Friday, December 31, 2010

Moving back to logical

Last year at this time, I was driving my Moutaineer that I had lovingly dubbed "the rusty clunker" it had almost 100,000 miles on it and it "clunked" when I put it into gear...
It was time to search for a new car, and search we did! I sold my truck and panic set in. I hadn't chosen a car, and countless hours of hunting for the perfect vehicle were turning up nothing I liked! I went 8 days without a car, and for a momma on the go, that was pure torture! The day FINALLY came where I decided I liked Escalades. It was amusing to me, because just a little under 2 years before, I was envying the Escalade a fellow school mom was driving; never dreaming that I would soon be getting one of my very own. It was a dream when we found one at a great price, that we were able to pay mostly cash for and have a small car payment to pay off the rest. Manageable. What a treat!
The day we brought our new car home

It's been almost a year now of driving this dream car, and I would be crazy if I said I didn't love it! I have an urging inside of me that keeps telling me it's extravagant and wasteful to have such a large vehicle when I am driving over an hour each day taking Acilia to school and bringing her home. I fill up the gas tank 2 times a week and every single time I go; my justification for having a gas guzzler diminishes. It also reallllly bugs me when I notice imperfections. The car is in great shape, but every little morsel that's left behind, every drip of wintery slush, every "jean dye scooch" I've left behind on the tan leather as I get out of the truck each time, it all just irks me! I am craving a practical, fuel efficient car that we can purchase for under what we paid for this truck, so we will have no car payment again.

I can't believe I am saying it, it's been on my heart for a while, and I have talked to hubby about it; he agrees. He's a very logical man but never once would urge me to get rid of something I love. Now here's the hard part. I love having the room of an SUV! I have room to fit 4 kids in my car and that comes in REALLY handy because my nieces and nephew love coming with us. I also love how high up we are, no back breaking to get my little guy in and out. I know it's just a luxury that I've gotten used to, and before SUV's I was a car loving girl; it will be an adjustment, but there has to be some sacrifice right? Can't have it all?

Matthew 6:19 "Do not lay up for yourself treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

Thursday, December 30, 2010

You Capture-Holiday faves


I technically could post my faves of the kids...which I will, but also, we took a hiking adventure in the snowy forest preserve during "Holiday Break" and the pics are to die for, so I must share those too! Sit back and enjoy! There are a lot!

My kids, Acilia 7 and Miles 2

My little guy Miles and his big cousin Joey 9...they both got police cars for Christmas! I absolutely adore how Miles is looking at Joey!

Cousins in matching PJS!

"It's raining presents!"

My kids showing some love to one another!

Our Winter hike!

Awesome crystalized snowflaks!


This is my favorite shot of the day!

My niece Kristin 3 needed a lift!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Matthew 7:7

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find..."

As 2010 comes to an end, I am reminded of where I was last year at the end of 2009. My marriage was not what I had ever thought it would be and I found myself making a personal resolution to decide the fate of my marriage during the next year. It was deep, it was dark and it was not a place I ever wanted to be, but there I was. Faced with the instinctual plan to leave my marriage in "search" of something that I felt was better for me and my kids. I did a lot of "seeking" last year, and the destination was not what I anticipated. I spent years of my marriage; with every single conflict I would ask myself "what am I doing married to this guy? We are an awful match" no matter what my husband did that was good, every. single. time. he did something that didn't fit how I felt I should be treated, I was quickly in my mind "leaving" the marriage. I was one foot in, one foot out at all times. My commitment to my marriage was void. I had convinced myself I had walked into my marriage blind and that I had made a mistake. I had even convinced myself that God felt the same way. Silly me. God advocates marriage. He brings people together to fill his vision of life. He brought me and Al together. But I was convinced he wanted us apart. Things had just gotten so bad, I couldn't see clearly. I was hurt and victimized and I just didn't have it in me to seek a solution other than dissolution. I was seeking. I was talking to God. I was really working to understand and find what God wanted for my life. I asked for a separation from Al. I told him that we could not go on the way we were. I had in my mind that we would be finished in the future and the separation was just the first step. Then it happened. I had a mental intervention that changed my view. I thought about life as a divorced woman and it suddenly didn't feel right anymore. It was a light switch moment. A God moment. Suddenly my commitment to my marriage had a completely different meaning. I was no longer "one foot in the door, and one foot out" I was about reconciling and understanding that though we were very different; that we were married and it was God's will that we stay married. I started the year seeking a surmountable change in my marriage. I was just a little fuzzy about what that meant. God knew. He held my hand through all of it, and patiently waited for me to piece together the puzzle. Then last night as I was reading the Bible; I came across Matthew 7:7 and it just all clicked. What a wonderful blessing!
Just for sharing purposes, this passage also spoke to me!

