Tuesday, May 29, 2012


     I love to celebrate all sorts of occasions, big and small.  On Fat Tuesday, I make gumbo and my version of king cupcakes.  I have decorations for Valentine's Day, St Patrick's Day, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and of course, Christmas!  I love decorating for birthdays, graduations, Fourth of July.  Next week, Jim and I will be celebrating our birthdays (50 for him, 47 for me) and our anniversary (9 years).  Cake and ice cream will be part of the celebrations, not sure how decorative things will be since we are going to be on vacation, but still, there will be a celebration.

     A couple of weeks ago, I went to a celebration of life for a former classmate.  We weren't close, but she was a wonderful, loving, strong woman who touched many lives.  There were tears of sadness because Dee wasn't there, but there were also tears of joy.  Dee brought so many people joy in her life.  She was an amazing woman who will be greatly missed by so many people.  We celebrated the life of Dee and rejoice in the fact that we will see her again some day.

     Next weekend I am going to another celebration of life for a very special man.  Tom always had a smile and a hug for me.  I was always welcome in his home.  I never had to worry that I wouldn't have a ride to any high school event because Tom and his family willingly took me along with them.  He and his wife took me out to the local bar for my first "legal" drink on my 21st birthday.  I am sure that once again there will be tears, but there will be joy along with the sadness.  Tom touched many lives as well, I doubt that he knew how much he was loved.

     I want to take more time in life to celebrate the little things that happen every day.  I want my family and friends to know that they bring joy and love to me every day.  I want them to know how much I enjoy and love them.  I want my life to be a celebration, I don't want to miss the little things because I focus on the big things.  I want to share the joy in my life with others.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

My Heart

My heart has been heavy lately.  I have two friends battling cancer.  I was reminded of a former classmate who lost her fight before she even had a chance to live her life.  I have a dear friend who experienced things as a child that no person should have to experience.  Another friend is struggling to get back on her feet.  A coworker is dealing with a family member who was murdered just the other day.  My mind and heart are just having a hard time coping with so much sadness in life right now.

I know that there is a Plan for everything.  My friends with cancer are fighting...one is hoping that her crisis leads others to the Lord, the other is bringing people together in an amazing way.   The friend who was abused as a child reaches out to others to give them comfort and hope for the future.  Other friends are sharing their strength and struggles to move on with life.

I don't normally dwell on such sadness, but so much has been on my heart lately that it has been hard to let go.  Today, I prayed, I prayed hard.  I read what my pastor calls "The Instruction Manual for Life", the Bible.  It gave me comfort.  My scripture today reminded me that the Lord is near and that He can give me peace.  So I am praying for that peace, for me, for my friends, for my church, and for all those that need peace.

                    Rejoice in the Lord always!  I will say it again: Rejoice!
                    Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near. 
                    Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by 
                    prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your 
                    requests to God.
                                                  Philippians 4:4-6

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Early Morning Conversations

     I am out of bed four mornings a week before sunrise...3am in case you were wondering.  I am usually on the road within forty minutes of rising, unless Facebook is really good!  There really isn't much to do while driving to work at that time of morning.  Not many people are up to talk to, so at times, I talk to myself.  I use the time to pray, listen to music, sing, and get my mind ready for the day ahead.  But some mornings, like today, my passion takes over my brain.  

     We have lived in our new town for almost a year.  We still don't have a church that we call home yet.  We have tried a few churches, but nothing has been the one, for various reasons.  There is a church close to our house that Jim and I both enjoyed.  The people are very friendly, we enjoyed the message, but they have no children's program.  That is a huge issue for a family with a young child.  There is another church that has a children's program, but it is farther away.  I hate that we just can't pack up our church from home and bring it down here.  But we can't do that.  It is time to make a plan for our spiritual health.

     I convinced myself this morning that I need to call the pastor of the church close to us and talk to her.  I need to see if there are any plans for a children's program.  I would even be willing to start a children's program.  I hate stepping out of my comfort zone, but I feel like I need to make every effort to find a home for us.  I don't know if it will change anything, but I know that I need to make the effort

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Baby steps

     My 2012 word has not been well used so far.  I have been under the weather more often than I would like.  I have been down in the dumps as well.  The dreary weather has left me feeling blah.  The encouragement that I have had from friends has made me feel worse instead of better.  Giving up soda has been harder this time than last time.  The thought of cooking in the evening wears me out.  I need to start over, with baby steps this time.

     My first step needs to be getting enough sleep.  Sleep is one of those things that I know I need but I don't make it a priority in my life.  My body still has not adjusted to my work schedule.  I work 5-2 four days a week. Since I drive an hour to work, that means that I wake up at 3.  I generally don't go to bed until 10 or 11 at night, so I get four or five hours of sleep on those nights, if I am lucky.  When I was younger, I could function on that amount of sleep, but now that I getting older, I find that my body needs more sleep.

