Moving to Canada

  
Dinner conversation:

Adam:  Mom, so my friends were saying that if Trump is President they are moving to Canada. 

Me:  Wow, good for them. 

Adam:  They are so lucky I wish we could move there.  

Me:  Why?

Adam:  Because it’s always warm and tropical in Canada!

Me (and my niece):  Adam!! REALLY? It’s cold in Canada!!

Adam:  Sorry guys!  Geez, I don’t know Physics!!

‘Tis Grace has brought me safe thus far….

Facebook Memories….you know the thing that pops up every morning that reminds you of your past?   I never deleted my “married” past off of my Facebook.    It is something I just never thought of doing.  So there are days that I wake up and see some pretty awesome memories of when we, at least, looked like a happy family.

Yesterday the memories came across the timeline, and it reminded me of an Anniversary. The 3rd anniversary of the divorce.   The day the judge so coldly and almost angrily told me that the marriage I spent 13 years creating was no longer existent.

Just like that, Over.

This year I felt a bit different as I had the previous 2 years before.   While doing my morning devotions, the song Amazing Grace kept going through my mind.

‘Tis Grace has brought me safe thus far….

Funny, when I first decided to name my blog this, I named it because of….

and Grace will lead me home…

This morning, it hit me.   Grace has brought me safe thus far.     I am so grateful.  For this journey.   For the deserts.  Even for the unanswered prayers.    Sometimes it is hard to see God’s plan for your life, other days he makes it clear.

Anyway, today I was grateful.  For the Memories, Good and Bad.   I am grateful for the years I got to be married.  Grateful for the two blessings he gave me and for the time I get to spend with them.    I am grateful for my faithfulness in the marriage.  I am grateful for the love and respect that I gave him.  I am grateful for Unconditional Love.

So, Thank You Facebook Memories!    Thank you for reminding me of the good days and even in the midst of one of the worst days of my entire life that Grace still leads me home!

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Advice from a tree…

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Winter…Not a big fan.

I have many reasons:

  1. It’s cold
  2. I don’t like to shovel snow
  3. I have dark hardwood floors that capture every footprint…human and animal.
  4. Snow Days (Need I say more?)
  5. The over-consumption of FOOD!!

Ahhhh…..the joys of Motherhood, when you’re only joy in life is sitting in the carpool lane and for a brief moment can take a deep breath and sit in silence.    Yet, for some moms (and sometimes dads) we take that moment and soak in the silence and forget to look up from our cell phones to notice the long carpool line behind you and the gaping hole between you and the car in front of you.  Then the  one frustrated Mom behind you finally honks loudly and you are startled and slightly embarrassed as you put the car in drive and make your drive of shame to pick your kid up from school.    (we’ve all done it, although I have never had the heart to honk.  I know what is like to try to squeeze in the last minute before homework, practices and dinner consumes the rest of your evening!!)

I think we all fall into a rut around this time of year.   A feeling of desperation as we try to tell the kids for the 20th time (in your loud Mommy voice) to:  Take off your shoes! Stop hitting your brother! Tell your sister you are sorry! Where is your-insert sport here-shoes?  We are going to be late!! I forgot your water bottle…Hold on let me see if I can find a bottle of water in the floor of the car!!  (Yes, I do that!)  For the love of all that is Holy, just stop fighting!!!!   Don’t make me call your father!

By the end of the day it is a pleasure to just bury yourself on the couch and eat your feelings.  Be jealous of every one’s life as you scroll through Social Media.  Pray for a free cleaning service.  Then fall asleep around 8:30, wake up at 1am only to realize your son is still on his “date with Destiny” as he likes to call it….better known as Xbox addiction!

Sometimes, I sit at home and have this ongoing pity party for myself as I self loathe over a pint of ice cream and a Romance Novel…dreaming of a man to pine over me as he confesses his deep love for me.  He sweeps me off of my feet and takes me on exotic vacations and the nanny watches the children!    Then I snap back into reality when I catch a whiff of fresh dog poop from the puppy that refuses to potty train!

At this point, I would settle for the two boys that live with me to properly aim while using the bathroom.   (Seems like bathroom issues are a problem with all male species in my house!!)

