Sunday, December 31, 2006

Another Year Gone By...

The time has come again, to bid goodbye to another year.  I am always amazed at how quickly each year passes, and this year is no different.  If any thing, it sailed by much more swiftly than I would have liked.  I still have undone business to take care of!  I still have resolutions to fulfill!  Probably because I am still, even at 37 years old, such a work in progress. 

My life in 2006, in a nutshell...

Was good.

There were days of sorrow and loss....  Followed ALWAYS by days of happiness and peace.  I saw you all go through much of the same.  I have bonded with many of you, all in unique and special ways.  I have been blessed with friendships that I would never have found had it not been for our journals.  And I am thankful, every day, for each and every one of you.

May 2007 bring you many blessings of peace and love ~ each and every day.


Wednesday, December 27, 2006


              Haven't done one of these in a while...
1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?

2. How much cash do you have on you?

    About  $.37

3. What’s a word that rhymes with DOOR?

4. Favorite planet?
    Well, it USED to be Pluto....

5. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone?

6. What is your favorite ring tone on your phone?

7. What shirt are you wearing?
    A gray sweatshirt

8. Do you label yourself?
    I wear many hats... 

9. Name the brand of the shoes you’re currently wearing?
    Black socks

10. Bright or Dark Room?

11. What do you think about the person who took this survey before you?
    There were two that I saw, and they both are fascinating individuals!
12. What does your watch look like?
    I don't own a watch.

13. What were you doing at midnight last night?
    Chatting with a friend.

14. What did your last text message you received on your cell say?
    Merry Christmas!

15. Where is your nearest 7-11?
    Probably an hour away.. I haven't the foggiest.

16. What’s a word that you say a lot?

17. Who told you he/she loved you last?
    My daughter as she said goodnight.

18. Last furry thing you touched?
    The purple, furry rug in my daughter's room.

19. How many drugs have you done in the last three days?

20. How many rolls of film do you need developed?
    I have about 4 rolls of film that have been sitting on my fridge for a year. 

21. Favorite age you have been so far?
    24 ~ as a new mom.

22. Your worst enemy?
    I like to think that I haven't any...

23. What is your current desktop picture?
    My children's beautiful smiling faces.

24. What was the last thing you said to someone?
    "Goodnight....  I love you more."

25. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly what would it be?
    I think with a million bucks I could learn to fly. 

26. Do you like someone?
    I like many people!

27. The last song you listened to?
   "Throwing It All Away"  Genesis

28. What time of day were you born?

29. What’s your favorite number?

30. Where did you live in 1997?
    In the next town over!

31. Are you jealous of anyone?

32. Is anyone jealous of you?
    I hope not, jealousy hurts. 

33. Where were you when 9/11 happened?
    I was aiding a severely handicapped child in her preschool classroom.  

34. What do you do when vending machines steal your money?
    Curse under my breath...

35. Do you consider yourself kind?
    I certainly always try to be.

36. If you had to get a tattoo, where would it be?
    On my hip perhaps... some place hidden and revealed only on special occassions!
37. If you could be fluent in any other language, what would it be?

38. Would you move for the person you loved?
    I'd walk to the ends of the earth. 

39. Are you touchy feely?
    That all depends...

40. What’s your life motto?
    Never lose hope.

41. Name three things that you have on you at all times?
    Clothing of some kind...  Well, 99% of the time, anyway.

42. What’s your favourite town/city?
    Wildwood Crest, NJ

43. What was the last thing you paid for with cash?
    A movie, popcorn and a soda!

44. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it?
    Years ago.

45. Can you change the oil on a car?
    Absolutely.... not.

46. Your first love: what is the last thing you heard about him/her?
    I've heard he's had a difficult time in life, and hope the best for him.

47. How far back do you know about your ancestry?
    Only about four generations.  Although, we have recently found many documents and old glass negatives that I am still sifting through.

48. The last time you dressed fancy, what did you wear and why did you dress fancy?
    Fancy?  I guess Christmas Eve.  I wore a dark green, velvety shirt and black pants.  Not all that fancy, really.
49. Does anything hurt on your body right now?
    Not at the moment...

50. Have you been burned by love?
    Very much so.  Haven't we all?


Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Investing In Beauty

"The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes.
If you ignore beauty, you will soon find yourself without it.
Your life will be impoverished. But if you invest in beauty,
it will remain with you all the days of your life."
Frank Lloyd Wright
Christmas has once again rushed in and out like the ocean's wave...  I look back on the day with a smile, knowing how truly blessed I am and how blessed we are as a family.  I try to see things through the eyes of my children.  It wasn't as easy this year, for some reason.  I have been selfish lately, ignoring so many of the beautiful blessings in my life and feeling an ache that I know I should not be feeling.  So where did that ignorance bring me?  To an ugly place that I do not wish to revisit any time soon.  I was looking through lost and lonely eyes, when in fact, I am surrounded by love.  Even when it is shown so softly that it is barely visible, it is there.  In a smile.  In a thought.  In the warm glow of a candle.  In the soft music playing in the next room.  In the light of each of my daughters' eyes and in the chimes of laughter as they open the next treasure...  In the touch of a hand that truly expresses kindness and openness.  In the smile of a friend.
Beauty.  Life without it is simply not an option.  There should always be colorful lights glittering within your heart.  If there isn't, you aren't looking deep enough. 
Mostly I am writing this for myself.  When I feel that the light inside me has dimmed, I will come back to this and try to feel and see the beauty in my life as I should.  Perhaps that will be my New Year's resolution for 2007.  To never let go of the beauty which surroundsme.  To never turn my back on a setting sun and to always pause to smell the flowers... or, more appropriately for now, the newly fallen snow. 
May your days be merry and bright!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you all a most magical and wonderful Christmas filled with beautiful memories to last a lifetime....

Monday, December 18, 2006

"Do You Want To Know the Truth?"

