Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Many Adventures of Jingle

Meet Jingle. He's our elf on the shelf. Santa told us that Jingle is fairly young for an elf, and is still learning to use his magic. This means he got himself into some mischief throughout the month. He has one more night, and then he'll travel back to the North Pole with Santa until next December. Sean will definitely miss him.

Jingle arrives on December 1
Making sugar angels on the countertop
Bet you can't find me!
Milk should be green!
Jingle even joined us on vacation in Disney World... the first night he took a marshmallow bath.
The second night he attempted to order room service
Keeping in touch with Santa
Spa Day
Swinging from the lamp!
Jingle is an expert artist
He snuck out to see the Osbourne Lights at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Pirate Mickey & Friends got tired of Jingle's shenanigans
Home from Disney safe and sound
Feeling adventurous - bungee jumping from the second floor
Clearly he gets an adrenaline rush from extreme sports - zip lining into the tree
Chilling out watching his favorite Xmas movies on Netflix
Hanging out sipping some syrup
Mischievous ... switching out the stockings with underwear
Barricading Sean in his room
Remembering the reason for the season! O come let us adore him.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Day 3 - Memories :: December Daily 2012


Day 3 contains no photo - gasp! It's just that kind of year :-) And I'm waiting for my husband to write up his journaling. Fingers crossed it happens before I send it to print.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Day 2 - Tree :: December Daily 2013


Traditionally, our Christmas tree goes up Thanksgiving weekend. And this year was no different. Daddy dragged it in from the garage, checked the lights, and up it went. The next day you and I decorated it with ornaments. We can’t find the ribbon garland, and honestly it probably won’t go up this year with all we have going on this month.

Neither Daddy or I grew up with live trees, so we’re content  -- and honestly happy -- with the artificial tree. Our tree right now is huge, standing ten feet tall. It definitely makes a statement! And the multi-colored twinkle lights are magic.  We decorate the tree with ornaments from when Daddy & I were kids, and ones you have made, and others we have bought on vacation.

Day 1 Cheer :: December Daily 2013





Yep, it's that time of year again! I know it's been forever since I've blogged, but I made a deliberate attempt to simplify and knock things off my "to do" list. I also ramped up my networking efforts for our adoption. Please continue to spread the news that we are hoping to adopt, and keep us in your prayers.

Now I'm back with the December Daily album. This year I'm going SUPER simple. I'm using Ali Edwards' 31 Things as my inspiration, and have selected thirty-one words that I will write about -- either documenting something from that particular day, something that is on my mind, or telling a story or memories from the past such as when Jeff and I were kids at Christmastime.

As you'll read on this page, we are soon leaving for a Disney World vacation so I will be journaling and snapping photos while we're gone but probably not designing pages. That will have to wait until I'm home. Meanwhile I'm sure I'll be posting blogging about our trip and posting photos. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

31 Things :: Story 26 - Desire


In the fifth grade I had to write an essay about the year 2000. At the tender age of 10, I dreamed of what I would be doing twenty years in the future. I remember writing that I would be married and have five boys. I always dreamed I would have lots of kids.

I met Jeff in the year 2000, and we talked about having kids in the same breath as marriage. We both dreamed of our family together. We tried to conceive for five years before we got pregnant with Sean. My body and mind endured numerous pokes, prods, and tests. We tried innumerable intrauterine inseminations, and were successful only once. It ended in miscarriage. We then tried IVF a bunch of times as well as several frozen embryo transfers finally getting pregnant with Sean. Even then the pregnancy was not easy with bleeding throughout the first trimester, and he delivered five weeks early having to stay in the NICU for ten days. But he was perfect. Our dream of being parents had finally come true. Thank you, Lord!

We thought we had it all figured out, and assumed any future attempts to conceive would be a snap. But we were wrong. Four more frozen embryo attempts, all failed. A miraculous conception on our own ended as ectopic. We continue to learn about letting go of the control. You’re only the master of your own destiny for so long. If you really want to fly you need to let go and have faith.

