Friday, October 28, 2011

Need suggestions please...

I've been pondering a question for days. It's time to get it out in the open and deal with it. First, have you ever moved to a new place where the ONLY people you know are your family?  For those of you who answered "yes" HOW did you make friends once you moved?  How long did it take?  How long until you got over being lonely?  Did it bother you that you didn't have friends immediately?  Or, did you suddenly have a group of friends?  How?

We moved to Waco at the end of July.  It's now (almost) the end of October. That equals three months.  Three very long lonely months.  I know three months isn't a long time in the grand scheme of things and that it takes time to meet people and develop friendships.  I know this from previous moves.  But, for some reason, I decided things would be different "this time" and I would immediately meet people and begin going places, doing things, meeting for coffee, sharing stories and recipes...and generally "doing life" with at least 2-3 friends. 

This has not happened.  I have friends all over the US. Some of them even live in TX.  However, none of them live in Waco.  They do things and even invite me to attend (like a dinner being held soon) but these events usually conflict with family obligations and I'm unable to participate, which leaves me feeling even more lonely and left out.

Before you think I'm not trying, let me assure you that I am.  One of the first things I did was find a Bible study to meet with other like minded women and possibly make at least one friend there.  Nope. Not so far.  The few ladies near my age are either home schooling their children and rushing back home immediately afterwards to get back to classes (a responsible, wonderful thing to do) or they have toddlers and only seem to want to do things with other parents who have small ones too (I understand, they want others with a common frame of reference).  The remainder of the ladies are older, with children my age.  While I love being with those older and wiser, they don't seem to want to add another "kid" to their families. 

We live in an awesome neighborhood.  The homes are beautiful.  The people seem nice as they pull into their driveways, open their garage doors, drive in and immediately close the door and go inside.  Sometimes, they even WAVE - if I wave first.  The few neighbors I have met all work.  This means when they come home, they have to cook, clean,  do laundry, errands, etc.  And, they want to spend time with their family. Totally understandable.  I want to do the same in the evening. The few neighbors I've seen at home during the day are generally older men out working on their yards.  Not quite what I had in mind as friends.

I hope this post isn't coming across as whiny or complaining. I truly LOVE living in Texas in general and Waco in particular.  My family is happy here.  My husband has a job.  We have a lovely home.  I am thankful for it all.  I feel very blessed to be here.  And, I know in time, I will have friends.  What I really want are suggestions of what else I can do to find a friend.  Do I force it or do I wait for it to happen?  I've invited people to lunch or to meet for coffee - and neither offer has been accepted.

What have you done?  What would you do in my shoes?  Am I some crazy lady who no one wants to get to know?  Am I going about it all wrong?  Am I too desperate?  Some days I wonder if it's my lot in life to be alone.  I know it isn't....but I have days of doubting. 

Wow...what a depressing post.  It was supposed to be light and funny, with some witty comments and a kernel of truth dropped in here and there.  Instead it's a bare piece of my heart.  Be gentle with it.

On top of everything else, allergy season has hit hard.  I have an appointment with an allergist next week for testing, so no more antihistamines until afterwards.  It's going to be a long four days.

Coffee:  Yes, not enough, but what I've had was delicious.  I am drinking peppermint tea this evening, hoping to soothe my throat and stomach.  Love it, but would rather have coffee.  *sigh*

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Joy of the Lord

Once upon a time I purchased a necklace during a Women's Conference morning with Renee Crosse.  It was on a black nylon adjustable cord and had a clay "stone" that said "JOY".  Renee told us she wore hers as a physical reminder that the joy of the Lord is her strength. I loved this idea and happily purchased one to wear often.  Then, one day I gave it to a dear friend who was passing through a difficult time and needed a tangible reminder that the joy of the Lord could indeed be HER strength.  I have never regretted loosening the necklace and draping it over her head. 

"What does that have to do with anything?" you ask.  Nothing and everything.  I loved wearing my JOY necklace as a reminder that I, too, can claim the joy of the Lord is MY strength.  Mine. Susan Terry's.  It can be yours too. Jesus patiently waits at your heart's door.  But, he's a gentleman who will only enter if sincerely invited inside.  If you have questions and want to know more about Jesus, please feel free to ask.  I would love to tell you about my friend and saviour.

Today the kids were out of school for Columbus Day.  They marked this auspicious holiday by sleeping in, eating junk food and playing video games.  I marked it by sleeping in until 0730, going to Bible study, shopping, cooking, cleaning and doing laundry.  YES!!!  Hubby fixed my dryer tonight!  I am a lucky woman to have such a handy man for a hubby.  Yes indeed!  I am excited and happy to be able to do laundry at home.  :) 

This is what I wore to Bible study.  The ladies all love my shoes...and agree when wearing them I have "Barbie feet".  LOL

I call this my 1950's housewife meets 2011 SAHM look.
Patrick took this photo after lunch today in front of our house. 
Don't you love the flowers?

