Monday, January 31, 2011


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


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


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."


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


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


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


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


I was inspired by this song tonight and thought I would share...

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


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 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


    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


(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!


Dr. Seuss

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.


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.

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.)


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


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


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.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Sometimes it's all you can do ...


This was the first day so far that I "didn't" blog on the day I should.  There is a part of me that feels completely guilty about this but another part of me that realizes that there are going to be days this year that I either mentally or physically "just can't" so I'm chalking this day as one of those days.   I guess now on day 17 I will just have to blog twice. 

I didn't blog today because it has been raining for two days straight..... we had a loss in the family; David's grandfather passed away after a battle with cancer,  I was tired from taking medicine **should have taken one dose instead of two** and was just plain mentally and physically tired.  So below is a song that came out right after Hurricane Katrina that about sums up yesterday...

Praise You in This Storm
words by Mark Hall/music by Mark Hall and Bernie Herms

I was sure by now,God, that You would have reached down
and wiped our tears away,
stepped in and saved the day.
But once again, I say amen
and it's still raining
as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain,
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away.

And I'll praise you in this storm
and I will lift my hands
for You are who You are
no matter where I am
and every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to You
and raised me up again
my strength is almost gone how can I carry on
if I can't find You
and as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away


I lift my eyes onto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth
I lift my eyes onto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Today was a good day.  I went to "Painting With A Twist" with a friend today.  I had a really good time.  Sometimes it is good to get away and do something different for a day.  After three hours of painting this is what I was happy with what I accomplished.  I am not a Picaso but it felt good to do something artistic.  Maybe I'll do another one next month.  I would love to paint the "Fleur De Lis Key Hole Bayou" scene next time.  Here is the outcome of todays work....

Today was a GOOD day and sometimes that is enough.

Friday, January 14, 2011


Tonight on the way home from spending time with a friend I heard this song and these lyrics struck a chord with who I am and who I was....

Who will love me for me
Not for what I have done or what I will become
Who will love me for me
'Cause nobody has shown me what love
What love really means

Thank you God for those you have put in my life, those that have stood beside me, walked with me, loved me, accepted me for me.  To THOSE I say thank you because of you and with you in my life I am ME. 

I will love you for you
Not for what you have done or what you will become
I will love you for you
I will give you the love
The love that you never knew

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Philippians 4:6
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

For those of you who do not know, I suffer from anxiety. I'm not disabled by it but it is constantly just under the skin and it hinders me from being "all" that I can and want to be in this world. I know that MOST people suffer from anxiety at some point or other - they worry about finances, they worry about bei ng enough for a loved one, they worry about providing financially - emotionally - physically enough for their spouse - they worry about am I this or am I that. I have those worries but I also worry about worrying... have you ever done that?

I can actually become crippled by this worry when I let it. I worry that my worry can and will affect my daughters ability to be ALL that she can be. I worry that my episodes of fear will instill fear in my daughter SO... I plan, I organize, I make lists and I TELL myself "I CAN" and then I do. People usually don't understand why I plan and organi ze the outings with the girls - a lot of people don't realize that for me it's like stretching and using a muscle - it's painful but feels good after it's done. I really dislike that during many of the outings I do with the girls and Allie Beth I can't "enjoy" the experince more. I am so caught up in; are the girls behaving, making sure everyone is accounted for, making sure everyone is having a good time that I get lost in the worry and don't revel in the experinence. I take a LOT of pictures and one of the reasons why is so that I can "go back" look - think about and explore my experinces. I know it's probably not the best way to "live life" but hey I'm trying right? I don't let my fear or anxiety limit me I treat it like a sore muscle that needs to be used/stretched and cared for. I push past my anxiety and DO as much as I can with my daughter because I know that today's life experiences will shape her into who SHE is going to be later in life. I can only hope and pray that it's a life filled with hope/joy/lov e/acceptance/without fear and so much more. Today we ALL six of us went out and had cupcakes - it was such a little thing but for me a BIG step in the right direction.
So if you ever see me with my signature Zebra Momagenda planner - or a constant checklist in hand just smile and know I'm trying and that is all any of us can do right?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I sit here feeling drained. I am tired both physically and emotionally. Tonight I went back to the bible study group that I left last week. I went back praying the entire way that I would have both strength and grace, I believe that I had both. Going back was proof to myself that I HAD grown and you know what... I was both apologized to by the man who last week insinuated non-Catholics were going to hell, reinforced by our priest that I was right **he made a guest appearance to address last weeks episode** and told by fellow church member that I was valid.

