Thursday, November 1, 2012

Brand New Day

November 1, 2012...

What a crazy month October was.  And AWFUL in so many ways...

Here's a run down.

October 5th - Divorce final.

October 12th - Begin moving into a's got a kitchenette and a bedroom...but it's a hotel.

October 15th - Grandma flies to Arizona for the time being, to vacation and enjoy her friends, while we figure out where we are going to live.

October 16th - Close on the sold house.  The one that we've lived in for almost 10 years

October 17th - Girls go with their Daddy to Colorado to visit Camera King and Auntie SP and all the Colorado girlies.  They will be gone until October 30th...and I will be alone.

October 18th - Move the baby grand piano, that was my Daddy's and is now my Mommy's out of our perfect room, to a friend's house for the time being.

October 18th - Walk away and leave the keys to this house in this house for the next family.

October 19th - 30th - Be alone...sleep...rage a with friends who make me laugh and talk to me and wrap their arms around me and love me even when I'm crazy-unloveable (you know who you are)...plan a little...walk the dog a little...journal and read, my bible and The Scarlett Letter, ALOUD just to kill the silence.

Quite a month to live through.  Quite a month to walk with me through to all of you who have been there.

For all the awful, there have been so many bright spots.  So many moments of joy.  So many people lifting me up with encouragement and prayer and in action...sending me songs and email and texts.

Guess what.

It's a brand new day...brand new month...time for a brand new life...let's get this party started!

See ya around...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Life in a Hotel...

--- This was written during our time at the hotel.  Normally I would back date it, and may in the future, but blogger has changed a few things and I can't seem to find the date.  Possibly, I'll push the publish button and it will date it to the day I wrote it...but if not...before you read...Know this was written in October of 2012...the terrible month. ---

Well, part of our journey has been moving all the stuff we use on a daily basis into our hotel room.

Ha!  That's actually kind of funny in retrospect.  Seriously, right now, look around your house and pick 30 things that you use on a daily basis.  There are some standard things that you just aren't going to forget...for instance...I wasn't going to forget a tea books (well most of them anyway) laptop.  But there are these things...that you only sometimes use on a daily coat, for instance, that I didn't even MISS until last week when it dropped into the 40s at night...or various vitamins or medications that you only USE if someone gets sick or bit by a big old green bug and it leaves a huge welt and two puncture wounds on your child...but I digress...we've forgotten a few things.  Thankfully, we live in civilization and so far there hasn't been anything forgotten that couldn't be replaced.  But there have been a few, "Did you remembers?" and each one has caused varying degrees of inconvenience.

But after over a month, I have to say honestly that we haven't missed much...not in terms of stuff.

We have missed our freedom...our ability to run right out the door and visit friends...or to open the door and let the poor dog out (he is averse to pooping on a leash, poor thing).  I've missed being able to have a phone conversation...and OH how I've missed being able to cook bigger things without setting off the smoke's a freedom that I didn't even realize existed until this hotel.

I would like to say that missing all these things has helped us to grow new and wonderful skills.  Sadly, not as many as I'd hoped.  I fear we've watched a little too much T.V. and fallen back on electronics a little too much.  I've been struggling for months with so many things, and I'm afraid that my imagination is shot.  Where I used to see adventure, I often see drudgery.  It's not a good direction, frankly.

But there have been some lessons learned here...the hard ones...the ones no one wants to have to learn.

I've learned that not every thought is worth unpacking.  Seriously.  We are collectively broken right now.  And we have been for awhile.  Sometimes we look pretty normal and we've always been good at smiling.  But underneath it, there is a disillusionment in every one of us.  The shocked, "Well, that's not what was supposed to happen" that overwhelms us often.  The first week that the girls were back home to me was really difficult, because I hadn't come to this truth yet.  And one thing I'm VERY good at is talking.  And with every tear, or bit of  anger...there came this big discussion.  I've learned that sometimes just shutting up is the answer...sometimes the bubble has to burst and then, in a minute, everyone is ready to move on.  I've also learned the MOST of the crazy emotions are lies.  We are not ALWAYS going to be in a hotel.  Our WHOLE life doesn't stink.  We are not ALWAYS going to miss every event. 

