Monday, December 31, 2007

Another MUST share

I know we have many new posts today, but I just had to pass this on. I was alerted to Cindy's blog through another. If you have not read her story about the heart-breaking and heart-warming restoration of her marriage, please go check it out here. Scroll down to the bottom and read entries titled Our Story- chapters 1 to 5. Also, be sure to read her husband's entry titled The Slippery Slope.

Let's help spread the message of hope and restoration while exposing the enemy's attempts at destroying our families.

Welcome, 2008!

Well, here I am on the eve of a new year. I find myself feeling all sorts of emotions about this new year, a blank slate. My military wives have been reminding me what 2008 will bring this year: our husbands home! That pretty much makes 2008 my favorite year ever. But, I anticipate that with it, the year will bring me so much more.

My biggest prediction for 2007 was that I would graciously represent the Lord's provision during this difficult time in my life. That I would draw near to Him and draw on His strength giving hope to those who don't know Him.

Here is what I found to actually be true in 2007: I have been a trainwreck. Often, I did not feel close to the Lord, in contrast, I sometimes felt very distant from Him. Many times I have felt as though I couldn't pray, even when I wanted to. I have spent a lot of time complaining and feeling sorry for myself. And I have spent time bitter toward family and friends who have disappointed me. I have developed friendships that helped to sustain me. I made memories that I will not likely forget. I have been reminded what a gift marriage is. I have learned how lonely it is to parent alone And, I have watched our baby grow into a toddler right before my eyes.

Through all of it, the ups and the downs, the Lord has been with me. I haven't reflected Him in the way I had hoped I would. I have been more self-centered in this season of my life than in any other. And, truthfully, I have been disappointed in myself all too often. Yesterday morning I sat in church feeling very fragile. So much so, that I almost fled the building. Really, almost gathered my things, picked up my daughter and left the premises. But, I was hopeful that this feeling meant that the Lord had something special for me that morning. So, I briefly wept in the bathroom and then slipped into the back of the sanctuary. As I worshiped, I felt the Lord close to me. I confessed to Him how disappointed I have been in myself through this process. And He pressed in on my heart. He left the impression that He needed me to travel through this dark time. That it has been purposed. After that encounter, I didn't feel so fragile anymore. The tears dried up and I felt hopeful. Hopeful that I haven't been just a big, fat disappointment to myself and others, but instead have been learning valuable lessons that the Lord will use at another time to fulfill His great purpose. Then Dirty Job and I rushed the alter in a holy sprint toward the platform :)

So, yes, 2008 will be the year that my husband returns to me from war. But I have a feeling that it holds so much more!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

A MUST Share

The LPM blog is a most excellent read today.

That's all I'm gonna say because she says it well.

2007 Cliff's Notes

It's almost 2008. I can't even believe it. 2007 has been quite the year. I could never sum it up in one blog post! But now that I wrote that I feel compelled to mention some monthly highlights/lowlights. Seriously, I'm ridiculous.

  1. January- Major Hunk leaves for foreign soil. Dirty Job falls from a second story window and walks away unharmed. That day changed my life. I ran a 1/2 marathon. Not on that day, a different day.

  2. February- Hope was infused into my being as a child development specialists thinks that Deadliest Catch may not have autism, but rather is just a quickly developing boy that can't keep up with all areas of development.

  3. March- I turned 30. Cpt Mom, her BFF and I went on a roadtrip with 4 kids. To the Happiest Place on Earth. The BFF was pregnant. It was fun, in an absolutely insane sort of way. I loved it. A whole lot more than the pregnant BFF. I think Cpt Mom felt somewhere between the two of our opposite ends of the spectrum. A friend got engaged with the most giant diamond I've ever seen in real life. I coordinated the most stressful wedding ever and lived to tell about it. Cpt Mom and I started our journey of health and wellness (also known as a diet).

  4. April- My sister moved to TX in April. I got to go out there at the end of April to help her move from temporary housing into her TOTALLY ADORABLE apartment. She and I had an absolute blast and I fell in love with Texas.

  5. May- I got to see a dear, dear friend of mine that lives in Oklahoma. She and her 3 kids came to see me while I was in TX. I love her to pieces. She is such a great friend and I love that she knew me before I was married. And crazy with 2 kids.

  6. June- We took our family vacation to California. We stayed with my mom and dad and went to D-land and Cali Adventure. We also went to the Wild Animal Park. My Deadliest Catch got to go fishing and to a Dodger game. We had What Not to Wear's B-Day party.

  7. July- What Not To Wear turned 5, which was somewhat difficult for me - I think it made the fact that she was going to school very real. Which in turn made me very sad. I went to summer camp and was blessed beyond measure to spend time with some amazing teens. Cpt's BFF gave birth to a super adorable boy. Which was bad for me. And my yearning for a third.

  8. August- REST RETREAT - which had some socially awkward moments, but I did get my nose pierced! What Not To Wear started school, and Dirty Job and I were left to our own time from 8-2 daily. We filled it with therapy and gelato stops.

  9. September- My sister came out for a long weekend visit, we raised some money for autism research through Zoowalk, and we went to the Fall Festival at WNTW's school. It was still warm in September. Dirty Job got a new early interventionist that we ADORE (her last session with him is Wednesday ;-( ). We had an ID snafu on Cpt's birthday celebration which made me laugh my butt off.
  10. October- Got to take a quick trip out to Cali for a family visit that was much needed. Major came home for R&R, and we got to keep the Cutie for a couple of days. She was preciously precious, again not helpful for my desire for child#3. I also had a friend come to visit which left me feeling analyzed.
  11. November- Gelato place closed down. Mourning began. Giant ring friend got married ~ sweet, sweet ceremony. Had chocolate fountain that made my heart melt. Ran 10K with much improved time. Went to CA for Thanksgiving - full of special moments... and by special I mean frustrating. Black Friday shopping over the phone (THE BEST).
  12. December- Celebrated 8 years of marriage, Christmas programs, baking way too much, running way too little. Preschool evaluations, tears of joy and sorrow. Sweet statements from my 5 year old about the real meaning of Christmas...AND a Donny Wahlberg doll. Oh yes, you heard me correctly. I got a New Kids on the Block Donny doll. Don't hate, peeps. You know you want one.

The Racer...

She Rocks!! That's all.

She is an amazing friend who humbles me with her selfless loving and giving spirit.

I really could go on but I won't because it would make her uncomfortable.

I love you, friend. Thanks for being just who you are!

PS And her Deadliest Catch - he rocks too!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A day that changed me...

I sit here eating my grandmother's strudel. My cousin made it and sent me home with a whole loaf. I was not planning on eating any. As I remember it, it is dry and not incredibly flavorful. But, I was hungry and craving something sweet after the day I had. (I obviously have some work to do on my emotional eating, but that's for another post.) What caught me off-guard was that as I took one bite into that strudel it took me back 15 years. Memories flooded my senses. Then, I became quite nostalgic. My grandmother has been gone for 12 years. Tomorrow was her birthday. Tomorrow is the Cutie's birthday. With each bite of that strudel, I was knitting it all together in my mind... On my grammy's 10th birthday in heaven, my little girl came screaming into this world. I can picture my sweet grammy lighting up at her little face. She would want to hold her, but her frail body would not allow it. And then I wondered, do you think Jesus introduced them before my little one entered this world? Do you think He told grammy that Cutie would be her namesake? The one to carry on her name for another generation. And just maybe He would introduce Cutie to Grammy so she would know of whom we speak when we tell her the story of her special birthday? I don't have any idea and the Lord may be reading this over my shoulder thinking, "No, child, it doesn't work that way." But, either way, imagining it makes me smile.

Happy Birthday, my angel!

Random facts about my little Cutie:

  • She loves fountains: large shooting fountains, small running fountains, even drippy drinking fountains: all things fountains. Just wait until she meets the chocolate fountain:)
  • She loves m & m's. So did my grammy, she called them smile pills.
  • She loves passionately and she cries passionately.
  • When I ask her, "Who is your best friend?" She says, "Mommy." When I ask her "Who is Mommy's best friend?" She says, "Daddy." I love that.
  • In the past week she has started hating her crib. She is currently sleeping on her mattress on her bedroom floor.
  • She has a mischievous look where she turns her head, looks out the corner of her eyes and flashes a cheesy smile. It makes me smile every time.
  • That look has managed to allude the camera for a month now.
  • She loves to torture my dad by pretending she doesn't like him and then asking for him as soon as he is out of sight. As soon as he reappears, she completely blows him off. (It is quite rude and it hurts my dad's feelings - She is unmoved.)
  • She is very detailed and likes things to be a certain way. If you change it when she is not looking, she notices right away.
  • She likes to wear boy clothes.
  • She is my #1 fan. She loves me and offers grace to me each and every day that challenges me to be a better mom and a better woman.
  • She prayed independently last week for the first time. It was beautiful!
She truly is the light of my life. Her entrance into this world rocked mine. I have learned that I don't have it all together. Somedays, I don't have any of it together.

