Saturday, December 31, 2011

End of Year Reflections

It's the last day of 2011.  What a year!  As there are less than 5 hours remaining of it, I believe it's time for  some thoughtful reflections about this year.

First, I've learned you can't "go back home" no matter how hard you try.  I thought when my hubby's new job turned out to be in TEXAS that I was going back home.  I had built up in my mind how perfect and wonderful it was going to be.  I had friends all over the state who couldn't wait to see me.  I was going to have this lovely life full of friends in and out of town.  Lots of visiting.  Lots of fun.  Lots of chats over coffee with neighbors.  People to shop with.  The list goes on.  Unfortunately, reality and my dreams were light years apart.  I am in Texas again, which makes me happy.  But, it's not what I imagined and it's taking time for me to adapt.  More time than I thought it would.  More time than I want it to take. 

Second, I've learned you can't make people happy.  And, even more so, people can't make you happy either.  Happiness is one of those intangibles you have to find within yourself.  Happiness is fleeting.  You can't hold onto it and make it stay.  However, contentment is another story.  My current goal is to learn from the Apostle Paul and to be content no matter where I am or the circumstances I find myself in.  Not easy, but definitely worth it.  Contentment breeds peace, love and joy.  These are all so much better than the transient "happiness" we all talk about and can never attain.

Third, I've learned how not to pray.  Sound crazy?  Not really.  This year I've spent a lot of time in prayer.  One of the biggies over the summer was that I would NOT have to do a certain thing.  Please, anything else, but don't make me do THIS....  Guess what I had to humble myself to do?  Yup.  That one thing... In doing so I learned to be grateful for the people in my life who love me whether I deserve it or not. 

Fourth, I learned I am not alone.  Ever.  People come and go all the time, but Jesus is with me always.  Helping me, holding me, guiding me.  The big questions are, am I accepting the help, continuing to hold onto Him and allowing him to lead?  Some days yes, some days no.  My prayer is that over the next year, there will be more days where I can answer "yes" to those questions.  I once heard someone say, it isn't God that moves, but us.  It's true.  He's always there.  Always. 

Fifth, I learned that letting go hurts.  My eldest graduated high school this spring and then joined the Air Force this fall.  He's not my little boy anymore.  He's a man.  One with a life of his own.  He's happy.  I am happy for him.  Really, truly, I am.  But, I miss my son. 

Sixth, I learned that hurt can bring joy.  It's true I hurt because my son isn't living at home now.  But, when I see him and look into his eyes as we talk about what he's doing now, I see how happy, no, how content and proud he is.  These have been good choices for him.  This brings great joy to my heart. 

Moving from Virginia Beach to Waco, TX was difficult.  It hurt to leave friends, "family" and our church to come to an unknown area where we knew no one in town.  It still hurts, but we have such peace about being here.  We have joy as we truly believe this is where God wants us.  It doesn't detract from our feeling of loss, but it makes it bearable. I am reminded of the Psalm that say weeping my endure for the night but JOY cometh in the morning. 

Seventh, I have learned that I still have a lot to learn.  Nuff said.  :)

Funny, I intended this post to be a basic recap of the year and it turned into something different entirely.  But, that's okay.  I am learning to enjoy the journey, one step at a time. 

Coffee:  Yup.  From my new Bunn coffee maker. is good -  and so is the coffee.  :)

Speaking of coffee, last night I dreamed about ordering coffee on-line. It was a strange dream.  A very thrifty Virginia friend who moved to TN was in it and recommended a service to me that was "very reasonably priced" - they deliver a month's worth of coffee to your home for $400. ROFL....did I say it was a dream?  That price is a nightmare!!  LOL  Hmmm...come to think of it, I woke up just as I was about to take a drink of this very reasonably priced coffee.....  Too bad I'll never know how it tasted.  ;)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Appearances....are they REALLY everything?

