Saturday, December 31, 2016

A Year In Review

2016 has been a really hard year for me.  I've learned so much about myself...some things I'd rather not have known, but I know God will work it all out for good.

In the coming year, I plan to stop torturing myself.  I have a tendency to obsess about things and this year has been no different.  My mind continually runs through the 'what ifs' and 'what could have beens'.  I go back and I retrace all the steps in my mind, how I got to where I am, where things fell apart, and how I ended up doubting myself.

I've gone through a lot of asking myself what is wrong with me, over the past 6 months in particular.  The answer is nothing.  Nothing is wrong with me.  I've made some poor choices, but I'm still me.  Hopefully a better version of myself everyday.

I realize I need to let go of bitterness and envy, but that is much easier said (or typed) than done.  There is a lot more that I need to let go of too and it's just going to take time.  Excruciating, never ending, time.  I need to forgive...myself, others...and move on.  How that actually gets accomplished is still something I'm trying to figure out, but I will get there.

Each moment is a chance to start over.  I'm going to be better in 2017.  That's all we can really hope for in life, is to be better than we were before.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Guilt vs Shame

What is the difference between guilt and shame?  Until yesterday I pretty much used those words interchangeably.  However, it's been brought to light that guilt is a feeling of remorse for causing pain to others where shame is simply feeling that you are a bad person because you have done wrong.  
I have felt both guilt and shame a lot lately, but learning this distinction between the two made me realize that shame is definitely where I'm coming to a stand-still.  Someone on facebook posed the question a while back, 'What is your greatest fear?' and one person answered, 'to have my integrity questioned.'  That really struck me because I thought, yeah, that would really hurt me to the core.  

I am basically a 'good' person.  I'm not saying it to boast or brag, but in general I just try to do the 'right' thing, whatever that is and well, I'm not perfect.  Nobody is.  We all know this, yet I somehow thought I couldn't be swayed to go down the wrong path,but like I said, definitely not perfect over here! 

I don't want to dwell in this place of shame.  Jesus knows my heart.  He knows my struggles, he knows my thoughts (yikes, that's scary), but he also knows that I'm trying.  I think that's all we can really do in this life, keep trying.  I sit here and question if I was ever a good Godly woman (whatever that is, I don't even know), but in my heart I know that God forgave me the moment I asked.  It proves much more difficult to truly forgive myself.  

Saturday, September 17, 2016


What is honesty?  Apparently it's being good and truthful and having honorable intentions according to Merriam-webster.  The bible has about a bagillion scriptures on the importance of honesty, ok maybe not a bagillion, but a lot.  I've always prided myself on being a very honest person.  I actually really suck at lying, so it doesn't even make sense for me to attempt being dishonest.  I've also never believed in the statement 'ignorance is bliss'.  So basically, I had lied by omission to someone who I didn't really know, but I felt very strongly (after months of prayer etc) I needed to apologize to.  So I did.  It was terrifying, but it went much better than I could have ever imagined.

Now 2 months have passed since this apology and life is moving on as it tends to.  If I'm being honest (which isn't that what this is really about?) my soul is still healing and I'm sure will always be scarred.  Of course, these wounds are partially self-inflicted since I will be the first to admit that I am not blameless.  In all of this there comes a lot of reflection about everything and anything, but the main thing I keep coming back to is 'what is this life all about? What is the point?'  And I think my answer to that is the point for me is to continue to love others with my whole self, just as Jesus would.  It sounds cliche, but it would be very easy for me to say 'nope, I'm done with that, it leaves me too vulnerable to pain.'  However, I don't believe that's the path God has set out for me.  Yes, there is a right way and wrong way to go about loving people, but the fact that I care so deeply about people (although it can lead to a lot of pain) I think is really a blessing after all.  

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

8 Months is a Long Time

A lot has happened in the past 8 months.  A LOT.

I'm emotionally spent.  I am trying to scale back to an extent on what I pour myself into in order to really put a focus on my marriage and family.  I am still going to be the leader for our girl scout troop this year, but I am only doing the publicity position in MOPS and this is also my last year in MOPS.  I have taken on the role of membership something-or-another with the parent/teacher organization at school in order to stay more involved there.

