Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Valuing Life

Needless to say I have had my fair shares of 'reminders' on how short life is, how lucky I am to be healthy and have children, fortunate I am to have what I have, and cherished enough to have people in my life who love me for who I am. But no matter what people have around them or the reminders they have been given, I think it is SO easily to still take life and all the things it entails for granted.

Now that I am 26 (whoooooo, 26, SO old, right?! No.) I am starting to see things happen around me that are just not fair, but could just as easily happen to me. I know of a man through reading another WAHM's blog who went into Cardiac Arrest at 26 years old, and thankfully survived. I have kept up on a blog of a man who lost his wife post-childbirth and feel I am living his journey of loneliness as a man, but joy as a father. I have heard stories of women my age and maybe a slight bit older getting ovarian cancer, cervical cancer, breast cancer, etc.

Really, aren't all of these things the types of things our grand-parents didn't start to see happen to people their age until they were in their retirement years? Cancer and cardiac arrest is for unhealthy and more aged people, right? People loose spouses as they grow very old and weak, right? Well, that's the naive point of view I had on things. Before.

Right now, my heart is feeling like it is tied up in rubber bands for 2 friends. One friend who is only 6 weeks younger than me and has 2 gorgeous little girls. She is having surgery to remove a/some very painful lumps in her breast and have it tested for cancer. The other who is just a few years older than I and has 2 of the cutest little Irish boys. She has been diagnosed with breast cancer is is now preparing to begin treatment. She has 3 lumps, one being on the lymph node under her arm.

I don't quite understand why this is happening to them, but I know it isn't intended to be understood. But for some reason, these things are happening to young mothers, young wives, young friends. Young. The hardest thing is all you can really do is offer prayer, support and encouragement. I wish so badly there was more one could do when they see someone else hurting so bad. The feelings of helplessness are deep. Especially in these instances where so much literal distance prevents from just stopping by with a hug and a warm meal.

My prayers are going to be with both of these friends. I have faith those prayers can reach across miles and oceans, and have hope that my support can reach the same.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I'm kinda proud of ME!

I wanted to give an update on the week long blog I posted on!

We have been faithfully going to church. Sure, it's only been a couple weeks, but we have been going. No 'are we going to church today?' at 6am. No 'oh, I'm so tired' while we are getting ready. We get up, eat some breakfast, get ready and head out to church. And I love it. I'm feeling so much better again. Going to church is like a B12 shot for my soul. I really miss our worship pastor, but that's ok. Being there has been awesome and I plan on keeping it this way!

I have been keeping up on my business. I had my first return last week, but not due to craftWOmanship, but because she couldn't get it to 'fit' her properly. I handled the return well, and she will be returning for other items in the future. That kinda made it all ok! Then I spent 2 hours Friday night catching up on my paperwork, bookkeeping and taxes. Now I just have to make that a more frequent thing!

Our finances are still grim, but not related to any of our spending habits. I think this is one point I will have to wait out and be patient on the change. The economy isn't going to get better until we elect a new President and he takes office. (VOTE OBAMA!) But until then, I will continue to work on it. We should be settling on an accident we were involved in soon and that will hopefully give us the platform we need to start making things right.

If you haven't read my ticker, I lost 5lbs in my first week! That's right! FIVE pounds! I am so thrilled. I never (even when at my most desperate moment) thought I would be able to start off this new way of eating. Quite opposite really! Changing my eating habits has really been easy! After seeing what 7 days can do, I think THAT is the booster I needed to keep going. The hardest thing right now for me is on my way to work in the mornings. Not stopping to get a Carmel Macchiatto and Cheese Danish (88g of carbs total) from Starbucks has been the most tempting, difficult thing. The first week had a couple days of headaches and exhaustion, but otherwise I feel wonderful, energized, healthy and happy. It's amazing how TERRIBLE all those fillers and greasy foods were making me feel, and how bad my skin was! I had a burger one night for dinner without the bun, and it was like having my first burger EVER. The tastes in it were just amazing. It made me realize how much the bread and sauces really drown out the flavors in foods. I have been tasting many things differently! I am to the point now where I am starting to eat for hunger and health and not for social or impulse reasons. AND as a side note, Hubby lost 13lbs in the first week. I am SO proud of him, although it kinds makes me fell like, UGH, but I do remember he is a man. Darn them.