I realize that I am just like any other Mom out there…overworked, overrun, underappreciated and underpaid.

Just as I was ready to give up and go into parental hibernation for the rest of the winter, my sister and I were headed to pick up my exchange son from soccer practice and I noticed something.  Something absolutely beautiful.   The fog was low and after a day of non stop torrential downpours, the sun slowly crept it’s way through the clouds just at sunset.     It was one of the most beautiful sights I have seen since Autumn and I couldn’t get to the perfect location fast enough to get a picture.    Meaning, my sister was driving and I was yelling at her to drive faster before we missed the perfect lighting.   Someone who doesn’t understand photography, can’t possibly get that there is a slim timeline between the perfect light and Nothing left to photograph.

I jumped out of her moving 4Runner as I ran through the field.  Measuring the width between trees, fog and the sunset.   Feeling more alive than I have felt for a very long time…getting a sense of purpose.   My purpose.   Just for me!!    That perfect timeline, although brief, was just me and Nature.  As God intended.

12654547_10208962979375182_1701704256798487394_n As brief as it was, I was so thankful that God showed me, in the midst of being busy, something beautiful.

Sometimes we all need little reminders that as ugly, dull  or busy as our lives may seem, we can always find some kind of beauty in it.

It has been three years since the divorce…I find my comfort and happiness in the kids, a good book, food and an occasional bubble bath.  But nothing makes me happier when God gives me something beautiful to photograph.

I am chugging down my second Slim Fast and am 4 pounds lighter this week on the scales.   Something about a good sunset to make me realize that I am part of this great big world, so I might as well do my part to make it beautiful.

Advice from a tree:

Stand tall and Proud.  Go out on a limb.  Remember your roots.  Drink plenty of water.  Be content with your natural beauty.   ENJOY THE VIEW!

 

 

Frosted Glass

As I was rushing out the door to get the kids to school, I quickly remembered that I had forgotten to start the car.
I started to complain, then I quickly realized that beauty was surrounding me everywhere.
Amazing what you can see through frosted glass.    Being Late was the best part of my entire day!!

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When I die…..

Dad:  If your mom dies before me, I am going to have her cremated.  It’s cheaper! (He’s joking of course)

Me:   I want to be cremated and turned into a pod.  Bury me and let me grow into a tree.  

Dad:  what kind of tree do you want to be?

Me:  A Weeping Willow!!

Dad:  (hysterical laughing)

Silent Night…an open letter to single divorced parents

‘Tis the Season to compete on who is going to buy the biggest and best present.   To spend countless hours complaining that you hate being divorced.  To talk about depression.   To remind everyone around you why life just isn’t fair.   To complain that you don’t get to spend quality time with your kids……..

BLAH BLAH BLAH!!!!!

All my life I wanted a man like Clark Griswold.   So loving and kind.  Heck, he was even going to use his Christmas Bonus to put in a pool!!    He went to great lengths to make sure his family was happy even if it meant holding security guards up at gunpoint at WallyWorld…..And that man sure knows how to decorate a house for Christmas!!   (without his wife asking!!)   Yes, Clark, you are the perfect man!!

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So now let’s snap back into reality…….Most of us married Cousin Eddie!

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pardon the language…but it really is fitting!

Now, to be serious.

To all divorced parents, I have an important Christmas message for you!!

I know you may be sad that you have to share your kids for Christmas.   But guess what…Let them be kids!  Let them enjoy their 2 Christmases.    Enjoy the time you have with them and then be grateful that your ex spouse can equally enjoy  their time.

Now is the time to make new traditions….with the kids and without the kids!

So, single parents UNITE!!   Let’s make this the best Christmas ever for our little ones!    Let’s put all anger aside for one holiday and make some good memories!

There is plenty of time to be bitter….Valentines Day is just around the corner!!!

6e5f2a286c5fed0d4d6659a9f1a9eae1Merry Christmas to all….and enjoy your Silent Night!!!!

 

It is Well….

It’s beginning to look a lot like “I am not really into Christmas”….or am I?

