Monday, September 27, 2010

The End (?)

"There are things that we never want to let go of, people we never want to leave behind.  But keep in mind that letting go isn't the end of the world, it's the beginning of a new life." ~Anonymous

Today is the day.  That day. The end.  Or the beginning.  Depends on how you look at it.   Today is the last day of my marriage.  The first day of the rest of my life.  Sign a few papers and that's it.

For those who know me, you know how much I value my faith.  I took my vows very seriously.  I never planned this.  Never wanted to think of an end.  Perhaps I did not do everything I could have, but I did everything I was capable of.  There was fault on both sides.

Today is not a day for placing blame.  It is a day for finality.  A point in time.  A small dot in the view of the big picture.  Yet a huge milestone in my life.  I am letting go of the appearance of the big happy family.  I am admitting failure in a portion of my life.  Showing my imperfection to the world.

But that's not all I am letting go of.  I am also releasing my grip on a promise.  A whisper of a possibility of what might have been.  A tenuous hold at best on a dream.  It was never meant to be.  Never truly mine to begin with.  It was a beautiful, very special time that ended before it really began.  Nonetheless I will miss it terribly. 

So today I move on.  I persevere.  I make a new life.  New stories.  New memories.  New dreams.  Yet I will glance back every so often, not with regret, but with fondness of what was and what never could be...

Thursday, September 23, 2010


"Tears are the words that the heart can't express." ~Unknown

I had some other things to blog about this week.  Sweet.  Funny.  But two events have happened that have changed my heart again.  Terrible ones.  Horrific.  Incomprehensible.  I am not writing on these events to make their friends and families hurt even more.  I want to share these with the rest of you in hopes that you will pray for the ones left behind.

The first was a murder-suicide here in Eastlake.  It involved a couple in the middle of a divorce.  One of the children found her parents.  Two small children must try to live on.  

Hard to believe something could be worse than that.  But this is.  A beautiful woman and her two small boys brutally murdered yesterday in my previous hometown in Tennessee.  Who does this?  I've been mad at people.  Really mad.  But to kill two beautiful babies?  The sickness and evil that would take is beyond my comprehension.

I am still reeling from the murder of a close friend's grandson's murder in February.  I held this baby in my arms.  My children played with him.  To look at his pictures and realize that we would never see this precious little boy again in this lifetime is heartbreaking.  

I personally had never known such sorrow until then.  It was worse than even my miscarriage.  He was flesh and blood.  But so much more.  Haydon was a bundle of energy and a blessing to every life he touched.  I imagine these other two boys were the same.  I know God has a special place for them, but it doesn't make it any easier for those of us left here.  

You don't get over something like that.  You might get through it, but it never goes away.  You get numb.  There is no justification or justice.  Nothing can bring them back.  

So, we go on.  Because we have to.  Our families are counting on us.  We must be strong.  We set the example for our children so they know how to react.  But inside, deep inside, the pain never truly goes away.  God bless you that are living with this.  I hope He is able to carry you beyond this. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Starbucks and Carpetball

Since our move up here, we've been searching for a new church home.  Makes it a little difficult since there are four people helping to make this decision.  We had been to a couple.  One was way too big.  We got lost in the shuffle.  Another was too small.  Now I feel like Goldilocks.

So we go to the one that was actually my first choice when I was searching online.  Jacob goes to his children's church class and the girls and I go to the service.  Of course it's the "I'm bored, did you bring anything to color with, do you have some gum, when is it over" routine with them.  Not too much interest.  Until the guest missionary asks if anyone likes Starbucks.  Kiara's hand shoots up.  He's playing a cute game of Who Wants to be a Millionaire.  So each of the people who raised their hands gets to play for a bar of German chocolate.  Kiara, being so shy (said with sarcasm), goes up and answers her question and gets the chocolate.  Someone gave Brianna their bar, so all is good in the world.  Bright smiles.  

After the service there's a potluck lunch.  Nothing like a large group of Baptist women to feed a bunch of people.  Great food and lots of chocolate deserts.  The kids are happy.  They go down to the rec room to play while I get to know some of the other mothers.  I make some new friends and so do the kids.  I go down to gather up my rugrats and they don't want to leave now.  Typical.  First they don't want to go and now they don't want to leave.  They're playing carpetball?  What's up with these "sports" up North?  Carpetball, cornhole....  And you make fun of us Southerners?  Well, at least a Southern transplant in my case.  We played volleyball and horseshoes.  None of these redneck games.

