Monday, December 31, 2012


Its heeee-eeere!!! Time for New Year's Resolutions!! I am so totally stoked about this. It energizes me, more than Kale, to think about all of the changes that i want to make in 2013!

I thought about it,  wrote it down, thought about it, went into deeper detail, wrote it down...and then lost my notebook!

Story of my LIFE... i mean story of 1981-2012, but not 2013. I WILL be better. Which leads me to my next thoughts...

In the year of 2013, i want to be better. Just be. Better. At all things.

I am so totally tired of people texting, texting while driving, texting while bike riding, texting while at a desk, table, or couch. Texting while talking, texting while in line at a store or at a restaurant...texting, texting, texting! It is my nemasis. And i will stand strong against it. Its just the beginning of the end, if ya ask me---and YES i am assuming you ARE asking me, sooooo...

I want to fight the power of smartphones, facebook, and twitter. I  believe whole heatedly that they are the antichrist and we are so consumed with them and having everything at our fingertips, autocorrecting our own words that we are becoming mush brains-- MUSHBRAINS, i tell you!

I am so totes over elitism, arrogance, "defriending" and taking yourself too seriously. Laugh people. Laugh a little.

I do not believe that the value of an animals life is ANYWHERE close to a humans. Anywhere.

I am going off "the juice" in 2013. As for what "the juice" is...i call alot of things that. Coffee, ice cream, sugar, sugary snacks, sugary anything...mmmmmmm, i do love "the juice"!!

I am overhauling my meal planning. Its going to be serious and its gonna be radical.(more on that another time)

I continue to love Jimmy Fallon.

I want to be more like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler...just not so left winged--AMIRIGHT?

I miss Kristen Wiig on SNL.

I have read and enjoyed many books this past year and will continue to do so into the new year. Yeah for readers. READERS ARE LEADERS!! (spread the word)

Speaking of leaders, my wonderful-and so much cooler than me--friend, Angela, and i are starting a book club. Its gonna be ridiculously cool and you can all join. I am very excited about this.

I will get more chickens "before the rooster crows"...Ha! Not possible, i own a rooster and he will crow at around 4:30 tomorrow morning....soooo, i guess i will have more beautiful and glorious chickens before the ground thaws. Yes, that sounds right.

I am determined to learn how to can, preserve, and freeze my own produce this summer. It will be glorious as well. I want to live off the land. and own sheep, and own horses--no horses scare me--own Scottish Highland cows. (google them. They are A-mazing!)  Not pigs, i am a bit Jewish when it comes to pigs. Yuck. Lots more chickens, a few ducks....awww, baby ducks. Oh, how i loooong to be a farmer.

I am aiming to...[cough].... hug more.[Oh, gross] I feel like maybe my disdain for hugging has left some awkward goodbyes and i am going to try to fix that. No matter how weird it feels when my monkey like arms hug around a person and come back around to touch my own shoulders...Oy. this is going to be a toughie. If you read this, and see me--be gentle with the hugs.  Lets not overdo it, okay?

Speaking of hugs...i am thinking after 3 years of wearing organic deodorant, maybe i should just buck up--fill myself  with cancer causing aluminum--and go back to Dove deodorant? ---Nope. I don't know if i can. But maybe.

I want to wake up early and write. Yes, i said write. What, i can't be a writer? Is it my age? Inability? What? Oh never mind, who asked you anyways.  I am going to wake up early or stay up late writing. I have notebook's and notebooks from when i was younger and story upon story that i enjoy reading even now. I am going to write. Maybe a novel. You don't know. You don't know me, girrrrl. (snap left, snap right, and snap back left)

I guess i am running in a 7K in March (gag) since i have a bossy friend and she manages to tell me what to do and i accidentally (always) say yes--time after time. I may just get stuck doing this crazy thing. I will make her think she is in charge, but what she doesn't know is that she is going to play church softball with us this summer. And she is going to practice so that she doesn't embarrass me--leaving me no choice but to break up with her. (warm up that arm, Lady T)

And i am going to try more smiling and nodding when my husband talks.....(silently smiling and nodding) No words, no answers, no "why??!" just a smile and a nod, smile and nod, smile and nod. I've got high hopes for this one. And like they say, "Fake it till ya make it." (picture me smiling and nodding at you, right now)

I am going to combat HATE with LOVE. I am determined.

I will continue to pray for the families of Newtown the moment my eyes open-- every day.

I want to make Christ proud this year. Intentionally, every day, every moment, eyes on Him--proud.

Lastly i am going to live the year 2013 clinging to this verse, II Timothy 1:7 " For God hath not given us the spirit of fear,  but of power and of love and of sound mind."  I need this verse. Each day as i wake up, i need this verse.

What are your hopes and dreams for 2013?? I would love to hear them...

Happy New Year friends!!  Make goals, try, change, be better, love, give, smile, high five, snuggle, trust, laugh, and enjoy life!!!

Live a life full of love....the world needs it.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

I need thee

This week has been a rough one. As many of you know, that tragedy in Connecticut has really taken the wind our of my sails.  Each morning i still wake up thinking of those kids. Those parents. The friends. That town.

I pray diligently for peace and for God's love to just cover those families. And then i try to carry on with my day. But its never quite out of my mind.  There is a new pain that i am learning to live with.

At first it was a sorrow. And then anger. And now there is just a piece of me that is always imagining those families-- How is there day going at this exact moment. And then i imagine my precious children's faces. And remind myself never to ever grow numb. Never to go back to normal.

Because, that is in fact, what i think its wrong with this world.  We grow accustom to this stuff. It shocks us, saddens us. Maybe for a brief moment, but eventually we all return to our normal life.

And i am refusing to do that. I will be changed by this. And i will not go back to life before it.

As i was waiting in line at Target this morning I happened to glance over at the magazines. And there it was. PEOPLE's cover, filled with pictures of 26 beautiful lives--Lost.  And i had to look away.  Because that is how i am preserving myself these days. I have yet to see the news.  I just can't. I don't want to. I am healing and every glance that i see and every thing that i hear-- just sets me back. Puts me in their shoes. And i am stuck.

As i drove home, i thought about life without Christ. What a hopeless life that would be. And many of my friends and family live that life.  And it breaks my heart. Saddens my soul.


How do you get through something without hope? Faith--in things not seen? Trust in our heavenly Father. Our Saviour?

How do you go about life. Without a greater purpose?

To be honest, I feel lost some days with Christ. So how do you do it without him?

I have been praying fervently this past week. Soul searching, really.

Wondering if God just looks down on us and shakes his head saying, what will it take to get you to focus your eyes on me?

 My soul cries out for Gods provision. Each moment of every day.

 I think of the lost. I think of the saved.

Are we really living our lives heaven bound? Do we focus on Jesus in all hours of the day? Do we focus on Jesus in any hours of the day?

Because i want to.

We need to.

This is my plea. As we celebrate a holiday devoted to God's child--Jesus. Let us be reminded that its not just a story. Its history. Allow yourself time to take it all in. Give yourself time to truly envision it... HE was a baby, not unlike yours or mine, that was born in a manger. He came to earth to die, so that we could truly live.

