Dec 31, 2010

2010 year in review

2010 will officially go down as the suckiest (what? it's a word.) year on record. That's not to say I didn't learn oh-so valuable life lessons, but still, in a nutshell- it wasn't a good year.

Here are my Top 7 Reasons Why:
1. Moved away from family and friends and everything I've ever known
2. Sold our first home at a tremendous loss
3. Moved to a new, cold, cloudy, rainy, sunless state

4. Marriage crumbled

5. Hit my all time personal low in life
6. Dad had a heart attack
7. Felt God had abandoned me

Now, having stated that I learned a lesson from each and every item above. It was painful but I learned and I grew. Here's how:

1. Being away from everything familiar has forced me to branch out of my comfort zone in so many ways. It has forced my little family to band together.

2. It was our first home but it wasn't filled with happiness. Not even close. Took a $30K hit and we're still paying it off. It's been worth every penny though to have relationships restored in the resulting move. We're now living in a rented house with mauve carpet and a matching mauve kitchen. But it's a pink house filled with peace and love. Wow, that sounds cheesy.

3. Ok, if I'm being completely honest I'm still struggling to to find the lesson in moving here. I miss the Colorado sunshine. I miss the 300 + days of sun per year. I miss real mountains. Sigh. I am learning though that home is where my family is. My husband and kids and I are together and wading through the transition as a team. It's pretty cool.

4. My world fell apart at the beginning of last year. Oh so slowly though, we're rebuilding what was ruined. Whoa boy, this was a tough one. I've learned to love is a choice, to trust is a choice and both decisions have to be made daily. Sometimes multiple times per day. Sometimes multiple times per hour. I'll probably be learning this for the rest of my life. I've learned powerful lessons on forgiveness and grace and mercy. To quote Mahatma Ghandi- The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. I am stronger than I ever gave myself enough credit for and I'm not too modest to claim that.

5. Oh yeah, spent months in sweats or pj's, on the couch, barely functioning. I cried from June to October. This one is very personal and made me come to grips with my thinking that depression is a spiritual problem. I no longer believe that. I reached out to my church and got paired up with a counselor.  I knew I had to do something though, to be able to come back to the land of the living before my kids are all moved out. Don't get me wrong, living in lala land has it's pros such as baggy, comfortable clothes, a nice indention in the couch that fits you perfectly, being on a first name basis with the pizza delivery person- but it's not how I want my kids to remember me. I also discovered NCIS during the my days on the couch. I now love that show. Oh Leroy Jethro Gibbs, make my heart go pitter pat!

6. This one scared me. I am thankful though that I was close enough to drive to be with him and had the resources available to be able to afford it. We live on the Dave Ramsey plan so we had an Emergency Fund established. The day I left to be with my dad, my husband and I were separated and barely on speaking terms. I spent a week with my Dad, away from my husband and by the time I made the drive home, for the first time in almost a year, I actually missed my husband and felt the tiniest bit of hope for saving our marriage. I also developed a new friendship with my elderly neighbors, one that I cherish. They stepped up and opened their home to my kids before and after school while I was gone. I'm not sure I would have been able to make the trip to see my dad had they not been willing to help in that way.

7. This forced me to go looking for him. Again. I've found him in a fresh, new way. Of course during my search, I discovered He in fact never left me in the first place.

So, while I'm not at all sad to say goodbye to 2010 and I'm looking forward to 2011, I'll always look back on this past year as the one that changed everything.

Happy New Year!

Dec 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Feeling so very blessed this morning.
For friends & kind, honest words
for the birth of a child, my All, my Savior
for family though they are too far away
for my husband and second chances
for nieces and nephews who I know and love, and the ones I don't know but still love
for moody teens who still want to snuggle
for messy rooms but clean hearts
for lessons learned and thorny sides
for questioning 10 year olds and unconditional love
for toddler tantrums and eskimo kisses
for sister best friends and memories to help the hurt
for snowy Christmas Eve mornings.
Life is good.

Dec 19, 2010

E's descriptive writing prompt

This is what E wrote at school about his bedroom:

My Little Kingdom

When you walk into my room, you will smell the Axe man spray that I scent it with everyday. My room is a mess, but not cause I like it like that. It's messy and scented with Axe so my sisters won't come in. My bed is untidy because what's the point of making it if you just mess it up again? I have a bookshelf that has my entertainment, and is right next to my bed. Across from my bed is my comforter which gets thrown there everyday. My walls are littered with pictures of Star Wars characters, sea monsters and trolls (aka my sisters). Clothes- the number one thing that makes my room dirty. Yeah- they make it to the basket...but that's when my mom makes me. My closet on the other hand is pretty clean. Just a Revolutionary War battleship and some clothes hanging up. As you can see, my room (in my opinion) is like a kingdom!