Does the greeting that questions your well being make you cringe?  That person passing by ~ that you may or may not know ~ who, perhaps means well, nods with a smile and politely asks,

"How are you?"

Well, I know that it annoys many people, but I have to admit, I am one to ask.  I don't ask as a greeting, but as a genuine concern for others.  What I really like is when someone answers me with,

 "Do you really want to know?"

Well, yeah... That's IS why I asked, and if a moment can be spared in the hustle and bustle long enough for you to tell me, I will be happy to listen.  If not, stay in touch.  Lord knows I've needed someone to offer an open ear and heart many a time...

So this happened tonight.  I had spent a VERY long afternoon and evening shopping with my daughter's, trying to find just the right outfit for Amanda to wear to her junior high concert tomorrow night.  Yeah, I said tomorrow.  I'm also a self-professed procrastinater...  so sue me.  ::smile:: Two and a half hours and six stores later, we finally managed to find an outfit that she was semi happy with.  We stopped for a quick bite to eat (another fiasco that I won't even get into...) and then headed home.  But WAIT.  I forgot to buy something to share at our staff Holiday celebration tomorrow ~ food and socks for the swap.  So I drop them off and head BACK out yet again...      keep in mind that I hadn't been home since 7:30 this morning, and I was BEAT. 

So I go to the grocery store first, and I happen to run into someone that I have had, oh, maybe four random conversations with in the time I have known him.  Never anything more than a "hello, how are you?"  Who was this person, you might ask? 

My children's school bus driver.

So we see each other, smile, and say the usual.

"Hi!  How are you?"  We both say, smiling politely.  Then he stopped and turned back to me.

"Do you want to know the truth?"  He asked.

"Yes, of course I do.  Do YOU?"  I dared.

"Well, if you have a moment, let's talk."  He suggested...

So we stood there, among the lettuce heads and broccoli spears, spilling our hearts out.  He began by telling me how wonderful his life has been since so and so came into his life.  That he just can't believe that after all this time (he is in his fifties) that he has found The One.  It has been a struggle, he shared, for the last couple of years, and now the fates have finally smiled.  As he spoke of his love for her, he had to stop...He was crying.

He asked me if I was okay.  Like I said, I dared to ask the same question of him...  Did he want to know the truth?  At first, I simply smiled.  Probably a little too weakly, because I had actually been wiping tears out in the parking lot only moments earlier.  He knew.  He held his hand out to me and told me that I was so young and beautiful (<cough>) and deserved to find happiness the same way that he had.  I was so moved, right there in the produce aisle.  Honestly, I was.  After a time we simply shook hands and went about our way... 

I have friends, I really do.  But I have isolated myself from people for far too long, and I have opened up to very few about what is going on in my life.  And a virtual stranger touches my heart out of nowhere. 

If you build walls around yourself to keep from being hurt than no one worth the stars can get in either.  I might need a VERY heavy hammer, but I am bound and determined to break down these walls...

Stay safe, and happy shopping!





Sunday, December 17, 2006


Okay.  How did these strangers find their way into my heart and soul?  This is just a tad bit creepy...


You are longing for some love and affection at this time - not that you have been deprived of tender loving care (um....) - but there are times when everyone needs to try something new or to go 'somewhere' else to perhaps experience that little extra 'understanding'.

You are a true extrovert, frivolous and outgoing. You need to feel in control of any situation. If matters are not proceeding according to plan you tend to get extremely irritable and perhaps become difficult to live with.

All the problems that you have been experiencing of late seem to have become a part of your life and there is little that can be done to change the situation. Your emotions run high - but even though you feel as if at times you are about to burst this situation will pass. Try to release your pent-up emotions by participating in some extra physical activities like running, swimming, whatever. There must be some favourite pastime, not necessarily strenuous, that can help you to relax.

It is said that we are all influenced by our environment and indeed you are no exception. It would seem at this time that even though you may be surrounded by people, you are experiencing an inner loneliness. Fortunately you are sufficiently strong minded to realize that life has a great deal to offer you and that you may miss your share of experiences if you fail to make the best use of every opportunity. You therefore pursue your objectives with a fierce intensity and are prepared to commit yourself deeply and readily. You believe that whatever you would like to do or think 'you can do' - you do! It is because of this attitude that you may be considered by others as arrogant and even conceited  (<GASP>), but its fair to say that whatever it is that you really want out of life you will put your heart and soul into it and will not take 'NO' for an answer.

You are putting on a show - a facade. You are a master of demonstrating considerable charm in the hope that this can or will lead to better things. Deep down you are fearful that this may not work and that you may have to employ other strategies in order to realize all your ambitions.

Check out YOUR colorgenics profile:

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Decorating These Pages!


Just wanted to share some of my holiday decorations with you ~  

A friend stopped by an gave the girls this VERY cute animation last night:

My angel...

Okay, so it has some holes...  My kids picked this beauty out!  They were nice enough to allow me to choose the wreath, though.  *smile*

Wishing you all many blessings!

(Thank you all for the blessing of your friendships ~  and thank you to Lisa and Gretchen for the cards!!  Mine are coming, I promise!)




Saturday, December 9, 2006

Let Life Come...

I am truly a woman made up of contradictions.  Probably that is why I spend so much of my time being utterly confused.   I can be happy as a pig in crap one moment and crying like an infant with a diaper full of it in the very next.  I can be driving around, taking in the beautiful holiday scenery, smiling and singing along with the Christmas carols playing on the radio, then sitting at home on a quiet Saturday evening trying to hide my uncontrollable tears while we watch Cindy Lou Who sing,
"Where Are You Christmas" in The Grinch.  Good God, where is my head?


I have a terrible habit of expressing myself and then deleting it all.  It's not that I don't want to share what is going on in my life with you....  I suppose that's because I have a difficult time accepting the thoughts that come from my heart and my mind, and putting them out there in plain view (even that of my own) is often frightening.  Sometimes words can change everything, and not in the way that we would have wished or planned.