Guys/Gals... I NEEDED that. I needed to be told I was not wrong, that what I did wasn't considered taboo or unforgivable. Heaven forbid I let my emotions rule and ever walk out of a class again but at that moment it is what I felt I had to do - the scared portion of me had to walk out, walk away and in essence escape. Tonight I was told that, that was OK.

Taking those steps down that hallway back to bible study class tonight was HARD. It reminded me that things aren't always black and white, that things aren't always right or wrong, that people are going to have opinions I disagree with. Tonight I took a step closer to being a full fledged "adult". Yeah I'm thirty, yeah I'm a mother and yeah I'm married but there is still an unsure, meek, scared little child in me that gets embarrassed and scared.

Last week I was SO unsure of what to do I just knew that what I was hearing felt wrong on such a basic level and now I know why.... because I was being convicted to speak out.

Tonight in class I said some hard truths that I hadn't even admitted to myself. I admitted that being a Catholic was hard for me, that it wasn't where my heart was and that it felt like wearing an itchy sweater that was a size too small. Am I leaving the Catholic church? No. I'm not leaving I'm acknowledging that this is where I am in this journey because believe it or not I have a VERY valid reason for being where I am. I have a daughter who NEEDS to know her heritage "where her roots lie, her father is a cradle Catholic". David was born, raised and is secure in being a Catholic - his entire family is Catholic. It IS him and in marrying him I had to accept that, I DID accept that. Or rather I thought I had... Would I rather be somewhere warmer, more "welcoming", more spiritual, more more? Maybe but I did a lot of prayer about where I am and know where I am right now is where I belong SO... next Wednesday I will find myself dropping Allie Beth off at her bible class and taking that long walk down the hall towards mine. There will be a difference though, now those I study with KNOW where I am and hopefully as brothers and sisters in Christ even though I am an unsure Catholic will accept me because I am a SURE Christian.

I LOVE my God and my God loves me.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Take a look at this picture with this post. What do you see?

Are you immediately drawn to the darkness?

Do you see the lone person in the darkness?

Does the alone-ness resonate to your heart, or do you see the light shining from a distance?

I saw this picture a few years ago and it "spoke to me". When I look at this picture I don't see the darkness but rather the light coming. When I look at this picture I see hope.

As Wednesday comes again (it feels like just yesterday I had a run in with the man who felt that only Catholics would enter Heaven) I feel actual butterfly's in my stomach about church. Why? Because I am going back to bible study tomorrow night. I am not going to let an incident determine how I behave or where I go; that is a thing of the past. The old me would have hidden embarrassed and festering like a sore over a confrontation but the new me is different. I see what happened last Wednseay night as an learning experience, a chance to learn, change and be a witness. I know that MY God is a loving God, a God who accepts you where you are who meets you on this road called life and walks with you and when you can't walk he carries you. My God is a righteous God.

I feel by going BACK tomorrow night, by entering those doors I am being "more", and isn't that what we are called to be/do. To BE more than we were yesterday?

Pray with me, walk with me, hold me, love me, accept me because I am not sentient but every changing. I am more than the lone person in the darkness - I am embraced by light because MY God would never leave me - I am NOT alone but continually accepted and loved.