I will definitely be saving this one!

Dec 18, 2010

A little slice of peanut butter heaven

I found this recipe for a Peanut Butter pie on a blog that I follow, Thrifty Decor Chick. I changed it just a little and man oh man is it good! The best part is it's totally easy too!

Hoss said it's better than the one his mom makes. (!!!) Although, with his next bite, mumbled through a mouthful of pie, he said he would deny having said that until his dying breath.

Here's the recipe:

3/4 C confectioners sugar (today I learned that confectioners sugar and powdered sugar are the exact same thing. Who knew? Oh yeah, me too...I was just checking...)

6 oz. cream cheese

1/2 C peanut butter

2 T milk (I use Almond milk and it worked just fine)

One container of Cool whip (I made my own, an extra step but worth it)

Graham cracker crust or chocolate graham crust.

First, beat together the cream cheese and sugar.
Then add the peanut butter and milk, mix together.
Then fold in (almost) all of the whipped cream. You'll save a little to top with later.
Next, dip your finger into the bowl to make sure it tastes ok. Roll your eyes in blissful abandon, savoring this moment. *ahem*
Repeat last step. Slap your own hand so you stop eating the pie filling.
Then plop it into the crust and make it smooth and pretty. **
Let it chill for a few hours then top with the leftover whip cream.

Drizzle with a little chocolate syrup.
Skip your next 2 meals because you just split a half of a pie with your husband.

This baby is even better the next day and makes a yummy breakfast accompanied with a cup of coffee!

**(I chopped up some mini Reeses pb cups and mixed those in after the cool whip is folded in before the plopping into the crust. I also halved some more pb cups for garnish before adding the choco syrup.

Dec 15, 2010

The most wonderful time of the year.

It's Christmas time! My favorite time of the year. We hunted down our own tree this year and it has made the house smell sooo good. It was fun hiking and hunting for the perfect tree. Cold, cold, fun, but fun still. We learned that some of us like tall skinny trees (wrong) and some of us like short, full trees (right). It's decorated with years and years worth of handmade ornaments from preschool, Kindergarten, church, and school. I love, love, love them. Little handprints of my kids that aren't so little anymore, hanging next to numerous Baby's First Christmas ornaments. One of my favorite things to do is sit in the dark and look at the lights twinkling on the tree. I like all white lights but the kids out voted me and put multi-colored lights on this year. I still have my little 4 foot tree that I keep out year round, so I put white lights on it. It looks just like it's full of stars twinkling in the night. So pretty and peaceful. The big tree is bare on the bottom. It started out full of ornaments but slowly I've started moving them up out of Kiwi's reach. Maybe next year he will be old enough to ignore the temptation to grab every one. He hasn't broken any, he just likes to take them off and look at them or show them to us, in case we haven't seen them before. He is also the reason that I won't be putting any presents out early. I will have to put them all out on Christmas eve, otherwise he would unwrap each and every one!

Dec 1, 2010

The mystery of the vanishing blog.

I cleaned up my blog. I took a few days and deleted all the ugly posts that had been filling it up. I basically got rid of anything that I wouldn't want my kids to read. There were many many posts written about how much I hated my husband and detailed the reasons why. 4 months of personal counseling and 2 months of marriage counseling have helped me change my ways. I have seen the light! I feel like this is where a man in a periwinkle suit prays over me, slaps me on the forehead and I fall backwards into the welcoming arms of Periwinkle Mans entourage.
I'm in a completely different marriage today. I finally feel like this is what marriage is supposed to feel like. I'm in on the joke now. I'm still married to the same person. He still puts his job first. I'm still high maintenance (his words, not mine). Whatev. I like to think of myself as being passionate and opinionated about things that are important to me. Anywhoo...
There's nothing I can say except it's only by the power of the Holy Spirit and His grace that I am still married. Forgiveness and grace are my best friends these days. 6 months ago I had both feet out the door and a plan in action of how to move back home. I still want to move back to Colorado, but now I want my husband to come with me.

There is so much more I want to say about this topic. I'll save it for a later time.