Monday, March 22, 2010

The Little Things

As my plate seems to be constantly overflowing these days and I'm juggling too many balls at once, I have to clear my plate and place a few balls in the nearby basket.  I will be spending the next 2 weeks being selfish.  My husband insists that I need to be "more selfish," so that's my plan for the next couple of weeks.  Well, that's not entirely true.  I just need a little time to unwind, work on my WIP, update my website, enjoy some good music, and do a few other things for myself.  

It's also time for some reflection on my part.  During this time of "selfishness," I want to focus on God and the bigger picture in life.  I also plan to use these weeks to become closer to my husband and my boys.  My next two weeks will be full of enjoying the little things.

Tomorrow, March 23rd, I will be celebrating 11 years of marriage with my wonderful husband.  Our love story can be found here.  We have big plans for our evening.  It will start with grinders for dinner, homemade dessert, and New Moon on blu-ray.  If all goes well, we might actually have a chance to go out on the weekend as well.  Happy 11th Anniversary C!  I love you!

My blog schedule should return to normal on Monday, April 5, 2010
My 100th blog celebration should also take place in April!

Happy Easter on April 4th Everyone!

The resurrection gives my life meaning and direction and the opportunity to start over no matter what my circumstances.  ~Robert Flat

For my husband...

My favorite gospel song in honor of Easter and our Savior Jesus Christ...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Birth Day Reminiscing

Today I opened my pantry and debated on grabbing a brown paper lunch bag.  It won't be holding anyone's lunch today, but may be needed a short time later in the event that I start to hyperventilate.  As I contemplate the last fast paced 7 years, I can't help but feel as though someone has knocked the wind out of me.  Seven year ago today, I gave birth to my first born son.

As every year goes by, I feel that undeniable bitter sweetness that almost every mother knows.  Watching your child grow and experience all that life has to offer at his age induces smiles and tugs at heart strings.  Then the moment hits when you realize another year has gone by and your baby is no longer, your toddler is no more, the preschooler you love has entered school, and this cycle of growing up is never going to end.  You delight in the changes and yet your heart breaks as well.  The time is rushing by at warp speed and there is no way to turn off the overpowered thrusters of time, from newborn to 18 in no time flat.

Birthdays are meant for reminiscing, looking ahead, and celebration.  My mind has travelled back in time to the early hours of March 14, 2003.  I remember staying up to visit with my Mom, who was of course visiting Maine to await her first born grandchild, and going to bed much later than I should have.  I had a few contractions through the evening, but we assumed they were nothing more than Braxton Hicks.  Evidently, we were wrong.  No more than a few hours later, I awoke with a jolt, jumped out of bed, and felt my water break.  Phone calls were promptly made and I grabbed a quick shower before we headed to the hospital.

The snow was falling as we drove along in those dark early morning hours.  Unbelievably, the ride was fairly calm aside from a few contractions.  We arrived and a nurse questioned if my water had indeed broken as another gush took place.  She no longer felt the need to question me at that point.  C took care of insurance forms as I was prepped for the long haul of labor.  During this time, I began to black out and the fetal heart monitor strapped to my belly went a little crazy.  Thankfully the nurses quickly had me taken care of and determined that the heart monitor may have slipped from the correct spot, as everything looked just fine with my baby boy.  My labor story, and Pitocin enhanced contractions,  continued throughout the day.  Around midnight, the doctors convinced me to let them give me an epidural and attempt to rest as much as possible through the night.  By 5 am the following morning, after broken sleep, I was wide awake.  Shortly afterwards, the epidural wore off on my right side.  By noon on March 15, 2003 it was clear that I was not progressing and discussion of a c-section began.  As I was unable to dilate much more than 1cm, we had no choice but to proceed with the cesarean.  After an attempted spinal, I still had some feeling in my right side, but it was time for my son to greet the world regardless.  On March 15, 2003, over 36 hours after my water broke, my eldest son, O, was born.

I'll never forget the emotions that ran through me on those two exhausting days.  The most powerful one was nothing less than love.  Having O changed my life in a way that no one else ever could have.  I am blessed.

