Fairy Tale Mom
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Well, maybe it’s not all that dramatic. But, there is a big change coming. The Pirate has taken a job in the Lone Star State. We found out 2 days ago that in 3 weeks he needs to be moved in and reporting to work.

Since I learned of his new opportunity three things keep going through my mind; 1. George Straight’s Amarillo By Morning and 2. I’m so happy that he found a job and 3. I’m really sad.

I’m happy that after years of looking for work and hoping for the feeling of usefulness that he used to have to return, he will have the security of a regular paycheck and health insurance. (The insurance is a BIG deal as he is not as healthy as he once was.) At the same time, I’m so sad. I liked him being close to us, both physically and emotionally. I like him being close to the Princess. I like knowing that I can get to him if something happens.

My feelings of sadness are completely selfish. I do wish him well. And, I know that we are closer now than we were when he lived in California for all of those years. So, I feel like it will be different.

Also selfishly, I just lost my storage place. I was keeping lots of stuff at the house of the Pirate. And, now it all needs a home…

But, mostly, I’m just going to miss my dad.

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Here’s another confession…. I’ve been struggling this week. Between the new inhaler (that does, indeed, help me breathe), the sickness and the moving, I’ve only worked out twice.

Once, I did use the EA Sports Active 2 and found it to be a good work out. I got really frustrated when the mechanism didn’t count all of my reps. I contend that it was like working out twice to get it to register, but that is not what I will log here today.

Today I will confess my short comings and admit that I need to try harder.

On a positive note, the princess has lost some weight. I’ve been packing lots of healthy stuff in everybody’s lunches and it seems to be making a difference. She hasn’t even really noticed that she’s been eating healthy.

And, I feel great that she had to ask what her friend was talking about tonight at dance when the little girl mentioned “ding dongs”. I’ll take that one in my win column.

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It occurred to me that the Princess doesn’t have any understanding of 9-11 or why we hold this day in our nation as one of rememberance. As she asked questions that I couldn’t answer. She wanted to know about the towers, the planes, the terrorists. She had so very many questions that I still don’t know how to answer. And then, she asked one final question, a question that touched my soul and resounds in my heart still. She asked, “Why do they hate us so much?”

How am I supposed to answer that? How can I explain something that I don’t understand myself? How can we as a nation think that we have the answers to this question?

It is nearly unfathomable to me to think that this event will be recorded in history books for her in the same way that the Great Depression is for me. The stories will all be told and the events recounted, but the emotion that I feel remembering that day will forever be lost on her.

As our nation still grieves 10 years later and the wounds still gape open, I wonder if we can ever get back to the unity that resulted from the tragedy on 9-11-01? Our politicians are more divided than ever, the citizens of my great nation are lost and wondering and we all look for hope and for answers to the questions my daughter asks.

I’ve done my best to answer her questions and provide her with a vague understanding of the events. I wish only that I  understood better myself.

How are you explaining the events to children who weren’t alive in September 2001?

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Here’s the thing….I’ve wanted to lose weight forever. I’ve even pledged to the mamavation sistahood before. But, something happened this week, something scarry, something unbelieveably motivating. I accidentally saw myself naked when getting out of the shower. YIKES!

As if that weren’t enough, my dear friend had a heart attack this week. I’ve known him for 10 years, he teaches cycling at the gym twice a week. He’s active and not horribly overweight. He’s only 41 years old. That’s enough to scare me into making some changes. I’ll be making changes at the same time that CJ is making some life saving ones himself.

So, it’s time to do something about this. I’ve enlisted the help of a weight loss coach that is available to me through my health insurance and the coach from the local YMCA is really in my corner (she made me a mix cd to work out to). And, I’ve started a healthy eating plan for myself and the princess. So, I’ve got a few things going for me.

Working against me is: ME. I’m generally great at the start of a new regimine, but I slack off in the middle. So, I’m going to need help from the sistas. Lots of help..

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I started thinking today about weddings. Specifically, I’ve been thinking that I’ve only ever been in one wedding. It was years ago when my best friend from the second grade got married after our high school graduation. That was maybe a 10 years ago or 15 (or something like that).

Am I such a bad friend that I’ve not been close enough to anyone else that they would ask? And, when all of the people who have been in weddings complain about all of the responsibilties, why would I feel like I’ve been denied the experience?

I know that it seems silly. I have a few close friends, most of which were married when I met them. So, it’s not like I’m lacking in social interactions. I just have to wonder what is it about me that keeps people at a distance?

Is it me that has prevented more friendships from deepening? I am incredibly guarded – as the fear of rejection keeps me from opening up too much.

So, that new job is really taking a toll on me. Not that I’m digging ditches or doing anything physical, but the hours are long and I have to think *a lot*. It must be the thinking that is making me so tired. (read: tired=cranky, lazy and unmotivated when I get home) How unfair to the princess that I feel this way. Even more unfair that I can’t seem to find a balance and shake it off. I can’t seem to catch up.

Which brings us to moving. I’m moving. I’ve decided. I’m moving in with NBF. Yep, I’ve decided. (The truth is that I can’t afford to not move, so that was a big motivating factor. But, still I’m moving in with a boy and trusting him and stuff.) The decision is not without drawbacks. I will most definitely miss being 1.25 minutes from MFH. We really enjoyed the proximity. I will miss the babysitter living downstairs. I will miss the ability to be a bit unorganized because I am surrounded by people who love me enough to pick up the slack that also have a ton of time on their hands.

