here.

Hi.

I’ve been a stranger.  Like. TOTALLY a stranger.  Like. WOAH WHERE DID YOU GO stranger.  And it’s not that I didn’t want to visit.  In fact, I would have been here more often if I could get Siri to write my posts for me while I am driving.  Because I write LOTS in my head then.  Like at LEAST a post a day.  And then somehow, I start to work or hit the gym or text or SOMETHING and then I forget.  But please note.  I totally feel guilty.

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So. I applied for graduation and as of today – this moment – I have 234 days until I am finished. (I have a countdown on my phone that have to talk myself out of checking because I obsessively want to look at it every day. And I totally can’t help myself and I look again.) Two classes this summer, and two classes this fall. Pray. This semester I have taken three classes – Chemistry, Macroeconomics and Business Communications. And it utterly kicked my ass – not all the time, but definitely in waves. And I think that I have learned a little more grace for myself and for other people. In college (like real college when i didn’t have two jobs, a social life, a mortgage, rent, car, insurance…you get the picture!), I never understood how people could forget something so simple as HOMEWORK. I mean, just WRITE IT DOWN for crying out loud. And then now – twice I have gone to two different professors and explained that I forgot homework. Just forgot. Not that I didn’t want to do it. Not that I couldn’t have found time (something that I have this crazy talent for). Just plain ole’ brain-fart forgot. Neither one of them would allow me to turn it in late. But hey, oh well.
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So I find myself planning EVERY second of every day Monday through Friday. To the nano second. When I get home at 8 or 9p, I usually have an hour’s worth of stuff to do (laundry, dishes, prepare food, get my bag together for the next day, try to remember how MANY pairs of shoes, panties, and workout outfits I will need for the next day). And it becomes my power hour. I cannot sit down, I cannot stop moving until everything including washing my face and brushing my teeth is done. If I do, I cannot get back up. But with this regimented schedule during the week, I find my weekends EXTRA carefree. I have always been a fairly free spirit when it comes to playing. If I have the gas in my car, I will go do it. And for the past 3 months, my weekends have been super fun. Boo moved to Atlanta in March, I’ve been to Denver, the beach, dinner, railroad park, Regions stadium, bars I haven’t been to in years, random nights where I stay out later than I am used to, on blind dates and have just been happy. My poor roomates have remarked that I have the strangest schedule. Truth.

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Speaking of roommates, I moved into a house in February with some really awesome girls. Super sweet, super easy, and they handle my weirdness well. Nothing like roommates to make you realize how not normal you are. Or is that just me? I love having the company – and the ease of good roommates. I can only hope they say the same thing about me! I try…

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I’ve made some new friends lately. They are my age, single, and love to sweat it up. And I am starting to feel like me again. It only took me 6 years to get back to this point. But I know the journey from 24 to 31 has made me into SUCH a better version of myself. Kinder. Softer. Hopefully a little more knowledgeable and definitely more forgiving.

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March 6th was the 2 year anniversary of my divorce – and I can truly attest that divorce has a half life. It was some time in the last few months that I just felt, well, NORMAL. Not damaged, not angry, not blaming others, just normal. Praise God from whom all blessing flows, because without His Mercies, I would be in a ditch. I went to a Capitavating conference in Denver in March and it reminded me (as I need reminding EVERY DAY) that only God can put my broken heart back together. There are STILL times – few. FAR BETWEEN. But times that I get overwhelmed with the feeling of how damaged I am which leads me down the path of no one will ever love me into I’ll be single for the rest of my life and right back to how irreparable damaged I am. And don’t get me wrong. This heart has been shattered by SEVERAL men in my life and it is ugly and black and lifeless on its own. But God promises to repair it. to make it whole. And He assures me that I am beautiful. That He DOES see me, that HE is and will be everything to me that I’ve seen fail in the past.