I've learned to sleep well here.  But it took first learning to turn off the T.V.  And then learning that just because I'd had a terrifying dream, I WAS okay and to purposefully think of something else.  I also learned that when I couldn't shut off my mind, I needed to write.  Write an email to a friend...Write a blog post I never intended to share...Write in my journal.  I learned through many moments of waking thinking I was in my own home...that THIS is not that home...THIS will never be that home...I will NEVER have that home again.  And I had to cry...and be angry...and plead with God.  And then, finally, I had to realize that home is NOT a building or a's a heart and it's the family...and while my heart was a little shredded...these are matter where we are...what we we sleep...We are home.  And all of a sudden, I got it, and that was enough and I could sleep.  I've slept better in the last 3 weeks in this hotel than I'd slept in the last 7-8 years.

See ya around...

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Less Than One hour...

We are out on another trip...on our way to California.  Things have been going wonderfully...dry roads...happy kids (by and large).  It almost feels like we're getting good at this sort of thing.

We were out on Highway 70 in Arizona and we were marveling at the clouds...they were gorgeous...

As we went on things began looking more and more ominous...

The direction we were headed took us right through Globe, AZ which is at 3,544 feet above sea level down the side of a mountain to Superior, AZ which is at 2,749 feet.  It makes this drop through a series sharp guard-railed turns and 6 and 7% grades.  Now, see, it's probably not that bad of a drive...when it's dry.

It should be said that there are two things that I am TRULY afraid of.  One is high places.  My legs go cold on good sized over passes.  The other is driving at freeway speeds, when I don't KNOW where I am, in heavy rain.

It started raining a few minutes before we hit Globe proper...we saw the sign at 4:07 pm.  By the time we hit Miami, AZ, 3,411 ft at 4:21 pm it was pouring...I mean waterfalls-coming-down-the-cuts-in-the-rock pouring...

By 4:24 we were PUSHING water.

There was a gray truck in front of me...he didn't have his lights on...and there was a point I couldn't see him at all...thankfully I could see the guard rail.

It was terrifying.  We were praying aloud...specifically for the Lord to close the skies.

I'm not sure how long we drove in it...but by the time we saw the sign to Pinal County at 4:37 pm it had completely stopped raining.  As in, He closed the skies.

We were in Superior, AZ by 4:49 hadn't been raining for awhile...

and by 4:54 pm we were all the way down... 

It's weird.  I'm not sure what to write.  I know that writing this can in no way touch the emotion of that timeframe.  I was still shaking an hour after we were down.  I'm not sure I want to get back in the car even now.

I also know that there are a bunch of people who simply aren't afraid of heights or rain and so it doesn't seem a big deal.

Still, it was a big deal to us.  And scary.  And faith building.

He shut the skies for me.

See ya around...

(Pictures supplied by Beanie and log of places, elevations and times supplied by Grandma)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Something Girly...

Well the house is getting to that age.  You know, stuff should probably be painted...carpets should probably be stretched...and it's been long enough that the stuff we REALLY liked has become commonplace.  Besides...those kids? They've gotten older...they have opinions now...they like "pretty" stuff.  Lucky for them, so does their momma.

So anyway, while they were at their Daddy's place this weekend, Grandma and I painted and primped and made an old boring place new and girly.

As always, on a project like this...I learned a TON of stuff.  Firstly, I do NOT like any version of pinkie/peachie color on the looks like base makeup and messes up my coloring in the mirror.  NOT interested.  But that IS what color the walls were just recently painted...and I was part of that decision.  All I can say is, "I repent", and MOOOOOVE on. So the peach had to go.