I have deleted much of this entry because after seeing the words I had written, I was disgusted to see what little value I place on my life sometimes.  Instead of focusing on the good, on all my wonderful blessings, I chose to look at the hardships...  It's Christmas time.  I should be feeling the glow from within and savoring it's warmth.  Some days are just a little harder to feel it than others...  I'm only human, after all. 

I plan to take the girls to get our tree tomorrow.  They're very excited that I've decided to go with a real tree again this year.  Perhaps that will help.

In fact, I know it will.



(inspiring words previously posted in January 2006)

Let Life Come...

Let life come to you, the joys and the problems, the victories and the setbacks, the magnificent beauty and the frustrating difficulties.  Let life come, take it all in, and make the very most of it.  Don't fight it or force it, don't hide from it or run away, let life come as it will.  Let life come and experience the rich, unique flavor of every moment.  Rather than waiting for things to get better or wishing things had not gone the way they did, let life continue to come and live it as it does.  Let life come and learn from it, grow with it, become your best through whatever comes your way.  Welcome each new moment and open your eyes to the positive value that it brings.  Sometimes that value is obvious, and other times it is hidden, yet always it is there.  Let life come, with all its treasures and all its shortcomings.
Let life come, every bit of it, and be truly, gloriously alive...

Ralph Marston





Saturday, December 2, 2006

Holiday Favorites

I've been thinking about some favorite holiday traditions and such, and thought I'd post some of them here.  There have been some slight snow flurries on and off today, and I took out a couple more decorations, so I guess the spirit has decided to move me... perhaps push me is more like it!  I haven't even begun to start getting ready, probably due to this illness that has lingered so long.  I am finally starting to feel better...

There are countless other thoughts and events relating to Christmas that I will share as December rolls on ~ can't begin to fit all those thoughts into one entry.  Wouldn't want to anyway... the spirit should be felt all year!

SO, without further adu...  "These are a few of my favorite things....."

Holiday songs:

1.   Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

2.  Merry Christmas

3.  Carol of the Bells  (George Winston's version in particular)


Christmas Movies:

1.  Prancer

2. Holiday in Your Heart

3. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (will never let go of this one!)


Holiday traditions:

1. Decorating our home and tree while listening to Christmas music.  We light candles until it's finished and plug in the lights only after all is said and done and the angel rests atop the tree.  I love to see all the tree ornaments from years past (some from my own childhood) and feel all the memories each special one brings.

2. Christmas Eve at Mom and Dad's...  All the special "Christmas only" hors' derves and the warm and happy atmosphere that my mom always creates no matter what is going on in our lives.  We have had oyster stew for dinner every Christmas Eve since I was a little girl.  Growing up,  I was (and still am ;o) ) always allowed to open one gift from under the tree, a tradition I have happily passed on to my own girls (one they are particularly fond of as well!).  Mailee and Amanda also pull the wishbone from our Thanksgiving turkey.

3.  Going to see the "Festival of Lights" display at La Salette.


Favorite Holiday memories:

1.  The one Christmas Eve night that we spent at my Nana's and Grandpa's house when I was a little girl.  I went to bed and awoke in the night to see Santa brush by the bedroom window...  I'm not kidding.  I have shared this story with almost everyone who knows me.  I will never forget it.  Don't even THINK of telling me it was a dream!  ::smiling::

2.  When, as a little girl, I plodded down the stairs Christmas morning to find that Santa had left me a stuffed Winnie the Pooh Bear, unwrapped, sitting atop the many presents and eagerly awaiting my cries and warmest hugs.  I slept with him for, oh, forever...  He is sitting in my daughter's bedroom ~ a bit worn you could say ~ but still just as loved.

3.  My Mom, sitting quietly on my bed, reassuring me with all that she had, that Santa Claus was real, and that she would listen for the sleigh bells on Christmas Eve until she was no longer able.  Thanks Mom.


Wishing you many happy holiday memories and new ones yet to come.



Thursday, November 30, 2006

On the Mend

I've been home for the last couple of days, trying to let this cold of mine make it's way through my system.  I'm feeling better this evening, despite a lingering headache from all the coughing I've been doing!  Hopefully I'll be ready to go back to work by morning.  I miss not being at school. 

One thing I am excited about is that I managed to purchase tickets for a concert that my girls are going to just flip out over.  If you have very young children, you've probably heard of The Cheetah Girls ~ a teen pop sensation that is also a popular movie on the Disney Channel.  I've been trying for weeks to get tickets without any such luck until today.  I finally got through and managed to snag 3 seats in the highest section of the Verizon Wireless Arena.  I plan to tell them as soon as they get home from basketball practice.  They will both be elated... I can't even tell you how much they both love this music group, and this will be their first concert experience.  I actually like a few of their songs myself, and I am looking forward to going.

Snow is (hopefully) on it's way.. Maybe even by tomorrow.  Today was very warm and sunny ~ and that was nice too, but now I'm more than ready.  I hope we get a foot.  I do love snow.  I love the way it smells.  It's so beautiful.  I need snow to really feel the Christmas spirit the way I like to feel it.  I hope to take the girls to La Salette this weekend to see the lights.  The true full effect isn't felt (at least for me) until there's a substantial amount of snow on the ground.  The lights are simply breathtaking ~ people travel from all over to come see the display which takes up a whole hillside.  Santa is there and tells the story of Christ's birth, choosing children to play different parts.  My girls have somewhat outgrown this part ~ it's mostly for ME!  I will hopefully get some nice photos as well.  Here is a website that shows photos of the Festival of Lights: (sorry, I still haven't mastered the fast linking yet ~ hopefully this works)

Wishing you all a happy and healthy day!




Monday, November 27, 2006

It Has Arrived!

