Monday, October 31, 2011

Boo to You!

Happy Monday and Happy Halloween!  I've never been all that much into Halloween myself, though that may seem hard to believe for someone who loves the theatre and costumes and such, but I am not at all into things scary or frightening.  I don't like it at all and I have never understood that alure for those who do.  If I see something scary on television I have to turn it off right away or I know that I will have nightmares all night long.  I've relayed to you all some of my dreams sequenced when I am not frightened so you can just imagine what happens when I am frightened.  Let's just say it isn't pretty!  (Or clean...)  And still some people get a thrill out of paying good money to get the beejesus scared out of them at movie theaters, haunted houses, fairs and the like.  Not me!  I stay far away from those things.  I do not like strange things jumping out at me in the dark, poking me, or seeing others having their body parts ripped off by power tools.  Call me crazy.
Jim on the other hand, is more into this strange holiday than I am.  It's not that he likes to get dressed up, Heaven forbid!  But give the man a reason to decorate my house with plastic crap that looks like anything that the Adams Family or the Munsters would have rejected as having been in bad taste and he's all about it.
Big hairy brightly colored spiders, flying bats, the ugliest, most hideous witch you've ever seen-not me thank you!  I had to fight with him not to bring home little plastic rats to put in this lovely candle holder that my mother gave me.  It's this large glass container with a candle that sits on a stand several inches above the bottom, leaving room for seasonal decorations underneath.  He wanted to put rats in it!  After nixing that idea he suggested eyeballs.  Really.  Eyeballs!  I found some nice fall colored acorns and that is what I put in there, much to his chagrin.  We are most definitely people of varying taste to be sure.  From time to time he has trully scared me when we have been shopping for furniture or something when he'll point to something and say 'What about this?' and I realize with something akin to horror, that he is serious! 

You see, I was lulled into a false sense of security.  When we were dating, Jim had a small house and every room in it was decorated.  Everything matched, not everything was the best stuff, he had hand me downs for sure-but nothing was ugly or horrible.  The curtains in the kitchen had little ruffles on them and the living room curtains went so well with the sofa and the rug.  It was - CUTE!  I was really impressed.  The thing is there was a catch that I was unaware of, he had help.  After we were married and his father had gone out and purchased furniture all on his own we had been to visit and Jim commented on how nice it was.  Well, the truth was, I thought it was quite the opposite.  It was heavy, and uncomfortable, the fabric was dated and not at all my style or what I would have thought of as his, so I was quite surprised.  I tried to say that it was nice for them, and for where they had it and such until he suggested we purchase something similar and then I couldn't hold back.  What was he talking about, was he crazy, was happened to his good taste?  Oh, he had  a friend of his that he worked with pick out most of the stuff, he just paid for it!  Ha! 

Anyway, had a real nice Friday.  Met an old friend for coffee and a muffin.  So nice to be able to catch up and relax.  This is a friend that I've known for a long time.  I met her when Michelle was three and before I was even pregnant with Timmy.  She and I each had a little one and then shortly after I became pregnant with Timmy she too became pregnant with her second child.  Her daughter Lisa and Timmy were in the same grade together and we were stay at home moms together.  We shared a lot!  Many, many cups of coffee, family stories, child rearing experiences, late night temperatures, trips to the doctors, shopping adventures, money worries and so much more.  We were very close and as sometimes happens, that closeness drifted over time and distance.  Not that we are far apart, just no longer around the corner and no longer in the same circumstances.  Never the less, we got together and it was good.  It was real.  It was comfortable.  Like before.  Like yesterday.  We just had to catch up and then continue on, no time had passed we just were -old friends.  Such a gift that is.  Such a precious, precious gift.  Thank you, Rikki.  It was great!  Not enough time, not enough true friends, not gonna let years go by again.
Then Saturday, it SNOWED.  In October.  The 29th to be exact! Enough Said. 
For now.................

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Say Hello!

