Tuesday, January 27, 2009
However, no matter how miserable I think I am, things could always be worse.
I need to keep that in perspective.
So, today I am grateful for:
1. The fact that no matter how much I hate myself or feel like a failure, my kiddos dropped everything and ran to the door to greet me when I got home tonight. They truly make the worries and disappointments and failures of the day disappear. I hope they know how much I love them. I hope I show and tell them enough every day how much they mean to me.
2. Tomorrow. Because it's another chance to start again. Another chance to do better. Another chance to eat less, be kinder, work smarter, and love more. Another chance to truly be grateful for all that I am blessed with. Another chance to get out of this funk that I am in.
So... what are you grateful for?
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
The joy that it brought my children.
The fun that they had playing outside, building a snowman.
Maybe I'd even post some pictures of snow angels that they made.
But, it didn't snow. Not even a flake's worth.
So... what else am I thankful for today?
1. Patience. I worked late at school tonight, like I do most Tuesdays. I emailed Daddy H and asked him if he wanted Subway for dinner. Sure. So, I arrived at the local Subway at 7:05 p.m. I returned to my car at 7:29 p.m. And there was only one person in front of me. I literally felt like I was watching things happen in slow motion. It...was...painful...to...say...the...least... I contemplated leaving and just coming on home, but I figured that 1) at least they were working, not sitting home collecting unemployment and 2) they were taking their time to craft each sandwich for the person in front of me with impeccable attention to detail. And, really, who am I to be in such a hurry?
2. One day at a time. I haven't been doing well on my diet lately at all. In fact, I have been in what I would call a "holding pattern" for the past 2 months. TWO MONTHS. 60+ days. Wasted. For the longest time, I didn't gain weight, I maintained. Until the last 2 weeks. I have gained 6 pounds back of the 36 I had lost altogether. 1/6 of it! So, today, once again, I told myself that I was back on the wagon. I honestly struggled with it all day. But I told myself that I need to take baby steps ONE DAY AT A TIME until I am motivated, losing weight, and back on track like I was before the holidays.
What TWO things are you thankful for today?
Monday, January 19, 2009
Well, today's post will be a short one. As you remember, I hate Mondays. They are the worst! However, I have committed myself to finding three things for which I am grateful for each Monday...
1. Lunch with an old friend. Today, Myddle and Babee H and I are meeting NC for lunch at the local restaurant. NC and I used to teach together, back when I was a new mom. She has always been such a role model for me as a mom. She has such an amazing relationship with her children and I can only hope that I will be able to build the same quality relationship with mine.
2. The prospect of snow. I'll be the first to admit that I hate winter. I mean HATE it. What's to like with the static-y hair, the constant shocks of electricity, the dry skin, chapped lips, cold seats in the car, wind, no outside recess, etc, etc, etc.... But I do love the joy that snow brings my children. They are so very excited about the possibility of snow and have been checking out the windows all day long in anticipation. Now, if only I could find their hats and mittens... hmmm...
3. A long, scalding hot bath and a good book. Nothing makes me relax and takes the stress out of the day like escaping for a few moments into a tub of so-hot-you-can-barely-stand-it water and a book you just can't put down. Every day I make sure I have time to take a bath. When the kiddos were younger, I rarely had time for this luxury, but now that they are older, I make sure I get these 30 minutes to myself each day. For just a little while, I am not "Mama" or "Mrs. H" or "Honey"... I can truly escape into the pages of a book while the hot water relaxes the tension out of my body... Calgon, take me away!!!!!
So, what are you thankful for this Monday? C'mon, you can think of SOMETHING!!!
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Homecoming Weekend 1995 -- Furman University
The floats were decorated on the mall...
There were parties everywhere...
The football game was fun for all who attended...
I mean, that's what I heard. I wasn't actually there.
I was in Longwood College in Farmville, Virginia.
That's where my life changed forever.
A little background information... the dating world at Furman is not all that great.
Actually, it is non-existent. And that's being kind.