Matthew 5:3-12
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Belssed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called Sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in Heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you."

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas blessings.

I've always enjoyed Christmas. I love the tradition of running around to visit all of our family and I love love love seeing the joy on my children's faces! This year was different. I got into the spirit a little earlier than usual. I am the one who complains about Christmas music on the radio before Thanksgiving and refuses to put decor up until after Thanksgiving as well. This year was different. I enjoyed the music on hubby's birthday which was November 14th!! And the decor didn't make it up before Thanksgiving, but I sure thought about it! This year was different. I really stretched my faith and thought about and got excited about the true meaning of Christmas. Christ is the center of Christmas and I was glad to keep him there this year. It was sheer joy!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Feeling thankful

Today was a nice day. Al and I dropped the kids at my mom's house so they could play with their cousins and Al and I set out to finish Christmas shopping. I had done most of it, but Al likes to get his say on some things for the kids and I will admit, it melts my heart that he does that. I think it's sweet. :)
So, today; while enjoying quality time with hubby, I found myself just gazing at him; feeling thankful that a few months ago things changed for the better and instead of being in single mom territory this Christmas, I am in married, wife mode. I am thankful that God is always by my side allowing me to feel His presence and I am thankful that I am able to listen to what He has to say and apply it to my life. You can't go wrong when you listen to God!

Monday, December 20, 2010


I am going to admit here that I haven't been one to pick up a Bible in the past. I walked through life always saying there needed to be an "instruction manual" for life. I was blind. We have an instruction manual, it's the Holy pages of a book called the BIBLE. That realization struck me a while ago, I went ahead and purchased my very own bible and then it sat. I picked it up a few times, not knowing what I was looking for from it, and each time I read from it, I was left wondering and confused. The Bible is always here for me, as God is always with me and when God started urging my heart to pick it up and read it, I didn't fully fulfill his requests. I would pick it up, randomly choose a place to read, and then read. I would listen to sermons in church for verses that spoke to me then vow to look them up when I got home, but I never got around to it. I clearly wasn't utilizing the Bible in the way it's intended, and for that, I was walking around confused as to what I can do as a follower of Jesus. I needed to get to KNOW Jesus. When Al and I became members of St. John's last month, there was a class we participated in. I personally wasn't required to take it because I am already Lutheran, but I took it to be Al's partner as he stepped into unknown territory. I learned a lot from that class, and formed some direction for reading the Bible. I was thrilled when our pastor suggested Matthew, Mark, Luke and John to be of the first Books to read. John gets you well aquainted with Jesus. I had this new knowledge, but hadn't quite started to apply it. The Bible sat on my shelf, as my busy days passed by.
As you probably know if you read my blog, I have been struggling with some pretty intense anxiety over the last month. In the most recent weeks, I've been waking up far earlier than I would like. One morning I woke up in a panic, and I heard God tell me "Trust me". He comes to be in a calm, manly, assertive and loving voice. I have taken this time in the morning to crawl out of bed, and go down to read my Bible. The reason was because God urged me to read "Matthew 8". God's urging has continued each morning after and I have had passages come to me through God's voice as I sit and read them, I relate to the message that's coming to me. It's awesome. I feel like God is literally hand holding me as I walk through this book; learning about God and Life here on Earth.

Today was a great passage. I was urged to read "Ecclesiastes" I started with 1, but in 3, I was blown away by the concept of time.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Merry Christmas!

From our family to your's. Here's our 2010 Christmas card

Friday, December 17, 2010

Missing the baking gene

(Courtesy of Google Images)

This time of year officially marks "baking bonanza" for many people. I begrudgingly admit, I am NOT one of those people! I don't have a joy for baking, I don't have a baking bone in my body *unless you count the boxed muffins I keep in my pantry for "back up" when I have a need to feel domesticated.* I never gave it much thought, but this year, I am feeling like I am lacking. Facebook is the culprit. I keep reading status updates about people cheerfully baking their hearts out and I am left wondering what is wrong with me?? Is this a gene, I was supposed to get, but didn't? Have I been jipped? Part of me wants to try baking some cookies or something, to see if I can spring a mood inside of me, but then part of me wants to rebel and say I am NOT into baking and there is nothing wrong with that. Why do I feel guilty about it then?