This past year was such a tumultuous year for us and for me in particular.  I don't like a lot of what went on, but I do think that God saw me through a lot of tough times and is continuing to rebuild my heart and soul to give me the strength I once had.  I struggled a lot this year in dealing with Embry's less than stellar teacher because I felt like I was floating on a island all alone.  The staff was supportive, but only to the legal extent that they could be.  Some parents were supportive, but mostly to the extent that it affected their children.  I was concerned not only for my child, but all the kids to come through those doors in the future years.  The ultimate 'straw that broke the camel's back' wasn't from me and for that I'm actually kind of glad.  I'm not a spiteful person by nature.  I want to see the best in people.  I want to believe that everyone possesses good intentions.  I just had a really hard time with this teacher and reconciling the things she said and did with the fact that she was in a classroom with first graders and professed to love teaching.

In dealing with this issue, I developed some unhealthy relationships.  I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve and in looking back on things since this has been over and done for a while now I can see that I was longing for someone to stand up for me and with me.  I was in a vulnerable place and in that vulnerability I should have looked to God to fill my needs, but instead I turned to humans and I got burned...very badly.  So now I'm on a recovery mission.  A recovery of my heart, my spirit, my love of life, my marriage/family, and my trust in God.

A friend said that it's truly like I'm grieving and it really is.  But I'm not grieving something that was lost, I'm grieving something that never was. It will take time and hard work, but slowly I will become the best version of myself because God is greater than any hurt a human can inflict.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

My comfort zone

I did something this weekend that was completely out of my comfort zone.  It sent me right back to middle school.  The time when you feel awkward just existing and spend most of your time looking at the ground to try and blend in.  I'm talking about attending the souther Arizona Girl Scout volunteer conference on Saturday and then the camp certification training today.  

I'm used to being in places where I know at least one person, if not a whole bunch of people.  The more people I know the more at ease I feel to just be myself.  I hum jingle bells at all times of the year, I insert completely innapropriate comments into everyday conversation, and sometimes I laugh so hard I snot.  But that's just me and if I'm around people who know me, then they get that, and I don't feel much of a need to cover it up.  Then of course there are a few certain people, the inner circle if you will, that I can completely let my guard down around.  These are the ones who I don't need to 'impress' with dry humor and a happy face at every turn.  They get to see the real me.  The person who longs to feel attractive, who shamefully shops when she knows she promised not to, and the person who wants to be liked by everyone. 

I was honestly scared to death numerous times this weekend.  I was in a place with 70+ women, most of whom knew at least 1 other person there, and I was way out of my comfort zone.  I did meet some nice people, but there were so many times when I would arrive to a workshop first and pick a seat and then people would start trickling in and nobody would sit near me.  It really starts to give you a complex after a while.  Of course people did eventually sit by me and sometimes even talk to me *gasp* but I couldn't help
Feeling lonely.  

I always say I like being alone, but I guess I don't like being alone in a crowd of 70 people.  No man is an island right? 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

I'm totally suckin at this

Ha, oh well.  Sometimes I get in a rut and think, 'well what's the point of all this?  Does anyone even care?'  I guess it doesn't really matter because the point would be for my kids to get a glimpse back on their childhood through their mom's eyes someday or as a way for me to reflect on where I've been. 

Thirty-one has been ok so far!  The bad things that come to mind are 1) having pneumonia and an unidentified lung infection which was pure MISERY but that all got cleared up finally after taking super antibiotics (which also work on MRSA and the plague, it said so on the label) and 2) Nola is just more than I know how to handle sometimes.  I have recently started telling her that she is very 'contrary' as in, she disagrees with anything that is said, to which she will promptly reply, 'I AM NOT CONTRANARY!!!'  It's quite fun this whole game we have going on.  So she will be going to Miss Patty's Preschool 2 days a week from 9-2pm Monday and Wednesday starting on July 20.  Hopefully this structure she gets in preschool and the time away from me will be good for both of us!  Then the good things about 31 that come to mind are 1) cutting back (kind of) in MOPS to being just the fundraising co-coordinator so that I can be the troop leader for Embry's girl scout troop this year.  I'm excited to officially be a part of the fundraising team in MOPS and the Community Fair planning and prepping is in full swing (it's on August 1 this year).  Plus I've loved seeing Embry blossom in girl scouts this past year and I'm excited to take on a more active role in her troop in the next year.  We've decided to follow the nature journey for their combined daisy/brownie troop and hopefully we can do some nature exploring once the weather starts to cool off. 