For some unknown reason, Furman boys don't date Furman girls. For the most part, we are their friends, drinking buddies, study partners, whatever... but NOT their dates or girlfriends... not no way... not no how.
So, I decided Homecoming Weekend would be the perfect opportunity to skip town and go to visit one of my BFFs from high school, Tizzy. She was a junior and was dating a guy named Mike. I told her that I wanted to have a good time for the weekend and take my mind off of school and all of the (what seemed like) stress that I had going on from it...
She told me she had the perfect guy for me. One of her boyfriend's friends... a United States Marine. I was excited. Completely and totally excited.
I had seen the ads on television. I knew the uniform well. I knew the confidence, the "look", the overall appeal of a man in uniform. And here I was, going on a blind date with a Marine. WOW! I could hardly contain myself...
Until he walked in her dorm room for the first time.
First of all, his name was Bubba. Seriously. That's what everyone called him. Including me. He was wearing blue jean shorts, a t-shirt, and hiking boots. YEAH. I know. Not exactly the Marine I had seen on television or in billboard advertisements.
Since I had yet to have my first drink, I didn't know what to do but sit there and be polite. Who was I to judge someone by their outward appearance or the fact that they didn't seem to measure up to my idea of what they should or should not look like?
We loaded up in Tizzy's car and drove to the nearest grocery store for beer and such. Before I knew it, Bubba and I were chasing each other around the store... he was meowing like a cat and I was barking like a dog. I was completely sober at this point, remember. Completely.sober. And having the most fun I had had in a long, long time. With a guy named Bubba.
Well, needless to say, we went back to Tizzy's dorm room and started drinking. After a few bottles of Boone's (I was a poor college kid, remember) we decided it was time to hit some of the parties/bars on and nearby campus. We had the best time I can remember. It was fun from start to finish, and I didn't want the night to end. Afterwards, we took Tizzy and Mike back to Tizzy's dorm room and Bubba and I decided to do through the Hardee's drive thru... we were starving.
He had a tiny little teal green Ford Ranger back in those days, with a little green and black stuffed puppy in the front windshield. I'll never forget how excited I was when he said I could have it. I had never in my whole life "clicked" with someone so instantly. Never had I been so happy with someone who was a complete and total stranger to me. We talked and talked and talked that night until it was time for he and Mike to return to Fort Pickett. I counted the hours until he and Mike would come back the next night. And we had an even better time the next night. Then it was time for me to come back to Greenville and go back to the life I knew here at Furman.
That was November. I knew I'd probably never see or hear from Bubba again, but I didn't care. I had no regrets whatsoever. I was living in the moment, and for the first time in my life I wasn't analyzing who, what, when, where, why, or how about the situation. It.just.felt.right.
I came back from that trip and my roommate MB told me, after hearing about how wonderful and fun and awesome and great my weekend was that I was going to marry Bubba. I told her she was crazy and that I was never going to see much less hear from her again.
So, when I got a random phone call in March of 1996, I was surprised to say the least. The message was from "J in North Carolina". Um... WHO? I had no idea. It took me three.whole.days. to figure out who it was. It was Bubba! To say I was thrilled would be the understatement of the century.
He wanted to know if I would go to Myrtle Beach with him for the weekend. Um. YEAH! I had enough of a moment of sanity to think that maybe I shouldn't... here I was, a 19 year old college girl, going to meet a 25 year old Marine that I had only met once before. Not exactly what I'd want Myddle or Babee H doing, right? But, again, it just felt right. So I did it. Of course, I told MB where I was going (this was before everyone and their mama had a cell phone, remember?) and that if I wasn't back on Sunday, then she should probably worry. (NICE, huh?)
Driving there, I was nervous. More nervous than I expected to be. Was he the same fun-loving guy that I remembered? (Hope so!) Would he be wearing those same shorts and boots? (Hope not!) Would we "click" like we did in November? (Hope so!) What would happen if we didn't "click" this time? (Didn't even want to consider it.)
Well, to make a long story short, it was the most amazing and wonderful weekend of my life. From start to finish we had fun talking, walking up and down Ocean Blvd, hanging out with all of his Marine buddies.
