Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Friends I Haven't Met Yet

"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too?  I thought I was the only one.' "~ C.S. Lewis

I've already told you about my bff's back in TN.  I will have to catch you up with the ones in Ohio at a later date.  Today I want to talk about friends I've made that I've never met.  Yeah, I know that sounds weird.  I mean - just how close can you become with someone you've never met.  Pretty darned close in my experience.

Facebook has been an important link for me to all of my friends and acquaintances.  It's how I kept in touch with my family when I lived in Tennessee and how I keep in touch with those I left back there.  It's how I became re-acquainted with people I had not seen in decades.  And it's also how I've come to know some really incredible people.  I can't mention everyone, but here a few that stand out for me.

I met Jen through my friend Teresa.   She's the one that turned me on to blogging.  She's a published author (yeah!) and a really great lady.  Her friend Jen just happened to be writing a book.  A book about a single mom who is moving from TN to OH with her child and finds true love.  See any similarities?  Well, Teresa got me a signed copy of Jen's book (The Heart's Journey Home)It was amazing how so many things in the book mirrored my life.

Jen and I became friends through my journey.  She shared with us her Patty, whom we lost this year to cancer.  I was blessed to have met Patty and her husband in person.  Another connection made through "friends I haven't met yet."  Jen is going to be releasing her second book soon and I can't wait.  She has asked me to be a guest blogger on her blog (I'm so excited!), so I'll be posting a link for that soon!

I've met two really great photographers through FB - Jim and Larry.  I met Jim through another friend I hadn't met yet but finally have Helena.  She had posted a link to some of his amazing photography.  Larry is right up there with him in talent.  They both have the same camera I do and give me some excellent advice on taking pictures.  They also challenge me to do better and keep my camera with me more often.  Check out their pics if you can. 

I have also met Barb.  I didn't meet Barb through FB but through my blog.  She is one of my most loyal followers and never ceases to lend a hand up or give an atta girl.  She's a great writer and I love her view of the world.  As bad as some of my past dates were, Barb shared some that made me thankful for what I did have.  She finally found her true love and helped keep my faith up that I would too.

Barb gave me my first blog award.  Wayne's keeping me pretty busy and I haven't been able to acknowledge it properly.  So here it is. 

I'm so tickled to get it.  Now the fun part:  I get to pay it forward.  Not in the "secret do-something-good-for-someone" way but the "shout-it-out-to-the-world" way I can from this really cool blog.  So, here are my five blogger pics:
~Teresa's blog (the inspiration for it all) 
~Jen, the author's blog 
 ~My other friend Jennifer's blog
~A temporarily single mom's adventure 
~I'm sure Dan doesn't need another award, but his Single Dad Laughing blog is awesome and a great source of inspiration.

Please check out these blogs when you get a chance.  Maybe it will help you understand just a little better how I got like this lol!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


"Children are the hands by which we take hold of heaven." ~Henry Ward Beecher

Quiet.  That's what I am sitting in.   And yes, you can actually BE in quiet.  I'm sitting in this apartment and there is not a sound.  Nothing.  It's eerie.  There's always some kind of noise.

But the gentle snoring of children in deep sleep is gone tonight.  The occasional restless tossing and turning.  It's just - quiet.  

You see, the kids are visiting their dad for 4 weeks.  I was going to break it up into 2 weeks at a time, but I caved and agreed to 4 weeks in a row.  And we swapped a few days early, so it's almost going to be 5.  What was I thinking?  Until last summer, I had only been away from the kids for a day at a time and that was rare.  A week goes by pretty quickly.  But not 5.  I'm halfway through and I don't think I can handle it.   I've stayed busy up until now.  But tonight - in the quiet - I don't know if I'll make it another day.  

But of course I will.  I always survive, right?  I'll throw myself into something that takes my mind off of it a little while longer.   My amazing boyfriend has done an incredible job of this so far.  But he's out of town for a few days.   I need to keep myself busy.

So, instead of blogging about a bad date (I've had more than my fair share) or my wonderful boyfriend (there's plenty to tell there too), I've decided to blog about my kids.  Just think of it as  free therapy for me lol.