Otherwise, I am trying all around be a better person. There are so many things working against me right now. Lots of things I wish would change in the areas of my life I come in contact with. But I will continue to try and be the best mom and wife I can be.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Forever


Please play this video, not for the pictures, but for the song..... let your heart listen to the words. God is the ONLY reason we are able to make it through this temporary life here on earth.....

An exerpt from my 'Who Am I?' post......


".... GuitarMan gets the award for making the biggest impact in the smallest amount of time. GuitarMan led us to a faith. That then led to Hubby (then my boyfriend) becoming a Christian, and now my children being raised in that environment, many friends I have been able to introduce to God and hopefully it
will impact for generations to come! He also taught us the importance of life, and how short it truly is. Most importantly of all, he showed my mom what she deserved in a husband. I miss him every single day. GuitarMan passed away after a long struggle with illness at 50 years old."


It has been 5 years today since GuitarMan left us to have a new and healthy body, to sit along side his Lord and Savior. It has also been 1 year for my brother-in-law since he lost his dad to illness and physical struggle. The only thing that can help a day like this pass is to picture 2 big guys with their hawaiian shirts having a major jam session on their guitars before God.



We miss you, Guitarman.
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We Miss you, DRD.
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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Mommy Moment

I am so in love with my kids. I am sitting here in my living room (thank goodness for laptops) while Zack and Cody is on TV. Watching BabyGirl in her mermaid pajamas, CRAZY hair, and Tinkerbell dress up shoes, dance around. BabyBoy is rolling a wicker basket around the loving room, chanting Mamamamamama. Anytime you ask him where his ball is, he says "Baw! Baw! Baw!" and looks ALL over for it. It's SO cute! BabyGirl has swim tonight so I think we might go down early and swim around a bit beforehand. How do you take 2 babes to a poll alone? Hmmm, I'll get back to you with that one. BabyGirl has had an obsession with drawing people lately. She is getting VERY detailed with their accessories. When she draws BabyBoy, he has a nookie. Mommy has earrings, and Daddy has a hat. Their faces are so cute, and look like Peeps.

Anyways, I wanted to share a few pictures.





Monday, July 14, 2008

The FIFTH Day of the Rest of My Life

Want to know about the first day? Click here.
Want to know about the second day? Click here.
Want to know about the third day? Click here.
Want to know about the fourth day? Click here.

Day 5: My Body

"Are you expecting?"

Wonderful. That's the question I got yesterday. A couple weeks after I decided it was time to take my appearance seriously. It cut like a knife.

"No." (as I give a fake smile and held back the tears)

She was a sweet old lady, and was just being as friendly as can be, so I can't blame her. But this is on the heels of so many instances that made me feel change was in the works. I look in pictures now and don't see my face. My daughter asks me if I still have a baby in my belly, or says 'look at mommy's silly big belly'. From the mouths of babes, right? I don't feel right anymore. I cannot even be a happy 'fluffy' girl right now.

Now, PLEASE, don't go quickly to post a new comment and tell me to 'don't listen to her', 'you don't look pregnant', 'you have had two kids', 'keep your head up', 'you look great' or anything of the matter. All those things make me feel like you agree but want to be kind, and truly are not even close to convincing to me that things are just hunky dory. The truth is I do have a terrible gut since having BabyBoy, I am overweight (70+lbs more than I should be), I don't fit into my clothes well and there are many people who see it and don't say it. I wish they would. Maybe it would corner me into being smarter when I go to grab for seconds of chocolate cake, or get the Super-Sized french fry when I'm not that hungry.

I decided to follow the amazing and inspirational steps of my DisneyWorld Momma friend. I will call her DWL. DWL has lost somewhere in the range of 100lbs, and is still striving for more. Though her soul has always been beautiful, she came to what I can only guess is a somewhat similar point to where I am, and decided she needed a healthier HER for her kids and husband. I saw a recent picture of her and immediately felt pride for her, and we truly don't know each other that well. just to see someone make a choice, do it, and do it the RIGHT WAY was so inspirational. There was no reason I couldn't do the same.

