Monday, March 14, 2016

Life Changes In Just a Year.

It has been nearly a year since I've last blogged.

On April 1, 2015, right after my last post, Katie hurt her knee (Mr. C and Bren were in Arizona playing golf when it happened). We went through a few months of PT, crutches, etc. and thought all was well, but we were wrong. We went back to the doctor in July, were referred to Children's Hospital in Denver, and ultimately ended up in surgery on October 15. She recovered, but then began to display symptoms of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. Blood work keeps coming back normal, but she is still having symptoms.

She is thriving and doing well in school. She has grown so much this past year, both physically and emotionally. I amazed by her strength and positive attitude.

Brendan is doing well. He turned 16 in December, which means he is driving. This is both a blessing and a curse. His golf game is excellent, and school is going well. We are so proud of him, and how strong he is. He has dealt with some unkind and unscrupulous people in golf. It has been a learning experience for him, and has made him stronger. I just keep telling him that he is learning how NOT to treat people.

My beloved little Sadie Pug passed away in August. She began getting sick in the summer, and I finally took her to the doctor at the beginning of August, only to discover she had cancer in her throat. She lasted a couple more weeks, and passed away at the age of 12. My heart was shattered. We found another little Pug a month or so later. He was at a rescue in Denver, and they bent all of their rules to get him to us. We named him Oliver (Ollie). He is approximately 5 years old, and oh, how I adore him. Bella really missed Sadie, and was happy to have another little smushy-faced playmate in the house.

Probably the biggest change in my life is that I went back to work. I love it. My office is in the library, so I get to go there every day, which is awesome! I have really enjoyed being back on a schedule and in a routine. The family has had to adjust, but so far things are going well, and the kids have been real troopers. I work with the BEST people, and just feel so blessed to be there.

I will update more soon! Things are going to be busy the next couple of weeks, but I promise I will be back.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday Favorite!

Another product recommendation: 

Several months ago I saw the Fabletics had come across my FB feed. I checked out their stuff, but they didn't have my size (they only had small sizes available), so I didn't order. A couple of weeks ago I revisited their website, and was pleased to find they had added my size to their workout clothing line! My order arrived yesterday, and I LOVE THEM!!!!! The capris fit perfectly, the fabric is the perfect thickness, and were very comfortable. The tank with built-in bra actually fit well enough to NOT require another sports bra underneath. For a chesty girl, this is a rare thing.

This is the outfit I ordered. 

If you join their VIP club, your first outfit is discounted significantly, but you will need to opt out, or place an order each month by the 5th or they charge your card $50 (which then leaves you with a credit for a later purchase). They also sell single pieces, if you don't want an entire outfit. If you opt out, there are no charges that month. If you're looking for some comfy, quality workout gear, go look at their website.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Judge Not...

I am a fairly non-judgmental person. 

I don't pretend to know anyone else's heart or motives, 
so I try to be gentle when people mess up. 
I mean, we've all been there, right?

I have not always been so kind...
or forgiving.
I usually held my most harsh feelings toward
people who had committed what I felt was the worst crime...

In my life I have seen and felt the pain caused by this.
It is devastating,
It leads to lying and betrayal.
And hurts everyone in its path.
Nobody comes out unscathed.

There was a time in my life
many years ago
when I actually refused to support
anyone who I knew had cheated.
I wouldn't watch Jim Carrey movies,
or listen to Bruce Springsteen,
or watch a Brad Pitt / Angelina Jolie production.

And then something happened...

I had a dear friend who messed up.
And he was too ashamed to tell me because he thought I'd hate him.
I was stunned, because I didn't hate anyone.
I certainly could never hate my friend anyway.

But I'd judged others harshly for the same mistake.
And I had been anything but kind and loving with their situations.
So he had no reason to believe that I wouldn't 
judge him with as little kindness as I had them.

That really shook me.
And forced me to evaluate my heart.

As time passed, all of my little grudges slowly went away.
In fact, it is an inside joke between Mr. C and I.
I have a very dry sense of humor, and we always tease about it.
So if you've heard me say I won't listen to Bruce,
or watch the Jolie-Pitt duo,
or laugh at Jim Carrey,
please know it was 

I am all about forgiveness, second chances, and redemption.
There is not a soul among us who hasn't messed up at some point.

We all need 

Well, all of us except...
Tom Brady.
for another woman
(It doesn't matter that that woman was Gisele Bundchen),
so he is obviously scum, right?

When the Superbowl was decided this year,
and the Patriots made it,
I realized I still held very harsh feelings toward
Mr. Brady.
I don't know him, or his heart, or his situation,
But I still felt justified in disliking him.