After I found out that our last failed IVF attempt was not a success, Sean found me crying and asked “what’s wrong momma?” I told him I was sad, and he asked why.  I said, “because God hasn’t blessed us with a baby brother or sister for you yet.” He shrugged his shoulders and said,“It’s ok momma. Don’t worry. He’s working on it.” And that, my friends, was the answer. God’s plan is infinitely better than anything we can control.

We are now very excited about growing our family through domestic adoption. After much prayer we believe this is where God is leading us. We’re working with a local agency, and are officially home study approved and licensed to adopt. Sean talks about his baby brother or sister constantly. He desires a baby almost as much we do. Last weekend he climbed into our bed early one morning. Jeff and I were still half asleep and we heard him say, “God, can you bring me a baby brother or sister faster?” I told Jeff later that day that we better get a lawyer lined up quick because God takes children’s prayers seriously!

I want Sean to be the big brother he’s praying to be. I look forward to sleepless nights because I know they are but a few short months, and bring with them endless days of joy. I dream about and pray constantly for our next child’s birth mother, that the Lord brings her peace and joy.

Our deepest desire of growing our family through adoption is completely out of our control. We have no idea who will enter our lives or when that will happen (if at all). Normally we would be a nervous wreck, but we’re not. We have faith. And we have Sean who reminds us that God is working on it. That’s about as good as it gets.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

31 Things :: Story 25 - Outside


I like being outside. Notice I didn’t say “love” because I’m just as much a homebody. I love me a cozy blanket snuggled on the couch. I love my air conditioning. I love sleeping late huddled under my covers. I love my computer. Aaack! Did I just say that?
But I do like being outside. I remember playing ghost in the graveyard when I was a kid, and running through the sprinkler, pretending to play gas station with the water hose, and splashing around in the pool. Many of my fondest childhood memories were spent outdoors.

I remember fishing with my dad on our summer vacations. One time we got caught in a rainstorm, and he had a hard time getting the motor started. My sister and I huddled under his raincoat and worried we would sink before getting back to shore. We did finally reach shore and my dad made us all hot bouillon soup in coffee mugs as we wrapped ourselves in towels.
When I got older, my parents owned a summer home in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. It’s an amazing place where suddenly you feel as if you’ve been lifted into a different world. Fewer cars, rolling hills, tall pine trees, eagles soaring, loons calling, lakes as smooth as glass, endless starry nights. Amazing. If you don’t believe in God, you will after being here.

Jeff and I enjoy biking and hiking but haven’t done either I think since Sean was born. I’m not sure if it’s because we’re too busy, but something tells me it’s probably because we’re too lazy.  We have an incredible park down the street from our house with plenty of wooded & open plain trails. I used to walk there all the time before Sean was born. Now that he’s old enough to walk with us I think we’ll add it to our summer bucket list.
We have a great yard, but let’s be honest I don’t enjoy doing yardwork. I enjoy the fruits of the labor but, heck, I hate the labor. We’ve been lucky to have a great spring with plenty of sunny, cool days. I spent one day in the yard weeding and haven’t been out since. I really need to make a commitment to plant some annuals, and spend some time on the deck reading.

Yet, my blanket and the couch are calling my name.

Friday, June 15, 2012

31 Things :: Story 24 - Relationship



I’m a daughter. I’m a sister. I’m a friend. I’m a neighbor. I’m a wife. I’m a mother. I’m a child of God.
I have many relationships in my life. On the one hand I’m blessed. Oh so blessed to have all of these people to love and support me. But on the other hand, it is a lot of work to love and nurture all of these relationships. All of these people mean SO MUCH to me, and it can get overwhelming at times to think about whether I’m doing everything I can to serve them.

My mom was my first best friend. I was and still am her baby, and a spoiled brat because of it. Navigating our changing relationship as we grow older is tricky. After my dad passed away, she’s been working through grief and trying to find herself again. It’s been rough. Roles are reversing, and she seeks my advice and friendship often. I sometimes have a hard time balancing being her baby and being her friend.
My siblings and I have a great relationship. We love and respect each other, and know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and adjust accordingly. Growing up I didn’t have a close relationship with my sister, Kari, who is six years older than me. She was my big sister, and we were far enough apart in age to never have similar interests. That’s all changed now, and we’re very close friends. It makes me happy.

