Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Meltdown........

I dream of making it through meltdowns....

Well for everybody who was waiting for me to finally crack, it happened. Last night I was an emotional wreck. But the crazy thing was, I couldn't pinpoint any one thing. At supper my poor husband had to listen to me sob because he asked me to pick green beans for supper and I just didn't have the strength to do it. When he walked in and made the statement "why do we have a garden if we aren't going to use the stuff?" I went into a heap. He gave me that sort of husband's deer in the headlight look. I sobbed that after a day of running Dustin to town and then back in to take his forgotten cleats to him. And the hours of bookwork that should have taken about 1hour. (which that lead to a whole breakdown in bed later about my ADD...I am still really in turmoil about what to do about that..) Then days now of trying to figure out my printer problems with still no luck and bills that NEED to be printed. Scattered with intermittent phone calls from him to go downstairs and get him this information and upstairs to get a phone number....AAAhhhh...So when he asked for green beans a whole lot went through my head. That means I have to go look at the garden that is an overgrown mess. Then there are the tomatoes that are still growing like crazy and really should be canned. Then there are the tomotillos that I never even picked even one along with the zucchini, summer squash and peppers. I just knew my limit and refused to even step foot out there...

All of this was followed by the real mess. I called my son at about 8 o'clock to see if he was ready to come home after his day of band practice, soccer practice and the JV football game. My tone may have been a little bit strong because sometimes I don't know why he has a phone if he isn't going to call me with it. Well, let's just say there was a whole lot of miscommunication about who was suppose to call who and no one was backing down. Finally Rob went and got him and as they walked in I could tell that the conversation had not been resolved. D was coming downstairs, picked up a case he had made for his airsofting stuff and as he firmly put it down in his room it busted into pieces...Not Good! Dustin began to loose it and Rob tried to get him to tell us what was really going on and I did my best to try and help. We tried to get him to talk because he was crying uncontrollably and then I brokedown sobbing while sitting in the middle of the floor. Slowly D stops crying and asked why I'm crying...first I am able to get out the words...I never knew parenting was going to be as hard as it is...and then..."I need Becca!!" Becca is the one that calms us all down. And then when Dustin won't talk to me I know eventually he will talk to her. But now she's not here and she is busy with her own life. What do I do with my poor son that is hurting and won't talk to me?? After a bit we did get out of him the fact that it basically comes down to the reality that in his words "kids are idiots!" People are saying stuff about him that isn't true and it is tearing him up. He wants the reputation Becca had as she left school as a graduating Senior. He doesn't remember the years preceding it that were filled with MANY cries of "kids are idiots!!" He claimed, "Everybody loved Becca!! She was voted Snowball Queen because she was so Popular!" That really isn't the whole truth. That happened basically because by that point in their Senior year everyone was able to see the fakes and backstabbers. So when they looked at the ballot they saw a name of someone they didn't hate. Someone who had always been kind and consistant in her values. Someone that treated them as a friend even when they didn't respond as kindly. And she did all of this with a smile on her face - that was Becca. Dustin claimed that Becca had tons of friends..that is so not true. Becca sat crying many many weekend nights while sitting in the house with Rob and I because nobody called her to go out. She graduated with a small handful of people she could call true friends. And yet she had close to 300 people at her graduation party. Because after all those years she was consistent in who she was and people are in awe of her genuine kindness. They understand that the friendship and love she offers is real.

But sadly, there is a price to pay for making good decisions. You are not always "the popular one". You are an easy target for those that have their life in a mess. People are quick to slander you with names like Drama Queen out of jealousy because they don't understand that someone could really be happy with the life that God has given them. Becca fought through that for years, Rob has fought through that, I still fight through that at age 40 and now Dustin has to fight through it as well.

By the end we just told Dustin that we loved him. And sadly this will be a fight he will have to fight for the rest of his life. Thankfully as he gets older they are fewer and farther between but there will always be people that won't like to see him happy. People that are unhappy with themselves and their lives so their only recourse is to try to make yours miserable. But through it all you have to be true to who you are. Be consistent with your values. Be Honest in everything you do. And above all keep a tight relationship with God. It is only through all of this that you can step back and look at the situation and see the truth of how Satan uses others to try and destroy you. Because in a nutshell that is what this life is all about..Good verses Evil. There is a spiritual battle around us and I choose to be on the Good side - so Evil will always try to tear me apart. But it is up to me to realize that while it is happening and surround myself with an army of people that love me and will fight my battle with me.

So there now - all of you who were waiting can now breath easy knowing that Linda finally broke...LOL!! I knew it was coming just as well as you did. After about 8 months of being on a high and going 100 miles an hour - I knew it would be like hitting a brick wall. I knew that it was coming but I didn't know in what form. And just so you know I'm not so crazy to think that it's not going to happen again in again. But we will get through it - we will adjust to our new reality.

My dream for you today is for you to live in the peace that only God can give. To know that when you have those meltdowns He has not left. He is that solid foundation that even though the world around you may be changing like the tides, He is forever SOLID!!! Have a beautiful day my wonderful army - you are greatly loved and appreciated....

Friday, August 27, 2010

Puppy Love

Puppy Love, originally uploaded by pieceofheaven.

This is Becca's Puppy dog. I have a feeling that she will be missing him more than the rest of us......

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Katrina....5 years later

I am sure just saying "Katrina" brings up many uncomfortable emotions if you live in the U.S. With it being the 5 year anniversary there have been different news stories and specials on the incomprehensible tragedy that happened within our own nation. If you are like me it is very uncomfortable to watch and not only because of the devastation but because of our lack of response as a nation.

I remember, along with the rest of the world, watching the images being displayed as a stadium full of victims screamed for a drink of water. And I along with so many others sat at our television sets and wondered why someone wasn't doing something.

A few days into the catastrophe I was to return for my second year of college. On the day of registration I called Rob and said "I think God is telling me I am suppose to go help." His reply astonished me..."I think that is what He is saying too.." Wow!! So I called my advisor and told her that I would see her next semester. There was a whirlwind of trying to get information on how to get to Louisiana and what could I do to help. But honestly the lack of organization was so overwhelming.

I finally found an organization that was waiting to be called and I was allowed to go train with their team. It was a Disaster Relief team through the Southern Baptist Convention. I headed to Rochester Minnesota and sat through 3 long days of training on different areas but the main being the Food Trailer. We were trained in the set up and tear down and all the in between to feed a LARGE amount of people. We also went through long days of training on CPR and other medical things we might need to know. And then we waited...and waited...to be called.

Finally back in Wisconsin, now about 2 weeks after the hurricane I received a call. Let's just say it was not at all what I expected. I was being called to Minnesota...yep... Well, it seems like for some reason there had been large amounts of people who had been making their way up North to stay with family and friends. The problem that had now arisen is that all of these people had been left with nothing. No Drivers License, Social Security Cards, clothes or jobs. These families were now here in the state of Minnesota and needed help.

I headed with a few others to an abandoned office building on the outside of the Twin Cities. It was covered with government people going everywhere. But our favorite was Steve from the Department of Homeland Security, he was great. They set up areas for Social Security, Red Cross, IRS, Legal Aid, DVS and Clothes and food distribution. My area was actually child care. We watched the children for the parents as they stood in lines throughout the day. The organization that I was with also had a trailer that housed a mobile daycare. So, we had a very large area of the building that was set up with everything you need to run a daycare. It was amazing.

I will admit that at first I was a little disappointed. I had envisioned working with adults and hearing stories and helping to encourage them and not just watching kids all day. I had no idea what I was in for. The stories that I have of that week are incredible. At first we kept calling in the medics to check the babies that were sleeping in the cribs because they slept all day. And then we realized that this was probably the first time that they had even been laid down in a bed in 2 weeks. And then if I didn't think I was going to hear stories I wasn't thinking straight. I remember at one point me and a group of about 6 kids from ages 4 - 12 laying on our bellies in a circle just talking. They began talking to each other about the things that they had seen. My first instinct was to get their mind off of it and then I realized that this may be the last time that they have other kids that went through exactly what they did. The stories that they told made my stomach turn and my heart ache. Being in the dome and watching people die in the rows in front of them. One girl and her family were taken off the roof of their home by helicopter. I didn't know what to do for these kids and so for that week I just hugged and played and rocked babies to sleep and prayed.