One of my friends is a huge fan of the Patriots,
and I teased him that I just cannot support his QB.
I even mentioned that I loathed this particular player.
Yes, I realize I am proving how awful of a person I can be.
And this friend replied that I was too nice to loathe anyone,
even if he HAD left his pregnant girlfriend.

I replied that I guess I'm not that nice... 

And then I realized that, although I had thought I'd changed,
and loved everyone, and forgave when needed,
I was still that same judgmental person I thought I'd left behind.
Because if I judge even one person (even THAT person),
I'm still unkind.

So I began to think.
A lot.
And I realized that Mr. Brady was most likely not the
villain I'd always considered him.
And I felt that what I needed to do was
see him as a person.

Just a man...
who isn't perfect.
I'm certainly not perfect, 
so why should I have expected that from
anyone else?

I decided the best way to see him in a kinder light
was to become acquainted with him
so to speak.

So I clicked the "LIKE" button on his FB page.
I began to see him as a husband and father.
He obviously adores his family.
He actually writes really cheesy and cute
things about his wife.
He is pretty funny and not afraid to make fun of himself.

So, I want my friend Mel to know that he is right.
I'm not mean enough to loathe anyone any more.

We're all just struggling to get through life.
I don't want to be one of the people knocking anyone else down.

But don't expect me to be a Patriots fan.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Friday Favorite! Lisa Leonard Designs

is based in San Luis Obispo, California.

She makes beautiful pieces of jewelry.

This is my favorite bracelet.

Every time I wear it,
someone makes a comment about its beauty.

She also has a complete line of jewelry for your
Word of the Year, as well!

Go check her out.

PS - This is in no way sponsored by Lisa Leonard Designs. I have posted about her company before, each time without compensation (or permission, for that matter). :)

Thursday, January 08, 2015

How Will I Be Remembered?

We attended two funerals this week. Both for men we did not know (each was the father of a friend). Each service still managed to touch me in a significant way.

The first funeral was on Saturday. Katie's friend lost his grandfather. The little boy had texted her a few days after Christmas asking her to have a playdate, but she had been sick. She responded the next day and said when she was well, she could come over. He called a short while later and told her his grandfather had passed away that morning. The service was held at St. Mary's. Katie not only attended, the family included her in the program as one of the children carrying the gifts to the front of the cathedral. She walked in with the family, and when I saw her, I noticed she was walking with her friend, and holding his hand. She sat next to him throughout the funeral, helped him kneel, stand, and sit when appropriate. The love and care she displayed at the tender age of 9 was something I will always remember about her. Katie is a fun-loving and happy child, but she also has a tremendous capacity to love. She has a nurturing heart, and she loves deeply.

The second service we attended was this morning. The gentleman was the father of one of Mr. C's childhood friends. This man was a father of five, and a grandfather. They did a 10-minute slide presentation of photos from his life. What a beautiful life it was. I saw photos of the man and his wife, with his children, and with his grandchildren. Always a smile on his face, never afraid of being silly. In fact, the photos people responded to the most were the funny ones. Having never met this man, I was surprised that I became teary-eyed several times.

As I listened to the pastor's eulogy, he made a statement that really hit me,

"Every one of us will eventually be in the same place this man is - people will pay their respects to our families, and they will remember each of us." 

Wow. Talk about a wake-up call. I have often heard people comment on how they'd like to be remembered...but is that how they WILL be remembered? I'd like to be remembered as young, vibrant, beautiful, and thin - but I am none of those so that is not going to happen. However, I feel I am joyful, caring, loving, and happy - and hopefully others see that in me, and will remember those things. I left the service determined to really focus on the qualities I want my children to think of when they think of me.

I also know some areas I need to improve. I am an introvert. I need alone-time to recharge. I don't do well in groups because I get so nervous, and I don't reach out to my friends as often as I should. It isn't that I don't think of them (I do - all the time), or that I don't want to spend time with them, but I fail miserably at keeping in touch, and scheduling visits. We, as a couple, don't socialize enough with others. This is a big area I need to work on. I love so deeply, but I fail at putting that into action.

My One Little Word for 2015 is SHINE. My goal is to shine physically, spiritually, and in my friendships. I want for the ones most dear to me to know they are loved and valued.

I am taking steps to make this happen.

Physically: I set up a session with a trainer at the gym today. I am going to get back into shape, and get my back strengthened again.

Spiritually: I am always working on this. My back issues have prohibited me from attending church regularly (the pews KILL my back), so I feel I am losing touch with my faith. I am going to get back to a regular schedule of study and prayer.