Not here on earth, but in heaven. Where there will be "No more night. No more pain. No more tears. Never crying again. And praises to the great "I AM." We will live in the light of the risen Lamb." (David Phelps lyrics)

That is my Christmas wish for you.

To take life seriously. We don't know what tomorrow brings, but we can put our hope in Jesus. Right now.

Think about it. Do it. Don't wait.

Open up your Bible, and ask God to forgive your sins and cleanse you white as snow. That you may live in eternity with Him. 

Ephesians 2:8 :For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is a gift from God!

John 3:16 " For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 14:1 " Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God...

John 16:33 " In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

I can not imagine a world without the HOPE of Jesus Christ. The uncertainly of where death will take me. The fear of the unknown. 

God is clear. Matthew 7:7 says "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." 

Don't just think about it.  


Ask, seek, Knock!

Trust Him and you will know a peace like never before!! God doesn't promise us that we won't have troubles on this earth, but he does promise us eternal life. Because "greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world." (1 john 4:4)

I know i sound passionate about this, but its because i am. If i offend you, that was never my intent. Never. We just can't keep tip toeing around this earth.  We need to stand for something. We need Jesus and we need to be the change this world so desperately craves. 

Listen to this hymn, let the words sink into the depths of your soul and cry out to Him. This is my prayer for you--today and every day that follows. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Yesterday was unspeakable. Unimaginable. Evil.

I have no words to describe the pain i feel for the families who lost their innocent and precious children yesterday.

My brain truly can not fathom how anyone could do this.

I knew nothing of the events yesterday. I felt in the weeds because i was running behind on preparations for dinner with friends at out house.  At around 12:30 my friend called me and said "Did you hear the news?" In a terribly somber voice.  I said "no." And she proceeded to tell me that "there was a shooting at a school, kindergarten through 4th grade..."

And i tell you, what i heard was "there's been a shooting at East Bethel Elementary School..."  Her kids go there and so do mine.

I can't even begin to describe the feeling that overtook my body. My lungs began to fill with fire and my stomach hurt. It was a pain so intense.Visceral. My hands started to shake as i, truly, thought this was happening at my school.

For a moment--my world stood still.

"turn on the news." she said.

I turned off Arthur and watched channel 4 in horror. Horror. After only a few minutes i turned the TV off and told Junior to get his shoes on. We were going to get my girls.  I needed a moment alone to compose myself as i felt like this journey went from being one i was going to experience to absorbing all the pain and sorrow that i now felt for families who lost their babies. Kindergartners.

Perfect, sweet, innocent and vulnerable. I pictured Laney's adorable class as i drove.  Envisioned our principle and our teachers. It was horrific.

As i walked into the office the principle was quietly talking to the secretaries. I waited for her to leave. Assuming she was talking about the days events.

And then i said "I am here to pick up my kids early."  The secretary said okay.

And then she looked at me and gently said " They are safe here."

 I did everything in my power to keep my composure. I nodded and said, "i just need them home."

And she called for Ruby i was able to go get Laney as i knew she was getting ready for recess.  She was shocked and all the kids were happy. Laughing and talking. Waving and hugging me as i walked through the hall. They are all so innocent. So precious. My soul hurt as i tried to smile at those faces that i love.

As i walked out of the school the weight of the day hit me harder and i felt ill.  I needed my kids. Fear had entered my life. Along with a sorrow i never knew.

As a mother, I envision rushing to the scene of that school. Your life can go either way. You hang in the balance wondering if your child will come out, or if an officer will come to your side.

The sheer joy of seeing your child run from the school to your arms yesterday, a gift from God that breaks the heart.

And other families--went to bed with out a member of their family. A child no longer has his or her sibling. A mother with out a child. A family with a broken heart-forever.

We have experienced many evils in life.  Shootings, bombings, 9/11, terrorist attacks. But nothing has hurt my heart like yesterdays shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  A kindergarten class.

So as i mourned an prayed yesterday and today, i just feel guilty.  Someone is without their 5 year old- and today i am hugging mine. So far from the tragedy and yet i feel survivors guilt.

A child should never die. But in cold blood. It sickens my soul and tears at my heart.

As i woke up the reality hit me again. That this really happened. And how thankful I am to have my children safe at home with me.  But how much i hurt for those families.

All we can do is pray. I don't even have the words to pray, but we must.

Yesterday I prayed against the evil and the hate in this world. I prayed for the first time ever, that God just comes back to earth to take us all to heaven where we can live together forever. Without any pain. Without any children dying.

Heaven. That was my prayer.

I shut down the computer and kept the tv off all of yesterday. I couldn't see any news, didn't want to hear any more stories.  Because the three minutes that i did see- some of those comments are ones that i wish i could forget. You can't unsee things. And we can't un hear it. We can't unread stories. So i choose to pray. The facts are horrific and we know that those families, those survivors, those injured, those parents, kids, teachers and friends--need prayer. And that is all that i can offer.

We can pray. And God can heal.

 I don't know how, but he has to.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Carry on.

The Holidays usually bring about many emotions. And i used to have sheer joy when i thought about Christmas. Or almost anything.

And I think i still do, for the most part.

But every once in a while we can get a little bug in our behinds that makes us feel sorry for ourselves for this reason or that.

And some times its justified.

Because life is hard.

But i also believe that we can pull ourselves out of it too. By focusing on what we DO have.

The other night as i was driving in the car, my newest favorite song came on. Its more of an anthem than a song. And it reminded me of all that is right in the world. And even what isn't right--Doesn't have to control me.  Bad relationships don't control me. Bad people don't have the power to hurt me. Brokenness doesn't have to overtake us.

Unless we let it.

For all that is wrong. I have something even better and more powerful that is right.

I have my Mom and Dad. And i have a brother like no other to have ever walked this planet.  So for all the broken relationships that i have that i feel aren't fair or have hurt me, or my husband, or my children. I always remind myself of the good people.

And i wouldn't take one thing on this earth if it meant that i didn't have those three in my corner.

And that reminds me to be so very grateful for what i do have. Because the love of those people in my life, is greater than any other love i can (tangibly) receive.

When i think of the people who have hurt "my people" it boils my blood.  I think of family. Friends. Co workers.(coworkers? I don't even work) Anyone who crosses those three people, crosses me as well.  And not that i will dwell on the hand that they have been dealt or the unfairness they have received. I will say this. We're a team. You hurt my people, you hurt me.  (That sounds a bit too Godfathery--doesn't it?)

Back to my anthem for life.

I felt sadness the other day, for a brief moment. Until I envisioned my beautiful friend Gwendolyn. And I thought of her in pain. I saw it. And it hurt my insides. To see her hurt for a loss in her life. Physically pained me as well.

I will never comprehend the life she has lead having lost her mother at such a young age. But i can be a friend to her. I want to. I need to.  I want to make it all better and take away her pain. But i can't.  So i will have to walk along beside her. (i'm with ya sister!)

Whenever we think we are hurting, we need to look around us and see other peoples needs and other peoples hurts. And we need to love them. And forget ourselves. Cause God has given us life and many blessings. And we can't ignore them.

Love someone today.

And carry on....

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Girl power

Beyonce said it best when she sang "Boy you know you love it, how we're smart enough to make these millions. Strong enough to bare the children--then get back to business."

I lOVE that song. 