To my Baby Girl: I am honored to be your mom. I am humbled at the task that I am entrusted to care for you while your daddy is defending our freedom. And I am thankful for the joy that you bring to my day to day life. Thank you for being just who you are: the beautiful little girl that God made you to be. I love you, angel.

Lord, I am overwhelmed as I look back over the past 2 years of her life. Overwhelmed that you would have chosen us to be her parents. We really didn't know what we were doing back then. And frankly, we don't know too much more now. She is so fun and spirited and opinionated. Please don't ever let us crush those things as we try to lead her in this life. Please extend grace in the many parenting mistakes we make. Allow her to look back and see You instead of us and our humanity. Lord, I pray that you would help us to teach her about You. And God, may she see love when she looks at us. Love for one another, love for her, and more than anything else: love for You. And God, may her third year be even better than the first two. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Weigh In

Well, with much fear and trembling, I went and faced the scale this morning. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I lost 2 pounds! Wow! I have no idea how that happened considering my Christmas menu consisted of mashed potatoes, hashbrown casserole, mint chocolate brownies and a little bit of pot roast to round out all the carbs. I did workout well the past 2 weeks and hadn't seen any results of that on the scale yet. Maybe it was just catching up. Either way, I am thrilled and planning to get back on track. Today has been a good eating day.

This week's goals:

  • Workout 3 times this week (a challenge since it is already Wednesday evening).
  • Say it with me..."Drink more water".
  • Track my daily points.
  • Break into the 150's!

Updated Stats:
Starting weight: 188.4
Today's weight: 160.4
Total loss: 28.0

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Why Jesus is Better than Santa

I stole this off a blog I stumbled upon.

by Reverend James Spellman of Ohio
Santa lives at the North Pole...JESUS is everywhere.
Santa rides in a sleigh...JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.
Santa fills your stockings with goodies...JESUS supplies all your needs.
Santa comes down your chimney uninvited...JESUS stands at your door and knocks, and then enters your heart when invited.
You have to wait in line to see Santa...JESUS is as close as the mention of His name.
Santa lets you sit on his lap...JESUS lets you rest in His arms.
Santa doesn't know your name, all he can say is "Hi little boy or girl, what's your name?"...JESUS knew our history and future and He even knows how many hairs are on our head.
Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly...JESUS has a heart full of love.
All Santa can offer is HO HO HO...JESUS offers health, help and hope.
Santa says, "You'd better not pout, you'd better not cry,"...JESUS says "Cast all your cares on me, for I care for you."
Santa's little helpers make toys...JESUS makes new life, mends wounded hearts,repairs broken homes and builds mansions.
Santa may make you chuckle but...JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.
While Santa puts gifts under your tree...JESUS became our gift and died on a tree.
Merry Christmas, ya all!

Monday, December 24, 2007

O Holy Night, everday

Yesterday was our Christmas service at church. We usually have a Christmas Eve service, but for some reason, we don't this year. I have grown to love the Christmas Eve service. I am sad we don't have one today. All that has nothing to do with what I wanted to share.

Yesterday, we sung O Holy Night. My most favorite Christmas song. Which by the way, when sung by Josh Groban makes me praise Jesus all the more. I'm serious. That boy has a gift! Again- off track. O Holy Night has been my favorite for a few years now. As we joined together in singing it yesterday morning, the Lord really brought some truths to my heart through the following lyrics:

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
What a reminder for my encounters with people. The other day, Cpt Mom was sharing about grace, and how we can't expect those who don't know the Lord to extend grace when, really, it's such a difficult thing to walk out as a believer. The Lord used her to set my heart up for these lyrics.
  1. His LAW is LOVE. If unsure, I can always be sure I'm representing Him when I am loving.
  2. His gospel is PEACE. In a world ever changing, uncertain, war torn...I can have His unchanging, absolute PEACE. I can also extend that invitation to others this season. I can be a glimpse of His PEACE with my carefully seasoned words.
  3. Chains shall He break ...OK, this was the line (in it's entirety)that just spoke to me the most. Only He can break the chains in people's lives...chains of all types of sins. He doesn't leave any sin out...He can break ANY chain. Even the ones I lug around that have already been broken. He is faithful to point those out and help me lift them off once and for all.
  4. For the slave is our brother. Those enslaved are not the enemy. I need to extend compassion, grace, patience (and the rest of the fruit of the spirit) to all. I need to remember that which enslaved me not to long ago. I need to remember that I am a work in progress and there are some remnant behaviors from when I was not redeemed. I need to acknowledge that NO ONE is beyond His redemption. Even those who it seems will never bow their hearts. I need to know that bound people behave like they are enslaved. How exhausting it is to carry every burden of life, not to mention everything you are guilty of, every ounce of unforgiveness, every title someone has labeled you as...I'm exhausted just thinking about it. What am I doing to bring the message of FREEDOM to those chained?
I know, there is nothing new in those truths, it's nothing I don't know...but somehow, in the day to day, I lose perspective. I get focused on the moment instead of the overall.
Christmas...God's offer for a new beginning, another chance. Represented in the promise of His son. I'm so glad the message of Christmas is for everyday. My prayer is that I'll walk that out in every season, not just this one...

Sunday, December 23, 2007


It is officially the night before Christmas Eve. In my family, "Christmas" encapsulated both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. So, to me, it feels like Christmas is tomorrow. Only, it doesn't feel like Christmas is tomorrow. I've got a bad case of the lonelys. Any special day sucks to have your husband 8000 miles away.

I visited some other blogs tonight and was reminded of the true meaning of Christmas. I can get very wrapped up in the family aspect of the holidays. To me, holidays=family. I am so thankful for the reminder that the Savior who was born to save me can cross those 8000 miles this week (or any day for that matter). That holidays do equal family, but because Jesus is a part of my family I will always spend holidays with Him. It was just the reminder that I needed to stop focusing on myself and spend more time looking to our God this week.

Merry Christmas all!! And many blessings for 2008.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Nightly Routine

On days like today, I am always tempted to throw our nightly routine to the wayside and drop my girl in her crib and curl up on the couch. You know the days...meltdowns in the church toddler class, attempting to take toddler into service with you, doesn't work so you spend the time running the halls with above toddler. I was spent. I just wanted her to go to bed tonight. But, I know the risks. Mess with the nightly routine= mess with a good night's sleep.

This is what our quiet time looked like tonight: Get the Cutie settled and into her pajamas. Lay her on the couch with all her necessary items. She looks at me and says, "Daddy story." (For Christmas, the soldiers sent their little ones a book with a dvd recording of them reading the story.) I turn on the story and let her watch it a few times. I can't resist her requests for "More Daddy". I told her this is the last time we are going to watch the daddy story tonight and then you need to get ready for bed. When the story is done, we sing our song and pray. After all this, we talked about how much her daddy loves her and that he is coming home soon. I explain that he is going to come home and live in our house. Mommy and Daddy and Cutie will all live in our house. She smiled knowingly and I asked her, "Are you excited for Daddy to come home and live with us?" She looked at me out of the corner of her eyes and smiled her sly little grin and nodded her head. My heart leaped for joy. I know that this does not mean that the adjustment is going to be easy. But, I felt like, for the first time, she showed some understanding that her daddy is, in fact, coming home to stay with us. The look on her face tonight was different, like an acknowledgement of some sort.

Please join me in praying that the adjustment will go well. I know that the Lord honors the prayers of His children. I have begun trying to implement some new strategies in hopes of making the transition a little smoother for her. If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them.

Measuring Up...

OK. I have been a real slacker as of late. I have not been weighing in and I have not been checking in at Tales from the Scales. I know that this is a terrible time of year to play the ostrich game. I know all too well, that if I ignore it, the weight will creep back on and I won't have even seen it coming. So, in order to keep myself accountable, I decided to measure myself this morning. I will add my weight after I go weigh in this afternoon.

The Racer and I officially began this "healthier lifestyle" journey last January. That is when we did our first measurements. We measured again in October. So, here are my totals of inches lost.

