Thursday, April 22, 2010

If I had to do it all over again........

I would.

Oh sure, things haven't always been perfect....far from it actually, and we've had our normal challenges that every married couple encounters, but if I had to marry him all over again....I would.

You see, I was young and just out of high school. Not sure of what I what I wanted to do with my life....and actually, broken hearted from a summer romance gone sour.

And parents suggested that I fly out to San Diego to visit my friend and her husband who were stationed out know....just to get away for a little while. daddy worked for the airlines, and I was still able to fly for why not?

So I did just that. Confused about where things had gone wrong, and hopeful that I could put it all behind me...I boarded the plane to San Diego. How was I to know that I would come home forever changed?

I enjoyed girlfriend chats with my friend, and helped her out with their little one while she struggled to make ends meet with a part time job. But I was away from home and away from the things that reminded me of the past summer...and that was all that mattered.

Until I met "him".

You see, my friend was doing all she could do, to find someone to set me up with. Her husband was a Marine, and knew plenty of single guys, and he was in hot pursuit of finding me someone. But God had something else in mind....only I didn't know that yet.

So they planned a little get together and invited a few friends over, in the hopes that I would hit it off with the guy that came without a date. But I was not interested in all.

And all of a sudden, there was a knock at their door and there "he" was. Very tall, very handsome, and there to surprise my friends for a weekend visit, as he was stationed three hours away in Yuma, Arizona. He was my friend's husband's best friend from high school (did you get all of that?), and was also in the Marine Corps, only his job had taken him to a different location. He would often come for a weekend visit....many times, unannounced. (Because when you're young and not married... you can do that.)

Only what he didn't know, was that they had out of town company. That would be me.

And how do you handle that when they only have one pull out sofa sleeper? Very carefully...that's how. Fully clothed and on opposite sides of the bed.....but what was I suppose to say when he brings in a lounge chair from the pool? I could hardly let him attempt to sleep on that while I slept on a comfy bed. He wasn't but 6ft. 4in., but I felt pretty confident he would be hanging off of the edge and not getting much sleep.

The next day, night, and long into the next morning at 4am....we talked and talked and talked some more. Never kissed me, never touched me, but he had stolen my heart. And apparently, I had stolen his, because that was the beginning of what would become my love story.

Long before the days when we all had email or cell phones, he spent WAY too much money on long distance phone calls. Hours upon hours we would stay up too late and talk on the phone, and the letters were coming and going at the rate of sometimes two a day.....yes....the old fashioned, hand written kind. And I still have each and every one...tucked away in a drawer, with the stamps on upside down.....because that meant, "I love you."

Within a very short amount of time, I knew that he was the man that God intended for me to marry. How did I know this at the tender young age of 18? I'm not sure....but I do know that I had prayed for a husband and for wisdom and God gave me the desires of my heart. Even my parents had a peace in their hearts, and believed this as well.

Within eight short months (though not short at the time.....I thought that day would never get here!!!), we were married.

And I have never regretted not once. Oh sure, we're normal, and have normal disagreements, etc. But all in all, he's the best thing that ever happened to me. He's the love of my life, and he is the reason for my four amazing children.

21 years ago today, I said, "I do". And if I had it to do all over again....I would.

I'm just sayin'.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Isn't it crazy......

how when you get back from a vacation, you're so exhausted that you feel like you need a vacation???? Although, a wise person once told me, that it's considered a "trip" when you travel with kids, and a "vacation" when you go with your spouse.

And if that's the case, then I'm afraid I've never been on one, because we never even went on a honeymoon. Nope...sure didn't. Young, in love, and broke. But that's okay, because we're still married, and that's all that counts....and besides....this post isn't about me OR a vacation or lack thereof.
Nope. It's about what happened AFTER we got home from our trip to the Smokies.
In typical fashion, I left something in the van, even though I felt confident that I had thoroughly cleaned it out after the long ride home. So I went out to the garage and noticed water dripping from the attic door.

