Sunday, March 27, 2011

80-86/365

I got a phone call this morning telling me that my biological father has passed away.  How do I feel?  I guess that would be the million dollar question...  I'm numb.  I am hurting and for some reason I'm scared. 

In life there are should have and could haves.  I should have made peace with my childhood and the part he played, I could have told him I forgave him but I did neither of those things. For some reason I always thought there would be more time.  Times up and school is out and I didn't resolve anything. 

I could console myself that I am not that scared little girl anymore and that my life is my own, I should remind myself that I am a wife and a mother with a great life that is free of abuse, fear, and all those other "things" that my childhood held. 

Am I going to the funeral?  Yes, I'm going.  Am I scared?  Yes, I'm scared.  I don't want my not going to be a regret I have later in life because no matter what he did or failed to do as a father (I have never considered him a father; my father was Papa Ben a GREAT man who did GREAT things who loved me for me) he was a person that deserved the basic human level of respect that I as a Christian should have the ability to give. 

I have cried, I have yelled in my head and now I have resolved myself that on Tuesday at ten a.m. I will be at John Larry Netherland's funeral.  I will hold my head high and when I become that scared little girl in my heart I will remind myself that he can't hurt me anymore... that's something at least.

Please pray for me and my family during this time.
Thank you,
Aimee

Sunday, March 20, 2011

76-79/365

Lately I have been reading the book "I Was A Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids" by Ashworth & Noble. 

The book is about two moms on a mission to solve the mystery of balance and expectations that mothers have and feel they need to live up to.  IE:  The mother who buys the store bought cupcakes versus the one who slaves in the kitchen to make the fifty cupcakes for the school bake sale or the mother who is zen and is put together versus the other mom who is screaming at her kids to stop running in the house, or to clean up their mess or to just please not make a mess. 

This book resonates with me on a lot of levels.  I read the book and feel myself calming because it quotes mothers who state their feeling of not measuring up or having un-realistic expcetation of themselves or others or who seem lost or unable to figure out how to balance or even what balance is. 

That is me!  In January I made the New Years resolution to find balance in my life.  It is less than four months later and I don't even have a working definition of what balance is.  I seem to be on this teeter totter balance "contraption" where either I do way too much or not enough in this crazy place called my life.  I have been the mother who made the fifty cupcakes for my daughters birthday party and I have also been the screeching banshee standing in the living room screaming at my four year old to stop screaming.  (Sort of ironic huh?)

I have come to my own conclusion that there truly is not real definition of balance in this world.  There are conceivable notions of limits and there are realistic expectations in our culture but balance is a state of mind.  I am here to share with you that I in fact do not have balance in my life.  I also have to admit that most of the time though I desire balance I don't consistently strive for it.  Why?  Probably because the striving takes both time and energy that most days I simply do not have.

So in the morning when I get up I will resolve to do my morning yoga - eat a healthy(er) breakfast - put up the laundry that is piled up on the couch from last week - and be the best mother/wife/friend/daughter that I can possibly be.  Will I be a balanced mother this week?  Some moments I will be and most moments I won't and that my friends is o.k. for me right now.  I have come to the conclusion that balance is a journey that I probably won't ever reach but it isn't the destination that is so important but the journey along the way. 

Namaste

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

75/365

The sun is shining and it's warming up outside. I got up this morning to a smiling daughter, the girls were in a good mood, MOPS had an inspiring speaker in a phrase "there is nothing wrong", so why do I have a knot in my stomach.  I feel like the other shoe is going to drop and don't know why.  I'm thinking that if I write it out then maybe IT will go away.

For the past few weeks I have felt isolated from people.  I feel like I am in a room with a thousand people and yet in unequivocally alone. I'm going through the motions "faking it until I make it" trying relaxation techniques, yoga, visualizations, journaling but I feel like there is a dark ominous cloud hanging overhead. I know that people sometimes feel this way but I'm not "liking" it. 

I'm frustrated that the house isn't finished the contractor is "supposed" to return on Thursday (we will see), the arborist who is supposed to come take down the rotten tree in the back yard who was supposed to come Mon or Tuesday has not come.  I am frustrated with people saying that they are going to do things or be somewhere and not doing it.  I strive SO hard to do and be what I say I will do and be.  I try so hard to keep my word but it seems that others don't and it is making me angry.  I'm swallowing that anger and internalizing it and I know that this isn't a reason to get down in the dumps but it's not just this.  I don't know what it is really I just "feel" off.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

73-74/365

I haven't been writing each day as I set out to do with this 365 day blogging project.  I have been trying to write as much as I can though to be honest I don't have a lot to say right now. 

Today I was thinking about friendships and how I wish I had a "good" friend that I spent time with outside of my family.  Someone that got me, who I could talk to on a regular basis, someone who didn't judge and then I thought "no, Aimee - what you are describing is a therapist".  I got a good laugh at my own expense but it was a laugh. 

Our world isn't perfect so therefore our lives aren't perfect and I get that.  I cognitively get the fact that our lives are only ours to a certain extent but there is a small part of me that wants to rebel.  I want to believe in happily ever after,  I want there to be perfect days and perfect nights, I want there to be a definite cure for cancer, and babies to not die and mothers/fathers to be their best all the time but life doesn't work that way.

So I guess all we can do is what we can do with what we have and make the best of it.  Why is it as I write those words I feel like I'm settling for something less than? I want more and I'm not sure what I want more of.  Tonight my soul is restless and my heart is heavy.  Tonight I would love to have that friend that I have all too often envisioned to come over and share a glass of wine with me and us talk about nothing or something.  I know I have a husband I can and do talk to but right now my hearts desire is a kindred "other" to share with...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

71-72/365

Have you ever had it so good? 

I think about that question tonight and I smile.  I smile because my family is healthy, we have a good roof over our heads, we have our bills paid, our families are healthy **for the most part** and we are loved.  These aren't small things when you think about it.  These are the things that even Shakespere sonnetts didn't begin to touch on.  Sure Shakespere wrote about love, life, eternity, souls and all that but those were just words.  Tonight we are living the story called our lives. 

Next Saturday David and I will have been married for six years.  There were some who didn't think we would make it past our first year much less this far, but we have.  It hasn't been easy, we have gone through a lot in the past few years.  But tonight I sit here "sharing space" with my husband feeling good.  Sure, I have had more jobs than I should and changed careers  more times than I care to count.  We got caught up in "living the American dream"... we got married -- bought a house and had a baby in less than two years -- money went from tight to nonexisitent for a while - Allie Beth got sick (real sick) - my Papa got sick **I think he stayed as long as he did with us not because of his physical heart but his HEART that loved and lived for us** and I miss him every day there isn't a day that goes by that there isn't something I wouldn't love the opportunity to talk to him about, Mama had a heart attack **scared me beyond belief** but she is here and I'm cherishing every minute we have with her while we have her because life really is short and tomorrows aren't guaranteed, all we have is today, David lost his grandparents, we went from having a crazy purebred lab. to a psycho cat **which we still have, any takers?**, I totally checked out for almost a year **read the beginning of my blog back last August for details**, David and I fought - really fought but we stuck it out and found our way out that tunnel to a really good place in life and so on. 