SO, I decided to start off in her footsteps. I am choosing a low-carb/ no-carb diet. It will probably teeter more towards low-carb, at least for the beginning until I can grab a hold of what proper foods are. In all reality, cutting back on breads and sugars is only healthy, especially in my diabetes prone bloodline. To me, I am not making this a diet. I am simply making different choices. The selections are limited, the foods are boring, and I know getting used to it is going to be hell. Today is day 1 and I have already been tempted to grab 'just one' of something I shouldn't have. I am keeping my eyes fixed on the day that I don't even want those things. I think I can do it though. And to keep myself honest, I will be posting a weight loss widget there on the side of my blog.

Also, I have been desperately wanting an elliptical trainer for years now. My picky husband narrows my ability to get one because he wants on that doesn't use fan resistant, and has a larger frame, blah blah blah. Well, at this point, a pogo stick is more than I have and more than I'm doing. I think I am just going to have to buy one, one that I can use and like, and deal with it. When I get it, I am going to start slow. I'm not fooling myself into thinking I can start a 5 day a week workout for an hour a day one it. It won't happen and I will hate it in a matter of days. I plan to start for 15-20 minutes, a few times a week. Whatever I start with, it will grow by small bits, week by week. Seriously, how can I complain about being fat, or even expect to get skinny, if I sit in an office chair 36 hours a week, the car 12 hours a week and on my big butt at home watching TV or sewing for hours on end? Not going to happen.

So, this concludes my points of change. I truly think these points of my life that I want to work on are going to be good not only for me, but for the people I come into contact with.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The FOURTH Day of the Rest of My Life

Want to know about the first day? Click here.
Want to know about the second day? Click here.
Want to know about the third day? Click here.

Day 4: My Finances

I used to be the kind of person who had our money so in order. My mom instilled budgeting qualities into me. I did really well after moving out onto my own (despite typical challenges) and even after we got married I had a strict budget in order. We were good enough and strict enough to buy a home at 19 years old.

After we had BabyGirl, things got a little tighter, but I kept onto that budget. I even had a friend of mine praise me on my ability to be so good with our money. It seems the downfall of our finances was when daycare threw us over our manageability when BabyGirl turned 1. I started to not be as good at following that weeks budget, our bills seemed to climb before my eyes, and we were even buying a few luxuries before paying the necessities. Over time and through the birth of our BabyBoy, it only got worse. It has reached a point now to where our expenses far outweighed our income due to economical stresses, yet we still indulge in things we shouldn't. I have been much quicker to just say screw it, and buy what it is we want. I will put off a bill for the next month just to use the money to cover groceries or necessities. Having $150 in daycare per week and about $40 worth of formula and diapers a week isn't helping either!

I had a real reality check happen to me about a year ago. Thinking back on that now, and having gotten to a safe recovery place after my 3months off unpaid after having BabyBoy, I think it is possible and NECESSARY for us to get back on track. I have so many things that are too personal to talk about, even in this blog, but I am to the point of taking ownership of them and doing what I need to do to move past them.

My goal and turning point needs to start now. I really am still at a loss at what to do with our unsecured debt, but if I can figure that out, I think we can manage to take the reigns by the neck on our current expenses and even save a bit for the future.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The THIRD Day of the Rest of My Life

Want to know about the first day? Click here.
Want to know about the second day? Click here.

Day 3: My Business

This will be short and sweet, so those of you who feel I have written a novel the past few days, I’m sorry!

I’m making my business a focus because this is a gift from God I feel I need to nurture and care for. MaggieMoo Designs kind of created itself, and since it started running February 10, 2008, it has been a constant source of success for me! I started off making a set of items, and since then I have eliminated some and added some different ones. I have created crap, and have created masterpieces. I think everything I have done has been a constant improvement, based on my thinking that there is always room to make it better.

I feel MMD is going to be a steady route to some extra income when we move into the phase of a one income family. I think all this time of growing it NOW is only preparing me to run it full time when the time comes.

I want to promise to myself to never let the fire I have for it die. I have sold well over 100 of my own handmade creations, and I want the 1,000th to feel just as successful and exciting! I want to be committed to keeping my books straight. I want to be frugal ALWAYS at watching for deals and saving where I can. I want to improve on every single item I make. I want to be able to resolve issues with grace and courtesy that will make the customer trust me a second time around.

Who knows? One day I may have a boutique storefront of my own. ;)

UPDATE: Just a few minutes after typing this, I got a message from a customer. This is precisely why I feel the way I do about MMD. I just got a voicemail from a recent customer who sent her own fabric for 2 nursing covers. She left me a message saying hot cute they turned out and wants me to make more nursing covers! Little blessings like that keep me going...... Thank you God!