And i totally love being a girl. Cause girls rock!

I often think about the life of a man and then the life of a woman once they get married.

The men, they continue to work.

The women, usually work too--but also have to start making dinner. And cleaning the bathroom. And doing the dishes. And washing and drying and folding and putting away laundry. And doing the grocery shopping. And vacuuming. And scrubbing the floors.And then they usually give birth. And stay up all night. And clean up vomit. And wipe butts. And pack lunches... And, and, and.....

Is it just me, or does that seem somehow skewed?  

I for one, was not a natural born organizer, or dish do-er, or clothes folder, or bathroom cleaner. I wasn't even predisposed for it. I was the youngest child.. That basically equates to a bit spoiled. All i remember is eating my bowl of ice cream at night in the living room and then it disappeared. I don't know who put it away, but i am pretty positive it wasn't me.  (I can assume with about 100% certainty that in a house full of boys--it was the woman (Mom) who had to clean it up)

Sorry bout that Mom.

As i think about it (which i do often) I think about how amazing women are. I mean, we have babies!!  That's huge.  And we usually don't even complain about it.  That's even huger.

We just change with the seasons and step up to each new role placed before us. No bigs.

I happened to watch Dancing with the Stars last night and that cute little gymnast Shawn Johnson was doin her thing. And since it was the finals, she had guest back up dancers...the fab five, from the Olympics!  I love that. Girl power, i say--Girl Power! I love how we come together to support one another. (what i am trying to say is if one of you happen to make it on dancing with the Stars, Yes--i will be your back up dancer!)

The other day i was at Northtown (i know, i know. Puke) shopping at Vanity for boots with my girl, Angie. (Having a fabulous 1 hour girls get away) and i had one grey boot on my right foot and one brown boot on my left. There was this snarky girl, on the phone in front of the only mirror that i could use so i asked her (quietly- I didn't want to disturb that phone call) if i could just sneak in for a second? And she moved over a few feet and continued with her phone call.  And as i was looking back and forth at my feet, she pulled the phone away from her lips for a brief second and said "The brown ones!" And then went back to her phone. I love that. I love girls. We rule.  I nodded in agreeal and proceeded to get the brown ones.

Girls. We are a team. Always.

I like to think about my list of friends (and yes, it is a long list-thank you very much) and think about the different personalities and strengths of each one.

 There's the one who always has great advice.
The one who always has advice...its just not great.
The funny one. 
The strong one.
The tough one.
The faithful one.
The sad one.
The one you admire.
The one you want to learn from.
The one you remind yourself not to be like.
The chatty one.
The kind one.
The one who loves TV as much as you do.
The one who you like to eat with. (because they would rather just skip dinner and eat cupcakes too)
The maternal one.
The childish one.
The simplifier.
The "messier than you" one.
The healthy eater
The coffee drinker
The McDonalds frequenter
The coop frequenter
The ones who- if you are going to get into a fight--you want by your side.
The crazy ones that you never want to cross.
And the loyal one. get my point. There are so many levels of girlhood. And i think we are the strongest things around. Mentally, socially, relationally, emotionally.

We are super heroes. You--are a superhero.

The older i get the more I appreciate my girlfriends. Even the crazy ones...or wait, am I the crazy one?

Okay, thanks alot. I don't like your tone there. I just told you how much i appreciate you and now you're calling me crazy...Thats it, where's my crazy going to war girlfriend? I need her.

See, a friend for every situation. How handy.

I want to embrace my peeps today! I am so thankful to be a girl and have the pleasure of having some rockin awesome girlfriends.  Without them, i would be nothing.

I mean, can you imagine how many looong blogs i would have if i didn't have my girls to talk to every day? How would i get my words in? HOW!?

Pheww, thank you for being a friend. You saved me. Well, Jesus did. But you guys--you are good.

This song goes out to all my girls. Even if your days highlight is only to fold clothes. Do it with style!! Tilt your head up and to the rights then pout your lips-now slowly bob your head up and down and OWN that laundry!!

Because who runs the world??   


Monday, November 12, 2012

Everything effects someone

On Saturday i picked my wonderful Mother up to take her to lunch with one of my brothers. As i drove to his house, with my mother in the car, (who am i kidding, it was a van) her brother called her to wish her a happy birthday.  As i drove silently and listened to the conversation, i heard her say "well, i'm 65 today. I've lived 15 years longer than Mom and Dad." She said it and kept on talking about memories and fun stuff, not stopping to break down or anything.

I, on the other hand, felt this new pain that i feel inside at the thought of my grandparents. The 4 of them that i never even got to meet.

And it hurt my soul a bit.

So much that i had to focus on something else in my brain, or it might just overtake me.

Since i have been an adult. Maybe since I've been a mother. I really-really-wish i had had Grandparents growing up. Really.

I often think about my Mom's Dad and wonder if he would have been proud to watch me play ball?  I think of my Mom's mother and wonder if she would have enjoyed eating the sugary treats that i love to cook? Would my Dad's Dad be like Uncle John, or Uncle David?  Could i make him smile? Could i make him laugh?

 I bet I could make him laugh.

And my Dad's Mother, would she have approved of the person that i am? Would she have liked me? Liked all of us?

I often think of this- with sadness- as i see the wonderfulness of Grandparents and their love for their grand kids. Their love for their own.

I long for it actually. Even as an adult, i just kind of long for it. I wish i had had someone who just loved and doted on us and thought we just hung the moon. Because that's what Grandparents do, right?

And that's when i start to think about the fact that my Mom was just in her twenties when her parents were killed in a car accident. A mother to two young boys. Her brothers, Scott and Rob, were barely school age. Babies. Too young to lose their parents.  And that loss has continued down the line. It is felt by not only those kids who's life was forever changed when their parents went out the door and never came home...but also for their kids, and their kids kids. Generations feel the pain and loss of not having a mother, or Grandmother.

It doesn't just effect a few people. It effects us all. In so many different ways.

And that is why i feel especially sad/angry when i see a generation that does have grandparents, but are at odds.  Its not just them that its hurting. Its everyone down the line.  To see grandparents choose to "neglect" grandchildren or children for this or that reason...

It truly boggles my mind.

What is worth doing that much damage and causing that much hurt?  Pride? Anger?..i just don't get it.

I hate it. Because i long so much for it. I would give just about anything to have known my grandparents.


So it really irks me, when i stop and think about it, just how much pain my Mom and her siblings had to endure. And my Dad and his siblings had to endure at losing their parents so early in life.

I know God has a plan for everything. And i know my parents are amazing and strong because of the hand they had been dealt. I know i am fine and my kids will be too.

But i still find myself thinking about the what ifs in life when it comes to my grandparents.

What if they liked me? What if they just really liked and protected me and loved me...

Oh, what a love that would have been.

And so, as my Mom talked about outliving her parents, it reminded me--not that i needed to be reminded--just how blessed I am, and all my family is, to have them in our lives.

Because their love is great, they  like us and they protect us.

And for that--I am so thankful.

Friday, November 2, 2012


Yesterday as i was driving out of the neighbor hood (blaring Michael Buble's Christmas album...but thats none of your business...and i don't like your tone) I saw a elderly couple coming out of one of my neighbors house carrying a suitcases--and it hit me.