Happy 7th birthday to my child, my son, my O!
I love you buddy!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Origins of Strength

Do you know the Bible story of Samson and Delilah?  If so, you are aware that Samson possessed a great strength.  Delilah wooed and wore Samson down until he revealed the only way to strip him of his strength, by shaving his head.  Delilah then betrayed the man, who fell in love with and trusted her, for silver.

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that many of you also know of the comic book hero Superman.  Were you aware that his super human strength is said to be regenerated by the sun? 

My question is where do you feel these 2 men of steel get their true powers?  The Bible tells us that Samson got his strength from God.  Of course, I feel as though many of us get our most admirable attributes from our Heavenly Father.  As for our fictional character, you will find that he gains a great deal of his heroic attitude, full of truth and justice, from his family and friends. 

When I began to ponder this topic, I asked my children the all important question, "where do you get your strength?"   The answers were simple and and what you would expect from most kids.  M's answer was "water, chicken, apples, bananas, and oranges."  O  answered first with, "water and healthy food."

I decided to reword my question for them once more and asked, "What or who makes you strong on the inside, in your heart?"  My oldest quickly responded with "your brain," and his brother followed without hesitation by stating "God, Mom, and Dad."  O agreed and added "Jesus" as well.

My husband, my children, my Mom, my friends, and other family contribute to making my heart stronger, but I feel as though I ultimately get my strength from God and Jesus.  You see, the struggles and triumphs in this life often teach us something.  Friends are put into our lives when we least expect it.  In my opinion, God leads us to find these friends and places us in these positions at certain times in our lives so that we may grow as individuals. 

Where does your strength come from?  What is your strongest attribute?  Has your spirit gotten a good workout lately?

"That which does not kill us makes us stronger" -- Friedrich Nietzsche

Monday, March 8, 2010

A Countdown and the Latest

Hooray for Monday!  Okay, that's not my honest opinion of Mondays, but it is a good day for blogging.  I'm going with the glass half full attitude today.  At least that's my attempt.

I realized this morning that I am on blog post number 90!  Before long I will hit that 100 mark and it seems a wee bit excitin'!  As the countdown to 100 begins, I'm pondering what type of confetti will fly and if a ticker tape parade is in order.  Maybe a prize of some kind will have to be involved.  I think it's worth celebrating and must thoughtfully think it over.

Are you ready for the exciting news that I briefly spoke of in my I simply ran out of time blog vacation day?  Reading pays!  At least it did for me this past week.  On Wednesday, my youngest son and I came home from working in the classroom and running errands to hear our answering machine *beep* *beep* *beeping.*  As I listened to the message, I realized that it was a librarian from our local library informing me that I WON a prize in the monthly drawing for the reading Bingo challenge.  I'm not a lucky winner when it comes to these types of things, so I had to listen to it one more time to be certain.  Wednesday instantly turned all bright, shiny, and sparkly!  On Friday, I went to the library to pick up the last couple of books on hold for my reading challenge as well as my $20 gift card to Meijer.  Spectacular!
The moral of the story... reading pays!

This past week also held some writing excitement for me.  Recently, I was asked to write an article for an wonderful organization that my Mom is involved in.  A deadline for an annual scholarship, awarded to a high school senior, was fast approaching and they wanted to be certain all eligible students (and their parents) had the information.  Another important feature in the article was geared towards potential future club members.  The Lioness Club is committed to bettering their community and helping those in need, so I was more than happy to assist them.  After it was written, they ladies reviewed and approved the article before I submitted it to a local paper.  This week, the paper published my article!  It is not the first time that they have published my writing, as I was a student writer in my high school days, but it is the first time since I've been married.  Yesterday, I held the black and white newsprint in my hand and felt all warm and fuzzy inside.  

As promised, I will give you a brief summary of my weekend scrapbooking event.  You may laugh at me to know that I've been prepping for this event off and on for the past couple of weeks.  I organized my photos, picked out the right papers, and used my Cricut Expression to precut letters and designs to be featured on various pages.  I chose to work on our 2008 family trip to Disney World, and didn't bring anything else with me.  