When it was time to drive back to Wisconsin I remember doing most of it in silence. How do you wrap your head around the experience that you have just shared with these people. Parents walking in to pick up their children breaking down on your shoulder out of pure exhaustion. Wondering where will they go from there....

All those emotions are coming up for me again now. As I look at my photo album at those little faces I wonder where are they now. How is Diondray, Ty Janai, Carter, Jaheim, Malik, Kennedy, Kalyn and the dozens of other innocent children whose lives were turned upside down. Did they get the help they need? I am a big advocate of missions and in fact I am the Vice President of a missions team that works with an orphanage in Jamaica. But as I sit here this morning I have to believe that we as a country do more in the face of natural disasters for other countries than we do for our own. It makes me very uncomfortable to think of why that is but I just know that it really is true. I know there have been countless people and groups that have helped with the devastation that happened there and that is HUGE. But I look at the faces of these kids and I think - they were jipped...So how does that thought change my life? Will I do anything different? I can't even answer that except that I do know that everyone of these kids I will lift up in prayer. God did not place them in my heart for me to desert them.

Today I dream for you to find something to fight for....is there a wrong that you want to see right...in church we call that your Holy Discontent.....what has God placed on your heart that you just can't take...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Uniquely different

Uniquely different, originally uploaded by pieceofheaven.

I dream of being different....

I added this to one of my favorite sites to a thread called No Comments Needed. But I was wanting to know that if you were walking around at an art exhibit and saw this photo what would you state that it said to you? You can say something as simple as fun or be as deep as you want. Thanks guys!p>

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

living with ADD....attention deficit disorder

I dream of living a life without ADD….(attention deficit disorder)

I remember the day that I finally had enough. I finally realized that things weren’t “normal” for me. I was sitting in my living room with a group of friends during a meeting. I purposefully watched as each of them sat still while everyone else talked and they seemed to focus on what was being said. In the meantime, just like every other meeting before, I crossed and uncrossed my legs – I sat on one leg and then switched to the other – I got up to check on things in the kitchen. It wasn’t that I wasn’t interested, that wasn’t it at all. This has been the way it has been for as long as I can remember. This wasn’t the only indication that made me think that I had ADD but this was the one that made me the most self conscious. The next day I made an appointment with a counselor to see if there was anything I could do. As I sat in the waiting room I questioned even being there. This was ridiculous. Everyone gets sidetracked and jittery. There is nothing wrong with me.

After we had talked for awhile she gave me a “test” to complete. It seems like it was 10 pages or so. I remember thinking that was the dumbest thing to do to a person with ADD - 10 questions was overwhelming enough…After I completed it we went through the answers together and at the end she told me that she believed with overwhelming certainty that I did have ADD…Now what – “yippee??” what do you say to that:? She talked about medication but I had no interest in that at all. Honestly, the reason is that in my history of medication I never remember to take it consistently so that was too much pressure. The more we talked she commented that throughout my life I had come up with ways to “deal” with things already. That is very common with Adult ADD.

One of the things that is probably the most irritating to me is reading. I LOVE reading!! I can’t express that enough, I LOVE READING!! But for me to read anything is so time consuming. For instance if I pick up a newspaper to read. The first thing that I have learned to do that allows me to calm my nerves is to look at headlines first. I open it up and scan through all the photos and headlines just to get a feel for what is there. After that I can then go back and pick a small article to read first. Then slowly I can go onto another one. Same thing with a magazine. If I open up to a page, before I can read anything, I have to “let” my eyes wander around the page – Top, Bottom, Right, Left and then I can somewhat begin to read what I would like. I say somewhat because even though I have already went through my routine I very seldom get through a complete article. It is not only my eyes that are fluttering wildly while I do this. My heart rate increases and I feel my hands begin to tremble.

I enjoy reading self help and motivational books but I can only read pieces at a time because my mind gets overwhelmed. The purpose of reading books like that is to learn from them so I really want the information to stick. If I just read normally I would read a paragraph and look up and honestly not be able to tell you anything that I read. Mainly because I am going through that first step like I do with a magazine. I am not taking in, I am just getting comfortable with the words. So then if my mind tells me it was something that I want to remember I reread it and reread it again. This makes reading for me so time consuming and a struggle. Reading fiction is much easier for me because I don’t have to comprehend and it allows me to relax. So I usually have several kinds of books going at one time so I don’t overwhelm my mind and my eyes. (just a side note.. if you ever have handed me something to read real quick, this is the honest truth - I will take it, stare at it and my eyes willl be fluttering like crazy - I will hand it back to you never having read one word...I can not tell you how many times that has happened in my life...LOL)

I have the same frustration with my moving around all the time. If I am in a movie theatre or seated where there are people close to me I am constantly aware of my movement. I can’t do my normal crossing and uncrossing of my legs as often as I would like so I find myself giving myself permission to do things like stretch my right foot and then my left or bend my toes, any kind of movement just to calm my nerves. It is almost like I am claustrophobic and if I don’t continue to move my body I will suffocate. At my age I have done this so long that I don’t think of every move but if I stop to think “am I doing it now?” there has never been a time that I haven’t caught myself not doing a movement or in the midst of needing to move.

The book that the counselor recommended that was a life saver for me was Driven to Distraction by Edward M. Hallowell and John Ratey. I have never read anything that explained my life like this book. In the book there is a woman named Sarah that made a list of her symptoms and she might as well have copied a page from my journal. Here is just some of her list:

* Daydreamed a lot as child
* Called “lazy”
* Like novelty, lots of changing interests
* Have lots of ideas but have a hard time structuring things so they actually happen
* Desk cluttered
* Forgetful
* Work best in a framework: things need to fit into the whole picture. Feel like I’m always looking for a structure
* Have always felt that I think differently from most people
* Handwriting: sometimes I write things I don’t mean to; skip letters or form them wrong
* Bathroom cleaning on Sat: look at job, feel overwhelmed. Turn on radio to get me going. Find the music irritating later and turn it off. Remember the job and tackle it. Often I feel like I have to push through a wall to get into a job.
* No matter how organized I try to be, I always mess up!
* Always trying to organize things, but it doesn’t come easily. If I don’t organize them I won’t know where they are.
* Lose what’s in my head easily
* Organize my life around projects. They give me something to think about
* Inwardly feel desperate. Reassurances from other people don’t help.
* Doors and drawers – never close them after myself, then come back and see them and close them
* Inside, I feel like I’m saying, “I’m not stupid!”
* General problems with distractibility and disorganization
* Most at peace when I’m doing something with my hands like gardening or on the computer

This is my life daily!!! I fight with my head and my body everyday. Right now as I write I have been at this one post for over almost 5 hours. Stopped to go to town with my son - Back at it – stop for lunch - Back again – go look for my book – back again – go watch tv with Becca – and now I am back again and those are only a few of the breaks I took. All the while my arms ache from shaking and I move from sitting to laying positions over and over.

This post is difficult for me. It lets you into a side of me that not a lot of people know. Now, I am constantly joking around about my forgetfulness and stuff – it’s easier to make fun of it all. That is how I cope with most things in my life. But there is also a part of me that also thinks that people will read this and say – Linda, everyone struggles with this stuff. It’s no big deal and I should be able to cope better. Maybe I just hope to be understood a little better. Another step to being real and authentic. This is me and it's another piece of the puzzle that makes me who I am.

If you ever get a chance to read this book or offer it to someone else it is such a great resource. There is so much more that goes along with the symptoms that I have described so far. There are many other conditions that may accompany, resemble or mask ADD – for me some of these are - anxiety, OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), Hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism and depression.

Well I realize that was a big chunk for today but today I dream for you the ability to be honest with someone about something that you are dealing with…you never know how it might help to free you and even help them in the process…have a wonderful day friend….