To a pretty bad blogger!  I know I have been really bad, but finding the time lately has been really tough.  So much going on in so many areas that it's all I can do to stay on top of things.  When I get home from work in the evening I want to collapse, but I can't as I have a lot to do at home as well-little things like laundry and cleaning, sometimes dinner and other such nonsense.  Never mind the extras!  So, I've been a little tense, a little stressed, and Jim and I had a weekend away scheduled which we were looking forward to and thought would be good for me, relaxing.  Stress free time with our friends in Williamsburg.  Right?  R-i-g-h-t!
So, we both took off on Friday and hop in the car after we took Bella to school to get an early start on the trip.  I made the mistake of looking at my Blackberry and saw that I had several emails and happened to open one up only to see that a co-worker was accusing me of some pretty unflattering things, in a pretty nasty way, knowing that I wouldn't be there to defend myself.  Well, that got my blood pressure right up!  After discussing it with Jim, I decided to reply to all who were copied on the email and give a short but concise defense and hope that our supervisors would take it from there.  That was not to be and emails were volleyed back and forth until another was written by the initial author with yet another baseless accusation against me and at that I turned off my Blackberry saying I'd had enough and I'd deal with it on Monday.  I took a deep breath, and calmed myself down and told Jim that I would not talk about it again for the time being I was going to put it out of my mind and resolve to try and de-stress.  With that my personal cell phone beeped signalling that I had a text message.  I looked at it to find that it was a message from my mother telling me that my Dad had had a heart attack and was in the hospital having undergone a procedure placing 2 stints in but was now resting.  Then my phone started ringing-my sisters calling.  So much for no stress! 

Dad, thank God, is doing well.  He was released from the hospital on Sunday and was on the golf course again by Friday.  His game needs some work to get it back to where it was, but that will come in time. 
We did wind up having a good weekend.  Went to the William and Mary football game and tailgated before the game.  That was a lot of fun! 

Don't know why Jim is sticking his tongue out?!
Our hosts!

On Sunday, Durinda and I went to the Stamp and Art show in Hampton, Va and left the guys behind.  We had a blast and picked up lots of goodies on our little trip!  Then we had to come back home and go back to work on Monday morning, yuck!
In wedding news, Michelle and Shawn seem to have settled on a date if not a venue.  March 10, 2012 seems to be the date.  They have narrowed the venue down to two places and have had both places pencil them in for the 10th, now we just have to decide on which place and secure it.  Saturday Michelle and I took our first foray into the world of wedding dress shopping.  That was an experience.  Let me just say this and get it out of the way, my daughter and I are very close and I love her dearly but we are not very much alike.  There, I said it.  I am more into makeup and hair, fashion and glamour.  (Believe it or not)  Michelle is more into comfort and ease.  She wears her hair long so she can wash it and go, no blow drying or styling, sometimes she'll pull it in a ponytail.  That's about it.  No make up - ever.  Well, maybe for a really special occassion-like her wedding.  I put makeup on to stay home.  I do my hair if I'm in the hospital.  So if I was having a wedding I'd get a big gown with tulle and lace, beads and a train the whole 9 yards.  Michelle wants a gown that looks like a slip.  But that's her and that's what she wants and that is what we will find her.  But, we'll find her one that will be the one for her.  So far, we haven't found it.  It's funny though, I remember shopping with my mother and she wanted me to try on all these different kinds of dresses and hats and things and I wanted the first dress I tried on.  She said you can't get the first dress you try on and made me try on all these other things, go to a bunch of other stores and we wound up going back to the first store and buying the first dress I tried on!  So there you go!

Sunday, I did a mini photo shoot with the kids and here are a few of the shots from that shoot.
So, that's about it for now.  Back to work.  Hopefullly Michelle and I will be able to carve out some time to go dress shopping again over the weekend, our window of opportunity is short.  She has no worries though.  Ha!  I do enough for the both of us. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

My heart...

Decorated for the season.

Awesome Giveaway going on...