We've been together ever since. Through highs and lows. Through fun times and sad times. Through it all. He's been there for me.
So, thanks Daddy H.
Thanks for loving me for who I am, even when I don't love myself.
Thanks for giving me three children who I can't imagine living one day without.
Thanks for listening to me when I have a bad day and work.
Thanks for always wanting to fix whatever is wrong, even when you know you can't do a damn thing about it.
Thanks for making me feel safe.
Thanks for making me laugh, even when I feel like crying.
Thanks for allowing me to be myself, completely and totally, when we are together.
I know I don't say it nearly enough.
I love you more than you know.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
1. Sleeping in until 10am... thanks Daddy H!
2. Playing Uno with my girls in our jammies at 11:30 a.m.
3. Cheese omlettes and bacon with jelly toast... yum!
4. The fact that our real estate agent is awesome and I am convinced if anyone can sell our house, it's her!
5. Daddy H who is outside in the freezing cold spreading mulch on the playground... brrrr!
6. Facebook because it has allowed me to connect with some friends I have missed for so long!
7. My blog readers who leave comments because they give me the positive affirmation that I have realized I actually NEED in my life!
Here's to an awesome Saturday of rest, relaxation, and family time...
Friday, January 16, 2009
School has been CRAZY BUSY this week, therefore, I have completely neglected the blog. Tomorrow I will get back on track with the Saturday Seven.
Today, though, I want to let my BFF TunaSalad know how much fun I had at work today and how blessed I am that we get to teach in the same classroom together. There are so many days where I wouldn't be able to face it if she wasn't there.
We had such a great time this afternoon. I haven't laughed that hard in I don't even know how long.
I hope you know how much I love you and how much you mean to me. Not to mention that you have SO much dirt on me I have no choice. JUST KIDDING. You know I think you are AWESOME!
I've told you who I am thankful for today...
Which of YOUR friends are YOU most thankful for this Friday?
Sunday, January 11, 2009
1. Our great neighbors MK and J who came over and watched football and ate dinner with us last night... Myddle and Babee H say "thanks" especially for the "deb-bulled" eggs!
2. I finally let the cat out of the bag at work that we are going to try to sell our house and move the beach this spring/summer... all went well and I am very grateful for that!
3. No one in my house needs bottles and/or diapers anymore... I have been thankful for it for a long time, but it is time I put it in writing... HALLELUJAH!
4. Reconnecting with my old college roommate and learning that she and her family are living near where we are hoping to move to this spring! :-)
5. Sleeping in until 9am two days in a row! Awesome!
6. The fact that Bigg H and Myddle H are now old enough to play with Daddy H and I online at Pogo... SO FUN! (And Bigg H actually beats me at our new favorite game, Shuffle Bump)
7. My house is clean... kitchen, bathrooms, tv room, bedrooms... the toy room will be clean before we go to bed tonight...
So, now that you know my top SEVEN things I am grateful for, what are YOU most grateful for this weekend?
Friday, January 9, 2009
Finally, I decided to start with my good friend, EPC. So, here goes.
You and I were the best of friends in high school. We spent an unbelieveable amount of time together both in and out of school. We had almost every class together for almost three years. We were inseperable.
When I think back about our friendship, some of the best times of my high school years were spent with you... Remember when you got your drivers' license and we were SO excited that I could finally get "car permission"? That first true taste of freedom in your beautiful blue 1980-something Volvo is something I'll never forget. Remember when we snuck tastes of wine out of the box your parents kept in the fridge? Remember struggling through calculus? What about chemistry class... Remember when I mistook the "gas" nozzle for the "water" nozzle and sent water shooting everywhere instead of turning the Bunsen burner on? Remember our physics project where we made triple-thick jello and chocolate pudding to keep our egg safe as we dropped it off the top of the school? Remember Kams, Libs, and Kris? What about our "radio show" that included a special commentary from the eternal hiccuper? Or the ski trip we took senior year to Park City?