Note to self: This is not a good thing.

Not wanting to even breathe this to my husband, but knowing how detrimental it could be, I did.....only for him to get up there and discover that a hot water pipe had busted and our attic was being nicely know....sort of like a sprinkler waters the lawn? Got the visual?

And within minutes, water was streaming down the wall from the light switch. Lovely.

My daughter's room was next.....and flooded completely.

But wait!!!! That's not all!

More? MmHmmm.....there's more alright.

I came in with a load of soaked towels from the water removal in the attic, and transferred my laundry from washer to dryer, only to have my 3 year old front loading dryer take one rotation and quit....completely.
No. I am not kidding. I wish I was.

Now at this point, you might be thinking, "what did she do to deserve this?" And in answer to that....I'm not sure. But one thing was for sure. I had just come home from a vacation or trip...(whatever you choose to call it), and I had dirty laundry and now mountains of wet towels that needed to be washed and dried, with no dryer.

And did I mention a not-so-happy husband? (Just sayin'.)

The end result??? A living room now transformed into a storage unit/bedroom for a very disgruntled teenager.

And........a good old fashioned clothesline.....nicely rigged between the swingset and the fence.

Because a girl's gotta' do, what a girl's gotta' do. And THIS girl.....had some serious laundry in waiting.

Our Pastor had just spoken the previous Sunday, about when life hands you those, "What the heck moments???" And believe me, I was having one. But in spite of the mess and chaos that quickly ensued, I began thinking of how much worse this could have been.

Clearly this had happened within an hour or two of us arriving safely back at home. Had this happened on Monday when we had left town, our entire house would have been flooded...and I don't even want to think about the mess that would have been. And drying clothes on a clothesline or at a gracious neighbor's house (thank you neighbors!!!), is much easier than if the washer would have died. I'm just not into the whole washboard thing.

God promises to not give us more than we can handle.....and He was faithful. Again.

I'm just sayin'.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Woo hoo!!!!

I was so excited when my husband informed me that he would be taking off the week of spring break, and that we could plan a short trip. Granted, I only had a week to pull it all together, but hey! Thank God for the internet, right?

So......we were off. Headin' for the Smoky Mountains. The kids and I had never been.....though I had seen my share of the Rockies....but I knew this was going to be different. Not only would the view be breath taking, but we would still experience southern hospitality.

And though on a vacation, we were going to have to be strategic in our planning, so as to make the best use of our limited amount of time away from home. (Planning vacations around working teenagers is not always easy....but PRAISE GOD she works, and going on vacation without her was not an option.....she will go off to college in a year and a half, but do we really need to talk about this now????)

Ahem. Sniffle. As I was saying.......

So we headed out early Monday morning.....with the plan of Dollywood after 3pm and back for a free day on Wednesday. Whew! It is definitely a good thing I've been on Weight Watchers since January, and down some pounds, because that place?? Let's just say that there are no flat surfaces to walk on. I know, I's in the Smokies, but I sort of forgot about that before I started the trek!!! And every ride had multiple flights of stairs to climb before finally getting to the point of entry.

And go ahead and be proud of me, because I was a very good spite of my increased anxiety the older I get. Or is it that I now KNOW how dangerously high I am on those coasters!!!! Regardless, they certainly take a bigger toll on you the older you are, but the reward from seeing your young children's faces when you say, "Oh, alright, I guess I'll ride it..." is priceless. Of course, so is the picture that is taken of you looking HORRIFIED as you plunge into darkness, that they want you to buy a package of for 29.95. I mean, really, wouldn't ONE picture of that be enough?? Do we really need multiple sizes to hand out to our friends?? Really?? Nope, we don't. Matter of fact? We don't need ANY of those to be used as blackmail pictures. Because in spite of my concerted face looked the same every time, on every extreme thrill ride. And it wasn't pretty. I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday was a little more relaxed, as Dollywood was closed, and our free day would be on Wednesday. We decided to just enjoy the Smoky Mountain National Park and marvel at God's handiwork in creation. How we ever got lucky enough on our first trip to the Smokies, to run across a mama bear and her cub, is beyond me, but we did. And of course, like every other tourist who just so happened to have their telescopic lenses, tripods and cameras available on the side of the mountain, we had to hop out for a photo op as well.