Over at The 36th Avenue blog!  And if you haven't visited Desiree's blog, you really should, she is amazing!  Full of creative ideas, amazing projects and beautiful photos!  I'd like to win this giveaway too, so you're not gonna break my heart if you don't enter-but you should visit her blog for your own sake!  Ha! So head on over and check it out, and if you don't know how to get there, just hit the button on my sidebar.  Easy peasy!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Finally Fall

Don't you just love the colors of fall?  I do!  Love everything about fall, with the possible exception of football.  Just not a fan.  Though I try, I just don't seem to understand the game and can't wrap my head around the fervor that surrounds it.  Growing up I remember my Dad watching football and getting so excited watching his team play.  He is one of those fans that yell at the television screen, know all the players by name and number, whose mood is actually dictated by how his team did on Sunday or Monday.  You know the type.  Now that he is getting a little older we often worry about him, when his team is having a close game or suffering from poor calls.  Though I must admit that I was very relieved to hear that he had seen a doctor who declared that he had a strong heart.  Good to know, as I often feared that  his favorite TV past-time would lead to a hear attack!   When Jim and I married I knew that he too was quite a fan of the game so when we were together for a game for the first time I remember saying to him 'I thought you  liked football?'  He told me that he did and wondered why I had asked, 'Because you're so quiet'.  A very different type of fan he is!  Everyone in the family is pretty much a fan of the game, I am the one hold out.  It's like a different language to me, and if we are watching it on TV there isn't even any pretty scenery or people watching to do.  B-O-R-I-N-G!  My 2 sisters are die hard fans. RABID!  They love to retell the story about me being at a college football game and watching people in the stands.  I leaned over to Jim and asked him what D Gate meant.  He didn't know what I meant and I showed him in the stands there were a couple of kids one holding a large letter 'D' and the others holding what I thought was a gate.  He laughing told me that it was a fence and that it meant 'defense'.  My sister and her kids will just randomly call me up during football season and yell D-GATE!  I thought it was a perfectly logical question.  Obviously others felt differently.
The above picture is courtesy of Pinterest, but I must tell you that it looks a great deal like a lake in the area where I grew up.  The fall was breathtakingly beautiful!  I used to love to go out and walk or ride in the woods as we called them.  There was a large rock that jutted out over a ridge and the view from there was just beautiful, it was one of my favorite spots to sit and think, to write, to dream.  I kind of miss having a special spot.  I'd like to be  there now or here:

I am still in a state of ambivilance.  Not quite sure what to do with myself.  This too shall pass, I am sure of it.  I just am not sure of how to get past it at this point.  I am struggling and that is not really like me.  I don't like feeling this way and truth be told I may be on the verge of a depression.
See that spot just beneath the wave?  I feel like that is me, and I am just waiting for the wave to hit and take me under.  Really unlike me.  I need to focus and reconnect, but the tears keep threatening to overtake me.  Why do I go there?  I know that I should just try and stay cheery and I am doing my best, but sometimes I've got to let it out.  And really, it doesn't help that I am surrounded by stupid people!  Not at home mind you.  But so often elsewhere, let's just say that too many people put their mouth in gear before fully engaging their brains.  Sometimes it wouldn't make much difference if they did engage their brains!  And I am NOT what you might call the most patient of people. 
Say a prayer for me will you?  I need all the help I can get and I mean that.

Now, I'll leave you with a few cards that I made recently.
First up is this one made with Inky Antic Stamps

If you can't read it, sentiment says: 'My husband said he'd leave me if I bought one more thing...' Inside: 'I'll miss him...'
Colored with pastel pencils.
This is colored with Copics and for that touch of sparkle-Smooch! Inside is a Hershey midget

Little messy on the sentiment, but love the inchworm and the filmstrip stencil. 
That's it for now.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Guess What?