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Well, another class complete. Psychology. Each class, the pressure raises a bit. I have straight A's and I want to keep on that path. I just completed my final and my shoulders are still tense...I keep reminding myself to relax and enjoy the end of another class. Another "check" off my list of classes to take before entering Nursing. Shew. Breath. Relax...until next month, when my next psychology class starts ;)
I am hoping by the end of these classes, I will be able to SPELL psychology without having to think about it! Tricky word ;)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Snowy Winter Day

I sit here today, with the urge to update, I've been wanting to update for a few days now, but my motivation is severely lacking. Not just with writing here, but with everything. I am struggling. I am a person that suffers from anxiety and a phobia and up until last spring, I was taking a daily med to keep my chemicals balanced. I weaned off my meds last spring, was feeling great. Until winter crept up on me and the stomach flu started going around. That's my phobia, the stomach flu and hearing about it all the time, has caused my anxiety to peak the last few weeks. I was trying to fight it alone. I was losing the fight. I decided it's not worth it to stay off the meds and feel anxious all the time! I started taking my meds again about 2 weeks ago. I've been struggling the last few weeks, waiting for my meds to kick in. I know they take three weeks, but it's just so much stress on my body to wait. I wake up every morning with a fresh dose of anxiety. I can't eat. I am literally forcing food down my throat because absolutely nothing appeals to me. I've lost weight. It's ironic because when I wanted to get off my meds back in spring, my motivation was because I had 20 pounds lingering from when Miles was born. I felt so good on my meds that I was "happily eating" all the time, instead of working weight off. Now, I have my way, I've lost my weight; but the cost has been agonizing.

So that's where I'm at. Each day is a struggle. I am counting down until the meds kick in, hoping it will only be one more week so I can get out of my own head and start thinking of others this Christmas season.

Friday, December 3, 2010

December 3rd

Al and I celebrate an anniversary today. One we call "Kidney-versary". One year ago today, I gave my kidney to him. ONE YEAR! It feels like just yesterday, but also feels like it was so long ago. We decided to celebrate the day. Kept Acilia home from school, Al took off work and we packed up and headed into the city. First we took the kids to Northwestern Hospital where surgery took place. Then we went for a carriage ride, then it was to the Hershey's store for some hot cocoa. We came home with pizza in tow and I was gifted a generous gift card to my favorite store! I don't expect every "kidney"versary to be this way, but it felt so nice to commemorate such a wonderful part of our lives. I would do it again in a second and I am still so honored that I got the chance to do this! It was a once in a lifetime experience and I am blown away that I was chosen by God to be this person for Al. :)

This is my "Be a Donor" tattoo meant to make inspiration from my scars.

Monday, November 29, 2010

At this time.

Last year at this time, Al had been on dialysis for 4 years. His body was going downhill fast and he was sicker and sicker by the day. I remember listening to KLOVE the week before Thanksgiving and they were asking callers to let them know what each were thankful for. I called in, and actually got through! I stated I was thankful that I had the kidney my husband so desperately needed and we were short weeks away from transplant day. As dire as Al's health seemed, there was light at the end of the tunnel. Our surgery was scheduled and we were doing it! The days of dialysis were still daunting, but hopeful that the end would bring a whole new life for Al. This year KLOVE was again asking callers to phone in their thanks. I was in the car driving by myself one night and a caller shared her story. Her 31 year old husband had received devastating news that he was in End Stage Renal Failure. I remembered those words when Al was given his diagnosis. They are ugly words that I hope and pray no one would have to hear. The caller went on to say she was thankful that her husband would be coming home to be with them all for Thanksgiving. That was exactly what I did on dialysis. I hung on tight to the things that made our life "normal" and we fought through the things that dialysis had brought into our lives that were so. not. normal. I remember the monthly deliveries. Our home would fill up with thousands of pounds of solution to be used to flush Al's peritoneal cavity of all the toxins that built up when you have no working kidneys'. I remember the night where he would have to hook up to the machine early in the evening, pulling his time away from his family to time spent in bed. I remember Christmas mornings where the kids would be excited to go downstairs, but we would patiently wait for one of daddy's dialysis cycles to complete so he could join us downstairs for opening of presents! When we were doing it, we managed it all quite well. Now that I look back, I think how did we EVER manage? We did get through it, and we are here almost exactly a year after transplant and living a completely different life that not one moment is taken for granted!! I am so thankful that I had in my body what my husband needed, and that we both got through our surgeries, healed and went back to a normal life. For me it was days, but for Al it had been YEARS since he got to live a normal life. I look back to last year at this time, not quite knowing what was to come, but so very excited at the possibility that our family would grow in unthinkable ways and we would all come out on the other side thankful and gracious at the amazing gift we all received. I am thankful. I am hopeful. I am still in awe that it even happened to us!! I pray that this kidney lasts far beyond the first year we are nearing, and that we all grow stronger each time we are graced with another beautiful yet tedious challenge!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


