Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dear Eyeballs:

Please stay open. I know staring at these lines of data is tiring, but I promise you a break every 200 lines. Promise!

Thank you.

My Homes

I saw this done on another blog, and thought it was a neat idea. Here are my homes (all photos except the last one taken from GoogleMaps, last photo from Exit Realty).

The house I grew up in. Loved it. My parents still live there, and it will always feel like HOME to me.

My dorm at college. Lived there for one year. The only all-girls dorm on campus. It was... okay.

My 2nd-4th years at college I rented this house in the neighborhood surrounding campus with some girlfriends. Had some of the best times of my life in this house.

My last year at college I rented the first floor of this house (the one on the right) with a dear friend, and the best roommate anyone could ask for. Even though I was only there a year, some very pivotal moments in my life happened in this house. I especially love the construction worker on his cell phone in this pic, LOL.

The first (and only) place I ever lived all by myself,  my apartment. It was an older, but well-maintained, building. I lived in the one-bedroom building section, in a building I fondly named the "middle-aged divorced men's building".

The house we live in now, as it was when I moved in with FireMan. This pic circa early 2007.

Our house now, three years later. When I saw the first picture, from GoogleMaps, I felt compelled to find an updated pic. I think you can see why, LOL. We've done an amazing amount of work on this house, and I am very proud of how it's turned out. Isn't it cute? Now if we could just get someone to buy it..

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Dear Body:

Listen up. We're going back to the gym tomorrow. Maybe tonight. But definitely tomorrow. We have a long overdue appointment with the trainer.

I know I let you take somewhat of a break as we were dealing with all this house stuff. And yes, I know that occasionally I subjected you to mini-workouts consisting of house work / maintenance. And yes, I know that you're still not 100% following the carry-the-cinder-block incident. And yes, I really appreciate the three pounds you've dropped.

But this is going to happen. We have to get back in the gym, back to what little routine we had. We are not being nearly active enough, and this has to stop.

We didn't get the house

And I'm majorly bummed.

Also a little ticked at the underwriter. The reasons he gave, they could have told us five weeks ago, instead of dragging it out. They kept telling us if-this, and if-that, and making us jump thru hoops, just to tell us "no" based on information they had from the beginning.

So our contract on our the house will expire tomorrow. Our realtor feels bad for the situation, so he's gonna try to get our earnest money ($500) refunded to us. He's also coming over Friday to discuss our next steps.

FireMan is ready to give up, focus on paying off bills & building up savings, make some additional small improvements on the house, and wait until mid-2011, when my bankruptcy will be far enough past that it shouldn't matter any more for home loans.

I am done, done, DONE with the house we're living in. Done. Did I mention I'm D-O-N-E?

We do need to figure out what to do though. Our house is still on the market, but what the heck are we supposed to do with three adults, three dogs, and two cats if we don't have a new house lined up to move into? And what should I do with all the stuff I've boxed up? I really don't want to unpack it only to find another house, get it, and have to re-pack everything. But I also don't want things to stay packed in boxes if we're gonna be in this house for months more.

And before anyone says it, yes, I know FireMan's idea is more practical. So is his idea of living in this house forever and having it paid off in 14 years.

But I am done. This house has been a thorn in my side since I met FireMan, before I ever moved in. One thing after another, and I am done. Besides the personal emotional stuff, it's not practical in the long term. The house is situated on a hill, and there is no way to get into the house without either going up a flight of stairs or navigating down a short but steep hill. To give you an idea, after I had FireGirl, and was suffering from so many complications, FireMan had to park in the front yard so I could get from the house to the car, because I couldn't navigate the stairs or the hill. Plus I already have a bad back. So what's gonna happen when we're old & gray and have a hard time getting around at all? It just not practical. Besides which, I'd really like to have a more accessible, flatter yard that FireGirl can play in without us having to carry her up & down hills, or always be worried that if she makes it to the top of the hill (she already has once), that she'll slip and roll all the way to the bottom. It's just not family-friendly.

So I am done. I just don't know what to do from here.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Dear Medical Receptionist:

Listen, I used to be a medical receptionist. In a much busier office than you work in. You think 40-50 patients a day is a lot? Ha! Try 100 patients, plus innumerable phone calls. Ha!

So you know what? I expect you to be kind & courteous & understanding & sympathetic when I call. Or at least be darn good at faking it. If you can't do that, then find a different job. Because people contacting their doctors need to be able to believe that everyone there cares about them as a patient, and as an individual.

When I call requesting an appointment because I have a health concern, I do not expect you to treat me like I'm an idiot, and get really annoyed when I insist on actually seeing the doctor. Especially since you did not ask me any questions in any attempt to get details about what was going on, nor did you offer to have me speak to a nurse. Both of which were the procedure followed in every medical office I worked in.

I am an educated person, and an educated patient. This wasn't a haphazard call. This was me, concerned that there is something going on with my body, asking to be checked out by my physician.

Thanks for finally scheduling the appointment. Now before you answer that next call, why don't you check your attitude at the door?