It has stopped raining!  Finally.  It seemed liked the rain was here to stay, because everytime the rain would seem to break it started right back up again.  Let me tell you, we are soaked, water logged and down right sick of the rain!  Well, this weekend was glorious in terms of the weather.  Couldn't have been nicer.  Not a cloud in the sky, sun was shining and the nights were cool.  Just a couple of beautiful fall days.  I was loving it!  Which was good, because I was outside a lot both days. 
Saturday we had planned to participate in a yard sale with our neighbors.  They had been preparing for it for weeks and after 40+ years of marriage and an adult daughter whose own teenage kids had gone off to school had moved back in with her parents-they had a lot to get rid of.  We didn't have that much, just some books and toys, games, and some other random things that were lying around taking up space.  Most of it was the kids' stuff.  So Michelle was going to help with the set up and the sale, but the kids slept in and then after they got to the house and were there for a while Bella got sick so they had to go home.  So, I was flying solo with the yard sale.  But, since we had pulled a bunch of stuff out of the garage I decided it was a good time to sweep and vaccum it out and got it nice and clean and then when I was done with that I swept the driveway and the sidewalk, so everything looked nice.  (Of course Jim had to go and mow the lawn yesterday and ruin the nice clean look, but what can you do!) 
Yesterday, Jim and I ran some errands together.  I bought paint to paint Michelle's old room with and begin the transformation.  I hate the thought of starting a painting project, but I sure love the feeling of accomplishment that I get when I am in the midst of one and see the progress that I am making.  It is such a great feeling!  Then when I have finished the project to stand back and look at the completed room and know that I have done it myself gives me such a sense of pride, I feel like I can take on the world.  Just give me a paint brush and a roller!  Ha!  We also got a few other things that we needed, although I can't for the life of me remember what because they don't really matter compared to the paint.  When we got home we worked in the yard for quite a while.  Him more than me, but I did a bit.  Due to recent storms, we have lost quite a few branches and shrubbery in the back yard and Jim had been able to cut a lot of it down, but had not gotten to break it down and haul it away.  It was all just in piles in various gardens in the back, so yesterday we broke down the branches, kept what we could for kindling and hauled the rest away.  Let me tell  you, I worked hard!  It was a lot of bending over and this old body doesn't like that type of repititous action anymore!  Plus, the sun was hot.  I finished up my part and left Jim to mow the lawn and I went inside where I thought I'd relax for a while.  Once inside though, I was greeted with a dirty floor that needed my attention and I just couldn't let it go.  So, I got on my hands and knees and scrubbed the kitchen floor, then I vaccumed the whole house and when I got upstairs I noticed that the bathroom door was shut (we don't use the hall bathroom).  Bella had aparently shut it after being sick in there the day before for what I can only assume were malordorsly obvious reasons.  Let's just say it didn't get better with age!  So, that led to scrubbing and disinfecting the entire bathroom.  The good news is it's sparkly clean now.  * :)   The bad news is, so much for an afternoon of relaxation. 
It ended well though, I sat in the hot tub for a long while last night.  Just relaxing.  Oh it was nice!  The water was hot, the bubbles were popping and the jets were strong, doing their job at relaxing my muscles.  Mmm.  Makes me tired even thinking about it.  I could use a little nap. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