A few months ago I was fully prepared to be moving into the single mom territory. My marriage had gotten that bad and I was mentally focused on tackling the job of raising my two adorable and awesome children on my own. I sit here today and feel thankfully blessed that I am not actually a single mom, but one that has bonded with my husband in a whole new way. And moreso that my husband has bonded with my children in a whole new way. Today has been rough. The last few weeks have been rough. I am literally crawling out of my own skin most of the time lately and I am driving myself nuts. The absolute worst thing for me right now is to be sitting at home all day. Today, has been one of those days. My daughter has a spotty sore throat and it's against her best interst to get out and about. So we were here. All, day. I lied, I got to go to class this morning, but mostly we've been here all day. Kids are still in jammies. My house is a wreck from the kids playing all day. And I am clawing, internally screaming, LET ME OUT!!!!!!! It's a horrible cycle. But it's my cycle and until I figure it out, I have to just do what I can to manage. Hubby will be home soon. (Read 7PM) so I stepped out of my comfort and texted him to ask if he would mind if I got out for a bit when he gets home. To my blissful suprise he said sure no problem! To which I replied "YOU. ARE. THE. BEST!" I meant it. He is being supportive of my need to get away and take a break and that is invaluable to me (I would imagine to any mom who stays home!!)
Thank you hubby. I mean it. You have saved me from myself today!

(I shall probably get off of here and clean up a bit, or he will wonder what I was doing all day! LOL!!)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sunday November 14th

Yesterday was a big day for our family. I have been married to my husband for 6 years. To say we started out backwards and upside down is an understatement. To add to the intensity of our marriage, a few years ago I went through a major Spiritual change in my life and really explored who I was, and who I want to be. The changes I have made have not been easy on my relationship because for my husband I had changed into someone completely different. In his words "boring". God knew what he was doing. I was fulfilled with enough confidence to continue on my journey of self discovery and to believe that some day in the future, all would work out. Two years ago I started attending church regularly. I grew up a Lutheran, have gone to a Lutheran church my whole life, but it was because I was "forced" (lack of better word) to go; not because I wanted to go. I would sit there in church, bored and looking at my clock to countdown to the end. Times have changed. I have gained such a beautiful relationship with church and with God and I truly deep down whole heartedly enjoy going each week. Acilia my daughter and I had a routine each Sunday. We would leave the house, go pick up my mom and the three of us would attend church together. We all enjoyed it and afterwards we went for lunch. It was great. But something was missing. Multiple times I would sit and survey the church attendees. Many different family dynamics but mostly there were families. Including the mother, father and children. I sat and envied those families. I wanted my husband with me at church. My husband grew up Catholic and at this point in our lives was not practicing religion on Sunday's. He was staying home with our son on Sundays. We were a split family and that didn't feel good. God agreed. As you may know at the end of the school year last year, we started seeking a new school for Acilia to attend. She was attending a Lutheran school in Wheaton. I asked my husband to join me on the journey of finding a new school for her. We looked at public schools and we looked at other private schools in the area. We visited a Lutheran school in Lombard which happens to be quite a drive from our house. We loved it at first impression though and I felt it was only right to try out the church there too. If Al liked it, we could possibly start attending as a family. Words can not describe our first experience at that church. It was a Spiritual fountain of happiness and goodness that we all felt as a family! We made the decision to start sending Acilia to the school come the beginning of a new school year and we had decided as a family to regularly attend the church through the summer. If Al thought it all felt right, we would take the New Members class that started in September and God Willing become members in November. Yesterday was the day we became members of the church. We became members of the church as a FAMILY. It means SO MUCH to me that God guided us. He never fails! Yesterday was my husband's birthday. On his birthday he was confirmed Lutheran with this bible verse: "When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12
What a blessed day for all of us! Here is a picture I took of Al as he was confirmed. It's awful quality; I only had my phone on me to snap pics!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Life flash!