I have come to the conclusion that life isn't a fairy tale it just has fairy tale moments that we have to cherish and hold onto, remembering when times are bad.  Are there going to be hard times in the future? Yep there will be but I'm not going to dwell on the what if's or the could have should have's.  I'm going to sit here with my glass of wine, go cuddle on the couch with my husband holding his hand while our daughter sleeps good sound sleep down the hall. 

Life IS good and that is GREAT.

Friday, March 11, 2011

68-70/365

I haven't written in a few days simply because I didn't have much to say. **Beware that this post is a little all over the place**

  All is right in my little world.  In some ways I look around and can't smile and the things that make me frown are not very important so why let them bother me... right? 

This week has been a roller-coaster ride.
Note to self: always get prescriptions filled BEFORE they run out.  Tuesday night I didn't have a medication that I usually take and found myself awake at 2:00 a.m. unable to go back to sleep.  I watched re-runs of America's Next Top Model **I'm not the biggest fan**, Private Practice and Nakiata. The next day I honestly didn't know if I was coming or going though by Wednesday afternoon I had caught my sixth or seventh wind.

Thursday was a lazy day at the house with the girls.  We did very little other than the necessary; me being still shaky and tired. 

But today... today was beautiful.  I only had Cecilia and Allie Beth to care for which made things simple to say the least.  We had a morning of cereal and cartoons -- dress up -- more cartoons -- coloring and playdough.  After all that I decided it was time to get out of the house for a bit -- on the way out I checked the mail to find a letter from the state saying we had more of a tax return than we expected from 486 to 803 almost DOUBLE and that has gotta make anyone smile. 

So to celebrate I took the girls to Chick-fil-a and then to Target where we bought a new movie and I bought a much needed and desired extra large flat iron that works on wet hair.  I have to admit I was skeptical at first but this thing really works - my hair is full of body and fantastic -- it's the first time I have LIKED my hair in a while!  SO... getting back home after our expedition late I decided to let the girls skip nap time and instead have quiet time watching their new movie "Anastasia" while I picked up the house and put out our Spring decorations. 

Once Cecilia left for the day and David came home we were off to a MOPS friend Lisa's to pick up a picnic/sand-box toy that I had bought from her.  We got home and had it put together in under five minutes; which if anyone knows David and I, that is a miracle as we are the most NONFUNCTIONAL people I know - I mean we can't even screw in light bulbs without something going wrong!  It was freaking awesome and I can't stop smiling about it.  We let Allie Beth play for a bit and then went to Sammy's Seafood for our Friday Fish (one cool thing about being Catholic is fish during lent every Friday) -- then off to Target AGAIN to buy two Adirondack chairs - they are great - comfortable - plastic and blue.  So once home we spent about an hour outside sitting in our chairs - having a drink - listening to music while Allie Beth played in her new sandbox. Today was a GREAT day and all was right with the world.  Tomorrow... who knows; but today was GREAT. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

67/365

So.... tonight was my third Zumba class.  I still feel like I have two left feet and that I'm moving like my body is stuck in quick sand but I am feeling the burn.  Yesterday I went to my first Yoga class in a long time **the last one I went to was the day before my wedding which was March 19th of 2005** My legs, back, abs, stomach, neck are very sore but I'm not quitting.  I'm finding the hardest part of this is cutting back my calories. It's hard being diabetic and cutting your food intake. I really hate the shaky queasy feeling I get when my blood sugar drops too low.  I'm doing my snacks and meals but the calories are still up there.  Maybe I should go back and see a dietician...

I am determined to do this - I am determined to not give up - I am determined to see results - I am determined.

The thing that is helping me the most with my food is to think about what a friend said about fast food and sugar.  Would you eat rat poison?  No, because it makes you sick and could kill you!  SO why would you eat fast food and sweets if it can do the same thing? I am choosing not to.  I want to have better health.  My favorite poem is "When I grow old I'll wear purple".  I WANT to grow old, I want to be mobile, take care of myself, be able to chase my grandchildren around the garden, sit on my own front/back patio and enjoy the sunsets and to be honest with the weight and health I am right now I probably wont.... that is a harsh reality.  I guess tonight was a night of introspection on my part.  I chose to do and be different for the benefit of ME. 

Tomorrow I will get up do my morning yoga - eat a sensible breakfast - play with the girls and then after they leave for the day get in my car and go to another Yoga class in the hopes that I AM making a difference and putting money in my proverbial old age good health piggy bank. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

66/365

Today I made a decision to not lose weight or go on another diet.  I have decided to embark on a journey to learn to become comfortable in my own skin.  Do I need to lose weight? Yes, for medical reasons I do need to lose weight.  Do I need to exercise and eat correctly?  Yes, everyone does.  I'm making a lifestyle change.  I'm choosing to do my best to be my best at my best daily.  I know that seems simple but for me it's going to take a lot of hard work, dedication and perseverance. 

I think back to when I got married when I was under 150 lbs, I was in a good size 12 and was crying every night over how big and akward I was.  Now I know that I didn't have a weight problem so much as I had a self image problem.  Where does it stem from?  I could say a bad childhood, or the models that we see airbrushed in magazines, or the commercials we see on television but the fact of the matter is that it doesn't matter where it comes from.  It matters what I'm going to chose to do about my personal view of my self image. 

When I look in the mirror I'm not in the least bit pleased with what or who I see.  I'm not comfortable in my own skin.  I need to lose weight.  I need to exercise more.  I need to eat better foods and make better food choices.  But, before or rather as I make these changes in my day to day life I need to LEARN to love myself in my skin.  I need to learn to not cringe when I see myself naked in the mirror.  As of right now every time I see myself I want to cry so my solution to date is to wear big hippy clothes, avoid mirrors at all costs and to perpetually have a camera in hand so that I'm taking the pictures and not in them. 

The fact of the matter is I don't want my daughter to grow up with my hang-ups.  So I have to find a solution.  My solution?  I joined a gym - I'm going to Yoga class twice a week and Zumba class twice a week - I'm doing my best to make better food choices (for me this means keeping GOOD foods in the house to eat) - I'm following a diet plan that is realistic and includes two snacks a day - I'm asking my friends to cheer me on (I do better when encouraged) - I'm giving up sugary confections of sweets and fast food for Lent in the hopes that these days of denial will force me to realize that I don't need them to begin with - I'm doing the best I can to be the best I can. 

So in the parting words of our Yoga class tonight. 
Namaste, meaning,"I honor the place in you in which the entire Universe dwells, I honor the place in you which is of Love, of Integrity, of Wisdom and of Peace. When you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, we are One."

65/365

I wish that I could say that I was too busy to blog yesterday but the truth is I was just too lazy.  Yesterday morning we got up around eight a.m. David's sister Kari and her two children Dylan and Maryn from Tx. spent the night after Saturdays parade.  I was surprised how calm everyone was. Yeah the play room was a mess for a bit but they actually cleaned up the entire thing themselves; I was astounded to say the least.