Thank you for your kind attention to this matter.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Dear Friends (??):

Friend Couple #1, I like you. I really do. I enjoy spending time with you. Our kids get along well.

Friend Couple #2, I like you. I really do. I enjoy spending time with you. Our kids get along well.

What I don't like, is that it is painfully obvious that we are your "B-list" friends.

Take last night, for example. We invite you, FC #1, over for a cookout. Great. Haven't seen you in a while. It would be nice to catch up. And guess who you invited? That's right, FC #2.

See, this happens every time.

First of all, we're always the ones who ask you guys to do something. Always.

Secondly, you always invite FC #2. Always. I don't remember the last time we hung out with you without FC #2.

Why does this bother me? Mostly because, according to the info you've made public on your Facebook pages, you four get together all. the time. And you know what? You have never once asked us to join the four of you. Not once.

It seems to me that the four of you would rather hang out together without us, and I'm starting to think that the only reason you ever even hang out with us is because we ask you, so you feel obligated.

Please don't. Because I would rather be "dumped" than be treated like a B-list friend. And so, quite frankly, I would dump you if it were up to me. But FireMan really likes you guys, and can't bring himself to give up on you. Yet. I think he's getting tired of it too.

Wanna Know a Secret ??

I haven't taken my Lexapro in nine days. Nine whole days. That's the longest I've been able to go since I started on them two years ago. Maybe there is hope.

I didn't tell FireMan. He doesn't know. But yesterday he mentioned that he thought I've been a "little emotional" the past few days. LOL. He has no idea.

So, yeah, I've been a little over-emotional. But not too bad. I don't think. I'll probably take one. Maybe tomorrow. But I'm definitely gonna try to wean off of them again. The last time I tried to wean off of them I only made it four days before it was painfully obvious that I wasn't ready yet. Now it's been nine days, and... I'm doing... okay.

Maybe we're finally on our way to saying "bye-bye" to this Post Partum Depression. I guess we'll see!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Pics. Just because.

playing in the water park on Memorial Day
walking across the playground with Grandpa back in March
at  festival last July

in her Lil Dolly dress that Grandma & Grandpa got her in Gatlinburg

Friday, June 25, 2010

New Blog (yep, another one)

I told you I joined Weight Watchers, right?

Well, my first week was... tough.

I went over my points every day. I tried. And stumbled. And tried again. And stumbled. Apparently my eating has gotten more out of control than I realized, because, having done WW in the past, I really didn't think it would be that difficult to meet my points. But it was.

Today was my first weigh-in.


I lost three pounds!

I couldn't believe it! I honestly thought I would stay the same, or maybe even gain, or if I lost anything it would be maybe half a pound or something. But no! I lost THREE!

I don't remember how much I expounded on this before, but I'd really gotten frustrated with my trainer from the nutrition side of things. I was having difficulty making my targets, and when I asked for help I got no guidance at all. Just "you have to do it, you just have to do it". Well, you know what? For those of us who struggle with eating, and admittedly don't know that much about nutrition, just doing it isn't that easy. So I decided to forget what they told me and go back to WW.

For those of you who, like me, haven't been to Weight Watchers in a few years, they've actually changed improved their program somewhat. They've changed the way they calculate how many points you get in a day, to allow for variances by gender, age, lifestyle, and even nursing moms. They've also changed their focus from being so strict, to allowing "failure". Failure is a bad word, but right now I'm struggling with the right word for it. Basically, I remember last time I did it there was so much emphasis on eating exactly your points every. single. day. Can't go over. And don't go under either. Now it's more of "here's your guideline" kinda idea. If you go under one particular day, no biggie. If you go over one day, no big deal, start over the next day. Just don't make either one a habit. The focus is much more on making this a life change, which allows for some variation from time-to-time, instead of a strict diet or eating plan, that doesn't allow much flexibility for, well, life. And let's face it, life happens.
Oh, and I'm using their online tools, and so far I really like them. They also have an application for most smartphones, but I haven't yet downloaded it, so I can't review it yet. I imagine that will make it even better, easier to track when I'm out & about and whatnot.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Dear Blogger (blogspot):

Do you think I am a gay man?

Just curious.

When I'm done typing my blog entry for the day, I like to click the "next blog" link at the top. This link used to take me to other Christian moms. I found this very interesting, because apparently all-knowing Google linked me to blogs from similar people.

But the past month or so... well, almost every time I click on "next blog", it takes me to the blog of a young gay man.

So... I'm just curious... are you confused as to my gender & sexual orientation?

So, just to confirm... I am a straight woman.

Thank you.

I don't know the mind of God

No one does.

We can gain insight thru reading the Scripture and prayer, but no one knows the complete mind of God.

I don't know why I have my beautiful little FireGirl, while others cannot have children.
I don't know why I have a beautiful healthy baby, while other children suffer.
I don't know why idiotic, abusive, people can have child after child, while some of my loved ones, who I think would make awesome parents, can't have children at all.
I don't know why some people are struck by illness or injury or other trauma or tragedy, and others aren't.

And I certainly don't understand it either.

Because I don't know the mind of God.