Friendships:  I am going to make a better effort at keeping in touch, whether it be sending a card, a short electronic note, a visit, or a phone call. My goal is to contact at least two friends each week for this entire year. And they can't all be the same friends. It may be that I send a PM to someone who made me smile via something they put on FB, or someone who inspires me. It may not even be someone I know personally (we can all use a little pat on the back occasionally, right?). I just want to reach out and let them know they have touched me in some way.

Happy 2015, my friends. I think it is going to be a great year.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

20 Years

20 Years
240 Months
1,044 Weeks
7,305 Days
175,320 Hours
10,519,200 Minutes
631,152,070 Seconds
...and counting.

Happy 20th Anniversary, Mr. C.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Spring, Summer, and Fall

October came from out of nowhere.

I spent the summer rehabbing my back. It has been a longer recovery than I ever anticipated. I am doing much better, except for the muscle spasms. They have become much less frequent, and I mainly only have issues when I lay down or try to get up. If I am up and moving, I am fine.

August was a rough month for me. My father was diagnosed with cancer. Due to some confusion over treatment facilities, doctors, etc., he didn't get a clear treatment plan until last week, but it is one he is comfortable with, so I'm grateful for that. He will be undergoing 8 weeks of radiation, beginning at the end of October.

For someone who craves routine, security, and calm, this news really shook me to the core. I've felt somewhat adrift lately. I loathe that feeling. In addition, Mr. C has been dealing with some stressful projects/clients/contractors at work, and has been gone a lot.

This news has also caused me to struggle with religion. Not my FAITH - my religion. I converted to Mr. C's church after we married. After all he had done for me and the boys, it was really the only thing he requested of me. But this has been an ongoing issue for me - it is not easy to make a change like that. I've thought of returning to my church several times through the years, but every time I'd bring it up, Mr. Cwould become upset. After my father's diagnosis, I once again began to feel the pull to return to my former religion. Mr. C has been gone so much, and when he has been home he has been stressed, so I haven't been able to talk with him until last night. I was afraid he'd be upset with me, but he wasn't. It is amazing how much we grow and change through the years, isn't it? It still isn't an option for me, but at least he was able to talk with me about everything, and was very supportive. Somehow we always manage to come to a compromise on this issue.

And to top everything off, the kidlets went back to school at the end of August. Those who know me well, know this is always a sad time for me. I wish I could homeschool. Mr. C says he loves me very much, but patience is not my gift, so homeschooling would be frustrating for all of us. They are both doing well in their classes, and Brendan had adjusted easily to High School.

With the return of school, came the opportunity for Bren to join the HS golf team. He did quite well, and will receive his Varsity letter this Wednesday evening. He played in a couple of JV tournaments, and three varsity tournaments. He improved so much this summer! Now he just needs to gain some muscle weight, and he'll be able to drive it further, which will help his scores even more. One of the senior teammates is going to start a weight program with Bren during the offseason so he will be ready for spring golf. All in all, it was a wonderful experience for him. The older kids were wonderful with him, and really made him feel comfortable. Bren has been trying out new clubs for months, and found a set yesterday. It will possibly be a Christmas gift - boy are clubs pricey! He wants Titleist AP2. Ouch. It is times like this that I wish I was still working. That 2nd income would come in handy right now. :)

Katie decided to run for Student Council this year. At our school, they only allow 4-6 grades to participate, so this was her first year of eligibility. She ran a great campaign, and was not only elected to represent her classroom, but she was also voted in to be the Secretary of the Student Council! She amazes us with her drive and confidence. Neither of us knows where she got it, but we're grateful she is such a joyful girl.

Our 20th Anniversary is next month. We decided that sometime in the next year or so, we're going to renew our vows. Actually, Katie decided it for us. She was looking through our wedding album, and noticed Marc and Sean were there, but she and Brendan were excluded. Even the fact that they hadn't been born didn't comfort her. She felt it was unfair, so she and Mr. C came up with the idea of us renewing our vows so the two younger kids can share in the joy. So....I'm trying to work out and lose weight so Katie can help me select a gown (she has appointed herself "wedding planner"). Mr. C and I have been looking at new rings, and I believe we found some we love. We just now need to pin down a date, and decide where we'd like this to happen. We're debating between Cheyenne and Santa Barbara. I'd love to do it on the beach in Santa Barbara, but getting everyone there may be an issue. If it proves difficult, we'll just do it here in town.

And that is pretty much the summary of the past 3-1/2 months. Life is good. We've been blessed. And we're grateful.