We were supposed to have brunch at my house but because David's parents and their house guests (Aunt Susan - Uncle Rocky - cousins Ashely and Scott) were still asleep we went over there to have brunch and do birthday cake.  It's hard to believe another year has passed and Mike David's dad is a year older; time really does seem to be flying by.  After birthday cake and quick farewells we went back to the house for naps (Allie and I anyway) David was watching his ESPN and loving the quiet time. 

I have to admit that I adore Sunday afternoons with no obligations it seems like more times than not we have a birthday party - church function of "something" to do that seems to cut our weekend just an inch shorter.  So, yesterday was a pleasant surprise. I got to watch my Lifetime Movie Network,  Allie got to play in the re-arranged playroom with her Mardi Gras loot and in the betweens we got laundry and household chores more or less finished. 

I found myself leisurely pursing magazines, calling Mama to check on her weekend, looking online at patio furniture with David etc... it was just plain nice! I can honestly say that Monday didn't come too soon. It came when it was supposed to and I was refreshed and ready to greet it head on. 

After some thought I have come to the conclusion that Mondays aren't bad it's Sundays that we let escape us without relishing them for what they are supposed to be that gets us!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

64/365

 Today was a fantastic day.  This morning Allie Beth's Easter Dress from her Granna came in.  It came from The Wooden Soldier, a very special children's dress store.  We are so blessed that she has a Granna who can love and spoil her from time to time.  She is going to be the best dressed little girl on Easter Sunday.  When she put it on we had to bribe her to get it off again.  She is very much a little diva in the making.  I haven't figured out if that is a good or bad thing yet!
Today we went to the Mardi Gras Parade in Shreveport.  A dear friend of ours "staked out a spot" so that we were right there near the beginning.  Most of David's family (Aunt-Uncle-Cousins-Sister-Niece-Nephew-Mom and Dad) were there with us.  My friend Sandi grilled hot dogs and we all brought a side - there was plenty of friends/food and fellowship even if it was a bit on the cold side.  The above picture is of Allie Beth chasing down one of the vendors (overpriced junk) so that she could "see" Dora - he was nice enough to let my niece Maryn and Allie Beth take a picture with her. 

 A picture of my nephew Dylan - he was snug as a bug in a rug under the tent wrapped up on my favorite 31 blanket!
 This is Maryn my niece - she really looks like her mom!
 Sandi's son Chase was a sport letting Allie Beth ride on his shoulders almost the entire parade even at one point letting her wear his jacket.  She racked up on beads and toys.  I know she had a fantastic time!  She was a real charmer screaming "Throw Me Something Mister".  I don't think anyone could have resisted; every float that came by had something special to hand to us for her and her cousins.  I loved how family friendly it was.

 Davids sister Kari with her children Dylan and Maryn - they had so much fun.  As we speak the are all out like a light.  We came home to have read beans and rice and watch The Princess and The Frog - I thought that would be an appropriate way to end the night.  Everyone else thought so too! 
I know that I stressed a lot before they all got here but I am thoroughly enjoying every minute of it!


Friday, March 4, 2011

63/365

Today I cleaned and rearranged the house in preparation of our weekend house guests.  Davids sister and children are coming in for the Mardi Gras Parade and to visit, this happens to be the same weekend that his Aunt/Uncle and cousins are coming in to stay at his parents house (two blocks away).  I was SO anxious over the house being under construction (it was supposed to be done today... lets just say it will be done hopefully some time next week) **and they just pointed out OTHER things that need repair or replacement today**

UGH, now you can see where my anxiety was coming from.  I always feel so inferior when it comes to Kari and her family because David and I "just aren't" - we live in a 1980's house - we drive older cars - we do the best we can and sometimes it's enough, then sometimes it isn't. David isn't a CEO of anything and I'm not teaching but we are getting by and in this economy I guess that counts for a lot. 

Someone once told me we lived in a time of collecting/owning/acquiring.  In the 1950's there was no concept of self storage and now it is a billion dollar industry - you either ARE or you acquire.  Which one are we or which one do we WANT to be.... I guess that is a good question to ponder tonight.  I personally would rather BE than to acquire but I have to tell myself that daily and be reminded from time to time.  So the fact that my house is not the best on the block, my car isn't the most modern, my clothes aren't the most fashionable is OK with me tonight as I write this because I know WHO I am and am OK with WHO I am.... are you?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

62/365

too much on my mind tonight - my anxiety is through the roof - my mind is screaming - I NEED a break!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

60-61/365

Life is going good.  I have no complaints other than I wish I had a money tree I could pluck money from every once in a while...

The home repairs are mounting daily BUT I keep consoling myself that once it's done it's done.  If I had it to do all over again I think I would NOT have bought a house right after David and I got married.  I think we had this picture of progression in our head sort of like the GREAT American dream -- get new car (check) graduate from college (check) start a career (check) get engaged and then married (check) buy a house (check) have a child (check) but things come up in between those progressions... There is such a thing and the unexpected happening and in mine and Davids case that has happened a lot.  I wish someone had not just told us but shown us that we needed to save more for that rainy day, that the current state of our economy could and would really affect us on a personal level, that yes our daughter could and would get sick and other than paying the doctors bills and praying there wasn't much more we could do.  Sometimes life and what occurs really is in the hands of others and we have to just deal.  So tonight as I do all I can to crunch numbers, pay bills and not cry over spilt milk I will console myself with the thought that what is, is and what was, was.  Lessons learned for better or worse and tomorrow will be a new day. 

Monday, February 28, 2011

59/365

I just love my daughter, Allie Beth is such a treasure.  I love how she says I love you three thousand times a day and gives me kisses and hugs every time I turn around.  Today was a good day for trying new things.  We finally got Allie Beth out of her "food rut" and got her to eat pineapple AND grilled chicken tonight a huge triumph in the Neu household. 

We also have finally found a contractor to come fix the "kink and dinks" in the house everything from a broken water valve to termite damage and rot due to water damage.  In one single day he accomplished more than any other person has done in the entire time we have lived in this house.  The entire back porch has been dismantled AND taken away we now have a beautiful open patio that I can't wait to start planting around and decorating.  There is still some work to do on the awning and roof but it's already a huge improvement. 

I know that I have said it before but it really is the small successes in life that makes me happy.  I love that my husband called the dinner I cooked (grilled chicken, pasta salad and baked apples) Earthy,  I love that our home improvement project is improving daily,  I love that I made a new friend today and will start working for her on Saturdays soon (I am excited about being out in the public doing something social for a change, even if it is only one day a week),  I am loving life and loving living it.

Tomorrow is another adventure... Zumba; we shall see, we shall see :)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

58/365

Have you said there is all to say to a loved one?  If their or your time on Earth was at an end would there be any regrets? 

I can honestly say that if I were to leave this Earth tomorrow that I have said all I needed to say to my husband and loved my daughter with all of my heart for all of the time given me.  I would only regret not being there for her most important days in life; I would miss her graduating, her going to college, her first love, her marriage, her having children, I would miss holding her though her first heart break, I would miss rejoicing with her over her first and greatest successes in life... I would MISS her and my husband but I would also know that they would know that my love transended time and that I loved them with all of my heart.