::doing a happy dance::

Twas the day after ugly, when what should appear ~  but a Traveling Necklace to wear and hold dear!   :-)

I posted about The Traveling Necklace a while ago, but will explain it again briefly for those who haven't heard:

The Traveling Necklace was made by Angie, a friend and fellow journaler many of you know.  She created this stunningly beautiful piece as a way to bind together new friends in a unique and memorable experience (I WILL post pics soon)!  Worn for the first week by Angie, who also included a journal for sharing the days while wearing the necklace, who then passed it on to the next woman in line.  It began it's journey in August, so you can understand how far it's come and perhaps also understand how it feels for me to be wearing it now.  Some may think it's silly.  My husband laughed  (I wasn't expecting much more from him, anyway). 

I am so thrilled that this magical piece of jewelry has arrived!  I have been waiting anxiously, knowing that I would be the last... Knowing that so many other wonderful ladies wore it before me and felt it's magic and left their mark on it forever.  I spent a great deal of time this evening reading the words left by all these wonderful women.  Many of them going through very difficult times for many different reasons.  Some were afraid of leaving their "bad Karma" on the necklace.  I only smiled at these words, knowing that that is exactly what this experience represents.  Nothing bad... only life.  The journey.  The many ups and downs and often devastating events of life... all rolled into one.  One necklace.  One heart.  And isn't it wonderful to know that there are people who care?  Who feel and experience so many of the same 'ups and downs'?  It is rather comforting to me.  Just as it is comforting to me to read all of the journals of so many of you that I have come to know and love.  I feel as much a part of your lives as those who stand beside me.  And I have zero qualms about saying so. 

So, good or bad luck ~ what will it hold for me?  I DID drop a piece of blueberry pie on my new beige pants while wearing it this evening, but HEY, blueberry pie is my favorite, so I am feeling pretty lucky anyway. 

I always knew I liked Mondays.



Sunday, November 26, 2006

I Wish You Enough...

Yeah, it's back again... That creepy, little nag of a voice that whispers CRAP in your ear.  >>>NOT LISTENING<<<
Thank goodness, there are people here in jland that can set me straight with a sweet dose of inspiration.  Sometimes we find comfort just when we need it most, and in unsuspecting places. 
Marie, I hope you don't mind that I borrowed this, but I need something to look back on as a reminder that there is always sunlight behind every storm cloud.  Thank you for the wishes... I'm passing them on:
"I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.
I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye
(psst...  I'm still thankful for all my blessings... ALL OF THEM)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing you all a peaceful holiday filled with blessings and happy memories!


Monday, November 20, 2006

Looking Back, Looking Ahead..

In less than an hour, I will be another year older...

Am I bothered?  Nah.  I still have a few good years left, right?  Heck, from what I've been told the best years have yet to come.  Do I miss my youth?  Yes, and no.  Does it bother me when my mom, bless her hairstylin' heart, tells me that I am getting grays?  Well, YEAH!   I was looking closely at my skin the other day.  I have these fancy new contacts made especially for astigmatism and let me tell ya, I could've done without them.  Never feeling very attractive in my youth, I was pleased only by my complexion ~ I never had pimples.  Never.  Okay, maybe one.  But that was what I heard all the time.

"Michelle, your skin is so soft and silky!"

Dang those contacts.  Reminds me of an Aerosmith song...  You know the one. 

Okay, enough self deprecation here...

I really am more than fine with it.  Sure, I joke around with people and pretend to agonize over another year added on, but I truly enjoy getting a bit older and wiser.  I see things SO much more clearly now than I did say, ten or fifteen years ago.  Even when I am down, really down, I understand why.  I know that there are choices, and that I have courage and strength that I didn't have (or didn't yet realize I had) back then.  I feel that I have a lot more respect from my colleagues now than I did when I started 8 years ago.  I know that life is short, and I appreciate it so much more.

So... Looking ahead, I know that there will be ups and downs, as there always are.  What I know now ~ that I didn't know then ~ is that I can embrace those moments.  I can learn from them.  I can grow.  Even older.  And smile all the while. 

I am so thankful for all the gifts in my life.  I plan to remain thankful, take nothing for granted, and smile just a little more often this year. 

A special thank you must be given to my sweet friend, Lisa Jo, who sent me a beautiful birthday card in the mail.  WHAT A NICE, UNEXPECTED SURPRISE!  Thank you, for warming my heart and brightening my day!  I truly am blessed!! 

Wishing you all a week full of smiles and reasons for thankful prayers.



Sunday, November 19, 2006

Random Thoughts

Quiet moments seem to come along much more rarely these days...  and I have learned to take full advantage when they do.  I have my music surrounding me, my favorite candles lit and the laundry is done... so life is good.

I haven't posted in over a week, and as I look at my comment number decline, I fear I've lost some readers.  I simply haven't had the time or the inspiration lately and when I've had one, I haven't had the other!  

With the holidays fast approaching, I am finding it a little easier to stay focused on the positives in my life, and take moments to pause and to feel all that I am blessed with.  When the girls are at each other's throats, or something else is disrupting the peace, I am able to close my eyes and feel much more at ease with it all.  Oh, I know that the holidays are often stressful, and I too, struggle to keep up with the hustle and bustle of it all.  But that is such a small part of it.  I prefer to see and feel the over all grand scheme of things lately.  I find it easier to see all that I am blessed with, feel within my heart all the warmth that is in my life, and to know that I am really okay.  That is enough sometimes.  There are so many people out there, many of you included, as I have been reading lately, who are just not okay at all.  I continue to pray for all of you, and keep you all in my thoughts and in my heart.

I'm looking forward to a short, two day work week!  We'll be visiting my parents for Thanksgiving (just a 25 minute drive) and spending much of the time just being home and relaxing.  After this week, we'll be juggling two basketball schedules as well as all the other activities that keep us busy, so we need to take this time to just be still and enjoy the quiet moments while we can!