So, anyways, the kids loved the church.  All because of Starbucks and a game called carpetball. :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fluttering Gently in the Breeze

"How does one become 
a butterfly?" 
  she asked pensively. 
"You must want to fly 
so much that you 
are able to give up 
  being a caterpillar." 
~Tina Paulus

Life is full of surprises.  We never know when a blessing is right around the corner.  Or up in the trees.  Sometimes it just takes looking around or in our case - looking up.

Such is life for us right now.  I mean, what are the chances that the monarchs decide to rest in my friend's backyard?  And that they stay long enough for me to get my camera over there for some great shots?

It is said that the butterfly symbolizes rebirth and renewal.  This is especially meaningful as my friend is moving from this house into a new one and beginning a new chapter in her life.  The butterflies showed up the week she is finally moving on. 

We all wait for a sign from God before making major decisions.  I'm one of those people who need a blinking yellow sign before I'm sure.  He really wanted my friend to get this particular message.  Instead of one, he sent hundreds!

So what sign are you waiting for? (If you come across a blinking yellow one with a large arrow, it's probably mine)  What is it that you need in order to move on?  Is it right in front of you and you haven't been looking for it?  Is it up in a tree fluttering gently in the breeze?    Is it possibly even the breeze itself?  Maybe it isn't a sign you need at all.  Perhaps you need to give up being a caterpillar in order to spread your wings and fly...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Looking For Love...

"Love doesn't make the world go round.  Love is what makes the ride worthwhile." ~Franklin P. Jones

My son Jacob loves dogs.  Always has.  I think there's an inherent bond between a boy and a dog.  Everytime we see one he asks if he can have one of his own.  I almost got him one several years ago on his birthday, but we couldn't have one at home at the time.

Tonight he got to play with an amazing dog.  Marley ran with him, played tag with him and was extremely patient with Jacob.  Of course he posed the question.  Marley's owner asked Jake what he would call it if he got one.  Jacob said "Love."  She suggested we try calling it to make sure it works for us.  So we did.  "Here Love.  Come on Love.  Time to eat Love."  Maybe not the best of choices for a dog.

I then realize if said dog gets loose, I am the one that gets to search around town.  "Lo-ve.  Where are you Love?  Come here boy."  Oh, that's bad.  Then I would have to put signs up.  "Looking for Love.  Missing Love.  Reward offered."  I could so see this happening.  Desperate 39-yr-old woman wandering the streets looking for Love. 

So maybe the puppy thing is on hold for a while.  As is the love thing.  But that's OK.  One of these days I'll have a furry, lovable creature licking my face to show me how much he loves me.  And maybe Jacob will get his dog too!

Thursday, September 9, 2010


"Grace isn't about having a second chance; grace is having so many chances that you could use them through all eternity and never come up empty.  It's when you finally realize that the other shoe isn't going to drop, ever.  It's the moment you feel as precious and handmade as every star, when you feel, finally, at home for the very first time." ~ Mike Clark 

We all make mistakes.  Even me, believe it or not.  Poor choices.  Bad decisions.  Things we look back after some time with regret.  Sometimes we just take the wrong fork in the road.  Perhaps, if we're lucky, the wrong path eventually leads back to the right one.

I'm pretty sure I'm back on the right path.  It took me a while.  A long while.  Lots of detours and scenic routes.  I'm sure I still have a ways to go.  This is what usually happens when I take a wrong turn.  It takes much longer to get there than if I just took the right path in the first place.  

But there were lessons to learn, I suppose.  God was making me stronger.  Forging me into what he wanted.  If you know anything about steel, it has to be heated and cooled repeatedly to make it stronger.  I've been back in that fire quite a few times.  He must have really big plans for me!

So since I am so stubborn, He has blessed me with his grace many, many times.  I am in awe of the fact that my chances are virtually endless.  He is carrying me even now - even when I don't make the right choices every time.  Maybe this is why for the first time, I truly do feel like I'm at home.   

Monday, September 6, 2010

Back to Normal (?)

"Nothing ever goes back to normal.  All that happens is your concept of normal changes." ~Allison van Diepen

Life is starting to settle down a bit.  I guess you could say it's getting back to normal.  Well, normal for us at least.  That pretty much means chaos at our house.  But back to somewhat of a schedule.  Work, school, homework, dinner, shower, bed, stall in any way possible, stay up on Facebook until I can't keep my eyes open, and then sleep.  Run around on the weekend and then rush to get ready for school the next day.  Typical.

And what would life be without soccer.  You know, where the "soccer mom" title comes from.  That starts tomorrow.  I was only able to get Jacob on a team so far.  There wasn't any room for the girls until Spring.  I get to pull out all of the equipment and pack the duffle bag.  One of the few boxes that is actually organized and ready to go.  No practices yet but he has his first game tomorrow against my cousin's son.  So doubly good!  Get to visit with family and kick their tail at the same time lol!  Just kidding!  I'm just glad to be back on the field with my camera.