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I also turned 31 in March. Don’t worry, I still continue to tell people that I am 30. I think that is a mix of not feeling 31 and how crazy packed life has been. My sweet loves took me to the beach for what was the best Birthday in a long while. It was FREEZING cold. But we drank wine, played Maajong, shopped (of course I was the ONLY ONE who bought anything), slept, watched Downton Abby, jammed to good tunes, cooked, and laughed. It was SO good for my heart. And there was this ONE cheese plate – I can’t stop thinking about it! Best meats, best olive oil, best cheese, best nuts…I mean. To. Die. For. And we drank more red wine than most people drink in a year. Not really. Well, yes really. Whatever. It was good.

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I’m trying not obsess about next steps. Here I am about to get my degree. Finally. Something that has kind of held me back. But not really. But kind of. And all my jobs in the past have been to push the ceiling on how far I could go without a degree. Like, DUH I don’t need one. But now? What do I want to do? I’ve utterly downgraded my life. And I wish I could downgrade it even more! So I don’t NEED to make money like I used to (staying in a job just to pay bills for stuff I don’t want. What I want is out of that cycle!!) You know that question? What would you do if money was no object? Yeah, I don’t know the answer yet. It’s mulling in my brain. And it looks REALLY different than what I thought it would be. I had planned on going to nursing school. Full. Speed. Ahead. Not that I won’t do that – I am not scared of it – that I won’t be able to finish or I am not smart enough. But as I pray desperately for God to help me see my path, what I DO hear is “wait”. Like, just get through this ONE step. Get to December. Get through 234 days. Just that. So. That’s what I am doing. Pray for that? Pray that I can figure out next steps. Or that I would be able to wait. How ever you want to pray for me – I will take it!

So here I am, friends. Back.

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falling down seven times…

get up eight.

That is how I feel about last year…and the year before.  I feel CERTAIN that this year will be one of staying upright and steady.

I have LOTS of posts mulling around in my head.  Thank you for all you patient people who have stood by me this year and STILL continued to read this place of sparse posts!

I have goals.  Just not sure if I am certain about them.

I have resolutions, but they started before 1/1/2013.

I have things happening that will be life changing…for me.  But they are in the planning phases.  And that is just where I will be hanging out for a while.  Sewing pieces of my life and waiting for a harvest that I am CONFIDENT that will be coming.

Ecclesiastes 3  A Time for Everything

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:  a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal;a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh;a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose;a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew;a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate;a time for war, and a time for peace.
2012-10-31 18.28.56 2012-11-09 06.34.05 2012-11-09 07.02.52 2012-11-23 20.58.33 2012-11-23 21.59.10 2012-12-08 22.30.43 2012-12-14 16.22.48 2012-12-16 11.53.27 2012-12-22 19.06.48 2012-12-23 20.03.21 2012-12-25 16.33.06 2012-12-25 18.06.55 2012-12-26 14.25.16 2012-12-31 18.29.54 2012-12-31 19.25.58 2013-01-01 00.55.56 2013-01-01 02.08.32 2013-01-01 03.21.05 2013-01-01 04.34.30

broken…

C.S. Lewis said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”  And oh how He shouts.

About three months ago, I realized that I have come back full circle to the person I was 5 years ago. Most people would call that a set-back, but after four hard years of marriage, divorce, deaths, broken friendships, broken family, untrue gossip, and black-holeness, I would say I am just aiming for better.  But what I do know is that God has put these INCREDIBLE people in my life to get me to this point!

I was having beers with some friends on Friday night and this entire point came up.  Now, don’t think for one second that I thought I was healthy last year.  I was managing.  Allowing myself to be numb, not feel, and just be.  And for a tornado like myself, that is a TERRIBLE thing.  But cope I did and just allowed things to happen.  But I don’t think that I can ever realize how much my friends and sister got me through last year.  So sitting outside at Avondale Brewery, my friend James tells me about how beautiful I am, how funny I am, and how pretty my hair is and how skinny I am (you get the point).

 

And then he goes in for the kill:

“You know, we didn’t think you were going to make it through the year last year.”

