May 26, 2009

The "P" Word

I know the title of this post can make your imagination go wild since there are several not-so-nice words out there that are a "P" word.  The one I'm talking about?  


I use this word almost as flippantly as I tend to use "love" and "hate".  All three are words pack an emotional punch, and yet I toss them around like a verbal frisbee.  The problem is that the word Perfect has haunted me most of my adult life and has me almost in tears as I type.

My idea of Perfect was Scot never losing his job.  He did, so my next idea of Perfect was him getting a job before school was out so he could work, and I could play with the kids.  My idea of Perfect was a new job before our meager severance package ran out so we would actually benefit from this entire situation.  

Last week I extended my time at the hospital through at least the month of June and let go of a volunteer job that I dearly love.  Last week I withdrew money from the "don't touch under any circumstances" account.  Today, Scot got word that the job we felt very confident about is deciding not to fill the position after all.  A decidedly Imperfect situation.

Our current struggle is not the only time in my life that my idea of perfection has run head-on into reality.  When I married Scot almost 14 years ago, I was a mess.  I was running from God, trying to find security in Scot alone.  I had the idea of what a Perfect marriage should look like and when ours did not live up to that image, I was a disaster waiting to happen.  Talk about giving satan a foothold.......all of a sudden my life was consumed with wanting a Perfect marriage, a Perfect home, having children at the Perfect time.  I was looking to everything around me to define what my Perfect life should look like.

That was the exact time I fell headlong into bulimia.  Just writing that sentence makes me cringe because it is flat out embarrassing.  I wasn't 13, 14, or 18......I was a married 24 year old with a seemingly Perfect life.  I had ample opportunity because Scot traveled a lot even back then.  It was like my drug......a huge rush in the midst of the act, with an incredible low to follow.  I am sad to say that this continued off and on until just last year.  For over 12 years I let my frustration with not being Perfect feed into a stronghold that held me in its clutches.  

Last Spring, I finally had enough.  I felt so strongly that there were things God wanted to do with my life and I was holding myself back.

My fight with the idea of Perfect kept me from being fully useful to the one that is Perfect.

There was a lot of prayer, ugly crying, studying God's Word and finally letting go that enables me today to say that I am no longer living in the pit called bulimia.  I have only recently been more open about this because I didn't want the label of being "the eating disorder" girl.  But you know what?  I did that to myself.  This story deserves telling because I am not the one that delivered myself.  God did.  God did!!!  He deserves every single ounce of the glory for that.

Yes, I am struggling today with a very Imperfect situation.  I am emotional, I am trying very hard to be strong, and trying to be authentic all at the same time.  But I am so incredibly thankful that I serve a Perfect God who doesn't work out of the same lexicon that I do.  My Imperfect life is Perfect to God only because I am leaning wholeheartedly on Him.  

That is what He most desires and I will continue to praise His name.

May 20, 2009

Heaven Help Me

Because my 8 year old got very little air time a couple of posts ago, I thought I'd pay tribute to him for a moment.  

We call him our frat boy..........he LOVES a party, is very social, and has a crazy sense of humor. A week ago we were waiting for a table at our fav restaurant, Chuys, and N was braiding my hair.  Scot looked at him and said:

How do you know how to braid hair?

Without pause N replied:

Dad, I know a LOT of girls.

Heaven help me!

Some of my favorite pics of N from this year.  Taking a picture of him where
he has not thrown out a "Peace out" sign or dropped to the 
ground for an "America's Next Top Model" pose, is challenging.

At camp this past summer, and yes, the poor child in red does not seem to 
be having a very good time!

Me and my boy.  I love every freckle that dots his nose!

The morning after a Ripstick accident.  We already had a doctor's visit scheduled
so it worked out well for us.  He LOVED the attention his injuries gave him.

May 18, 2009

Friend Making Monday

Today is Friend Making Monday over at Kasey's blog.

I get a ton of these kinds of things.......sometimes I do them, sometimes I don't.  Kinda depends on what kind of questions are asked.  I have to admit that it is an interesting way to get to know a lot about someone!  

You wouldn't be caught dead where?
Working anywhere with natural gas........the smell makes me gag!

Do you have any hidden talents?: 
Let's see........I snap backwards.  My middle finger snaps in front of my thumb instead of behind it.  I don't know if you'd call that a husband calls it weird.

Name two things you consider yourself to be very good at: 
Making Green Chile Stew

Name two things you consider yourself to be very bad at: 
Anything crafty - especially scrapbooking!

Have you ever won a trophy?: Drill Team during high school.  We won state my Junior and Senior year!  It was all because of my Rockette worthy high kicks.......just kidding.

Name one thing not many people know about you: 
I was interviewed by CNN when Ike came roaring into town.  Apparently a guy who works on Campbell Brown's show read my blog and a post referring to Ike and contacted me.  My only claim to fame and it wasn't even bumped by the commuter train wreck in California.  They were nice enough to send a copy of the final story to me and my husband shows it to everyone who comes over to the house!  I still haven't watched it.......I just don't like to watch video of myself!!