But I do believe that He has a reason. A reason that is far beyond our understanding. Answers to these questions that we have, that we might not discover for years. Or even ever. But He is in control, and I trust that He knows what He is doing.

Which is good, because half the time I don't have a clue what I'm doing.

I honestly don't understand how those who don't believe in God, or in any other "higher power", function, how they get thru life.

Honestly, if I didn't have my faith in God, I probably would have committed suicide a long time ago. Seriously. Because if none of this means anything, if all of the tragedy, and sickness, and pain, and bad stuff in the world... if there isn't really a higher calling for all of it... then who the heck would want to stay here? and why? If we serve no other purpose than to live our lives and then turn to dust, well then... why go thru all the bad stuff? why witness all the tragedy?  why not end it all right now?

I wonder this a lot. How people who have no faith in any sort of higher power go thru life. How they get thru the tough stuff. What they think of all the horrible injustices in the world.

Because when it all makes no sense, when it all seems too much to bear, too much to even see... I cling to my Father. I know that even when I don't see His presence, even when I don't feel His touch... He's there. He's watching over me, over all of us. He loves us. Even when it seems like maybe He doesn't, I know that He does. And I cling to that. I hold to that. And I stop squirming and let Him hold me.

Thank you Jesus.

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."    -- Romans 8:28

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."    -- Psalm 23:4

"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."    -- Proverbs 3:5

"Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee    -- Deuteronomy 31:6

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."    -- Matthew 11:28-30

"But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."    -- I Peter 5:10-11

"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."    -- Isaiah 40:31

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Dear Owners of Local BP Stations:

I am sorry for the affect it will have on you as local merchants, but I really think I'm gonna have to go ahead with my boycott of BP. Because the fact is that the money trickles from you up to the big boys idiots at the top. And they are really pissing me off lately.

For both your economic well-being, as well as your ability to live with yourself, I am gonna at this point suggest that you investigate the feasability of re-aligning your business with a different oil company.

As someone who has knowledge of large corporations who profit from individual consumer purchases, I am fully aware of how a lag in sales, while indeed hurting the local merchants, is also still felt at the top, at both a national & global level. So despite claims to the contrary, I am confident that if enough people boycott BP, our voices will be heard. Money talks.

In conclusion, the products that I am aware of that profit BP are: any purchases from any BP station (only sold under "BP" in my area, that I know of), and any Castrol oil products (mental note to talk to FireMan about what kind of oil he buys). Readers are welcome to post additional products that they may know of as well (please cite references if possible).

Thank you.

My Past is Haunting Me

And not in that I-screwed-up-and-am-paying-the-consequences sort of way. In the someone-else-screwed-up-and-I'm-paying-the-consequences sort of way.

And I don't like it.

Remember my post about how they were gonna double our down payment because I had a bankruptcy in my past? Well, late yesterday we got word that they might not approve us at all because of it.


According to the loan officer they can make exceptions if the filing were the result of truly extenuating circumstances, which I feel mine was. So I submitted a letter detailing my accident, injury, surgery, blah, blah, blah and how this affected my financial status at the time.

I mean, my credit since then has been fine. Haven't even been late with one payment. My credit score has gone up a little bit each year. I've done all the right things, financially speaking. I think, anyway.

We haven't heard anything since I submitted the letter.

It just really kinda ticks me off. In a way I feel like I'm being punished because of something someone else did.

I mean, the lady that hit me? She ran a red light, and got a ticket, and had some minor damage to her car. I get hit, and have a totalled car, a lifetime injury, years of pain, and a subsequent bankruptcy on my record. How is that fair?

Oh, and to add insult to injury, I needed to move a cinder block this morning. One cinder block. Yep, you guessed it. About 30 minutes later my back went out. I've been in some level of pain pretty much all day. Luckily for me, it's been just a little pain most of the time, punctuated by episodes of pain so bad you almost fall over when it hits you. All because I moved one cinder block. Stupid back.
And no, FireMan wasn't home. And yes, it needed to be moved before he'll get home. So unless FireGirl got some miraculous super-strength, I didn't have much of a choice.

So I know it's only been a day, but I really want a definitive answer. Yay or Nay. Yes or no. New house or old house. I hate this hanging in limbo thing. And the paperwork the loan officer had sent previously had a tentative closing date Jun 28, so it's not like we have a ton of time. We just really need to know what's gonna happen.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

God Speaks

Over the weekend, I was asking God about our house situation. According to our contract we're supposed to close by June 30th, and it was getting closer & closer, with no definitive word from our bank yet.

The answer I got was "Just do it. It'll be fine."

Okay. Fine. Done.

And then... Monday comes. The bank calls with three different loan options. All of them are no good for us. I'm starting to wonder how it's gonna be fine.

And then today comes. FireMan calls the bank back. Oh, they forgot to tell us about this one option. Which is, of course, just perfect for us. We should have our closing date set by the end of today.

And yesterday, I was praying about some of the issues going on in my life. Again, God spoke: "Wait. Just wait".