Monday, August 23, 2010


I have been asked many times who are the people I look up to... Who are the authors that I read... Who do I model my life after...It's hard to pinpoint any one thing or circumstance that makes us who we are. It is a culmination of events throughout a lifetime. But if I had to choose one word to sum up how to live a positive life that word would be Attitude....and I don't believe I have heard this put in a better way than by Charles Swindoll...Enjoy!!

"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company...a church...a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past...we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude...I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you...we are in charge of our Attitudes."...............By Charles Swindoll

a week of "lasts".....

Becca leaves for college on Saturday and that means we are in the midst of "lasts"....so for this week I dream of slowing down time...

This weekend we went to Minnesota for a quick getaway. All four of us love to travel and so many of our best memories have been made while on vacation. So we knew that we just had to get one more in before everything changed. As we sat at supper we talked about how this week will be the last with our lives like this...From now on it will be Becca's life and Our lives...Getting together from here forward will mean coordinating schedules and deciding where to meet. Phone calls will mean filling us in on new names, places and experiences that we aren't apart of. We all set there truly understanding from this moment on things will never be "the same".

That evening instead of going to a movie we decided to go back to our room and rent a movie and sit in our pajamas. That meant we could let Rob and Dustin laugh as loud as they wanted without Becca telling them that they had to calm down because they were embarrassing her..(which is the way things usually go in a theatre.) Most of the time I just sat and watched them all interact with each other. When it was finally time to get some sleep I snapped a picture of the 2 of them in their bed - fully teenagers now with their IPODs and cellphones within reach. But that scene of the 2 of them together takes me back to hundreds of times I watched them cuddled together just like that. In fact just a few days ago I went to wake Becca up only to find her sound asleep beside Dustin on his bedroom floor. Through the years they have slept in forts and tents or in our bed in the midst of a storm. I have one photo of the 2 of them sound asleep on the couch. They both insisted they weren't tired and so I told them they could just sit there until they were. It wasn't long before they were both fast asleep. These 2 have always been close. They even shared the experience of sleeping under the stars in a jungle in Costa Rica...memories...

The rest of the trip was filled with last minute school supply shopping and getting dorm stuff at IKEA. The car ride had the usual silly stuff. Dustin trying to play "I am an animal..." and Becca telling him to STOOOP!!! But she did give in when dad decided they should give each other cartoon character names. Rob was Paul Bunyan and Becca was Pocahontas. It was just nice to see everyone relaxed.

We got back home in time for a birthday party for one of Rob's cousins. It was nice but once again brought me back to the reality of more "lasts". I had tears in my eyes when I watched her hug our friend Pam and listened to the sweet words of advice that she gave her. I knew this wasn't just hard for us but for so many others. So many others have been impacted by her as well. She gave hugs to Julie (Jewelry) who had used her as a guinea pig when Becca was in preschool to help with a class she was taking in college. And then yesterday's cookout hugging Aunts and Uncles. And watching Becca's face, full of concern, as she kisses on Great Grandma and fully aware of the reality that more of these moments with her are uncertain.

But now it is Monday morning and she has a busy week ahead. Lots of packing and finishing up photography orders. And yet in the midst of all her chaos tonight she will go to Madison to visit with a friend that has just started school herself. She is already homesick and Becca is worried about her. So, she is dropping everything to go and encourage her and do her best to make sure that she has a good experience.

These are the things that makes Becca so unbelievably special. The reason that we will miss her piece of the puzzle in this home and in this city. There will definitely be a void as she leaves. I know, I know...everyone tries to give me the positive spin...I know all of that - I have repeated it over and over. But the fact is my baby girl is leaving my home and I am sad...I will miss her lying in my bed singing to me and rubbing my hair like she did last night. I will miss how she steps in the middle of an argument and tells us to stop. I will miss how she baby talks with Pup Pup like he's her baby. My whole house is a box full of Becca memories. I know it will be difficult.....but I am thankful that I am so excited for her. I don't think that she could be more prepared to be on her own. I know she will make a wonderful life for herself.

Today I dream for you the ability to capture a memory...there will be a time in your life that you will need it - to give you strength - or hope - or just allow you to remember what you had. Take it from a mom in the midst of change - it goes by like a flash of light...Have a blessed day my friend...

Sunday, August 22, 2010


What do you do when you have an awesome goal and all the sudden you realize that it is Not going to happen? How do you readjust? One of the fears of putting yourself "out there" is the reality that if you fail you will fail in public. Satan begins to fill your head with all kinds of things like..."why did you even think that you could accomplish that?"..."You are a looser..."...."you are worthless.."..."a fraud.."... "a fake..." and not only that, Everyone knows it!!

So as many of you know a while ago I set up this whole 1-11-11 Achieve Your Dream...Woo Hoo!!! What goal do you want to be able to accomplish by that date? What do you want to be able to claim about your life on that date?" Well, also as many of you are aware, my Goal was to be able to call myself a runner... by my terms not others.. For me that meant accomplishing different races before then and improving times along the way. Well, I have been doing great. Following my Hal Higdon's running sheet that would have me ready to run a half marathon in October. And then my ultimate goal of a half or even a full in January at Disney World.

And then....about a week and a half ago all of that came to a screeching halt. I had been having some pains for awhile but really hadn't thought much about them but finally one day I couldn't ignore them any longer. The pains were in the right side of my abdomen and shooting pains into my right arm. Well after a whirlwind of tests and doctor visits I found myself having my gallbladder out and now facing the reality that my running schedule had now just been destroyed.

I have been running long enough to know that even a week off in great health puts you back a ways. But now for me, the week off of not feeling good, then the week of surgery and now recovery. I am fighting the feeling of defeat. What do I do now? Do I give up completely? Do I come up with a new goal all together? Maybe I should change my goal to organizing my closet - that seems doable...:-(...

But I have to go back to my original goal. When I set that goal for myself what did that actually mean? What feelings did I want to feel on that day. Yes I wanted to be able to say I had atleast 4 new medals. I wanted to be able to claim on that day that I was back to where I had left off in 2007. I WANTED it bad. But now what? So, I have to figure out what would give me that same sense of accomplishment. My mile markers may have to look different now. My progress may be slower and the road might be a little bumpier. My racing goals may have to be postponed until next year. It won't be long until the Wisconsin Winter will hit and the ability to run outside takes more determination than the rest of the year.

There are so many struggles that I am going through in my mind right now...For instance - it's a gallbladder for goodness sakes!! You don't even need it!! Why now? There is nothing heroic or incredible about gallbladder surgery. No offense but if one more person offers to show me the container of gallstones from their surgery I just might scream. And then I can't tell you how many times others have scoffed at my small scars and lifted their shirts to display a foot long scar across their stomach as if it were a war wound and tell of their week long stay in the hospital. I feel like I might as well be complaining about a hangnail. And yet this stupid surgery has thrown everything off...I have had so many people encourage me. They tell me that I everything will be back to normal soon. But they do not see the fight that is occuring inside my head. I know the arguments that I have ahead with my body. The struggle that I will have with it to get moving again. The war with my stomach convincing it that it isn't hungry. The way that Satan will take every moment to undo everything I have accomplished within the last few months. The recovery that I am going through right now really has little to do with these 4 little scars on my belly. It has more to do with the distruction zone left inside my head.

So that is where I am at this moment..readjusting...trying my best to look at my future with optimism and excitement. To find my footing and see where I am suppose to go from here...But I suppose that is the first step isn't it? Wanting to leave Here...even when I don't know where There is..

So today I dream for you the ability to take an honest look at where your Here is...what could There look like...maybe you tried to go There and you got thrown around and beat up and now you find yourself back at square one trying to decide if it is really even worth the work...Here may not be great or glamorous but it is comfortable and predictable....Take a moment and dream of There......have a wonderful day friend....

Friday, August 20, 2010

reading glasses.....

I dream of not wearing glasses...My question is - when did this happen?

I guess it has really become an issue because of the problems with the blurriness due to my surgery. But for the past few years it has been happening slowly. You know the holding a can in the grocery store and trying to read the label. Moving your arm out and in trying to make out those tiny letters. It may of been happening slowly but I am not kidding when I say it seems like on my 40th birthday it made it's claim and is here to stay.