I have another highlight for today.  I purchased a Shark steam cleaner!!  It works like a dream.  The best part was Patrick getting excited about it and taking over the cleaning.  The floors are clean and I only did 2 minutes of work.  Seriously loving that!!  He may have a new chore.  :)

Dinner tonight was super easy.  I was not in the mood to make anything "big" so we had western bacon cheeseburgers (thanks to Top Secret Recipes) and french fries.  Yummy!! 

Sad news from my kitchen.  My trusty friend is slowly dying.  For a few weeks he has been making louder than normal noises while faithfully brewing the elixer of life (aka, coffee).  Then, a few days ago, the electronics started resetting causing me to daily reset the clock and program the morning brew start time.  Thus, the search for a replacement begins.  I want a Bunn.  The question is which model and where can I get the best price? 

Today's coffee was the usual Sam's Choice Fair Trade Medium Roast.  What can I say, it's good coffee.  Especially when enhanced by splenda and Peppermint Mocha creamer.  :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Overcoming Difficulties

Overcoming difficulties.  Yes, that seems to be the theme for this week.  It has been a week of trials for our family.  Nothing BIG....just lots of little annoyances that added up to a difficult week. 

Where to start?  How about when I got home from Dallas Sunday afternoon to learn that our dryer stopped working over the weekend.  Hubby ordered the part and it arrived on Tuesday. Unfortunately, it was sort of"the wrong one".  Just slightly.  It needs different hook ups. *sigh*  Annoying.  Very annoying.  But, I can still wash the clothes and air dry them for a few days until he can get the right part.

Hubby was very busy all week.  Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday he had bus driving classes in the evening.  Thursday was a carnival.  Friday was a home football game.  Saturday was an all day bus driving class.  We barely saw him.  It was difficult and very tiring.

On Thursday, Patrick had a band concert.  It was good.  However, he didn't have any black pants so I had to make a rushed shopping trip to buy pants for him (another minor annoyance). 

While out shopping, I saw myself in a mirror and was shocked at how OLD I looked (due to my hair style).  Can we say, I found a SuperCuts immediately and took care of that problem.  Thank goodness THAT annoyance didn't last long.  :)

Friday wasn't awesome. Actually, it WAS until I went to have dinner with my hubby since he wouldn't be home until almost midnight (home football game).  I got there, turned off the car....and when I tried to start it, NOTHING.  Not even a click.  Great.  Had a wonderful dinner, drove the van home and worried about "WHAT NOW?" 

Saturday was spent driving hubby back and forth to his class and home, washing ALL the laundry and dealing with my ever increasing allergy problems.  (This means, I felt horrible.)  FINALLY got all the laundry washed and headed out with the three boys to find a coin laundry to dry them.  En route, hubby texts for me to come get him - EARLY.  I change directions (2 turns from the laundry) and go to get him....and wait....and wait...and wait. It is now an hour from the Baylor/Iowa State game to which we have tickets.  We have the boys and 6 loads of WET laundry.  Take the boys home, go to the coin laundry and dry the clothes.  It's about halfway through the first quarter when we arrive.  Long story short (too late) the Bears win!!  Woo hoo! 

Sunday morning, I wake up feeling horrible.  My head hurts. My ears hurt. My throat is KILLING me. I am coughing like crazy.  I can't breathe through my nose. It was awful.  I got up and took a couple of ibuprofen and drank copious amounts of coffee and said I was NOT going to church this morning.  After the medicine kicked in, I felt better and went to church.  I am SO glad I went!! Time for our daily dose of difficulty.  Right after we got into the sanctuary, the power went out.  Apparently someone skidded into a power pole and knocked out power to several blocks.  Thankfully, there were candles they lit more and worship happened. Those college students arrived and EXPECTED to have service, power or no power.  It was incredible.  There was a guy playing an acoustic guitar who led the music.  No words on a screen.  No hymn books.  Just a room filled with people lifting their voices in song in praise of their Saviour.  Tears were coursing down my face during the music. It was awesome.  Awesome worship to an Awesome King.  The best was singing How Great Thou Art with a guitar and those pure beautiful voices.  Then the minister spoke - halfway through his message, the power returned - and challenged us about the clothes we wear.  Not literally, but our heart clothing...and if we are known by the clothing we wear - ie, our attitudes and actions.  He told us about a t-shirt his brother in law has that boldly declares on front "I AM A CHRISTIAN" and on the back asks "How am I doing?"  Wow.  Challenging!  I love being uncomfortable.

Did I mention I have had an overwhelming week filled with difficulties?  Did I always act like a Christian?  What would people have said to me if I had worn that shirt this week?  Time to take a good long look at my heart and my attitude.  I fear I am failing in many areas.  Part of my Bible study this week reminded me that out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.  Ouch. 