I am the most uptight person alive when it comes to decorating for Christmas.   Lugging out the 5 Christmas trees, 3 Christmas Villages, 3 nativity scenes and the random knick knack and stuffed Santa Claus was always the highlight of my entire year.    Christmas was always work.  I made it a chore.   A chore that no one else in my family wanted to participate in.   Mainly because it wasn’t fun, I made it my life’s goal to pour my heart and soul into making the house look like a Winter Wonderland, but didn’t want the family to be involved for fear they may put an ornament in the wrong place on the tree.      I did enjoy the help that was given to me when it came to pulling out the 20 boxes of ornaments, lights and garland….not to mention the villages and nativities.      Climbing into the trees to hang lights wasn’t my forte either, so I gladly kept my feet planted firmly on the ground as I barked out orders from below.

I spent 12 years of our marriage putting the Christmas decorations up on my own.   As he prepared for hunting season, I prepared for Christmas.    He dreaded the mundane task of dragging everything out of the attic, and all I could think about was surprising him with a museum of glitter and garland when he returned from hunting.   It was always my intention to make him proud of me.   For him to walk in and stand in awe at the hard work and hours (Blood Sweat and Tears!!) I had poured in to make it the best Christmas ever!

Every year, he came home….gave a half hearted “looks nice” and plopped his clothes down for me to wash.   The house that once smelled like Cinnamon had a strong odor of camp fire and deer urine.

The first year that he left us, I was so distraught, but I knew I had to decorate for the kids.   I trudged in the attic as I sobbed hysterically, lowering the trees down by myself.  Then calling my Daddy to help me because I quickly realized that I couldn’t do it on my own.    I watched my little boy try so hard (as he still does every year) to be the man of the house as he would go outside with his little shovel and snow suit and shovel the driveway,  taking a break every now and then to eat the snow!  (which I find disgusting!!)     He and my Dad would surprise me with decorating the outside.  I stayed inside, instead of barking out orders as I was just truly grateful that they were so kind to help me.

While decorating the tree, I cried uncontrollably as I put up the “First Christmas Together” ornaments, the family ornaments that displayed our names as Snowmen on a sled, the Baby’s First Christmas….I quickly realized that our Christmases would never be the same, yet I was not ready to give up the ornaments that I so proudly displayed every year on our “Memory Tree”.

It wasn’t until last Christmas that I stopped crying, I stopped romanticizing the bittersweet memories that no longer existed.   Although, I always want my kids to remember Christmas as a family, I felt no need to keep the “First Christmas Together” ornament.   Who would want that as a family heirloom when I am gone?   I realized that part of my life did not exist anymore, so alone one night as I was decorating the tree,  I broke the ornament and I threw it in the trash.    At that moment, I felt as though I was Kathy Bates in  Fried Green Tomatoes….I almost shouted Towanda!!!  (yet my heart still felt just as broken as the ornament)

December 7th, 2015.   I am sitting in my living room watching my kids decorate the Christmas trees by themselves.   My son, who isn’t tall enough to decorate the top of the tree, yet determined that is where he wanted to decorate, stood on the coffee table.  My daughter sat on the floor and wanted to hear the story behind each ornament.  My Exchange Student eagerly took over the task of the heavy lifting and took the top of the tree (because I am vertically challenged) as I spread out the branches on the bottom.    We opted not to put up the Christmas villages and the Nativity scenes this year for the sake of time.   (the first time in 16 years)

I took pictures…actual pictures of them decorating!!   Not the normal pictures of me handing them an ornament to put on the tree, so I could brag on social media that we decorated as a family.  All lies!!!

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The outside lights don’t match….the giant blow ups are not what I would consider “classy or elegant” but the kids picked them out.    The teens decorated the outside while I sat in the yard as we laughed at them climbing the big tree in the front yard and my nice climbing on the shoulders of the Exchange Student as he yelled, “My Gosh, you are so heavy!!” and almost dropped her.

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My little guy just fell asleep next to me while watching A Christmas Story.  I am sitting here looking for the missing garland,  the villages, and the massive amounts of fake snow that used to don the house.   He’s 10, and this is the first year I let him and his sister take over.   For some reason, that makes me sad as I hold him in my arms tonight.  To think that this is the first year I completely let go of being the Christmas Nazi and let them just be little kids.  Making Memories with their Mom.