That is......until Baby Bear decided to get brave and get too far away from Mama Bear. And BEING a Mama Bear, I knew what her reaction was going to be when she saw how close he was to us humans with cameras. So THIS Mama Bear got her cubs and went back to the mini-van.

Although.... my sweet husband's theory was just that we had to be able to run faster than the little old lady taking pictures.....but I wasn't taking chances. I know.....isn't he nice???

And of course, no trip would be complete without some mishap along the why was I surprised when we pulled off the side of the mountain road (and gosh those roads are scary!) to let the kids just "roll up their pants and step across the rocks" my husband says. (Now I know all of you mothers out there, who have infinite wisdom such as myself.....would know that this would not be a good idea. But this was vacation, and I was trying to be a good sport....let's not forget. )

I immediately volunteered for the role of the photographer as I was not walking down that steep embankment, or the mishap would have for SURE involved ME. And did make for some nice pictures.

Well, at least until Jack fell in. And then there were some.....well.....not so nice pictures.

He was not too happy with his siblings for laughing hysterically when it happened. Not to mention, the water was ICE cold ....and we would now be forced to come down from the mountain into Gatlinburg, and go into a cheezy tourist shop and try to find him something to our cabin was too far away and we had more exploring to do.

Personally, I think the shirt we found him fit the situation perfectly.

All in all, we had a great time. Nice, clean cabin, soothing hot tub, beautiful scenery, lots of togetherness.

I just wasn't quite prepared for the surprise that awaited us when we got home.

But that's another whole blog post.......

I'm just sayin'.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Why do I do this???

I mean, I realize that we have calendars and all, but you have to agree....Easter is not on the same date every year like Christmas is, and while it IS April...I just am not ready. At. All.

And I realize that sitting here on the computer is not helping me accomplish any of the many tasks I have before me, but if there's one thing I allow myself everyday, it's my coffee time. Period. And for those of you wondering.....yes, it has to have creamer. Those of you who know me even know what kind. Coffee-mate Hazelnut. The real stuff. None of this fat-free nonsense. I mean, really, a girl's gotta' have her creamer....because otherwise, what's the use of drinking the coffee? (sorry, I have gotten WAY off track here.....I believe we were discussing all of the things I have to do today)

Anyway, as I was saying. I have a list a mile long of things to do.....and I ask myself. Am I the only one who is completely not ready for tomorrow??

  • two dozen stuffed Easter eggs to the church by 10am today so the boys can go to the hunt (watch out I come!!!!!)
  • both boys at baseball practice by noon
  • out of town company passing through around 4pm (which if you will recall in my very first blog post, I shared how my living room REALLY looks most of the time, so I think it goes without saying, that I should be folding laundry right now, instead of blogging)
  • decide what I'm wearing to church my age, it's not always a "new Easter dress" like it was when I was little....and matter of fact? It probably won't even be a dress!!!
  • plan our menu for Easter dinner.....and yes, I do realize now, that that is TOMORROW we're talking about
  • "shopping" and all you parents know what I mean by that......but the big question is....will there be anything left???? And do I DARE to venture to Wal-Mart on the Saturday before Easter??? Ummm........I'm thinkin' the dollar store might be a much better option.
  • kitchen cleaned, bathroom cleaned, living room vacuumed, dusted........

I'm thinkin' it's gonna' be one of them days. You know the kind. Where I'm flyin' through the house, shouting orders like a drill instructor.....