I remember one of the last times I was home my sisters and I were in Target or some place similar looking at "drugstore glasses". You know the ones over by the pharmacy that all basically look the same. Well they may look the same until you start to need them. Because now I find myself checking them out everywhere. I mean if you are going to have to wear them they might as well be stylish right?

And now I truly feel like my father n law when it comes to glasses. He has pairs of glasses EVERYWHERE. In his vehicle, in his office, upstairs and downstairs, but only if he's lucky does he have a pair in his pocket. I know I will be the same way because it seems that I never have a pair where I need them. If I am lying in bed and want to read a book I would have left them in the office. If I need them while I'm cooking I would have left them in the living room while reading a magazine.

Now I REFUSE to be one of those ladies that has a nice jeweled necklace that holds her glasses. Someday if you see me with one just rip it right off of me. Not even kidding. It will be like a mini intervention. You may have to calm me down because I would have made it myself with a group of ladies in a beading class but that right there means that I need help. I want to be the grandma that takes my grandkids white water rafting and repelling. A beaded necklace with my reading glasses attached would only cause problems...

Dustin just walked in and read my blog and he asked me why I don't get bifocals...AHHH - how am I having these conversations...He said if I didn't get bifocals then I was going to be one of those people that keep wearing their reading glasses and look over the tops of them....Oh no!!

About a year ago when I was at the eye doctor I brought all of this up. He said, "how old are you?" I told him that I was almost 40. And he said that I was right on schedule. He said to be thankful for the 40 years my eyes had given me so far. I guess that is the best way to look at it. I had to give my mom the same advice a couple of weeks ago. She called me to tell me she had another stroke and this one had left her blind in one of her eyes. She had just had surgery not long before to get rid of her cataracts and she was so happy. She said she never remembered things being so bright and crisp. And then to loose that so suddenly. It sort of brings things into perspective. We are incredibly made. A true work of art. But even a masterpiece ages even kept in the most pristine and secure place. My body has definitely not been locked away somewhere for safe keeping for the past 40 years. I have lived my life as fully as I have known how. My eyes have seen so many of God's beautiful creations from Oceans to mountains, to the sweet face of a child confined to a wheelchair in an orphanage in the mountains of Jamaica. My eyes have served me well. I realize that what I am going through right now is so completely minor in the scheme of things and just another phase in my life that I will adjust to. But I NEVER want for things to change in my life without fully understanding and appreciating what I had and where I am going next.

Well today I dream for each of you the time to look around and appreciate the gift of sight that God has blessed you with. We are never assured that tomorrow we will have today's gifts. So watch your children run and jump, look into the eyes of someone you love, look up at the clouds and just say thank you to the maker that made it all possible....Have a wonderful day friends...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

gallbladder surgery...

So yesterday Lisa took me to the hospital to have my gallbladder out. Got there at 6:45 am. I ended up talking to several different medical staff. It seems like I answered the same questions a dozen times. The worst must have been the anesthesiologist. I think she gave me way to much information - she explained detail by detail what she would be doing. I wanted to say..."Lady just promise me you'll knock me out good and then I really don't care what happens after that..."

When it was time to push my bed down the hallways to go to the operating room all I could think of was the show ER...LOL... They moved me over to another bed then proceeded to attach stuff all over body. Stretching both my arms out and more attaching thingy ma bobers all over. I remember at one point a nurse holding a strap and putting it around my legs. The only feeling I can relate those few moments to was when I went bungee jumping - your pretty sure that everything is going to be okay but just a little freaked out. I remember she told me she was going to put some stuff in my IV and that it might sting a little. Well it didn't sting so much as I felt it from my head to my toes - incredible quick.. which for the few seconds I had left I told God he was an amazing creator.

The next thing I remember was waking up in my room and Lisa standing there. For those of you who don't know Lisa (Lowrie) Wanless we grew up together in Texas and married brothers and both live in Wisconsin now about 3 miles apart. Well Lisa actually is a nurse at the Richland Hospital so whenever I had any questions she was great at comforting me.

I did forget one thing that was Hilarious before I went into surgery. The anesthesiologist put a patch behind my ear to help with nausea. Well that little boogar has probably caused me the most trouble. At one point I begged Lisa to do something about the desert that was in my mouth because I couldn't have anything to eat or drink before surgery. She finally was tired of my complaining and went and wet a washcloth and she proceeded to moisten my mouth with it...LOL...We both kept trying not to laugh but that scene was so funny.

Moving ahead again. Now was the beginning of "recovery". The joy of trying to go to the bathroom - I looked and felt like I had been on a 3 day drunk..LOL..They brought me some toast which was pretty much impossible to eat. As you say your prayers to God this evening you really should thank Him for saliva...Seriously. I don't think I ever even thought about it before... but I vow never to forget it's importance.

I slept off and on. It was great because they kept bringing me warm blankets. I loved waking up to see Rob and then Becca. Another funny thing in the operating room was when I told them that I actually had a day planned at Sundara Spa for me and Becca on this particular day. So they kept pretending that they were actually part of spa...so cute...

beautiful flowers from loving people - I am truly blessed..

Well finally we headed home at about 2:00pm which I think is amazingly quick but I was truly ready for my own bed. I just wanted to sleep. Well when I walked into my house Lisa and Becca had already brought all the beautiful flowers that kept filling my room all morning. My counter is covered with wonderful fragrances and vibrant colors...Every time I pass them I have to stop and smell them. As the day progressed and into today my shoulders and back have been hurting - which they say is normal. But the most uncomfortable thing right now is that my hands won't quit shaking and I am having a terrible time seeing clearly. Earlier as I went upstairs I stopped to enjoy my flowers and was very much irritated that I couldn't read any of the card because of small print. The only one's I could pick out for sure were the one's that Nancy had written - I Love her handwriting. I am also blessed with the food that friends and family have delivered. I am so beyond grateful for the love given to me and my family.

So now I just wait and sleep. I am slowly trying to spread my pain medicine out. I have set up camp downstairs on the couch where it stays cool and the tv is bigger so I can actually make out faces. The downfall of being down here is that the dumb smoke detector has needed a new battery for 2 days now. I think it is hilarious that the other 3 occupants of the home just ignore it. I suppose they are waiting for me to get better so I can stand on a ladder to change it...

Today I dream for you healthy bodies...non beeping smoke alarms and the ability to swallow toast.... Love You All!!

**You will have to forgive any typos and crazy sentence structure. But honestly if you could see this body trying to do this today you would be amazed out how I got any of this completed. I tried to go back through and fix stuff but then I thought I'll just leave it be - it's part of the experienc...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

laughing with my girl.....

I dream of being giggly with my daughter. Yesterday was a crazy day for me and Becca. Actually life in general has been a roller coaster. But in the afternoon Becca dropped me off at the hospital to see the surgeon that will do the gallbladder surgery tomorrow and go see Doc for my preop. She had all kinds of things to get done because we are on the countdown for her to leave for college. So it was silly for her to wait while I was sent from floor to floor doing paperwork and labs and stuff.

While she was gone she kept texting me silly stuff and cracking me up. She is well known for doing this. The more "dramatic" things get with Becca the more I laugh. She can be so animated that she brings me to tears. And you might think that this bothers her but I believe it actually encourages her.

When she picked me up we had to go to the Verizon store to return an internet card that she was trying out. We have had more laughs at this place than you could ever imagine. There is always just 1 person working there and a line of people. The worker is always so patient like they don't notice the whole line of extremely annoyed customers glaring at him. And each customer usually takes quite awhile to wait on. One time we drove by, and no lie, the window for the Verizon store was covered in steam - we died laughing because we knew it was from all the angry customers waiting in line. As we got in yesterday we were number 3 in line. I looked at my watch and asked Becca to take a guess at how long we would have to wait..."MOOOMM, I am not playing this game..." I guess she felt sorry for the guy working, which I did too but we needed to pass the time. Now for you to get the whole effect you have to remember Becca has just has her wisdom teeth out and sort of talks with a lisp. So the ability to sound serious is difficult. Every time she goes to talk I start cracking up and she smacks me and tells me to stop...So she went to the other side of the store and kept texting me stuff to where I thought if she didn't stop I was going to have to find a restroom. And the now longer line of people behind me were probably wondering why I was in tears. Well, 40 minutes later we departed our Non Favorite store with our sides sore from laughing.