Name your earliest memory: 
Sneaking out of bed (apparently I did that a lot in an attempt to drive my parents insane so they'd be institutionalized by the time I was 3) and listening to them watch TV.  VERY faint memory - I think I was only 2 or 3.

What was your favorite musical group in jr. high?: 
Toss up between Duran Duran and Depeche Mode.

What was something the worst roommate you ever had did?: 
I was very lucky in the roommate department.  One of my roommates, and good friend, did decide to kiss my ex-boyfriend...........but honestly?  It was pretty funny!

When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?: 
A doctor......I still think about it to this day.

What was your worst dating experience?: 
I was the victim of a "bet date" in my younger years.  Nothing worse than being excited about being asked out, only to find out it was all a bet!!

If you were about to die what would your last meal be?: 
Salad made by my sister, Cyndi.  She makes incredible salads!!
Chips and salsa from Chuys
Green Chile Stew
Bakery cake with buttercream frosting with enormous flowers on top

Who is the most important person in you life?: 
My husband.  No question.  Making him my #1 priority makes us better parents, friends, etc.

If your house was on fire what 3 things would you grab on your way out?: 
My husband, kids, and dog could get out by themselves so that doesn't count.

My computer because it has all of our pictures on it.
My pictures that are someday supposed to be scrapbooked......see answer to question above about what you're bad at.
Grandmother's jewelry.

Thanks Kasey for hosting another fun Friend day!  I look forward to seeing what the topic will be every Monday!!

May 13, 2009

This and That

Some quickie updates on family stuff......

You may remember this post about stuff G was going through this past fall at school.  I am very happy to report that the school could not have handled the situation any better.  It has still been a tough year for several reasons, but the bullying did come to an end.  Thank you Jesus, I can go up to the school and not have an overwhelming desire to ring some 10 year old necks.  It is still our prayer that God will make a way for G to go to a different school in the Fall.  He has visited and wants to go, I want him to go, even more amazing.....Scot wants him to go.  Scot is not an enormous fan of private Christian schools for very valid reasons.  We are now in a holding pattern waiting for God to provide a way to make it happen.  N would stay at the public school because he is honestly thriving there and we can't justify making a change.  It would make life challenging on me, but honestly?  You get one shot with these kids so any sacrifice to my schedule is worth it.

You may remember this post.........again with G.  He did go back for a hearing test and has only a minor loss in that ear.  Nothing we are very worried about.  He goes in for a MRI in June to see if any of the mass is remaining and/or has grown back.  We are praying the doctor got it all the first time around so we don't have to have a repeat of sportin' a jock strap on the head.......cuz that was all kinds of fun!

A VERY cool picture of the titanium that has replaced the 2 bones that were removed
from his inner ear.  I apologize to any of you who are squeamish, but I couldn't reist!

A picture of N since he isn't getting much written about him today.

And, this post.  Scot had a 2nd interview last week with a company.  If they are going to offer him a job, it will happen sometime this week.  He also had another interview on Monday with a different company - 2nd interview next week.  Best case scenario?  He will get to choose between 2 jobs, but we'll have to see.  Scot has been doing really well.  No marathon MASH reruns, little to no moping around.  It has been 11 weeks and it has honestly gone by pretty quickly.  The boys absolutely LOVE having their dad around and if it wasn't for a little thing like finances, we would all unanimously vote for him to stay home forever.  

Taking my Grandmother out to see Blue Bonnets for the first time!

For those of you that I know have been losing sleep wondering about this little girl........I'm happy to report that she has been adopted by a family with 5 kids that are all homeschooled.  I did get a little choked up saying good bye to her, but I could not be happier about how the story ended.  That is one lucky dog!!

I am now going to go upstairs and face the disaster that awaits me in the boy's rooms and bathroom.  I have been ignoring it for......well......11 weeks now and it is beyond horrible and disgusting.  I found myself with a morning at home and am forcing myself to deal with it.  If you never hear from me again, there's a good chance they'll one day find my body in all the rubble in G's room.  For a fleeting moment I thought about taking before and after pictures.  Honestly?  As much as I love the whole transparency thing, I just couldn't do it.  

May 08, 2009


Dear Mom,
For many reasons I have been thinking a lot lately about what being a "good mom" really means.  Does it mean sacrificing your own needs to devote yourself solely to raising your kids, or does it mean trying to live a life that is your own so you don't lose yourself in the process of mothering?  I have found, in the last 10 years I've been a mom myself, that women have very strong opinions about what a "good mom" is.  Most moms I know give birth to guilt the same moment they give birth to a child.  They struggle with trying to meet some kind of unachievable standard and often fall victim to the same expectations for their kids.  I think back to all the years I spend under your roof and you, mom, are a good mom.

As your firstborn child, I count it an honor to have introduced you to motherhood.  Nothing like being stretched to your limit in every way with the first child.  I am grateful to you for giving me siblings.......not one person close to you would have been surprised if you had never wanted to have another child after I came stubbornly, loudly, and strong willed into this world!  You pressed on, having 5 kids in 10 years, so I applaud your courage and brothers and sisters are one of the greatest gifts you've ever given me.