I'm going to be that old some day too.  That's hard for me to wrap my brain around.  They just looked so cute and they were probably someones parents just staying for the weekend.  I wanted to go up to them and squeeze their cheeks and tell them how cute i thought they were. But i didn't think they'd appreciate that.

Who knows? Maybe they would...

Or wouldn't.

But maybe would?

 What i'm trying to say is that i really like them. And i wonder what I will be like in 50 years.  Not only do i wonder about it, i kind of panic attack about it.

Jeromy and I were just talking the other day about the fact that he is going to turn 37 this year!!!  37 is soooo close to 40...might as well be 75, right?  Man. That's gonna be a toughie for me.  Heck, 32 might just be tough.

And what makes it worse is yesterday in all my spare time, since i used my time super wisely, i looked through my own faceboook photos and watched as i transitioned to an old faced 31 year old.  Oy. That hurt.

Have you ever done that?  Cause i would recommend it.

If you want to watch yourself get wrinkles, double chins and darker hair.

On second thought. Don't do it.  Save yourself the need to cry over a bowl of delicious ice cream...

... and then a cupcake...

...and then some chips-since that's just too much sugar and you will need some salt -

... and then maybe a butterfingers.

And then take one more quick look at your facebook photos circa 2009!! Waaaaaaaaaah!

But I digress.

What i meant to say was, when i look back now, i see a fresh faced girl with a quick smile.

How do i get that back? Where has the time gone i ask. WHERE?

When i am 75 and bringing my suitcase out to the car, what will i think as i reminisce about my 31 year old self?

Will I think, Remember all the energy that i had when i was 31? Remember that fresh face and quick smile? Where did that go? And why do my knees and back hurt so much?

Every now and again, i have to take a little inventory of my life. Re-evaluate things. Take a good look in the mirror and embrace what i see.  Cause this is it people. This is my only opportunity to be 31. And i don't want to waste it away looking at old pictures or feeling too tired to walk and more ready to eat. I want to make today, tomorrow and next week count. So that i can look back and like what i see.

I want not to focus on the lines around my eyes, but the reasons that i got them. I smile alot. And with smiling (and not using anti wrinkle cream...oh, the chemicals!) ya get lines. I want to remember why i smiled so much in life.

I want to remember my son's amazing hugs. I want to remember Ruby attempting to "catch" me as i squat down by the fridge and lose my balance. I want to remember Laney rolling her eyes as she talks about a boy in her class. I want to remember how funny my husband is when he's not even trying.  I want to remember that my life is full. And i smile for a reason.

I am happy.

Even when i'm not. I'm happy. Because this is a great life and i have great kids, a great husband, great friends, great parents, a DVR that works, a good dog and some awesome chickens. (i include them because they make me happy, ok!)

I guess the reason i don't want to get old is because i don't want to waste a second of my life. I want to thoroughly enjoy and be present in each and every day that God graces me with.

And that--makes me smile.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Turn it down...

Here are my thoughts of late...

In this world of opinions, hypocrisy, judgement and social media.  I find it harder and harder to view truth as it is.  If find that i am frustrated with people,  annoyed with or on board with their opinions. But i find it hard to know when we should and when we shouldn't speak up. Well, no-i take that back, its not that i don't know when to speak up, its that i find too many people DO speak up. And in their quest to defend all that is right in the world, especially in the name of Christ, they end up hurting their own cause when anger and passion overtake their words, thoughts and opinions. I know  they are for or against this, or voting for him or him, but in their speech, all i can hear is judgement and hate. The facts usually get lost behind the passion (to put it kindly) that comes out. And that is usually exactly what they are speaking out against. Against all the wrong doing and hate coming from the "other side."

Does that make sense?  Cause i think it sounded better in my head.

Here's an example. Lets say one of us likes Obama and one of us likes Romney. (I know, great subject matter, its not like anyone's passionate about politics, are they?)  But when we defend an opinion (no matter who or what it is for) we are so busy promoting our cause with such "exuberance" (thats the nice way of putting that, too) that we get our undies in a bunch, state facts that i think are made up and go from defending our beliefs to insulting the other persons. Right?  Am i the only person annoyed with this?

Maybe its because i see it so much or that i loathe it so much but i just feel like it is so frequent that we defend one thing and end up hurting our own cause.  In our conversation (battles) against one another promoting the marriage amendment we end up trying to point to the bible for answers and yet forget to speak with love!  Right? Is anyone else seeing this?   (i picked that debate cause it seems to be crazy hot right if you didnt know that) I agree completely in freedom of speech. I welcome it. I enjoy reading posts with good debates. I don't enter into them, but i find it interesting (and a bit nerve racking) to follow. 

This blog is not, and i repeat not about politics or the marriage amendment. Its about speaking and listening and acting in love. Always.

How does that look. How would that look if we all did that? 

I guess i am just thinking out loud, but how do we, as Christians, debate hot topic issues?  I know it can be done right, i have seen it. I respect the few people who i watch debate with out slander. We can have opinions. We can have facts. But to insult the opposing person in the process?  I just think it makes everything else void.  I know i have done it. I think it has been awhile since i have been that caught up in it, but i try to constantly think (because i constantly watch others) how are my words and my actions representing Christ? Cause i get mad about stuff. Believe you me. And i don't always know the right way to handle it. I think i have a a grip on keeping politics to a low boil, but don't get me started on character judgment. There's a good chance that as i defend mine, i'm going to probably speak volumes that i didn't even mean to.   But our actions, they speak so much louder than our words.

Via facebook i have watched people fall into this trap again and again.  They just can't resist stating their opinions on someone else's posts, just to state an opposing thought. Why? Who cares what we think? DO we speak to lift others up, or are we speaking just to be heard?  Often times i think people get sucked in, just to be the loudest.

Its not that we can't or certainly shouldn't say our opinions, its just how we say them. We can differ. Its alright. But how are we doing it? Usually with venom.

Again, i know i have done this. Not so much of facebook. Cause i have been burned--bad--in the past. But in life. I see other Christians making choices that i don't agree with, or doing things that i just shake my head at and want to correct, but can we?  What makes us any better than anyone else?

I don't have any answers to any of this. I just think in this political season, there is so much banter--some good, some bad--and i truly do enjoy talking politics, ya just have to pick the right people (no pun intended:) to discuss it with. It doesn't have to be someone who agrees with you, but it definitely has to be someone who has a handle on their temper, opinion, and maybe even their fists...riiight? Otherwise it is all for not. It so often ends up bad and we don't even hear the other persons opinions, but we definitely remember the insults that were said.

I enjoy it, but lets settle down about it.  Its often the ones who speak the softest that everyone listens to anyways.  Love seems to win out. Doesn't it?  And for me, i put my faith in Christ. I will pray for our leaders and trust that God is in control and he knows what is best for all of us.  Of course i vote and am passionate about what i think, but not at the expense of turning someone away from Jesus. If i represent him weakly, than i have already lost. Because, to me, that is the most important thing to consider.  Am i hurting the cause of Christ as i defend or represent my beliefs?

In all things?  I sure hope so. (but doubt it.)

Like it says in my friends Kindergarten class. Lets TALK with love. TOUCH with Love and LISTEN with Love. If 5 year olds are doing it, i certainly hope that the 30 somethings can get a grip too.