The good news (on our homefront) is that the car is fixed (only needed a battery), the dryer will be fixed (hubby is buying the part after work tomorrow) and we will get to spend family time together this week. 

OOTD time.  This is what a girl wears to church on a rainy Sunday morning in Texas.  :)

Coffee:  Oh yes.  Lots.  Sams Choice, Free Trade, Medium Roast.  Yummy!  Even took a travel mug full to church.  Love being able to do that!!  Now it's time for hot tea.  :)

Friday, October 7, 2011

I Did It!!

What did I do?  I went shopping for the weekend in Dallas with my friend Debra, who I met in Virginia Beach four years ago when we moved there from Corpus Christi.  Both of us left Virginia in late June 2011 for the West.  Me to TX, she to KS.  Dallas is "in the middle" and a great place to meet.  :)  We did lots of shopping, lots of talking, some eating and coffee drinking....and even went to a Dallas Cowboys Game!!!  They were winning when we left.  Apparently, we were their lucky charm because right after we left the building, their momentum tanked.  Here are a couple of pictures from the game. 
This is Debra, decked out in her Cowboys gear.  She is a true fan....and has the jersey's to prove it. :)
We were sitting in the nosebleed section.  See the two rows behind her? 
That's how close we were to the top of the stadium.  Seriously.
However, they were great seats.  You can see the field pretty well and the jumbotron is "right there". 
The next picture shows a view of the stadium and the screen. 

These are my purchases in one pile. I stayed within my budget and stuck to my rules:  I only bought things if I LOVED them and if they were reduced. (Only ONE thing was full price!!)  I did good.  :)

Here are some of the things I actually purchased... I don't have any pictures of the jewelry or shoes I purchased. 

Bought this at Anthropologie.  I also bought another blue top that is VERY cute, but I didn't take a picture.  Crazy!!

I bought both the sweater and top at Banana Republic. 
Aren't they cute?? 

These aren't clothing, but I bought them at Anthropologie too:
This is the sugar bowl I have wanted for a very long time. 
It was such a pleasure to purchase it in person.
Oh...and this was my full price item - in case you were wondering.  :)

These are some adorable measuring cups I saw on the Anthropologie website that were marked waaaaaayyyyyyy down.  I looked for them at every Anthro store we shopped that weekend (all 4).  Debra spotted them in the last one.  WHEW!  I didn't want to go home without them.  Thanks to Debra, I didn't. 

This was a surprise purchase for my hubby who wanted a "Texas Star" for our house.
I found this one.

We hung it in our entry, centered over our front door. 
Cute, huh?

Are you tired yet from all our shopping?  I have not yet begun to show you everything I tried on.  Let me tell you, I tried on LOTS.....and lots....and lots...  Four Anthro Stores, One Banana Republic, One J. Crew, Dillards (where I bought shoes and jewelry, but don't have pics, *sigh*) and I don't remember where else!  It was crazy fun!  I won't put all the pictures in today....but I do have other pictures of outfits I tried on.  Some I loved. Some I want.  Some I didn't like at all.  Those are for another day.  This post is getting too long as it is...and I've yet to reveal my big surprise...

I DID IT!!!  I got tired of my hair.  I saw a SuperCuts.  I went in and confessed my trust issues and asked for someone who is good with curly hair and short cuts.  They told me to wait for the manager.  I did.  It was worth the wait.  :)  You saw the hair from the weekend.  Typically pulled back and not very attractive.  Well, I'm going to have to relearn how to work it (again) but the cut is adorable.  The pictures do NOT do it justice at all.  Here it is....

I took this at home after my initial cut. 
She blew it dry and straightened it a bit.
Cute.  But, we all know that it will NEVER be straight again.  LOL

This was me in my "Mom Uniform" heading to the Middle School Band Concert last night.
Wearing one of my recent Ross purchases (the cream cardi) and carrying my new travel mug. 

And, this is me today - just a few minutes ago - with my hair curly as usual.
Love the bangs.  Love the length.  Love how SOFT it feels. 
Love having the frizzy ends gone.  :)
Will love it more when I get the hang of styling it....
But I seriously like it now.

Coffee:  Oh yes.  An entire pot of Sam's Choice Fair Trade Arabica Medium Roast GONE before noon today.  Probably gone before 11:00.  It was one of those days.  Wrote Justin letter #25 on the computer today.  However, there are days when I handwrite a letter that doesn't get numbered.  Here is a snapshot of one I wrote before leaving for Dallas.  I wonder if he read it.  LOL

If you look closely, in the very middle of the page it says "Turn over please."  I was nice.  On the back of the page I wrote on the lines, left to right, properly.  However, next letter....who knows?  :)

See you next time!!! 
Keep drinking coffee!!