Thank you for standing toe to toe with me and not letting me win every argument even though it would have been so much easier to give in to me!  Thank you for cooking dinner for our family night after night because it mattered to you that we ate together as a family.  Thank you for poking me in the lower back with that long fingernail of yours to teach me to sit up straight at the table.  Thank you for teaching me and then delegating to me the tedious job of ironing dad's handkerchiefs and dress shirts.  It is now my "I walked uphill to school in 3 inches of snow" story for me to tell my boys when they are getting a little too comfortable around here.  

Thank you for instilling in me, very early on, that a relationship with God is just that......a relationship.  It is not legalistic, it is not one sided.  Thank you for telling me over and over that you prayed for my future spouse since I was a little girl.  I have often looked at Scot in our more difficult times and knew that there was a lot more invested in him than the years in our marriage.  You had prayed him through his entire life until he met me.  Thank you for telling me that if I ever thought I wanted to leave Scot and go back home, you would turn me around and send me right back.  I learned so much about communication and resolution because of that.   Thank you for kissing dad in the kitchen.  It made a little girl feel very secure.  

Thank you for modeling for me the characteristics of being a giver.  Your love for your Compassion kids and heart for missions inspires me.  Your love of photography motivates me to search myself for my own passions in life.  Thank you for taking all of us on many Thanksgiving Days to serve dinner in missions.  We all benefitted from experiencing a world much different than our own.

Thank you for partnering so well with Dad to raise 5 very independent kids........a great trait, but hard for the mom that often feels left behind.  Thank you for showing all of us that it's ok to cry during commercials and movies.  Thank you for giving us some of the best material EVER for the most hysterical stories we tell during our very long family dinners that happen only once a year.  

Thank you, mom, for loving me completely even though we are so different.  Thank you for telling me so often that being involved in my life is important to you.  Thank you for being my biggest fan!

Happy Mother's Day!!  I love you

May 04, 2009

What Not To Wear

Does it seem strange that my Time Out can leave me almost as tired as I was before the Time Out??  I must admit that there is a difference between exhaustion due to an overwhelming amount of responsibility at home and exhaustion because I stayed up past midnight every night with my friend, Julie.  

My trip to Tampa was a ton of fun.  Julie is a busy mom so I got to tag along as we ran errands, practiced and planned the Bridging ceremony for her Brownie troop, did homework with know the drill.  The Bridging thing was all new to me and I'm proud to say that little girls can be as hard to manage as little boys!  Whew!!  I got to just stand back and observe which was a nice change.  Except that I was in charge of the punch and snack table after the ceremony.......always an interesting job!  I would also like to mention that doing homework with kids that are not your own is incredibly less frustrating than working with your own kids.  A lot less eye rolling, heavy sighing, slumping in the chair......maybe I need to start a program where we rotate our kids around for homework help.  It would save us all a lot of grief!

On Thursday night, we went to a charity event benefiting United Way.  Clinton Kelly from What Not To Wear was going to be speaking.  Picking out an outfit for any event can be stressful. Picking out an outfit when the threat of being put into a room with 360 degree mirrors so you can see for yourself how awful it is, is even more stressful!  It was a great night and he was incredibly funny.  I was amazed that there were actually women who stood up during the question segment, and asked if he liked what they were trying to accomplish with their outfits.

Never in a million years could you convince me that standing there while 500 people PLUS Clinton Kelly analyze your outfit, would be a good idea.  One of the women got pulled on stage so we could all clearly see how bad the color choice of her blouse was for her skin and how much better her jacket would fit if altered.  Yikes!!

I did talk to Clinton after the event just so I could get his take on the incredible lack of options for women over 5'9".  He told me he didn't even know what to tell me and that the worst show they've ever done was with a woman that was 6 feet tall because they couldn't find anything to fit her.  There is nothing out there!!!  Lots online, very little actually in the stores.  Never mind that the petite girls get entire sections of stores........heck, they get ENTIRE stores dedicated to them.  It's wrong......I'm just saying!  We all have our challenges.......mine is the never ending search for pants with more than a 32" inseam.  

And yes, I do know about the Tall Girl Store.  Just wondering who came up with that name.....couldn't think of anything cuter like Reaching For The Stars Store or Better Weather Up Here Store??  We don't call the petite stores Short Girl Stores.......geesh!! 

I know my more vertically challenged friends complain about having to have things altered.  No sympathy least you can take extra fabric off the bottom.  My only option is to have a 2 inch strip of fabric sewn onto the bottom of my pants and I haven't done something like that since the 80's when I went to college and it was cute to have the same fabric of your top match the fabric on the bottom of your pants.....with a chunky wooden necklace of some kind and matching bow in your hair.  

Getting off of my soap box now and putting it away for another day!   I hope you all have a wonderful Monday!

Julie, Jane, and Me.  The "92" paddle was for the silent auction.  Let's just say
that my paddle never saw the light of day.  When $10 is your limit in a crowd like
that, it's just better to not even pull the thing out.  There was one sweet lady who
was the winning bid on a trip to the Isle of Capri for $12,000.....except she thought 
she was getting it for $1,200 until they went to collect her check.  Oops!!!

Me explaining to Clinton my concerns about discrimination
in the clothing department.


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