You probably remember, when we did Beanie's room, that we had Mrs. M and Mr. G. help us.  Well, Mr. G., I have discovered is a FABULOUS I sorta knew that, but you know how when you work with someone who is good at something and so you kind of think you must be good at it, too?  Well, let's just say, this "job" didn't go QUITE as smoothly as Bean's room and I'm pretty sure it was because Mr. G. wasn't here.

Stuff I learned by NOT having Mr. G here...I really am too clumsy NOT to matter that Mr. G. never tapes...I's WAY easier than having to clean up the spots you missed with the damp cloth.  Also, I'm not near as good at ceilings...although I don't hate it nearly as much as I thought that I would.

Now, I have learned that with every biggish project there WILL be something that goes wrong and this was NO DIFFERENT.  I've learned that I really REALLY don't like when my mommy decides to stand on the toilet seat because she is vertically challenged and can't reach to paint the high spots on the wall...AND the bolts on the toilet seat twist and send her flying through the air to land on the floor smacking her ribs on the side of the tub.  I DON'T like it at all!  (She is okay...bruised and scraped, but okay...however, I am still traumatized...)  (well...and praising the Lord that nothing worse happened.)

I also learned about toggle bolts.  I had never in my life played with these marvelous contraptions....and let me say, I most definitely played with one on this project.  I did it wrong EVERY SINGLE WAY possible before I finally got it right...I did everything BACKWARDS at least once...but you know what?  I totally figured it out...and I'm never going to forget it again.

So here it is, the girls' new bathroom...I tried every which way to take a picture of the whole thing and couldn' here are the highlights...notice the blue...WAY better than peachy/pink...


See ya around...

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Lucky Number 13

So we celebrated a birthday.

That big one...the eldest...she's reached the momentous teen age years.  sigh.  I'm only 22...and some, how could I possibly have a 13 year old girl child??


A few days ago, I picked up a fun recipe magazine.  It's one that I used to love and subscribe to..."The Taste of Home"....and this one was a special edition, it had kid-friendly, party-friendly foods.  And just in time for the great child's birthday.  She found a cake that must be made.  MUST.

Isn't it cute?

And it seemed so simple.  That middle section is set raspberry jello.  We found all the candy, made the cake...all was going SO well...

And then...


I think we nailed it...don't you??

It was one of those slow motion things...we cooled the jello just so...and then poured the sorta set, sorta liquid blue raspberry goodness into the prepared middle of this seemed to hold  for a few seconds...maybe a minute...and then the worst happened...

A fissure appeared.

I tried to stick my finger full of frosting into the the little boy who held back the sea with his finger in the dyke...but see, that kid only had to deal with the entire ocean and one small hole...I had blue raspberry goo, three screaming girls, an ever-widening crack and THEN the second side also SPRANG A LEAK...

Grandma was helpful though...she's the one who thought of the cup measures.  Hat tip to ya, Gram.

Lucky for my girl, I was NOT in the mood to make another cake.  So I handed everyone paper towels and told them to "SSHHHHHHH" and MOP or LEAVE...and commenced scraping that nasty looking cake, and as much of the blue goo as I could OFF the top of the bottom cake.

Luckier still was the fact that I had taste-tested the frosting recipe and found it scrumptious and so had intentionally made too much.  I re-frosted that bottom cake...used some of the candy to spell out her name...told Beanie that she should figure out something to do with SOME of the candy we would not be using...and walked away.

A few minutes later...we had a mostly respectable cake.

I used this as a teaching moment...I'm good that way.  I explained, "Sometimes things don't come out exactly as we expect...sometimes they are WAY funnier".

Happy Birthday tomorrow to my new Teenie-Girl Beanie...I love her very much.  And I THINK we just made my favorite cake, ever.

See ya around.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

God's Grace in Chaos...

If you know me at all, you know this has been a tough week.  Actually if you know me at all, you know that there have been no "easy" weeks in a really long time.

And yet, things happen by accident that have God's fingerprints all over them.

As you may know, I'm one of those people who always has a song in my head...I'm usually humming or whistling...and if I discover a song that I like, I'll sing it 90,000 times trying to perfect inside my own head.