Friendships are important to me, and I’ve always surrounded myself with close friends. My best friend from when I was a kid, my best friend from high school, and my best friends from college. Most live in the area, but I don’t see them nearly enough. I really struggle with this because there doesn’t seem to be enough time to nurture these friendships. We get together for special occasions and holidays, but otherwise too much time passes without really connecting. A big part of me wishes this was a priority for me because I miss the friendships.
But I’m now married with a child and own a home in a suburban neighborhood. I count myself lucky to have such awesome neighbors. A few of which I call my friends. Part of me wishes I could nurture these relationships and find closer friends, but something is holding me back. I’m blaming it on time but I’m not sure if this is the real reason or not.

Without a doubt my best friend today is my husband, Jeff. I can share anything with him without judgment, and he’s gotten to be a pretty good listener and doesn’t always try to “fix” things for me. He is my rock, my strength, and my comfort. We can use more alone time in this busy world. But we often find ourselves many nights laying next to one another in the dark talking until the wee hours of the night.
I won’t hide the fact that I love being a mom. Sean is the most amazing kid ever. I know we prayed a long time for him, and clearly God was working his magic. It’s the hardest relationship for me to manage and nurture. But man, it’s worth it.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about my relationship with God. It’s one I think about and work towards every day. This wasn’t always the case, and some days still I fail miserably. But I’m working on it. I talk to Him throughout my day, and pray that my heart and my eyes are open to listen to His reply. I figure if I can get this relationship right, all the others will fall into place.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

31 Things :: Story 23 - Write


My friend Monica and I started writing a novel when we were about fourteen years old. I would write a chapter, then she would write a chapter, and then we’d talk about it into the wee hours of the night on the phone. It was a boy meets girl, girl falls in love with boy young adult novel. We were convinced we would be the youngest published authors ever. I have no idea what ever happened with that novel. But I knew I loved to write. I always have.
I remember taking English Comp freshman year in college, and waiting until the last possible moment to write an assignment.

My friend Ed was in my small group where we shared what we had written, and he looked at me with wide eyes asking, “You just wrote that this morning?” Writing has always come easily to me, and I really enjoy it. So much so that I minored in Creative Writing in college.
With that said, I’ve always struggled with keeping a journal. Even as a child I asked for a diary but only filled about one-quarter of it. When I studied overseas I did a decent job of keeping a journal and I’m so glad that I did so I can look back and read about all of the gory (and wonderful!) details my memory has since forgotten.

Since I’ve started digital scrapbooking I’ve gotten back to journaling, but that’s only in the layouts and albums I create. I started blogging a few years ago but I’m not consistent or diligent about that either.
Over the past year I have been keeping a prayer journal that I write in once a week when I go to Eucharistic Adoration. It’s the first time I’ve been consistent with writing, and I love the fact that I’m able to pour out my heart in both thanks and petition to the Lord. It’s time for me to work through all that I’m thinking and feeling – and not just with myself but with Jesus. Some weeks I’ll even work on a detailed schedule for my week during Adoration and work it though with God. I can’t think of a better way to spend my time writing. And I’m so thankful that He called me back to this art form that I love.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

31 Things :: Story 22 - Spot


My favorite spot is…

In my husband’s arms… where I feel the most safe and loved. He has big, strong arms and the way he holds me I just know that he adores and loves me without limit.
Snuggling with my son… where my heart swells with joy. I knew I would love being a mom, but this is an amazing feeling.
In my bed, reading a good book… where my worries melt away. I love to snuggle under the covers and feel their weight comforting me.
On my computer... where I lose myself in creativity. I’m not talking about work here, but designing, scrapbooking, photo editing, writing. I’m not just creating art but memories, and that makes me happy.
At Walt Disney World… where I can be a kid again and again. When they say “welcome home” at check-in I get choked up. I love tha characters, the amazing attractions, and the attention to detail. We honeymooned here and Jeff and I talked endlessly aboutbringng our kids someday. The first time we took Sean, he was up on Jeff’s shoulders pointing and smiling at Mickey Mouse I knew my dreams were coming true.
Sitting on my deck in the summer… where I feel relaxed and alive. I love the feeling of the sun prickling my skin (with sunscreen on, of course). My whole body heats up and the tension releases.
In my kitchen during a party… where I laugh until it hurts. Surrounded by friends and family who know me better than I know myself, and yet still love me.
Cuddling on the couch, watching a movie… where the stress of the day leaves me.
At my church during adoration... where the silence and peace comforts me.
Behind a camera… where I can capture the beauty & love & laughter I’m experiencing.
Wherever my family is… there is no place like home. This is my favorite spot.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