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As I sit here tonight taking in my surroundings, I finally feel at peace.  Happy.  Satisfied.  It finally feels like HOME.

It is well with my soul……12308572_10208555102618518_2275357296802741425_n

 

 

 

Thanksgiving

 Ok….so here are just a few things I am thankful for!!
My mom has been seriously ill the last few months.    I am very thankful for her Health and how much she loves my kids!   I don’t know what I would do without her.  She is the best Grandma EVER!!  making memories and always smiling.    This is what a Grandma is!!!  (Take notes if you must) 

I’m so thankful for this guy!!   He’s been my best friend since Kindergarten!!  He’s my therapist, my shoulder to cry on, my late night texting buddy and the lover of Emojis and GIFs.        
This handsome fella is my Daddy!!   He is the best Grandpa anyone could ever ask for. A wonderful role model for my son and the great protector of my daughter.    The lover of “stealthies” (selfies).    YouTube addict.  And Smart Phone illiterate.     This kid just makes my heart melt!    Every time I look at him my heart skips a beat.   Watch out world….you are looking at a future preacher.     Love just can’t even begin to describe the way I feel about this little man.    Sigh….isn’t she beautiful?     God must have not wanted me to be bored so he gave this chick to me!!     She’s smart, beautiful and a TEENAGER!    Lord, help us all!!  My second Momma!!!    This is one amazing lady.     She has a heart of gold and the strongest opinion and personality I’ve ever seen.        She never had kids of her own, until I was born.    Now she has two “grandchildren” to spoil.     Ok….I am thankful for sugar!!!!  Enough said! I’m counting my BFF twice!!     He cleans too!   And ladies, he’s SINGLE!!!She’s my travel buddy, partner in crime, music lover, Ben Rector obsessed, smartest and most determined kid I know!! Has the singing voice of an angel.      And future Trauma Surgeon!   (And also single young men!)   These two…..beauties with an attitude!      Already spreading the gospel!!!😍  I am grateful for my church family.   And the amazing role model Mrs. Sandra is to me.    She made me “homeless packs” to take to our trip to NY.    She overheard us talking one evening about making little bags for homeless people and spreading some love while we visit NY.   she packed 5 gallon bags with:   Socks, gloves, hats, scarves, peanuts, pop tarts, tuna, Vienna sausages, carmex…..I’ve never seen anyone pack so much into a 5 gallon Baggie         This is Church Husband!!!      He’s kinda goofy and makes me smile all the time.  The entire church is rooting us on to date.    We both know we’d kill each other the first week!!    So ladies….he’s also single!!!   Thankful she has my sweet tooth and is learning to cook!!!     Also thankful for this adorable neighbor kid and one of my daughter’s best buds!! They are hard workers!  And always willing to lend a hand!  Ok….that is the VERY condensed short list.   There is my sisters, nieces and nephew, friends and extended family.   I am thankful for the people that have made my life easier and even for the ones that made it difficult.        

Ok….the pies aren’t going to bake themselves so I better get busy!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!!!!

Random.  Very Random!

  
Quotes from the weekend.  

I swallowed a jingle bell….then I googled “what happens when you swallow a jingle bell!”

I have salt in my cleavage!!

I’m going to need a hammer and some Advil!!

Has anyone seen the plunger?   Oh yeah, and we need more milk!!

I need someone to take me to the doctor…I have my first zit!!

These kids keep me on my toes!!

Goodbye 39….Hello 40

I must say, I’ve been dreading this day for a long time.

In less than 30 minutes I will officially be 40!

I wanted to write a big blog about my regrets, future plans, and most importantly being “single” at 40!!

It was going to be full of sadness and depression about how I never thought my life would be like this at 40……blah blah blah!!!

Then, I was reminded tonight what my life is all about.  What my purpose is…..when a 10 year old boy in my Awana class came up to me and told me he wanted to be saved.     I grabbed my Bible and showed him how to accept Christ as his Savior.

After that, everything else just disappeared.

Best early Birthday present ever!!!

Good bye 39….Bring it on 40!


This is what’s it’s all about!

Thank You God.