Friday, December 31, 2010


The idea for this retrospective was blatantly stolen from one of the very best parts of my heart, Julie!  Thank You!!!!

In a little over six hours, this year will be over.  I'm actually glad.  Sure, I can write my own book of lamentations.  I could tell you how my heart hadn't recovered from Mom Carol's death three years ago that being hit with Mema's death has brought me to my knees.  I could tell you how many countless times I have failed myself and others constantly.  I could tell you of the temper tantrums I've thrown, the aches and pains as I get older, the trials and tribulations of raising three teenagers while not becoming an alcoholic (lol), or the constant uncertainty of George's job.  I could tell you all these things, but then you would miss out on all the blessings I've experienced this year.

While George and I are not a perfect couple, nor have a perfect marriage, we continue to grow closer all the time.  He continues to amaze me with his love and his constant support.  Sure, we occasionally argue, who doesn't?  But everyday, and especially through the uncertainty of his job, our marriage has strengthened.

I have this friend whom I love immensely.  And while we have always had a good friendship, this year we grew closer which filled me with great joy.  We are literally two peas in a pod and thus our Pod with Bob, St. Peter and St. Theresé and myself was born.  Julie SO ROCKS!

I was introduced by God to so many amazing women this year.  Lisa Ryan, Jenn Hicks, Alyssa Barreneche just to name a few.  While they are all wonderful, I found another pea in Alyssa.  As Anne of Green Gables likes to say, she is truly a "kindred spirit!"  I know that no matter what happens, she is there for me and I for her.  I don't have to talk to her everyday or see her all the time, our friendship will survive's, bad days, trial days, you name it!  We have the cockroach of friendship!

Tina had baby Emily (aka Shaniqua) this year!  While our friendship will always be strong, our time together is sporadic.  Having a new baby does that!  But, with our phone calls and myriad of inside jokes, we are always together.

My Carol.  How much I love her!  She's never too busy for me.  Even if she's in a hurry, if I truly need her, she's always there.  She's truly my sister in every way.  I think we should make our crossword puzzle by phone a monthly thing! lol

My Mom visited this year.  The first time in four years!  I got to spend time with her in person!  It's a lot different than on the phone.

My sister and I continue to grow closer this year.  Even going so far as to commiserate over Mema's death.  She brought me such comfort.

My children!  How resilient they are!  How much they've grown this year and not just physically!  We continue to grow in love and strength as a family.

I got to reconnect with Father Antony!

Dad came down twice this year!  Once for Maria's conformation!

My Sharon had many trips down this year!  Ahhh my 'burgh buddy!  It doesn't matter how far away she is, we are only a phone call, email, or text away!  I love that no matter how far away we are, we are always together.  She is so awesome!

And, my prayer life.  Sure, I spent a good portion of the year running and running.  And, I constantly feel that I am not praying the right way.  I learned I put so much pressure on my prayer life.  I learned it's okay if I don't say a Rosary everyday.  Mary knows how much I love her.  I learned that just talking to God and having conversations with him...that's praying.  My goal this year is to add more face time with Him.

I am constantly reminded everyday (even days when I am in my tent) how much God blesses my family.  Sure my heart has stretched and broken and been bounced all around, but when God has your heart, you never have to worry, He's awesome at putting it back together again!

So, as this year comes to a close, I wish you a new year full of happiness, love, and many blessings.  I also wish you trials, tribulations and heavy crosses.  For with them and God, is where you truly find where your strength lies and how much you are truly loved!

Wishing you a very Happy New Year!
Until next time,
Don't do anything I wouldn't do tonight!


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Yesterday, I reached my limit. 

Actually, I'm surprised that my head didn't implode/explode.

There has been so much *noise* all around me lately.   I have three teenagers whom I love dearly.  I don't mind the happy noise, the giggling and laughing or music.  Nope, that stuff is okay.  I'm talking about tv blaring, three teenagers yelling at each other constantly, the phone ringing off the hook, noise, noise, noise.  I asked the kids nicely, more than once, more than a gazillion times, to calm it down.  I think my teenagers need hearing aids.  It turns out, if I ask them to come here, ask them to do anything, they don't hear me...ever.  However, after the gazillionth time of asking, I yell, then they hear me.  It kind of makes me think I'm going crazy.

So there I was surrounded by all this noise well into the night.  Finally, I go upstairs figuring I'll get on the computer for a little bit.  Then, I decide to lay down for a little bit instead.  In my room, it's relatively quiet.  No kids, only the ticking of the clock, the noise from my clock (tick, tick, tick), and the tv downstairs.  Which is not loud enough that you can make out what's being said, but loud enough that you know it's on.  So I lay on my bed and begin to enjoy the relative silence and start to talk to God. 

Since around me is quiet, now my head finally begins it's noisiness....Can Mom come up for Sarah's conformation in May Please help my friends.. my friends marriage is really bad, my other friends marriage is worse.  When can Tina and I get together just for five minutes, we haven't had one of our good talks in a while, dear God, please bless my favorite person with a child this year, they so deserve one, they're gonna be great parents.  My other friends marriage could use some blessings.  Jaime's going to be a senior next year.  I am not ready for that or for him to go off to college.  Will he be ready to go?  He REALLY wants to be a priest which is awesome, but shouldn't he at least date first?  Could you send him a nice Catholic girl to date so then he could really know if you're calling Him?  Maria's grades need so much help.  Please help Jaime get a job.  He dropped off another application today.  I love that boy, but he needs to learn some responsibility.  When is dad's Christmas package going to get there?  When is George going to go to the dr's to check on his leg?  I want to start walking everyday...give me the motivation.  Did I really take the Christmas decorations down too early?  Should I have waited?  Dude, I am so hammed out, I don't think I'll even want ham at Easter!  Did Carol have a good trip to San Antonio?  Where can I find boots for my Elizabeth?  Is Mema okay?  I know she is and I know she's having fun, but does she miss me?  When is my brother coming home from Germany?  Is he ever going to talk to me again?  Thanks for letting Sarah be a little girl just a little longer.   Tangled was way better than I thought it was going to be.  I need to go drop off a check at the orthodontist tomorrow.  My friend is traveling, watch over her family please.  What was the name of that movie I really liked?  Please give my Julie a less stressful year this year, she could really use a break for a bit.  Are Kindles really better than Nooks and that Pandigital reader?  If I get the Pandigital will I be bummed that I didn't wait for the Kindle?  When can I get an iphone 4?  Hey, adoration is tomorrow, hopefully, I can make it!  I know, I know, I need to make time.

In the midst of all of that noise that was in my head, I closed my eyes.  And, you know how sometimes when you close your eyes you see shapes?  Those shapes formed into faces.  I was so excited, I saw Jesus' face, then I saw Mary's face and I got all kinds of excited wondering whose face was gonna be next.  I was concentrating on Mary's face and while talking to her, the most beautiful thing happened.  I fell asleep.  No noise anywhere.  No sounds of the tv, no thoughts running through my head as I'm talking to God.  Just blissful sleep.  That was at nine.  I woke up around 1130.  I was so very happy.  All that quiet was so needed.  Then, I couldn't go back to sleep for like an hour lol  Apparently, not only my body, but my mind needed the rest.

So here I am, in the relatively quiet of the morning.  My three monkeys are all awake finally.  And by awake I mean groggy and watching tv.  They have not woken up fully yet and so there is quiet for now.  When the noise begins today, I will take that as my cue to go drop off the check to the orthodontist and then go to adoration.  Maybe I should've asked Santa for noise canceling headphones for Christmas.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Until next time,
I wish all of you Peace and love and a year full of many blessings!


Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Christmas Carol

I guess you could say, it started right after Thanksgiving this year.  I knew that Christmas was coming.  Well, I always know it's coming, but I knew that this year was going to be difficult.  So, I decided, unconsciously mind you, to run.  To run and run and run as fast as I could.  In retrospect, I don't know if I thought I could out run it or not.  All I know is I was running a lot. 

Dad came down for Thanksgiving.  My relationship with Dad is awesome.  We can talk about everything and nothing.  We can sit and be quiet and not talk too.  There's never any pressure.  We are just us and it's wonderful.  His visit flew by.  But then, I got ready for my Mom's visit.  Her first visit here in four years.  The first time I was going to see her (minus two hours last August).  In the midst of getting ready for her visit, I worked nine glorious days this month.  Totally awesome.  I booked myself choc full of activities.  Before Mom's visit, I had dinner with some of my chrp sisters and also attended our church's annual Christmas luncheon.  Again, it was beautiful.  It's something that my friend Tina and I do every year.  Then, my Mom came.

Her visit was awesome.  It was bittersweet.  My Mema was missing.  My Mom brought lots of pictures and things that belonged to my Mema.  My favorite being her afghan that's older than I am.  I have had many childhood naps under.  The first few days of her visit were full of stuff, friends of mine to introduce her too, cookie exchanges and lunches.  I was bound and determined that she was going to meet as many of my friends as she possibly could.  All the ones that I talk about to her all the time.  The thing about running is when I run, I really don't realize I am running till I'm like in the middle of a marathon and look up at an aww crap moment.  And, of course, this marathon was no different.  At one of my lunches, I turned into the worst version of myself.  It was like it was an out of body experience and I could only watch in horror as it happened.  I inadvertently insulted one of my very close friends.  Who to make matters worse was having a bad day herself.  Of course, when I do something, I go all out, whether it's good, or in this case, amazingly bad.  In addition to insulting my friend I mortified two other of my closest friends.  It was a banner day for me.  The insulted friend and I were okay almost immediately.  I cried for two days.  Straight.  For two whole days I was in my tent and not even George, God, or chocolate and beer could bring me out.  I was so far in my tent that it worried George.  Which usually, when I go in my tent doesn't worry him too much.  However, this time, he was really worried.  He'd look into my eyes and see that I wasn't in there, that I was somewhere else.   I was the one who was mortified that I acted so unkind and so unlike me.  I was terribly afraid that I hurt the other two friends beyond all reason and that the devil was right all along, they were too good to be true, and God, like I always said, realized that I truly don't deserve them.   After two days, I came out of my tent.  After all Mom was here.  I'm so good, I could spend time with her and talk about everything and never leave my tent.  Then, only after I came out did I talk to her about it. 