1 Chronicles 4:10
Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." And God granted his request.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The SECOND Day of the Rest of My Life

Want to know about the First Day? Click Here.

Day 2: Patience, Forgiveness, Loyalty and Commitment

I'm going to lump all of these factors into one day, one blog and one effort. I don't think I am terrible at any single one of those things, but they are all I can definitely say I have room for improvement on.

Patience. I have a bad trait that isn't as bad as it used to be. It has gotten better with time, like a fine wine. I have never truly accepted the concept of waiting. Whether it be patience on God's timing for blessings or good things to happen, patience on depending on someone else for something, or even patience for things I have absolutely no control over such as communication barriers or issues I know all about and someone else has no clue. I have what has been referenced as a 'short fuse'. I don't think a short fuse means just a short temper, but I think it means the inability to wait on ANYTHING at all and being irritated by that. Sure, I may snap on a dime at times, but it is only because I don't have the ability don't take the time to wait for things to work themselves out. I truly need to appreciate the fact that things will happen when they happen. i need to slow down and understand that not everything needs to be done or understood RIGHT THIS MINUTE. I know God wants me to be patient, although I will never pray for patience. I have learned it is a very tricky task praying for patience from God. ;)

Forgiveness. Here come the metaphors. Oh man, this, if any, is probably the worst thing on my plate. I am not at all going to have high hopes for this changing overnight, but I know I need to make an asserted effort to change this. Like I wrote in my 'Who Am I?' post, I have been disowned by so many family members it makes me dizzy, had friends go loopy and disappear, and have faced time and time again people that hurt my already bandaged heart by either directly hurting me or hurting someone I love. This has forced me into a position of not trusting easily, and in turn not forgiving easily. I feel I have endured many things for a woman of my age, many of them before I even turned 20! I am trying to figure out how to not slam shut that steel trap door that encases my heart after someone has hurt me. It is like once you are out, forget it. Don't even bother knocking to come back in because I have an opinion and a grudge. And even when they don't want back in, I know it is unhealthy to keep that same heart locked up and suffocating by trying so hard to keep it closed. I feel the healthy way to overcome this as a 'first step' is to build a chain link fence. Something that will allow people in and out (if they so choose to exit or are escorted out by the bouncers), but the room and air to keep moving forward and allow opportunity for reentry with ease. Does that sound as exhausting and impossible to you as it does to me? Goodness. But, with God all things are possible, right?

Loyalty. I am loyal. I don't feel this is a true weakness in the aspect of the ones I love, but I do feel it has it's times where it is slacking in loyalty to myself. I would die for my children and husband. Everything in my life revolves around them, as it should. I am 110% loyal and faithful to my husband. I would never betray our marriage or the vows we took to break that loyalty. I would cross the ocean for my mother. There is not a single thing I wouldn't be able to drop to help her in need. I would give my pancreas for my sister. Literally and figuratively. I would drop anything I am doing to be there for by BFF's, and would never throw them under a bus or make them feel unimportant. Without comparing depths of loyalty, I would do anything for my friends and family. BUT, I, like many mothers out there, loose the loyalty to myself and who I am as an individual at times. Sure, I have a strong personality and love (just about- hence the purpose for these 5 days of change) everything about the person I am. But I also neglect me when me needs me most. I RARELY, and when I say rarely, I mean truly like once every year or so, take time to actually do something for me OFF OCCASION or away form necessity. It is easy to treat to a pedicure or massage when Bestie is in town, run to lunch when someone initiates it or go get a haircut when my hair is most desperate for it. But what is not easy for ME is taking time selfishly. Getting a sitter so I can just walk the mall, getting my toes AND (gasp!) nails done just because I want to, or running away for a weekend to see a friend alone. Me needs me sometimes. I have a really hard time with that though, because I feel that:
work and our bank account needs me 44 hours a week
sleep needs me 49 hours a week (if I'm lucky)
MaggieMoo Designs needs me 16 hours a week at minimum
housework, shopping and laundry has me 12 hours a week
the extended family activities need me 5 hours a week
and my husband and kids need me deserve me the balance.

Am I really supposed to sacrifice that leftover time my husband and kids get for myself?? Well, the answer is yes, and I need to come to terms with that.