 

Boom.  Really?  Like, people NOTICED? And then he says the most profound thing, that only my sister has said to me before.  “You were so broken we weren’t sure that the pieces could be put back together.”  Wow.  So very broken.  And I just sat there.  You see, my mind started to flow back to last year…and most of the time I don’t think about it.  But there was those random times that Matt and James came and picked me up and took me to the Farmer’s Market.  And that one time my girls took me with crutches to an outside wedding.  And that one time that my sister spent the night with me to make sure all my medicines were taken.  And that one time that people brought me food for WEEKS on end.  And that one time that a friend picked me up so I could spend the night with her and her family.  And that one time that these girls from the gym sent me their love DAILY. and prayed DAILY for me.  And as broken as I was, not one person left my side.  And “they” say God doesn’t “do” miracles in this day in age.  But honey, I beg to differ.  Without the unending love and grace of true friendships God put in my life, I would not have made it out the other side.

So I just want to say THANK YOU for my teamsters of too many people to name.  Thank you for the prayers, the hand holding, the texts, the SMALL things that just got me through the next day to the next week past the next 30 minutes into a place where I don’t have to count down the seconds any more!

John 12: 24, 25  Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.  Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

What a beautiful reassurance.

testing testing 123….

So, I dropped off the face of the planet.  I am SURE that you have been anxiously awaiting my return with tales from the beyond about what happened.
Well.

Life.  It happened to me 😉

I became really overwhelmed by people’s bad attitudes and the soul-crushing days I currently attend.  I let it bother me.  I started to not breath, not sleep, NOT have a good attitude.  In ALL things.  And I am still having a hard time grappling with God’s purpose for me where I currently am and how I can behave.  In the past, it has been the work that I don’t like, but I have always liked the PEOPLE.  But in these current times, it is the PEOPLE who are rude, ignore, frustrate, and yell at me and the work is not so bad!  It is actually one of the first times that  I have felt fairly SMART and COMPETENT and more emotionally abused than anything.

I have come to the conclusion that I would like to start my own business to manage.  What, you say?  Well, Ummmmmm, no idea.

BUT here is what I would make sure happens:

  • All people MUST use their vacation days.  You get more, and the more time you spend at work WITHOUT a mental break the less effective you are.  TRUE STORY.  I would actually like to give everyone a week off each quarter.  I swear that people would work better and be less sick.
  • Option to work 4 8-hour days or 5 6-hour days.  The 40-hour week is SUCH a myth.  Most people don’t have 40 hours to work, save a few high insanely intense positions.  Yes my friends, accountants and lawyers are one of them.  But I would just want to hire more people so the work load isn’t so much.
  • A garden at work.  Birthdays at work.  Open Forums.  Places where people don’t feel used or abused.
  • Flexible work hours (you like 6a to 2p?  OK! Have at it!)

I swear that work CAN be enoyable.  I swear that in something you HAVE TO DO day in and day out, there has got to be a happy medium.

My current (ahem) situation involves people who think since they haven’t had a vacation, a lunch, a place to rest their head that no one else should either.  That seems “fair” right?!  Yeah, that is what I thought too…..

SO.  What else have I been doing besides dreaming of winning the lottery so I can actually do something worthwhile? Like go back to school and be a nurse??

  1. Beach
  2. Becca met a boy
  3. Fireworks (at the beach, that is)
  4. Got an iPhone
  5. Became obsessed with said-iPhone
  6. Concert
  7. Eating
  8. Kickball
  9. Margaritas
Not in that order 😉  But close enough!

lacking

In ALL areas!