Monday, October 8, 2012

making a change

This week has been difficult. A bit. In one particular and small area of life....PARENTING!

I am having a buggar of a time figuring out one of my kids! It is so frustrating and confusing to me. As i disipline her constantly, i am feeling sad for her at the exact same time. What does she need? Why is she mad about this?  How can i make her feel better? And will she ever just listen to me and not put up a fuss? 

Seriously. I don't know what is going on and i don't feel in control one bit. 

But as i sit and think about her today, i am reminded that if nothing else, i want her to feel safe and loved at home. I want home to be a foundation of simplicity, love, encouragement, quality time and understanding.  And yet as i try to establish that (in my Hitler like way) i wish she would understand that i am only disciplining and teaching her so that she can grow up to be an amazing and loving and kind and caring and confident and a respectful woman.

But how do i tell her to be kind to others, when i snap if she hits her sister? As i try to emphasize (and maybe over emphasize) the importance of family, i am coming down hard on her because i know what happens and how it feels when the family unit isn't supportive and loving and encouraging and caring.  And i fight so hard against it, that sometim- i wonder- if i am just doing my own cause damage?

Probably. Right? Uffda.

Either way, i feel resolved to take on a new method today. I am going to love my child for who she is right now, and hope that through my actions she will learn all that i have been trying to teach her (without success) through my words.

Sometimes i worry that its too late to shape them differently. To do better. To be better. And that feeling is not comfortable, but the truth.

But i am determined to curb my words and pump up my actions....and hope they take notice.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The good day

Ever have one of those days that are just plain good?

Cause that is what i am having today. A really good day. For no reason. Well, that's not true. I got up this morning and walk/ran on the treadmill, then headed up stairs to get my kids ready for school. Got them to the bus, waved at the adorable kids. Got inside to get Junior dressed and packed up to head to Walmart for some groceries.

Got home just in time to put them away and get back in thecar to go to recess and lunch with Ruby.  And its was just glorious. I love that little school. I love that the kids eyes light up as i walk through the school, like they know me, case i am now the noon lady (recess girl) and they call me "the nice one." Which makes my heart sing, cause all i want to ever be is the nice one! (Yessss!)

Got to eat lunch with my girl and visit with her friends. Then we headed back to the class, and i stopped by Laney's room to hand off her lunch bag that i packed for her. And those kids light up and smiled and waved and I just LOVE THEM all!!

Then off to Ruby's room to talk to her teacher for a bit and she said that Ruby raised her hand and told the teacher that she had worked on her glossary words with her Mom the night before. (our special time after Laney and Junior fall asleep and Dad is at church)  Got a kiss from her and a "she's such a good girl" from her teacher and headed to the office to see if there was any openings for recess duty next week and shouted a "have a great day!" to them all as i walked out into the sunshine and headed home to get start on some chicken noodle soup.

The soup turned out, i'm folding laundry, my son is totally awesome and all is right in the world!!

Ever have those days where you just walk on clouds and all is right?  I love those days. We need to pay attention to them and embrace them. Lets focus on the good and forget the bad.  Because life is joyful and amazing. Even on the bad days, we can still find the joy,

Today is that day. Where life is just good.

Now, if you're having a bad day and this post just makes you want to punch your computer...i'm sorry. I feel your pain. But not today. Don't punch it today. Snuggle your kids, your hubby, your pet and just enjoy this sunshine and remember that Jesus loves you and that tomorrow is another day, and its probably going to ROCK!!

Can you feel the mental high five i am sending your way right now? Cause its a good one and its coming...

Smile on, my friends. Smile on!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

In the garden

Today at church my pastor was talking about Genesis and it got me to thinking.

As I read along with him in Genesis Chapter 3 he talked about how the serpent came to Eve and asked her "Did God really say 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?
And how Eve responded by saying that "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die." The snake told Eve that she would surly not die, but that God was afraid if she ate it her eyes would be opened and she would be like God, knowing good and evil.

The snake tricked her, and confused her, and tempted her. And she gave into it. 

Of all the trees and all the beauty and all the wonderful things of God that she had at her finger tips, there was only one that she couldn't touch. And it was irresistible to her!

As i sat there thinking, i couldn't believe it. I know this story, as many of you do, but i thought of it today as me in that garden. Eve wasn't perfect. Only Jesus was. She was just a woman.

Just like me. 

She had the world at her finger tips and she chose sin. That boggles my mind. 

Think about it for a second as if you were in that garden.  Daily meetings with God in the garden, the presence of God literally with you everywhere you went. Having the physical presence of God, walking in the garden with you daily.  And she gave that up for more knowledge.  Knowledge.

I can't comprehend it. 

As i sat there, i wished that just for one day i could be like Jesus. Perfect in every way. Never sinning. Can you imagine?

And then i thought, if that were me in that garden, would i have given into sin? Would i have eaten that apple?

It has been making my mind wonder all day. 

We live in a world full of sin. Temptation. Persecution. Selfishness. Blame.  I am just so aware of the fact that as humans, we are never satisfied. I mean, Eve wasn't even satisfied--in the garden of Eden!!! She wanted more. And to be honest, it annoys me.  What the heck, Eve? Why did you do that! It really bothers me that we are that weak and selfish.

And just think now of the world that we live in, the amount of sin that occurs on a daily basis. We feel like we are hidden from God and that our sins are invisible. I think we honestly believe that sometimes. That is, if we are even consciously thinking about God in the first place.

Are we never satisfied? Can we justify every selfish motive we have? Or are we happy where we are and content with what we have?

Honestly, think about it?  Think about Eve, just a woman. A mere mortal. What if we could do it all over again, and this time, we were in that garden. Would we stand by God? Would we trust in his love for us? Would we be content to walk with him daily and ignore the one teeny tiny tree that we weren't allowed to touch? Or would we focus on it. Focus on it until it consumed us and we just had to try it?

I don't say this like i think i know the answer. I just ask the question because it is bothering me today.

Would I? Could I? I don't know. But i like to think yes.  And if think i would trust him in the garden, am i trusting Him every day with everything in my life?

I don't know...

(This song is one of the most amazing songs that i have ever heard. Today Dan & Angie Leverence sang it at our church and it was fantastically powerful!! (its from 'The Story' and sung by Matthew West and Leigh Nash))

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Recess, who knew?

This last 5 months i have been subbing for recess duty...wait, no its only been 8 days so far....feels like a bit more, i guess.

Anywhooo, i have learned so much as i watch the kids at recess. Its amazing what you can see in a 4th grader, that i am pretty sure you will still see in them when they are grown ups.  I see the kids who are loners (some by choice, others not) i see the girls who lock hands an walk together, i see the few who group off and sit and talk, i hear kids actually try to set each other up. I hear girls talk about the boys they like and watch as the boys don't care at all.  I see the kids who obviously play too many video games and the ones who love sports. I see the kids pretending to attack each other and the girls who are interested in nothing but gymnastics. I have noticed no one can report a problem better than a kindergarten girl and no one listens less than a 4th grade boy.  I find my huge size isn't as intimidating as i had hoped and that a random wink makes a few kids happy.  High fives are king out there. And when i say "have a good day and be kind to others" as the bell rings, no one even looks back at me.
That is the life of a recess sub. And i kind of love it. I mean, its hard. I feel like there is no way i am ready to be away from home on a daily basis. My heart is still here. And i feel like being away for three hours a day really interrupts my house work time. And i miss my boy. There is no way i could do it every day. Not if i want to keep up my house and position as Momma to Junior.  So i am thankful to only be doing this part time and only for a week longer.