Some additional lyrics have sprung to mind as I write this.  My daughter loves Billy Gilman, and I especially like this simple, yet rather fitting song:

There's some things I know to be true
Snow is white, andthe ocean is blue
Rain is wet, when it falls from the sky
And the stars come out every night

And just as sure as the sun will rise
This love is real, you see in my eyes
Plant a seed and it will grow
Some things I know

There's some things in life I need
Water to drink, air to breathe
A place to rest when I need sleep
When I'm hungry, food to eat

As sure as I need the Lord above
That's how much I need your love
And I need shelter from the cold
Some things I know

There's some things in life I want
To be thankful for all I've got
A friend to talk with, a hand to hold
To still be young when I grow old

And I want all my dreams to come true
And I want to share them all with you
And I just had to tell you so
Some things I know

Hugs and blessings to you all.




Friday, November 10, 2006

A Bit of Thanks

Today I am thankful for:

The many courageous men and woman who have fought and continue to fight for freedom and for our country (may they come home soon).

The health and safety of my family.

The ability to understand and accept life as it happens  (remember, this is for today ~ my moods change in the blink of an eye).

Hot bubble baths.

The warmth of an Autumn sun combined with a cool, gentle breeze.

Friends.  Real friends.  The ones who stand by you no matter how far you veer off the beaten path.

The extra time off which allowed me to post two entries in one day!!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Be thankful ~  every day ~  for something.


Hope Resurfacing

Wake up to a sunny day, not a cloud up in the sky
Then it starts to rain, my defenses hit the ground
And they shatter all around, so open and exposed
I found strength in the struggle
Face to face with my trouble

When you're broken in a million little pieces
And you're trying but you can't hold on anymore
Every tear falls down for a reason
Don't you stop believing in yourself
When you're broken

Little girl don't be so blue
I know what you're going through
Don't let it beat you up
Heaven knows that getting scars
Only makes you who you are
No matter how much your heart is aching
There is beauty in the breaking

When you're broken in a million little pieces
And you're trying but you can't hold on anymore
Every tear falls down for a reason
Don't you stop believing in yourself
When you're broken

Better days are gonna find you once again
Every piece will find its place

When you're broken in a million little pieces 

And you're trying but you can't hold on anymore
Every tear falls down for a reason
Don't you stop believing in yourself
When you're broken        


While I know I've made many mistakes as a parent, I have always prided myself on being a "good" mom.  From the time I found out I was going to BE a mom, my life began anew.  I was no longer living only for myself.  I read every book and and watched every parenting program on tv, talked endlessly with my friends who were already raising children...  Sought guidance from my own mom, who raised me with more love, understanding and patience than I can articulate.  When my first daughter was born, I was amazed at how natural it all was for me.  The sleepless nights, the crying, the nursing, the constantly being needed, it was all the most pleasurable experience I have ever had.  I loved every exhausting moment.  Even amidst some turmoil that tore at my heart during that time, I was stronger as a parent than I ever was when no one else depended on me.  The same experience was repeated with baby girl number two.  Being a mom has been the most amazing blessing I could ever hope to receive.

But it's not so easy when they grow up, is it? 

Finding the right words is the hardest.  I'm always saying something wrong.  I'm finding that I am no longer the role model I once was.  The struggles aren't about wet diapers and broken toys anymore.  It has begun.  The "real" stuff.  Stuff I am truly not as  good at as I'd like to be.  I struggle with finding the right words, when I can not back up what I am trying to say.  Follow your heart?  Follow your dreams?  Never settle for less than what you deserve?  Be all that you can possibly be? 

It's time I started following my own advice.  Time to be a role model for my daughters again.  Time to find the strength in the struggle.  Time to piece together that which is broken and live life as it's meant to be lived.  I am tired of letting life slip by me, and seeing the sadness in my little girls' faces as they quietly watch.  I'm starting to find hope ~ and reasons to change.  Reasons that have been in my heart all along, but are just now starting to resurface.

And it sure feels good to find that I still have it in me. 




Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Trick or Treat? (Careful What You Wish For!)

Just wanted to share a bit more of our Halloween adventures with you this evening.  It sure all goes by fast once darkness falls...  As in most good things, I suppose.

We had friends over for pizza before the big event.  A sure way of getting the kids to eat SOMETHING before the candy took over.  The girls dressed up, each with their own plans.  Amanda is at the age of course when she wishes to go with friends instead of us.. ::pout::  Mailee and her friend went door to door through our complex with us moms following closely behind.  There were HUNDREDS of kids of all ages, and many adults dressed up as well.  I must admit, I wasn't feeling the urge to dress up this year.  Last year I went in my robe and slippers... We have people from all over town come here and park alongside the grass.  One thing I've never seen before that really impressed me this year was that there were also police officers patrolling the complex by foot.  That made me feel a little more secure about letting my older daughter go off with friends on their own.

Amanda stayed home for a bit with her dad and passed out some candy before going out and getting her fill.  What was probably the sweetest thing I saw all day was that when she returned home, and trick or treaters still knocked fiercely upon our door, she kindly gave out her own candy without thinking twice.  It had to have been close to half her bag.  Not Mailee... She was happy as a pig in doo doo, busily embracing her own sugary loot, as I shared in the previous entry.... ;o)

We weren't allowed to dress up at school.  I can't say was surprised at the announcement.  Holiday celebrations can be a bit tricky (pardon the pun.) with this age group.  With any age group, actually.  There are many families who do not celebrate Halloween for religious or personal reasons.  Of course, we honor all other holidays the best we can, and we DID celebrate in a quiet way.  A mom from our class came in at the end of the day and played Halloween and Harry Potter songs on the violin.  She played beautifully, and it was a real treat for the entire class.

Wishing you the best of treats, today and always!

Halloween Bliss

Need I say more?





Monday, October 30, 2006

Monday Photo Shoot: PUMPKINS!

           Mailee's                  and              Amanda's


                         "Anybody got a tissue?"

                          "Muuu wahahahahaha............"


The Giving Tree

Just taking a moment to introduce a new journal in our midst.  It was created by Angie, a very caring person who has a vision.  One of hope and peace for someone ~ anyone ~ who perhaps has very little.  The Giving Tree is a place where you, or anyone you know who may be in need of anything, can go for help.  Please check it out...