I was driving on the expressway today, alone; just me and my radio. I have been driving for 15 years. I know the signs of the roads, I follow the rules, not a daring driver. So when I approached a ramp at almost 70 in a 65 I started to slow down as I got on the ramp. I noted a sign that said 25 mph and then I saw a white cross on the side of the road. After that my car started to fishtail and I realized I was NOT going 25 (didn't even have time to get down to that slow) and I was on a road with two ditches on either side of me. The sign and the cross flashed again as I struggled to gain control of my truck. It all happened in a few seconds but the aftermath was riveting. My adrenaline was going. I was shaking and then I started crying and then the radio seemed so loud I had to turn it off. I suddenly felt very alone and thought about how I would have felt if I had landed in the ditch if it was even something I would have survived. I truly had never felt such a scared feeling in my life. My life flashed and I felt as though my world came to a crashing halt. I eagerly worked to gain control of myself again. I thought of making a call to tell someone. That's my human nature at work. If something happens to me I immediately feel the need to share the news. I didn't this time. I was so scared and I was still crying. I took those moments to be with God. God was with me the whole time. I am certain God granted me a miracle today. A miracle that allowed me to gain control of my truck as it fish tailed out of my control. I was inches from the ditches and I really was taken aback at how differently it *could* have been.
I saw a semi in a ditch on a ramp when I was driving home tonight. Not sure of the outcome of that driver but it was pretty beaten up. It yet again occured to me how differently my ramp experience *could* have been.

Friday, November 5, 2010

You Capture! - Serene



I gave this challenge some thought. I noted in my mind how serene could be found abundantly in nature. I wanted to further challenge myself though and think about what brings me true Serenity. This word means so much to me. I work to achieve serenity in my heart and in my family and in life in general. It dawned on me though, Serenity is not from anything manmade. It's a peace and understanding and a TRUST that I find only in one place. I find it in my Heavenly Father. When I unlocked that Truth; it made perfect sense to me to use the cross wall in my bedroom. That wall brings me so much peace and happniness and Serenity. Delightful coincidence: One of my crosses has the "Serenity Prayer" engraved in it. That cross was a gift from my mom. I chose to edit my picture in a way that highlights the word Serenity. Do you see it? Enjoy!

"Serenity Prayer"
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;

Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

--Reinhold Niebuhr

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

30 to be

My 30th birthday is a mere 4 days away. I am not exactly counting down the days; I am however, reflecting. Reflecting on how blessed I feel to have the life I have. To have the opportunities I've had. To follow the dreams I have and to have the people in my life that matter so much. I am blessed to be the mother of two amazing children. Kids that make me laugh, and make me smile and make my heart melt. I am blessed to have a husband that for better or worse has given me another chance. I am blessed that I had a kidney inside of me that was a match for my spouse and better yet that December 3rd marks one year since the amazing God orchestrated day that I was able to give my husband his life back. I am blessed to have a mom that I can call my best friend and to have a dad whom I have finally come to appreciate and now I have the chance to see his grandfather side. Which I happen to think is a great side to him. I am blessed to have an awesome brother who always looks out for his little sister. And that he married someone that I get along with so well and between the 4 of us we have created a dynamic of friendship with our 6 kids that is sure to bond them all for life even though they attend different schools. I am most of all blessed that I have come to really appreciate what Jesus Christ has done for me and have my heart opened up to receive an outstanding relationship with God. One where He guides me and holds me and comforts me at all times, especially those times where things seem dark. I have learned so much in my 20's, I know it's just the beginning. I am so excited to see what my 30's bring and to reflect back on the next 10 years to reveal other amazing blessings that are to come in my life.

Monday, November 1, 2010

You capture!- Halloween


Halloween was splendid this year!
Hubby and I ready for a Halloween Party

My nephew Joey, I love the action in this shot!

The monarch butterflies, my niece Kate and my daughter Acilia
My hubby being one with the tree :)

My son Miles, the firefighter :)
Family Pic
Acilia, my daughter
The best for last, this is my favorite capture from Halloween 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

The one....