But as i stand out there each day, i watch the kids. The good ones. The shy ones. The mad ones. The naughty ones. The daring ones. The annoying ones. And the sweet ones. And i have one thought. Those are someones kids out there. Someone loves them more than life. And that makes them special to me too.  When the same 4th grade boy walks up the slide after i have repeatedly told him not to, i just think, hes just a little guy. He's still so young. So i remind him again, and try to smile when i do it.  When those two boys jump from the slide to the monkey bars to the ground (all things they are not supposed to do) i try to encourage them to be gymnasts, since they have impeccable coordination and timing.

I have realized after being in the school for a bit now, that there are a few blowhards out there that really enjoy their power and like to remind everyone of it.  I love the freedom of just being the recess lady. I don't have to shape their lives or teach them discipline, i just get to smile and pretend i didn't just see them walk back up the tunnel slide. (gasp)

I  have talked to two of my teacher friend and i have told them both i just "like being the cool recess girl" and they both (i kid you not) separately have told me that the "cool ones" usually equal the "weak ones".
Whatever! That is what i say to that. Who cayuhs. I don't think cool equals weak. I think those poor kids need room to run and let off a little steam after having to hold everything together to get through the school day. Kids are supposed to run, jump, yell, act out, be hyper, throw things, and push the limits, aren't they?  If they didn't they would be adults. And isn't "play" what separates the two?  Yes, the answer is yes.

Play is what i like to see kids doing. Using their imagination. So sometimes that means they pretend bite one another and then shout out "you're infected!" and run off....whateves.  It doesn't bother me. I think they're funny.

But then the other recess lady walks over to my slide and shouts out "Sit down!" (in her crabbiest voice)  and then glances my way. I just pretend i didn't see her or the slide walker and mosey on over to the monkey bars.  Now, i'm not being rebellious. If there is trouble a brewin', believe me, i am on it. But come on, who doesn't see a slide and think they should walk up it?

Every now and again when i wonder if i am being too lenient i just think, "What would Jason Statham do if he were out here?"  And i think he would intervene when necessary, and only necessary. And then i smile to myself and think a bit more about him....Ahhhhhhh.....

I believe its important to bring a smile to a kids day. Just as important as laying down the law...maybe even more important.

Here are a few other things i have discovered this week:

1.) kids always give themselves away. Always.

2.) Girls waste alot of time pouting and pining over boys.

3.) Boys don't really care about much. They are all over the board.

4.) I will NEVER buy my kids Osiris shoes. Ever. Never ever.

5.) Parents: Dress your kids for the weather for petes sake.

6.) Kids don't need to wear skinny jeans with high healed boots in elementary school. Ever.

7.) I hope my kids continues to be the one who aren't too concerned with the dealings on the playground.

8.) Don't kiss Junior as he slides down the slide. Its results in electric lip pain!

9.) A playground is meant to play on...SO PLAY! Play to your little hearts desire.

So each day when i am tired of standing and sick of the sun beating down on me, i try to remember those things.

I would have taken a few pictures of my kids on the playground this year, but i noticed a sign on the front of the school banning photos out there. Which is a bummer for a loving Mom but totally cool for the weird uncle with the camera, AMIRIGHT?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sliding doors

Have i ever mentioned that i am no good at making decisions? Especially really big and important ones? Cause I'm not--or so i am reminded each time i get a migraine after a stressful situation. (what a whimp)

Here's the deal. I have had a huge decision to make this year.  It started this last February when Laney's name was drawn from the lottery at PACT Charter school. Yes, the big daddy of charter schools. My child got into.  So after stressing a bit and praying about it this winter a few of my girl friends (one in praticular who happens to work there) just told me to say "yes" and then i had the rest of the year to decide.

That sounded easy enough. After telling the intimidating admissions coordinator we would accept the position i thought about if a few days, and then insisted that my brain forget about it. I mean, i had like 6 months until school started anyways. Who cares.

Flash forward 6 months.

I get something in the mail telling us when Laney was to come in and do a little testing to see where she fit into the class.  Oh great. That's right, I have to make this decision.

Jeromy and i talked it over and he was insistent that the kids not go to different schools. We did NOT want to be a house that went all over timbuctoo accommodating all the wants of different kids. They would stay together. That we were both sure of.  So that kind of took the pressure off, because Ruby was yet to be confirmed "in" and they wouldn't know until school started.  That pretty much was our answer.

I called the school the day before i was to take Laney in and told them that it was likely that i wasn't going to take the position because my other child wasn't confirmed as accepted and the sweet secretary encouraged me to just wait and see and take Laney in anyways.  She offered for me to talk to the coordinator (rememeber, the scary one?)  And i said, "no thanks. She kind of scares me." And that was that.

Well we got up early and headed into PACT. I was watching the time to see how long this commute would take every day of my live for the next 12 years. And it was about 27 minutes.  We arrived and Laney went into the room with the wonderful Kindergarten teacher that they have and the secretaries invited me in. They said that scary lady (i add libbed that) wanted to see me. 


She told me (on the DL) that there was just an opening, as of yesterday, for a second grade position. 

Normal people would have jumped for joy...

I did not.

"Ohhhhh, okay. Well, that's...suuuuper."

Was all i could muster as my brain began to move about 100 miles per hour with each and every possible scenario of my kids future...and they all rested on my shoulders. Heavily.

Ruby instantly dug her heals in.  I assured her (in a quiet voice) that we would think about it and talk to Dad, and not to worry.

About an hour later. She had a bad headache.

Where does she get it?

I blame her Dad.

Anywhoo, as my brain raced and Ruby's brain raced and Laney's brain sang whimsical songs...we drove in silence.

I would have called Jeromy, but i think my phone was shut off....Ahhh, the life I lead.

So in the silence we rode, off to Waldochs to get cucumbers to can.  'Cause we push forward, that's why!

As i sweat and sniffed enough vinegar to rot my brain, i wondered.

What the heck? Why do I have to make this decision? If only she hadn't gotten in.

Now i know it sounds negative but believe me i was happy-ish. This could be the potential for greatness. This school was amazing, right?

When all else fails, i email a letter off to my wonderful small group of ladies. They will help me. Or at least pray for me. Which in turn is helping me, right?

They were encouraging. In their evasive not gonna tell you what to do kind of way.  (i like them for that....most days:)

One verse that my friend shared with me was Hebrews 4:16 "Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."

That Laurie, she always knows what to say.  It was a verse i clung to. I approached the throne with confidence--confused, couldn't make a decision if my life depended on it, confidence.

Then two days later i was off to Milwaukee with my brother. I think you remember that post.  I truly believe those migraines stemmed from this decision. My brother felt  bad and assumed i was secretly super stressed, but i was having a blast with him. It was the silent decision looming over head that was killing me...well, and maybe the smell of those deliciously sweet roses.