On our way home we got on the subject of her trip to Germany a few years ago. The moment she starts talking about that I know I am going to be in a heap by the end and she never disappoints. She talked about how their German advisor that NOBODY could understand..not even joking...As parents when our kids left we all just looked at each other bewildered because we never understood one word in all the meetings but we were pretty sure they were going to Germany..LOL..When he arrived to leave for the trip everyone was just a tad bit confused as to why he was bringing skis and a beach umbrella on the trip. It was sort of fruitless to ask him because you wouldn't understand the answer. But he lugged those things through the airport and the kids just looked puzzled and laughed. But things got clearer on the final day of the trip as the kids filed out of the bus to go into the airport. Mr. E announces that he will not be returning to America with them. It seems "his brother" called last evening and is VERY ill in Switzerland and he must go be with him....LOL! Well it's a good thing he brought his skis with him. We still cannot for the life of us figure out why he carried a beach umbrella half way around the world though...I believe that I heard that he came back at one point and cleaned some stuff out of his room and was not heard from since. The stories of him on the trip are endless... But she continues with stories of staying in a Turkish Ghetto scared out of her mind, and living on pretzel wrapped hot dogs out of the vending machine...about eating squid pizza...

My favorite story though...and this might end up being long so if you have to go have a bathroom break this is a good time to do so. I'll wait.....

Before we left we were talking to a lady and she explained that they had an exchange student that would be coming here that school year that was at the school that Becca would be at in Germany. She didn't have much information yet, except his name was Hans and he loved soccer (actually that's not it but I can't remember and Becca is sleeping. If I wake her up about my Blog she might go balistic - so Hans it is) So a guy in Germany names Hans and loves soccer. Should be no problem picking him out. Well one day when they were on a field trip of sorts some of the local students from the school came along. Becca and some others were in a line to order some food and couldn't understand the menu. One of the boys explained things to them and ended up sitting by them. They introduced themselves and his name happened to be "Hans" Becca looked at him and said..."do you by chance like soccer??" when he looked at her sort of puzzled she just laughed. She explained everything to him and yes in fact this was the boy that would be coming to her school in Wisconsin in the Fall. So for the remainder of the time they all sort of stuck together and became pretty good friends. The evening the kids returned home to the High School and piled off the bus, my friend Claudia that had chaperoned the trip took me aside. She stated that she was a little worried because Becca had spent ALOT of time with a group of boys. She just wanted me to be aware. I genuinely thanked her for her concern. On the way home Becca shared this story and it all made sense. Claudia must have been talking about Hans and his friends. So I had put the whole thing out of my mind until about 3months later. We were at our local county fair and Claudia rushes up to me. She looked very agitated. She once again took me aside and began to tell me what was bothering her. It seems that one of those boys that was following Becca around in Germany had somehow followed her here to the states!!!! I covered my mouth and it took everything in me not to laugh out loud. I knew that she was was really worried for my daughter. I took her hand and slowly explained the whole thing to her. She had a mixture of relief and embarrassment. I still laugh every time I think of the first time Claudia saw Hans in Richland Center. She must have Freaked... Oh My!!!

Well, like I said, Becca and I laugh alot. I know we will still text and talk on the phone and stuff when she is gone but it just won't be the same as when we are together. Besides my sisters she is my best belly laughing buddy...

Today I dream for you Belly Laughs...I dream that you will find joy in things that will make you laugh so hard you cry and have to cross your legs... Have a great day friends...

Monday, August 16, 2010

canning season........

This is my storage area...and it is even before the kids have taken down all the tomato stuff from Sundays canning session - I'll admit I'm pretty proud...We should be good for the Winter....

Today I dream of being done with canning. Well that isn't all true because I actually enjoy it once I get started but it is alot of work and takes alot of time.

Saturday morning Rob woke me up with a kiss and said "I was just wondering..." then I grabbed my pillow and covered my head and kept telling him that I couldn't hear him. I knew what was coming..and then I heard the words.."do you want to do some canning today?" For him it means a winter full of chips and salsa. But for me it means piles of pots and pans and hands that smell like onions. Rob complaining that his hands are on fire because he refuses to wear plastic gloves to cut the jalapenos. It means all of us asking why it is that out of 20 knives not one is sharp enough to cut through a tomato. It means standing at the stove for hours upon hours waiting for pots to warm up - or cool down - and constantly forgetting to set the timer. But probably my biggest pet peeve is the tomato splatters EVERYWHERE. I just resolve myself to the fact that my stove will be a mess and I will deal with it at the end. But as I stand there watching red drops bounce onto my cupboards and the floor and the white wall behind my stove it just means More Work...

This year has been the absolute worst year for our garden. You would think if I said we had so much rain and sun that it would have been great for it. In actuality I think it destroyed it. Our tomato plants got late blight and I haven't had one tomato that was a perfect round and red. They are misshaped and have black cracked tops. We ended up using what we could and got some from the neighbors. Theirs had struggled too though. Our cucumbers did crazy things. They never got big around, they just grew long and narrow. I thought maybe we messed up and got the wrong seed but one of my friends said hers did the same thing. Our onions never got very big at all. They would make great cocktail onions...LOL..They came up and then the tops all died off. I told Rob that Honestly, next year we really really just need to cut back and when it's time to can just go to the Amish and get everything we need for the day. Less stress and guilt - I would be a much happier gardener...

So on Saturday Rob's mom came and helped core tomatoes and cut onions and peppers. The first day we just did salsa all day. On Sunday we worked on Tomatoes, Peppers and Onions - I use those for chili and stuff like that. As we got part way into Sunday's batch Rob started panicking that we needed more tomatoes. He began calling around but had no luck. So as I had my last batch in and the dishes done and counters cleaned a friend called and said the she had scored us more tomatoes. Rob was thrilled. Me and the kids - not so much. So, everything back out and did some more stuff.

At final count for the weekends canning session.
52 Quarts Salsa
19 Quarts Stewed Tomatoes
4 Quarts Spaghetti Sauce
4 Quarts Chili Sauce

And now I keep looking at my canning book and seeing if there a few more things I want to get to before the end of the season. I haven't decided just yet. First I have to get my kitchen back in order before I can start a new mess.

Today I dream for you splatter free walls and that your house doesn't smell of onions like mine does!! LOL!

Have a wonderful day friends!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

a Sunrise..........the Risen Son....

A West Texas sunrise - beautiful!!
I dream of a sunrise....Across the world I know that people all have a similar feeling when they see the sun rise. There is something peaceful and energizing to see that big ball of light rise up on the horizon.

About 16 years ago Rob and I were in Colorado and took a few days to stay in a little cabin in the woods. We had decided that the one morning we would get up very early and head up to a mountaintop in Estes Park to watch the sun rise. So when we woke up we grabbed the muffins and juice that we had bought the night before and set out on our adventure. As we drove the curvy mountain roads lined with huge Pine trees the stillness was evident. It felt like as if we were the only ones in the world. But as we reached the summit we could see the other cars with people who had the same idea as us. We grabbed our little picnic and sat and waited. We noticed that as we found a place to sit the ground was covered in moisture from the night. I was very aware that as the sun rose and took it's place in the morning sky that moisture was soon be dried and covered with warmth. First from the deep darkness came a little glow in the sky and we knew it wouldn't be long now. Soon we began to see the outline of the greatness yet to come. There was such a mixture of excitement and peace along with the knowledge that this was a moment that I would never forget. As the beautiful creation came into clear view we were both quiet and just held each other. We admired it's grandness and beauty and neither of us at the time understanding the gift that we were truly being given that morning.

What is it that would make people leave their comfy beds to drive for miles to experience a moment like this? Honestly aren't we all searching. Searching for a way to be free from the darkness. Seeking to find a glimmer of light that will allow us to feel hope again. Searching for something to give us warmth once again. To dry the moisture that has been flowing from our eyes throughout the cold, dark night.