In the past 2 months: 10.25 inches lost
Since January: 20.00 inches lost

Yes, you read that right. Over half the inches I have lost have been in the past 2 months. Yippee!!

Goals for the holiday season:

  • Limit soda intake to 2 per day.
  • Workout a minimum of 3 times per week
  • Be conscious of emotional eating.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Reality Kick Off

Well, I was only able to watch part of the premiere of Clash of the Choirs. But, I know you are all just waiting to hear what I thought. I am sure you hardly slept a wink for all the checking of the blog to see if I had posted about it yet. Sorry to keep you waiting.

I liked the show. I will watch it if I am home, but I wouldn't change my plans to get there (not that I would ever do that just for a tv show:). I thought that Patti LaBelle's choir rocked the house. It does seem to me that they have may an unfair advantage being that she is Patti LaBelle and all. It made me laugh to see the two gray-haired people in Micheal Bolton's choir singing "Living on a Prayer". Really, Micheal, what made you think to turn that into a choir tune?? But, I am feeling very partial to Blake Shelton in this competition. He has 2 soldiers in his choir for heaven's sakes. I have a moral obligation to support him. Then there was the presentation to the Veteran's Administration for injured soldiers. I have no choice really. And, he's easy on the eyes :) As you can tell, there is a very complex equation that I use to decide who I will support.

So, that's my vote. I will be rooting for Team Shelton.

And, I am mucho excited to see the finale of The Biggest Loser tonight. I think Bill deserves the title. But, I will be excited if Julie takes it too. Mostly I can't wait to see them go home to their families. It makes me cry every time. I will have to call What Not to Wear after school so we can chat about this. Being that it is her favorite show and all. Even though I know who she wants to win. She has had a clear favorite for weeks. She is very dedicated to her choice and her girl may very well take it. If she does, I may need to add What Not to Wear's opinion into my complex "choosing a favorite to win" equation.

Happy Tuesday, all!

Monday, December 17, 2007

A Night Out

Cpt Mom and I went out last night. Because we see each other a lot, but we don't always get to talk to one another. It was a night of random comments and fun. I don't think we stayed on one topic for more than 45 seconds, really.

You should also know that we used the fruit of the spirit which is self-control last night. We went to In and Out and split a #2. If you do not have In and Out where you live, my deepest sympathies go out to you. No one, and I mean NO ONE makes an animal style cheeseburger like In and Out. It's pure bliss. Absolutely wonderful yummy deliciousness. I'm pretty sure it's because the meat is never frozen. Either that or the fact that they fry it in mustard on the grill and then add grilled onions and SAUCE. Anyhoo we split it. Because we are good.

Before we went to the movies, we made a quick stop at Target so I could pick up some BottleCaps. I heart Bottle Caps. Well, actually, I heart Grape, Orange and Cherry Bottlecaps. I give the Root Beer and Cola ones to What Not To Wear. Once in the candy aisle, we showed great restraint by not buying the jumbo box of Nerds. We did, however, leave the bulls eye with the following supplies:
Jumbo box of Bottlecaps
Jelly Bellys Soda Pop flavors
Ghiradelli Milk Chocolate with caramel
2 regular bags of Haribou Gummi Bears (instead of 1 Giant one)
3 Musketeers Mint - because it's low fat/low points.

Once we arrived at the theatre we continue our astounding self-control by having a bucket of half Cherry coke half Coke ZERO. I know, we're disciplined like that. And finally, we got a SMALL popcorn with NO BUTTER. Because, really, did the help at the counter think we were gluttons or something?

So, if you'd like Cpt Mom or I to speak at your next women's ministry meeting on the spirit of self control, contact us fast. I'm pretty sure we are going to sell out for 2008.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Where Randomness Has Taken up Residency

You know, Cpt Mom and I are seemingly very busy because all we have time to blog about nowadays is random stuff. The funny thing is that in my busyness, I have accomplished NOTHING. Not a darn thing. And because I haven't accomplished anything, my thoughts just swirl about in my head. And then I type them out so I don't explode. Riveting, I know...

So, I am going to try and compose some thoughts into a non-list form.

What Not To Wear had her Christmas program Friday. We had a very busy Thursday evening and I assured her that her costume would be ready Friday morning as I put her to bed. I promptly fell asleep on the couch and woke up in a panic at about 12:30am. I felt pretty confident that if she woke up to me working on her costume, she would need years of therapy to recover from her mom being a slacker. And since I'm too cheap to pay for that much therapy, I got up and began working on her box (she was a present).

Because I apparently enjoy overwhelming myself, I decided to make not one, but two boxes. We had sized her into one box, but it was slightly too large and I wanted to make sure she could do all the movements required. So I pulled out a narrower box and wrapped that one first. I have to tell you, What Not To Wear and I hand painted her wrapping paper under the suggestion of her Grandmother and Aunt. I'd like to stop here for a moment and mention that both of them are A) more creative in their pinky finger than I am in my whole being and B) neither one of them live here. Pretty convenient if you ask me. Anyways, I cut out holes for her head and arms, and then moved to the second box in case the smaller box didn't fit. This is when I ran our of hand painter wrapping paper. So, at 2:00am I was painting various sized polka dots on white wrapping paper and adding just the right amount of glitter to "make it sparkle." Because What Not to Wear is FASHION people. She told me that last week.

Friday morning What Not to Wear woke up to the choice of 2 boxes and she decided on the smaller one because she wanted to make sure she could do ALL the movements. I have her try it on and it does not fit. We call Daddy down to fix it. He takes about a million years to adjust the openings. The clock is ticking. We are going to be late. I ask What Not To Wear if she just wants to take the bigger box. She insists on the smaller. Daddy finally adjust the openings and we try it on her again. Imagine with me the scene from The Christmas Story if you will...the one with the boy and his ridiculous snow suit. THAT is how she looked. All stuck in that box. Being the Mother of the Year that I am, I began to laugh at the absurdity of it all. What Not to Wear was almost crying, which made me laugh all the harder. All this to say, she took the larger box to school.

Her performance was absolutely adorable and she adapted her moves to her limited capabilities. She was all smiles and when I picked her up afterwards, she was already de-costumed. Apparently all her wardrobe was itchy. Honey, my momma told me "Beauty is pain."

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Random Christmas Thoughts

Christmas information you probably don't know/care about CptMom:

1. I collect Nativity scenes. My husband has jumped on board and we are quickly running out of places to put them.

2. I love Christmas trees. I love to sit in front of a decorated tree with the house lights off and relish in the glow of the tree.

3. I heart Christmas ornaments! I buy a new ornament for our family each year.

4. My husband and I eat smores in front of our Christmas tree on Christmas Eve and exchange Christmas cards.

5. This year I took my daughter to look at a light display that I enjoyed every year throughout my childhood for as long as I can remember. It was very nostalgic. And very surreal. And made me a little sad that I wasn't able to share it with my hubs. And made me feel old.

6. I believed in Santa until I was 12.

7. I do not dress my daughter up to get her picture taken with Santa Claus. She wears her everyday, regular clothes. And compared to some of the other little girls in line, she looks like a homeless child. And I don't care. I will not send the message to my daughter that Santa is more important than Jesus.

8. I love the holiday crowds. Sometimes I go to the mall just to walk amongst them.

9. Christmas parties must be the place to share TMI this year.

10. My favorite Christmas album: The Oak Ridge Boys Christmas. Feel free to point and laugh.

11. I think it sucks that I don't get to do #4 this year!

Tell me some of your Random Christmas Thoughts. I'd love to hear them. If you know anything about us here at cryingmoms, you should know that we love the random!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Oh the Randomness

1. I have eaten more cookies this week than I have in the past 6 months. I think it's time to stop baking. "Step away from the butter and sugar"
2. What Not To Wear's Christmas production costume isn't finished. Or even started.
3. Dirty Job knows that Santa says "Ho, ho, ho." He told me today.
4. He is also IN LOVE with one of our nativity sets. That just warms my heart.
5. We finally decorated our Christmas tree. It's been up since practically forever.
6. Cookie Exchange parties are apparently where privacy goes out the window. I now know WAY TOO MUCH about my daughter's friend's parents.
7. Christmas is less than 2 weeks away. I don't know how this can be.
8. We have had WINTER WEATHER. Praise God. Seriously. Praise Him for this most wonderful gift.
9. My husband rocks. He works so hard and loves me for who I am...even on the days when I have nothing good to say.
10. Cpt Mom rocks. Her Cutie is in the throes of toddlerhood, and she is parenting calm, cool, and collectedly. And seriously, the Cutie makes me laugh SO HARD. She's pretty much so stinkin adorable that I can't hardly stand it! I just want to squeeze her to death, except she doesn't like that so I can't.