Anywhoooo, back to the stress. The prayer. The indecision. My wonderful friend Lynn called and gave me the dish on how wonderful PACT really was and was encouraging and wonderful.

Which only made the decision that much harder.

Ya see, first off PACT has no bus service out here. Second: Laney only would go half day. And Ruby would go full day. That meant i drove there at least 2 if not 3 times a day. For the first year at least. Third: The financial burden of  putting gas in our tank just might wreck us. Literally. 

But East Bethel is in the St. Francis school district and its a well known...ummm....its like....kind a hillbilly way? I don't know. Its just not the best, i guess. And i am worried about the middle school and high school and my kids making one wrong choice and damaging their whole lives!!! 

(That's not dramatic, and i don't like your tone.)

I told Jeromy over and over that this is a "sliding door" moment. (Thank you Tonya, for that movie many years back)  Because Gwenyth Paltrow missed the train her life turned out completely different than if she had made it.  Ya see...a sliding door?  One choice sets the course of your life.(in a sense)

My kids whole high school career, sports career, prom dates, friends, all were up to me! (you know, in a sense)

So i stressed about it. I prayed about it. And i talked to everyone. I mean everyone. Because i believe the Bible is correct in the fact that there is wisdom in many counselors.  And counseled i was.

Jeromy and i felt like this was God opening these doors for our kids. Could we actually do this?

And as i sat and sat and prayed and prayed i flip-flopped my decision about 100 times. Depending on the day, i could go either way.  We made lists of pros and cons and we both agreed, this was a difficult choice.

Its really important to me to have my kids close. And in all the years i have lived here, everything has been kind of far away and i have always commented on the fact that the school is just a hop, skip and a jump away. I loved that. I needed that. I needed to know that i could be to my kids in 3 minutes flat. That was very important.

So flipping and flopping i did.

And what i realized (and honestly believe) is that God gave me this choice. Not to leave my community, but to cling to it.  There are so many times that i look back in my life and think i thought i knew what i wanted and then God opened the door for me only for me to realize that i am perfectly content where i am.

There's something just so right about loyalty. To a spouse, a family member, a friend, a town, a state...pretty much anything.

I believe God opened the door to PACT, not so our kids could go there. But so we would choose East Bethel.   This is our community.  And God just really put it in my heart that my kids were going to be okay right where they were at.  Hallelujah!!


Can i get an Amen?

Once my eyes were opened i knew what we had to do.  Jeromy still wanted them at PACT but we talked and really weighed the pros and cons again, and we just felt like the cons were heavy enough to make it not worth it.

Now i know what you're thinking. 3/4 of Minnesotans are waiting to get into that school! You're a fool!!

But alas, its not the school for us. And i feel joy in my heart, finally knowing- with certainty- that this is where God wants us. At least for now.

I am thankful for all my friends and their wonderful advice. Tiffany and Sarah, our night out was very pure.  Thank you for your honesty.

Lets embrace our community together. Instead of leaving, i am going to dig in and be the light that shines Christ's love on all of East Bethel Community School...and maybe even the world!!

 (And it won't hurt that i'll be able to keep an eye on the naughty kids...and hopeuflly stear my kids the other direction...and even more so, hope my kids aren't the naughty ones. AMIRIGHT?!!)

Ahhh, its good to be home.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Road trippin'

                                                     (WARNING: Its a wee bit wordy.)

Last weekend i had the pleasure of accompanying my oh-so-talented brother, Sam, to Milwaukee to help present the flowers for a wedding.  What a task that was.

Who knew, i say. Who knew?

Not me! Certainly not, head in the clouds, me.

The amount of attention he pays to detail is brain-scrambling (that's the only word that truly describes it).

My husband was wonderful enough to "allow" me to go away for three days. (well, 2.5, but who's counting?)  The longest i have EVER been away from my little cherubs.

I started the day at 5:00am on Friday when i woke up in Eath Bethel (yes, i meant to type it like that...with a lisp. It just sounds better and saves you from the impossible task of pronouncing it right, thoooo, you're welcome)

I got to my brothers in Circle Pines at 5:40ish and he was all packed and ready.

Now when i say packed and ready, i mean he had $1000 worth of flowers--arranged, in vases, in rows, wrapped in newspaper, snugly fitting to a T in the back of my parents Rendezvous that my Dad had built a shelf into. It was tough. I'll just say that. There was not an ounce of unused space and not a single thing that he didn't calculate down to a science. (He's so smart, isn't he?)

At 6:30am, we were prepared to head out. (we're timely like that) and as he was getting into the car, my Dad called and asked Sam, "Did you call?"  And Sam replied, "No." and just as he did that, he turned the key in the vehicle and...nothing...

"Dad, the car won't start."  (If you know Sam like I do, you could hear in his voice he was at the verge of snapping, but kept cool. Cause thats how he rolls.)

"Looks like soooome oooone left the liiiight on" (picture it in a sing songy voice, that Sam did not feel like hearing at 6:30 am after an hour of sleep and pressure enough to cook a...uh...ummmm...what the heck do you cook in a pressure cooker? Whatever. Picture high pressure)

Sam assured Dad that he did not leave the light on and had been careful. Thankfully, Dad was in Ham Lake and was a hop, skip and a jump away and just so happened to have a brand new battery in his van that was for the Rendezvous.

Thank you, Lord.

Sam and i both assured each other that if it was going to be any problem that the battery was the best. The best, right? Yes. Definitely the best problem to have. (We were clearly afraid to think of anything else and both refusing to admit that this was a major killer to have to wait and feel more pressure for time.)  Totally just the battery. Cool. No problem,. Batter? Easy fix. Easy. How lucky are we? Lucky, in fact. We were lucky to only have this problem. The battery. No problem-o

Dad showed up (i picture him in a cape) and got out his tools and his a none humorous situation--which, i think, made Sam even more stressed, which in turn made me joke even more, which in turn made my Dad throw in a few extra goofy laughs. Just for good measure. We were all refusing to acknowledge anything. We were joyful...some naturally, some forcefully, and some obliviously. Joyful.

Dad fixed the car and we were off. At the speed of 12 MPH, cause we have a serious flower situation in the car people, that's why.

We turned corners like we were 100 years old, and accelerated at a speed a turtle could beat. But we were off. And that was glorious.

First stop...Coffee. Please, Lord, get us some coffee.

Sam listed off the few small items he had forgotten and we planned where we would stop get them and headed into the sunrise, down 94 E .

We had good conversation, good tunes and good times.

I was in charge of the GPS, the notebook, and the texting. (all which require writing while in the car--which makes me feel like dying.)

7 hours later and one detour waaaay off 94 to Barboo, Wisconsin's Walmart and we were there.

We were tired and i had just about had enough of the delicious smell of roses. Ohhh, the roses. (insert gag here)

We were in Racine Wiscony. And the whole darn city was shut down due to construction. And i mean the. whole. town.  Like the center of the town was torn down and you could only access the church from the opposite end of it. It was a brain fuddle. To say the least.

Our headache had officially started.

Sam and i managed to find the church, hop out of the car and sniff the fresh air. Ohhh, the fresh air. The glorious smell of--well, not roses--anything but the roses.