I know that this sounds morbid but I was thinking about regrets tonight.  I know that we all have regrets but in the culmination of things my greatest regrets would be not having the time needed to reconcile with my sister - there are so many things I would love to say to her if the time ever came the greatest of these is "to please if not forgive me then to at least pardon me for any real or perceived wrongs" - to tell her that I DO love her and I miss her dearly in my life... some roads once veered off of are so hard to ever walk down again...

I genuinely miss my sister and I wonder if we will ever get to a point of forgiveness on both parts but if we ever do I pray that I have the grace to accept the things I can not change and to change the things that I can - Serenity is such a small word but has such large implications don't you think?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

55-57/365

So.... I'm not really sure what day I'm supposed to be on but since my friends is 57 I'm going w/ that number too! 

Today I learned a few life lessons.  I have to admit that yes I've learned them the hard way and ouch did it hurt.  If I could advise my daughter on some things it would be; never buy a house you can't keep well maintained because sometimes renting really is the better option, never depend solely on your college education because an ounce of common sense will get you far in life, and never say never.   Today David and I embarked on the journey of revival we are in the process of reviving this little cracker box house we call home and I have got to tell you we have a LONG way and painful road in front of us.  From the termite damage, water rot, broken water valve, black mold, and Lord knows what else we are taking it one bill and one step at a time.  Right now there is no light in sight but I will say that with each project that we accomplish with the help of our friendly neighborhood contractor we are learning more and more not only about home improvement but about ourselves.  We don't KNOW how to screw in a light bulb at this point but we are looking at each other hard in the mirror and realizing our shortcomings for what they are and moving forward.  It is past the point to blame each other, we have lived in this house for five years and only God knows how many more we will but if we want this place to stay our home we have to address the issues before they become any worse.  So tonight we bought a 200.00 dehumidifier to help pull water out of sheet rock and we now have a wording definition for black mold tomorrow we spray the walls w/ chemicals to kill the stuff and we more forward - at least we CAN move forward and as we got to bed tonight we STILL have a home.  Right?

Friday, February 25, 2011

54/365

They say that insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Aren't we all insane to some extent?  I say yes, we are insane, in our own idiosyncrasy's of life.  Take my own actions for example; I go to bed on the same bed each night, waking in the same room each morning expecting life to be better more fulfilling than the day before.  Maybe expecting is the wrong word to use because I'm rather hoping more than anything.  What have I done to hope for a difference, hoping that when I turn on the news today I won't see or hear the same horrors and losses that are going in the world today as were yesterday?  I haven't done anything other than the simple act of prayer and eternal optimism.  Is that enough?  No, I guess not because when I turned on the television tonight I still heard the same horrible news that I always have, of a double homicide etc... why don't we rejoice and report more in the things that need to be rejoiced in more often - the birth of a child, the success of our neighbors, I know it sounds comical but I would love to hear on the news and tonight there was no murder, no home foreclosures, employment is up, national debt is lowered.  Call me the eternal optimist but tonight I will go to bed with the same prayers on my lips as the night before and tomorrow I will wake with the same insane hope that the world will be a better place.... I am certifiably insane and proud of it!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

47-53/365

Wow!  It has been days since I have last posted a blog. Last week  I got sick with the flu and everything went to the way-side while I was down/out.  I'm back to my blogging and glad to report feeling much better.  What to say, what to write about, so many things to ponder.  Tonight I will just say... I'm glad to be back and looking forward to getting started again soon.  I have missed my meanderings if that is possible. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

46/365

I think these lyrics from "For A Dancer" says it all.

Keep a fire burning in your eye
Pay attention to the open sky
You never know what will be coming down
I don't remember losing track of you
You were always dancing in and out of view
I must have thought you'd always be around
Always keeping things real by playing the clown
Now you're nowhere to be found

I don't know what happens when people die
Can't seem to grasp it as hard as I try
It's like a song I can hear playing right in my ear
That I can't sing
I can't help listening
And I can't help feeling stupid standing 'round
Crying as they ease you down
'Cause I know that you'd rather we were dancing
Dancing our sorrow away
(Right on dancing)
No matter what fate chooses to play
(There's nothing you can do about it anyway)

Just do the steps that you've been shown
By everyone you've ever known
Until the dance becomes your very own
No matter how close to yours
Another's steps have grown
In the end there is one dance you'll do alone

Keep a fire for the human race
Let your prayers go drifting into space
You never know what will be coming down
Perhaps a better world is drawing near
And just as easily it could all disappear
Along with whatever meaning you might have found
Don't let the uncertainty turn you around
(The world keeps turning around and around)
Go on and make a joyful sound

Into a dancer you have grown
From a seed somebody else has thrown
Go on ahead and throw some seeds of your own
And somewhere between the time you arrive
And the time you go
May lie a reason you were alive
But you'll never know

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

45/365


"You've never had it so good."  Have you ever been told this?  I think that this saying is relative to where we are in life today.  Relative, meaning that we really haven't had it so good as we have it today.  We spend so much time regretting the past or looking forward to tomorrow.  Looking forward to that next pay check, next vacation, next day off, next Friday of the week - sometimes I feel like we are rushing through life seldom enjoying the moment we are in. 

Don't get me wrong I live for Fridays and can't wait for vacations either but there is something to be said about mundane Mondays.  If every day was a party would that party be special?  I don't think that it would be.  I think back to my college years and remember the gauntlet of "events" that I participated in that at the time were not special or "no big thing".  Today going on a mission trip, having coffee with a friend, sitting for more than fifteen minutes uninterrupted watching my favorite Survivor episode, sitting outside for hours on end on a blanket reading, going to the gym to work out whenever the mood struck me; all of these things were day to day norms in my life at one time.  But today to do even one of those things would be a treat because I'm not just me anymore I am in essence plus one or even two!

I LOVE my life and wouldn't trade it for a day of that carefree life that I had back when but I do wish I hadn't rushed through it.  I wish I had reveled in that era and known then what I do now.  Sometimes I wish I could write my past self a letter saying don't worry you will make it through,  don't date so and so because he's not good for you,  get up and go to class more often because you will miss it one day,  don't shed tears over how you look because you are beautiful just as you are, don't doubt yourself because you are going to make it and be just fine.  In my head I know that that letter I would write in some ways is still relevant today. 

It's Tuesday and I'm looking forward to Friday when we leave for Mississippi for a long weekend. I'm not saying that looking forward is a bad thing but I think there is something to be said about today.  Today I was a better version of me; I like who I am today and that is a good thing.  Tomorrow will come fast enough so I'm going to sit here with the radio playing, making a list of the things I need to accomplish this week and while the girls are sleeping I smile wildely because time, it's passing way too quickly.  Before I know it, in the blink of an eye it will be gone and this will be my past self.... 

Monday, February 14, 2011

44/365

Tonight I'm going to vent.  I'm going to say exactly what has been on my mind since the 28th of January and if it offends your sensibilities I apologize but I just need to "say it". 