If you feel alone - feel un-loved - feel lost - feel forgotten - unaccepted I urge you to find My God - seek his presence and to eat at his table because if and when you do you will always be filled - filled with joy/love/acceptance/and so so much more.

Our God is a loving God - he created YOU in his image - with Him you are never alone and are ALWAYS loved.

I AM walking into that classroom tomorrow night knowing who I am and what I am and if I should die where I am going I will not walk in either fear or embarrassment - I will not meekly accept a "persons" opinion because I know truth HE loves me - I am his daughter - his creation - beautifully and wonderfully made in His image - He would never leave me - I am not alone - I am not in the darkness - I AM...

Monday, January 10, 2011


So.... I just deleted the first draft to the blog I was righting tonight. Why? Because it's not from the heart; here is where I am tonight and please before you read another word don't judge.

I do the best I try my best to be the best person I know how. Sometimes I succeed in meeting most of my expectations for myself and a LOT of times I don't.

The other night I wrote a poem about "what do you see when you see me" and a dear friend actually wrote back.

I AM too hard on myself and I should forgive and let go of some of the past hurts I carry. I know this and am working towards it. I, like many people feel lost sometimes, and unfortunately I am not always my best. Why do I have these unrealistic expectations of myself and others? I guess it can be summed up in the fact that if I expect the best then I am doing my best and being my best. In a nut shell that IS important to me. The question is why?

If you are reading this you see a repetative word - that word is "best". Why is it so important this word that measures? I guess I need to figure that out because I don't want it to be passed onto my daughter - I just want her to BE - free without the expectation that I have placed on myself.

Hello my name is Aimee and I am a perfectionist because I feel that if I am my "best" or as close to perfect as I can get then people with love and accept me.

Will they? I know that love and acceptance is not measured by what you do or how you look and yet still I place such worth in those things. As of today - tonight I am going to try very hard not to.. tonight my eyes were opened by my sweet daughters tears saying "mommy, I forgive you"..... tonight I lost my temper - and put Allie Beth in time out because she wasn't "being her best". I NEED to be the one in time out - how dare I place my un-real expectations on such a sweet, dear, loving child.

Shame one me!

Sunday, January 9, 2011


This morning I woke up to little hands rubbing my head and hearing giggles in my ear who do you think it was? My Allie Beth - the little devil. Our morning dialogue went something like this:

Allie Beth: Mommy can I have some Cookie Crisp with you

Me: Allie how about you have some in your own bowl

Allie Beth: it doesn't taste the same mommy

Me: you want a mommy and me bowl

Allie Beth: YES YES YES oh mommy you are the best.

How could I resist?

Today was icy and wet with a dash of snow thrown in just to tease the kid in us and the children we now have. It was supposed to be about 4 inches, I think we got less than 1 inch BUT we made the best of it catching snowflakes on our tongues and tossing "snowballs at each other" Today was a good day....

Now I'm ending the day curled up in front of a fire with my book in hand relaxing/recharing and getting ready for the busy week ahead. I think about my life and how FULL it is and am in awe of how "good" I have it. I have an adoring husband who helps out all the time **like in the morning since school is out he is actually staying at home to help w/ the little ones**, a daughter who still wants to share a bowl of early morning cereal with me, and friends calling to check on us making sure our electricity is on, we have enough food should the roads get worse and firewood to stay warm by. I am blessed and know that life is sweet because of the FULL life I lead. Thank you dear family and friends it is because of you with you in my life that I can say.

Life is SO SO good!

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Last night I was "tired" from the rag-race called my life this week that... today I totally unplugged.

I don't do it often but when I do I turn off the phone, turn off the computer and even go so far as to unplug the television to spend quality time with my family.

Today was a day of unplugging from my social life at least until around three p.m. I've gotta tell ya that it felt fantastic. To stop, slow down, not worry about this or that.