While she was here, it was the third anniversary of my Mom Carol's death.  Then, there were more parties and shopping and going and going and going.  Then, the next thing you know, it was time for her to go.  That was really gut wrenching.  She left on Wednesday.  Christmas was coming in only four days.  I couldn't run for much longer.  My whole season of advent whet to you know where in a beautifully wrapped Christmas box.  Our nightly Advent   prayers only lasted two and a half weeks.  My three teenage monkey's were going all bananas.  I was barely holding it together.

Then, last night was the beginning or our Annual Guffey/Schafer Christmas spectacular.  We went over to my Carol's house before Mass for dinner.  Then, we went to Mass.  Our entire Guffey/Schafer family takes up one whole row!  Mass was so hard.  I can't really tell you what Fr. Tuan's homily was about.  I will tell you it seemed like he droned on for 25 minutes.  Mass was running so late they cut down some of the prayers.  It was weird.  I was sitting next to my niece Elizabeth whose 8 and my George.  I would look over at George and he knew I wasn't okay.  Then, I'd look down at Elizabeth and she'd just lean on me and give me hugs.  I think she might have known I needed them.  Then, when I got home from Mass last night, I called my Mom.  I just cried and cried and cried.  All the running I did.  All the avoiding.  All the going and going and going, didn't stop Christmas eve from coming.  I was missing Mema so much I could barely breathe.  Then, late, late last night, my sister texted me.  She was missing Mema too.  We spent some time commiserating.  It was truly comforting. 

Then today, we had our Guffey/Schafer Christmas dinner and invited our friends the Jones'.  They're awesome.  At one point, My Carol looks directly into my eyes and says, "are you walking?"  I tell her 'No.  I'm firmly planted afraid to go anywhere".  It's really is comforting having her know me so well.  Sometimes, even better than George.

So, George and I went to bed at O'dark thirty only to be woken up at the buttcrack of dawn by the kids.  I couldn't fall asleep for the longest time.  So, I talked to God.  I was going to tell Him what I wanted for Christmas.  But then, I asked Him for things for my friends.  I know what my friends deepest desires are and I asked for them by name.  And then, for all the ones that I couldn't remember I asked Him to give them what He knew they needed.  And, then I told Him, I'd be perfectly alright if He would give one of my very closest friends their deepest desires this year instead of anything for me for Christmas.  Then, I told Him how much I love Him.  How I'm glad He was born and that to tell Mema how much I love her and how very much I truly miss her.

Now, the presents are all opened, friends and family have come and gone.  The sugar crashes have happened and the kids are blissfully quiet and I am in a food coma.  This month has gone by in a blur.  I am thoroughly exhausted from all the cooking and shopping and wrapping and especially the running.  All of the running.  I can't sit still you see.  For if I do, then I think, and that is just no good for anyone.  Especially me and my heart.  Which is actually funny b/c this month has been ridden with anxiety.  Maybe next year won't be so bad.  Maybe some day I realize I can't outrun anything and just go back to walking.  A new year is only a week away and miracles can happen.

Until next time,
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas full of blessings and love.  I love you all dearly and Thank God for each of you <3


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mom left today.  It was such a great visit with her.  The mood is really somber around here though.  On the way home, I commented to George how it just doesn't feel like Christmas this season.  Yea, the tree is up and the Christmas music is playing, but I don't *feel* Christmas yet.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed all the parties and the cookie exchanges.  Advent however, went by way to fast for me.  I'm missing my Mom, Carol.  Saturday was the third anniversary of her passing.  And, if that wasn't enough, this is the first Christmas without Mema.  Mema is synonymous with Christmas.  There isn't a Christmas of my life where Mema wasn't there if nothing but by phone.

Growing up, Christmas day was for presents.  Christmas eve however, that was family day.  For most of my childhood, before the teen years, it was a day of abstinence.  My Grandma would make this bean dish that would be poured over little homemade bread balls.  It was really, really yucky.  It's a Croatian dish.  As we got older, my sister and I were allowed to eat a cheese pizza.  Then, in our teen years, they added ham to the menu.  I can't tell you how many years I sat at the kiddie table among my cousins or the euphoria I felt when I got to sit at the adult table!  One year, four of Mema's six kids, plus all their children were there.  It was my favorite Christmas to date.  Although it was cold, Pittsburgh cold, it was HOT in the house b/c of all the people!  And, even though the family didn't always get along throughout the year, this one day, Christmas eve, all you found was love.

As I got married and got older and moved away, Christmas eve was always about my Grandma.  Yes, I wasn't there, but I would call Mema and get to hear everything in the background, the happiness.  Then, the phone would be passed around to family.  And, even if the phone didn't get passed around, being able to talk to Mema on Christmas eve was all about being home.  The last maybe 12 years, Mema stopped doing the Christmas eve dinner thing.  Her daughter-in-law, my Aunt took it over.  It was okay, but never the same as when Mema had it.  And, in the last couple years, Mema and my mom did their own thing on Christmas eve.  Still, I would call Mema and literally hear Christmas.  This year, I can't do that.  This year, a big part of my Christmas is not here.  Granted, I'm not some idiot who doesn't get why we have Christmas.  I know it's about Jesus, and He makes me happy.  But, not having Mema makes life more difficult.

So, here I sit, quiet.  Tired.  Somber.  Another year without my Mom Carol.  My Mom, Max left, Dad isn't here...(although he is coming down the end of April for Sarah's conformation) and it's the first Christmas without Mema.  My heart hurts.  My anxiety level has been through the roof the last few days.  I think I've forgotten how to breathe.

Merry Christmas everyone.
Until next time,
Enjoy your Christmas season


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Mary, Fr. Tim, and the Mass.

Sigh.  I love Mass.

I love going to Mass.  I love singing at Mass.  I love participating.  I love it all.  Especially, when during the homily, I am tuned in.  Sadly, this doesn't happen as often as I would like, but God and Fr. Tim have a way of bringing me back.  I have so many favorite parts of the Mass.  Like tons!  One of my very favs is right before the Gospel when I make the sign of the cross on my forehead, my lips, and my heart.  And, every time, I say to myself "may Your words be on my mind, my lips and my heart!"  And, every time, I think to myself "this is SO cool!  If only I could continue this outside of Mass!  How cool would it be to have God's words on my mind, on my lips, and my heart always?  Truth be told, it's always on my heart, more often than not on my mind, and sadly, rarely on my lips.  Why?  I dunno.  Today at Mass, I was all kinds of excited a) b/c it was a Mary feast day!!!! WOOHOO and 2) b/c during the homily, I was *present*.  I found myself nodding my head along with Fr. Tim.  He talked about St.  Bernadette and one of my favorite movies The Song of Bernadette  (I love when the Priest tells Bernadette "you have suffered enough, my child,  for the heaven of heavens")  He talked about Mary and her Immaculate Conception.  I just love listening to Fr. Tim talk about Mary!!! Sigh, it was SO wonderful!!!

Another favorite part of Mass for me is the sign of peace.  Did you ever watch Fr. Tim?  When he says "Peace of the Lord be with you all" he looks around the entire church.  To those on his right, then middle, then left (sometimes he alternates sides).  It is so beautiful to watch.  Oh, a really great Fr. Tim moment is on a Friday healing Mass when he is blessing those who come up for healing.  It doesn't matter what kind of healing they're going up for, the compassion in his eyes is so beautiful!!!  Oh and when you get the Eucharist from him, he looks you directly in the eyes!  It makes the Eucharist so much more personal.

Then, I love at the end of Mass when he says "Go in peace to love and serve the Lord".  I love it b/c he's telling me to do something.  to love and serve the Lord.  Loving Him, that's easy.  Serving Him, well....I can always do better.  But today was one of the extra special endings of Mass when he says "Bow your head and pray for God's blessing"   I love that b/c it means I'm getting an extra special blessing.  Say it, it's okay, I'm a blessings hog.  I know it.  I embrace it.  I'll take as many blessings as God wants to give me ("gimme gimme gimme!!!" lol)

As most of you know, my Mass is shared with my family and my half of my Pod.  I've grown accustomed, spoiled actually to having my Podmate with me at Mass on Sundays.  I love this one part, when we hold hands as we say the Our Father, and I can hold my Podmate close to my heart.  I knew my Podmate wasn't going to be there tonight, and that was okay.  However, during the Our Father, I found myself missing my Podmate.  Then, as I went up to receive the Eucharist, I spotted Podmates husband (Mr. Pod) and my whole insides just filled up with love "Look, it's Mr. Pod!"  I say to myself!  It's like she's here!  And, it made my night.  Well, Mary and Fr. Tim and Mass made my night, seeing Mr. Pod just topped it off lol.  Mr. Pod and Podmate are so totally awesome for each other.  God couldn't have done any better with those two, they are so perfect for each other and I love them dearly :D

And, as I get into the minivan, riding my church high as I like to call it....the kids get in the car.  My high doesn't last long as I am bombarded with "why do you hold my hand so tight during the Our Father?!!?!? Why weren't you paying attention at Mass?  You stepped on my foot!  Exactly where is this peace that was suppose to be with me that God, Fr. Tim, and lots of people at Mass gave me tonight?  Technically, they didn't put a time limit on it like "Peace be with you till you go to bed tonight".  Or "Peace be with you till Sunday".  Sigh, but it's okay.  I have three teenagers.  Peace is a state of mind.