So, normal is not quite normal for us this year.  Different places, different faces.  New experiences mixed in with the comfortable.  But no matter what, I will be there with my camera and will be writing about it on my blog.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

It's My Life

"It's my life
And it's now or never
I ain't gonna live forever
I just wanna live while I'm alive

My heart is like an open highway
Like Frankie said, "I did it my way"
I just wanna live while I'm alive

'Cause it's my life" 
~Sung by Bon Jovi

A little departure from my usual poetic and meaningful quotes.  But I've had a strange weekend.  More drama and heard this song.  It's kind of my anthem for now.  Granted, I created some of the drama, but still...

You see, I have my own place now.  It's my safe haven.  I didn't realize just how much it was until yesterday.  I have company and it felt like an invasion of privacy.  On many, many levels.  I mean, I'm all healed and everything is peachy keen, right?  Wrong.  Apparently not.  I have a ways to go.  I lashed out at this person and then went out as an escape from dealing.  Not good for me.  I should have just dealt with it.  Going out just made coming home that much worse.

And then it was implied that I was a bad mom because I went out.  Oh, no you don't.  That's off limits.  I love my kids more than I love life itself.  Anyone who knows me understands this.  I left them in safe and capable hands and spent some time de-stressing with some friends.  The band played this song while I was out.  I took it to heart.

So, it is MY life.  (I should've used the Billy Joel song, but this is the one they played).  I'm allowed to live it my way.  I only have to answer to myself and the Man upstairs.  I'm going to take some time out for myself.  I deserve it. 

Thursday, September 2, 2010


"Success is getting what you want; happiness is wanting what you get." ~Ingrid Bergman

A friend asked me the other day if I was happy with the move and everything.  I told her yes, I am actually truly happy.  I can't remember ever being happy short of having my kids. Sometimes I thought I was, but I have never had this feeling before.

Maybe it's simply being content.  Satisfied with exactly what I have.  I have enough.  More than enough in some cases.  No, I haven't gotten everything I dreamed of yet (remember, star wish is still open), but what God has blessed us with in this move is astounding.  I have three very happy children with lots of new friends and adventures.  I have a great apartment and everything even works in it.

And I have my job.  It is nowhere near what I expected.  Not in a million years.  I'm exhausted.  I missed lunch two days already.  Dizzy with all that's going on.  We had one of those firefighting meetings the other day to discuss lessons learned and all the procedures that got missed.  The President looked at me and said "that's why we hired you - to fix all of these problems."  No pressure.  Would have been nice to know going in; I would have asked for more money.  But I love it.  It's insane really.  THIS is not my dream job.  Or is it?

God doesn't always give us what we ask for.  It makes us mad sometimes.  I mean, what harm would it do to have those things?  Other people get them.  But I know He always gives us what we need.  Is this one of those times?  It very well might be.  And I need to get over the part about it being all about me.  Maybe I'm there to help someone (or a lot of someones) out.  I need to keep that in mind.  We never know for sure our purpose until much later.

So I'm happy.  I guess you gathered that already.  Maybe success is growing up enough to know that what you already have can make you happy...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

This Is Me

"Always been the kind of girl 
 That hid my face
 So afraid to tell the world 
 What I've got to say

But I have this dream 
Right inside of me
I'm gonna let it show 
It's time to let you know
To let you know

This is real, this is me
I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be now
Gonna let the light shine on me

Now I've found who I am 
There's no way to hold it in
No more hiding who I wanna be 
This is me" 
~Sung by Demi Lovato

In another spur-of-the-moment decision (like 4:30 this afternoon) I decided to take the kids to see the Jonas Brothers.  Ya know, the whole supermom, they're never going to forget this experience thought process.  So pick them up from school, homework, get clothes ready for tomorrow, run through Chik-Fil-A and then off to the concert.  I didn't even tell them until we got there.  Met up with their cousins and had a wonderful time.  Again.

The song above is from Camp Rock (for the 1 or 2 of you that never turn on the Disney Channel).  I always liked the song but it never held that much meaning for me.  But boy does it now.  "This is real.  This is me.  This is exactly where I'm supposed to be."  I AM exactly where I am supposed to be.  Today really showed that.  Worked my tail off at my new job, even missed lunch, and loved every minute of it.  God knew what he was doing even though I had my doubts.  It's amazing what can happen when you let him take the reigns.

So this is living.  This is real.  This is me.  But the light isn't shining on me.  It's shining from within.  And I love the feeling.