We actually had professional pictures taken which I am so in love with!  I tried to get our whole family together (we were just missing one sibling) to get family pictures since the last ones we had were in 1995, but it could not be done.  It makes me so sad to think we will never get another family picture with my parents and siblings.  However I got some great ones of my kids and my parents etc.  Love them! 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

It's been a while

Well it's been an awfully loooong time since I've blogged.  I keep meaning to and then well life gets in the way, or laziness, or probably most likely a combo of both.  

October:  I turned 31.  I am officially 'in my thirties'.  Ugh, how depressing.  I never imagined I would look like this in my thirties.  I thought I'd be like Jennifer garner in '13 going on 30'.  I'd be thirty, flirty, and thriving!  Well, not so much.  Hmm, such is life.  I planned a girls night out at a new dinner movie theater in town called roadhouse cinemas to see 'gone girl' which we read in book club.  Besides the fact that the movie was rated 'R' and probably had some highly innappropriate scenes for the crowd I had invited and one of my friends ended up sitting in a wooden chair for 2.5 hours in the back of the theater due to an rsvp mix-up, it was overall a fun time.  

Then Nola turned 4, which is just crazy to think that she's 4 already!  I know everyone says that about their kids, but really it's insane!  I guess at 3 they still seem like toddlers but at 4 they've moved into the preschooler phase and it seems so much older.  She is so crazy and makes us laugh all the time.  She does weird voices and weird faces and weird poses, all for the sake of trying to be funny, but the great part is it actually is funny!

For Halloween the girls dressed up as Anna and Elsa from Frozen...surprise surprise! They were so cute!  Nola kept going up to people and saying, 'isn't my dress so beautiful?!'  Like I said, she's funny. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

July Happenings

For the 4th of July we went over to a friend's house to hang out with our young marrieds accountability group.  It was a lot of fun and it wasn't one of our kids who touched the hot end of a sparkler this year. 

The kids both got to spend a week at vacation bible school!  It was nice to have 3 kidless hours a day, but I spent most of it still at church working on things for the MOPS Community Fair.  Although that was kinda fun too :)  The kids got to put on a little performance after the week of VBS was over.  Nola was a hoot and decided to just sit down for one of the songs and since she was in the front row it was quite obvious.  She definitely has her own way of doing things! 

(pretending to be sad, but really we were doing a happy dance inside)

And since we are in a year round school district, Embry had her first day of Kindergarten!!!  Wow time flies huh?!  She's been pumped to go to school for about 2 years now, so she couldn't have been more excited to start.  She got into Vail Academy and High School via the lottery and we're really loving it there.  They have a 'letter of the week' each week, they can count to 100 and to 100 by 10's, they're learning lots of sight words, they are learning parts of sentence structure (Nouns, verbs, etc), syllables, and starting to count money.  I have gotten involved in a project that the high school economics teacher and the FBLA (future business leaders of America) started a few years ago called 'The Classroom Economy'.  It's geared towards K-5 graders and they earn fake money for doing tasks (or have to pay the money back after receiving fines) and each month they get to come into our 'store' and spend or save their money.  We had the first store day last week and it went really well!  Anyhow, Embry is loving school but she has had a few issues since starting.  She started out being really mean and just disagreeable once she was done with school for the day.  Anytime we asked about her day she would get very frustrated, but thanks to the advice of a few friends and former teachers, I've started giving her an hour or so to decompress after school everyday before I ask her anything about it and it's really helped.  The other thing she's struggling with is that she's consistently peed in her pants in school for about a week now.  At first it was just every once in a while which I kinda just chalked up to being in a new environment with new rules etc but now she's doing it everyday and I'm not sure what to do about it.  I think she's just afraid to ask the teacher if she can go, so I will bring that up at our parent/teacher conference on Thursday.  Her teacher is very nice, although I can see how she could be a little intimidating too.  I've volunteered in her classroom twice so far and it was way better than I had expected.  I imagined total choas, but it was really well structured and the kids actually seem to listen to the teacher which kind of floored me since I can't get anyone to listen to me at home and there's only 2 of them!!! 

The Pantano MOPS Community Fair went quite well.  We had a pretty good turnout and the weather was fantastic!  We had about 100 vendors, 5 food trucks, face painting, a jumping castle, pony rides, and Anna and Elsa from Frozen were there for photo ops!  The kids really enjoyed themselves and since Tony's mom was already down for Embry's first day of school, she got to come to the fair too! 

We also had family pictures taken!  July was an exciting month!