I totally enjoyed playing board games with Allie Beth - talking about family things with David **picking out baby names for that future little one we are hoping for** How about Alex or Johnathan? It was bitter sweet to turn back on the electronics and get going again. I loved that we actually took time to paint Allie Beth's and my toenails -- curl our hair -- play dress up - and let her read me a story.... when I looked up and saw three p.m. I was really sad to have to get going again.

BUT life is like that, it goes by so quickly so... I encourage you to set aside some time and unplug like we did today because before you know it the time will be gone won't it?

Friday, January 7, 2011


In high school I used to write poetry. This is my feeble attempt at that magical lyrical assembly of words. Please bear with me because it has been a LONG time since I have tried this...

What do you see when you look at me?
Do you see my tired eyes, my unkempt hair, the slightest of tremor of hands that most are unaware? Do you see the worry creased in my brow over finances, futures, homes, dreams and cares?

What do you see when you look at me?
Do you see the cloths that are slightly wrinkled? Do you see the nails bitten to the quick? Do you see my gaze darting or my bitten lip?

What do you see when you look at me? I ask myself in front of the mirror.... I see a mother who has more worries and cares than even she is aware. I see a mother who dreams big dreams not for herself so much as her little ones needs. I see a mother who cries at night because she failed once or twice. I see a mother battle torn who fought the good fight but is tearfully worn. I see a mother. That is what I see.

What do you see when you look at me?

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Today I started keeping a darling two year old named Chloe - since I already have a four year old I keep named Chloe I call her lil bit or when talking about her or writing down things in my planner I call her "Chloe squared" w/ the subscript two above her name. It makes me smile thinking about her, she was so precious today, actually ALL five of the girls were. So since I have yet to actually blog about a day in my life before here was my day....

7 a.m. Alarm goes off and I hit snooze until 7:15 - a little after that Chloe squared arrives with her mommy we do the getting adjusted etc. By 8 a.m. Cecilia (2) Jenna (3) and Chloe (4) have arrived and my daughter Allie Beth (4) has gotten up so we begin breakfast of toast, eggs or cereal of course all the girls chose cereal and I chose the toast and eggs 8:30 is clean up - potty time - and then I'm sneaking out the door to put another car seat in the Mountaineer 8:45 I am putting coats on the girls and packing my bag. Five minutes later I am turning around to grab my bag and cap 9 a.m. I'm dropping off all 7 of my Tamale Pies and Mexican Rices to Tina for the Meal Swap 9:10 I am driving back to the house for wipes and my camera 9:20 I am pulling into the Dogwood Park for some fun time with the girls where we played, laughed, took pictures, tossed and rolled in the leaves and played follow the leader 9:45 is snack time at the park (gold fish and juice) **Cassie and her two daughters plus the baby girls she keeps meets us up there to play and I got to have some Mommy conversation YAY**