For your television watching pleasure...

Apparently, with the writer's strike, we are in for much reality television come the new year. Now, I am a huge fan of both reality tv and game shows, but I must admit, an entire season of nothing but sounds a little, well, mind-numbing. In fact, my IQ may drop a few points just from thinking too much about it. But, being a true reality tv girl, I am willing to tune in and find out. I am especially looking forward to The Biggest Loser couples. I get a little misty-eyed over the preview even. (I know, it's riveting.) Now we have Clash of the Choirs, Celebrity Apprentice, even Bruno vs Carrie Ann. This may very well be where brain cells go to die. I'll let you know :)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Journey

At church today, our pastor was preaching a message on Mary. His main point was that Mary had a choice. We all have a choice. The Lord is going to do His will. If we are not willing to make the choice to obey Him, then He will have to use someone else. During the message, he said, "Sometimes the road He calls us to is a lonely one. It is lonely, but we are never alone."

While I walk this lonely road, I have had some moments of clarity where I have chosen quickly and readily to walk the path He was showing me. I have had far too many moments where I hesitate to make the choice because it is rocky and frankly, because everyone else is going a different path that looks more interesting. This message has served as a good reminder that just because this path is lonely, doesn't mean I am on the wrong path. Just because the path is lonely doesn't mean I am alone. And just because the path is lonely doesn't mean there aren't blessings along the way.

Thank you Lord for your commitment to me. That you are willing to stick with me even when I am stubborn and hard headed. That you continue to love me and grace me even when I am unlovable and ungracious. And thank you Lord that you send reminders to me throughout my journey. Just like you sent the angel Gabriel to Mary, you send me daily reminders that I am not alone. You constantly remind me that I am right within Your will. Now, if I would only be more watchful for those reminders. Thank you for being there on the dark and lonely roads as well as the bright and cheery ones. Your love is amazing. It is steady and unchanging. Help me to make the choices especially when they are hard. I love you Lord. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Friday, December 7, 2007


I'm a little late on this post, but I need to do it anyways. In holding myself accountable with Tales From the Scales, I have maintained my goal weight. I weighed in Wednesday morning at 129.5 pounds, so yay for that. But for the record, I have had a HORRIBLE exercise week and a not so good eating day yesterday. So my goals for this next week are:
1- Run 3 days, strength train abs/arms 2X
2- Don't go to Ben and Jerry's every night

Speaking of my friends Ben and Jerry, OH MY WORD they have the yummiest ice cream flavor there. You'd think I'd be mentioning some chocolate concoction, because I have been known to dunk my head under a chocolate fountain, but it's not. It's Cinnamon Buns, and it's pretty much heaven right here on earth. I'm am most positive that it was inspired by Jesus Himself. Just writing about it makes me want to load the kids in the car and drive to the scoop shop to get some. In fact, I think that may be what I do...I guess not going there every night can start tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Come as little children

Tonight when I was praying with the Cutie before bed, she said "Jesus". I was taken back. I said, "Did you say Jesus?" She smiled and nodded her head. Then she said it again.

Now I understand that at almost 2 years of age, she does not yet comprehend a relationship with Jesus. But, I am so excited that she is familiar enough with His name to use it. Even if she is just repeating what she heard me say. I so often feel like I do a really poor job at representing Christ with my life. Hearing her speak that one word reaffirms to me that the Lord uses all of it: the good, the bad and the ugly.

I pray that she utters His name often throughout her life. I thought to myself how excited I was in this moment. He must have been even more excited to hear His child call His name for the first time. I believe it made Him smile.

Thank you Lord for this beautiful little girl you have blessed us with. Thank you for trusting us with her while we are here on this earth. Lord, please help me to guide her and point her to You daily. Thank you Jesus!

8 Year Anniversary Vows

To My Deadliest Catch,
Eight years ago I walked down that aisle with my eyes and heart focused on you. I had so many hopes and dreams, so many plans. Though some of those "plans" have changed, my love for you has grown in a way I truly never thought possible. This past year, you have stood out as a Man among Men. Walking through this year has allowed me to see what an amazing father and friend you are - to me. You bring such joy to my life and to the lives of our children. I can't believe I get to live this adventure with you!!! These are my eighth year vows to you.

I love you.
In the future there will be days when I don't want to.
I commit those days to our Father, as His love has been proven faithful.
I will honor our marriage covenant.
I will laugh at your dorkiness
Watch Star Wars even though I hate it
And give you a swift kick when you need it
I am your biggest fan.
I will ponder in my heart
All of the sweet, subtle ways you lead our family
In your quiet time prayers
In your gentle leadership
In your forgiveness
In the strength you offer me
In your loving parenting
The way you provide for us
The way you step in when I am overwhelmed
I will affirm you often.
I will not be a perfect wife
But I commit to being a work in progress
Walking forward in my relationship with the Lord
Healing wounds that have held me back.
I will take risks with you.
I will fail with you, I will succeed with you.
I will encourage you to walk out your dreams
I will dream.
I will love you loud
With lots of hugs and kisses
With looks only between us
I commit to our relationship above our children, family, and friends.
On this day I give you my heart again
I choose you again
and again.
I love you.
I wouldn't trade any part of the journey. Not even the flooded, mold-infested house with the dead fish.
Happy 8.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Just Right

I have been thinking all weekend about a post I have wanted to write. It was all about the annoyances and frustrations I have felt recently. I was planning to bore you with how I feel let down by the people around me. How much it annoys me when people say they will help me with things and then are unavailable for weeks or months at a time to get them done. I was even going to go so far as to complain that someone else would blow up at me over little things while I am in total meltdown mode. So, to make sure my heart is in the right place before I spew all this "information" at you, I decide to spend a little time in my bible. I grab the Daily Walk Bible off the shelf in our bedroom and settle in for some light reading. (You can laugh now, I know you want to.)

So, as I flip to today's date, I am thinking how perfect it would be if I were to read about conquering fear. I have been struggling with hearing bumps in the night lately. I thought that would be a timely lesson that I really needed to hear tonight. That lesson would be just right for tonight. This is what I found as I began reading the introduction...

If you are a "natural born complainer", try this surefire cure. Every time you are tempted to complain today, repeat the words of Philippians 4:4 first..."Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, Rejoice!" Then, go ahead and complain...if you can.

All I can say to that is, "Ouch!".

That and I am not afraid of the noises anymore.

I guess I was WAS just the lesson I needed to hear.

A Message Through Misinterpretation

So, to be honest here, I would be the contestant you would laugh at on "The Singing Bee." I may or may not have thought Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar On Me" was called "Poor Town Should've been Lonely." So yesterday in the car I had on Christmas music (OF COURSE) and Mary Did You Know came on. I almost changed it because, well, I'm not what you'd call a huge Kenny Rogers fan, I'm not even what you'd call A Kenny Rogers fan. But I decided to press on. In listening I heard him sing this part:

The blind will see, the deaf will hear, the dead will live again.

The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb---.

What I heard in the latter part was "The lame will leap, the dumb will speak in the presence of the Lamb." Normally I would just be posting about my horrible hearing and my lameness. But my misheard statement hit me like a ton of bricks. I have somehow become focused on the wrong thing for Dirty Job.

My most important job to Dirty Job isn't to get him speaking, but to give him as much knowledge and opportunity to know the Lord as humanly possible. Because with that, he WILL speak. It may or may not be on this side of eternity, but the moment he is in the presence of my Savior, he will speak. Oh, the joy! What a sweet promise to be able to hold onto as a mom of a nonverbal autistic child. My heart practically burst. Really!

Dirty Job has amazing receptive communication, so I know that when I am sharing Jesus with him, he understands. I also know that more importantly, when I am walking out Jesus, that speaks to him louder than words. I hope he will give his heart and life to Jesus, and when that day happens, I can celebrate the truth of an eternity spent with my son singing praises to our Lord! For now, I'm just so ecstatic with the hope of that promise.
Here's a link to the song, in case you've never heard it.

Friday, November 30, 2007


I have been thinking about this crazy journey called deployment. I was reflecting about the many incredible women I have met along they way. These are women I didn't know pre-deployment. I have laughed with them, cried with them, but overall just had fun times with them. We are a happy bunch. You would think so too if you happened upon us on one of our night's out. I believed this, until I saw a few R&R pictures. Let me tell you, in those pictures I saw a happiness on those women's faces that I had never seen in all the times that I have laughed with them. It was like they were made to be in their husband's arms. Like without him, a part of her had been missing. It was beautiful.

