Friday, May 28, 2010

Dear Nosy Neighbors:

Thanks for calling the fire department on the burning of our brush pile last night.

And since the fire department came out & determined we weren't doing anything wrong, thanks for calling and asking them to send the cops over. And since they determined we weren't doing anything wrong, thanks for calling dispatch back telling them you really wanted us to extinguish it, complaining to the point that the cops asked us to put it out just to avoid trouble.

Still trying to figure out why you care so much if we quietly burn a small brush pile on our own property. Or why you think it's any of your business.

But you have succeeded in making me more anxious than ever to get out of this house. Hopefully it won't be too long before I'm saying 'goodbye & good riddance'.

See ya!

Well, this gym thing might just be working after all!

Still zero pounds lost. But we checked my body fat last night, and I'm down 5%! Woo hoo!

I don't really know how significant that is, but it sounds like a big deal to me! I'm excited!

It's so much more encouraging when you start getting some sort of measurable results.

So this fat butt now officially has 5% less fat! Weeeeeeeeeee!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I'm thinking of getting this book

I've heard / read several people quote this book lately, and I'm thinking it sounds like a good read. Probably for any married couple. Here's one of my favorite quotes (so far).

"...we are, all of us, utterly committed and deeply devoted to our style, our way, our approach to life. We have absolutely no intention of giving it up. Not even for love. So God creates an environment where we have to. It's called marriage."

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dear Bank Home Financing People: (written in the fall)

Maybe people wouldn't trash their foreclosed homes if you treated them with an ounce of respect.

My sister (JuJu)& brother-in-law and their family are moving to Iowa. BIL has been looking for a job for 2 years, and the only one he could find that paid enough to support their family is in Iowa. They've had their house on the market for four months, with 28 showings and zero offers.

He's been working in Iowa, so they've been struggling to support two households (JuJU & the kids here, BIL there) for almost a year now. They just missed their first house payment. BIL calls the bank to see what they should do since they are moving in 2 weeks.

The lady he talked to who specializes in hardship cases, had a nasty tone throughout the entire phone call.

Kept asking him why they were "abandoning" the property, even though he started the phone call by explaining his job situation. Repeatedly asked him what shape the house was in and what damage they had done to the property. He kept telling her "none, the house is in great shape". She just got nastier with him and kept insisting he tell her what was "really going on".

Finally got the answer that they would lower the price to a short sale. He kept asking how long it would be on the market as a short sale before they would proceed with foreclosure, but she wouldn't tell him.

They had planned on moving out, keeping the house as spotless as when they lived there, but now they're so upset by how the bank is treating them they don't really care.

I think they'll get over it, and I know they won't intentionally damage anything, but they definitely won't take as much care with it as they would have previously.
I can definitely see how someone who's already going thru a hard time could be tempted to intentionally damage their property after being treated like that. Doesn't make it right, I know. But I understand it better now.

Sex & Politics

**note: this entry is based on another blog that I read. Unfortunately, at the time I read it, I didn't think much of it, and thus didn't bookmark it or make note of the site name or blogger name. If it's your blog, and you so choose, please let me know and I will reference you properly & provide links to your entry**

I recently read a blog entry, written by a gay man who supports Sarah Palin.

In this entry he explains how he doesn't judge politicians based on what they do in their bedrooms, nor does he make political decisions based on what he does in his.

I. Love. This.

Brilliant. To think that we would actually judge a politician by how they do their job, and where they stand on political issues, rather than what they do behind closed doors, or what they think of what I do behind closed doors.

In a way, it reminded me of my previous post about gay marriage. So let's say I'm a politician. I do not believe in gay marriage. But I also do not think it is my place to stop it. So... why should my stance on gay marriage prevent you from voting for me? Does that make sense?

We should judge professionals by how they do their job, not their private lives.

One of the gentlemen I work with is a known cheater. He has been stepping out on his wife for years. Does this keep him from being a good engineer? A good manager? No. What he does in his personal life has no bearing whatsoever on his professional performance.

I think our society has allowed this blurring of the political & the personal. We're all guilty of it, to differing extents. We should be selecting our elected officials based on their ability to do the job at hand, and nothing more.

I understand why people take politics personally. Because it is personal, in some ways. They are the people that are going to make decisions on how our communities are run. On how our laws are interpreted & put into effect. But I think we need to stop voting for the person who agrees with us the most on personal issues, and start voting for the person that's going to do their very best to uphold their own integrity by serving all members of their community, without regard for personal or spiritual similarities or differences.

I feel like I haven't explained myself very well here. But I also am at a loss for what else to say. So... I guess I'll stop now.

Thanks for checking in!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Dear FireMan: (LONGer than I intended)

I love you. I really do. And I love & appreciate that you work hard. I really do. And I really appreciate the work you did last night to completely clean out our jungle of a basement. I really, really do.