Okay God. I get it. I've been trying to do it all myself. To fix everything. To be everything. And I can't. I mean, literally, I can't. It's impossible.
I've been relying too much on myself. Or trying to anyway. I need to give it over to God. I can't do it all. I can't fix it all. Without Him, I can't do anything.
It's His. We are His. And so our problems are His. And more often than not, His timing is not our timing. So I need to wait. Just wait.
Let God do His work. And wait.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Seeing a Therapist / Counselor

I never know what to call her. Therapist. Counselor. Shrink, LOL.

Anyway, what I want to say is that it's very helpful. I think everyone probably could use a therapist at least once during their lives. Probably more than once.

I wish I had known how helpful this would be earlier.

Like ten years ago when my college sweetheart left me. I was pretty screwed up for a while. A therapist would have been helpful.

Or like eight years ago when I had my car accident. That was a lot to deal with, and even though I think I handled everything pretty well, I think it would have been helpful.

And I'm sure I would think of many more instances if I thought about it long enough.

Just having a knowledgeable, non-judgemental person who can listen to how you feel, listen to what you're going thru / have gone thru, listen to your thoughts, and is a completely neutral third party, and is able to give you advice based on years of experience, tell you when you're right, and give you some insight & perspective when you're wrong. Not that she ever tells me I'm "wrong", per se (part of the non-judgemental aspect of it), but just being able to show you how your perspective might be a little... off. And actually explain it to you with reason, logic, and compassion.

Anyway, the point of me writing all this is to tell you that if you ever think to yourself "geez, maybe I need to see a shrink", well... maybe you do. Not that you need to, but maybe it would be helpful. I highly recommend it.
One thing that I have learned, and re-learned, over & over again in my life is that strength doesn't lie in not ever needing help. Strength lies in knowing when you need help, and in your willingness to find & accept the help that you need.

Till next time...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Dear Neighbors up the Street:

Why do you let your very young children ride thru the neighborhood on four-wheelers & riding lawnmowers & go-carts unsupervised?

Why is it that even though the police have warned you previously (yep, seen them follow the kids home & then knock on the door), you still do it?

The rumor around the block now is that the court has given you warning, and if the sheriff's office finds your children in the streets unsupervised one more time, you are both being arrested for child endangerment.

And yet, last night what did I see? Your two boys riding past my house on their riding lawnmowers.

Do you not realize that our subdivision is very close to a major highway? That it would probably take them less than 10 minutes to be out on a dangerous road? That there is a registered sex offender that lives in our subdivision? And three more in the subdivison down the road? That regardless of where we live, or who lives there, your children are very young (age ranges approx. 4-8 years old), and that to let them be that far away from you unsupervised, in just about any setting, is dangerous? That to let them operate any moving vehicle, especially unsupervised, at that age, is dangerous?

I feel bad for your children. I really do. Because I have the feeling that before long you will be found guilty of child endangerment, or neglect, or something. And then what happens to them? I just hope it doesn't take one of them getting seriously injured for you to wise up.

Oh, and by the way, if I see your cute little puppy, with no collar or tags, in our yard again, with none of your family members even in sight... well, let's just say FireGirl might have an adorable new puppy to take to our new house.

On behalf of your children, thank you for your kind attention to this matter.

It's been a while, hasn't it?

Life has been C-R-A-Z-Y here this past week. I'll try for a quick-ish recap.

Last Saturday I took Buddy to a six hour dog training seminar. It's a first for either of us, as he's never been to even basic obedience training, and I've never taken any dog to any sort of training. He did really well, for the most part. I don't know who has more to learn, me or him! I'm really hoping that with some work our transition to having our dogs as indoor dogs in the new house will not only be possible, but will be a pleasure.
BTW - I was really impressed with the work the trainer did with the dogs there. Many of them were foster dogs and had "issues". If you have a dog & live in the Greater Cincinnati area and would be interested in coming to her next seminar, send me a private message (

Saturday night we attended the wedding of one of Jason's cousins, followed by a late-night showing of "The Killers" (recommend it). The wedding was "adults only", so we left Jena with my parents and had a date night of sorts.

Sunday I went to pick up Jena, and noted she had a low grade fever. But she otherwise acted okay, so I chalked it up to something related to the treatment for her staph infection. Got her up Monday morning, and she still had a fever, and vomited twice before I even got to try breakfast. Took her to the pediatrician. Good news: her staph infection looked really good, is healing nicely. Bad news: she has a virus. Her fever finally broke overnight Tuesday night. Which means Tuesday was a bad night. Her fever reached 104 F, and only came down to 103 F on Tylenol. She kept crying & waking up, so I eventually let her sleep on my chest, in the recliner. At some point I woke up covered in sweat. Her sweat. Then when she woke up in the morning, her temp was down to 99 F, and the fever hasn't been back yet. She's still somewhat whiny though, and clingy. And still not much of an appetite. So Jena's still not 100% back yet, but she is definitely so, so, soooooooooo much better than she was earlier in the week.

Of course she gets sick during what would be a very busy week at work for me. So I got permission to work a limited amount of time from home, and signed in remotely during Jena's naps.