If you are a Facebook friend, you may have seen that today I was being super duper comfy.  It's getting colder.  It's raining.  It's a blah, dreary day outside.  So, I put on a pair of old, faded, threadbare in spots 5 year old jeans.  They are so soft and comfy, I could sleep in them.  Seriously.  On top, I put on a Disney sweatshirt I've had for longer than I want to admit.  As in, I bought it a couple months before son #3 was born....and he just turned 15.  Before you faint, please note I didn't wear it at all for a few years....  So, although it's old and a bit faded, it could be worse.  Wow, am I justifying or what??? 

Anyway, I went out in these two pieces of clothing.  Granted, they are old and faded, but there were clean and spot free....and worn with 9 West boots and my new Nautica rain jacket and I was carrying my 9 West purse.  So, obviously, I am not destitute.  No one treated me badly until my very last stop of the day - at my son's school, where I was dropping off a few things. 

The tone of voice she used was so incredibly condescending. Especially when she told me how LUCKY I am to be able to go to this game at Cowboy stadium.  And, then she tells me that "parking MUST be paid.  It's TEN dollars, so be sure and have it."  I laughed and said "that's better than the $30 I paid to park for the Cowboys game my friend and I attended this fall."  The look of surprise on her face was priceless....and then she says "Oh, how lucky for YOU that you got to go to a Cowboys game.  THOSE tickets are VERY expensive. You must have a very nice friend."  All the while she is looking at me like she's wondering what I had to pawn to buy three tickets to a high school football game. 

Once I stepped away to wait for my son to pick up his things, I decided to see if it was "just me" or if she treated everyone this way.  In the 5 minutes I waited, several people came in to buy tickets for the game.  Those who were dressed VERY nicely were treated with respect and spoken to in a nice tone of voice.  If you were black, hispanic or sloppily dressed, she was condescending and *almost* rude. 

Okay, now that my blood pressure has gone down a bit, I will announce that my darling second son will be part of the Color Guard for the Championship game on Friday night at Cowboy Stadium!  Woo hoo!!  I'm so proud of him.  We will be there to see him out on the field and up on the jumbotron!  We even plan to watch the game.  :) Looking forward to it so much.  This has been a month of trips to Dallas for me, and I've loved it!  Go Midway Panthers!!!! now you are wondering how I looked today.  This is it.....  I didn't think it was THAT bad, but obviously, I was wrong....

I took this immediately after I got home, so it would be an accurate representation of how I looked at school.

My son took this after he came home so you can see the entire outfit. 

This makes me think about how I treat other people.  Do I treat them differently because they are dressed better, the same or worse than I?  It's my sincere desire to see people as all the same, no matter how they are dressed.  We are all people no matter our economic status and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.  Definitely food for thought....

Speaking of coffee,I know, I wasn't really, IS me and I haven't had nearly enough today.  What I've had was fabulous.  Coffee with Peppermint Mocha creamer.  YUM.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Counting down....the pounds :)

Wow, what a busy time we've had lately.  JROTC military ball, Rick Springfield concert, a son's birthday, shopping.... Some days I've felt too busy to breathe.  However, I've enjoyed every single minute of it!  Here are some pictures (minus the birthday - son doesn't wanna be on my blog.  *sigh*)

I tried this belt on at Anthropologie recently, but didn't buy it.
I regretted that decision until TODAY when Debra (thanks again, btw!!) texted to say
it was on sale plus another 30% off. 
It has been ordered and will be part of my OOTDs soon.  :)

This is what I wore to the Air Force JROTC Ball Friday night. 
I loved it and it must have been a good choice.
Even the teen girls said how cute it looked!!  :)

Me and the Mr. waiting for the Rick Springfield concert to start.
The doors opened at 7. 
The opening band started at 8:30.
Rick went on at 10 and sang till almost midnight!
Long wait, but well worth it.
We shared a table with a couple we met in line. 
What a hoot they were!!!
The guys sat at the table when the show started
while she and I hit the floor to dance and sing along with Rick.  :)
BTW, the Glass Cactus in Grapevine, TX is awesome. 

Rick Springfield.
He's still got it. 
Oh yes..... Yes, indeed.