My kids are my life.  A huge portion of it that I couldn't live without.  I've always known that I was meant to have kids.  I spent a long time thinking that I wasn't going to be able to have any of my own.  And then I became pregnant.  It was an amazing time.  Three months of morning sickness and pre-baby shopping.  My family was ecstatic.   Then at 12 weeks we lost that one.  We'll never know exactly why or what happened.  I was devastated.  I fought anger and bitterness and was quite ticked off at God for letting it happen.  What I didn't know at the time was what he had in store for me yet.  I finally realized that I could get pregnant and just needed to figure out how to carry it to term.

After a year and a half, I finally became pregnant again.  I was really, really sick this time.  I went for an ultrasound at 7 weeks.  The technician looked around a bit and then excused herself from the room.  I started bawling.  I just knew something was wrong with the baby.  When she came back, she said that she needed confirmation of something...that there were two babies.  Twins!  By this time I am really crying.  What a joyous moment.  
And I was a nervous wreck.  Not only was I high-risk because of the first one, but I was really high-risk because I was having twins.  I prayed.  Not daily but hourly.  Whenever I had a free moment.  I was so grateful for each milestone I passed.  I did go into pre-term labor, but we were able to hold out until 36 1/2 weeks.  That's super for twins.  And I had two extremely healthy girls.  What a blessing!

You can't go anywhere quickly with twins.  Everyone, and I mean everyone has to ask.  Most people are just curious, but many ask some pretty ignorant questions.  Like - "Oh - you have a boy and a girl?"  They're both in pink with bows in their hair.  Which one is the boy?!?  Or - "Are they paternal?"  Nope - but they are fraternal.  We've kind of grown out of this phase by now.  Jacob even argued with my mom and told her that the girls weren't twins.Lol.

Fast forward two years.  Past countless sleepless nights and diaper changes in the tens of thousands.  Past hard-drives full of pictures.  Past smiles that melt your hearts and unforgettable moments.  My sis-in-law calls to ask me if I think she's pregnant.  The smell of cheeseburgers makes her queasy and she's really tired.  As she's talking, I realize I have the same symptoms.  Not only is she pregnant but so am I.  And we're due the same day with boys.  I I knew from day one that Jacob was going to be a boy.  I had no doubt in my mind that God had a special child waiting for me. 

I wouldn't trade my angels for anything in the world.  Sleep is highly overrated.  Money is too.  Who needs to keep the miles down on my car?  I was meant to be a mom - Brianna, Kiara and Jacob's mom- more than any other purpose in my life.  What I went through solidified these bonds even more.  And I've managed to let at least one more hour of my 2 1/2 weeks left to go letting you into a little more of our lives.  Thanks for letting me share and please pray for their safety and happiness while they're away! 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Where life begins

"Where land ends, life begins."~Unknown

What happens when you let go of life as you know it and set sail on the open sea? You could hit rough waters. You may get blown off course. Or, like I did, you just might find yourself stranded on an incredible island with an absolutely amazing guy.

Well, stranded might be a strong word especially considering we had a reservation. But hey - it sounded good lol! I grew up in Cleveland but I had never been to Ohio's islands. When we heard that Wayne's brothers' band Cocktail Johnny was playing in Put-in-bay, we knew we couldn't pass up the opportunity. I knew we were going to have a great time. I just didn't know how great. So how does a seemingly wonderful trip turn into something spectacular? By putting it into God's hands.

Let me back up just a little. Last summer, in the midst of my divorce, a friend of mine told me about her journey. I won't go into details because that is her story to tell. I can tell you that she wasn't in the right place with God in her relationships and decided to give it over to Him. Right after that she met the wonderful man that is her husband.

You may know that I put my move, my job search and my kids into God's hands. I took a huge leap knowing that He would catch us. I didn't, however, give him control of my relationships. I mean, why burden Him with such a small thing. He made our journey great. The least I could do was handle this part of my life.