Commitment. This kinda ties into loyalty, but I want to approach it from another angle. I am committed to some things but not others. I truly need to be consistent. I need to finish things I start, follow through with desired projects and make time to fulfill promises. Simple, but necessary. I am very organized, and have the ability to be committed. It is more about drive. I think this is resolvable, and another trait I can surely succeed in meeting.

Colossians 3: 1-17
Rules for Holy Living

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Monday, July 7, 2008

The FIRST DAY of the Rest of My Life

I call this 'FIRST DAY' because this will be the first of 5 consecutive blogs this week on changing my life....... I am 26, and I think it is really time to sharpen the mold of who I am and who I want to be. I am still young enough to learn and have some empty canvas to paint on, but almost too old to make profound change without looking lost and confused as to who I truly am.

Day 1: My Faith.

I decided to start with this one, on a Monday. A Monday that follows just another Sunday we didn't go to church. I love my church, I love my faith, I love my God. It really doesn't have anything to do with any of those things.

One reason we have been so bad about going is pure laziness. We pack so many activities into Friday night and Saturday, since we both work all week and have no other time to do them, that when Sunday rolls around we just absolutely crash. Thinking of dragging ourselves out into the 100 degree heat, using up $12 in gas and spending time in any other position than horizontal on the couch is (voluntarily) prohibiting us from going. But, my selfishness is preventing my children from having a steady and consistent exposure to the faith I so desperately want them to grow up to know.

Another reason is accountability. I feel a desperate need for that fellowship, but have been having a difficult time getting Hubby motivated to feel the same way. I KNOW I need to heed the same advice I pass to many others and 'just go, he will follow if you just go'. But I use Hubby's valley as an excuse which in turn is hindering me from working towards my peak. I know Hubby is a man of God. Thank goodness, we have both reached a certain level in our faith to where we don't feel without God in this time. The problem right now is we aren't growing in God. I know when I am down, Hubby is supposed to push me to keep walking, and when he is down, I am to help him move forward as well.

Any other reason I have is just additional excuses. There is no validated reason (except when we are out of town or my kids are contagious with something, of course) for us to not go.

Yesterday, I was so upset about not going I decided I needed to be productive if I was going to stay home. So I cleaned the bathroom, sewed some more back orders, balanced a months work of checkbook, and budgeted for July. Still, none of that replaced the fact that we need to be going to church.

I know moving could possibly be just the thing our marriage, our faith and our own selves needs. Bestie reminds me that moving was the best thing that could have happened to them in so many ways, despite their hesitation to actually make the move. But instead of holding on to the hope that that same change happens for us when/ if we move, we need to make the change now. Whether is be to change churches to somewhere closer, push ourselves to go to our current church which we love or go along with friends or family to theirs to be accounted for, we need to do it.

So this blog entry is a promise to me and to God to start the growth in my faith. I want to hear God's voice again. I want to feel the guidance and protection God gives me. I want to build new friendships with other Christians in my church. I want to be involved in activities. I want to touch others lives. I have done it before, I can do it again. But only with God walking by my side, holding my hand, and I know He is there for me, His daughter, His beloved.

Inspiration for the New Month

Proverbs 3:1-26
Trusting in the Lord
1 My child, never forget the things I have taught you.
Store my commands in your heart.
2 If you do this, you will live many years,
and your life will be satisfying.
3 Never let loyalty and kindness leave you!
Tie them around your neck as a reminder.
Write them deep within your heart.
4 Then you will find favor with both God and people,
and you will earn a good reputation.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
6 Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.
7 Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom.
Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
8 Then you will have healing for your body
and strength for your bones.
9 Honor the Lord with your wealth
and with the best part of everything you produce.
10 Then he will fill your barns with grain,
and your vats will overflow with good wine.
11 My child, don’t reject the Lord’s discipline,
and don’t be upset when he corrects you.
12 For the Lord corrects those he loves,
just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.
13 Joyful is the person who finds wisdom,
the one who gains understanding.
14 For wisdom is more profitable than silver,
and her wages are better than gold.
15 Wisdom is more precious than rubies;
nothing you desire can compare with her.
16 She offers you long life in her right hand,
and riches and honor in her left.
17 She will guide you down delightful paths;
all her ways are satisfying.
18 Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her;
happy are those who hold her tightly.
19 By wisdom the Lord founded the earth;
by understanding he created the heavens.
20 By his knowledge the deep fountains of the earth burst forth,
and the dew settles beneath the night sky.
21 My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment.
Hang on to them,
22 for they will refresh your soul.
They are like jewels on a necklace.
23 They keep you safe on your way,
and your feet will not stumble.
24 You can go to bed without fear;
you will lie down and sleep soundly.
25 You need not be afraid of sudden disaster
or the destruction that comes upon the wicked,
26 for the Lord is your security.
He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Who Am I?