On the day of Major Hunk's arrival, we were greeted by friends and family at the airport. I, of course, cried. But as we were saying our goodbye's, our pastor said to me, "It's good to see you smiling." I remember thinking that was a funny thing to say because I smile. And I laugh.A lot. The next week at church he said, "You are still smiling. That is so great." Weird. Now, I don't mope around. I do not share with many about my struggles (I save those for a select few...sorry, Racer). I try to put on a happy face as I tackle each day. So, what is he talking about? On Wednesday night, I sat in a bible study taught by above said pastor. I wasn't feeling sad. I wasn't having a particularly difficult day. But, all of a sudden, I could feel the look on my face. I don't know if that makes sense. But, I could feel the way I looked and in a way could sense what he sees as he teaches me and looks out into the audience each week. And in that moment, I realized I was one of those women. I am one who looked different in my R&R pictures. I am one who feels incomplete while my husband is half a world away.

And, after much reflection, I think I have been able to pinpoint it. I am still the same me that I was before he left. I do not need him to validate who I am. My God does that. I am just distracted. I am distracted by the unconscious feelings. There is always a certain amount of fear, anticipation and loneliness that I carry around. I work hard not to let it take over. I am constantly trying to balance. That is it really. I live in a world that feels out of balance and I am working hard to stay upright. To not fall on my face.

So, while I haven't realized it until now. I have been, in a way, absent. So, to my friends and family who have felt put out by my lack of emotion, I can see it now. I apologize. Please know that I do celebrate and grieve with you: even though I may not be able to show it well. I hope you have not mistaken my reserved emotion for not caring. Because I do care. A lot. I just can't get too emotional and risk losing the balance I have worked so hard for the past 19 months to attain.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

So, my daughter is a present in the kindergarten Christmas production at her school. It's a part played by several students (as in, NOT the star role) and she is happy to be a present. In fact, the day she came home with her assigned part, she wanted to make her costume. Being the non-stage mother that I am, I told her we'd have Grammy make the bow because after all, she did keep newborn What Not To Wear well stocked on the obnoxious bow for infants circuit.

I can't wait to show you the picture. This bow dwarfs all other bows combined. It's gargantuan.

Unfortunately, my sister is the only one with the picture, so I will have to get it from her first.

You may die from the suspense. Or not.

This Christmas production has turned me into a freak. Well, actually that's not true. I've always been weird. But it has taken my freakiness to an all new level. A level involving lots of polka dots and glitter. Because my girl needs to sparkle, people.

'Tis the season, you know.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thankful its OVER.

Well, I'm back from what seems like the longest Thanksgiving journey EVER. This week was so emotionally exhausting that I think I'm going to need a few recovery days just to get back on track with my day to day here.

I'd first like to give a shout out to God, for fixing the broken weather where I live. It is nice to return to fall weather that includes, but is not limited to flannel pajamas. I was seriously about to freak out about having such warm temps into December. But my prayers have been answered, and I can wear long sleeves. Oh, the joy.

Nothing says Thanksgiving like the family dysfunction I experienced this week. Let's just say I was VERY glad to be having coffee with my therapist friend on Saturday morning. I ugly-cried on her couch. And she let me, and even offered some great insights to me. She also gave me the freedom to say that my community has let me down. And I am allowed to grieve that instead of being passive aggressive about it. My therapist friend is the one who lead me to the Lord years ago, and we have known each other since our freshman year. She pretty much rocks and I am beyond thankful that our friendship has stood through a ton of "life." We are in two different seasons in our lives, and yet we can still get together and chat away. She is just one of those friends that hears your heart, even when you don't say what you're thinking clearly. That's probably what makes her a great therapist!

An extremely bright spot in my trip was the Sacred Holiday known as Black Friday. I celebrated with my sister and Cpt Mom in the next time zone over. It was such a blast to receive her picture texts and cheer for the wiitastic deals we got. It was like I was with her, except, of course, I wasn't. The above picture is Cpt's cart at WalMart. She picked up a couple of things for me there, so I wouldn't have to enter the madness. She also set the world record for spending on Black Friday. That girl put me to shame. Even writing those memories down is making me smile. In reliving the morning, the Lord has just really affirmed in my heart that our friendship is not bound to being in the same time zone, whether that be for the holidays or for the day to day. And frankly, you just don't find that in every friend. I mean, if we're honest, some friendships don't survive outside of a church building or a common interest. Not all friends end up being lifelong. Different relationships serve different purposes. Not all of them are meant to span over life. But it sure is nice to know that SOMEONE gets you. And that they'll get you whether you live next door, go to the same church, or are half way around the globe.
But enough about nothing in particular. Tomorrow (if I recover by then) I will discuss how I want to focus on the real meaning of the season, but have also become a little bit of a freak about my daughter's costume for her Christmas production. Multiple personalities at it's best, people.

Thankfuls and weight loss goals

Saturday and Sunday: I am thankful...

  • For nights out with other military wives.
  • For pottery painting fun.
  • For laughter in my life, it really is the best medicine.
  • That I can take my worries and fears to the cross and leave them there. This truly is the only place I can take them and be confident that One who knows far better than I has got it covered.
  • For the peace I find when I can truly leave it at the cross.
  • For mommy breaks!
Weight loss goals:

I think I need to set out some really tangible goals to keep me focused during this holiday season. They need to be realistic as well, factoring in all the holiday temptations.

  • Find a new meeting to attend. I just received the sad news that Dale, my weight watcher leader, passed away unexpectedly. My gut feeling says that I don't want to go to "his" meeting anymore and have it run by someone else.
  • Lose another 10 pounds by my anniversary in February.
  • Go on a soda fast for a week. I have really gotten ridiculously hooked on diet soda. I need to give it up cold turkey for a while and really ramp up my water intake.
  • Get back on the training schedule. Once life interrupted and I could not do the 10K, I really got lazy about following the schedule. I am going to start the training back at the beginning. Do a 2 mile and a 3 mile "wog" this week. (I read about wogging -walk/jog- on a few other posts and I feel like it is a better description of what I do than running.)
  • Focus my mind. Because I know that therein lies the majority of the battle.

Friday, November 23, 2007


...Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. How did the week get away from me so quickly? I guess that happens when there is a holiday, huh?

  • For family who understands my need to do something different for the holidays this year.
  • And, for a dad who called 3 times to make sure I would not be spending it home alone feeling sorry for myself. (I didn't.)
  • For cell phones to keep in touch no matter the distance.
  • For good conversation even when it is half a world a way.
  • For friends who also think it is fun to camp out all night just to get a good bargain. (Oh, yes we did!)
  • For picture phones so we can keep in touch even when the Racer and I are apart for the most sacred of holidays: Black Friday :)
  • For a 2 hour nap.
  • For a friend who uses phrases such as " that's wiitastic"!!
I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Weighing in

Well, today I went in to face the music. I will admit I have not been tracking my points or exercising regularly. I have also been drinking little more than diet soda each and every day. My eating has been pretty good. My portions have been small and I have made some good choices. Those do not include the cookies I continue to eat from the cookie exchange I went to on Sunday.

Last weigh in was right after Major Hunk headed back to the sandbox and before my cross country trek for a funeral. If you recall I was up 4.8 pounds...ouch!

Well, better news today. I lost 4 pounds since my last weigh in 2 weeks ago. Yipee!!

Goals for the week:

  • Be really mindful of emotional and mindless eating during this emotional week.
  • Eat thanksgiving dinner one time...not over and over all weekend.
  • Now that the weather is cooling down in the mornings and evenings, strap Cutie into the stroller and get walking. At least twice this week.
And I want to give a huge WOOT WOOT to the Racer who met her weight loss goal this week. If you haven't checked it out, read about it here. I am so incredibly proud of her! She has worked amazingly hard and made many real life changes that will serve her well throughout her life. She hasn't just lost weight, she has really been transformed. And can I just say that she looks fantastic?! She is not only super skinny (which she is), but she is toned from all that running she does. She really is the Amazing Racer!!! Thanks for sharing the journey with me, friend!