  • Blog writing.  Seriously?  I have all these thoughts and ALL these amazing posts, but I can’t seem to get it together
  • Cleaning.  My house is….well….you know how when the weather changes and you NEED to clean but it’s too pretty and instead you just let the yellow pollen cover everything in your house because you like your windows open and also are too cheap to do anything else?  Oh wait, please DO NOT TELL ME that is just me??  Hmmm.  Well, anyways…that was 2 months ago.  And even though I am down to ONE dog instead of two, it seems the hair has multiplied.
  • Bed-making.  Because I currently do NOT have a bed.  THAAAAAT’s right.  I’ve been sleeping on a pallet.  It is an awesome phenom at 30.
  • Food.  I’ve eating approximately 85 cans of tuna in the last two weeks.  Good thing I like Tuna, homemade mayo and veggies!  And when I say I’ve eaten it, its like two meals a day, and then for supper a sweet potato and egg.  It’s funny because I FEEL like I am a chef.  Maybe I just need a vacation.
  • Attitude.  Well, kinda a matter of opinion.  I have been lacking a STELLAR attitude.  The, ummmm, well, ahhhhh, shall we call it “feisty” ? attitude is ALL there.  Yes, working on it.  Verse for the week.

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.  Col 3:12

  •  Money.  So just a “little” known fact – A Disposal does NOT in fact Dispose of ALL things you put down in it.  I broke my sink….  I took it apart, poured Lye down it (burned myself), used Drano, let it sit, used a plunger, and finally after 2 days of the NASTIEST stuff ever seen to man coming back out of the sink, I called a plumber.

What I am NOT lacking

  • Laughter.  Oh MAN I have been laughing BIG time recently.  Sweet new friends, sweet old friends, and a sister that puts me in absolute stitches EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  And goats.  Stories about Goats make ms LAUGH.

A time to weep, a time to laugh… Ecclesiastes 3:4  

  • Love.  Unconditional love and love that is hard to accept or feel like you are worthy of.  But instead you get wrapped up in a big blanket of God’s love.  And here’s what totally blows my mind – This love here on earth – tangible, touchable, in-your-face love of friends and family?  God’s love….can you even begin to fathom how much BIGGER that is.  Yeah.  That is cool.
  • Thankfulness.  That God gives us SUCH a promise of new life.  That it’s not easier but it is BETTER.  And what I was created for
  • Grace.  Dude.  This woman needs grace in such huge quantities, it amazes me that God’s Grace is un-ending.  And it amazes me how my sister and I are learning to show each other grace and forgiveness in a BIG way.
  • God.  He’s here!  I may be the most rebellious, most stubborn, most HARD HEADED.  But He IS alive and He is waiting for me.

This song keeps going through my head this week:

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm

What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless Babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save

‘Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live, I live

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again

And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From a life?s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny

No power of hell, no scheme of man
Could ever pluck me from His hand
‘Til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I stand

I will stand, I will stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground, all other ground
Is sinking sand, is sinking sand
So I stand

walking WHAT?

I swear, I HATE WALKING PNEUMONIA more than anything.  I MEAN HATE.  Yes, no one likes getting sick, but this particular sickness is totally the BANE of my existence.

REASONS WHY WALKING PNEUMONIA IS FOR THE BIRDS

  • When I was younger (like 5th or 6th grade maybe?) I one time read the word pneumonia out loud.  And read it petunia.  TO THIS DAY no one in my family will let me live it down.  I mean, its like how I though Kaos was the correct way to say Chaos (attribute that to the fact that we watched Get Smart ALL THE TIME).  And I thought Chaos was Cha-Chos.  (Attention to detail has NEVER been my strong point.)
  • In 2011 I had the Walking Petunia FOUR TIMES.  ALL diagnosed from that TERRIBLE place called the American Family Care.  I do not advocate visiting that place at ALL, but since the new change in benefits, I don’t have a Primary Care Physician yet, which means I don’t have another option until I do have a doctor.  So “Walking Pneumonia” it is again.  With another steroid shot, antbiotics, and steroid pack.  Oh, and cough syrup that makes me so nauseated I threw up twice from it.  REAL FUN TEAM.
  • I only get sick when there is another stressor in my life.  Like, seriously.  I don’t get terrible “stressed” but if something is off in my life, I get sick.  Or gain weight.  Or both.  You know how most people lose weight when they are sad or upset or can’t eat?  I didn’t get that gene.  I got the gene that makes you want to eat the WHOLE kitchen sink.  Case-In-Point – two Saturdays ago I ate raw Ramen Noodles and Brownie Mix out of a box.  It was all that was in my pantry which wasn’t “Paleo”.  And while there are a million fast food places near by, I still have my standards.  So dry brownie mix out of a box IT WAS!  I wish I could say it was legendary or epic.  Instead, it was just sad.
  • I don’t have sick time at my new job until September.  I cannot begin to delve into that, except for some part of me hopes that everyone here gets sick to prove a point (not you, Ryan….).  But “making” me show up sucks.  SO Friday I was out sick (which when you are on single income AND THEN your roommate moves out unexpectedly AND THEN you are having to take UNPAID TIME OFF.  Yeah, well you can see my dilemma, right?)
  • If I don’t teach at Gold’s, I don’t get paid.  But There. Is. NO. Way. I could have taught.  I slept like 16 hours on Sunday, could barely make it through work on Monday (in bed by 6:15p), and last night was asleep by 7:45p.  I mean REALLY???  I have banked sleep up like it was NO BODIES BUSINESS. Boom.