31 Things :: Story 21 - Think



I’ve been thinking a lot about my dad lately. This upcoming Father’s Day will be my tenth Father’s Day without him since he died July 30, 2001. Somehow I thought it would get easier but it doesn’t. Yes, we now get to celebrate Jeff being a father and I love being with my in-laws and celebrating with them. But at the end of the day I wish my dad was here. I miss him.
Despite being forty-two years old, I wish my dad was here to give me a hug. He was a man of few words, but his hugs said I love you like nothing else. I want to be his little girl again. Recently we watched old family videos, and I heard his voice behind the camera. And my heart skipped a beat. His voice. Oh, how I miss it. A smile spread across my face, and then the tears rolled down my face. He loved taking videos, and perhaps his soul knew we would need these videos someday to hear his voice and to see what he saw.

I really wish he was here to know Sean. He would get such a kick out of him, I just know it. And I want to see the sparkle in my Dad’s eye that tells me he’s proud of me for raising such an amazing little boy. Sean asks about his Grandpa Gren a lot, and I’m more than happy to share stories. One day Sean was talking about something that was broken and he said, “I bet Grandpa Gren could fix this couldn’t he? He could fix anything. “ Tears sprang forth and I smiled, “He sure could, buddy. Anything.”
The weekend of his accident, Jeff and I were with my parents at their summer home. I was there when the sheriff came to the house. I was with my mom at the hospital when she told the doctor, “please don’t go to extreme measures to keep him alive.” I was able to hold his hand one last time. I count myself blessed and lucky to have spent his last weekend with him fishing, eating ice cream, and going to the casino. All things he loved.

Yet I don’t think I said “I love you dad” that weekend. And I’d give anything to be able to tell him that one more time. A few weeks ago we were cleaning and organizing in the basement and I found my name scribbled in my dad’s writing on an envelope. Inside he had written, “Amy, I love you. Dad” I don’t remember when he’d given this to me, and I couldn’t help but think he continues to reach out to me in tangible ways. Reminding me of his love... especially on Father’s Day.

Monday, June 11, 2012

31 Things :: Story 20 - Carry



I love bags. Doesn’t matter what kind… big or small, cheap or expensive, leather or cotton, tote or handbag. I have them all, and consider it my duty to find the perfect bag for the occasion. What occasion you ask? Doesn’t matter, and I’ll make one up if I have to.
Currently I’m a Vera Bradley fan. For years I was drawn to them in specialty stores. Their vibrant colors, and fun patterns were appealing to me. Something about their quirky preppiness spoke to my soul. But I never felt like I could live up to it. I'm not sure what it was -- did I feel they were for the upper-crust? mature women? Did I think people would look at me funny for carrying a bold flowered or paisley bag? I'm not sure. All I know is I never bought one. But the frugalista in me flipped when I received a $20 off $20 or more for my birthday few years ago. And lucky me, we have an outlet store here in Chicagoland. They are the perfect weight, perfect handle lengths, very roomy, and lots of slip pockets to organize everything. And the color and pattern. Yummy.

I currently have two totes – a red paisley print for fall/winter and a pink & green flower print for spring/summer. I also have two cross body bags that are the perfect size when traveling and/or shopping when you need your hands free. They are my go to bags for Disney World touring.

My other favorite handbag is Tignanello when it comes to leather. I love their styles, and have three of their bags. Admittedly I haven’t used them lately since I’m loving the lightweight and roomy Vera Bradley bags.
I love my wallet – it’s a black quilted Vera Bradely zippered clutch – love how it closes up nice and tidy.