I am a daughter. My mom had me when she was almost 21. She had major complications after having me. That was the beginning of me being a stubborn thorn in her side. ;) We have been through the deepest of pits and the highest of highs together, but without the trials and situations we lived through together, we wouldn't be even half as close as we are today. The things we have endured as a threesome (with my sister, too) are tenfold what the average family has to endure. My mom is my best friend and my life cheerleader.

I am a sister. My sister and I are 3 years and 10 months apart. Although she is a constant in my life, someone I couldn't imagine my life without, it wasn't always that way. Like many sister relationships, she started off as being a fun toy for me as a small child, then an annoying little sister when I thought I was too cool for my own good, then a rebellious annoyance that I wanted to constantly smack as a teenager, but now she is my sidekick, my Comadre, my best friend, someone to keep me on my toes.

I am an outcast. My dad's parents disagreed with my parents marriage, therefore disowning my mother and any future children they may have. Sucks for them, because they missed out on 2 granddaughters and tons of future great-grandchildren. Probably better. My paternal 'grandmother' was a true German old woman, and evil in every aspect you could imagine. My dad's brothers were always my uncles, but my relationships with them have never been that strong. Nonetheless, I hope they are all well!

I am a survivor. My dad died suddenly when I was 13. It was a super snowy day in Illinois, and while driving back to finish his shift driving a Wonder Bread truck, a coal truck jackknifed on the highway in the snow, throwing up a blinding wall and killing my dad. I would like to think it was instantly, but I know it wasn't. He was a workaholic, a computer nerd, a smoker, he was a lot of things. But, he was my dad, I loved him, and I miss him.

I am a survivor, again. I was blessed to have a fantastic father-figure come into my life when I was 17. He was the reason we moved to Arizona. I was so angry with him at first. I couldn't believe understand why my mom was moving us across the country to marry this guy, and I despised him for it. We left Illinois right before my senior year of high school. Before God's plan became clear, I though it was SO wrong to move me before I finished high school. Well, GuitarMan gets the award for making the biggest impact in the smallest amount of time. GuitarMan led us to a faith. That then led to Hubby (then my boyfriend) becoming a Christian, and now my children being raised in that environment, many friends I have been able to introduce to God and hopefully it will impact for generations to come! He also taught us the importance of life, and how short it truly is. Most importantly of all, he showed my mom what she deserved in a husband. I miss him every single day. GuitarMan passed away after a long struggle with illness at 50 years old.

I am a wife. I met my Hubby when I was 17. I was engaged to someone else before when I met Hubby. My 'ex' was a truly great guy and still a friend, but God had a different path in my life laid out, and I could feel that connection when I met Hubby. It was just meant to be, and we both knew it. We dated for about a year and a half before we got engaged, and another year later we got married on 02-02-02. Marriage has definitely been interesting! But over the last 6½ years, Hubby and I have been through SO much. Life, death, rich, poor, better, worse. We just about have those vows covered, and have proven to ourselves there is nothing we cannot get through.

I am a mother. This has truly been the most rewarding and successful thing I have done with my life. I love being pregnant, which could get me into trouble for how many kids we have! I decided while GuitarMan was dying that taking my birth control and prolonging God's smallest blessings was just a waste of my time. Hubby and I had been married for a year and a half, and we decided to start trying. After 9 months of trying, and 9 months of waiting, sweet BabyGirl came along and blessed the lives of so many people. Shortly before her 2nd birthday, Hubby and I decided out threesome needed to grow by one, and we got pregnant on the first shot. When BabyGirl was 2 years and 8 months old, our sweet BabyBoy came into our lives. I am truly blessed and lucky to have been given such amazing children.