Sunday, October 29, 2006

Strength and Resolve


Another entry from me to thee...  From the mouth of a silly 'ole bear,
"it's been a rather blustery day today".  I love it, I must admit, but I feel for the hundreds who have lost power in our area in the last day or so.  Yesterday rains pounded down relentlessly, leaving the trees almost bare and the roads slippery, causing many accidents.  I drove through about two feet of water last night along our road.  A very strange sensation to be driving along and then feel like your tires have just been pulled out from under you.  Now the rain has stopped but the wind is as fierce as can be.  My daughter awoke in the night and thought it was aliens...  I haven't heard the roar of winds such as these in a long time.

I spent much of the day relaxing.  Reading and writing between loads of laundry.  The girls carved their pumpkins this evening and I will post some photos of the great masterpieces another time.  The seeds are currently roasting in the oven... mmmm...  my favorite part of pumpkin carving!

Thank you for the many thoughtful comments concerning my previous entry.  I do believe that the time has come to stop.  To stop spending so much time trying to convince myself to live life and just DO IT.  I plan to focus on the good things.  The beautiful aspects of my life.  Not on the confusing, hurtful and seemingly endless battles I have previously chosen to dwell on.  I know it is within my power to move beyond what is pain and rise above the shadows of my soul.  There is light and brilliance in life that I have yet to find.  And the happiness I do have, right here in front of me is what I must cling to.  It simply has to be enough.  For now.

I need to show my girls what it means to have strength and resolve.  They will need it someday, perhaps more than I.  I plan to be the one to show them that it is within themselves, as I know it is within me.  I have many people in my life who love me and care about me.  I am extremely fortunate for this, and for the ability to recognize it.  Many don't, and walk around in a complete and constant haze.  Not me. 

Okay, that's enough profound thoughts for now.  I hope you're all enjoying your weekend!  It goes by WAY too fast.




Saturday, October 28, 2006

The "Present"

How easy it can become, to wrap ourselves up in the why's, what if's and when's of life.  So easy to dwell in sadness and drown ourselves in tears.  Screaming internally, and yet all the while smiling at the world.  What a complete and utter waste.  Of time.  Of life...

Don't we all feel some degree of sadness?  And don't we all feel some degree of happiness?  Is that not what this is all about here?  Okay, so life is far from perfect.  So things are different then I thought they'd be at this point in my life.  Do I not have all I need?  Maybe...  Perhaps not, but there is time for that later ~ isn't there?  Who knows if tomorrow will come?  Do I risk losing everything in order to obtain one thing?  If I wait, will it be too late for ME? 

  I have been neglecting my journal, on purpose.  Not in the sense that I haven't been writing... I often only post once a week or so anyway.  But by neglecting it, I mean I haven't been "reflecting" about things the way I need to.  I've been so concerned about hiding my thoughts so that they don't give my heart permission to feel.  And all this time, I've been feeling it all so very deeply from within, and not allowing it to flow out naturally, that it scares me to think of what the future could possibly hold if I was to let it.  What is "it", you might ask?  It is many things:  Fear.  Desire.  Need.  Guilt.  Confusion.

I am so tired of wasting time.  So ready to live life to the fullest.  The problem is knowing how.  The key is recognizing when the right time is.  Could it be now?  Today is a gift... am I throwing this gift away by not living life the way I should?  Yes, I think I am.  Do I have the courage to move forward?  Is it wrong for me to want to?  Am I truly as selfish as I feel when I allow myself to contemplate a new and different path? 

I called this journal "Reflections" for a reason.  During a time when I felt lost and chunks of my heart were scattered about, I knew that I needed an outlet.  A place to give voice to the thoughts in my head.  A place to share those thoughts with others and learn from those shared thoughts and experiences.  I have learned much from having this journal.  I have met amazing people who have touched my life and my heart.  I need to allow myself to come here, to settle in it's existence and to reveal the pleasant and not so pleasant pieces of me.  Without fear. 

Today is a gift.  Hold it tightly and enjoy it's beauty. 

Oh yeah, and don't forget to smile.... and mean it.


Friday, October 20, 2006

Before moving on, I want to thank you all for your prayers.  I only ask that your prayers be with the family and closest friends of Janelle.  While I would consider her a friend and sister in my heart and among our church family, I should've/could've been closer with her than I was, and her family needs your prayers more than I do.  I'm sorry I didn't give a lot of details... I wasn't completely comfortable that I had "blogged" about it in the first place, since this is someone else's family, but I wanted to follow through with letting you all know what the outcome was, no matter how tragic...THANK YOU ALL so much for all your condolences.

I hope you all have a pleasant weekend... I know I'm looking forward to mine.  Needing a little R and R time here...  Amanda's been home sick for four days.  I really hope I'm not coming down with the same bug.  Glad I had my flu shot, just hoping it does the job.  I'm hoping to take the girls to see Flicka, which I've been waiting since summer to see.  Even the reviews gave me tingles!  Must bring tissues!! 

Hugs to you all...


Thursday, October 19, 2006

A Tragic Ending

I have been putting off writing this entry...

I prayed that I would be able to report to you all of a happy conclusion to the search for a lost friend.  Sadly, that entry will never come.

Janelle was and will always be, an angel in our midst.  She gave so much of herself to others, and will always be remembered as a generous spirit, willing to go the extra mile for anyone in need of absolutely anything.  Especially anyone in need of a friend, a shoulder or an attentive ear.  She was dear to many and will be missed by all who knew her.

Thank you, for all of your prayers, wishes and concerns.  It is all still very overwhelming as to how and why this happened, but what is more important is keeping her memory alive and I smile at all the memories I have of this warm, fun loving friend. 

Hold tightly to those you love.  Live each day as if tomorrow will never come.  We all take life for granted sometimes, that is only human nature.  Let's just try to remember how precious life is and appreciate all that we are blessed with, even as we long for more from it. 