The one it WON'T be.
So, after my little "disgruntled" post about Christmas cards, I decided to just dive in and get the picture taking out of the way. The kids totally didn't cooperate, but surprisingly I got GREAT pictures anyway!! I took the pics and went onto Vistaprint, and made not one, but TWO cards. It's a sickness I have :) I need to compare and contrast the finished product and then pick the best of the two. Unless of course you love them BOTH and then you have to ask your husband which HE would choose, and then, wouldn't you know you suddenly like the one he DIDN'T choose better than the one he did. Yup. I add way more stress to my life don't I ? Well, I decided to go with the one he chose, since I asked his opinion and it's my pet peeve when someone asks an opinion and then does the exact opposite. What choice did I have?

Here is the card I *DIDN'T* use and please note, those that DO get Christmas cards from me, pay no attention to the pictures, since then they will look familiar when you get your card ;)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Christmas Card

I take great pride in outdoing my creativity each year for Christmas cards. I always create a "scene" for a picture, place my children in the scene and then add it to a card on Vistaprint and from there, I sign, seal and deliver them. (Orsomethinglikethat)
Previous years, I have enjoyed the outcome. I lied, I have ADORED the outcome. I can explain all day how they looked, but, I will just show you...

Christmas 2006, Acilia and our two dogs Remo and Franko (excuse the glare please!)

Christmas 2007, my 7 months preggo belly and our daughter kissing her brother
Christmas 2008 Miles and Acilia reading the Christmas books that *I* got each year for Christmas as a child.

so, here's my dilemma, how do I compete with those?!? I am considering seeking ideas from the good old Internet, and it kills me! I should have enough creativity to continue with my joy of Christmas cards, but I'm afraid I've already done it all and there is no room to grow. New camera this year, new editing software, the possibilities are endless, but I am limiting myself to my mind blank. Oh the pressure!! (Stay tuned, I promise once the cards go out, I will post it here!!)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Blogging about the purple elephant in my life

Well, I've had blog block lately. I have posted a few simple type posts over the last few months, but nothing in depth. In truth, I had shut my feelings out to the world and when you are blogging, that isn't conducive to sharing your thoughts. My husband Al and I have been through the wringer and I am hoping the experience of it all is the rock bottom of our marriage. I could sit here all day and discuss all the things wrong with our marriage and our lack of compatibility but in truth, that means nothing today. As I move forward, I will share a little bit about the past, and more about the hopeful future.

A little over a month ago, I told my husband I felt the desperate need for us to separate. I went into the discussion fully expecting him to be on board with it, and in complete agreement. I was so sure I had *his* feelings figured out in my head and had completely convinced myself he felt the exact same way I did. He didn't. He had more to give to this marriage. That was a turning point for me. I started to feel as though my decision to separate was more of a selfish feeling, than of one that must happen. I went from feeling as though I had no choice, to feeling there was a choice. I went from feeling hopeless, to feeling hopeFUL. I have been praying through this entire journey and looking back, God has been with me each and every step of the way. I am hopeful that God will always be there for me, and that is directly related to His promise to be there and to never leave me alone. I started to feel a new sense of commitment to this marriage. I have many thoughts and feelings, but my conclusion is; unless I have tried every single avenue to save a marriage, then it is not worth leaving it. I have discovered many things about myself and have decided no matter whom I am with as a life partner, these things will haunt me until I learn to release those things, to not allow them to be roadblocks to my heart. I also have discovered that our way of doing everything backwards and upside down in our relationship has finally caught up with us and what it did was set us up for failure. I am holding on to find the tools to building a successful marriage and moving forward, leaving our mistakes behind.

There is no way to predict the future, but I do know I have a new commitment to my family that I have never had before and for that, I am beyond blessed to have discovered a necessary fact in my life. I am hoping now I can begin to get back on track with freely expressing my feelings on this blog, I am a writer, it's therapeutic for me and to have this place to share my thoughts and feelings is just awesome for me.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

You Capture! - Orange



This tractor on top of a silo looked so silly up there, but screamed at me this is my "Orange YOU CAPTURE!" so, it was photographed :) Led me to wonder how many other times that tractor on top of a silo was photographed! Probably too many to count!

And some more orange, because October happens to be THE best month to capture such a color :)

My pumpkin hat kids giggling with delight!

So glad my nephew Caleb happened to have orange in his hat, because this is quite a cool pic if I do say so myself!

Hubby sporting orange is a rather "hot" way! :)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bubbling over!