All of these memories have one thing in common that makes them special to me: YOU. I always admired your intelligence, your class, your ability to know what to do and say in every situation... I was so happy for you when you were our class valedictorian and when you were accepted to Davidson, even though I would have loved for it to have been me. You are one of the smartest people I have ever known.
I thought we would be close friends forever. When we graduated from high school, I never imagined we would go for years without speaking. But then came college. We called each other a few times, and I came to visit once, but I just didn't feel like I still had a place in your life like I used to. I can't really find words to explain it, except that I felt at that moment like I no longer belonged, and I just wasn't strong enough to talk to you about it or give it another try. When I was younger, the only way I dealt with feeling like I wasn't "good enough" was to put distance between myself and the other person, which is exactly what I did with our friendship. I have always regretted that we grew apart.
So, EPC, today I am writing to say how very sorry I am that I let my own insecurities get in the way of our friendship. Since we reconnected on Facebook recently, I am reminded of how much your friendship meant to me all those years ago and how much I have missed you all this time...
It makes me sad to think of how much of each other's lives we have missed. We are both married, but neither of us attended each other's weddings. We both have children now, but neither of us knew the other was pregnant. There was a time when I would have never imagined such space between us, and I hope, with time, we can be close again like we were then.
I hope you can accept my apology and that we can start to rebuild our friendship. I promise to be a better friend in the future than I was in the past.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Yeah... I know.
Not that exciting, right?
Well, it is if you are me. You see, I don't like dressing up. In fact, I don't even own a dress. Or a skirt for that matter. And my closet has only about three pairs of black slacks in it. And a few shirts. Which I rotate through in the course of a week. (My co-workers are probably nodding right now, yep... it's true!)
Others of you are probably sitting here reading this and thinking. OMG. That's just WRONG. And it is, I know it is... on so.many.levels. But the fact is I just don't like dressing up. I am completely uncomfortable unless I am in jeans or sweatpants or maybe cotton pants... and a t-shirt.
But I digress...
The reason I even mentioned how grateful I am today for clean clothes is because the first thing I do when I get home from work each day is go straight to my room and change into my comfy house clothes and my tennis shoes. (I can't stand to be barefoot at all... but that's a whole other post for a whole other day, right???)
Today, I got home knowing I had lesson plans to work on and some other school related things to do. (As opposed to watching Judge Judy, duh) So, like always, I went to my closet and found the most wonderful surprise waiting for me.
My favorite, softest, oldest, most wonderful gray cotton pants. And a t-shirt that is older than all of the kids in my third grade class this year. Clean, fresh, and smelling like fabric softener...
HEAVEN. (at least for today)
So, thanks Daddy H for all the laundry that you do. There have been so many times where the mountain of laundry is higher than Mt. Kilamanjaro, I swear.
Today I am grateful it is no higher than an anthill.
What simple, everyday thing are YOU grateful for today?
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
When this movie first came out, I was instantly attracted. Recently, I have seen local news stations who give money to people in the community and then follow them as they "pay it forward"... What I have noticed beyond the tears, joy, and surprise is this:
We all have the power to make a difference through kindness.
Whether or not we choose to make this difference is up to us.
Over the past several years, Daddy H and I have been on both sides of the "pay it forward" equation, as givers and receivers. And every time, EVERY TIME, the experience has been overwhelmingly positive and something for which I am very grateful.
Therefore, each Wednesday on my blog is going to be "Pay It Forward Wednesday".
In 2004, back when Myddle H and Bigg H were about 17 months old and around 2 1/2, we came across some really hard times financially. We didn't know what we were going to do as far as Christmas was concerned, but we wanted to make it special for the kids. We invited one of my friends from work to spend Christmas Eve with us -- nothing fancy, just a few different "appetizer type" foods. Anyway, we had a great time and were so grateful to have some company and make Christmas special for our kiddos.
After we finished eating, this friend said she needed to out to her car to get something she had forgotten. When she came back in the house, she had BAGS and I mean BAGS of wrapped presents for the kids. Everything we had been stressing about getting them for Christmas... pants, shirts, socks, shoes, even toothbrushes and toothpaste... even a few adorable toys...