Inside my purse you would find my cell phone, sunglasses, a few pens, Softlips lip balm, lip liner, lip gloss, Purell hand sanitizer, Boogie Wipes (remember 4 year old with allergies), video camera, and all sorts of receipts, old grocery lists, coupons, coloring books & a Ziploc full of crayons.
Right now I’m using a mickey mouse tote to carry exercise gear to the YMCA. In it you would find my heart rate monitor, lock, headphones, running shoes, headband, and water bottle. I throw my Kindle Fire in as we’re heading out the door.

We have a gazillion reusable shopping totes that I always seem to forget when I go to the grocery store. Please tell me I’m not the only one.
I’m currently pining for a LILL Studio bag – the Lexie cross body. But the frugalista in me can’t bear to spend $165 on a bag that I don’t really need. Yet it’s calling my name! I must find an occasion to buy it.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

31 Things :: Story 19 - Listen



It’s Thursday morning. I listen to two little boys whisper quietly. Sean had his first sleepover with his friend Drake. They were both excited, and from the sounds of their conspiratorial whispers the fun will continue today. Summer has arrived.

I listen to my alarm buzz noisily in my ear, and I quickly remember I have office hours I need to log into on the computer.

I listen to little feet scampering down the stairs, and their voices rise in volume once they realize I’m awake.

I listen to birds chirping a little too gaily as I water the flowers on the front porch. I’m so not a morning person. 

I listen to the pancakes bubble and two little boys asking if they can help. I can’t resist, and let them stir the already well mixed batter. Who cares if the pancakes are tough.

I listen to Alvin & the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked in the background. The boys are now watching it for the second time since yesterday.

I listen to Sean whine about going potty before we leave. I roll my eyes and take a deep breath while I lead him to the bathroom not saying a word.

I listen to 105.5 on the radio while we drive to the children’s museum. It’s an hour’s drive and I’m looking forward to listening to music. I have to change the channel a few times because I begin to question the lyrics of some of the songs.

I listen to not enough music. When I do it’s usually like this in the car or on my Kindle Fire while exercising at the Y. Black Eyed Peas… Coldplay… Jack Johnson… Owl City.

I listen to Pink sing Don’t Let Me Get Me and actually hear the lyrics this time. “I’m my own worst enemy.” Ain’t that the truth? I listen to God inside my head tell me to focus on the road… and to love myself.

I listen to hammers & saws (real ones!) inside the museum, and wonder why the heck they allow small children to use these things. I wince as I actually cut my own finger. “Let’s go boys, let’s go see what else they have here.”

I listen as Sean tells Drake, “I’d like a ticket for the 7 o’clock train”. They’re both dressed up as if they’re going to work, and both serious as all get out. I chuckle and feel my headache start to release. I ask Sean what he’s doing, “I’m going to work, Mommy” he replies as he gets on the pretend train. I ask him what his job is, “I work on the pirate ship.” Of course! all pirates go to work on the train with a blazer and briefcase. How silly of me.

I listen to Jeff say “Love you” as we part from lunch. It was nice being able to see him during the day.

I listen to the Black Eyed Peas sing I’ve Gotta Feeling and I turn it up on the way home. I look in the rearview mirror and see two little boys singing and dancing in their seats. Yep, I’ve gotta feeling that everything’s going to be all right.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

31 Things :: Story 18 - Shoes


I love my Crocs. Yes, they’re ugly. Yes, they look stupid. But man, they’re comfortable. And easy. And they don’t stink. I remember when they started to become trendy, and I would stare at people wearing bright red, clown looking Crocs with a furrowed brow. I thought, “I don’t care how comfortable those things are, I’m never going to wear them.” And here I am today, a Croc lover. Eating my words.
  
I do love me shoes. But they must be comfy. I think I’ve owned maybe five pairs of heels in my life, and only one black pair of short heels are in my closet right now. I’ve always been a big, tall girl and felt very conscious of that fact when I was a teenager and young adult. I always felt that heels made me look like a giant. And man, they hurt. Being a giant with painful feet has never made me feel beautiful.
  
Surprisingly my feet are not big for being five feet ten inches tall.