Today is met with a new zest for life! I spent the morning outside with my good friend Liza. I had a bit of time to wait before she arrived and I took that time to pray and show thanks for this truly beautiful Fall day. The sky is blue, the breeze is crisp with a touch of warmth, the colors are more vibrant by the hour. It's just a gift from above kind of day. I adore nature. It's so therapeutic to me to be outside walking. I could walk all day and to have a friend with me while walking; to talk to is just the picture of perfection! I am feeling thankful again. I am feeling hopeful again. I am feeling cheerful again.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Seeking and hurting

I am going through the motions each day. It's been a rough few weeks. And so much more. I am finding it harder to wake up each morning, and finding less satisfaction in each piece of food that enters my mouth. I seek food; yet nothing appeals to me. I am seeking a smile; yet the smile is unfulfilling. I am seeking answers; getting more questions. I have said so many times before my brain can not handle anymore than it's already handling, and then it takes on more. I am throwing my hands up. God show me the way. I am seeking you in prayer, I know you are there, I know you feel my hurt and my questions and I know each precious gift you give will be revealed as you see it to be time. I am struggling to accept that deep down. It's the human trait of needing my requests fulfilled NOW. And I am shamelessly impatient. Lead me, Guide me, Help me.

Friday, September 24, 2010


We went to Mexico, got back Monday night. It was an amazing trip! We stayed at a beautiful resort in Puerto Vallarta and witnessed my cousin getting married on the beach! I took sooooooooo many pictures (over 300) I will definitely share some of them soon but I must admit I've been LAZY! I can't muster energy lately! It's mostly the last few days since we got back, I've been depressed that the trip is over. It's funny because last week; anticipating the trip I actually thought about backing out of the whole thing a few times. I was nervous (AND excited, but nerves would creep in once in a while) and now, it's over, I want to go back!! I want to go back! ! I want to go back! ! ! ! ! ! ! For now, just lazy though...hopefully it will pass soon!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

You Capture- FLOWERS!


How fun!! We went to Mexico last week, returned Monday night and I just so happen to have caught a few pics of the beautiful flowers in Puerto Vallarta!!

Yes, I know this last picture is not technically a flower, it's a palm tree, but it's close enough where I felt like I could sneak it in, just on fact that it's a cool pic ;)

Saturday, September 11, 2010


A day that I am certain that most everyone in this country can recall exactly where they were; at exactly the time that the first plane struck the first tower. It's a somber day. I reflect on two things today. One of them being how special to me it is to have an anniversary to commemorate America, the unity that does peek in every now and again and most of all support our troops. The families that have close relatives in combat as I type this, most likely *never* forget. Each day, each hour, each minute they are reminded of their loved one who they hope and pray they see again someday. The rest of us? We go about our days. It's natural really, if you aren't directly impacted by something; it most likely doesn't affect your daily living. Today though, every American stops to think about the impact of that day. We all reflect. In our own way. 9/11 is a horrible, tragic piece of history. It will always force us "Never to Forget".

Another point I am reflecting upon today is the controversy surrounding a Pastor. I can't believe that "Controversy" and "Christian Pastor" are even in the same context, but the truth is; they are. Said Pastor had planned to burn the Muslim Bible as a form of protest. This perturbs me beyond what I can comprehend. It is my belief that Christians love one another; because we have been saved by the Grace of God through Jesus Christ. Love one another. Beyond my wildest dreams, burning one whole Religion's Sacred Book does not show love to me. It just doesn't. I can't even really see where he was coming from. A regular everyday American, it wouldn't surprise me. There are radical acts in all of us from one time to another. But it really lets me down that a Pastor would take this step. Pastor's make mistakes too; but there is a certain understanding that when you take a position that sets you apart from others, you will take it seriously and be a model of strength and morals in your position. Sort of like when you become a parent. You just want to do better because your children are watching at all times. I am not too out spoken about things I don't feel I have "done my homework" on but this one just rubs me the wrong way and I know that he has gone back on his word and has stated he will not be burning the Quaran. But is that enough? Is the damage now already done? It saddened me that the time has come that we must fear protests on a day that is meant to be a united day. A day of peace and reflection and love and memory and prayer and kindness.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

My purpose

I had a pretty cool revelation the other day. I was listening to Max Lucado speaking on KLOVE and it hit me. My purpose is to advocate life. It felt so neat to sit and reflect on what that meant exactly. Some things in this post may come off as "braggy" and that is not at all my intention. I am just sort of taking "tabs" of what I've done that God has so clearly guided me on that I didn't even realize at the time.