It literally took my breath away. All I could say over and over was "thank you!" But, of course, it didn't seem like enough.
For weeks and weeks, each time my kids wore their new warm clothes to daycare or had on pants that actually were long enough I remembered this person's kindness. Every time we brushed our teeth, I thought about how much it meant to have something so many times before I just taken for granted. When I tied my kids' shoes, I reflected on how without this person, they may not have had comfortable, warm shoes to wear. When I would play with them and their toys, I smiled inside knowing the joy this person had given to us.
So, thanks again, friend. I know I said thank you back then, but I hope you know today just how much your generosity meant to us then and now. Every single Christmas I remember what you did for us and I always will be grateful.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
That makes Two for Tuesday easy!
Today, I am most grateful for:
1. Bills. Yep. That's right, our bills.
Actually, no so much the actual bills, as the fact that I am able to actually pay them all on time.
There have been many months where I had to make some tough decisions about who was going to get paid and who wasn't.
It is nice to be in a place where, as much as I don't enjoy it, I am able to pay all of our bills for the month.
In a struggling economy such as ours, that is truly a blessing a lot of people would be grateful for.
So I should be, too.
This one I would usually not be grateful for.
Sure, the plants need rain, we need rain, etc, etc, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Today's rain was what my dad would have called a frog strangler.
It was a good, solid, steady raining day. Rain is not my favorite weather condition.
However, since it is January 6 and I live in South Carolina, I am grateful that today we had RAIN, not snow or ice.
Because that much snow/ice would wreak havoc here.
Like no bread or milk at the store havoc.
Like people upside down in their redneck-mobile-on-the-side-of-the-road havoc.
Like no stores, schools, gas stations, offices, or roads open for one week havoc.
So, repeat after me... Rain is good, people, rain is good.
There you have it. What TWO things are YOU grateful for TODAY?
Monday, January 5, 2009
Sunday, January 4, 2009
This person has had such an amazing influence on my life in more ways than he will ever know. Each day I am reminded by something I say or do just how much a part of me he is and always will be.
Day after day, hour after hour, minute after minute, I see myself more and more like him.
When I am strong in the face of crisis. When I am able to make the whole room laugh even though inside I am crying. When I carry the weight of supporting my family on my shoulders. When I am successful according to others, but can't see anything I have done right. When I am easily hurt, but rarely show it. When I can't sleep. When I am totally and completely stubborn. When I eat too much. When I make a joke that could be considered by some "inappropriate". When I look in the mirror and see that I should be standing straighter, not slouching. When I lose my temper. When I hold my children and hope they feel safe in my arms. When I stay up late at night worrying about things I can't really control.
I thank God for sparing him and giving him another chance to live when I was only 5 years old in 1981. And again in 1992. As hard as it has been to live without him for the last five years, I can't even imagine everything I would have missed if he hadn't survived the first or second bypass surgery.
My kindergarten graduation. My elementary school graduation. My junior high band competitions. My basketball and softball games. My induction into Honor Society. My senior year ring ceremony. My high school and college graduations. My wedding day. The birth of Bigg H. He would have missed it all. WOW.
So many times, I think back about him and the words I hear over and over are from Reba McEntire's song "The Greatest Man I Never Knew":
"Everything he gave to us took all he had."
I realize that this person gave me (and others) so much of himself, there wasn't anything left for him.
In an instant, on the night on May 14, 2003, alone in an exam room of his office, he was gone.
This world was too much for him.
He is happy now. He isn't in pain. He isn't worried or stressed. He isn't sad.
So, thanks for everything Dad. I love you and miss you more than you will ever know.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
- Babee H telling me the other day that I am her "bess fend" (translation: best friend) I know there will be times where she won't feel that way, and that's fine, but I'll take it while I can get it...
- The fact that the smoke I smelled in my house at 1am on Friday morning wasn't my own house on fire this time... it was someone burning trash, I think (at 1am??)