Truth be told, I didn't want him to have control. I knew some of the choices I was making weren't the best. I figured I could keep control of this with no repercussions. Probably a good reason for my lousy dates. God was making a point. He definitely was preparing me. Tempering me as He always does when He wants to make me stronger.

But instead of a difficult trial like I would have expected as a consequence, He gave me someone amazing. A great man, one that knows the true definition of the word. Strong, protective, tender, caring. Knows just the right things to say and do. Just the right balance of family and personal life with a large shift towards family. One that isn't shocked by a night of soccer and karate but actually wants to go for ice cream afterwards. One that not only puts up with the chaos at the zoo, but actually suggests the trip.

One that takes me to an island. No, it wasn't Fiji. It was soooo much better. It's home. Not Cleveland, but almost. On my lake. The one I grew up on. The one that already holds so many memories for me. We jet off to the island with the breeze blowing through our hair. Set sail into the deep blue that we are so familiar with. There's always a point when away from shore when all you can see is water. The point when you have to let go of all that you know and trust. Trust that the boat will not sink. Trust that the captain is going to take you the right destination. In the same way I finally gave up control to God. I let him choose the right person. I let him choose where the compass was going to point. And just as I did, Wayne sailed into my life. What makes it even more amazing is that Wayne did exactly the same thing. He says that God delivered him an angel. And that's exactly how he makes me feel.

So, what do you do when God brings such an incredible person into your life? You let go of the anchor. Raise the sails. Put the boat on autopilot (or God pilot in our case). And head to the front of the boat so you can feel the breeze in your hair and the spray of the waves on your face. Brace for the rough waters knowing you are in for the ride of your life. And cherishing every exciting moment of it.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

You, me and lemonade

"Beauty is truth's smile when she beholds her on face in a perfect mirror."~Rabindranath Tagore

Lemonade?  Soccer mom is AWOL for weeks and she's writing about lemonade?  Yep!  I'll bet you're wondering where I'm going with this.  Am I in a sour mood?  Did life give me lemons?  Nope.  God gave me a very incredible night with a very incredible guy.

Let me back up.  So you know I met someone.  Someone amazing.  Someone who adores me and I adore him right back.  Someone that had to be handpicked by God he's so good for me.  The really cool thing is that he feels the same way!

He survived meeting my family.  No, not survived - thrived.  As mom said "it feels like he's been here all along."  That's exactly it.  I would say that I can't remember a time when Wayne wasn't here.  But that's not true.  I wouldn't appreciate what I have so much if I hadn't gone through all of the bad.  But he feels like home.

After the perfect first date, I had a crappy week at work.  Five Mondays in a row.  By the third Monday (that would be Wednesday if you are counting), Mr. Perfect decided to take matters into his own hands.  He decided to not only surprise me, but my kids as well.  Jacob had received a new bike for his birthday but the girls weren't going to get theirs until the end of July.  Wayne fixed up his daughters' old bike, found another one on Craigslist (because he couldn't just bring one), and brought a scooter for Jacob.  The expressions on the the kids' faces were priceless!  Not only that, but he brought flowers for mom (that's me!) as well.  He knew exactly what would make the day brighter for all of us. Then he asked if I would mind if he came to Jacob's last soccer game.  Mind?  Could he be more perfect?  He wants to come to a soccer game?  Amazing!

So, you're asking, where does the lemonade come in?  Well, our most recent date was to the Rib Cook-off in Berea.  Biker night at that.  He worked late, so we got there after most of the people went home.  There were no lines, a perfectly awful band playing some great Journey songs (where is Cocktail Johnny when you need them?), and some incredible food.  What did we wash it all down with?  You got it - lemonade.  We may have been the only two at the fairgrounds.  A seemingly normal date that was simply extraordinary.  That's how they all are when we are together.

This is what you get when you place your heart in God's hands. A gorgeous, hard-working man who is always putting you on a pedestal.  Days that turn into weeks that just get better by the moment.  A future that looks brighter every time you turn around.  And you realize that your dream world is now happening when you are awake.  So, I'm washing all of these amazing things that are happening down with lemonade.  Because what could be more perfect at the end of a great day?