In fact, they are relatively short and fat. My mom calls them my Fred Flintstone feet.  My personal trainer shakes her head and wonders how I don’t topple over. I wear a nine wide. Technically I could fit in an eight and a half extra wide width, but it’s hard to find cute shoes in that size. Nine wide will do, thank you.
Shoes are scattered all around the house. I try to contain them in closets and baskets in the mud room and the back door. But they tend to land wherever my weary feet decide to shed them. This means I’m often found searching frantically all over the house for whatever shoes I’m wanting to wear at the time.
I have a mish-mash of all sorts of casual shoes. Lots of flip flops, toeless sandals, a couple pairs of running shoes, a few pairs of Crocs, hiking boots I never wear, one pair of short black heels, several leather slip-ons in black and brown, and snow boots...
Crocs of course.

Friday, June 8, 2012

31 Things :: Story 17 - Technology


I’m a gadget girl. I love new technology, and my heart flutters when something new hits the stores. Our family is techno geeky here at home.

I have a Dell laptop.
Jeff has a work laptop.
Sean has a Lenovo laptop Uncle Johnny gave him.
I have a Kindle Fire tablet computer that everyone fights over.
We have an HP desktop computer.
We have an old HP desktop computer upstairs.
We have several external hard drives.
The TV is linked into the hard drives.
We have a Wii gaming system, and a PS2 gaming system.
Everything is connected via wireless router.

I have a blog.
I'm on Facebook.
I'm on LinkedIn.
I'm on Pinterest.
I email daily.

I work from home, and my job is 100% online. My students connect with me via email, instant message, and live chat lectures. I’ve never met my boss or anyone else for that matter face-to-face. I’ve talked to just a few people on the phone over the past nine years. This is in stark contrast to when I went to college with a typewriter, and we needed a RAM disk to start the computers in the Mac lab. And the internet was just becoming a reality, and email didn’t exist. My first job out of college I had my own computer but it was DOS-based. We didn’t even have voice mail.

I’m also a realist, and really don’t like spending a lot of money on something I don’t think will add value to my life. Jeff and I both have “dumb phones” that are simply for phone calls. We don’t have internet or text on our cell phones. Oh, don’t get me wrong – my inner gadget girl would LOVE a smart phone, but my inner realist says I don’t need to spend the money on a monthly data plan. And I worry about being so connected that we no longer connect in a real and substantive way. I don’t want my relationships to be just status updates, tweets and texts.
Then  again I met Jeff online twelve years ago, well before it was trendy. We courted each other via email before we ever met. The most important relationship in my life started with email. Then we got married. You can’t get any more connected than that.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

31 Things :: Story 16 - Uniform


There’s this awesome TV commercial for Tide Sport laundry detergent. A woman is sitting with a friend at an outdoor cafĂ©, telling us about why she loves to use the laundry detergent, “I use Tide Sport because it helps to get odors out of athletic clothes. I mean I wear my yoga pants for everything – hiking, biking, yoga, pilates.” Her friend stops her with a questioning look. She rolls her eyes, “OK, I wear yoga pants because I’m too lazy for real pants.”

Hilarious. That’s so me.

Being a work at home mom I don’t have to get dressed up every day. Some days I might even stay in my PJs although I do start to feel a little grungy in the afternoon, and find myself taking a shower and getting dressed. My daily uniform is my black yoga pants from Lands End. Love them. I have two long length pants, and four capri length pants. All black except one pair of capris is dark brown. Most days I have the intention of working out at the YMCA, so I have a valid excuse to wear said yoga pants… yet lately I seem to find equally valid excuses NOT to exercise. Ugh.

If I’m not wearing yoga pants I’m usually wearing jeans. And they must have some sort of stretch to them. I have one pair that doesn’t and I curse them every time – my chub prefers a little breathing room, thank you. My tops are varied but almost always cotton fabric as I lean more towards comfort than anything else. I have a few blousy polyester type tops too that I like for parties. I like to wear jewel colors – blues, pinks, greens – and find I’m drawn to patterned tops but solids are a favorite as well.
Now that spring has arrived and summer is around the corner I’m excited to pull out my capris and short sleeved tops. And since I’ve lost about 20 pounds my wardrobe has expanded to include my “skinny” clothes. You know those pants and tops you outgrew because your waistline somehow expanded from eating those Girl Scout cookies, but you swear you’re going to lose the weight and fit in them again. Yep, everyone does it. Except this time it paid off and I can wear them again. Woohoo.
Yet I still find myself often staring blankly in my closet when I need to look presentable (aka, not wear yoga pants). I’m completely bored with my wardrobe. I have no real style to call my own unless you call casual lazy a style. I rarely have the desire to buy new clothes because I’m not thrilled with my size. I’ve made a deal with my husband that if I lose 100 pounds I’m spending $5000 on a new wardrobe.
Meanwhile my yoga pants fit me just fine.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