I am dang tired of people who are fair weather friends who are there when it benefits them but when the going gets tough they get goin'.  You know what I'm talking about, you know someone like that, or have in the past.  Well I'm here to tell you I quit!  I am quiting the pleasing act, I'm quiting the what can I do for you mentality. 

I know who I am and I know what I want out of life and who I want in my life.  I want a friend who can be there, be supportive and sometimes just listen.  I need a friend who isn't going to judge and who is going to meet me where I am not try to pull me to where they need me to be.  I can't take another friend who needs MY support, who confides in me and doesn't recipricate.  Friends, I'm tired of it.  The IT described as me always organizing things for others, the it being me always picking up the phone to see how you/they are. The it being me doing my best and receiving less in return.

There is a saying that people or either in your life for a minute, season, or life-time.  I think that this is true and yeah I know I'm butchuring the saying but here's what I'm thinking tonight.  Those minute friendships that I have need to go because life is too short and I don't have the time or energy to waste any more.  Those season friendships are fine and I'll cherish the time I have while I have it but I'm not going to put my heart and soul and time into them as I would my family anymore.  There comes a time in life when enough is enough and I have had enough. 

Please don't read this thinking I'm mad because I'm not but I am fed up with the act of friendship. Frienships that I have right now are more like aquaintances who call me friend, I know tons of people but they don't know me. Some might assume they do but as I once told a co-worker who was trying to give me well meant advice "you know even know if I like Cherrios"!

My Papa once gave me a good definition of "quid pro quo" and to honest I think that friendships should be give and take.  I think friendships should be investments of both time and effort on both parts.  Enough said and tomorrow I'm cleaning out my mental closet of those I call on and let call on me so if you find me all of a sudden less accessible, less open, less giving please don't judge me because I really do think I am doing too much for others and not enough for myself.  I need REAL friendships....

Sunday, February 13, 2011

43/365

Ever since I could remember I have been enamored with the poem, "Warning", by Jenny Joseph.  The words of this poem speak to me. 


When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit.


You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.


But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.


But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple

I want desperately to grow older, to become that woman with the wrinkles on her face, a mischievous gleam in her eye, an old wrinkled blouse on, sandles on her feet, old overalls that are a size too big, growing tomatoes in her garden and an old worn rocker on her front porch.  I want to be that "unique" in the community that others love and yet think is just a bit humorously off.   I am working towards that even now at age thirty as each day we do grow a day older.  I don't look at the passage of time as a destination toward the end but rather a journey in motion.

I pray that as the years pass I learn more, grow more, become more.  But just so I don't miss the chance, tomorrow I will wear purple. 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

42/365

Tonight I find my heart singing.  Singing for the beautiful day that I enjoyed, for the kind friendship I find in others, for the unwavering love I share with my husband and for the simple kind of enjoyment in the little things that life has to offer. 

If we can not find joy then I ask "what is the point?".  I know of people in this world that are unswervingly unhappy, who find fault in all and joy in nothing.  For these people I feel such pity.  This morning when I woke, I looked out the window to see a the sun shining back at me, my heart swelled with the sight.  I just love beautiful almost spring days where there is a bite to the air but a brush of warmth from the sun to counter it.  Oh but the day I had today going about shopping with two dear friends (one this morning to my favorite boutique "Gaudy Girl" and one this afternoon to Target Valentine shopping and a manicure/pedicure).  I find myself so very blessed to have people that I can call friends and who in kind return the affection.  So I ask what is life worth without the gentle affection that friendship has to offer and what a pity to those who do not or can not enjoy it.  I chose to revel in this life I lead even in my constant doubt.  Life really is too short to spend in constant fear and doubt so I chose to enjoy even the smallest things life has to offer and to file them away for those dreary days that lie ahead. 

Friday, February 11, 2011

41/365

Tonight I watched the movie "Up In The Air" with David.  It was our time to sit, hold hands, eat pizza and pop-corn and just enjoy being in each others company. I cherish this time more and more these days because I know that there are others whose loved ones are far away (My friend Lisa's husband gone for a year; deployed - My friend Pam whose husband passed away too early in life - My friend Mary whose husband walked away).

Spending time with him after this past week is a joy, pleasure, and something I definitely needed.  Lately I have felt so alone even in the company of others, almost to the point of feeling isolated.  It's funny that David picked out this movie for us to watch as it is about just that thing.  The movie points out that we all have or need to have a purpose in this life and makes you think about what your purpose truly is.  I am probably a bit of an anomaly because I have almost always known what my purpose is or what I wanted it to be; I have always wanted to be a wife and mother.  It is my greatest aspiration in life and I am so lucky at the age I am to have those two precious things both an accepting husband and kind hearted loving daughter.  Having the things that my heart most desires in this world brings me such joy but there are times late at night when everyone is sleeping that I find myself doubting who and what I am.

Lately at night I have woken drenched in sweat with my heart pounding and full of fear.  I am so very fearful of losing these precious gifts that I have or not being deserving of them or just plain not being enough.  I have to stop during these times and remind myself that I am a creation of God, that I am doing and being all that I can be and being who I am called by Christ to be.  My faith and my loved ones are what are helping me through this time.  I don't know what I would do if one day I woke in the night and couldn't reach over to touch my husband or walk into my daughters room to see her sleeping and watch the rise and fall of her small chest.  These are the things that keep me grounded that keep the fear at bay.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

40/365

Gone are the eyes that watched me grow
The eyes that were able to see into my soul
Together we climbed mountains and made it through the pain
Only to find out that someday it would be forever changed


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

39/365


Have you ever noticed that when you make a decision and the butterflies settle a quiet sense of accomplishment comes? 

I have decided to enjoy these last few months of being a stay at home mommy to the max, to not let the "small stuff" get in the way, to do as much as I can and go back to that place I was at in the beginning of this venture in August.  Somewhere along the way it became about keeping the girls and less about Allie Beth.  I can assure you that I haven't "ignored" her and that she has had a lot of fun experiences these past few months.  It's just that I haven't allowed myself to enjoy some of those moments... 

Why is it that the future can become so scary?  It really can become something dark and ominous if you let it.

I'm choosing to let this decision to go back to work be a positive thing.  Allie Beth will be in school somewhere next year, I will be working in a school myself so that we will have the same time off.  I know that I am SO lucky to be able to have those holidays, weekends and summers off with her. 

David and I have decided that next summer we are going to travel, go, do and be as much as possible.  How cool is it that we will ALL be off together as a family for those months of summer! 

This life can be an adventure if you let it and personally I chose to enjoy the ride.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

38/365

Well I made a life altering decision tonight, with my husbands help.  I am in fact going back to work in the schools "somewhere/ doing something" next fall...   I have gone back and forth on this for the past year but the decision had to be made.  Allie Beth will be in either PreK or Kindergarten, keeping children just isn't reliable and there are few/far between sick days w/ no benefits.  I know that David and I made the right decision but now I have an elephant sitting on my chest.  I have so many things to do before I turn in my paperwork and so little time.  Say a prayer for me please.