Is it any accident years ago the main point of reference for travelers was the sun? People wandering, trying to find their way from the place they were at to the place they wanted to be. Is it an accident that the name for the brightness that guides our steps in the morning and puts us to rest in the evening after watching us throughout our day is named the Sun.....any resemblance to Son??? Or should I say - the Risen Son????

Our world is full of visuals of the lessons that God is trying to teach us. Ways of knowing more fully who He is and the Love that he has for us. Some people think that He is a secretive God that has left us here to just survive until his return. That is so the opposite of who God is. He is seen in the flowers that share their grand beauty beginning from a tiny seed. He is seen in the face of a child as they wrap their arms around your neck proclaiming their love for you when you may feel the most unlovable.

At the beginning I stated that there are people all over the world that understand the awesomeness of a sunrise and yet at the same time it is sad that there are just as many that go from day to day not giving the sun a thought. With the exception of cursing the heat it gives or the glare of brightness that bothers their eyes. Or they complain that it has left and grumble at it to return. My heart breaks for those. Those are the people that the sun continues to rise for. The Bible states that God is not slow in His coming because He is not willing that any will perish...Our prayer is that one morning someone that we love that has not grasped the Love of the Son will see the Sun on the horizon and their days will be forever changed.

**To add a little side note to this story and knowing full well that if my children read this they will wince. But it was 9 months later that God blessed us with a beautiful baby boy. Our son has brought us joys and trials and yet I look at him and I have complete and absolute LOVE for him. He is the most amazing young man I have ever met and I thank God each and every day for allowing me to be able to hear him call me Mom....Thank You Thank You Thank You LORD!!!

Today I dream for you the ability to see the Son in a way that will bless your day...
Have a beautiful day my friends.....

Friday, August 13, 2010

facing my fears......

me and Rhonda Britten, Lifecoach from the TV series Starting Over and author of several books including Fearless Living...

Well I knew I was going to have to get to this one but I really never thought it was going to come about like this....I Dream of Not Being Fake......That one Hurt!!

About a year ago I went to a seminar in Minnesota with Rhonda Britten. Rhonda had a TV series several years back. It was basically the first Reality show. They had a group of woman in a house that all had different things that they needed to work on. Weight Loss, Divorce, Childhood Trauma, Loss of Job...What made it so great is that they had Life Coaches that helped them through all of this and you got to watch the process. They did different activities to help them move forward. Through those few years I kept a journal about it and did many of the exercises myself. It helped me in so many areas. When I had the opportunity to meet Rhonda I was ecstatic.... That is a whole story in itself...the conference got cancelled because OBama was coming in and they were closing the block where we were suppose to be. It worked out better for me because I ended up sitting next to her at supper and I got to watch her coach a lady across the table.

But during this time while reading one of her books I had a lightbulb moment. One of the chapters was on facing your fears. As I went through a checklist of words I realized by the end of the exercise that my greatest fear is being perceived as a "FAKE". Almost everyday this thought goes through me mind atleast once...here's a few of the way Satan uses this against me...

*I am the baby out of 10 kids....(but are you Really? - all but one are half and you never even all lived together so you really have no right to claim that)
*I am a runner (this was during the time I had run 3 half marathons...) (are you Really a runner? - what you do is scoot it's not REALLY even Running)
*I am a secretary (are you REALLY? You know that you don't do a good job and you have an accountant to do the hard stuff...)
*I helped start a church..(did you Really? You just sort of slid in there and have basically let them do the work and just get to claim the glory of it...)
*I am a photographer...(are you REALLY? What you photograph is not Real photography - anybody could do what you do....)
The list could go on and on and on and on...

Thoughts like that go through my mind constantly and I feel like I am fighting against Satan all the time about it. Well the reason I am having to deal with all of this now is because of an email that I received today. I can honestly (without even being dramatic) say that this has been the worst week of my life. And then today I walk out of the Dr's office having just been told I have to come in next week to have my gallbladder taken out, check my phone and see a name and I just had a feeling that this was not going to go well. My sister in law Lisa was driving and as I started reading it I finally just threw the phone and thought "God I can't take one more thing... Satan has attacked everything else and now my character."

I don't have to go into all the details and I would never post this on my blog if I thought there was any way she would read this...but even if she were my problem is really not with her as much as it is with Satan and how he uses words to keep us in bondage. These are the words that she said that struck me so deeply...

"I feel that your very upbeat personality, especially the hugs and I love you's are your way of being friendly but you maybe don't mean them- at least not to the full extent of what I consider love to be. I have heard people describe you as being "fake"."

Honestly when I read them a laughed out loud, not out of meanness towards her, out of the irony of that word...When I got home I opened my workbook and these are the words that I wrote in my very own handwriting about 1 year ago..."My biggest fear is people perceiving me as a FAKE"...I told Satan that honestly if he was trying to use this one he was way to obvious - I had no doubt in my mind that this was his work..

I tried to sort through her words..Is my upbeat personality real? Do I honestly mean the hugs and I Love Yous? Am I consistent with who I am or do I change depending on the people that I am around...My answer is that I am who I am...I Love To Laugh!!! My heart breaks to see hurting people so if I can give someone a hug to give them a brief moment of peace then I feel it's the least I can do. I do tell most everyone that I LOVE them...and do I mean it? I honestly do...I can tell you that at this moment there are alot of people that as I human I don't want to Love (mainly it is anyone at Verizon and my Insurance guy and the guy from Whitey's Plumbing) but they are not my enemy...Satan is..and Christ says that we are to represent Him on this Earth and when I tell someone that I love them I know that for some people that may be the only time they may have heard that in ages. The love that I have for them is not My love...I may not Love them like I do my husband or my children but the Love that comes from God to them...I have had to really think to myself - is this true??? No I am the first one to beat myself up in plenty of areas - but on this one - I have to believe that the words that she wrote are opposite of who I am.....Wow!!!...That was hard...(now just because I wrote that doesn't mean I am not going to have to keep repeating it to myself.LOL..)I also thought about the fact that in 40 years this is the first time I have ever had anyone say this to me (not saying that people haven't thought it) and yet in 40 years I can't count the 100's of comments I have gotten from people saying thank you for the hugs, I Love Yous, encouragement and kind words....

I know that when we hear something difficult it is very easy to twist them around to benefit the truth that we want to hear - usually so it puts the other one on the enemy side...Like I said it was years ago but I do remember the conversation, mainly because there are few times in my life where I stood up for myself and was honest with someone. It is really silly in the scope of life but for both of us I guess it was big.

I hate that she has hung on to this but I understand how it happens. I haven't decided how to go about handling the situation yet. Honestly this is the last thing I thought I would be dealing with today. But God guarantees we will go through trials and he is making good on his word lately. Even though I have to figure out how to deal with this, the bigger picture for me is how to deal with my Fears...I wonder what all have I missed because I have given into "fear"....So as much as it has thrown me for a loop I believe it is God saying that it is about time I deal with this and get it out of the way so I can enjoy greater things He has in store for me.

Today I dream for you the ability to be authentic and to live a live without the bondage of fear....Also, I am BEYOND Blessed to have such an incredible support system and I thank everyone for their kind words and encouragement....LOVE YOU ALL - and I mean it...:-)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

dream of Heaven.........

I dream of Heaven........That dream goes through my mind more than any other I have ever had. No more hurts. No more struggling to show Grace when your heart is breaking. No more people disappointing me and no more guilt of me disappointing others.

This Earth is exhausting!! The older I get the more frustrated that I become with the sin that consumes this world. The sin that overcomes my family, my friendships, my community, our nation. So many times I just cry out to God to just please come back. The last few days have been that for me. "God I give up...I just can't do it anymore...I have tried my best...I have tried to parent the way I thought you asked...I have tried to be the kind of friend I thought I should be...please, just send your son now so that we can all just go home."

I feel as if I fail and fail and I am just Exhausted...The moment I move towards where I think he is pointing me it seems as if Satan steps in and fills my head with 10,000 lies and finally I just can't fight anymore. I HATE him!!! I despise everything that he tears down around me. I pray that God will spare us and then I am faced with the reality that this is warfare and he is the enemy and he will stop at nothing to kill, steal and destroy.