Wednesday we had a showing. Last minute. I really didn't want to make Jena leave the house, since she was still not feeling well, but she didn't have a fever anymore, and the big picture is that these are potential buyers who might buy our house, so... we left. Now for the adventure. We come home an hour later, and as I'm trying to put the dogs back in the yard (we lock them in their room in the basement for showings), Jena opens the basement door when my back is turned, and... we have three loose dogs. As I'm trying to get Jena in the car & round up the leashes, my phone won't stop ringing. It's Jason. We have another showing. In 15 minutes. I now have a sick baby, three loose dogs, and can't even go home?!? The realtor is pulling in the driveway as I am leaving. It's the same people that were just there! I drive around, and eventually corral all three dogs into the car. Did I ever mention that these are not small dogs. Well, Flopsy is. But the big dogs? We're talking 85 & 90 lbs, respectively. Three dogs & a toddler in the car. And I'm not supposed to go home. I did anyway, planning to drop them off in the back yard & leave. Well, the potential buyers saw me & flagged me down as I was getting back in the car. Asked me quite a few questions, then they left. Okay, good. Get Jena inside, give her a bath. As I'm drying her off, my phone rings again. It's Jason. Another showing. In 20 minutes. I look down. Jena is nodding off. It's been a long day for her (and for me). But I have to focus on the big picture of selling the house. So we leave. Ends up, it's the same people! This time with their handyman.

So... ends up they did a sort of mini-inspection that day. Our realtor said their realtor is either a rookie, or just really inconsiderate, and that she should have instructed them that they need to make an offer first, then have a real inspection done. So supposedly they are planning to make an offer, but following their "mini-inspection" have already decided on some upgrades they want to do, so are going back to their bank to get pre-approved for more $$ for the upgrades. We're supposed to have our offer no later than close of business on Monday.

All I have to say is that after all that, they'd better make a decent offer! Jena & I were exhausted after all that, and I could tell the dogs were really stressed by having strangers coming in & out of the house so many times.

Yesterday was my first day in the office all week. And besides playing catch-up, we had a major event today that I was on the planning committee for. And I was determined to start Weight Watchers. So needless to say, yesterday was nuts.

Most of today was spent in final preparations for the event, plus the event itself. It was a huge success, and was well received by everyone. It was the first time we had done anything like this at my work though, so there are definitely some learning points for future endeavours, but all-in-all, it was great. And I am sunburnt.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Dear FireMan:

I understand that you do not want a litterbox upstairs. I get it. I would prefer that as well. But... I really think FireKitty still needs one up here. I don't think her little tiny body can yet hold it in long enough to make it all the way downstairs once she realizes that she needs to go. In my opinion this has been evidenced by the fact that she has pooped in the bathroom four times now. Never pee. Only poop. I don't think she can hold her poop in.

So... while I totally understand why you don't want a litterbox upstairs, I'm pretty sure we can both agree that a litterbox upstairs is better than finding unexpected poop on the floor & in the tub. So please listen to your wife, and get over it. Dealing with a litterbox upstairs for the short term, is a lot better than dealing with a cat that hasn't been properly litterbox trained later. Trust me.

Thank you for your reconsideration of the litterbox issue.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Dear Admin-in-neighboring-department:

Um, so yesterday you came over, told me you are completely out of file cabinet space & need more. Tried to talk me into giving away some of our filing cabinets.

Today, I watch as you direct facilities to remove two large filing cabinets from your area, both of which have large signs on them marking them as "empty".

It's no secret that you & I do things differently. We don't see eye-to-eye on much. But it really grinds my gears when you come over here and try to take our stuff. Because you've done it more than once. Actually you don't take it, you very nicely & politely try to persuade us that your department needs it more than we do. Nicely & politely like a snake in the grass.

But this latest baffles me. Complain that you don't have enough file space, then get rid of two large, empty filing cabinets.

Knowing you like I have come to know you over the past three years, I am going to assume that they were not in a convenient location, or were too bulky in your opinion, or unsightly, or there was some reason that you decided that it would be better (for you) if you could just use some of ours, and go ahead & get rid of the very large, empty filing cabinets that just got wheeled past my desk.

But I told you 'no'. You probably didn't expect that, judging by the expression on your face yesterday when I explained to you that almost all of our drawers were in use. But it's true. And so no, you can't have any of our filing space. And the fact that you just got rid of two cabinets.

But that's your problem, now isn't it?

I meant it then...

I was watching a rerun of Everybody Loves Raymond last night, and there was something that bothered me.

Debra's parents announced they were divorcing, and when Debra asked her mom what about the vows, did they mean nothing, her mom replied with something like "well, we meant it then".

Listen, marriage is a commitment. It takes work. It is a lifelong commitment. If you're not willing to make that commitment, for life, then don't get married. It really is that simple.

Traditional vows state that you are committing to one another "till death do us part", not "till we don't feel like it anymore".

I guarantee that at one point or another, one or both of you will want out. I can with 99% certainty say that that will happen to pretty much every married couple at least once during their lives together. It ain't all puppies & rainbows people.