Monday, February 7, 2011

37/365

Right now I'm "pushing through".  I am tired, I am still sick to my stomach taking antibiotics, Allie Beth is having tummy trouble and David is teaching night school making me a partial single mother.  Ugh... Sometimes pushing through is all you can do taking a second, minute, hour, day, month, year at a time.

So today, I'm tired, I stressed, I'm lonely and I'm IT in this life most of the days of the week for my precious child.  I don't have time or energy for the stuff life throws at us but it keeps on coming and sometimes I rise above and sometimes I don't.  I am the best I can be today, maybe tomorrow I will be better. 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

36/365

Each day we start anew the mistakes of yesterday past.  I heard this watching the LPB special of "Anne of Green Gables" today.  What a beautiful expression of what we all need to know within our hearts that each day is in fact new.  I know that in my own life I have a tendency to forget that more than I should.  I think one of the reasons is that so many times we get caught up in what others think or do that we forget that it is our own thoughts and actions that define us.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

35/365

There are days like today that I'm not an adult, days when I truly just want to curl up in someones lap and be "loved on".  Today was one of those days.  The funny thing is that I am NOT a good sick person but if you ask my family and friends they will confirm I am habitually sick.  I get anything and everything that goes around and heaven forbid I catch a stomach bug or get dehydrated because that is an instant ticket to the hospital for me.  What most people who know me don't know is that I HATE being sick.  I severely dislike the weak feeling I get that makes me off kilter and my days seem longer and more drawn out.  I know you are reading thinking, "no one likes to be sick" but I have to tell you that when I say I hate it I do emphatically. 

So as I sit here writing this with the antibiotics soaring through my system making me feel queasy and weak I keep telling myself that tomorrow will be better.  Tomorrow the sun is going to be shining, my stomach is going to be at peace, and the Patriots are going to win the Super Bowl. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

35/365

Today was a snow day.  It only snowed about two inches but in Louisiana that is enough to pretty much shut down everything around here, including the schools and local businesses.  It was a blessing to us because David was able to stay home again today.  I am on the mend so to speak but still under the weather.  Who knew that the medicine that they gave me to get well would make me sick ha?!  I spent most of the day in the bed either reading our napping and feeling very "lazy" while David and Allie Beth sledded and played in the snow.  Allie Beth had a blast riding on the sled while David pulled her yelling "faster, faster".  I watched much of their play from the bay-window in our bedroom where I kept wishing I was out there with them playing but we all agreed that I didn't need to be out in the wet and cold just yet.  I am feeling a lot better than I was the day before, my throat barely hurts and my ears aren't bothering me at all.  The doctor has prescribed two antibiotics that are not making my stomach very happy so instead of going to eat at David's parents house with the family I stayed home.  David was so sweet to bring me chicken noodle soup from Lins Kitchen that is oh so yummy.  Now as I write this a wave of "tired" washes over me and I know that it won't be long until I'm once again under my electric blanket in bed cuddled up with my book until my eyes lower and I yet again fall back to sleep.  Goodnight my loved ones, I pray that you are safe and warm with your families tonight..  Blessings and Care,  Aimee

Thursday, February 3, 2011

34/365

I'm sick today.  I went to the doctor and left being told I had a upper respiratory infection (tonsillitis and ear infection).  What a day!  I'm blessed that David took the day off from teaching to stay home and help with the girls.  He was such a BIG help - playing - keeping the girls quiet and serving lunch.  The girls all in all were pretty good today too.

Tomorrow it is supposed to be cold - sleet with a chance of snow.  I'm ALL for the snow - in my head I hear the song "Let It Snow".

33/365

Nothing to say yesterday I was too sick to blog. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Monday, January 31, 2011

31/365

I seriously think that I am too empathic.  I am finding when I am around other people that their moods really and truly effect and affect me to the point that if a friend is down in the dumps I find myself feeling like that the rest of the day.  If a friend is having an off day I seem to carry that off day with me even when I'm not around them anymore.  No, I'm not a nut but am seriously wondering... Can a person be an em-path?  Hmm....

Sunday, January 30, 2011

30/365

Wow!  I have officially been blogging now for thirty days. It has been and is an adventure for sure.  There are days like today when I'm at a loss as to what to write about so I guess I'll bore you with some of the things that went on in our lives today.  

Today David and I went to Airline Baptist to a " bible study" that some friends had told me about - it was good and we are going back again next Sunday. No, we are not leaving the Catholic church but both of us want to expand or knowledge and experience base in our Christian walk and as there aren't any "Sunday School" or bible studies at our church that we can attend together we thought this might be FUN.  I can tell you one thing ... next Sunday I WILL def. remember to bring my bible ha!  They have a Sunday School class for Allie Beth as well that she seemed to really enjoy it so all in all it was a great experience. 

This afternoon I attended St. Jude and sang in the contemporary choir.  For some reason I couldn't help but smile at each song that I sang.  Singing brings me such joy, I for the life of me can't imagine why I ever stopped singing - it feels good to be back doing something I love so much.  I will also admit that I enjoy receiving communion every week and when I am not there and don't receive it feels like I have "missed something".  I wonder.... am I more Catholic than I realize?  Definitely something to explore...  On that note I am off to cuddle with my family and enjoy the rest of this weekend.  Until tomorrow may Gods light shine upon you always.  Love,  Aimee

Saturday, January 29, 2011

29/365

Dear David,

You are my husband, my friend, my lover, my constant in this crazy thing we call life.  Since the day you entered my life you have been my light house, you have kept me grounded, kept me safe, sheltered me in every storm.  YOU are my light on the darkest of days, you are my song in the quite, you are...

This is how I feel about you and though these words come from my heart I feel like they are still lacking in showing the amount of love I feel for you. 

"I was a shell of myself until you found me, you saw me, though I breathed. I was blind in this world, though I could see. And then you came… and I was awakened you completed me."

28/365

This is my favorite painting - I fell in love with it when I was working at the mall in Alexandria - yes.... I was a mall rat - my senior year in high school.  It just spoke to me as you can imagine the angst of our teenage years is a struggle - looking at this painting somehow helped.

Friday, January 28, 2011

27/365

Joy is the passion or emotion excited by the acquisition or expectation of good; pleasurable feelings or emotions caused by success, good fortune, and the like, or by a rational prospect of possessing what we love or desire; gladness; exhilaration of spirits; delight.

Here are some of my greatest joys in life: 
  1. having a family
  2. being a part of a family
  3. cherished friendships
  4. a sense of accomplishment in a job well done
  5. caring for others
  6. loving others
  7. spending time with friends and family
  8. chocolate
  9. sleeping in on Saturday afternoons
  10. singing in church or even around the house with Allie Beth
  11. being a mother
  12. being a wife
  13. being a daughter
  14. writing
  15. reading (anything)
  16. long unplanned drives to nowhere
  17. sitting on the beach watching the sunrise
  18. hot waffles w/ syrup on them topped with fresh strawberries and whipped cream
  19. talking with others - listening to others 
  20. playing with my daughter (tea parties, blowing bubbles, splashing in the water on a hot afternoon, reading to her, singing to her, cuddling on the couch watching Disney movies on a late afternoon and much more)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

26/365

Today while reading I came across the saying "forgiven, forgotten".  Two simple words but so very hard to do much less live by. 