Rick does this cool thing with a dozen roses at the end of some songs.
He strums them across the guitar strings and petals fly everywhere.
Really cool.
Wish the pic turned out better.  Oh well....

Action shot of Rick playing guitar. 
See the rose petals on the stage? 

One of the better close up shots.
Most were a bit blurry....
either because I was moving - or he was - or both.
Who can stop dancing when the music is good and the performance is awesome??

Rick bowing at the end of a song. 
This was close to the end of the concert.
Included this one because it was clear and you can see the rose petals.
Funny fact:  women  were gathering all the rose petals they could reach on the stage to take home.
I'm a Rick fan, but that's a bit much. If I was still a teenager, maybe.... 
Whatever, takes all types, right?  :)

So...another funny. If you didn't catch it earlier, the concert was in a bar.  A nice bar, but a bar, nonetheless.  After the concert, the doors opened to the general public.  All us mature women who love Rick are in the restroom because we didn't leave the room for 2 hours while he was performing and by this point we NEEDED the facilities...  There was this cute young girl waiting in line who had the audacity to say "Rick Springfield.... he performed here tonight right?  I THINK I've heard of him, but who IS he?"  I was on my way past when she said that and my response was "you were born about the time he became famous honey" and I kept walking as she started laughing.  You know, Southern women use "honey" in several different ways.....IF you assume this was not used as a term of endearment in this instance, you would be correct.  :)

Over the past few months, due to stress, I have gained some weight.  I knew this was a problem when suddenly my jeans were too tight - as in I couldn't zip them and breathe.  Thus, I did what any rational human would do as the holidays are beginning - I went on a diet and lost 4 pounds. Then we made our Southern Tour and I promptly regained all 4 pounds. Hey, it was Thanksgiving and I was HOME.  Anyway, those pounds plus another are now gone thanks to an awesome app on my new iPhone.  I use it to track every morsel (and sip) that goes past my lips.  You can link the website with your phone and stay up to date whether you are home or out to eat.  It's   I highly recommend them.  I haven't been using it long and am already down 5 pounds.  It could be more if I was exercising, but who has time??  Don't answer that.  I know I have the time.  It's "just an excuse"...... 

Coffee....yes, indeed.  A pot per day.  Basic stuff.  But good.  Mostly with peppermint mocha creamer.  Yum.  LOVE that stuff.  Measuring it though to make sure I don't overindulge.  *sigh*  I can't wait to lose these next few pounds....

Friday, December 9, 2011

Tis the Season....

It has been a few days since my last post.  I have been thinking through things. I don't claim to have any answers.  However, that being said, I have decided to "fake it till I can make it."  Therefore, I finally decorated a bit in our living room and kitchen.  Hubby and the boys are thrilled (something about it FINALLY looking like we've moved in). I think it makes the house look cluttered.  I suppose I was accustomed to the clean (bare) look from before.  You know, the whole "less is more" idea. 

So, what do you think?

The entry as seen from the middle of the living room.
To the left as you come inside.
The picture is the one we gave my hubby for his birthday last year.

To the right as you enter the house.
I love these little snowmen. 
The sitting area.  That is a Thomas Kincaid print from Home Interiors.  Love the colors in it.
Needs some more things around it to complete the grouping. 
However, those items are still in the garage in boxes. 
I AM working on it though.... 
Across from the sofa, of course.
I love the contrast of the antique shelves with the more modern photos.
Of course, the shelves are decorated for Christmas now.
Wonder what I'll find to put on them after the holidays.
Hmmm....I see another post for the future.  :)
To the left of the tv.

To the right of the tv...
Looking into the kitchen from the sofa.
Love my nutcrackers...need more of them....
I love this picture.
Need to accessorize it also.
The dining area. 

Another Thomas Kincaid print from Home Interiors.
Love this lighthouse picture (sorry it's not clear).

The table is festive...and not so much "stuff" that it's difficult to clear when it's time to eat.  :)
My new MC Coffee Maker...
and my new cup from Anthropologie. 
Hey, it wouldn't be ME if I didn't have a picture of my favorite part of the house!
Took this photo a couple days ago in my back yard.
Isn't this maple tree gorgeous??? 