So, today on this feast day of my beloved Mother Mary, I wish you all a day full of happiness and love and of saying "YES!!" to God in anything that He asks of you.  Don't worry, take my hand, we'll say YES together!

Until next time,
May Mother Mary wrap you in her loving mantle, close to her heart.  I love you all.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Advent, Monkeys, and Christmas Specials.

Advent blows.
Advent with three children blows.
Advent with three ungrateful teenagers blows.

Every year, this season goes by way too fast.  I can't wait for daylight savings time because that means it's going to get darker faster which in turn means that the Advent season will be here.  Each year I say, as a family, we are going to do something for Advent.  Each year, I fail miserably.  This year, I tell myself it will be different!  This year, we will eat dinner at the table for the full Advent season and do the nightly readings.  (Sometimes, with different schedules, we don't *exactly* sit together as a family.  More like, watching tv or on the computer.

So, Sunday, the first day of Advent, we eat in the dining room (oooh!) and I start to tell the kids how we are going to spend Advent this year.  Then, I look at my three teenagers who have been behaving like monkey's who escaped from some testing facility while hopped up on caffeine, red bulls, and 12 5-hour energy drinks.  Who have been pmsing for what feels like forever.  Who have been screaming at the top of their lungs at each other, whose rooms smell like foot lockers after another cowgirl loss.   I look at the three deranged monkeys and I explain how they need to be *nicer* to each other.  At least to try.  I  mean, it is the season of miracles, right?  It could happen! I explain how each of them need to work on something and as I'm explaining, all three monkeys start making weird monkey faces at each other and then bust out laughing their high pitched monkey scream laughs.  I felt so discouraged.  Sigh, but we finished dinner together, and went about our evening.  

I have spent the last two days trying to corral the monkeys.  "Please, don't say that to your sister!"  "Please keep your hands to yourself!"  "Please find where the odor is coming from your room!"  "Please stop me from sticking this pen in my own eye!"  All to no avail.  The monkeys are on the loose running rampant.  As if that wasn't enough, I spent exactly 7 minutes in adoration yesterday.  I just couldn't seem to sit still to talk to Him.  Everything I wanted to say kept getting interrupted.  So finally, I'm all "Dad, you know my heart and what's in it and what I need and what's bothering me.  Here!  Take it.  And, btw-I love you!" And with that, I left.

I have not been sleeping well the last three nights.  I just lay there in bed and say prayers to God.  It helps.  Then, when I do fall asleep, they are not pleasant dreams.  One was of a boat on that sat on my chest.  Not a toy boat, but a big sail boat type boat.  The next night was over my stupid brother.  How much I miss him and how I was looking for him.  I'll tell you this, when you cry in your dream, like big racking sobs, you wake up exhausted!  Then, last night, I was going 'in my tent' and wanted to be left alone.  I took a bus to downtown Philly (wtf?) and ended up at some sort of revival where they give you tee shirts with awesome Christian songs on the back.  When you get there, you have a little tag (admittance slip maybe?) and when your ready to come out of your tent, you give one of the people in the red shirts the tag.  I didn't.  I just held on to mine.  Although, I loved the shirts.  And, some of my favorite Christian music was playing.  Then, at the end, the last song I remembered was Just the way you are-by Bruno Mars.  One of my very favorites.  And, it seemed like God, was singing it to me (minus the part about kissing...ewww).

So, I woke up exhausted yet again.  And, I've even been going to bed early.  Apparently, when you've got a lesson to learn it doesn't matter if it's Advent or Lent.  Dude, I thought I was done with school!  I have a diploma around here somewhere!  Sigh.

 So, it seems like I am living my very own Christmas special with a lesson to learn.  I fully expect that at the end of Advent, when my lesson is learned, the heavens will open up, legions of angels will get their wings, music of praise to God will be sung, and shots of tequila passed around heaven because I finally got the lesson.

Until next time,
Happy Advent.  Pray for those alone this Advent season.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

As if I haven't been yelling from the rooftops enough...DAD IS HERE!!!! lol  I love having Dad here.  He has fun with the kids and then time with George and I and time with everyone.  There is such a level of comfort where we don't have to fill the silence.  We can just be.  I love his smile and hearing him laugh.

Today, however, took a turn for the weird.  A friend of mine, a wonderful woman passed away yesterday, Rose.  You might know her.  I didn't know her very well.  But, she was in my book study and she was an amazing, lively woman.  Today, was her viewing.  My podmate, Julie, and I went together.  Which in and of itself is a great thing.  Whenever any combination of the pod get together, it's awesome.  But, I digress.  Jules and I were walking into the funeral home and as the gentleman directed us down the hall to where the viewing was.  I told Jules that this was the first time since Mom's funeral that I was in a funeral home.  I felt like I was walking into a wall.  The air was thick and it was difficult, but I went.  We said a rosary for our friend and then went up to pay our respects.  Funny thing is...while I was there for Rose, I was back at Mom's funeral.  I was standing in front of her coffin begging her to wake up.   Walking up to Roses' coffin, she looked so beautiful and I was so glad that I went.  But the rest of the day...the rest of the day was different.  It's not like I don't think of Mom just about everyday.  But today, today with Roses' funeral and the flashback and everything I have been missing Mom something terrible.  And, I'm irritated, torqued off really, that she left me.  Maybe, it's that in 25 days, it will be two years since Mom left me.  I don't know.  Plus, with the loss of Mema so fresh, my heart can only take so much.  So, tonight I'm not just blue, I'm heartbroken.  And, I know that come the morning, I will be okay again....until the next time.

Until next time,
Have a happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Dreams, Death and Pods

I have an over active imagination. For those of you who know me well, this should not come as a surprise. I am learning however, that my oai as I like to call it, really has no limits.

For example, sometimes, when I sleep, I dream. The dreams tend to get really specific most times. Like I'm in a house it's my favorite house, but one that only exists in the dream world. I know every inch of that house. I could give you a guided tour if I had pics, but sadly, in the real world, it is hard to explain. It's the same with shopping centers and malls. The same ones that I've gone to over and over, but don't exist in the real world. Usually, my dreams never bother me, then sometimes, I have really bad ones. Last nights one was so bad that in my dream I was crying (I'll explain in a few minutes) and screaming and when I woke up, my face was wet and I was still crying. In fact, it took me a good 15-20 minutes to quit crying. Here's why...I dreamed of Mema. Not just Mema, but my grandpa and my mom. My Mema thought that Grandpa had just died, not thirteen years ago, but now. And,to weird me out even more, turns out she was holding her sisters hand whose been gone for years now, and her sister, my aunt, looked directly at me. Then, as if to vanish, Mema was dead and then my mom was dead. Alas, I woke up crying.

Today has been a difficult day. Heck, it's been a difficult week. Car troubles mostly. And, I have been looking for silver linings and finding them everywhere. Then, the other night, I went into my tent for a while. I just needed to be there. I didn't really want to talk to anyone or be with anyone. Then, after a while, I let my podmate, Alyssa in. Today has been rough. Mass tonight, while fun, was rough. I just feel such a sense of loss. Mema is gone. Yes, I am aware, that it's been four and a half months sine she's gone. I have moments. Little moments of clarity where I know she's happy. I know she's in heaven. I know she was here, and that I'm going to be okay. Then, day's like today hit. And, my loss seems so profound.

Aside from the kids, the greatest gift God has given me, is George. But, after George, the greatest gift God has given me is my Pod and the podmates. We were all represented at Mass tonight and got to have a group hug. See, the pod (my Julie, My Alyssa, Bob, St. Theresé, and St. Peter) we were brought together by God. Sure, we have other friends. Good, close, friends. Ones we hang out with and love dearly and the Pod doesn't replace that. The Pod though, its home. It's a support group full of love and faith and laughter and tears. And, it's hard to explain something so beautiful. All I can say is it's a work of God and if you have paid attention to the cool things he does (full moons, awesome stars, rainbows to name a few) You can imagine how cool the Pod is. We are like a tripod. When one leg is not functioning well, the other two support it. And, this week, I have been the not functioning well leg. Mema's gone. And, in dwelling over her loss, I have been reminiscing about Mom and how much I miss her since she died (2 years this December). And, my Podmates have been nothing short of amazing.

God. He's been calling lately. We keep playing phone tag. He calls and I really, really don't feel like talking and He doesn't leave a message. Then, when I call back, I have a bad connection because I don't hear Him. Sigh. One day, hopefully soon, when He calls, I'll be ready to pick up the phone.

On a lighter and much happier note, Dad comes down on Monday!!!! WOOHOO!!! I cannot wait!!! I love his visits! He is just so awesome! We talk to him at least once a week. Me maybe, once every week and a half to two weeks. Things just get so busy and so hectic. So, I am really looking forward to his visit.

Until next time,
Safe travels for all those wandering for Thanksgiving.


Monday, November 8, 2010


So, George was gone for the weekend and Jaime was too. George was at St. Anthony's helping with the retreat and Jaime was camping. I was left with my girls. We had such an awesome time together! Just spending time being girls and running errands on Saturday. We even happened upon a little place to make our own jewelry, so we did! We had a blast. Then, as it was time for bed (I let them stay up waaaa y late lol) we all climbed into my big bed and I got to sleep with my girls. Something we haven't done for years. But, this time, I was wiser....I didn't sleep in the middle! A HA!!!!! I'm sure you guys remember or if you don't I'll tell you. If you sleep in the middle you're gonna get no sleep and rolled on and kicked on and smacked lol.