I know some people who are reading this are going to go "Aimee, Don't go there....", well I'm going "there" tonight so brace yourself.  Forgiveness is not something I am that familiar with but on the other hand forgotten is something I do a lot.  I have a knack for forgetting things I don't want to remember, to let it go, move forward and not look back.  Some of you might say, "well that is what forgiveness is", but I can assure you that in my case it isn't the same. 

As I look back into my past I think about my biological father, please make note he is NOT my "father" in the endearing term that one thinks of.  My father passed away a little over a year ago, Papa was a loving, patient, kind, giving man.  My biological father, Larry, was none of these things as far as I know or can remember.  He was harsh and sometimes cruel taking more out of life than he ever gave **my view point** 

When I close my eyes and think of my childhood I can not remember many happy times and I don't have any fond memories of Larry.  I know that there HAS to be a reason for the things he did and allowed to happen in my life and I'm sure that there were times that he tried or did his best but it wasn't enough or it was too little too late. 

When I close my eyes and think of him these are the vivid images that come to mind:  an ostrich skin boot coming toward me as I'm being kicked out of anger,  a hand grabbing me by the front of my shirt so hard that his hand-print was a bruise on my chest for hours/days later, un-kind words of you are never or you will never be, a beating with a piece of sugar cane over something as trivial as a misplaced slipper, a long ride down a dirt road where he pulled over and said "I can kill you out here, leave your body and no one will ever find you",  and as I type this tears come to my eyes.  I am NOT those things but someone who I haven't had contact with for years has put some real scars on my soul and can still make my hands sweat, my stomach turn and my head ache.  I don't have many vivid memeories of my childhood - I have "created" an alternate life that has none of those things in them but at night when my daughter is tucked in, my husband is beside me and all should be right with the world I sometimes shake my head and wonder.... How?  How could he have done these things to a child?  How could he have not loved and cherished the gift of a daughter he was given?  How, How, How....

A few days ago I found out he was in the hospital not doing well and I cried.  I cried for the words I will never speak to him, I cried for the child who still to this day would have LOVED to had or been loved and wasn't, I cried for the could have and should haves in this world. I cried. 

Have I forgotten?  No.  Have I forgiven?  Some days I have and then others I am not so sure.  I think that "forgiven/forgotten" is a process that doesn't happen over night.  I know I won't ever get an apology.  I know that I won't ever have "that confrontation" I long for.  I know that if any forgiveness is going to happen it has to happen within my own self... so please pray for me because I haven't forgiven or forgotten but I'm trying and that is the best anyone can do.  Isn't it?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

25/365

One of my true passions in life other than my family is reading.  I LOVE to read like I love chocolate. 

Reading is an escape for me.  I remember when I was younger I used to actually get grounded from reading as a punishment! Now, it makes me laugh out loud that that but I have to admit that it worked. 

Words to me are like a painting that with each brushstroke becomes more and more beautiful.  I love words and that they have the potential to take you anywhere, be anything, feel any emotion all from that small little placed you are curled up at the time reading. 

Books are a treasure to me... What is your favorite book?  Where is it that words take you?  Where do you want to go?  What do you want to be? 

With the magic of a book you CAN go there, be that etc... READ! 


My greatest desire is that Allie Beth have a love for reading like I do. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

24/365

I was inspired by this song tonight and thought I would share... http://rhythmontherock.com/on_the_road_to_emmaus.html

Song lyrics; 6. ON THE ROAD TO EMMAUS

On the road to Emmaus with their heads held low,
The Lord came and walked by their side.
Not knowing he was Jesus, they listened to his words
And learned the scriptures telling of the Christ.
As they approached the little village ahead,
They pleaded come, and stay with us for awhile.
For the day is almost gone.

Now when Jesus came to eat, He took bread and gave thanks.
He broke it, gave it to them and they recognized the Lord.
He disappeared from sight, at once their sorrow turned to joy.
They knew now that their Lord had risen from the grave.
And they asked one another, “Did our hearts not burn,
As we walked with our Savior along the road?
Did not our hearts within us burn?”

CHORUS:  Burn within us oh Holy Spirit,
Burn within this heart of mine.
Burn within us risen Savior.
Love that will last for all time.

Upon the life that He lived for me.
Upon the death He died at Calvary.
I trust my life and all eternity.

And they asked one another, “Did our hearts not burn,
As we walked with our Savior along the road?
Did not our hearts within us burn?








Sunday, January 23, 2011

23/365

Today in church the guest deacon caught my attention.  He talked about the "grace filled opportunities in life" and how they are few and far between.  It made me think about the grace filled opportunities in my life....  Like:

  1. The day I was born was a grace filled opportunity because from what I understand my biological mother really and trully never did WANT to have me. 
  2. When I learned how to read.  It opened so many doors and even "windows" for me. It became my escape, no matter where I was or how I was being treated I could always open a book and go somewhere warmer, prettier, and safe.
  3. The Wednesdays and Sundays I walked up/down "Harmony Hill" most times alone searching and finding Christ in that small Baptist Church.  **It was my refuge from a hard and cruel time in my life**
  4. When I went to Louisiana Tech at fifteen and learned that there was another world out there full of possibilities and that I COULD do/be more than I ever dreamed. 
  5. The times in my life that Mama and Papa stepped in with a gentle word or action showing me what true love was; that it wasn't something based on what you could give or get but about giving. 
  6. When I met my husband David and he said "you are enough and I love you as you are". 
  7. When I had my daughter Allie Beth.  Her being in this world and my being her mother is one of the most life defining moments in my life. 
  8. This past August when I made the decision to stop working and stay home - "grace filled" that David supports me and encourages me daily in this journey.
I know that there are probably more but these are the ones that come to mind tonight. 

Grace is defined as


1. elegance: elegance, beauty, and smoothness of form or movement:generosity of spirit: a capacity to tolerate, accommodate, or forgive people : pleasing quality: a pleasing and admirable quality or characteristic ( usually used in the plural )

 
Thank GOD for Grace and ALL that it entails...  

Saturday, January 22, 2011

22/365

22 days of blogging - that my friends is a lot of words - tonight I find myself at a loss as to what to actually write about - my papa would be picking up the dictionary and thanking God for a word other than "nematodes" or some other agricultural something or other - so I'll just say that today was a GOOD day - my head didn't hurt - I feel back to normal - a dear friend did my hair for me - which I love by the way - David cleaned some of the house and did laundry while Allie Beth and I were out - we went to the OWL open house at Walter B Park with friends - it was good - now back home - to do... something.  Have a good night my dear friends and thank God for our words and the freedoms we have that others don't - we are free to write about our nematodes.  Today was a GOOD day.

Friday, January 21, 2011

21/365

    A few years ago my Mama gave me a cast iron dutch oven for Christmas **Paula Dean** At the time I thought, "nice, a pot" but over the past few years I have come to realize the true value of my pot, which has warmed my heart for cooking and family tradition.