After talking to the coordinator we proceeded to carry in about 693 thousand pounds of flowers, vases, flowers, buckets, flowers, vases, flowers and buckets. And did i mention flowers? Cause we carried alot of those in.

We had to make a quick stop at the bride to be's house to pick up something to bring to the reception the next day. So we ran (literally) up stairs and hoped back in the car and drove a few minutes to the Kennedy compound--I mean their house.  Lush green grass, sprawling out in to two acres over looking Lake Michigan. Literally. They were a rocks throw from the lake, that really more resembles an ocean, AM I RIGHT?

After feeling the quickest moment of envy, we hoped back into the car and headed back to the church for a night filled with corsages, chatty janitors, silence and more corsages.

It was great.  I learned a ton watching Sam and tried my best to help.

Now, if you are observant at all, you have noticed that i have not talked about eating thus far. That's cause we didn't do it. Ever.

Finally after wrapping our work at 9:30 pm, we headed out into what had now turned in to the streets of fast and the furious. Cars, bling, noise, and cops. It was a bit scary for this chicken liver.

We found a Jimmy Johns and walked as quickly as possible to the store and back to our car. Hoping to avoid the very likelihood of a drive by. I mean, with a body this big, i was sure to be the biggest target out there!

Back at the hotel, guess what we did? Yep. Carried in bucket after bucket of flowers to continue arranging the table centerpieces. Literally, bucket after blasted bucket of swishing water and fragrant flowers. Try carrying that and swiping a key and holding your Jimmy John. Not for the faint of heart, i tell you what.

In the hotel we agreed to giving ourselves 30 minutes to watch tv and eat and to take our minds off flowers. (as if that was even possible) 

Nothing was on, so we settled on Beauty Shop, staring the one and only Queen Latifa.

Not but a moment into arranging, i lost my vision. You know, cause i am weak and my body can take no stress at all. Ugh.

(for those of you who don't know, i suffer from very severe migraines that appear in the form of blindness and then turn to stabbing headaches that makes me wish i had just been hit by a semi to avoid the whole mess of pain...)

I mentioned to Sam that i couldn't see. And being the caring brother he was he tried his hardest to let me rest and i could tell that my darn migraine just upped the stress level by about two notches. Ugh. Darn you weak little constricted blood vessels, darn you.

After about 30 minutes i got my vision back and was up and at it. The headache i can take, its that blindness and numbness that is the worst.

We went to sleep before midnight.

Woke up at 5:00 and were at it again. But this time, but brother thought he should get to the church and finish settling up for the wedding, while i stay back and rest because i am a weakling and no help at all...i mean, becase he wanted me to finish a few arrangements. (wink, wink)

I agreed.

After a 25 minute and $25 call to my mother, i was ready to work.

Sam stopped by quickly to deliver me a Starbucks. (which would be the extent of our food that day...awww.)

(Isn't he the best?)

After a shower and a few Wisconsin morning news shows i was up in my heels and dress and the flowers were ready and Sam came back to pick me up.

Off we went.

You guessed it. Carrying arrangement after arrangement after arrangement and a few buckets.

Which reminded me--should i run in a grab our deodorant? Just for good measure? Yes. Definitely. This is going to be a long, sweat induced day.

But i was in heels, that was fun, right?

To the reception hall we went. (45 minutes away)

It was a beautiful place called Cuvee, and we had to get or stuff to the third level of a very fancy/trendy/yuppie place.  Once we got through the traffic of IRISH FEST, that is.

After some aggressive honking and a few more detors. (Ugh. What is wrong with this place called wisconsin? I was starting to hate it and its weird antics)

About 37 trips, a pound more of sweat, running in heals, carrying racks, breaking racks and arranging some more flowers, we were finished.

Just in time to fly. (and i mean fly) back to the wedding to drop the rose petals leading up to the church. You know, to direct people around the road construction mess. Oyvey.

As i entered the beautiful church to sit down, i realized that I couldn't see the whole left side. No! This is not happening again. I can not do this anymore.

Migraine setting in.

I was determined not to tell Sam this time. No need to worry him. I would just pretend that i could see everything he was commenting about. Nod and smile. Nod and smile.

Wedding over and we flew (and i mean flew) out of the church (underground style. I was certain we were going to come up in the white house. But alas we just came back to the front of the church. But in my head i was hugging GW.)


Back to that GPS, satellite interruption and random road closings. 

My head was not okay at this point.  Like, it was bad. Seriously?  I had lost my vision one more time in the car. And i knew, i was going to be in for a tsunami of a headache.

800mg of ibuprofen later in a empty stomach was not good.  I was so nauseous from the pain in my head (and probably the medicine) that i just asked Sam if i could have one teeny tiny second before I went up.

He knew. It was bad.

I knew. He was now concerned and probably doubly stressed.

I prayed that i just get better. Please. I need to help my brother. This is the last game, the 9th inning, the bases were loaded and i was up and i just swung and missed...if ya get my drift.

I swear, i willed myself to stand up. After a few almost vomits. And the valet took my purse, car, keys and left me with a little piece of paper.

Looks like i'm going up.

I tried to help Sam as he scurried (literally. He worked so incredibly hard.)to light the last of the candles and do the finishing touches.

He promised me he would take me home after the set up was over and i assured him i was A-okay. I mean, who really need a head anyways? Not me. We both weren't okay.

This was like, so super high stress and he was doing it. He was totally pulling it off.  The flowers were a hit.  Seriously, everyone commented on them.  Even the drunk guy at the end of the night, getting into the elevator yelled "Way to go, flower guy!!" and gave him a thumbs up. (Ahh, weddings. Don't ya just love em?)

Due to the few people that i knew coming from Sam's work, i was able to pull myself together and smile. I couldn't swallow much, but i was so thankful to be alive and recovering from this darn headache. It burned, its was so bad in the car.

Flash forward to having to watch everyone dance (except us. We were just the help...awwww) It was like torture to our souls to have to sit still as the cha-cha slide played. But we did it. Begrudgingly.

2:00 am and we were finally heading home. After cleaning up and giving flowers to the other help.

We did it. (HE did it) I was like so totally tired i could just punch myself in the face, and when i asked him how he felt.  He said, (and i quote) "I feel like i could run a marathon!" (all chipper chicken like)

Oy. I take that back, i feel like i could punch him in the face. (i joke, i joke.)

Sunday came and we got up at 7:00 and cleaned up. (flowers, in case you were wondering) and we headed out West. To the one and only Minnesota. Land that I love.

Our emotions ranged from somber, to laughing, to very methodical, to thinking everyone else was lame, to silent, to tired, to refreshed.

(Sam mentioned on the car ride home that the moment he knew i was that bad off, that he thought, Do I save the baby or the Mother? The un-answerable question. Help me and leave the reception, or leave me and finish setting up for the reception.  Now, how lucky am i to have someone like that for a brother??)

We didn't even stop to go the the bathroom the whole way home. That tells you just how glad we were to be heading home!

It was an amazing trip. My brother is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Long car rides are not amazing. GPS is unreliable. Flowers are stressful. Wisconson is not cool. At all. Road construction is rotten. Honking is the new black. And i think my brother is even cooler than before.

If that is even possible.

Soooo, that was my weekend. How was yours?