- Laying on my comfy old couch, feet propped up on the ottoman, wrapped in a snuggly blanket, watching television in my quiet, I mean silent house... knowing that everyone I love is sleeping all around me... now THAT is bliss!
- Waking up this morning to a clean kitchen, compliments of Daddy H, who got up early to go golfing and decided to leave me a little surprise... I am really starting to see that little things like this are how he tells me in his own way how much he really does love me...
- Hot water, which I will be sitting in for a while, reading my newest addiction... Summer Sisters by Judy Blume (yes, she writes adult books, too!) Thanks to AloeVera for lending the book to me months and months ago...
- Bigg H, who volunteered to fix breakfast this morning all by himself... Frosted Flakes! Gotta love having a six year old!
- Myddle H, who came into the bedroom this morning while I was still sleeping. When I told her that I'd get up in a minute, she said, "That's okay, mama. I just came in to give you a kiss and tell you how much I love you. I love you 143 thousand 223." WOW.
Friday, January 2, 2009
Over the last few months, I have reconnected with a lot of old friends via Facebook... As I reflect on the distance that has been placed between myself and these people that used to be so much a part of my everyday life, it is very clear to me that the problem wasn't them. It was ME.
The fact that our friendships have fizzled out isn't because they have done anything wrong... it is because of my own self-centeredness and unwillingness to tell people how much they mean to me...
In fact, I realized time after time that I follow a pattern with friends... I meet someone, become really close friends with them (usually easily) and we become super close, super fast... Then, it all starts to unravel... It seems to me that as soon as I get really close to someone, I (like an idiot) push them away, telling myself that they must have done something to me... that they actually in some way deserve how I treat them...
When in fact, it's not them that I don't like. It's ME. I don't like myself most of the time and rather than admit that, I have found it easier to not like THEM. How awful does that sound?
Well, in an effort to mend these relationships, I am going to dedicate each Friday's post on here to one friend who I have pushed away... I am going spill my guts about that person and tell them how I really feel... I am going to hope and pray that they can forgive me for the wrong that I have done, for the feelings I have hurt, for the space I have placed between us. For everything.
And maybe, just maybe, through this process I'll not only be able to tell them how much I love them, I'll be able to find a little love for myself...
Only time will tell...
Thursday, January 1, 2009
Today, I am thankful for HEAT.
My house is warm tonight even though it is cold outside (33 degrees to be exact). However, I am able to sit here in my kitchen wearing a t-shirt and cotton pants and I am comfortable. And warm.
You see, it wasn't all that many years ago that Daddy H and I were brand-new parents of Bigg H. We lived in a house we rented from his boss, one that we couldn't afford to heat all at once.
So... we bought a few space heaters, hung blankets up on Bigg H's bedroom and our bedroom doors to "trap" the heat, and heated just those two spaces. We didn't heat the bathroom unless we were using it at the time. (Talk about a cold butt in the morning!)
Daddy H worked long hours that winter, so I was home with Bigg H alone most of the time. After I finished teaching school for the day and picked Bigg H up from the babysitter, we'd drive home with the heat in the car CRANKED up WAY TOO HIGH... When we got home, I'd sprint out of the car with Bigg H and through the cold, and into our bedroom, immediately turning on the heater. I'd wrap Bigg H up in blankets and hold him so he'd stay warm until the room heated up. Then we'd stay and play and watch some television until Daddy H got home.
Then, he'd watch Bigg H while I went into the ice-cold kitchen to cook some dinner... in my winter coat. We ate it in the bedroom where it was warm, but doing dishes was a gigantic, cold, PAIN in the booty. (But at least we did have a dishwasher...)
Sometimes it seems like that part of our life was a long time ago, but the fact is that it was only 6 years ago.
So, tonight, I am thankful for how we have been blessed over and over again and so glad to have HEAT.
My goals for this blog are:
- Become more grateful for the everyday pleasures/blessing in my life
- Move away from negative feelings and self-talk
- Encourage others to recognize things in their lives for which they are grateful
- Experience a total and complete "Gratitude Adjustment"
Welcome aboard! I'm glad you are here!