There are days that I feel the pain that Moses felt wandering around in the desert. I am sure that he tried to be positive for everyone else but don't you know he was just as sick of the manna as the rest of them were. Don't you think he was just as frustrated at not knowing when God would take them into the Promised Land.

I am your servant, Lord, so why are you doing this to me? What have I done to deserve this? You've made me responsible for all these people, but they're not my children. You told me to nurse them along and to carry them to the land you promised their ancestors. They keep whining for meat, but where can I get meat for them? This job is too much for me. How can I take care of all these people by myself? If this is the way you're going to treat me, just kill me now and end my miserable life! Num 11: 10-15

It's sort of comforting to know that even Moses ended up in a pit sometimes. And how much closer do you get to God than Moses did? I'm in a Moses pit right now. Just tired, frustrated and confused..."I don't think I can do it God. This job is too much for me..." My secret that I keep is that I pray to God for an Aaron in my life.. Exodus 17: 8-15. This is hard for me to verbalize but maybe I am vulnerable because of the week I have had and the fact that it is after midnight and my emotions are raw. There are many times that I feel that I have brief moments of an Aaron or Hur holding up my arm for a moment only to let it fall and once again I feel defeat. Oh, I know there have been many times that I have done the same to others. But this last week I heard a message from Bishop T.D. Jakes, a man that I think is an incredible servant of God. The moment that touched me more than anything he said was when he...T.D. Jakes - a man who has it All Together...said that there are many times that he encourages and encourages others and then thinks to himself..."I wish I had a me in my life..." Wow...I was brought to tears and felt it in the depths of my soul....

I struggle to even post this tonight...I feel it...honestly I do! But does it sound as though I am crying out for someone to pay attention to me...someone to befriend me...That is not the purpose of my bluntness. I just know that it is where I am right now. And of all things that I know as I lay here tonight - Not being Honest will destroy you and ultimately those around you....

God has called me to motivate and encourage and that is ingrained in me and I am so blessed that he has chosen to use me in that way. And I can not sleep tonight if I don't say that I am forever in debt to my sisters who have been there for me since the moment I was born and for the kind words that have been spoken over me by those who love me. I in no way want to make light of what they have meant to me and I am blessed to have so many people in my life that I can call friends. But tonight I have been as real as I have in a long time and I pray that you will hold my honesty with gentle hands...

So as I end, my dream for you is to be aware of the Moses' around you. Who is in need of encouragement? Who can you come alongside and hold them up in the midst of their battle?

Sleep Well my friends....

Monday, August 9, 2010

consistency and routine....

I dream of routine...it always happens at about this time through the summer. I realize this is not a unique dream. In fact I keep hearing it everywhere around me. Especially from my daughter.

Becca, for those of you that don't know her, has a touch of OCD herself. Just this morning she was going to clean a house for a friend's mom. As her friend Anna got here I walked downstairs to see Becca's "day" spread out in sections down the hallway. She has a long day planned...cleaning, the gym, pictures and editing and then hanging out with her friends. So before she packs everything up she has it sorted into categories...clothes, computer, camera etc...

The problem that Becca has is that without some routine and consistency what she wants in her head does not always always happen in reality. Becca thrives on routine. So throughout this summer she has been going in a hundred different directions and coming and going at crazy hours. This has meant basically living out of her car and getting home to drop piles of "stuff" in the floor of her bedroom. This has just about driven my daughter Insane!!...

All of this might explain my statement earlier about her sorting her stuff in the hallway. Like I said, she longs for organization so chaos makes her a nervous wreck. So she looks for order everywhere else. Since organizing her room might mean hours of work it's not strange to find her in my room straightening up. I try to keep my room clean and organized - I make my bed first thing every morning. So there really isn't alot to do. But sometimes I will walk in and find her putting my curling iron away or wiping down the counters in my bathroom..."What are you doing??"..."Cleaning your mess.."...."Oh, Really??"...."What about your mess downstairs..."..."My mess is no fun to clean..."...The kid cracks me up. I think living in the dorms is going to be wonderful for her. She will be limited to things she can take. So that means less piles that can end up on her floor.

Back to my dream of routine...I will miss Becca when she is gone to college and I miss Dustin when he is gone to school. But at least I have a better handle on how much time I have to get things accomplished...although it usually all comes together within the last 45 minutes but deadlines are good for me.

Well, my dream for you today is consistency and routine...

Have a wonderful day friends!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

my stud of a husband....

I am blessed to be married to the man of my dreams...

Last night the cutest thing happened. We were at Dustin's Feedback Concert (which was wonderful!!) I was sitting at a table with my friend Nichole and then Becca and 2 of her friends were on the other side. Becca said "mom do you know what she said? (referring to one of her friends..) She asked me if my Hot dad was going to be here...That is Gross!!" Then she said that her other friend agreed. I looked at her and chuckled and then said, "well he is Hot.." And the girls said..."SEEEE" I thought Becca was going to gag...So Funny! But the cute thing is that this has been going on since middle school. Rob has been banned from certain pairs of Wranglers if he is going to be around her friends. LOL!! I often think I don't know how I ended up with such a gorgeous guy. I remember the night I first saw him I totally thought he was out of my league. And yet for some strange reason he saw something in me. And I have been blessed ever since.

One evening I was out to supper with some girlfriends and Rob drove by in the dumptruck and honked. One of my friends looked at me and said, "your husband is so sexy..." I just laughed. Later she apologized for being so afront and said she wanted to explain why she said that. She said what made him sexy is not just his looks but how he treats me. How he looks at me and how he takes care of me. I had to agree.

I struggle alot with the idea that when I talk about Rob like this if it is bragging. I realize there is a time and place to say things and I try to be very aware of those times. But there is also something that I have vowed years ago. I will Never speak badly of my husband - EVER. I may joke around about the silly quirky things. But I will never attack his character or belittle him. In fact the more I lift him up, not only in his presence, the more confident a man he is. The same is true for my kids. I have always told my kids how Incredible they are and I look at who they are today. I think that has so much to do with how Becca is confident that someday the world will know her name as a famous photographer. And Dustin believes that the sky is the limit for him. I have made them very aware that as they go into the world there will not always be the cheerleaders there to boost their ego so from now on it has to come from within. I pray that I have made them Believe it in their soul that they are Amazing people and worthy of an Amazing life. And an amazing life isn't defined by the world's standards. That is why if it comes from within then the outward circumstances don't affect you as strongly.

So my dream for you today is to Believe that you are Amazing...today I am your cheerleader - You are amazing - believe it within your soul!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

fresh cut flowers

I dream of fresh cut flowers....One of the funny things that I notice about tv shows is how the people always seem to have fresh flowers all over their house. I mean in every room, including the bathrooms. One of the perks about helping out at a flower shop is getting to enjoy them while I am there. And one of the perks of being friends with the girls I work with is when there are flowers that they can't sell they call me. The other day they had some roses that were to old to sell and they told me to stop by. Of course they don't last as long but hey the price is right....

I remember a few years ago Rob and I stayed at the Venetian in Las Vegas. The place was Incredible!! But one of the things we still talk about were the flowers. When you walked in they had about 4 HUUUUUGE containers Filled with all kinds of fresh flowers. And then the same kind behind the check-in desk. We kept saying that there was no way that they could be real but we went up to them and sure enough they were.
I guess I have married a man that is so practical that it has rubbed off on me. My first thought is that those flowers in Vegas were definately beautiful but then I think that for the amount of money they spent they could have fed a small villiage for the price it must have cost for 1 of those vases of flowers.

But I also think that the same practical man has been the one to make me appreciate the beauty of flowers the way I do. I think he loves flowers as much or even more than I do. He does occassionally stop by the flower shop and bring me my favorites (which it helps that "the girls" know me so well there) But he also is constantly bringing me bokays of wild flowers that he picks where he is working or stops along the side of the road. When they are sitting on the counter he can't pass them without smelling them or checking on their water (which works out great for me).

There is something truly inspiring about flowers. The way something so simple can make someone smile. For me I am just in awe of the wonder of God's creation. To look at how incredibly detailed and precise each petal is and how the fragrance makes you close your eyes and breath deeply...

