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.