    I know it looks like a old dingy black pot but this is a lot more to me.  You see over the years I have learned to season my cast iron pot the way they did "in the old days".  Soap and water have never seen the inside of this pot.  It is tenderly loved and cared for until it is used again having a place of warm loving privileged inside my oven where it says warm/dry away from rust.  This pot is HEAVY but also one of the most serviceable pieces I have in my kitchen. 

    It has seen me though chicken and dumpling disasters,  homemade chili that would burn off the roof of your mouth, chicken noodle soup that warms your body from the chill of a cold winter day and my favorite "Mama's" spaghetti with a twist that makes me smile even on the worst of days.  I add any and all vegetables I can find to mama's old spaghetti recipe making it a mix between a vegetable stew and a sweet spaghetti sauce that my husband and I dearly love. 

My acknowledging that I love this meal is saying a lot for me because anyone who knows me knows I absolutely hate my own cooking. Not because I'm necessarily a bad cook but rather after cooking all day I don't enjoy eating what I have made.  I would much rather tantalize my taste-buds with others sweet southern fare than eat my own but on occasion there are a few meals that even if I do cook I still can enjoy like my vegetable spaghetti or my baked vegetable ziti both something you can't throw together in a matter of minutes.  Maybe it's the tender loving care that is required in cooking these meals or that spice and intricacies of the meal that make me appreciate them but whatever it is I LOVE to cook the sauce for both in my big ole' cast iron dutch oven. 

   The reason I love cooking in the pot isn't a simple reason but rather a culmination of "things".  My daughter knows when I pull the pot out that mommy is cooking and though she doesn't EAT what I cook she enjoys pitching in where she can and stirring the big ole pot **my husband constantly sneaks in to get in his stirs and taste testing as well**.  I cherish this time with them because this is what quality time is made up of seconds - minutes - hours of the day to day things called life.  These are the things my daughter will remember when she is my age and has a family of her own.  The neatest thing about this pot is that with each meal I cook because of the way it is cleaned/seasoned that meal carries forward to another and then another so that one day when I pass this pot on all of those family meals will be a part of what I am giving her.  My mama gave me this pot and I will one day give it to her this will be hopefully the start of a family tradition - this will be a part of my cooking/loving/family recipe given to Allie Beth passed on .... Today was a good day.  I got to cook with my family and share time with them.  I am reminded that time is one thing you can't get back because once it's gone, it's gone.  Thank you dear Lord for my big ole cast iron pot...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

20/365

(I got this book when I graduated from College in 2004 - at some point or other I have been many of these places - for lack of better inspiration and because I have a migraine this is my post instead of "originality". I hope this is inspirational to you and you excuse my lack or effort tonight)

Oh, the Places You'll Go!

by

Dr. Seuss


Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

You'll look up and down streets. Look 'em over with care.
About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there."
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any
you'll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you'll head straight out of town.

It's opener there
in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And then things start to happen,
don't worry. Don't stew.
Just go right along.
You'll start happening too.

OH!
THE PLACES YOU'LL GO!

You'll be on y our way up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed.
You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you'll be best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don't.
Because, sometimes, you won't.

I'm sorry to say so
but, sadly, it's true
that Bang-ups
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You'll be left in a Lurch.

You'll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you'll be in a Slump.

And when you're in a Slump,
you're not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they're darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right...
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
that you'll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles cross weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place...

...for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or the waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for the wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

NO!
That's not for you!

Somehow you'll escape
all that waiting and staying
You'll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping,
once more you'll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you're that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You'll be as famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don't
Because, sometimes they won't.

I'm afraid that some times
you'll play lonely games too.
Games you can't win
'cause you'll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you'll be quite a lot.

And when you're alone, there's a very good chance
you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won't want to go on.

But on you will go
though the weather be foul.
On you will go
though your enemies prowl.
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl.
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike,
And I know you'll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You'll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You'll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never foget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)

KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!

So...
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
You're off the Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!

*** The above text was copyrighted in 1990 .

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

19/365

Life has thorns.

The best we can do is pull them out and enjoy the flowers that sometimes cause them. 

One of the greatest things my Papa ever told me was about emotions.  He said, "emotions are Gods way of helping us through the day, without emotions there would be a void empty nothing". "Now is that the way to live?". 

I love thinking of this when life gets me down or I feel overwhelmed because the alternative to all this feeling is a BIG fat nothing.  Me, I'd rather the thorns.

Here is one of my favorite quotes from : "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
"For millions of years flowers have been producing thorns. For millions of years sheep have been eating them all the same. And it's not serious, trying to understand why flowers go to such trouble produce thorns that are good for nothing? It's not important, the war between the sheep and the flowers?... Suppose I happen to know a unique flower, one that exists nowhere in the world except on my planet, one that a little sheep can wipe out in a single bite one morning, just like that, even without realizing what he's doing - that isn't important? If someone loves a flower of which just one example exists among all the millions and millions of stars, that's enough to make him happy when he looks at the stars. He tells himself, 'My flower's up there somewhere...' But if the sheep eats the flower, then for him it's as if, suddenly, all the stars went out. And that isn't important?'"

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

18/365

I sit here quietly typing as the girls are taking their nap.  I'm very much ready for the rain to stop, the sun to come out and us to be able to spend some time outside at the park or even in the yard playing. 

I don't know what I would do without my Tuesdays at Kid City where all of us moms gather religiously to talk, share, and just "be".  I look forward to Kids City like I look forward to a good piece of chocolate, a cold diet coke on a hot day or a phone call from Mama after a few days of silence and us not having an opportunity to speak. 

The thought that is sticking with me today is, "where is the sunshine?".  I mean this literally but also I am asking where is the joy going.  Lately I have been letting the little things get to me, things that I have absolutely no control over.  An example would be disappointing a friend by admitting I have taken on more than I can handle, or David's estranged grandfather passing away, or Allie Beth whining about every little thing from how her bow is fitting in her hair to the fact that she has a wrinkle in her sock.  I take a big sigh and go, God where is the sunshine. 

I have to admit that some of this is me wanting to YES please everyone, to take away their hurts, and give them joy but friends I need the sunlight.  I need to stand in it's warmth, let it hit my face and feel that caress that only light can give. 

They say to cast your cares/worries on God - well I gotta tell you I have got SO many worries that I'm fed up my cup runneth over.  I am so extremely tired of it all that lately when seven p.m. hits and my head starts seeking a pillow not because I'm tired so much as I just don't want to deal with "it".  

I know that other people feel this way.  I know that I'm not in this alone.  I have the loving support of my family, my friends, my God.  I know that this grey won't always be there that in fact the rain WILL stop and the sun will shine.  Until then I will continue to write it out, talk it out, and bear "it". 

A dear friend of mine told today, "Aimee, you can't carry the weight of the world on your shoulders." and I know that this is true.  I can't heal David's family or take away their hurt.  I can't do anything but ask my dear friend to forgive me for disappointing her and letting her down.  I can't do anything but listen to Allie Beth, encourage her to use her words in a moderate tone and support her as she struggles.  All I can do is take it one day at a time and remind myself that the sun will shine maybe not today but there is always tomorrow.