My dream for you today is to take a moment to enjoy a Gift from your Heavenly Father...although I can't send you a bokay I dream that you will take time to see God's simple beauty in many forms all around you..that you will close your eyes and breath in deeply the wonder that he created just for you...

Monday, August 2, 2010

stories of a not so fast runner....

Last night I went for a run. I was scheduled to go for a 4 mile run but once I was out there it was so beautiful I didn't want to stop. I have gotten into a routine now. I drive my Jeep to the bottom of the hill - if you would see my driveway you would understand. I take some final drinks from my water bottle, clear the calories on my heart rate monitor, turn my Ipod to number 9 and start my stopwatch.

It's so funny the things that I had forgotten about running. For instance I HATE it the first 2 miles and then after that I don't want to quit. At mile 3 I start thinking that I should have worn a different shirt because the cute one I chose is now rubbing the flesh off of my arm pits. At mile 5 my right shoulder goes out of socket (everytime) and then at mile 6 I remember the term "runners trots..." and if you don't know the meaning behind that one I am not going to explain it on here. Although I didn't make it farther than 7.5 last night I remember that at mile 10 I really want to throw my IPOD on the ground because the thought of hearing the theme song to St. Elmos Fire one more time I just might scream. At mile 12 I can't really remember my name and at mile 13 you are cursing the person who decided to put that stupid .1 on the end to make it a half marathon.

And yet for some strange reason I am so excited to be running again. I love the time alone just thinking and pushing myself to do more - believing that I can someday get faster. Oh, the stories I have about being a not so fast runner...Like getting to the half way mark of these little country 5/10K runs and the people that are handing out the water have already deserted the area. I have gotten to the end of a 17 mile walk only to have nothing but bananas and warm bottled water left and the ER people packing up to leave...aren't we the people they should be sticking around for? I have been followed by the ambulance and the people taking the cones down as you pass.

But have to say that the most stressful was when me and my friend Ali were running the Grandma's Half Marathon (aka..the Gary Bjorkland) in Minnesota. At about 12 miles after looking at my feet for the last hour, trying to tune out the band with the bagpipes and repeating the middle school cheer.."I feel good..oohh I feel so good..hey" for the billionth time in my head.. a woman with some sign stepped smack dab in front of me and yells..."Get Off The Course!!!!" You can only imagine the confusion that was going through my mind - which at this point was the consistency of Jello. I panicked and looked around for Ali...Evidently the Evil woman had apprehended her as well because she stood on the sidewalk as dazed and confused as I was. The thing about this particular race is that you have to stay below a certain time. The reason is that the Marathon actually starts at the same time as the Half Marathon but the Marathoners begin 13.1 miles behind us. The problem arises when the slower of the Half and the fastest of the Full combine. They don't want that to happen - I would assume it might take away from the photo finish on the front page of the newspaper if this long legged African guy is neck and neck with a 5'2" pale white woman dragging her right arm and her crying friend across the finish line (okay, it may have been the other way - but it was pretty much a blur at that point. But back to story of the crazy woman - we never found out who that psycho was but we looked at each other and decided we didn't care what she said we were determined to finish that race. So for the next mile we would switch spots of encourager and crybaby about a dozen times. I kept saying "I have NOT come this far for them not to give me that stinkin' medal...I don't care who I have to talk to but I am NOT leavin' here without that thing around my neck..." And all Ali kept thinking about was her family at the finish line ......So we pressed on and crossed the finish line. I do rememver that I had this precious boy with Downs Syndrome place my medal around my neck and then I got my T-Shirt - I was on top of the world...and then tried my darndest not to pass out.

There have been some crazy things that have happened on my journey as a runner. And I am so excited for all those things again....And the one thing that I do have going for me that some of those girls with the long legs and the great feet don't have...after a race of that length and we all loose our toenails I don't even cry because I barely had any to loose in the first place....:-)


this is Jason's boat that we went out on...

I dream of retirement....I realize we have a few more years until we reach that age but this weekend we did a whole lot of dreaming about what that would look like.

We have some friends on Lake Michigan that have a small yacht (okay not good enough friends that we don't still have to pay them for our charter fishing trip - but friends just the same.) We met Captain Vern a few years ago when we went with Rich and Lisa on a charter fishing trip on the Lake. He is a great guy and wrote us each year asking us back. When we decided to go back this year he told us he had retired but he had someone that he highly recommended. But on one condition - he could come along.

We got to Port Washington on Saturday and they were having a festival (imagine that..) and there were tents all along the streets and music playing on the lake. Rob and I decided to walk through the produce which was Incredible and Rich and Lisa went into one building for a wine tasting from a local vineyard.. .Just a perfect day. We got checked into our hotel and headed over to find Jason and Captain Vern. We commented what a beautiful boat it was as we hopped inside. As we headed out we realized the waters were pretty rough. Jason said that when he took a group out that morning the waters were terrible but Captain Vern assured us they were suppose to "lay down" soon. The further out we got the worse I started to feel. As Jason and his ship mate began to put all 17 poles out in the water he noticed I didn't look so good. So he opened up the top of the boat so I could sit up there and get a good breeze. I have to say it was beautiful up there but the sickness really didn't subside. I stayed there for about an hour and a half and then headed down. I layed on the couch and Jason brought me a pillow and that is where I spent the remainder of my fishing excursion.

this is where I spent my day on the boat...

It was fun to watch them fish though. The first time we heard that reel whiz everyone's heart went crazy...Let the fun begin. Rob caught the first one and it was a nice Salmon. It was fun to watch him get so excited. He absolutely LOVES fishing. It doesn't' matter if it's in a big boat or sitting in the middle of nowhere in a canoe he just LOVES fishing. As the day went on Jason was telling us that he wanted to sell his boat. When he told us his price we were shocked $20,000. The four of us looked at each other with eyebrows raised. But we all new the reality - besides the fact that none of us had $20,000 just lying around we don't have the time. Summers are our busy season and we were thankful to get this one weekend together. What are the chances that we would be able to drive 3 hours enough times during the summer to make it worth the investment. And back to the money thing right now we have 1 child going into college and a teenage boy to feed...

Rob with his first salmon of the day....one happy guy...

Once we got back to shore and I got back on dry land and was able to stand upright we went with Captain Vern to a small restaurant on the Lake. We had such a nice visit listening to him tell stories about the things that he and his wife have done since he has retired. The next morning the four of us had breakfast at this adorable little deli that overlooked the marina when Captain Vern called up and wanted to stop by. He brought us some more fish that he had in his freezer that he uses for a fish boil that he does every summer. It was all cut up and deboned and ready to go. He and his wife were off for the day for a motorcycle ride....we all just sighed...

me and Lisa with Captain Vern....

On the way home we stopped for lunch at the Original Culvers in Sauk City and then we pulled into the Harley Davidson store. The guys drooled over all the bikes as Lisa and laughed while she tried on leather coats and doo rags. As we headed for home the guys were dreaming about the real possibilities of buying bikes and riding on the weekends. Although honestly that hasn't ever really interested me. I told them my dream is for Rob to fix up the 1968 convertible Firebird he bought when we were in the Air Force, now that would be fun. I would gladly take that across the country. It was fun to see everyone just getting excited about possibilities.

But then once again back to reality. All that would be nice but right now our priorities are working and our families. Rob puts in long days and so when he comes home there is not really time to go for a ride. We have a garden to hoe or bills to work on. "Free" time is spent going to events for the kids or an evening with friends or the various other responsibilities that we have.

I wouldn't trade my life for anything and I tell my kids that very often. This is the stage we are in right now and, like I have posted before, it goes much to fast. Too soon there will come a day when our home is empty and work has slowed down. We will both reminisce about these times in our lives. One of my big prayers is that we will be those grandparents that are on the go. That we will have the energy and ambition to take the grand kids on trips while their parents have to work...heehee...
I just reminding myself that everything has a season and we are to enjoy the season we are in and not be to quick to go on to the next....

My dream for you today is to live in your season...it is good to dream of the possibilities of the next but don't wish this one away to fast..

Have a wonderful day friends...