I am an employee. I have had a variety of jobs, to say the least. I started off at Target, then worked at Old Navy for a while. When I graduated from high school, I went on to get my CNA and received my CNA, Certified Nursing Assistant. I worked on Maternity at the hospital for a while, then decided I wasn't making much. Went on to work for a bank and when my boss and I had a major blow-out, I started working here at the current company I work for. I have been here for 6 years now, working as a bookkeeper, credit, accounting, collections, human resources, office manager, order entry, purchasing, and about everything else girl. I really like my job. But to stay home would be the ultimate.

I am a business owner and seamstress. In November 2008 I decided it was time to do something about this whole 'work thing'. Don't get me wrong, I love my job. But I am the mother of 2 small children, and hopefully more to come. I need to be home with them. If they had consistency, routine and steady habits by having me stay home, I think it will groom them to be better individuals. I decided to start MaggieMoo Designs. It formally began in February 2008, but the planning happened far before that. Since opening, my sales have doubled every single month. I am overwhelmed and busy, but loving every minute of it! God is blessing my business.

I am a BFF x's 1. BabyO and I have been friends since freshman year of high school (1996). We both have a sickening similarity. We both lost our dads at the tender age of 13ish. Past that, we are pretty much the same person. So many of our character traits are similar. She moved down here to Arizona with me after she finished high school, and we roomed together. I always say that was definitely an experience I would relive in a moment! We had so much fun together and got along wonderfully! BabyO is one of those friends you can (unintentionally) go months without talking to and you are still the best of friends when you pick that phone back up. I miss hanging out with her as much as we used to, but cherish every second we are together! BabyO is the voice of reason and inspires me with her optimism, and I'm so lucky to know she will always be in my life.

I am a BFF x's 2. I met Bestie online when we were pregnant without our girls in a Birth Club forum. We clicked immediately, as we both shared so many similarities. It took us just over a year to finally meet up for the first time, and ever since then we have spent thousands trying to get together. We are lucky to have not gone longer than 4-5 months without seeing each other. We both share a passion for Christ, a dedication to our families, an addiction to fondue and an obsession with Disney! Bestie is a shoulder to complain and cry on and someone I know I can always count on.

I am a friend to many! I have so many fantastic friends and people in my life. If I were to point out the amazing details of all of them, I would be typing for hours. But you all know who you are.

I am in in-law. I seriously have the most amazing in-laws a girl could ask for. I don't have mother-in-law issues like most. Hubby's entire family has brought me in and embraced me as their 'own'. I have the most fantastic group of nieces and nephews a person could ask for. I have sister-in-laws and brother-in-laws that would do just about anything for me as if I was their blood sister. I also have my sisters Hubby who is no different than a brother to me. I am one lucky girl.

I am many other things as well, but those things mentioned are the traits that define me. I consider myself strong, protective, short-tempered, loving, faithful, determined, (somewhat) organized, productive, stressed out, durable, creative, ______. If you know me, you fill in the blanks.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Ice in My Washing Machine

This complaint needs it's own blog post. I know, I know, living here is within my control. Why I stay, who knows? Probably because I love all my family so damn much I won't willingly leave.

Anyways, it is so freaking hot. We have had like Out here in the country our water source is above water where the sun is in direct contact with the metal housing from sun up to sun down. Whoever invented this brilliant contraption deserves to be on list of the worlds top morons. Anyways, we don't get cold tap water. pretty much from May until October, our water comes out of the faucet at beyond lukewarm. Where does this lead? Well, being a girl I have a few articles of clothing that deserve to be washed on cold, delicate. How do we resolve this problem? Throw a couple cupfuls of ice cubes into the wash and rinse cycles.

And on that note, we are under yet another 'Excessive Heat Warning'. Shouldn't the months of June, July and August be one standing 'Excessive Heat Warning'? Like 95% of our days over 100 have been over 110! Can you BELIEVE that??? This royally crushes any outdoor plans we may have for 4th of July.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

My Clowns Went to the Circus

We took the kids and my mom to the circus on Sunday!



It was really fun! I had sent a text to my mom that morning and told her we were going, and she replied telling me that she wishes she had known we were going, and that she would love to go with us next year. She also told me it was on of the things on her 'Bucket List' to do. How in the world could I still go without her?! I don't know where we will be next year, and how could we let moments like this pass by? So I called Ticketmaster and had them locate a close ticket to ours. We got the row behind us, just 2 seats over! So I got her a ticket. She pretended to be mad at me for doing all that, but it meant too much to me not to.

Hubby and BabyBoy at our late lunch before the Circus:


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