"Where's your glove?, No! I have no idea where you laid it....I don't use it! Hurry up and get in the car! Has anyone seen my keys?? (which would be an opportunity for them to remind me that "they" don't use them, but they know better than to use my line!!!) Here....stuff an egg....we're about to pull into the parking lot! What? You forgot to brush your teeth?'s a mint and just don't breathe in anyone's face! Okay....hop out and tell your coach that you're sorry we're late....again! Well, I'm sorry you haven't had some sunflower seeds out of your'll be fine! I'll be back to get you when I'm finished dropping off your brother, and you had BETTER behave & listen to your coach! And excuse me teenage daughter???? Why yes it most certainly IS your weekend to clean the bathroom, and NO I do not CARE who left the washcloths in the shower!!!! And clean your ROOM!!!!"


And then I am reminded, that in all of this craziness, I never want to forget what we are really celebrating. The fact that we serve a RISEN SAVIOR. He not only took on the burden of our sin, but He died to redeem us and rose again so that we could live with Him forever. For this I am truly thankful!!

I'm just sayin'.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

This was no April fool's joke......

this was the real deal. And frankly? I can think of a million other things that I would have rather been doing on my morning off.....

You see, today started off like any other day around our house.....chaotic! Teenagers sleeping right through their alarms that everyone ELSE in the house wakes up to, grumpy little boys moving like snails with just a teeny bit of enthusiasm from an excited first grader....because today is a field trip and Daddy is going along!!! (much to Daddy's shagrin)

And me? Well, I'm only working a 1/2 day today, so I had plans of curling up on the couch with my coffee and favorite blanket, and not being in a rush to get out the was gonna' be perfect. Until............

I heard a very loud chirp coming from one of the 3000 smoke detectors that our house has. (Okay, there aren't that many, but there are a LOT...I was just sayin'.)

So I hear the chirp, and though the sound is loud and annoying, I had no intentions of it ruining my well thought out plan of doing nothing productive. That is, until I felt the uncontrollable shaking of Angel, our tiny Chihuahua. You see, it seems this noise was foreign to her, and thus scared her half to death. She proceeded to climb on top of me, unconcerned that there was a computer on my lap, and climb my shoulder all the while shaking like a leaf. And every time it would chirp....she would start again. (And this was about every 15 seconds or so....are you getting the visual?)

And did I mention that when she gets scared, she sheds??? Ummm.....yea.....all over my black pajamas.

So I finally decided that since I had no puppy Prozac to give her, I'd better get busy trying to figure out how to change the battery in this thing, or it was going to be a longgggg day.

This is where the story gets ugly.

How was I to know how difficult it would be to replace a stinkin' battery in a smoke detector??? I'm marching in there to determine WHICH detector is making the racket....and proceed to try to take it off the wall.....and then saw the wires and warnings. I proceeded to try to disconnect them to no avail. Was NOT coming off.

Got aggravated, figured Angel was just going to have to live with it.....which reminded me that I hadn't seen her in a maybe she had settled down. Well, apparently not.....because I couldn't find her ANYWHERE. Finally.....after searching all over the house, I walked past my daughter's room (Angel's favorite person in the house), and see a tiny little nose poked out from under her bed!!!

Now as you can clearly see....there are plenty of other things in this room that she should probably be scared of (i.e. that flat iron on the floor!), and there's no TELLING what was under the bed, but for was a safe place....and she was not coming out.

So after exchanging multiple text messages with my husband who was probably having so much fun on a school bus full of first graders......I finally decided that this simply would not do. I had to conquer this.

And I did. But not without the help of my handy dandy ladder, the kitchen chair. And yes, that is a broken spindle and yes the bottom of it IS wired together. It's an antique for goodness sake, and we've had it for 20 years with four kids....cut me some slack here!

And how's a girl suppose to find a battery on top of an old entertainment center??? Can you see why there was a bit of confusion??? Do I need an A? How about a D? No maybe a light bulb....and what's the big family Bible doing up THERE??? Geez.

All for the nerves of a frightened Chihuahua. are loved.....and you can come out now.....I'm just sayin'.