Love isn't enough. Love, love, love. It's a great start, but it doesn't get the job done. By the way, folks, love is an action, not an emotion. It's a verb. It requires action. Lust & infatuation are the emotions. Love is the action. Love without action, isn't love.

But that was a bit of a tangent, wasn't it?

Anyway, it just really bites my butt when people get divorced because they don't "mean it" anymore. Basically they're saying that the feelings aren't there anymore, and they're tired of working at it.

I'm not against all divorce. In an abusive situation? Absolutely, get the heck outta there. Spouse cheated on you? Not only  understandable that you divorce them, but also biblically justified. They abandoned you? Well, a little more of a gray area, but marriage does take two, so if they abandon you, what choice do you have?
But divorcing because you don't feel it anymore? Grow up. You made a commitment. You took vows, most likely before "God and these witnesses", that you would stay together for your entire life. Keep your word, and work thru your issues. Is it easy? No. But most things in life worth fighting for, don't come easy.

"More marriages might survive if the partners realized that sometimes the better comes after the worse."  --Doug Larson

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Quick Update

Our house is officially on the market. Already have one showing scheduled.

Sent back the loan papers to the bank today, so hopefully we'll get loan approval finalized ASAP.

FireGirl has multiple staph infections. Again. This time on her belly, thighs, and bicep. The pediatrician put her on an antibiotic today. She also has yet another bad diaper rash that won't go away. Pediatrician suggested we put her in all-natural diapers until it clears up, then go back to our regular brand (Pampers). Also suggested we put Desitin on her at every diaper change, even if she looks fine. And, of course, get her potty-trained ASAP. She's giving us more & more signs, but refuses to sit on the potty. Well, refuses to sit there to go potty. Loves to sit there & read. Wonder where she got that, LOL.

One new thing she's doing that I am fascinated by is that last night she told me a story for the first time. Strung together thoughts to tell me something. Of course, it would help if she would use actual words, but it was clear by her babbles, tone of voice, and hand motions, what she was telling me. And she told me the same thing over, and over, and over again. Her story goes something like this.

I hurt my knee. Fell down went boom. Outside. Driveway.

Sometimes it varies to:
Fell down went boom. Driveway. Outside. Hurt knee.

This stringing together thoughts to tell me something is brand spanking new, and I am thrilled to see this development in her.

Work has been pleasantly busy lately. I like it. I'd rather be busy than bored any day.

Best be going. Thanks for checking in.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Dear FireGirl:

Mommy is really tired. Like falling-asleep-at-her-desk-while-drinking-a-Mt.-Dew tired. Really tired.

And Daddy told me that you didn't take a very long nap this afternoon.

So I was thinking... maybe tonight, instead of you running around destroying the house as you play, maybe you could pick out one book or one toy and play quietly. Or maybe even just snuggle up with me on the couch. I'll do my best to find one of your favorite shows on television. Maybe horse-racing? or puppies? or the Simpsons? or the Office? Sorry, but the baby shows don't run at night. And then maybe we could sit there snuggled together with the TV on in the background, and we could both fall asleep.

How does that sound to you? Because it sounds pretty darn good to me.

Thank you for taking this suggestion into consideration. See you shortly!

Love you always,

Dear FireMan:

I am loving you extra-special-much right now. My heart is all warm & fuzzy, and all I want to do is spend time with you and love on you. And I like feeling this way about my husband.

So please don't do anything to ruin it.

Thank you.

PSA re: intersections with stoplights

So, because this is one of my pet peeves (especially if I'm behind you), but because I also realize that a lot of people apparently don't know this, here's my PSA:

The majority of intersections with stoplights (at least in my area), now have sensors in the pavement, and are programmed to change when a car is stopped at the light.

What does this mean? This means that if you are not positioned over the sensor, then in many cases, the light will not change, and you (and sometimes I) will be stuck at the light for-freakin'-ever.

So, don't pull too far up, don't hang too far back, and don't be so far to the left or the right that you're not actually in the lane anymore (which a lot of people do at the end of my street for some reason).

So how do you know where to stop? Well, in the center of your lane, at the white line. If you need more of a visual than that, you can usually see a faint (or not-so-faint, depending on how good the paving job was done) rectangle as you pull up to the interesection. Try to position your car directly over that. See photo below for reference.

So... now you know. And we can all act accordingly to reduce our wait time at stoplights. Thank you.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Friday, June 4, 2010

Righteous Jealousy

One of the many things that our modern society seems to have messed up, is how we view jealousy.

Newsflash: jealousy is not bad.
Did you hear that? Jealousy is not a bad thing. It's not! It's really not!

The best example of this? Our God is a jealous God! And God cannot do bad things, right? So then how can jealousy be bad? It can't!

Jealousy is not bad! Which means.... are you ready for it?... jealousy is good!
I know. This sounds crazy to some of you. But bear with me.