Saturday evening, I went to the Mass at St. Anthony's where the fullness of the POD was represented!!! Nothing, and I mean nothing can compare to sharing a Mass with people I love, whether it's George and the kids, Carol and her family, or my POD. It's the greatest experience in love. And, I wish for all of you to experience it and one time or another. My POD ROCKS. I'm sure they're other PODs out there, but none as cool as mine. My Alyssa. I could go on for days about how awesome she is. But I'm also biased (so is George and her husband Thad!). And, My Julie, ugh do I love her somethin fierce! I could go on for YEARS about how amazing she is! Then add in the Holy Spirit, St. Therese and my bro Peter! Psh, ain't no better pod baby!

Then yesterday I couldn't wait for Jaime and George to get home. And, they did and I was happy. As the day drew to a close, and it was time for bed, I went upstairs and checked on the kids. First the girls room. And, for once, it didn't bother me that I couldn't really see into their room. Fan on, light off. I'm not stupid enough to walk into that death trap. You don't know what you're going to step on. I listened for the sounds of my three girls breathing. Maria, Sarah, and Lizzie the wonder dog who sleeps with Sarah. At that point, it didn't bother me that I couldn't walk in their room. I remember what it's like being a teenage girl with a messy room. No one ever goes in there but them, and in the grand scheme of things as long as it doesn't bother them, and they have clean clothes, and it doesn't smell like a foot locker, I'm okay with it. Just keep the door closed. lol

Next, I went to check on Jaime. Same thing, you can't see b/c his fan is on and his light is off. His room is less of a landmine and more of an obstacle course. Again, I didn't go in, but I listened for his breathing amongst the talk of his radio (left over from the amazing cowboys game. GO STEELERS!) I don't walk into his room because while he has clear paths, in the dark you're still gonna bump into his bass, his school stuff, and all around general boy stuff lol. As I'm walking back to my room (yea, I share it with George, but it's my room lol)I felt so content. It was such a gift from God. My whole body, while slightly tired, was at peace. I don't get that very often and I reveled in it!

Then this morning, the weirdest thing happened. Jaime was in the shower and the girls were up, all by themselves. YES, even Maria who is so hard to wake up! There was no rushing around, I can't find my fill in the blank. It was beautiful. Such a great way to start the day!

Now, I would like to carry this contentment with me the rest of the day, but I know it won't happen. Life is outside those doors. But, I can try! I know no matter what I do, Bob's got my back :D And with backup like that, why worry?

Until next time,
Have an amazing day and say prayers for all those going through RCIA :D


Wednesday, November 3, 2010


You would think that Halloween is still going strong, or that I forgot to put my bitc witch costume away. I don't know what it is lately (probably pms)but the last two days, I feel like I could bit the heads off of chickens. Live ones. Feathers, beaks and all.

Where to begin? I'd say the beginning, but I don't have much time before work this morning, so I'll start in the middle. Work. Ugh! Such a drudge these days. A couple of the workers I really (REALLY) like. So, they make it fun. We make it fun. Or we use to. Now, we're so busy with our old mgr gone and her supervisor in her role for the last 4 weeks and the foreseeable future we don't have time to pee let alone really enjoy what we do. And trust me, I'm a lunch lady. We get paid to be a mom (cook, clean, serve, do dishes, laundry (those towels ain't gonna wash themselves), sweep, mop, do paperwork, feed the kids, and handle the kids money). You have to really find the joy some days. And, some days, the joy just eludes you. Especially, when you work with people who are of the 'it's not on my list' or 'that person just walks in circles and I get stuck doing all the work' mentality. I would love to tell you that I've never done that, but to be honest, occasionally, I fall into the latter category...not often mind you, but sometimes. It's been so bad lately, that I said to said supervisor on Monday "y'know, I don't mind working with special ed people (referencing a particular worker) I just need to know if they're special ed". Turns out the particular worker isn't. But maybe I should treat them like they are, I would definitely be more compassionate. Which I don't understand. Why can't I be more compassionate without them being special ed. Oh yea, I'm HUMAN!

Then, yesterday, I had the day off to take Maria to get her top braces on (her bottoms with be done in Jan). I had planned to go to adoration. Well, planned isn't necessarily the right word. Hoped is more like it. And, have lunch with George, and, get the tires checked, and vote. I did vote, I did get Maria's braces on, but I started out trying to help my mom with something which didn't happen (epic fail) then I was running late, and the day got away from me. I was so irked I could spit nails. I five penny kind! That's how they measure nails, by how many penny's thick the top is. Thanks, Grandpa!

Oh, and on Monday, I tweaked something in my thumb and its a little wonky the past couple days. Joy.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about my crosses. I'm actually happy to have them. However, I am just warning you if you see me and I seem a bit out of sorts, truly, it's not you, it's me. lol

And, as a little gift to my pod this morning, listen to the song :D It's for you guys :D

So you think you can dance - Fix you - Robert & Allison from Laura U on Vimeo.

Until next time,
Hide your chickens :D


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

How you doin?

I'm not the best sleeper in the world. Sometimes I do get to sleep through the night. But mostly, I toss around, too hot or too cold. The bed is old. And, when I do fall asleep, lately I have weird dreams. And, even weirder is a recurring dream I have from someone in my not so distant past. Someone I love. While the circumstances are always different, the thing that stays the same is that the person is here, with me. I see them and walk up to them, we are shocked to see each other, then we hug and then let go. I tell our mutual friends that said friend is back and they really don't believe me. I tell them how I've dreamed the same dream for a while that this person was back and here they are! They really don't have anything to say. Then, they see our friend and they are happy too.

I know why my friend left. It was what they had to do, but I miss my friend terribly and nothing has been the same since they left. The pain in my heart has lessened, now it's just a dull ache, and it's been over a year since they left.

Life is okay now. Depending upon what your version of okay is. George is still contracting, work is still blah since the personnel change, I'm tired lately, I miss Mema, and I miss George's Mom. Sometimes, and no one knows this, save George, but sometimes, I'll look at the picture of Mom and me (his Mom) and I'll ask him "she was really here, right? She really loved me? We had a relationship, I just didn't imagine it all, right?" And, he will say indeed, she was here. Now, I find myself looking at my pictures of Mema which are everywhere, even in my bathroom, and I wonder if she was really here or did I imagine it all.

My sister, Tina, God love her. One day not too long ago, she said something most profound. She said 'wow, your childhood really messed you up" I'm paraphrasing here, but the conversation was on my lack of friends and how now I am uber grateful for each and everyone of you. She meant it in the most beautiful way. So, after Mom and now Mema died. Part of me is afraid that my life here in Texas just didn't happen. That I'm gonna wake up one day, back in Pittsburgh, back in that house, back in that situation. No George, No George's parents. No Carol, No Julie, No Alyssa, No Tina, No Sharon, No you guys. I'll wake up and realize that I dreamed the most beautiful dream and sadly, it was a dream. Just like the dreams I have been having about my friend who left. Then, other times, I look at pictures of George's mom and I, or Mema and I'll say to myself "it was real" "she was here". Sometimes just once, sometimes three times (the ocd in me), but I tell myself it anyway.

In three days it will be the first anniversary of the death of my beloved friend Vicki. Maybe that's what has me so melancholy. I miss her. Mind you we didn't talk or email everyday. We were moment friends. Every time we met, which was sporadic, we would have moments. And, she knew me and knew how much I loved her and I knew her. Her wonderful, amazing spirit, and that she loved me. Watching her and her husband, My Russ, it was the most beautiful example of marriage.

My hearts a little heavy tonight, or should I say this morning? I'm missing Mema lately more than it almost seems I can take. I miss my mom (even though she's coming up to visit this December!!!!) It's been over a year since I've seen her. And, I miss Dad (George's). He's coming down for Thanksgiving!!!! I'm missing my sister and her family and really wish they could come visit, but with both of them in retail, that's really not an option. And, I miss God. I know He's around. I know He's working on something just for me, but He's been awfully quiet. But then again so have I.

It's well past the bewitching hour and work seems to come earlier each day, so with that I'll say sweet dreams.

Until next time,
Sorry, Carol, but I'm running again. Didn't mean to, it just happened.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Past

The past really isn't the past.  You can put your past in your past but it's not always going to stay there.

Recently, through the miracle that is facebook, someone contact me from my past.  From the not so happy part of my past.  So, I ignored their request.  A couple days later I got another request from the same person.  This time they sent a not so nice message along including colorful language and then said to accept their friend request.   Yea, I deleted that one too.  THEN, this same person friend requested one of my kids.  Being the horrible parent that I am, George and I monitor the kids emails and facebook accounts.  We don't even let them have internet on their phones.  Why do they need it when there's a perfectly good computer in the house!  I saw the friend request and ignored it.  I explained to my two facebook kids (you don't get a facebook account in our house until your 14) that someone from my past who is not very nice might friend request them.  I showed them what they looked like and told them not to accept the request.  I also reiterated the house rules on accepting friend requests.

Then, tonight my dear friend from back home and I got to chatting online.  She knew the person from my past who popped up.  We talked for about an hour.  It was beautiful.  I can tell in my witness of things that happened in my past.  I can joke and make light of things that happened in my past.  I can be 12 years removed of things that happened in my past and almost forget.  And, people try to understand.  Friends try to empathize.  And, it's lovely.  But, there's something to be said for talking to someone who was *there*.  Who saw things, heard things, knew things.  There's a bond that is formed.  When lambs are lead to the slaughter, they form a bond.  My friend and I share just such a bond.  We talked of the past, of those who were there.  Those who weren't kind.  We talked how we wake up every day and thank God that we are not in that situation anymore.

When the person popped up and asked me to accept their request, it brought back some not good memories.  Then, tonight, talking to my dear friend, it brought back more, not good memories, but a few good ones, like when I was in labor with Sarah.