Hubby was so pleased to see the house semi decorated. I'm so glad I was able to do something to make him happy. 

Speaking of hubby, a couple weeks ago he asked me if I had anything planned for tomorrow night.  I didn't and he asked me to keep it that way so we could have a date night.  Of course, I agreed!!!  When I asked what we were doing, he said it was a surprise.  He finally told me this morning.... he bought tickets for us to see Rick Springfield in concert in Dallas (well, Grapevine actually)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

I knew my hubby loves me, but I didn't know he loved me enough to take me to a concert of my teenage heart throb!!!  Wow...  All I could do was throw my arms around hubby, kiss him and keep saying "You DO love me!!!!"   

Yes, I'm a bit excited.  Already have my outfit picked out and ready to go.  PLUS, hubby is taking me to one of my favorite stores - Anthropologie - to shop, or rather browse.  I doubt I will buy anything unless it is super awesome and on clearance.  But, that's okay. This time of the year, I prefer buying for others.  (Debra, I know what you are thinking...and the answer is "no".  LOL) Plus, afterwards we will go to dinner and then see RICK SPRINGFIELD in concert!!!!!!  :) :) :)  Excited?  Who? Me?  Nah............

This is a month of fun for us.  Tonight we have an Air Force JROTC Ball to attend.  Wait till you see my dress.  It's super cute and comfy and I can wear it to several upcoming events.  :) Then, tomorrow we have the concert (I CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!  Did I mention being excited about going??).  On Sunday we are celebrating Daniel's 15th birthday.  Monday is actually his birthday, but it's also Patrick's Christmas Band concert (I know THEY don't call it that, but *I* do).... Then the following week is our 20th anniversary (where did the time go??) and the day we pick up Justin at the airport for his Christmas Leave.  Of course, after that we have Christmas and New Years....and then everyone goes back to school.  

This morning I am drinking Gevalia coffee with peppermint mocha creamer.  YUM!  I would share, but I'm not that nice.  Shhhhhhh....don't tell Santa.  ;) 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Emotional overload....

Wonders if I'm alone in how I feel sometimes.  I know I'm probably not, but it certainly seems that way when there is no one around to discuss my feeling with on a semi regular basis. 

How do I feel?  Out of place and scared to be "in place"...particularly with where we live at the moment.  I'm referenceing the house where we currently live.  I love it.  I really do.  But, we are renting. I can't paint, paper or otherwise make changes.  I even have to be careful about how many pictures we hang (ie, nail holes in the wall) and other decorating decisions.  It's difficult to feel "at home" in a place that isn't my home.  We still need to purchase (or build) bookshelves and a tv stand (or two or three) plus some chairs, side tables, etc.  The bookshelves are definite necessities no matter where we live.  The other things we "need" to fit this house. 

But, what if we don't stay here past our year lease?  What if we move across the country again?  What if, what if, what if???  I'm so tired of the "what ifs".  Seriously tired of them.  But, how do I get past them?  I know there is no getting rid of them.  Life is full of changes.  There will always be unknowns.  I need to push past my current fears of the upcoming unknowns and do what needs to be done for now.

Am I strange for feeling this way?  I suppose the reason I question these feelings is because I've with this before.  I typically move into a place and immediately make it home. Typically, by the end of the second week everything is in place, all the pictures are hung and the boxes of unused items are tucked into the attic.  We have been in this house since August 1 and the garage is still full of furniture and boxes.  It's now December 2....that's more than 4 months and it, LOOKS like we just got our stuff last week.  I don't even have all the curtains up yet.  What????

You know, I'm feeling really anxious just typing this out.  Being 100% honest is a scary thing....the fear of being misunderstood, for putting my feelings totally out there, wow....  scary.

It's not lack of coffee.  I'm on my fourth 10 oz cup of coffee.  It's almost gone.  Soon I will be pouring my fifth cup.  :)  Don't you dare suggest it's too much coffee....  That is not open for discussion!

That is all for today.  I have lots of things to "catch up" on in the blog world....but not right now.