So it Begins

Phone calls, emails, websites and magazines all with pictures of brides and beautiful dresses, touting one venue over another, questions about where to go, who to see, and of course, how much will it cost?  It all can become a little overwhelming!  No wonder a bride is known to be so emotional during this time.  But what about her mother?  Why am I feeling so emotional?
It's rather confusing for me to understand myself.  I am so undeniably happy for Michelle.  Bella too.  Shawn is a terrific man and I have a great bond with him that I feel is one that will only strengthen with time.  They are very lucky to have each other-all of them.  I love the planning of the wedding, it's fun for me.  Something that I have always wanted to do and have looked forward to. I can't wait to go shopping with the girls for dresses and flowers and get into all the details.  That's my idea of fun.  So it's not that.  But I do feel myself to be at somewhat of an impasse.  I am very emotional and cry at the drop of a hat, especially when speaking with Michelle.  I am not afraid of being replaced because the truth is, I know no one can replace ME!  Part of me though may feel a bit set adrift. Somewhat like an old viking, but without the flames.
The truth is, I feel sad.  After much soul searching, I feel that I've been able to reach the source of my sadness and it is this.  Michelle has decided to get married at Shawn's family church, and to attend there with Isabella.  While part of me is so glad that they will be attending church as a family and raising Bella and Aiden together in the Christian faith, it saddens me at the same time to think that our time together in our family church has passed.  Is that selfish?  I really do want what is best for them and I think that perhaps this church might be good for them.  They went on Sunday and Bella has talked about it to me several times and she asked Michelle to read to her about the story they talked about in church.  That is great, it means that Isabella was paying attention and she got something from the service and it was brought home, all of that is good.  It is also great that Shawn's family attends that church as well, his parents and his sister and her family as well, so Bella will have cousin's there.  I know that it is all good, but part of me feels like they are giving part of themselves up gain those rewards.  While my head knows that's not true, it has to convince my heart.
The worst part is that without them, I don't want to go to church and I don't know why.  It's not their fault!  Michelle is doing what is right for her and for her family, I know that!  At the same time, it's always been hard enough for me to go to church with just my children and not Jim.  Now, for the kids to leave me too, I just don't know if I can do it without them. 
Jesus knows my heart.  He knows that my love and trust in Him hasn't changed, but my courage has faltered a bit.  Pray for me, that He will give me the strength that I need to go it alone.  To worship Him as I have done for the last half of my life, at my home church with my church family. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Season of Changes

It seems that there will continue to be a lot of changes in the lives of my family.  And we couldn't be happier about them.  While Michelle and Shawn were away in Disney World they became engaged.  Prior to their leaving, Shawn had spoken to both Jim and I and asked our permission which of course we granted, so we knew that it was in the works, but we didn't know exactly when.  While we spoke with them several times during their trip they never let anything on. It turns out that he popped the question on their first night there and Michelle didn't want to share it with anyone (other than Shawn's sister Courtney who they were with), she preferred to just keep it to themselves for the time being.  That's so very Michelle. 
The Happy Couple!
They haven't set a date as of yet but are hoping for the Spring, April or May.  They had a really great trip and had a wonderful time.  They are anxious to go back and bring the kids, hopefully on their honeymoon if things go as planned even if it is a delayed honeymoon.  (After school gets out.) 
Isabella and Aiden are thrilled!  They were told on Friday night after Aiden's birthday celebration.  The Grands, Jim and I and Rex and Della (Shawn's parents) were invited over to their house to celebrate the birthday and when the kids went up to bed Michelle and Shawn went up to speak to them.  We heart lots of cheering coming from upstairs, so we thought the kids were taking the news well.  Shortly Aiden came bounding down the stairs yelling "We're getting married!" followed by Bella who war piroutting down the steps singing "They're getting married!"  She followed that up by telling us that "Yeah!  And I'm going to be the Maiden of Honor and Aiden's going to be the Perfect Boy.  Or something like that."  We all got a kick our of that.  Isabella and Aiden will be the honorary Maid of Honor and Best Man.  They are well suited for their jobs! 
Then the kids realized that they would be brother and sister and they were thrilled about that!  Bella looked at Shawn and said she'd have a Dad.  Not sure who was happier about that, but then Aiden looked at Michelle and seemed a bit confused.  He has a Mom.  And he said "Miss Michelle will be my..." And I filled in with 'How about Miss Michelle can be your 'Bonus Mom' Aiden, will that work?"  He smiled and said "Miss Michelle you can be my 'Bonus Mom!'" 
It was very cute and they couldn't stop smiling.
So, it's on to helping to plan a wedding for me!  I am very happy for all of them.  Michelle and Shawn are a delightful couple who so enjoy one another, it will be a joy to see them take this step together.