It's funny, lately, I've been walking in the valley of the shadow of doubt.  I've been doubting lots of stuff lately.  My faith, but not my faith.  Not my 'I believe in God faith' but my 'Bible study, and I only talking to God when I need stuff thing'.  The 'I feel all alone' spiritually thing.  I couldn't tell you the last time God talked to me, or when I actually talked, and not complained to God.  That might be part of the problem.  I have a few books I really want to read, but have not made the time.  There's always something, kids, bible studies, friends, family, life.  You name it.  So, I'm kinda not surprised that the devil would chose to attack me with all this crap.  But the thing the devil fails to realize every time, is that God is the one who rescued me from my past.  He is the one who rescues me, every time.  So, it doesn't matter how he chooses to attack me, or how spiritually lonely or dry I feel.  God is gonna send a row boat, a helicopter, anything He can to get to me.  He'll never stop coming for me, rescuing me.  And, I know I'm going to always need Him to rescue me.

And, for those who are feeling alone, I leave you with one of my very favorites...

Until next time,
What do you need rescued from?


Friday, October 15, 2010

Matteis, Rodin and Me

So, yesterday, George and I are at the Dallas Museum of Art.  We had such a beautiful time walking around, holding hands, looking at priceless works of art.  Sometimes we'd talk about a piece or show each other something that caught the others eye but we were also content to just look and be still, not saying anything.  Now, I'm not a art conesur.  For all I know Monet could have used crayolas.  But I came across one piece in particular that held me.  It was so beautiful I sat in front of it for a little while and it literally brought tears to my eyes.  I was so filled with emotion by this painting.  I wanted to purchase it at the gift shop, but unfortunately, they didn't have it for sale as a poster.  I mentioned to the sales lady that the DMA was right down the street from the Cathedral and if she stocked some Catholic posters, they would sell pretty well (They have a portrait of St. Catherine of Seinna and a picture with St. Jerome in along with a few of Mary).  The picture that struck me is called Adoration of the Sheppards. 

The first thing that struck me was how young Mary is.  Yes, I know she was 14, but when you see pictures or statues she looks like she's in her 20s.  Look at how young she truly is!  Then, look at Jesus.  He's just looking straight ahead.  And, then there's St. Gabriel kneeling down at the head of Jesus.  And the sheppards!  I'm use to seeing them all covered up and carrying staffs.  They're in short clothes here. And look at the boy on the right.  Look how he's looking away from Jesus at the man by him.  Look at the wonderment in his face!  And then look in the back, you can see the oxen.  Now look up.  See the angels?  See the one with the sign that says "Gloria"?  and then there's two angels almost hidden.  And look at Joseph!  How handsome!  How happy!  How full of wonder!!!!  I could sit and look at this picture for a while and find more stuff to marvel at, I'm sure!  I just had to share this with you.

The other piece that struck me was a sculpture.  It was from the Wendy and Emory Reeves Collection.  It was called I am Beautiful.  I was a husband holding his wife who was curled up in a ball around his shoulders.  It struck me because he was holding her with such great love.  They were almost entwined.

An excerpt from the DMA site says "The female figure, in a crouching, almost fetal position, is embraced by a standing man who seemingly reaches to the heavens to rescue her."  For more information on the sculpture..

I would LOVE to have my own copy of one!  Do they even sell copies?

 I know it will sound weird, but to be with my husband, on our anniversary, looking at such an intimate sculpture made me feel so blessed, so connected and so loved.

It was such a beautiful day all around yesterday.  The weather could not have been more perfect, and the company, my beloved husband, was awesome.  I hope to have more days like yesterday!

Until next time,
Take a trip to the museum with your beloved.  See what inspires you!



George has had to deal with a lot.  More than most, less than some.  He moved his job, left his family and all his friends to move to South Carolina to be with me and the kids, and we began our life together.    Six months after the wedding, he lost his job (for the first of three times).  He moved to Kansas six weeks before the kids and I could come for a job.  During our nine months in Kansas our marriage really grew strong.  Neither of us had any family or friends there, only each other.  We learned to rely truly on each other.  Then, we moved to Texas.  You know it has to be love for a girl from the 'burg to end up in Texas!  But, love him I do.

Here in Texas, not only has our marriage grown stronger, but so has our faith, in God, ourselves, and each other.  We've made friends, lasting friendships, friends that are not friends now, they're family (Carol, Julie, Tina, Alyssa, Patti).  Like most of the country, we've faced financial hardships (before it was fashionable, what can I say, we're trendsetters!), we've faced death and loss.  But we've also celebrated and have had great joy.

Today, today was a gift from God.  George was able to get the day off with pay.  His first in 18 months.  He and I spent the evening at a local hotel and then spent the day together.  Just us, no kids.  We went to the Dallas Museum of Art.  We had an amazing dinner at Rafains (I still prefer Fogo de Chao, but Rafrains is a affordable alternative) and just enjoyed each others company all day.  We talked, actually talked, not about bills and schedules, but about us.  About our lives together.  On our wedding day, before the ceremony, I gave George and out.  I told him he could change his mind, I'd be heartbroken, but if he wanted out that was his chance.  I told him that I'm not the easiest person to live with.  He just laughed and said nope.

Ten years later, he's had to deal with my many job changes, my therapy, my on medication off medication on medication, my anxiety and panic.  My control obsession.  My lack of tact.  My dreamer mentality, my weight gain (I was a size 5 when we started dating), my pms (it's not pretty folks).  My anger, my health, my empathy and my family.

Ten years later, and I still get the better end of the deal.  I get a husband who not only loves me, but does dishes and laundry.  Who actually helps parent the kids, who handles the finances.  Who prays.  I have a husband who actually hung the moon.  Who gave me his amazing parents.  Who gives me security, who gives me strength, who gives me the confidence to be who I am and not apologize for it.  Who helps me grow and become whomever I want (no matter the hair color!) and trust me when I tell you, that's a lot to deal with!

It's only been ten years, it has flown by so fast!  I love everyday, everyday with my husband.  George, you have given me so much love and happiness and no matter what I do, I can never, ever, thank God enough for blessing me with you.

Happy Anniversary, Gus.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

30 Seconds

I stopped by church today, I had a form to drop off.  As I was leaving, I ran into a friend I hadn't seen in a while and while talking to her and the receptionist, my friend mentioned that her parents are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.  How cool is that?  I mentioned that my Dad tapped out at 35 years.  This garnered quit a few laughs.  Then, I was on my way.

Then, I got to thinking.  I know, usually, that's never a good idea, but this one wasn't half bad.  I wondered what my life would have been like, had my parents stayed together all this time.  Would my Dad ever truly grow to appreciate the quirkiness that I am?  Would my parents go on trips and vacations?  Would they come and visit me?  Would I have a relationship, a true relationship with my Dad?  Would he ever love me the way I wanted/needed him too? 

Then, I pictured all of this and you know what?  It wasn't that great.  I saw my life before my parents split (I was 27) and had they stayed together, things would've stayed the same as they always were.  My mom, God love her, would still be covering up for my dad with us kids.  My rose colored glasses would still be on.  I'd still think my Dad hung the moon.  I'd still think that my Dad liked me.  Within the last 14 years, my Dad remarried (almost immediately), I watched my mom suffer greatly, at times at my own hands.  I lost my Grandpa whom I adored.  I watch Mema grieve at the loss of my Dad as he was more of a son to her than the four she had.  I watched as my Mom took in Mema, and I use the term took in loosely.  There was never any doubt where Mema would go.  And, I don't want to imply that Mema was a burden.  She was never a burden.  She was an angel here on earth.  Sure, her and my Mom disagreed occasionally, that's to be expected but it was rare.  I watched my Mom grow in her self-confidence.  It's still not as good as it could be, but really, whose is?  And, if you grew up in my home, you'd realize why I am the way I am, why my self confidence isn't as good as it could be either.  But, starting with none, my Mom and I haven't done too bad over the last 14 years.  I realized during the first few years that my Dad, sadly, was human.  Human with faults, and needs and wants.  He did not belong on the pedestal that I had erroneously placed him on (too much watching tv shows where the daughters were Daddy's little girls I guess).  I learned a lot about myself too.  I learned I was a lot stronger than I ever thought (thanks, Mom).  Not many people know this, but I was a single Mom of three kids under 3.  I faced a lot of fears during this time.  I drove over the infamous old cooper river bridge in Charleston, SC to work by myself (thanks again, Mom), I constantly looked over my shoulder.  I was rail thin (hard to believe, I know, but stress and fear will do that to you).  I found that I could stand on my own two feet.  I met the love of my life, George and his amazing family.  His mother ROCKED.  There's not a day that doesn't go by that I don't miss her.  His Dad, well, you all know how much I love him and how much of a Dad he is to me (and he's coming down for Thanksgiving!!!! WOOHOO).  Then, at 35 I discovered my faith.  I say discovered instead of rediscovered because I don't think I ever really did anything with it before.  I realized my Dad does love me, just in his own way, not in the way I want or need, but in his own way.  I realized that he's really old.  He's only 70 but he's really old.  Kids are noisy, he doesn't like to fly, or come visit me.  I'll leave out about the part how he and his wife Sarah travel everywhere all the time. lol  I've realized just how amazing my mom really is (she's coming down in December hopefully!!!!)  I realized I am not strong enough to do this life thing on my own.  That I have anxiety and panic disorder, that I had to be on meds, got off of em for a while and now back on them and that's okay.  I realized I'll never have another child with George.  I realized in five years all my kids will be in college.  And, I realized, that God is the best father I ever could have asked for.

Yea, all of that from a 30 second conversation at church today.  Amazing, no?  All in all, it's a great reminder how awesome God is.  How he can take what you think is the worst thing that could happen to you and turn it around and have so much good come out of it!

Until next time,
God thinks you are amazing and so do I.