Rest in loving peace, Janelle. 


Tuesday, October 17, 2006


This amazing piece was found at the following journal:


"A time comes in your life when you finally get it ...when, in the midst of all your fears and insanity, you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out ENOUGH!!! Enough fighting and crying or struggling to hold on. And, like a child quieting down  after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears and begin to look at the world through
new eyes.

This is your awakening. You realize it's time to stop hoping
and waiting for something to change...or for happiness, safety and
security to come galloping over the next horizon. You come to terms with the fact that you are neither Prince Charming or Cinderella and that in the real world there aren't always fairy tale endings (or beginnings for that matter) and that any guarantee of "happily ever after" must begin with you...and in the process a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.

You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are...and that's OK. They are entitled to their own views and opinions. And you learn the importance of loving and championing yourself...and in the process a sense of new found confidence is born of self-approval.

You stop complaining and blaming other people for the things they did to you (or didn't do for you) and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected. You learn that people don't always say what they mean or mean what they say and that not everyone will always be there for you and that it's not always about you. So, you learn to stand on your own and to take care of yourself...and in the process a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance.

You stop judging and pointing fingers and you begin to accept people as they are and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties...and in the process a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness. You realize that much of the way you view yourself, and the world around you, is as a result of all the messages and opinions that have been ingrained into your psyche. And you begin to sift through all the junk you've been fed
about how you should behave, how you should look, how much you should weigh, what you should wear, what you should do for a living, how much money you should make, what you should drive, how and where you should live, who you should marry, the importance of having and raising children, and what you owe your parents, family, and friends.

You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. And you begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for. You learn the difference between wanting and needing and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you've outgrown, or should never have bought into to begin with...and in the process you learn to go with your instincts. You learn that it is truly in giving that we receive. And that there is power and glory in creating and contributing and you stop maneuvering through life merely as a "consumer" looking for your next fix.

You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the
outdated ideals of a bygone era but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a life. You learn that you don't know everything, it's not your job to save the world and that you can't teach a pig to sing. You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say NO. You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry and that martyrs get burned at the stake. Then you learn about love. How to love, how much to give in love, when to stop giving and when to walk away.

You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them be. You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes. And you learn that alone does not mean lonely.
You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over and ignoring your needs. You learn that feelings of entitlement are perfectly OK...and that it is your right to want things and to ask for the things you want...and that sometimes it is necessary to make demands.

You come to the realization that you deserveto be treated with love, kindness, sensitivity and respect and you won't settle for less. And you learn that your body really is your temple. And
you begin tocare for it and treat it with respect. You begin to eat a
balanced diet, drink more water, and take more time to exercise. You learn that being tired fuels doubt, fear, and uncertainty and so you take more time to rest. And, just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul. So you take more time to laugh and to play.

You learn that, for the most part, you get in life what you believe you deserve...and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy. You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for and that wishing for something to happen is different from working toward making it happen.

More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline and perseverance. You also learn that no one can do it all alone...and that it's OK to risk asking for help. You learn the only thing you must truly fear is the greatest robber baron of all: FEAR itself. You learn to step right into and through your fears because you know that whatever happens you can handle it and to give in to fear is to give away the right to live life on your own terms. And you learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom.

You learn that life isn't always fair, you don't always get what you think you deserve and that sometimes bad things happen to
unsuspecting, good people. On these occasions you learn not to
personalize things. You learn that God isn't punishing you or failing to answer your prayers. It's just life happening. And you learn to deal with evil in its most primal state - the ego.

You learn that negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood and redirected or they will suffocate the life out of you and poison the universe that surrounds you. You learn to admit when you are wrong and
to build bridges instead of walls. You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about: a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower. Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself by yourself and you make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never, ever settle for less than your heart's desire. And you hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind. And you make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility.

Finally, with courage in your heart and God by your side you take a stand, you take a deep breath
and you begin to design the life you want to live as best you can."

author unknown... but thanked profusely.


Monday, October 16, 2006

Monday Photo Shoot


Book Tagged

I've been tagged by Angela to post an exerpt from the book I am currently reading.  Needing something fun to do, I am happy to oblige!


If you'd like to play along for fun, here are the rules:

1. Grab the nearest book. If you are currently reading something, that'll be fine too.

2. Open the book to page 123.

3. Find the fifth sentence.

4. Post the text of the next 4 sentences on your Blog along with these instructions.

5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet I know that is what you were thinking!

6. Tag 5 people


Book:  Harvesting the Heart  By (who else?) Jodi Picoult.  (yes, I'm STILL reading this, but I'm ALMOST done!)

"Nicholas had been having nightmares again.  They weren't the ones he'd had when he was in medical school, but they were every bit as disturbing, and Nicholas believed they stemmed from the same source, that old fear of failure.  He was being chased through a heavy, wet rain forest whose ivy vines dripped blood.  He could feel his lungs near bursting; he pulled his legs high from the spongy ground."


Sunday, October 15, 2006



I found out a few days ago that a friend of mine from church has been missing since Monday night.  It's obviously very worrisome, given the weather and the time that has gone by.  I don't imagine there will be a very good outcome, but of course I am praying for one and hoping that perhaps she has simply gone off for a few days by herself.  This just doesn't seem likely, since she had last spoken with her daughter on Monday night and they have a good relationship.  Janelle wouldn't just leave.  I've volunteered to help out with the search, and will (hopefully) temporarily be taking her place on the missions committee, which was/is always a big part of who she is and I felt honored that I would be asked to carry this on for her while she's gone.  She always gave to others her time and her heart.  It was she who came out to "save" me when I floated out alone in the water too long.  Remember "the zone" entry?! That whole day we visited, long into the evening.  We played beach ball with all the kids and she even spent time taking my kids out to play the games during the BBQ so that I could relax.  I remember thinking how thoughtful and caring she always is.  She helps build Habitat For Humanity houses in the area.  She is ALWAYS looking out for others.  And now she is lost.  She is alone.  I pray that she knows that God is with her.  May she feel His comforting arms around her.  I pray that she comes home soon.

