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.