Friday, October 1, 2010

Today has been amazing!!!!  Totally surprised the crap outta me, that's for sure!

You all know how my morning went.  Let me tell you about my afternoon.  I started with Mass at noon.  I could feel the pull all morning for me to stay away.  But I resisted and went anyways.  I'm so glad I did!  I got to sit next to and worship with my podmate!!!  I was so awesome to see her.  We also decided to induct one other person into our pod because as school house rock says "three is a magic number, yes it is".  So, if I get no objections, I think we're closin out the pod at three.  Do you want to know who the last member of our pod is?  Okay, I'll tell ya!  It's My Alyssa!  Julies pm#1, Alyssa's pm#2, and I round it out at 3 :D  It's the perfect size for us with all the baggage that we have (and I've got plenty I tell ya!)  Anywho, Mass was *awesome*!  And, I went up for the anointing of the sick.  Totally, amazingly awesome!

Guess who I got to sit by in Mass today?  Guess, Guess!!!  Other than my'll NEVER GUESS!!!!  SUE PAYNE!!!!!!!!  I KNOW!  AWESOME, RIGHT!!!!  Let me set the picture for you.  Sue and I have never met.  But through the wonders of facebook, and friends of friends of friends, we began chatting online a while ago.  Her family was going through something and prayers were needed.  Over the weeks and months, she and I began to talk and email.  Then we would i m sometimes.  Lots and lots were shared and we grew our friendship from miles away (she's in Houston) out of prayer.  I knew she was coming back to St. Jude's this weekend and was hoping to actually meet her face to face.  But, I know she has a buttload of friends to see, so I wasn't counting on it.  Then, this afternoon, Mass is about to start in a few minutes and Sue walks in the pew in front of me.  I don't know who she is yet, but she was hugging Jules and as Sue sits down she squeezes my leg (I'm sitting down) hello.  I look up and recognition dawns (I've seen her pics on facebook) and I jump up and give her a huge hug and say "welcome home"!!!!  God found a way for Sue and I to meet.  I mentioned to my Julie about this little fact and she said "Isn't it amazing how facebook can be used for good"  Actually, I'm paraphrasing as she said it more eloquently.  But as I sat there I thought, 'how cool is God!'.

Then, I had lunch with my loving husband, ran a few errands, then made dinner for a friend.  And, as a surprise, George took the night off to surprise me!  All in all, it's be an awesome day!

God is totally awesome!

Until next time,

Remember I love you!


Oh Happy Day

Today, I took a mental health day off of work.   Things have been really, well, jumbled as of late.  I, for one, haven't been myself.  As you know, I've been attacked as of late.  And, it turns out, I'm not the only one.  One of my friends and I chatted all the way from her college, she's being attacked.  One of my good friends and I sat outside her house last night talking, she's being attacked.  One of my friends, he's being attacked.  And, I can tell you without a doubt, my workplace is under attack.

Weary and exhausted from being attacked and feeling hopeless, what's a girl to do!  Raise your hand if you said 'adoration'.  Now, Raise your hand if you said "wcw (whine, cry, and wallow)"  Okay, you can put your hands down now.  You are both right!  I was thinking this morning, before adoration, of all the ways that the little guy attacks me.  You've got to give the devil his due, literally, he's good at his job.  He gets me through many avenues.  Many I'm sure I don't even know about.  However, here are a couple of the ones I do know about.  The easiest one he uses is death.  Namely, mine.  It scares the crap outta me.  The unknown (even though I have a hunch where I'm going).  The little guy likes to prey on my fear that it will be all darkness and I will be alone.  I won't be able to see anyone or anything.  It will be just darkness and me.  Yea, that scares me.  That's the easiest and the quickest way for him to get to me.  But, as I've gotten older, and maybe a grain or two wiser, I know it's him and I tell him to go away.  BEGONE!   Then, sometimes he's more sneaky.  He preys on my emotions.  That no one really likes me, save George, and that's only b/c he was getting up there and couldn't find anyone better so he settled for a broken girl with three young kids.  The little guy brings up my friendless, lonely childhood.  Then, he shows me my current life.  He shows me how busy everyone is.  How they don't have time for me.  Even my bestest of friends with whom I share everything (and I do mean's like TABASCO PEOPLE  IT BURNS!!! lol) we can joke and play but sometimes when the jokes on me (usually, I don't mind, I really have fun with it), but sometimes, he whispers to me "even they don't like you, really."  And, then I sink deeper and deeper.  Yes, I know what you're going to say.  I truly do, and most of the time, I know I am loved.  It still to this day surprises the crap out of me (that was another post lol) but I know and believe it.  But sometimes, when I'm not doing so hot, yea, that's how he gets me.  All sneaky like. 

I'm trying to decide what's harder, sitting and listening to all the little guys crap that he likes to spew, or climbing out of the pit of despair (Princess Bride reference!).  They're both pretty hard.  One of my really good friends whom I've come to adore lately (and Jules, we might have to make her part of our pod and I don't say that lightly) said something the other day.  She said "when we feel farthest from Jesus is when we are actually closest to Him."  Profound thought, no?  So that means, in this valley I and my friends have been walking, yea, He's right here with us.  Something we tend to forget.  It's great to have reminders every now and again.

Today, before adoration, I went to confession with Fr. Tuan.  As I'm listing my sins and talking (not even five minutes, I wasn't *that* bad this month), I'm watching him look around his desk and I wondered if he's even listening to me.  Then, as he starts to talk, he's still looking around his desk and then through a stack of prayer cards.  I notice one he's given me before.  Then, I catch something he says.  He was talking about being tempted.  I confessed that at work, it's been really hard lately not to fall into the complaining group b/c everyone is irked lately over a situation that has arose.  Fr. Tuan starts to talk about temptation and mentions the computer and how some people are tempted.  And, my first thought is "seriously, he can't be comparing my work situation to internet porn is he?"  I don't think he was.  Then, he handed me the prayer card and it was the same one as before, which kinda irked me.  But then I realized that God was saying 'you're not getting it, you big dummy'.  Yes, sometimes God channels Fred Sandford. 

The prayer card was from Corinthians Love is patient, blah, blah, blah.  So, I take this card to adoration and really read over it.  It was a shortened version of the reading.  Love is patient, kind, doesn't rejoice in wrongdoings of others.  "Wow", I thought to myself, clearly I am not as loving as I thought I was.  I have not been any of these things at work lately.  Which made me feel even worse about myself.  Then, I got to the bottom of the card...'love believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things'.  Then, I thought, yea, I'm gonna be okay.  Me and my merry band of those being attacked lately, we are gonna be just fine!

Until next time,

Today is the feast day of my very, absolutely, favorite saint, Saint Therese!  Today, I ask you to do just one little thing, no matter how small, with great love for someone :D


Monday, September 27, 2010

Dancing in the Minefields

Okay here's the situation (my parents went away on a weeks vacation....sorry, sorry 90's flashback) yes, it's another update!  Two in two days, but not surprisingly, I have more to say, lol.

First, I'd like to thank all of you for your kind words.  I am glad to know that I was able to help you by passing along Carol J's words of wisdom regarding prayer.  And, I am glad that in my weakness, I can show you that you don't have to be strong all the time.  That rollercoasters and valleys will happen, just as sure as the sun will rise, we will be on top of the mountains and screaming down the coaster with our hands up in the air smiling and laughing (as opposed to screaming as we are climbing up the rollercoaster 'this is way too hard!')

Work is well, work.  A few of us try to have fun and laugh but sometimes, things happen beyond our control and it makes it a tad difficult.  As of today, my boss is out for two weeks with a microfracture on her elbow.  I've decided we need to wrap her in her own bubble.   She's fallen off of atv's and other stuff, and recently a chair!  A CHAIR! lol  I told her she needs to stop drinkin.  She said she doesn't drink, to which I replied, maybe you need to start! lol  She's awesome.  After work today I went to Dr. B's.  I have a pulled muscle in my back.  So, I called George to let him know.  Here's our conversation:

Me:  Hey honey, just got out of the Dr's.  It's a pulled muscle.
George:  How much was it?
Me:  $30
George:  $30 for a pulled muscle
Me:  Yup.
Me inside my head "I'm fine though, thanks for asking" lol

There was a similar conversation had regarding the muscle relaxers that Dr. B called in, but I'll spare you that conversation lol.

Sometimes men can be so clueless.  They are a much different species than us.  And, most of the time I am grateful for it.  Note, I said 'most of the time' lol.

Here's is how I've been feeling in a nutshell.  Please keep in mind, that these are my feelings and mine alone.  They are not the feelings of the NFL, NBC, or George (half the time George finds out how I'm feeling from here lol).  And, you cannot copy them without express written consent from the National Baseball League. 

This past chrp meeting on Saturday helped me see things a little more clearer.  Then, I received beautiful emails from my podmate and my Sharon and Lisa.  Hey Sharon, I forgot to tell you Sandy and I are now friends on FB!!!  All these emails said something that I needed to hear.  One of them said that I need to just 'be simple in my faith for a while'.  I really liked that.  It was one of those a-ha moments.  It was also one of those 'a doi why didn't I think of that myself' moments.  But I mean, just think of it.  Just chew on it and meditate on it with me.  Why do we make our faith so complicated?  Why, do I, who know God loves me no matter what, try to prove my faith to Him?  I take on a daily rosary for a few months at a time.  I tried this year long novena.  I made it two months!  I don't know if I'm trying to prove my faith and love to and for Him, to honor Him.  I think sometimes I get confused sometimes (HA more like a lot of times).  I know He is here and He loves me unconditionally no matter what I do or don't do.  That's the great thing about the word unconditional.  There are no strings attached.  God loves me whether or not I love Him (which I do, deeply).  He loves me whether or not I listen to Him (I try too).  He loves me whether or not I come to Him (mostly I do.  Sometimes I do.) But, I think I might have a bit of a Peter complex.  He was human, he loved Jesus deeply and yet he betrayed Him.  So, maybe in my twisted way of thinking, if I say these rosaries, and prayers and novena's I can prove to Him that I am not like Peter and won't turn on Him.  The funny thing is, in comparative terms, I'm just like Peter.  I failed in my prayers to Him, just like Peter failed Him.  But I think also that maybe, my ADHDness of not being able to finish and putting pressure on myself maybe, just maybe it's His way of reminding me that I don't need to prove anything to Him.  That while He loves that I keep trying to please Him and that I do love Him, I don't need to try so hard, or at all.  That He loves me without any conditions.