Friday, October 13, 2006


It's been a long week, but full of smiles regardless.  Mailee got her cast of today.  She is so excited she won't stop jumping around.  Every word that comes out of her cute little mouth is shouted with glee!  After the removal of final cast number three today, we went to the gift shop and she picked out a stuffed Dashound, and we shared a hot fudge sundae as a special treat to celebrate.  This girl lives for her stuffed animals.  Her sister never cared for them at all.  I'm often amazed at how the two of them are so much alike in some ways and yet so very different in others.  And then they are both exactly like me.  Strange how that works.  At least they're lucky enough to look like their father.

Amanda is going to her first school dance tonight.  I'm so excited for her.  I'm a little disappointed because she is going straight from school to a friend's house and riding to the dance with her and a couple other girls.  The unselfish me is thrilled for her, that she has so many wonderful friends and is busy and thriving in junior high.  The selfish me is wishing I could be the one to bring her there and see her walk in.  I know that probably sounds ridiculous.  My baby is growing up.  Scary.  Exciting.  Amazing.  I guess to me it's like missing the first step.  I have never wanted to miss a thing.  And quite honestly there isn't much I have missed.  So I guess I'm spoiled to some extent!  At least I get to pick her up afterwards, and hopefully she will open up and tell me all about it. 

I can't believe there is a chance for snow this weekend.  Perhaps not here in town, but up north more likely.  I'm hoping the sun will shine brightly and that I will have a chance to get out and take some more foliage pictures up in the hills and mountains.  If it DOES snow it will certainly wreak havoc on the leaves, and yet it would be so beautiful as well.  Not sure I'd want to be in Buffalo, NY right now with two feet of snow in some areas.  We aren't even prepared for something like that yet.  I know the girls both need new snow boots.  Everything else is still in storage.  Shouldn't it be?  My goodness.

Still looking forward to that first snowfall, though....





Monday, October 9, 2006

Monday Photo Shoot

Foliage 2006





Saturday, October 7, 2006

Harvesting the Heart

I haven't been around much lately...  There's been so much going on in my life and in my heart, and it's been difficult to decide what or what not to share.  Sometimes I'm simply torn about what should remain private and how much I should open up to the world.  I haven't felt extremely creative lately.  Not in my writing, at least, and I'm still not really feeling it, but I DO want to continue writing in this journal, and remain actively involved in the lives of my online friends.  I don't want anyone thinking something bad is going on, when really things are just busy and sometimes complicated.  There are happy moments, with smiles and warmth.  There have also been frightening moments and doubts about the future, both my own and that of some of my family members.  What I can say though, without the slightest of doubt, is that today I am smiling.  While the air is cool and brisk, the sun is warm and inviting.  There is an abundance of love all around me in everything that is real, and well, and alive.  The colors of Autumn are bright and peaceful reminders of all that is beautiful and so often taken for granted.  I am thankful for so much, and blessed by God in so many incredible, yet quiet ways.  I pray for the strength to always see that ~ not just right now.  Not just for today, or tomorrow, or even next week ~  but for always.

I hope you will all take a moment to enjoy the Full Harvest moon tonight, and that you will also be inspired to feel all that is good and bright in your lives.  While Autumn often signifies an end, it also dares us to dream.  It asks us to wait.  It gives us hope and anticipation for the coming season of glittering white.  That chill in the air is a gentle reminder to cling tightly to those we hold dear, and find warmth in unexpected places.

Happy Autumn to you all!



Found the following in Lisa's journal: "Please Don't Take Life for Granted."    A beautiful reminder I just HAD to pass on..  Thanks Lisa! 

Please check it out:


Sunday, October 1, 2006

Saturday, September 16, 2006

A Continued Journey...

I began a quest a short time ago to seek, and hopefully find, covered bridges close to home here in New Hampshire.  I posted one a while back, and visited just one more after that until today.  What was funny about today was that my initial plan had little to do with covered bridges, my newest love...  I REALLY wanted to go apple picking!!  My girls, however were not having it.  So I bargained.  I bribed.  I insisted finally, in the end, that they let ME have a voice for a change and go where I wanted to go!  Okay, so the bribe was convincing enough... but we still didn't go apple picking. 

I took them over the river into Vermont.  I took them to a fancy restaurant and a little shopping along the quaint, small town roads.  Then my turn finally came,  quite unexpectedly. 

I was pulled into a welcoming gift shop, and I lingered around the calendar section while the girls picked out candy and gum.  A Vermont COVERED BRIDGES calendar caught my eye.  I flipped through the pages, admiring all the beautiful, scenic bridges until... WAIT!  There's one here in this town?  OH JOY!  I knew there was a cast iron bridge down the road, made famous by the movie "A Ghost Story", which was filmed in that town back in the 80's, but a covered bridge?  Had I simply forgotten?  At any rate, I eagerly approached the nice lady at the counter who had been engaging my children in a conversation about Mailee's broken arm and asked her about the covered bridge.  She smiled and gave me directions as far as, well, right down the road because there it was for Pete's sake!  But here's the real biggie:  THERE ARE THREE MORE WITHIN 5 MINUTES OF US?!  Sweet rapture...

Okay, so it's not as exciting as all that... but geesh.  I needed a pick me up.  So off we went, my girls and I, on a journey that lasted most of the afternoon.  I will share a few of my personal favorites on this page, but also include photos from throughout the day in the picture box up top.

Hope you are all having a warm and peaceful weekend, and that moments will touch your heart as the beauty of my day touched mine... 


Side view of above bridge... a scenic spot found by accident on the ride home!

The following is from my second trip into Meriden, NH a couple weeks ago:

So, those are my newest bridge encounters!  There are many more "scenic" photos up top there...   Please forgive my lack of professionalism in the technical aspects.  This is truly for my own pleasure!  THANKS!