

I am not going to wrap up this post with an answer to those questions.  I want to hear what you have to say...and I'll keep thinking on it myself.

(by the way, didn't plan to blog again so soon after closing my laptop, but I felt free to blurt this out this morning...)

Friday, October 8, 2010

so much to say, so little time

This pic has nothing to do with anything, other than I drove past this today...gotta love Colorado!
There is lots I want to say, lots of thoughts in my head that need to find their way through my fingertips or through a pen.

Yet, sometimes I need to stop focusing on my thoughts and ideas, on my wonderful bloggie friends, on my desires, and just get some practical stuff done!

Things are in a state of disarray here...nothing that unusual, but much going on and much to keep up with.  And I just need to step away for a bit and get things in order in my home and take care of my family.  Not that I stopped doing that, but it needs my full attention now.

However,  I hate letting a Friday pass without saying hi to the Company Girls.  So...Hi.  Hope you are all well.  I'll be back soon.  Try not to miss me too much.

If you were listening just heard the sound of my laptop close.  :0)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

everyday grace

pickle and bubba goofing around with photo booth
I asked him five times.  Once last night, and this morning four times.  He was very excited to be having a field trip today.  He is heading to the very top of Pikes Peak.  He needs a sack lunch.  As we pulled out of the driveway I asked him again.  Do you have your winter coat?  gloves?  your lunch?  Yes.  He had everything.

We drive the 20 minutes to school (hubby normally does--but it's a bad back day).  The kids pile out and I wish them a good day and drive off.  I drive 20 minutes home.  I'm ready to grab my things and head to Panera for my Tuesday morning mini-sabbath.  Hubby met me before I even got out of the car.  He was holding Bubba's lunch.  I couldn't believe it.  Apparently my son had tried to chase me down in tears as I was driving away...poor boy.

Pickle apparently responded to her brother's cries, tried to call me on my cell (I had it on vibrate) and eventually gave him her lunch for his trip.  She was hoping I'd make it back in time so she could get her lunch back, but she wasn't sure if I would.

So, I didn't like it, but I knew what I needed  to do.  I gathered my things along with his lunch.  Gotta get back there before he leaves on his trip.  Frustration abounded.  What about what I need to do?  It will be another hour before I can start my day now.  I asked him specifically about his lunch.  More than once. The spinning, selfish thoughts. Ugh.

Then I stop.  I remember.  Just yesterday emily posted this story about being shown grace and mercy as a child.  I commented that I hoped I would respond the same way if faced with a similar situation.  And look--I had my opportunity to practice grace with my son already! I jotted him a note on heart paper that said, "oops.  I love you." and inserted it in his lunch.

And God reminded me about how I pray for Pickle and Bubba to get along well.  She seems annoyed by his very existence often these days.  She's a teenager, I know.  He's a little brother, I know.  It's not always easy to be kind.  This morning Pickle showed compassion and kindness to her little brother.  I was touched--that was really sweet.

So, I took the heart paper back out and wrote her a note for her lunch.  I need to affirm that kindness when I witness it.

So...even though my cell phone died as I pulled into the school parking lot which meant I needed to return home one more time before my panera time, and that I couldn't text Pickle to tell her that her lunch was waiting for her at the was still a beautiful morning.  I  got the chance to show the grace I hoped to show.  I remembered to do it.  Bubba experienced it--I saw it in his face as he mouthed "thank you" to me from his desk.

I got to peek at the part of my teenaged daughter that cares for and protects her brother.  I saw her showing grace today.  I could think of many other ways she could have reacted.  She put her own needs aside for his.

Yes, it was a beautiful morning.

Friday, October 1, 2010

something pretty, something meaningful, something gross, something fun

Catching up with the Company Girls today, a little late this week, but here I am.


Pretty.  Last weekend was homecoming and Pickle went to her first high school dance.  Ohmy.  Look at my pretty girl.

Meaningful.  Yesterday was the anniversary of Aidan's death.  God is gracious and faithful to heal broken hearts.  I posted about being scarred but whole.

Gross.  OK, I can't believe I'm telling you about this, but it has been a significant part of the week over here at our house.  On Wednesday, as the lawn guy fiddled in my garage with the sprinkler system programmer thingy...I looked at the floor of the garage and saw a little white wormy thing crawling on the floor.  I stepped on it.  I didn't like him.  Then I noticed he was not alone...the floor was covered in the little suckers...all making a mass exodus from the garbage can area toward the outside.  Lawn-guy told me they were maggots.  Excuse me??  Maggots?? He thought maybe a mouse had died somewhere and they were coming from there.  Gross.  Or maybe they were from the trash.  Gross.  I left for work and hoped when I returned they would be gone.    Nope--although there were less of them, and hubby thought perhaps I had exaggerated when I described them earlier.  Then he lifted the trash lid and found--HUNDREDS--of them all crawling all over each other and the trash.  G.R.O.S.S!!!!  I will spare you the detailed description.  Suffice it to say a strong stomach was in order.  I am thankful to report we have killed the majority of the floor crawlers, and the others went out with the trash today.  But the skin-crawling feeling might hang around a while...

Here's a pic of a few parading through the crack in our floor...

charming little creatures, aren't they?
Fun.  Can't end on the maggot note... Today I got to meet a blog-friend in real life!  Meredith and I met at Panera and talked for hours.  She is every bit as wonderful as I thought she'd be.  Thanks for a great time, Meredith!
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