10:30 is the drive home and unloading all the girls getting their coats off them - the shoes into the front hall basket and potty time 11:00 I put on the Circle Time CD and do PreK (calender - letters - etc) with them while the lunch is cooking in the oven 11:45 I have set all five places - poured milks and have all the girls eating lunch PHEW (supper mommy is getting tired) 12:15 story time and then a much needed NAP TIME - All the girls are down if not asleep so I began clean up - laundry - sweeping and mopping the kitchen - setting up for PreK (art OWL project) and get in some much needed relaxing on the couch w/ my Mom Agenda Planner and yes the Pottery Barn Catalog 1:30 p.m. lil Chloe wakes up frightened so I hold her and doze until 2 p.m. then it is time to wake up the girls - put up the nap mats - more potty time - put out snacks and sing silly songs 2:45 we start our PreK Owl Art Project ** we made four of them** and yes the girls did all the painting but I admit I did all the gluing ha ha! 3:45 we are wrapping up PreK and yes it took about an hour 3:45 cleaning up the mess that we made in the kitchen Cecilia leaves and the girls go to play in the playroom 4:20 Chloe and Jenna leaves and lil Chloe crawls into my lap for some cuddle time while Allie Beth reads us a book 5:15 lil Chloe leaves ... I tell Allie Beth to put on her shocks and shoes while I pack a bag w/ Tamale Pie and Mexican Rice for a friend whose sons are sick (I just wanted to show her we loved her) 5:35 we are out the door - stopping and turning around once when I realize I have left my wallet then things get funny about 9 miles away I realize that the cash I had in my jeans are in fact in the jeans I just changed OUT of and my car is on E so I call David who is teaching night school - he can't come and I have no cash or debit card and the gas station doesn't take checks so then I call Cristy the friend I am supposed to be loving and doing something nice for to come put 10 worth of gas into MY car ( I was SO embarrassed) meanwhile another friend who I am supposed to be at her house by six is calling I then go home get my cash put more gas in the car getting to her house around 7:30 p.m. b/c I have gotten lost on the way because I have been talking to a friend on speaker phone and missed my exit twice ha!- SO... we are there eating pizza - catching up and while the girls play, she works on her stuff I proceed to go through bags and bags of cloths she is donating and find 2 LEAF size bags of clothing to take home with me 10: p.m. I leave for home **note usually Allie Beth is ALWAYS in bed by nine but tonight was an exception** 10:30 I arrive home - Allie Beth is asleep (I change her and put her in bed) while David unloads the two bags - we talk for a bit and now it's over 12 hours later as I sit typing this.... on that note Good night my sweet sweet friends. I can't believe you made it to the end of my litany of words that equaled my day. I love you all until we meet again. God Bless and Good Night...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


I had a good day until bible study tonight and then.... well lets just say that I ran into a very close minded individual who shall remain nameless. It really doesn't matter what he said or didn't say but how it made me feel. I in fact got ANGRY and as I type this if you were sitting here you would hear the keys being pounded on one by one key after key. This is my purge - I need to forgive, let it go and say "Lord help HIM" but right I just want to say all the things I couldn't "think" of in the moment. Why is it that in the moment you don't have the words that you need but then after the confrontation you have the perfect thing that you coulda' woulda' and shoulda' said? Now I would say to him that in the bible the Lord says "I am the way the truth and the light" not an entity, not a religion, not a building etc...

So what did he in fact suggest or rather out and out say? What I HEARD was that all non-catholics are going to hell - and boy oh boy did I get my dander up.... is that exactly what he said? NO........ but pretty darn close - close enough for me to speak out without those right words.... Jesus give me peace - forgive that man and me... give me peace. Lord help me.... (all said in a screechy high pitched southern drawl) Now go read it again - insert the comedy and laugh.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Take a look at this picture because this WAS me today...

Tonight I want to talk about "insecurity" because unfortunately it is a part of myself that I severely dislike.

This morning we went to our weekly play-date at Kids City where there were seven other moms with their children. I found myself halfheartedly participating in the conversations around me and completely NOT participating in others and as I sit here right now I am so disgusted with myself. You see as I was sitting there not noticing the beauty of the moms around me and our diversity but comparing myself to them. "unrealistically"

I KNEW what I was doing and yet I didn't stop.... I wasn't thin enough, I was pretty enough, my clothes weren't right, I didn't have the correct things to say that would be witty and light, I was the "blob" as I typically call myself. As I sit here writing this I ask myself why in the world will I say these things to ME but never ever would I speak them out loud to another?

I wouldn't say those things to loved one, or even an aquiantance. I don't THINK these things about the people around me but yet I allow myself to say and think these awful things about me.... all this rambling to ask a question. Why am I so hard on myself - how can I be so cruel? I do NOT want my daughter to grow this way or see me struggle like this.

I could blame it on childhood; when I was younger it seemed like I was always compared to my sister... I couldn't fit in the type of clothes she could, I wasn't athletic, I wasn't the smartest, I wasn't.... I could also blame it on the media where well you know what that is and what it looks like, just open a Vogue magazine... but let's put blame where it belongs. Hello my name is Aimee Neu and I am insecure.