Jealousy has several accepted definitions, listed here, courtesy of

1.jealous resentment against a rival, a person enjoying success or advantage, etc., or against another's success or advantage itself.
2.mental uneasiness from suspicion or fear of rivalry, unfaithfulness, etc., as in love or aims.
3.vigilance in maintaining or guarding something.
4.a jealous feeling, disposition, state, or mood.
So, let me walk you thru it. I'll be using the marriage relationship as my example, but it can be changed to apply to pretty much anything.

Look at the third definition: "vigilance in maintaining or guarding something".
So, if you are vigilant in guarding something, and you perceive a threat to that something, then this will result in definition #4, "a jealous feeling".
From that jealous feeling, if the threat is not squashed immediately, you will naturally proceed to the second definition: "mental uneasiness from suspicion..."
And finally, if that threat manages to succeed in attacking what you are guarding, maybe even wins a battle or two, the natural reaction is to have "jealous resentment" towards that threat.

Did you follow that path? Got it?

So you see, jealousy, in and of itself, isn't bad at all. It means you care. You care enough to be vigilant. You care enough to guard what is important to you. You care.

I think what happens oftentimes is that we have mistaken being jealous, for coveting.

Covet, you say? What is covet? Sounds familiar, but... what is it again?

Well, probably sounds familiar because it is one of the Ten Commandments:
"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's."  --Exodus 20:17

The definition of covet, again courtesy of

–verb (used with object) desire wrongfully, inordinately, or without due regard for the rights of others: to covet another's property.
–verb (used without object) have an inordinate or wrongful desire.

I like the first definition, "without due regard for the rights of others". In other words, you are selfish. You want what you want, and you don't care who gets hurt in the process.

So, back to our marriage example.

I am jealous for my husband's attention. It is rightfully mine (as mine is his).

Along comes Miss Thang. She covets my husband's attention, wrongfully wanting it without regard for me, or in all honesty, my husband.


I am proud to say that I am a jealous wife.
I hope that my husband is a jealous husband.

Won't you join me in being jealous for your spouses too?

"For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy:..."  -- II Corinthians 11:2a

Dear LORD,

I'm sorry.

I have not been giving You the attention to want & deserve. I have ignored You. I have moved away from You. I haven't talked to You nearly as much as I should.

You have left me these love letters, and I have not even opened them in... too long.

My God, my jealous God. I can only imagine how it hurts You to have someone You love so much not give You the time & attention You want so badly.

I'm sorry. I didn't intend to move away from you. Life happened. Husbands happened. Babies happened. Work happened. Life happened. Not a reason really, is it? More of an excuse. I am ashamed.

I am sorry.

And I pledge to make a change. Starting today. Starting now.

Thank you for your unending love & mercy,
In Jesus' name,

your daughter

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Dear New Baby Kitty:

Stop scratching me in the middle of the night!

Seriously, I know you're probably just trying to play with me, but I don't appreciate waking up with fresch cat scratches on various parts of my body.
Especially not this morning, when I got in the shower and discovered a three-inch long scratch on my BB!

Please, stop!


Dear Body:

WTHeck! Why are you not waking up when FireKitty scratches you?!? What is your problem? Don't just lie there and take it, wake up already and knock her off the bed! She'll learn eventually! But not if you keep sleeping thru it!
Seriously, how do you not wake up from that?!?

House Update

Well, the appraisal on our new house went well. Meeting with our agent tonight to go over some things. Don't really know what it all means yet. Guess that's what realtors are for, huh?

Getting our house market-ready is going much more slowly than we thought. Of course, it didn't help that right in the middle of pressure-washing over the weekend, we had a water main break. And just life getting in the way. And some things taking a lot longer than we thought.

Front landscaping = done
New fence = done (although now FireMan thinks he wants to paint it)
Deck refinishing = not done, half power-washed
Basement = not done, half painted
Packing & cleaning the inside = not done, good amount of packing done, pretty much no cleaning done yet
Setting up spare room as an actual bedroom = not started, still need to find a twin bed we can borrow.

Oh, and our design idea for the new house involved knocking out the wall between the kitchen & the living room. That was a big part of our plans, because the kitchen is in kinda a weird place, and a strange layout, so we planned on knocking out the wall to open everything up. Uh, yeah. Ends up that's a load-bearing wall. Crap. So now trying to figure some things out. Seriously, the kitchen sucks with the current layout. Plus it's tiny. And closed off from everything. But if we can't knock out that wall, then I'm not sure what our options are to make it better. Ugh. Time to get creative, I guess.

Thanks for checking in!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Dear InLaws:

Today's modern disposable diapers are marvels of absorption & dryness. They really are.

But this does not mean that you don't have to change FireGirl's diaper regularly.

I really wish I didn't have to have a sit-down with you about this, but if we don't have a come-to-Jesus meeting soon, you might end up banned from watching her.

We've been thru this. FireGirl has extremely delicate skin, which makes her prone to diaper rashes. Bad ones. Really bad ones. This means that until we get her potty-trained, which is still a ways off, anyone watching her must be extra diligent in changing her diaper as soon as it is wet.