I rarely do this on purpose and I often have to stop singing to carry on a conversation...especially when I'm stressed or nervous.

Over the last few weeks this song has been on my lips more often than not.  My girls have sung it with me as it became part of the fabric of our interactions...

Last night, while washing dishes, I discovered that not only did they KNOW it, but they held the melody well...AND at least one of them had been taking over the harmony fairly regularly.

This morning, while doing hair in the best acoustic-al room of my house, I asked if I could record them...well, us.  No matter that it only sounds like one alto, there are two of us and we switch parts in the midst of the song.  I am surprised how alike we sound...I am blessed that they all will sing with me when I just need it.

God is so good.

See ya around...

Monday, February 27, 2012

Falling in love again...can't help it...'s another new camera post.  I can't help it.  It's pretty slow around here and treasure like this REALLY pulls my attention and makes me want to play and play.  As it's a school day...playing opportunities are not quite as abundant as I'd like...but I've got these little models that I can snatch away from almost ANY planned thing...and they'll stand there all cute like...

For second lil sunshine girl...she turned 9 last week, maybe you didn't know.  Anyway, for her birthday she received a ball of yarn and a crochet hook and the promise that her friend would teach her to crochet.  So she brought said ball of yarn and crochet hook to church on Sunday and sat cross-legged on the floor between services with her creative little friend and the two of them taught my Bear to chain.  And then she CHAINED, by crackie.

So I took this picture of her...the first one is STRAIGHT out of the camera...her eyes looked so pretty I thought I'd bump the saturation a skosh...I was right...TOTALLY made me happy.


Then there is this house...

Monkey Face got this house sometime after Christmas because it was on sale for 5 bucks...and I thought it might keep her busy for two minutes put together...'s been in pieces stuffed over by the piano since shortly after she got it...because it wasn't finished....or so I thought.  The reality was they'd gotten tired of trying to color the ginormous thing with the 8 sad little markers that kept running out of ink.  (What is with the tired markers that come in these things?  I mean I got it for 5 dollars but somebody else bought it for $19.99...doesn't $19.99 warrant some REAL markers? ... But I digress)

So because I just knew that if I set it up they'd play in it and maybe they'd be cute er sumthin...and then I could pull out my new camera and snap-ety snap away...I set it up.  Ulterior motives laid's sad really. 

And I was right...I did get a couple of cute shots...but I found something else out about my new love.  I found out it doesn't work the same as my old one...SHOCKING, I know. 

Case in point...these two pictures...same location...same shot...(well, except the kid ducked)...the only difference was the flash.  Now my old camera would flash and light the foreground target and drop the bright background a bit...this one...everything went dark.  Intriguing really.  Can't wait to figure out what setting is making it so. 


Something else about this's wider than my old camera would take...

I like it.

See ya around...

Saturday, February 25, 2012

WOO HOO! And there was GREAT rejoicing...

Oh my goodness, it's been awhile.  Let's see...well, my camera has been giving me FITS for months and months...sometime late last summer the lens started to grind whenever it moved.  Right at first it didn't cause any problems...other than to my psyche as I had to listen to that awful noise.  But as time went got worse...pretty soon the lens began catching and having a hard time moving at all.  Sometime in November it became virtually unusable.

Which brings me to my post.  I got a new camera today.  It's basically the grandchild of my old camera which I loved so well...a Cannon Powershot SX40 (not to put too fine a point on it)...I hope that we will become very good friends.

I haven't had much chance to get to know it yet...but I have taken a few pictures...for instance our 1st and 3rd grader's memory verse for the week...

And then there was the dry erase marker that was just sitting there waiting to have it's picture taken as all dry erase markers do...(um and shoelaces)...

And last but not incredibly hazy reflection...

I think it's pretty obvious that I'm out of practice and that I probably need to bring up my game...but it is SO nice to play with a camera that doesn't growl at me...

See ya around...