Yea, I got that just from the 'be simple in my faith for a while' line!  Imagine what I could do with a whole sentence! lol  But, it's not me.  Nope, not one bit.  It's all Bob.  And, as my Podmate will tell you, Bob rocks!

Dancing in the Minefield came from a song I heard on the radio today.  It much like God Gave Me You in that it is to a spouse, but it is also apropos for friends and want to share it with all of you, my friends.  It reminds me of Paul Simon's music a little :D  Sit back and enjoy, my  friends.

Until next time,
Pray for quick healing for my boss, and for Dr. B as he's got the crud.


Sunday, September 26, 2010


I've been feeling really icky lately.  Not just physically mind you, but spiritually and emotionally as well.  It's nothing and everything all that the same time.  It was *the* most awful week at work.  It happens.  But, it was not fun, and usually we have fun.  I won't go into details, but believe me when I say it was awful.

Then something amazing happened yesterday that I wanted to share with you guys.  I went to a chrp 5 meeting.  We haven't had one all year.  I didn't want to go.  Not at all.  Nope.  But, I know the drill (the drill being go even though I don't want to and I'll end up having fun), so I went.  I was there with Julie (Wilmoth amazing lady if you don't already know her), Carol (Johnson, the prayer chain guru), my Patti, and my Mary.  It was a small group but it was amazing.  We shared as we always do and then said a scriptural rosary which is WAY COOL.  It was the first time I've ever done one.  Basically, it's a normal rosary with a scripture verse in between the Hail Mary's.  Now, you think that would have made the rosary way longer, but it didn't.  It did however keep my mind from wandering during a rosary more than it normally does.  I thoroughly enjoyed it!  But, I digress, that's not what I wanted to share with you.

My chrp sister Carol J (Johnson) said something to me that I needed to hear.  Something that way so very, very freeing and life giving at the same time.  She and I had talked briefly on Thursday when we happened upon each other in adoration and talked briefly about a specific prayer.  Then, when I met her again on Saturday morning I mentioned the prayer along with some other stresses that I have had going on lately.  Carol said 'this prayer is stressing you out.  I give you permission to not finish this novena, it's okay.  You can do it again at a later time."  That was so freeing to me.  I didn't realize how much this novena (it's a year novena) was stressing me out.  And that, that is what I wanted to share with all of you.  The little life giving morsel that prayer isn't suppose to be stressful.  Sure, sometimes, you're hearts not really in it and you are doing it out of obligation, and that's a prayer in and of itself and that's okay.  However, prayer isn't suppose to be stressful.  Like Carol did for me, I will do for you.  If you have a prayer that is stressing you out, I give you permission to let it go and pick it back up at another time in your life that will be less stressful.

My day started off really weird, but turned out pretty awesome.  Apparently, the devil does not like me teaching JYM year two.  This is the second week in a row that he has me feeling ill the night before and feeling awful the day of.  he thinks that I'll be all "oh I'm sick, I'll stay home", but I've had this particular feeling before which means I'll feel sick and then decide to stay home from wherever I was suppose to be going only to feel better about an hour later.  But, I digress, I went to the noon Mass and as George and I walked in they were finishing up the rosary.  I KNOW THAT VOICE!!!  I looked at George and said "Is that Alyssa?!?!?!"  So, we scoured the pews and found her and Thad and went to sit behind them.  I love them.  They are so very, very awesome.  My Alyssa just totally cracks me up!  She is so amazingly smart and beautiful and funny and likes turtles, lol  And, I love her. 

Then, George and I taught JYM-year 2 today.  The class was so much more alive this week than last week (which was our first class).  They asked great questions about our faith.  I don't care if it's on topic or not, as long as it's about our faith, one of us, George, Mirah (our aid) or I will answer it.  And, just as I figured, I felt much better.  Then, I got to have Taco Bell with George and Sarah on the way home :D  While I love all my kids, there's just something about having that little extra time with just one of them with George and I.

Then, went home, dropped off Sarah and picked up Jaime and Maria to go to Life Savers to watch To Save A Life.  Such a good movie!  I definitely recommend it!

Now, we are all home, safe and sound.  The kids are in bed and George and I are heading there.  It's another busy week in our household, but that's okay.  I don't mind so much.  If you wouldn't mind, please say a prayer for me for healing.  I'm heading to Dr. B's after work tomorrow so he can check my back and why it's been going all wonky (that's a technical term).  Also, I'd like to welcome back Tammy Duke!  She's been mia from our little group since she moved jobs.  But now, she's back!  HI Tammy!  It was so great to see you tonight!

I pray that all of you have a wonderful and blessed week.  Remember, don't be stressed out by a prayer.  Just talk to God from your heart and you're good.

Until next time,
Enjoy this amazing weather!


Monday, September 20, 2010

It's late, and I'm tired.  Why then, you ask, am I up at 1 in the morning talking to all of you.  Well, in a nutshell, I have lots to say, but nothing to say, really.  Thoughts have been floating in and out for a week or longer lately.  I still wish we could do a mind meld so you could see all I want to tell you without me having to expend the energy to tell you what I want to tell you.

It has been a massively busy week and it's only going to keep going from here.  Everyone is settling into their routines of school and activities and church.  At first, it really doesn't seem like a lot, yet other days, it feels like I don't even get a chance to pee.  Y'know what I mean?

Mass was kind of different today.  I was in my own little world today during Mass.  I listened to the readings, said the prayers and then came time for communion.  George and I got to EM together in the back.  I was the blood of Christ.  And, as I am sharing the blood of Christ with others, most of whom I do not know, there were quite a few others that I knew.  I knew of them, or who they were, or we were great friends.  All to varying degrees.  But something stirred inside of me when it was someone I knew.  For instance, I really felt it when Brian (my Carol's husband whom I love) came up to me.  We smiled at each other and it was a cool moment for me.  In that moment passed so many deep thoughts.  How often have Brian and I ate together?  How many holiday's have our families been together?  The many times we've attended Mass together as a family  How many days, weeks, years, have our families been together?  There is something so inherently cool about sharing this particular meal with people I know and love.  I liken it to eating at McDonald's (or whatever restaurant you choose).  Sometimes, I have the rare opportunity to eat by myself and I'm inside the restaurant and there's all these people around I do not know.  Then, there are times when I go there and I am with a friend and that meal, that same burger you can have all over the world that tastes exactly the same becomes more enjoyable.  Mass is like that for me, specifically, the Eucharist.  Participating in the meal by myself (either giving the meal or receiving the meal) is a spiritual experience in and of itself, but to share that meal with someone I love (again either giving or receiving the meal) heightens my awareness and my love for my God, and my friend with whom I am sharing.  For instance, today with Brian, I thought "this is massively cool."  Not only are he and I family, not only do we know each others faults (and trust me, I've got quite a few) and love each other anyways, he and I share a same faith that brings us together to share a meal.  This is a rare occurrence because we attend different Masses due to our families schedule.  I can tell you, we attend the same Christmas Mass together though!  But, I digress, I was talking about how cool it is to share such a special meal with someone you love.  I hope all of you get that opportunity at one time or another.

Life has not really taken a turn for the worse, it's more of the same.  He is working something in me yet again, Mema and Mom are still dead, Dad still lives in Philly, Carol still works harder than anyone should ever have too, and Tina is still pregnant.  I am still here, sorry Carol, I'm not necessarily walking.  I'm more like a stumbling drunk who's too tired to walk and keeps falling down.  Some days though, I really am trying to walk.  But lately, I'm in a "Dad will you carry me please?" mode.  But, as I said, I am here.  I may not like nor understand the lesson that He is trying to teach me, but I show up everyday, nonetheless.  Greta, what a far cry from five years ago, huh?!?  I know lots of us have been on a rollercoaster lately.  We're chug chug chugging up the hill and what seems like a snails pace.  Look on the bright side, the rush of the wind and the whir of the cart against the tracks, the wind in our smiles as our hands fly to the heavens in praise of Him, yea, that part is on its way!  So, stay with me, hold on to the crossbar that has us fastened in and know that I am riding it with all of you.

Until next time,
I'm leaving you with of my very, very, favs...


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Some days there just are no words, even for me. 

I'm not happy, yet I'm not unhappy.  I'm not sad.  I don't want to be around people, but I don't want to be alone.  I want to talk but I don't want to say anything.  It's like it would be so much better if someone could just do the Vulcan mind meld and touch my head and see what I want to say.  I am just empty.  My spiritual life is blah.  I know He's there.  I know they're all there.  But, I don't feel  much.  I know, it's just another valley.  And, I'm okay with that.  It just get's a little lonely spiritually.

I miss Mema.  I miss my mom, I miss my sister.  I wish my brother would talk to me.  But, these are things, like many others that I have no control over.

I can tell you this.  He is working something with me (as always).  And, as usual, I don't know what it is.  But, I am here, and I am listening.  Whenever He feels like talking.

Until next time,
pray for my friend Sharon who lost her Grandmother.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I know it's been way too long since I last posted.  I could give you about ten different reasons or excuses if you want them.  Just email me and I'll give them to you.