31 Things :: Story 15 - 9:15am



It’s Sunday morning. I’m still in bed. I certainly didn’t plan to sleep late but I’m secretly relishing the fact that it’s quiet and I’m alone to stretch out in bed. My head aches a dull pain reminding me I stayed up too late reading a new book. Oh yes, and Sean woke up at 1:30am crying that his toe hurt badly (oh so badly, mommy!). He hurt his baby toe playing on the trampoline next door during Emily’s graduation party last night. Nothing says a good party like a sprained toe.
The ceiling fan is humming overhead, and I tuck the covers under my chin and snuggle in for a little longer.

I’m wearing my blue Lands End PJs. I changed the sheets a few days ago and they still feel fresh. I silently thank Jeff for buying the 600 thread count sheets that I thought were a waste of money. Heaven knows I’m not going to admit it to him, but I love the indulgent, soft feel.
I hear Jeff cuddling with Sean in his room. They’re talking about his toe. I’d love to sneak down there to see them and maybe snap a photo, but I know the magic would be lost. These two need the time to connect on their own.

I feel the gnawing, grumbling of my tummy. I want to eat breakfast, and I remember we have a few donuts leftover from Country Donuts from yesterday. So much for getting back to eating healthy.
I check my email on my Kindle Fire, and I’m excited to hear from my friend Kelly. She & her family moved to Iowa last year. I miss her.

I’m about to check on my Facebook, but Sean & Jeff climb into bed with me. Ah, I love these boys. I roll over to put my Kindle down on the nightstand and my headache pounds in my sinuses, reminding me I need to take some Advil before tackling the day. But first, a smile & hug from my little man. Now that’s some good medicine.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

31 Things :: Story 14 - View


The view from here is peaceful. It’s Saturday night. I’m at Eucharistic Adoration in our church, St Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church. I come here every Saturday from 9:30-10:30 to spend an hour with Jesus  who is present in the most holy Eucharist. The church is silent except for the hum of the ceiling fans.

I see Jesus ensconced in a beautiful golden monstrance on the altar. The lights above shine directly on it making it glitter. It’s so bright I can barely even see the Blessed Sacrament exposed within it. I believe this is a glimpse of what heaven will be like when I see Jesus there – rock your world dazzling!

I see the altar surrounded by spring flowers and greenery. It’s definitely a time for new growth, and I’m inspired.

I see Mary to the right of the altar (not literally, but I do believe her spirit is there) adoring Jesus as well. She often looks at me briefly with sadness or joy depending on my prayers and meditations. Today she is content and focused on her Son. As am I.

I see a women crying during her meditation and I wonder if they are tears of sadness or joy. I pray it’s the latter, and comforted to know God is listening and caring for her the same He is for me.

I see a man reading his Bible and I wonder if his mind wanders sometimes like mine does when reading Scripture. I pray he hears God’s message tonight.

I see prayer candles lit behind the altar in the chapel area. I am humbled to think of all the prayers offered. This week especially. We traveled to downtown Chicago two times this week to visit the aquarium and planetarium. Both days I was acutely aware of so many different types of people… my heart was so happy! God loves each and every one. I may find someone odd or different or creepy even. But not God. He loves everyone no matter what. How cool is that?

I see the stained glass windows and marvel at their beauty. I imagine this must be how God see us. Each a unique color and shape, beautiful on its own. But together – OH MY! – what perfection and beauty and meaning.

I see all of my prayers written in my prayer journal. Prayers of thanks, prayers of petition and prayers seeking answers and truths to the worries of my days.

The view from here is peaceful. Thank you, Jesus.

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