I finally woke up today feeling like I turned a corner.  I mean, it only took my mom bringing me sorbet, Mucinex, Mucinex-D, Allegra, Bennedryl, Kleenex and more hard-candy than I should be allowed.  Here is where I struggle with being “au-natural” – I know that those throat drops WILL help my throat and keep me from coughing.  But I really hate wasting calories on them.  I ONLY HAVE 4 WEEKS UNTIL THE BEACH.  And I am going with family, but I want to feel decent in my bathing suit!  SO in my totally screwed up mind, I will eat a few cough drops but feel guilty about each and everyone of them.

No pictures today because NO ONE WANTS TO SEE my snot-nose or raw throat or anything else that goes along with being sick….

FAMOUS! {meeting Ree Drummond}

We got to meet Ree Drummond last night!!  YES THAT REE!  YES THAT ONE TOO!  Oh, I think I could probably find her a few places more, but that is all I can publicly admit to stalking her.

So, I have known she was coming to the ‘Ham for a while, but did not KNOW that Books-A-Million put on SUCH an organized show!

Facts about Book Signings at BAM:

1) Go the day before (or whenever you call and ask and they tell you!) To go get tickets to wait in line.  So you wait in line to get a ticket to wait in line.  Got that?  (Thanks Momma for waiting in line!)

2) Make SURE you have a post-it in the front of your book with your name or whoever it is that you want it signed to (I’m not sure she would just sign ANYTHING you put in there….But you know Ree pretty much goes with the flow).  (Thanks Momma for getting our cookbooks!)

3) Make SURE you have a receipt of buying the cookbook.  In this case, we had the sticker price on the front.  But they WILL CHECK IT.  (Thanks Momma for making sure they didn’t think we were thieving the books!)

4) Get in line.  Try not to think about how sweaty you just got teaching RPM.  Allow your momma and sister to tell you that you really DON’T look as bad as you think you do.  At least I had my cute Lululemon on!  (THANK YOU SO MUCH Momma for getting in line for me and Boo so we could just hop on in!)

5) Get book signed with REE and YOUR PICTURE DONE!  And then encourage your sister to ask her about Cowboy Josh, because he needs a Blonde from Birmingham to add to his Ranch Life!  (thanks MOMMA!)

6) Have dinner and allow your momma to pay.  Then order food that comes on the LARGEST SERVING DISH in the restaurant.

7) Wait, that last one is just for us 😉  And in case you couldn’t tell, we could not have been able to go if my dear sweet mother had not taken time out of her day to make it possible!  She also let my dogs out AND did my dishes yesterday!  She is THE BEST.

Ree was ABSOLUTELY GRACIOUS to everyone!  There may have been a woman in front of us who had a photo album of her 7+ Bassets, and a story and and and…And Ree did NOT blink.  She just is the sweetest to everyone!  I think we all wanted to shout, I think I could be your best friend!  We love you!  We didn’t 😉  But I wish she was our friend!

And I am thinking of sending Becca to Oklahoma to see if she can find Cowboy Josh….Anyone want to contribute???