Dear Lord, Please lighten my burden. Please remind me daily that you created me in YOUR image. Please take away this insecurity that I feel daily. Please forgive me for not taking joy in your creation of myself. Please be with me, hold me, love me, carry me though so that TOMORROW I am less and yet more.


Monday, January 3, 2011


This is a picture of Allie Beth (circa. Mardi Gras 2008). I look at this picture and can't help but smile. The saying "have feet, will travel" comes to mind. One foot in front of the other; it's such a simple concept but such a hard adult lesson to retain and persistently DO.

SO, the topic tonight is none other than my dear sweet "gregarious" daughter Allie Beth.

This past September she turned four and yet if feels like yesterday that I brought her home from the hospital.

She is my heart, my soul, my pride and joy. I love that she is Scarlett O'Hara in the making. Anyone who has ever met Allie Beth will say she is both dramatic, outgoing, verbal "to a T" and a lot more.

I will admit that Allie Beth was a unplanned hope. We had just had a miscarriage when we found out WEEKS later that this magnificent life lay within me. A precious fluttering beating heart no more than my own "little bean". As I write this I think back to those days of both fear and shear unadulterated joy, the kind that you know once passed life will NEVER be the same. Life was not the same once Allie Beth came into our lives.

Her coming into our lives forced me to put aside "myself" and it was the BEST thing that has ever happened to me. I had so many real fears like; would I be a good mother (knowing that my own biological mother and father had NOT been), would I be able to love enough (I felt I hadn't been loved enough growing up), would I be patient enough (I am not a patient person by nature), would I BE "enough". I have to admit that I still struggle with that fear of "will I be enough" and right after that thought is the knowledge that follows me today that some days I will be and some days I won't be.

Some days I struggle with the perfect image of "mother" I have in my head (June Cleaver). This alternate reality has me in my pearls, cooking dinner, with my hair perfect, makeup one while the children are quietly playing at the dinner table and my husband on his way home from work. I am consoled that even June Cleaver was not June Cleaver but rather an invention of Hollywood, an icon of what motherhood personified in the 1950's! In the same breath I make myself laugh by saying thank GOD I'm not June Cleaver....

I will write this because I feel like it needs to be said. Life IS hard but if we hold on to those joys that life gives us then life can be beautiful. I read an article in Oprah magazine this past month by a women who talked about how growing up she never felt beautiful. That she always compared herself to what society deemed beautiful UNTIL.. she had her son. The day the delivery nurse said to her "he is beautiful and looks just like his mother" was the day her entire outlook changed. Now she has two sons and KNOWS her beauty and worth through that simple revelation given to her by a simple statement. I thought that was one of the most beautiful, open articles I had red in some time and it struck home with myself. The person I beat up every day, the person I speak to so harshly, the person I call ugly, not acceptable is none other than myself but you know what? I am "enough" I am Allie Beth's mother and though I may be no June Cleaver I am Aimee Neu. Looking at our scrapbooks, seeing my daughter smile/laugh/sing/dance and be open with the world is a reflection that I AM.... and will be as long as I keep striving, trying and being.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


More than once in my life I have heard the saying "we are all a thread in the tapestry of life". Today I have put a lot of thought in this. Some threads are bold, strong, leaving a distinct impression while others are just a thin pastel thread used to accent another.

I have been wondering what type of thread I truly am. One would hope that you would be the thread that was strong, binding, bold, uniquely like no other.

I can't truly say what thread I am "yet" but I would like to share with you a thread that I DO know or rather have seen in this tapestry of life.