Sunday's are still hard.  I'm guessing they're gonna be hard for the foreseeable future.  No, I don't know how many, you can't rush grief.  I am learning however, that you can fake that you're fine.  I've gotten so good during the week, that it's almost as if Mema hasn't died.  Chalk it up as business from back to school, back to JYM, back to work.  Even when I come home from work and have that hour and a half to myself of quiet, my mind is thinking 'what's for dinner'?  'Who has what tonight'? etc.  But, come Sunday's, there is no hiding.  Especially, at Mass.  Sunday's amidst the laundry, meals, and Mass, somewhere in there I get smacked by a wall (no, I don't run into one, I get smacked by one).  Realization once again hits and the breath rushes out of me and all that I have been subconsciously hiding comes flooding to the surface and my heart breaks all over again.  This is not fun, but something I've come to accept.

Work has started back up.  I can honestly say I am enjoying it more than last year, and we're only in our second week.  I really like the people (most of them) that I work with and that makes it fun!  As a side note, I'm back to selling Pampered Chef!  I'm excited about it!  I really missed it!  I figure I'll mostly be doing catalog shows and a few fundraisers with the occasional regular show thrown in.  So, be prepared, you might be getting an email to host a catalog show, even if you live out of state, lol.

I'm sure there's more I can tell you, I just can't remember it now.  It's the mental byproduct of having three teenagers, lol.  I just wanted to let you know that I am here, I haven't gone anywhere.  At least physically anyway.  I try to go somewhere in my head everyday.  Enjoy your day and know that I love you :D

Until next time,
Pray for my friend Lori, please :D


Sunday, August 8, 2010


I sincerely dislike Sunday's as of late, say oh, the last four weeks.  And, the weird part is I always forget that I dislike them until they are here.  Take for instance today.  I wake up and feel blah.  There is an overcast to my mood.  As my eyes open, before any words are spoken, I remember, four weeks today, that Mema passed.  During the week I'm okay, well, mostly okay.  But there is just something about Sunday's now.  I really, *really* miss Mema and, that's okay. 

This evening, we all go to the 5pm Mass.  This is my favorite Mass.  And, as the Mass begins, I am happy to be in my Home.  I feel less blah.  But, as the Mass progresses, I feel Mema.  Or rather, I feel the loss of Mema.  Deeply.  I know, when I am safe, in my Home (church) when I am celebrating with all the Angels, I *know* she is there with me.  Today was just a little different.  I met Jesus in Mass today.  Sure, He's with me everyday, but I actually *met* Him.  It's greeting your neighbor during church time and I turn around and there He is.  His shirt is something like I've seen Him wear in pictures.  His hair is shorter, a little below His chin length, no facial hair, but it is Him.  At first, I really don't think anything of this, until it is time for the sign of peace.  I turn around and shake His hand and we look directly into each others eyes, and I knew.  His smile, His eyes (they were the most beautiful blue) looked right through me and His smile told me everything was going to be okay.  He smiled at me like only a brother could when comforting His little sister.  As I turned around I heard Dad tell me "I am with you always" and I thought 'how funny is it that I always seem to forget that'.  I'm sure you guys might have seen Him, and I'm sure He looked just like a normal person to you.  Maybe that's because He was just there for me today.  All I know is it was the most beautiful thing I have experienced in such a very, very, long time.

Does all this mean that I'm over Mema's death?  Not hardly.  It's just a beautiful reminder that everything is going to be okay, eventually.  It's like this, you know how you know your friends/spouse love you?  You don't question it, you know they're there if you ever need them; then out of the blue one day, the remind you "hey, you know I'm here if you need me, right?" And, just that solidification of what you already knew makes you feel better?  Yea, it's like that.

My Carol is gone.  She's on her yearly vacation to visit her beautiful family up north.  Yes, we still keep in contact.  Contrary to what many would like to think, I'm sure, getting away from me isn't that easy! lol  No, Carol and I are a part of each other.  We could be far away geographically, but we are always together.  Don't get me wrong, I miss her, and the kids, and I feel like part of me is missing.  But, I just wanted to let her know, that I am walking, albeit a bit slowly, but walking nonetheless.

My Julie is getting so much stronger!  And, I got to see her this week and that makes me *so* happy!  She brings me such joy!

My Sharon is doing well too!  Oh, how I miss her!  She is the epitome of true friendship.  Even though she is miles and miles and miles away in my beloved Steeler Country, she is only a phone call or an email or text away.  It doesn't matter if I'm calling to say "hi" or complain she is there, she is awesome!

Ahhh, my newest my.  My Alyssa, the woman is a walking inspiration.  Always a smile for everyone.  I am so enjoying our growing friendship.  She is SO funny!  She makes me laugh!  And, have you seen her smirk?  It's hysterical!  I think she saves it for me it's awesome!

So, sure, I dislike Sunday's for now, and that's okay.  My Dad understands.  He gives me everything I need to walk this George, my beloved friends, even His son at Mass.  I don't have all the answers, heck, I don't even know what some of the questions are.  All I know is that I have to keep walking, and walk I shall.

Until next time,
Continue to pray for healing for My Julie, and healing for her mom, Kathy. And, a safe trip home for My Carol.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Rock the boat (don't rock the boat baby)

Yes, I know it's been a while.  Forgive me, life has just been hectic.  But, I am here, at 1:14 AM and as I was trying to go to sleep, I started writing my blog in my head (as I so often do).  But instead of falling asleep only to wake up going "what did I want to say again?"  I figured, "hey, I'm already up, so let's do this".

Sunday, my friend had a mass said for Mema.  I knew this going into the mass.  I've been doing pretty well.  I've even gone so far as to tell George "I think everything is going to be okay.  I think I'm going to be okay."  HA HA HA HA HA!  When they are about to announce the mass intention, I start to silently cry.  Then, Fr. Tim announces it and I cry more.  Then, during communion I pretty much silently loose it.  As I'm praying after communion God says to me "You know, you're not as okay with this as you say you are."  I tell Him I know, and to please, please don't tell George.  lol  I don't want George to worry.  Yea, I told George this after we got home from mass.

Then, tonight was another mass for my Mema.  And, I'm there next to Catherine Underwood (fabulous lady), Lisa Ryan (gives ahhhhhhmazing hugs), and my Alyssa Barreneche.  And, as we are standing, saying the Our Father, my hands linked to Alyssa's, Lisa's, and Cat's (by association of break dance moves), I am in awe of the three that are standing with me.  I am in awe b/c a year ago, I didn't know these people (well, that's not totally true.  I knew who Cat was, but didn't really *know* her).  Oh, how my life has changed in a mere year.  How blessed I felt to be holding hands with these amazing women and praising our God!  I don't know what I did to deserve such blessings as these ladies.  They are such gifts to me.

During the homily, Fr. Tuan tells us to go back later to meditate.  The reading was Matt 14:22-36.  He repeated it...frequently. lol  I'll save you time looking it up.  It's when Peter walked on water for like, five seconds and Jesus said to Him "you big dummy (ala Fred Sanford).  Where'd all your faith go?  I'm right here!"  Technically, it's a lot more scriptural than that, I was just paraphrasing.  lol  The point is Peter didn't loose sight of Jesus as he was walking toward Him.  No.  The winds began to blow and that scared Peter and his faith wavered and then he started to sink.  He then asked Jesus to save him, and of course, Jesus did.  In fact, He stretched out his hand and pulled him up.  This is what I've been pondering on today.  Especially, as I was laying in bed ready to go to sleep.  We are all Peter (he's the bestest big brother E V E R, just ask me and my Julie!).  We're all in our own boats.  We all want to walk to Jesus (water or not) but when the wind blows and our boat starts to rock, we get scared.  We get anxious.  Trust me, I have some very close friends who, like me, are anxious.  I think we should start a support group at St. Jude's lol.  (side note:  one of my fav parts of the mass is after the Our Father when Fr. Tim (or Tuan) says "and protect us from all anxiety".  I'm pretty sure God put that in there for us.)  But, I digress.  If we remembered that Jesus goes before us always, that He's always there (truly He is), would we be so anxious all the time?  I'm hoping not.  See, even if the boat is rocking and the wind is blowing, Jesus has our hands.  You could even say we're 'in the hands of the Father' (shout out to all my chrp five sistas!!!).  We just have to hold on tight!

Today was a special day.  My package arrived from my mom and it had stuff in it all from my Mema.  Three boxes of our favorite tea, Salada tea.  What can I say, I'm a tea snob.  I was raised on it, and you can't get it here in Texas.  It's way better than that Lipton or Tetley crap, lol.  It held my Mema's blue robe.  It's blue terrycloth and so old, that I have toilet paper thicker than the robe! lol  Parts of it are sewn together.  I immediately put it on.  Then, there was my Grandpa's windbreaker.  I put that on top of the robe.  Mema's favorite earrings and other various jewelry items were in there.  And finally, pictures.  I think, my favorite one was of my Grandpa years before I was even thought of, that one, and the one of my mom, Mema, and aunt and uncle from July 4 this year.  The hard thing was she was so happy in the picture and seven days later, she was gone.  And, as I sat in her robe, all I could think was "three weeks ago, you were wearing this"  That was sad.  But, it's all going to be okay.

Prayer requests!  Please pray for safe travel for all those going to see Fr. Corapi this weekend in San Antonio!  Please continue to pray for Kathy Metevier (my friend and my Julie's mom) for healing.  For my Julie for continued healing, and for a friends Grandmother who is nearing the end of her journey for a peaceful and happy death.  And, finally, for all the intentions in my heart that I cannot list here.

Until next time,
Rock on with your bad self!
Seriously, it's from the song (don't rock the boat) it's at the end, I promise! lol