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.