Her name, "The Duchess" as my Papa called her. She is a binding thread that has held together generations of family, has passed through this life leaving a lasting impression on most that she has met. She is strong, enduring, timeless and uniquely made. This unique, colorful, binding thread is my Mama Linda, a Granna, a sister, mother, friend, and so much more. I'm truly honored to know her and have her in my life. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't find myself thinking "what would Mama think", "how would Mama deal with...", "what would Mama say". This isn't because I'm weak and don't have a mind of my own but more because I have seen her time and time again deal with even the hardest things in life (my Papa passing away, my sisters and my arguments, small town cruelty's, family dramas" ALL with an enduring grace that is resounds loudly and strongly. When I think about life as a tapestry my Mama would be one of the "fates" called "truth".

She is strong, enduring, graceful, loving and bears truth along with a wit like no one else I have ever met in this life.

I write all this on day two to say this... if Life is a tapestry and we are each a single thread then I HOPE one day I can be a mother who is binding, bright, shows through, unique, strong, lasting and much more. If I have to aspire to BE like someone I can think of no one better than my Mama Linda who "chose" to be my mother and still is....

Saturday, January 1, 2011


I'm sitting here at the computer "reflecting"" with Tracy Chapman playing on iTunes, a hot cup of gensing tea to my right and to be honest a little apprehensive as to where to begin. I was inspired by a fellow mom who did a blog each day for this past year, her pictures and words were an inspiration so much so that now I am "giving it a go".

Where to start? What to say? How to say it?

I guess I should start with why I would like to do this. There are SO many reasons some of them are that I miss my Papa who was the true literary of the family, wordsmith to the nth degree. One of my fondest childhood memories is when we used to play word games. As I grew older I wanted to become a writer but in college got sidetracked for whatever reason.

Starting this project is my way back, to put a crack in the "I can't" mentality and fear that keeps me from consistently writing. I have written a book called "Screened In Porches" that only my husband and a few close friends have seen, maybe one day I will get the nerve to see if it's worth publishing; though I have to admit I would have to list it as "fiction" as I don't believe that anyone would actually believe any of it!

In a nutshell the why of this project is as follows; I want to track this year both the ups and downs, I want to write again if only for myself, I want to do something that I believe will make my Papa smile up in heaven and lastly but most importantly I want to give my daughter written words from me by me. My biggest fear is that my time will end before I'm ready and that my daughter won't "know me" so... this, the scrapbooking, the storytelling and songs etc. that I do it's all in a small way for Allie Beth so that she one day has a legacy to hold onto even if I'm not there. BUT enough "morbid", now it's time to begin. Here goes...

Today the first day of the year I watched a movie called "The Cinderella Pact" about a group of women who chose to change. It inspired me as well as made me realize a truth I hadn't considered before. This past year was my year to be "pleasing" to try to please everyone, to make them see who I am the better part of me, the changes and strides I have made in my life. I don't necessarily regret this year as it was a year of definite measurable change but I do wish I hadn't tried so "dablamed hard". I exhausted my self, gave of myself to the detrimate of myself to please others. All in the hopes that "others" would SEE me. See the person I desired them to see; the absolute mother, the loving wife, the good daughter, the worthy sister, the deserving friend but I made an error this year. In my mind there is this mantra if I wish I could be, I want to be, if only I could be, when in truth "I AM". I am absolutely the best mother I know to be and strive daily to be better, I am a loving wife who goes that extra mile, I am a good, loving , well intending daughter who adored my papa and miss him dearly oh so so very much and do all that I can to make sure my Mama DOES know I love her because if I have learned anything in these past two years is that "life is too short to not". I am a sister who is waiting; enough said on that one.... and I am a deserving friend who gives with no expectation of reciprocation, who puts my friends first and loves without judgment I rejoice when my friends rejoice, I cry when my friends do and I hurt when they hurt. I AM.

On K-love radio this week they suggested that instead of defining your New Years Resolution in a sentence you should rather find a word to personify. This year starting now on day one my word is "balance". I will find time for myself, I will fill my spiritual/emotional gas tank with worthy things, I will give when I can, I will love with the open heart I always have, I will be there for those when I can because I AM.