Updated Stats:
Starting weight: 188.4
Todays' weight: 161.2
Total loss: 27.2

**I have now lost 15% of my starting weight. Wow!

And my Wednesday Thankfuls:
  • For a wonderful pedicure and some time catching up with one of my favorite young gals.
  • For 8:00 bedtimes on rough days
  • That my girl was able to have some fun bonding time with her auntie. Aunts really are the best, aren't they??
***And to answer a question I got regarding yesterday's thankfuls: The bible study is called Loving Your Military Man. It is written by Beatrice Fishback. It is a study of Phillipians 4:8. I found it on family life's website. Here is the link.***

Tuesday Thankfuls

I started my day with a phone call from Major Hunk. We had such a nice conversation. It is amazing how much my perspective affects every aspect of my life. I had been thinking of blessings last night before bed and again this morning. It is humbling to see how much some kind words toward my husband can change his day and his attitude as well. It made me realize how my negative attitude and words must affect my daily interactions. I am so excited to see how the Lord will use this change in my daily life.

Today I am thankful for:

  • the bible studies "Having a Mary Spirit" and "Loving Your Military Man"
  • friends who encourage me in my mothering...especially during Target meltdowns (or wherever they may occur)
  • a smile and wave with "iiieeeyyy" from Dirty Job (it is pretty much the most adorable thing you have ever seen)

Insert Happy Dance Here (Weigh In)

FOLKS!!!!! The day is here. On this Tuesday morning, one day shy of exactly 8 months since I began this journey of battling emotional eating, I have reached a very exciting GOAL WEIGHT!!!!!

Starting Weight: 168

Today's Weight: 130

Total lost: 38 lbs

I can't even believe it's here!!! I weighed in Friday, and rechecked today (for accuracy and continuity) and sure enough, I legitimately weigh 130. I'll be writing another post on this soon, because for now, I have to get my buns in gear because we are leaving for Grandma's house for Thanksgiving...but I do have some goals for the long holiday weekend.

#1) Run 2 days that I am out there. This will most likely be Thanksgiving morning and Saturday morning.

#2) Bring alternative snack bag (already packed) on trip to help carb cravings. My folks typically have good fruit and veggie snack choices, but I packed some Fiber One bars and Curves bars for those must have carbs moments.

#3) Get full on blessings, not dressing this year. I don't need to eat it like there won't be leftovers!!!! I can enjoy a couple of small turkey meals instead of one that makes me feel sick afterwards. I want to be focused on the amazing people in my life instead of what dish they'll be cooking.

#4) Take a nap on the drive over today. I have not had enough sleep the last two days!

Alrighty, off to pack I go!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Attitude of Gratitude

Being that we go to the same church and all, I also heard a message on thankfulness this week. I am always amazed at the Lord's patience with me. I am so very genuinely slow to learn! There are some things that the Lord has been revealing to me for months now. I hear it at the time and I so very quickly forget. Then I find myself living the same life that I led before I heard the message. I desire more than that. I desire true change for my life. To live a life that pleases the Lord.

As our pastor was speaking about thankfulness, I found myself thinking of how easily I can fall into the trap of focusing on the negative. I notice it more and more in my daily life. I complain. A lot. I dislike this attribute I have taken on, yet, I find myself residing there each day. Through the sermon, it became very clear to me that my problem lies not in being unable to see my blessings. My difficulty lies in taking the time to give thanks and praise for those blessings. I am busy. Too busy. Too busy doing things that are nothing more than time wasters.

So, today I would like to begin a new journey. I am going to list the things I am thankful for here so I can have a record of the wonderful blessings that surround me in my life. I want to provide myself more opportunity to focus on the blessings. Not the complaining. Not the self-pity. Not the all around negativity.

So, as I reflected on writing this post, I could not decide where to begin. When I stop to think of my blessings, so many come to mind. So, I will attempt to chronicle my daily blessings here and I hope that it serves as a reminder to each one of us what a blessed people we are. That we are loved so much by a God who bestows daily blessings even when we are ugly. Especially, when we are ugly.

Monday Thankfuls:

  • I am thankful that I get to walk through this deployment with other women who understand me. Women who lift me up. Women who pray with me and for me. And women who share my anxieties, pride and love for a man in uniform.
  • I am grateful for the opportunity to pray for a strong woman of faith when she feels weak. It is very humbling to pray for a woman who's prayer covering I covet.
  • I am thankful for a toddler who squeals with delight when mama arrives after any amount of separation.
  • I am thankful for a husband who continues to grow and change. Each day I am reminded why I love him so.


This is my recipe on how NOT to make pumpkin pancakes.

Pancake mix
canned pumpkin
Pumpkin pie spice

Mix together. Cook on skillet for the rest of your life, because it ain't NEVER going to cook through. Makes giant mess and a mom that had to go to plan B.

Enjoy. Or go through a drive thru.

Friday, November 16, 2007

He's too Sexy

I gotta tell ya, there ain't nothin sweeter than my man threatening to punch someone in the face.

Seriously makes me LOVE him.

I know you probably think we have anger issues in our home, but we don't. People just can't stop making ridiculously stupid comments about our family and children.

And for the record, my hubs never gets mad. So his righteous anger, his "Papa Bear" attitude, the way he is fighting for his's hot.

That's all. Just wanted to give my main squeeze mad props. Or whatever.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I read a great post which strengthened my hope today. It brought me such encouragement, kinda like the glimpse of rain we got here today. Just a few drops for a couple of moments, but a promise of times to come.

This is a great song for this time in my life...

PFR - Pray For Rain lyrics

Born in a dry season
Wind and sand have blown through me
Haven't found shade anywhere
Only moments of relief
But sometimes I think I hear the thunder
Somewhere on the horizon line
If i could just find a way to get under
The rain that can reach this soul of mine
I pray for rain to come
And wash away what's made me numb
I pray for a ragging storm
To drown what's in me
And the rain comes in the nick of time
I swallow hard cause my throat's been dry
The rain comes beating on my skin
Till I'm washed away - nothing left within
When the rain comes
Your rain comes
Seasons have passed so quickly
Since I felt that first big storm
Still there have been times of drought
When I've prayed for the clouds to form
And I often hear the thunder
And I know of it's coming rain
Many times in my life I'll kneel under
The moving showers that brought this change

Monday, November 12, 2007

Names changed to protect the people whose faces I want to punch

I had an incident where someone who "cares" about my child made a snide comment about him. A person who claims to love him but won't join in the journey of walking that love out.

Now, this is an issue I have been dealing with in my life for quite some time now...this issue of the way people treat my Dirty Job. I haven't wanted to blog about it because I feel like it can so easily become a pity party that I am throwing for myself, and I want to be careful of that. I mean, I can throw quite the shindig of self-pity. Just typing this out, I have already walked to the freezer to have frozen cookie dough...twice. Because my non-victory over emotional eating is another post, I'll leave it at that. Where was I? Oh yes, self pity. It'll take over my life if I let it. But I feel like I need to process these thoughts out through the punching of the keys, so that's what I'm doing. I'd like to say it'll be my once and for all, but frankly, I'm guessing it won't be because this journey with Dirty Jobs is lifelong. And people will say dumb things throughout his life. Hopefully I will respond better as time goes on.

Here it is: Dirty Job is my son. He is my son, and he has been diagnosed with autism. He has few verbal words...and just for my own record I'm gonna list them:
keys (sounds like eeees - he's heavy on the vowel sounds)
uh huh (as in yes)
please (which sounds the same as keys)

Dirty Job also uses a handful or two of signs, points, and imitates some animal noises (he LOVES animals. even goldfish from fairs).

Dirty Job is also sensory seeking and well, a little on the active side. And by little I mean he's like an adhd kid on crack. I know because I'm his mom. And that's why I can say it. Because I say it out of love, knowing that the day to day grind is exhausting, but it's the most rewarding job I'll ever have.

Here's the thing: I know he's difficult. But I know he's worth it. He's worth every tear that my husband and I have shed and every last dime we have and will spend on helping him. He worth the hard days, he's worth the meltdowns...he's worth the effort.

All that to say this: Don't pretend like you care about us, don't say that you'll be there for us when you won't be. Please do me a favor and don't use your kind offers for help to ease your own self when you're not willing to get dirty and become a part of his world. If being uncomfortable isn't gonna work for you, then don't even open your mouth. Because you do more damage with your false support then if you didn't do anything at all. Don't say sweet things and then make comments like he's this hellion that would ruin your life if you had him a few hours.