Let's start with my stance on Abortion. I have always under all circumstances felt that choosing life for the unborn child is a must. I know there are situations where it would be "best" to terminate. However, God will judge that criteria. It's not up to us. I was tested on that theory when I got pregnant for the first time. It was an unplanned pregnancy and flipped my life upside down. I was caught off guard. I had always thought I would handle an unplanned pregnancy so much differently. The truth is; I explored all options. Even that dreaded A word. Thinking back it makes me cringe, but it was a process and one I am glad I had the chance to walk. I can't specifically state what I would do, unless I've been put in the position and without a doubt I was put in the situation and had the "wand waved" at me that abortion could be an appealing option based on what was going on. I chose life. I'm happy with my choice!

I believe I got pregnant because of another one of my "promote life" experiences. I was working daycare with my mom and a family came to us that had a 17 month old adopted child. I was so pulled into their story of how tough the road to adoption was and I really felt the urge to help families that could not have children. I started doing some research and was lead to egg donation. This past July marked 8 years since I donated my eggs to a couple so they could go on to have a beautiful red headed little girl. A mere 3 months later I, myself was pregnant. I believe it was the hormones that made me more fertile.
Life was created.

Just this past December. I donated a kidney to my husband, so he himself could get his life back.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


You know the kind of decisions that are easy to make. I can make those pretty quickly. It's the decisions that literally change every part of your life that are harder to come by the answers. You can pray and pray and pray for the answers, and I truly believe sometimes God wants you to find the answers on your own. He will guide you through messages in your days, through things that happen during the process, through "signs" that come to you. All of those in place, sometimes the decision is still hard to make. Why? Because that decision may not be the socially acceptable decision. Think about it. Why do something you *know* is viewed wrong. Why sometimes does the *wrong* decision seem like the only decision. Deep down, your heart speaks to you. Your head and your heart work hard to be in line with one another and when that happens, a decision is easy to come by. When your head tells you one thing, and your heart keeps urging you otherwise. The decision is harder to come by. It's agony, it's draining, it's one of those things that no one can give you the answer to. You pray and ask for more signs and peace and serenity. And then the decision does come. The decision that could have come so easily if you had just pushed aside all of the reservations that come into play. You clear it all out, you simplify and just quiet your life, and listen. Listen for what brings your heart peace. Then your decision is made. Sometimes that's not enough. Sometimes the decision is questioned by others. It's questioned by you. You know it's what has to be done, but what if it's the wrong decision? I am at that point. My decision has been made (don't ask what it is, I'm not ready to share). The decision is made. It's right. It feels right. I finally have peace. It's right. I've been asked to think about it; to ponder it even more. Do I have anything left to give? My decision has been made. The second guess question was not greeted well by me, but now that I have even further pondered it than I ever thought I could ponder anything, it's made. That decision. I have to believe it's what God sees for me. I have to believe it, because no one can grant me peace like God can. I have that peace. I am holding on to the peace, and trusting the right decision has been made.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Hey Second Grader!

Acilia started second grade last Wednesday. Her first day was a half day and I stayed for the first hour as the kids attended chapel. She loved it! She thinks her teacher is so nice and she met a new friend.

The second day was a little harder. It was the first "full day" and Acilia said she didn't feel ready to stay all day. Good bye was tough, she was near tears and she "leeched onto me" when I hugged her good bye.

I decided to come packed with a punch the next day. We played a board game before bed and I had the brilliant idea to have a "secret good bye" with Acilia to ease her into saying good bye me and hello to her day in a smooth way. We talked about ideas that would work, we settled on doing a quick game of thumb war at the door and then giving each other a high five and then a kiss and a hug and a "have a good day, I love you!"

The third day of school came, she was excited to try our new "secret good bye" it worked like a charm! She said good bye and with a smile on her face, she went inside her class :)

My sweet little girl!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

You capture! Outside


I had high hopes for this week's You Capture!! My husband and I celebrated 6 years of marriage on Friday and I took my camera on our "row boat adventure" I caught some great shots, but you won't be seeing them, due to the fact that the computer I hold my pictures on is not cooperating. Boo!
The good news is, I have two great shots I would like to share, one of them infact IS from our "row boat adventure" that I happened to use as my Facebook profile pic and the other is my screen saver. So luckily I have these on my laptop to share with you!