I know you don't like changing poopy diapers. Neither do I. But leaving my daughter to walk around in her own feces because I will be there "soon" (approx 45 min) is not acceptable. For any child, let alone my baby girl who you know has issues with bad diaper rashes & infections.

And telling me that you think something's wrong with the diaper because it's wet on the outside, then admitting that it was also "really heavy with pee" tells me that you probably missed what should have been two or three diaper changes in there. You let my daughter sit in her own urine for what I'm estimating to be three hours or so. At least. And I remember that night. When you dropped her off, she had again peed thru her diaper. Which tells me that you didn't change her diaper before you got in the car for the hour drive, because there is no way she peed that much in one hour. Doesn't happen.

Now listen. I understand that it's been 30 years since you had children. So some of this takes re-learning. But I also know that when I try to tell you things I get that look. Heck, sometimes you even say it. "I raised three kids just fine". As if I don't need to tell you anything. Well, obviously I do. Besides which, I am her mother. I will tell you whatever I darn well please when it comes to taking care of my baby. And if you choose to ignore it, your watching-your-only-granddaugther privileges will be revoked.

I hate to be this harsh with you, as you are her grandparents, and I really do try to tread lightly on our already strained relationship, but at this point I feel it's become a health & safety issue for the care of daughter.

So, the next time you are watching FireGirl, I will be instructing you to change her diaper every two hours, regardless. Not checking to see if you think it needs changing, but actually changing it. Every two hours. Even if you don't think it needs it.

And if you ignore my instructions, and / or continue to do anything that puts my child's wellness into question, your watching-your-only-granddaughter privileges will be revoked. No question. And I don't care how hurt you might be or how much you might hate me after that. I don't even care if FireMan gets angry with me.

This is my child. And this is your last warning.

This is why you don't lie.

My husband lied to me. Big time. Lied. Deceived. Betrayed. Big. Time.

And I am wounded.

Before you ask, no he didn't cheat. And no, I'm not telling you any more details.

You don't really need to know any more.

He lied. More than once. To my face. And we're not talking little white lies here. We're talking big giant relationship killer lies.

And I thought I had trust issues before.

This is what we focus on during my therapy sessions. My trust issues. Which are now a million times worse than before.

Because my husband lied to me.

Do you get what I'm saying?

I don't trust my husband.
My partner in life. My spouse. The father of my daughter. My husband.
I don't trust my husband.


Because he lied.

So why don't you lie? Because then people don't trust you.

Sometimes I don't know why I bother talking to him anymore, or asking him questions, because I wonder about everything he says. Everything. He could tell me he's wearing a green shirt, and I would wonder if it were really blue.
I wonder where he's going, what he's doing, who he's with. All. The. Time. Because I don't trust him.

This drives him crazy. He hates that I don't trust him. I think in some ways it hurts him, to know that his wife doesn't trust him.

But I can't help it. He lied. Big time.

I'm working on my trust issues. But it takes time. Every time that I find him telling the truth, builds that trust back up, just a little bit. And bit-by-bit, little-by-little - if I do my work & he does his - we'll get there.

What really breaks my heart is that it will never be the same. We can't go back. Other women told me this, women whose husbands betrayed them. They said it's never the same. Even years later there will be moments when you will wonder. I didn't want to believe them. But then my therapist said the same thing. She said we'll never be back 100% to where we were before. 98% maybe. 99% if we're lucky & both do the work, and let time pass. But never 100%. There will always be that speck of doubt in my mind. That's the first time I broke down in cried in my therapy sessions. When she confirmed that we can never go back.

Anyway, a bit of a tangent there, but it all ties in.

This is why you don't lie:
It hurts people that you love.
It hurts your relationships.
It hurts your reputation.

"Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are His delight."  -- Proverbs 12:22

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Dear Friend;

Sometimes, it's not about you.

I cannot count the number of times I have been there for you, for problem after problem, crisis after crisis. How many times I have given you advice, on relationships, money, work, friendships, whatever. How many times I have dropped whatever I was doing, even getting up in the middle of the night, to be there for you.

And now that I have some issues, and need an ear, I really do not appreciate you pretending to be all interested, asking me to call you after my therapy session so we can talk about how it went, then hi-jacking the conversation so you can talk about your latest issue. I've been going thru some serious stuff. And yes, you listened to me thru a couple of phone calls. But that does not mean that I'm done. This does not mean that you can hi-jack a conversation that's supposed to be about me.

It's my turn now. That's what friends are for. I'm there for you during your crises. Now it's your turn to be there for me.

I understand this probably was not intentional. So, please, just be more cognizant of it in the future. Please?

Thank you for your kind attention to this matter.

Just a thought

If you don't want your spouse to find out what you're doing, you shouldn't be doing it.

I've been giving this a lot of thought lately. From women hiding secret credit cards from their husbands, to husbands chatting up the cute girl at work. Whatever it is. If you're doing something that you don't want your spouse to know about, you need to stop. Your spouse is your other half. Your partner in life. Should be your best friend and your most trusted confidante. If you don't want them to know what you're doing, then it's a pretty safe bet that you shouldn't be doing it. Period.
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