I understand that sometimes people don't know what to say, so they say stupid things. This often happens to Cpt Mom. I'm sure I've said some stupid things to her. People don't get that having your husband in a war zone and away from you for 2 years isn't the same as your husband being out of town for a week or two. People like me say dumb things like "Time is flying by" when really, it's probably not for her. Time most likely drags on a lot of days for her. So I get that people will say stupid things. I can pardon that. Because we all do it. It becomes personal though when you make statements about my son as a person. Some of the characteristics of autism "mask" who Dirty Job really is, so you have to pardon some of his behavior to get to know him. I'm not saying we excuse his every bad deed. We don't. He sits on timeout at least a few times a day. It's just that you have to put yourself in his place and realize how difficult it must be to have words inside that you can't communicate. To have such sensory processing deficiencies that even when I lay on top of him it doesn't hurt him, but rather meets a need. Dirty Job has some pretty amazing things going on underneath all of that stuff.

He has the brightest smile I've ever lights up his entire face. He loves to laugh and rough house and play with animals. He thinks toothpaste is the best thing on the planet. He loves Word World, Super Why, and Sesame Street. He knows his colors, shapes and goodness knows, he knows his animals. Probably in record number. He tries to be gentle, but is sometimes quite mischievous. He is in love with Major Hunk's truck. He waves hi to many people and has definite favorites. He starts each day full ready to tackle it head on. He has an incredible imagination and some rather amazing blue eyes. He's completely charming (I know, a mother's bias) and God is using him in profound ways at not even 3.

So I guess I have a lot to learn as we walk this road of parenting a child with special needs. I need to store up grace for those who don't know better, and even more importantly, those that do know better. I need to see the joy in every success, because others will see none. I need to be quick to point out the positive, because others will point out the bad. I need to set good boundaries that grow our family unit and I need to let my children be exposed to some hurts and disappointments, so they learn that only the Lord is perfect.

I will not lose my hope.

I jest kipt on running....

10K Yesterday. Ran the whole thing. 1:03:34 was my official time. It was AMAZING!

Friday, November 9, 2007


I can sometimes get so busy with my day to day activities that I forget what day it is. In fact just this morning I woke up and thought it was Saturday. I am sure there is a scientific/medical term for this phenomenon...but I can't remember what it is! :)

Apparently, I have a bad case of forgetfulness, because for the past 9 days I have thought it was November. Clearly it is not, as it has been over 90 degrees in our lovely city.

Never fear, my friends, a cooling trend is moving in and it is supposed to be in the 80's by the end of the weekend.

Are you kidding me?!?

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Own It

Weighed in last night. I have gained 3 lbs.

I don't even know what to say about that.

Except that I deserve every pound. I have not kept track of anything, I have eaten a ton of cookies/cakes/chocolate fountain treats. And now I am paying the price.

Good thing that it's a new day and I will make better choices today.

1. Drink water. My 10K is on Sunday and I want to be well hydrated. I want to be well hydrated on a day to day basis, but this week is especially important.

2. Fill house will healthy choices. Because I need them so I can succeed.

3. Keep track of food. If I don't know how many points something is, I will find out. Because I am worth taking care of.

4. Run - today and tomorrow. And Sunday. Also do Pilates video at least 2 days this week.

Starting Weight: 168
Current Weight: 136 (+3)

I'm not sure if I need to reevaluate my goal to get to 130 by the end of the year. This gain makes that potentially very difficult. So, I think I will make that decision next week when I have made some good choices. There's no need to set myself up to fail, especially during the holiday season when there are plenty of goodies to drown my sorrows in. Breaking that bondage is way more important than a few pounds.

Time to get the running shoes on...

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

back to the basics

Ok. The Major is gone. Life is returning to our current state of normal around here. By normal I mean waiting for phone calls, avoiding housework and staying busy enough that I don't have to think about it. Our time together was amazing. It was just what I needed to feel refreshed enough that I feel like I can tackle the next few months until he is stay!

I did go and weigh in today. I didn't go to my regular meeting last night because I was too busy drowning my sorrows in appetizers, drinks, dessert, rounds of pool and an odd movie. I couldn't possibly have made it. I had far more important things to do. I have some really great friends who knew I needed to get away and have some good laughs. And boy, did we laugh. By the time I had a drink in my lap, my abs had gotten some serious laughter workout time! But, I digress. I did make it today to go and face the music. I was really tempted not to go and just try to have a good week and make up the difference. Boy, was I surprised what I saw. I peered over the counter to see the number she was writing on my card. I think it took my breath away for a moment. I had gained more weight than I really thought was possible in just one week. In fact, the lady behind the counter said to me, "I won't even calculate how much of a gain that is, because it will depress me." Oh, yes.she.did. 4.8 pounds!!! Holy Cow!! I am not depressed about it, because frankly, the reason I gained was because I was so busy enjoying my husband that I didn't really care about anything else. And the fact that I knew he was leaving again and had a little emotional eating going on as well. Add to that my miniature panic attack. So, all in all, I'm keeping it in perspective.

So, here I am ready to recommit and leap head first back onto the bandwagon. I had a good day. I stayed within my points today. I did have a momentary lapse in judgment when I ate some of the leftover cheesecake from our date night. I have a tear in my eye when I say I am going to throw the last of it in the garbage. But, I have to, or I will eat it all.

Goals for the week:

  • Water
  • Get moving
  • Track my points- every day!
I also realized today that I have my beginning weight posted wrong. So, now all my calculations are off by .4 and that is makes me a little crazy. So, here's the update:

Starting weight: 188.4
Todays' weight: 165.2
Total loss: 23.2

My mini goal is to get back to the 25 pound mark once again!

*updated to add that I did throw away the cheesecake. And then I had a moment of silence...

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Random Thoughts

I have so much to write about, yet, I don't have the brain power to form complete thoughts. So, instead, I will just leave my random thoughts. I may or may not fill in the details at a later time.

  • I put Major Hunk on a plane today and watched him fly off again for the Middle East. It does not get easier with practice.
  • We had a fantabulous time. We had some really special times and some really "normal" family times. Those were the most special of all.
  • The Cutie never fully warmed up to him over the course of his leave. It made us both a little sad even though we understood.
  • I am very sad that our local gelato shop has closed down. Days like today definitely call for some chocolate gelato! Just thinking of the Racer and I stopping dead in our tracks and gasping at the sight of the wide open space that was, only 2 days before gelato deliciousness, makes me laugh...every time.
  • I love that the Racer was updating for me. I really love the pictures of us with our guys. She is such a great friend.
  • I agree. That picture of us is sugary sweet and at any other point in my life probably would have made me throw up a little. That was also the first time my husband has ever danced with me...EVER.
  • That chocolate fountain was delicious! Why didn't we take some pictures of that?? Oh right, because I was always standing in front of it blocking the view.
  • Rumor has it that the groom said he needed a big piece of cake with extra frosting because he needed the extra calories. Um...excuse me???
  • My daughter was the fun director this week. She liked to tell us what game to play and who's turn it was. If you tried to deviate from her directives, she would clearly correct you. Do not tickle out of turn!!
  • I think I may have been bitten with the baby fever bug.
  • I am craving Famous Dave's barbeque sandwich sampler! I think I must go there.
Enough randomness for today. Have a blessed day!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Our Hunks of Burnin Love

My Deadliest Catch and me. Before I indulged in 84,000 kabobs under a chocolate fountain. I seriously considered just sticking my head under the fountain of deliciousness.

Captain Mom and Major Hunk. So sugary sweet it'd make you barf except for the fact that it's so wonderful that they're together. Kind of like how I felt about the chocolate fountain.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Sackcloth and Ashes

So, here's a picture of my new haircut. This pic is less than flattering, but I'm not vain, remember? I had no makeup on (because I was saving up for my $800 miracle in a compact).

I got a cute picture of Cpt Mom and Major Hunk last night at a wedding we attended. I want to post it so badly, but do not have permission from her, and apparently I have a hair up my butt and am feeling the need to respect her by waiting for her to say ok. I told you I was in a weird funk.

I have some very sad news to share. So sad, I'm not sure that I'm ready to put it out there yet, but I guess I have to share it sometime. Yesterday, Cpt Mom, Major Hunk, My Deadliest Catch, Dirty Job and I went out to lunch. After lunch Captain and I suggested going for gelato. We had gone on Tuesday and had told them we'd be back soon because they didn't have pumpkin that day (obviously just an excuse to come back). So we head over to the mall and make the trek through the department store and up the elevator. We are walking towards the gelato kiosk, when, AT THE SAME TIME, Cpt and I gasp. The sick feeling in my gut is returning just thinking about it. Where our precious gelato stand was stands nothing. They are gone. Up and vanished.