     My baby step for the week is to be in bed by 9 on my work nights (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday).  I will allow myself to have the tv on on Thursday (Grey's Anatomy), but knowing me, I will be sleeping before Grey's is over!  I plan on reading in bed which will hopefully help me unwind a little and allow me to get a good night of sleep!

     Sweet Dreams!!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Word Up!

     Sometime in 2010, I read a book in which all the characters picked a word to focus on for the year.  I loved the idea so much that I chose a word in 2011.  My word last year was "better".  I do think that things in my life got better.  I did have ups and downs like we all do, but overall, I think that I came out of the year better than when it started.

     My word for 2012 is "Healthy".  I want to apply healthy to all aspects of my life in the coming year.  I have some specific goals in mind already.   I know that as the year progresses, I will find other ways to incorporate healthy into my life.  Most people think of healthy and only apply to the physical aspect of life.  I want to stretch my understanding of the word as much as possible in 2012.

      I want to start with the obvious...I want my family to be physically healthy this year.  Jim and I are both seeing a doctor to get physicals.  Delainey will get her checkup after her birthday.  I am serious this year about getting more physical activity in my life.  Whether is is a walk in the park or a dance party at home, I will in Delainey's words "move it, move it".

     I also want to eat healthy this year--less processed foods, more local foods.  That means cooking at home more often, shopping at the farmer's market when it is open, canning my own produce.  I have got a great source for local eggs, beef, and pork.  I need to find local chicken to eat next.  I watched Food Inc, last year and it really changed how I feel about buying meat and eggs at the grocery store.  I love the difference the local food!

     I have been reading and planning on ways to get our family's finances in a healthier place this year.  Budgets are not my favorite thing, but I am working on ways to help us stick to them.  That means I can't just go shopping because I want to.....I need to start going to the store with a list of what I need and stick to that list.  No more buying things that I don't need whenever I want.  A splurge is okay now and then, but I need to start sticking to my budget.

     My last big area to focus on health is my spiritual health.  I still haven't found a church in our new town yet.  I really miss my church from home.  Luckily, I am able to visit often, but a monthly visit is not enough.  I need to find a church home for my family to keep us all growing.  My church keeps me grounded and gives me support.  I know that I will find a place, but I am really going to make it a priority this year.

     Healthy....such a small word, but I know there are big plans for me wrapped up in that one word!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Letting Go.....

     Letting go of anything is so hard.  We all have things that we can't let go in our lives.  Some people hold onto stuff to long, letting it take over their lives.  Other people hold on to people and relationships that are  not healthy.  Dreams are something that we all hold, letting go of those is usually the hardest thing to do.

     I am not a hoarder.  I am usually able to let go of "stuff" pretty easily.  I do have some odd things, the stones that my grandma used when she made pickles, my stuffed Cookie Monster, Delainey's old baby clothes, but I try to keep it to a minimum.  I have moved so much in my life, that I hate packing.  The less I keep, the less I will eventually have to pack!

     I don't want to say that I let go of people, that just sounds wrong.  I feel that people come into our lives for a reason and they aren't always meant to be with you forever.  When relationships end, I truly do miss the person, but I understand that things do end.  Sometimes those people come back into your life later and it is a wonderful gift.  I try to learn from each relationship that I have and take those lessons and memories with me, even if I don't take the person.

     I have a harder time letting go of dreams.  I don't even like it when dreams change.  But sometimes, they need to change.  Life happens, budgets change, dreams have to change to fit that.  Changing or letting go of one dream can open the door for another dream.  I had a big dream for this summer, but plans have had to change.  I cried when I realized that it needed to change, but now, I see the other dreams that might become a reality instead.  The dream is still there, just postponed!

     What is the old saying..."If you love something, let it go.  If it comes back, it is yours.  If it doesn't, it never was."  Maybe that is how I need to look at letting go of things, especially dreams.  Sometimes, they will come back.  If it does, then it was meant to be, if not, then there is something better for me!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!!

     My family celebrated 2012 about 2 hours early and then we went to bed!!  Jim did wake me up at midnight to tell me Happy New Year's.  The neighbors and their guns woke him up!

     2011 was a year of big changes for me and my family.  We moved to a small town from the city.  It was a culture shock for us all, but I am happy to say that we are settling in nicely.  There are still some adjustments ahead, but I know that we will be just fine!

     Last year my word for the year was "better".  In many ways, I do think that things got better.  It wasn't perfect, but I wasn't reaching for perfection.  I am still not sure what my work will be for 2012.  I am not feeling organized yet for the new year, but it's here, so I am ready for what it brings.

     I don't like resolutions, because I never seem to keep them, but I do have some goals for the year.  I want to continue eating healthy and local as much as possible.  I want to include more physical activity for my family.  I want to get a financial plan in place for us as well.  Those are a lot of goals, but I plan on taking baby steps along the way.  Baby steps might be a good word......

     Happy 2012 to all!!