This also means that the princess changes schools. This a most scary thought for me. Also, she has on more than one occasion expressed her displeasure with the situation.

Conversly, she has also expressed her joy with the situation. And, there are some lovely changes that this brings that will make me happy and my life easier.

In the end, I suppose its a crap shoot. I am putting it in the hands of the Almighty and packing.

Don’t be fooled by the number, I’m not even close to finishing my 40×40 list. But, as I was working on #39, Sort The Baby Pictures, I had an interesting series of thoughts. I have these boxes of pictures spanning more than my lifetime. Until recently, they were all a jumbled mess. My baby pictures were next to pictures from college that were next to pictures of my recently married Grandparents at their farmhouse. There was no order.

So, I went about sorting my memories from my parents memories and came up with the beginnings of a system. At the end of this process I still had boxes full of pictures, but there are now in categories that define 3 distinct periods of my life. Some of the cast of characters is static throughout. You see lots of pictures of me with the Fairy (we’ve always been close). There are pictures of random zoos that we’ve visited throughout the years. (Important note: all giraffes look the same, make sure  you put people in the pictures for time and place reference.) And there are people whose names I don’t necessarily remember. While the subjects of the photos are sometimes a bit fuzzy to my memory, the feelings I had at the time of each event are quite vivid.

In box 1 we have pictures of my distant past, photos of my childhood (and many things that predate my childhood). You can see the easy contentment of my youth. I was very happy in my sheltered little town. You can see it in the softball pictures to the prom photos. By all appearances, we are a very happy family. As with most things, I didn’t learn until later about how my Mother found it difficult to stay in that small town that I thought was beyond wonderful. But, you can’t see that in the pictures. In the box are smiling faces, family reunions, birthday celebrations and untarnished content.

Box 2 brings us to the years between college and motherhood – some of these should not be seen by children, lest they repeat my mistakes. But, all of them represent genuine joy. I met some of my dearest friends during this period in my life and certainly learned the difference between an acquaintance and a friend. I am still in contact with many of them (beyond facebook even) and others have lost touch. All, however, bring a smile to my face as I remember sharing some of my fondest memories with this group (or these groups) of people. As with most college memories, some are fuzzier than others, but all have the same polish that only time can provide. It all seems so fresh and fun in my head. Long forgotten are the stressful exam weeks, the roommate drama and the long nights working to make ends meet.

Box 3 is very, very full of pictures of the Princess. I have roughly 1,000,000 pictures of her first few months. I have more pictures of this amazing, beautiful girl in her first 4 years than I do of the last 4 combined. (Note to self: buy new camera, I need more recent pictures.) I hope that she has been as happy as she appears to be. When she looks back at these boxes one day I hope her memories are all of the fun she had. I hope, in short, that I’ve not screwed this up too badly. I want her to feel what I feel when I think of the past – few regrets and great joy for the experiences.

#39 led me down memory lane in a way I didn’t think that it would. I expected to very neatly categorize pictures chronologically and move on to my next project. Unexpectedly I ran into my past, in three parts.

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I’m getting so much better at praying daily. When I first added it to my 40×40 list I really struggled with knowing when or why or how to pray. While I never struggled with Who to pray to (I conquered that question years ago) I just couldn’t get in the habit of doing it every day. And, on the occasions that I did remember to pray, I didn’t ever really know What to pray for.

It would be easy, I suppose, to say that prayers of gratitude were abundant and the most obvious choice. But, for me they weren’t easy or abundant. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for my many, many blessings. I’ve prayed for them and about them often. (Dear Jesus, that you for allowing me the opportunity to continue loving the princess.)

The other obvious choice is to pray for guidance. I did this fervently and often. I prayed for signs. I prayed for divine intervention. I prayed for guidance. I begged to help with troubling decisions. I once found myself pleading with God for an hour straight, crying the whole time, for answers to questions I hadn’t yet formed.

Then, I spent a whole lot of time praying for the wisdom to know when God was speaking to me. Confession – I still pray this prayer quite often.

After 2 years of working at building a relationship with God strong enough for me to speak to Him daily, I don’t know that I’ve gotten any better at the substance or timing of my prayers. What I can say, with certainty, is that I know that just trying is enough – even though it doesn’t feel like enough. Even while I feel tiny and silly for asking God to care about my insignificant problems, I know now that He already knew. My prayer for help and wisdom and patience and guidance were all an adequate and completely inadequate expression of gratitude.

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weight loss exercise class

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The Friendaversary has been celebrated – properly I might add. @justheather has introduced me to so many new things, like blogging. And, she’s been a great motivator during the healthy living project. While she applied to be a Mamavation Mom, I decided that the best way to support her was to join her on the journey.

So, I’ve been drinking tons of water. In fact, Diet Coke just doesn’t sound good anymore – and I used to drink LOTS of Diet Coke. The salads every day have really made a difference in my health – I’ll spare you the details on that one. And, I’m learning new ways to eat some of my healthier favorites. I’ve always been a veggie eater, I just didn’t eat enough of them. So, this week we are working on portiion control… that’s a big challenge for me.

And, now the GOOD NEWS –

I’m wearing smaller pants!!!  That’t right. I’m down a size!

I still haven’t stepped on the scale, but I promise that I can see a difference!

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