Once we recovered from the pure shock of it all, I ran down the escalator and asked the information desk if they possibly just change locations. No such luck. I am writing them a strongly worded email, pleading with them to reopen. I've lost 35 lbs eating gelato. I am their walking advertisement. Cpt Mom and I tell EVERYONE about them. We even plotted to set our friend up with one of the Lombardo men so we could get them to marry and benefit from their union in the form of free gelato for life.

If they decline my desperate invitation to reopen, Cpt Mom, myself and our children will be holding a candlelight vigil next week. Until then, you can find me mourning in a gallon of ice cream, with the song "Nothing Compares to U" running through my mind.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Bite, Chew, Swallow...Seems simple enough

You know when you are chewing something sticky, let's say a laffy taffy, or a peanut butter sandwich, and you can't swallow it for awhile. Well, that's how my life has been lately. Actually, it's like that plus I feel like I keep adding bites to that without ever swallowing in between.

So basically, I look like I'm playing Chubby Bunny, spiritually speaking.

Of course, because of that, I'm also looking like chubby bunny in the flesh because I am retreating back to old bad habits of emotional eating. I'm really trying to grace myself, because life has crazy days (or months), but I can't help but feel defeated in my food issues. Do you think that could be a bleed out from how I am feeling spiritually? Hmm, I'm gonna go with a resounding Y.E.S.

So, until I can swallow a bit of this mouthful, I can't really share it...because I can't form a complete sentence about it all.

I would like to update on my play date of last week. It was pretty much wonderful. Mom of friend was so incredibly sweet. And I pretty much thought she was the coolest when her older son (What Not To Wear's friend) had a meltdown when it was time to go - it showed me the normalcy of families....everyone experiences those times and that was refreshing! Anyways, she was just so real. She just opened up and shared about her life and her kids, and it made it SO EASY to be vulnerable to her. She has a speech delayed son, and has passed on some excellent resources to me. As we got in the car to go home from the park, I was thanking God for such a gift of an afternoon. All of my fears were laid to rest, because, of course, He is trustworthy and I can trust that He is going to bring people into our lives that will encourage us and grow us. I know not everyone will embrace my family like she did (it was proven this past weekend), but I know I can lay it at the Lord's feet and know that HE is where we find our unconditional acceptance. It was a lovely day, indeed.

Checking In

Well, I have to say that it has been a busy couple of weeks. I did not weigh in last week due to Major Hunk's arrival. I had been working toward my goal of 25 pounds before he arrived. I am not sure if I made that goal as I didn't weigh in before he got here. We have spent every night eating out since he has been home. He has chosen all of our favorite restaurants. Many of which I have not eaten at since he left. Of course there are certain things he is craving, some of which are not healthy options. I have definitely made some good choices and then there have been meals when I say, "forget it" and eat the yumminess. I have gotten some exercise in. I have done some pilates and even went for a run on Sunday am. We did some hiking up on our mountain getaway. I really didn't feel like I could gauge where I was at. So, I decided yesterday to go weigh in so I know where I am at. And to help me refocus for the next week. I was so excited to see the results: Down 3.3 pounds!!!

Starting weight: 188.4
Current weight: 161.3

Total weight loss: - 27.1

Goals for the week:

  • Keep exercising. Go for at least one more run while the Major is home. Hopefully two.
  • Everyone say it with me: Drink more water!
  • Enjoy every last minute with my husband before he is off to serve our country once again.
Go hug your family today and be grateful for the time you have together. It is precious.
Have a great week!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Where do I start?

Let me start off this randomness by saying it is after 4am. I have been up for 2 hours. I had a weird dream and have been awake since. So, I thought I would take this time to update both of my readers on my R&R. I apologize in advance for the rambling. Feel free to stop reading at any time :) I will write more about our time together in depth after he leaves and my life returns to a state of late nights and early mornings in order to avoid going to bed alone. Until then, here are some highlights...

  • The airport reunion was the stuff that dreams are made of. He got off the plane and I hugged him and cried and hugged him and cried some more. I know, my eloquence is amazing. All this was after I got stuck in security because they had to wand my stroller. Yes. My stroller. Who knew that a stroller had many metal parts?!? Apparently, not the airport security in our fine city.
  • I arrived to his gate just in time to see the last patrons off a flight from Dallas...where Major Hunk was coming from. This was 15 minutes before his flight was to arrive. What?!? They were early? Could I really have missed him?? Are our friends and family going to get to greet him before me?!? I went dashing to the nearest ticket counter and was greeted with, "Ma'am, this flight is full. Someone will be back to help you in a few moments." And he walked away. Are you kidding me?!? I am about to burst into tears. I called the bff who was waiting outside of security. She somehow understood me in my panicked and emotional state. And in all her wisdom, she looked as far down the walkway as she could and reassured me that if he had come by, she would have seen him and if she saw him they would all hide and give me time to sprint out and be the first to greet him. Are you sure... Maybe you just didn't see him, he is wearing camouflage after all! Seriously, I was a mess. As it turned out, it was not his flight, it was another flight coming from the same city only 15 minutes before. Who knew that we were such a popular destination for the Texans?!?
  • Cpl Cutie has been quite standoffish with the Major. I won't lie and say that I am not disappointed. He is so awesome. He gives her time. He doesn't take it personally. Or so he says. The low was the 2nd day: each time she looked at him or he spoke to her she burst into tears. I reassured him that once she warmed up to him there would be no turning back. Well, so far, she has made a liar out of me. Every day is a new day and each morning when I get her from her crib I remind her of how much fun her daddy is and how much he would love a hug or kiss from her today. And each day I pray. Thus far, each day has gotten better. He has given her space and she is beginning to venture out. There have even been some hugs.
  • Major Hunk and I were able to escape to the mountains for a few days. We had a glorious time of reconnection. We enjoyed the cool air, relaxing in the jacuzzi, going on adventures down unmarked roads and even some fishing. It was so good for both of us.
  • We have amazing friends and family who have respected our family time. They have been extremely generous with their resources and their time. It was so nice to go away and really relax. I know I couldn't have done that if I didn't trust that the Cutie was being well cared for and well loved. So, thank you to the Racer and her family and the bff for adding a third child to each of their homes for a couple of days. You guys are the best!!
  • I have been surprised how quickly it felt normal to have him here. During a deployment, the state of normal is always being redefined. I know we will never go back to our pre-deployed life. So, I was pleased to know that we could fall back into our roles so quickly.
  • Life after deployment is going to be a challenge. It has been surprising to discover how much we have missed in each other's day to day. How much the day to day shapes who we are.
  • I have been doing pretty well with my eating and exercise. I have been making good choices when we go out for the most part. And, I have exercised pretty regularly since he has been here. I even made it out for a run yesterday morning.
  • I can't believe it is half way over.
So, on that note, I am off to crawl back into bed with my husband and enjoy the hum (buzz saw) of his snoring while I still can. Hug your families today!!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Word from WNTW

My 5 year old daughter, What Not To Wear, was requesting a song from her Shout Praise Kids cd on the way to church this evening. Here's a version of the song, called Who is Like the Lord?

So my hubbie turns on the song, and I hear my girl begin to worship God. Only the song she was singing had the following lyrics...
"Who will slap the Lord? NOBODY."

We just turned the car around and went home, because that word was enough to cover a hundred Sundays of messages.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Facing the scale

I rushed to Captain Mom's house Sunday morning to weigh in for the last time for the next couple of weeks. I figured I needed to face the music with my gain from my poor food choices. By some MIRACLE OF GOD, I had neither gained nor lost. I will take a plateau gladly for my bad choices. I am hoping to improve this week in the following ways:

#1- Eliminate all ice cream from the house until after November 1st. I know this doesn't seem like an outrageously long time, but for me, an ice cream addict, it is. I was reading the featured loser of the week, Lisa Kay's story on Tales and it really made me reflect when she talked about not having ice cream in her house. I need to break this very bad habit. And the best way for me to do that currently is to not have it available. Until the habit of having it everyday after dinner is broken. After the week is over, I will reevaluate.

#2- Get back into my Pilate's/strength training. I've been running, but have found that I am having a hard time keeping up with my 3x/week pilates. I need to plan this time out (nap time works best for me) and honor myself by taking the time to do the work.

#3- Bake. I know, you look at that and think that's setting me up for failure. The reason I am adding this to my list of things to do is because I love to bake. I love the smell of it and the bonding time it allows me to have with What Not To Wear. So, my goal is to bake something this week, just her and I sharing some time in the kitchen. It allows me to slow down and do something with her that we both enjoy.

In case you didn't know:

Starting weight: 168
Last weigh in weight: 133
This week's weight: 133

We'll see you in two weeks, when I'll be able to weigh in again!