When I left my home on Saturday, the scrapbooking day was minutes away from opening up.  I had sick kids Thursday & Friday night, by now this should not be shocking, so I was finishing my packing and telling the kids to be good for Daddy before I could head out.  After reaching the main road near our house, I looked out into Christmas shopping worthy traffic.  Sadly, I still had to stop at my local Hobby Lobby to grab a couple of items that I planned to use during the day.  By the time I arrived, I was an hour late.  No worries, I got my stuff out and went straight to work.  

During the event, I spent time talking with one of my good friends, and number one scrapbooking buddy, Stephani.  I really lucked out last year when I met a couple of great friends through my son's Kindergarten class.  Upon arrival, a sticker pack was given to each participant as a thank you for being here today gift.  Anyone catch the Princess Diaries reference?  Prizes were given away throughout the event and everyone received something.  I walked away with a rival school's t-shirt (it's great sleepwear), a pack of Whoppers candy, and a $25 gift certificate to a local restaurant.  The best part of the day for me...  beyond the conversations amongst the women, it was a quiet atmosphere.

Here's hoping that this week is happy and fun filled for all of you!  I've already received a slight adjustment in my days, as I will be helping in the classroom one day this week.  My son's teacher stopped me this morning to ask if I would be willing to do so, and of course I said I would be there.  

Happy Monday everyone!


My Reading Challenge Update:
Automatic Prize Received With 2nd Bingo:  Window Scraper with library logo
Prizes Won:  $20 Meijer Gift Card
Next Goal to Complete:  Blackout BINGO (entire sheet)
13/16 Total Books Read
1 Book In Progress!
3 Total Books Left to Read 
 24 Read Days Left

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Blog Break

I'm taking a blog break today.  I had every intention of posting a stellar blog. Really!  I did!  Reminder notes were even made on my handy dandy iPhone.  However, I am very close to the dinner hour without having had a sufficient amount of time to blog, so I determined that a blog break was necessary.

My next post will most likely include some exciting news that I received today (nothing as important as getting an agent or publisher of course), recent writing happenings, and a summary of my scrapbooking event on Saturday.

Oh yeah...  I might finally get caught up sometime next week!  Two of my normal volunteer days will be  free days for me.  You know, besides the Mom stuff.  How did this blessing occur?  My son's teacher will have a substitute for a few days as she will be spending time with her stepson who is going to be home from Iraq for a visit.  Definitely a good reason for using a few vacation days.  I plan to use my own time wisely.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Pre Monday Syndrome

Mondays hold such frustration for people around the world, that it no longer just affects the beginning of our weekdays.  This undeniably horrific day has now begun to encroach on our weekend.  Every Sunday evening, it happens.  The inevitable return of P.M.S., otherwise known as Pre Monday Syndrome.

While this condition is rarely diagnosed, it is common.  Almost every adult and school aged child suffers from some form of the disease.  Officially, P.M.S. is described as a recurring resentment of the end of a weekend and continued dread of the incoming Monday.  Symptoms may include, but are not limited to:  increased irritability, unexplained grumpiness and/or anxiety, inability to relax, a bad and/or cranky attitude, and a numbness of the brain.

If you do not live with this affliction yourself, there is no doubt that you know someone who has been affected.  As there is no cure, this disorder is commonly ignored by the majority of society.  However, P.M.S. touches us all.

Do you suffer from Pre Monday Syndrome?  Does your loved one suffer from P.M.S.?  What are some ways that you and/or your loved ones treat the symptoms?

*Disclaimer:  Pre Monday Syndrome, P.M.S., is fictional.  Yeah Right! It's so not made up!  It can not be used as an excuse to take Monday off, as your physician will not give you a doctor's note stating that you are suffering from Pre Monday Syndrome.  Don't we all wish!

Happy Monday!


My Reading Challenge Update:
Next Up:  Blackout BINGO (entire sheet)
12/16 Total Books Read
1 Book In Progress - Halfway complete!
3 1/2 Total Books Left to Read 
31 Read Days Left