However, please stop being pissy because I did not kiss your feet when I came home after being gone for 12 hours. Please stop acting like I spent all day shopping or chatting with my girlfriends, when in fact my day consisted of :
 - working 8 hours outside of the home
 - driving 45 minutes to my therapy appt
 - therapy appt
 - driving 45 min to my parents' house
 - eating supper
 - fighting to give FireGirl a bath
 - feeding FireGirl her snack & getting her ready for bed
 - driving 45 minutes back home

I really do appreciate the work you do. I do. I had actually planned on showing you my appreciation (wink, wink) last night. I miss you. I love you. And I appreciate your hard work.

But when you make comments about how I need to get myself home to help or your throwing my stuff out, or how you're not doing such-and-such because you worked today so I should do it, or any other comment implying that I did not, or do not, work - well... it makes it difficult for me to appreciate you so much. It makes me not want to "appreciate" you at all (wink, wink). It kinda makes me want you to go back to the firehouse.

You worked really hard for about five hours last night cleaning out the basement. I know it was hard work. I know it was. I'm thankful that you did it.

But I work hard to. After coming home from my eight hour day at work, I usually spend 1-2 hours doing housework, not counting taking care of FireGirl (feedings, baths, dressing, diapers, etc). No, it's not five hours at a stretch. No, it doesn't yield the dramatic results of cleaning an entire basement in an evening. But it's also not once every few months. It's pretty much every night. And it gives us all clean clothes to wear and clean dishes to eat off of, and food in our cupboards.

So, next time, before you get all pissy because I didn't bow down to kiss your feet for doing whatever your one dramatic job was that you completed, ask yourself when was the last time you bowed down & kissed my feet for keeping this house running, for taking care of our daughter. Ask yourself when was the last time you showed me a little appreciation for the constant work that I do around the house, and think about how all those "little" things that I do daily add up to quite a bit more than any one chunk of time that you spend doing your big, dramatic tasks.

Thank you.

It's about feelings

Interesting point that my therapist made last night.

We were talking about something that FireMan & I disagree about. I said "He feels that he _________, but I disagree"

She stopped me there and said that it's not about what I think. It's not even about who's right. It's about what FireMan feels.

Conversely if I'm feeling a certain way, it's not about whether I'm right or wrong, or whether or not FireMan agrees with me, it's about how I feel.

Oh yes, there are certainly times when we need to point out rights & wrongs, and there's a time & place for that, but what she was saying is that in our marriage (and really any relationship), it's about how we react to our partner's feelings more than who is right or wrong. That if I acknowledge FireMan's feelings, and base my reaction & words with consideration to how he feels, then the overall outcome will be better.

Last night was a really good session. The first time I actually broke down & cried in there. She (and I) feel that we're moving forward positively, but that I still need help processing some thoughts & feelings that I have regarding recent events, and getting control of my thoughts overall (mainly).
I am so glad I made the decision to go. I feel so much better when I leave there. I love that she not only helps me work on what I need work on, but she also points out what we're doing that is moving us forward positively, and she helps me to understand why. "Why" is huge for me. According to my parents it has been since I was a little girl. And going to counselling helps me understand some "whys", sometimes even why I do or say or feel a certain way. I'm so glad I'm going. I wish I had gone sooner.

I may touch on some other topics that we discussed later on. Her point about our partner's feelings really resonated with me, so I wanted to do a brief blog about it.

Thanks for checking in!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Big News version of Not Me Monday

I most certainly did not go to the county animal shelter Saturday after my meeting and adopt a kitten.

Nope. Not me. Wouldn't do such a thing.

Especially would never do something like that without telling FireMan. Nope. Not me.

That's why I couldn't tell you my big news on Saturday. On the off-chance that FireMan decided to pick that day to read my blog. I just told him about an hour ago. Yep, he's been gone for five days straight. And I went and got a kitten. LOL.

She is so awesome! I love her! I shall call her... FireKitty.

She was a stray, and the staff is estimating her age at about three months. I really wanted an itty-bitty eight week old kitty, and they had five of those (from two different litters), but all off the little ones were more timid, one or two were kinda standoffish. And I really wanted a kitten that could be FireGirl's cat.

You see, FireCat... well, he's not exactly FireGirl's friend. He likes her. Sort of. He has to run in her room every morning when she wakes up. If we put her to bed without him seeing us, he will cry outside her door until we let him to check. It's like he wants her there, but...
He does not like her petting him. He doesn't play with her. He tends to run away from her. He's been known to bat at her with his paws, and scratched her face pretty badly once (just once, or we might not have FireCat anymore if FireMan had anything to say about it).

And so, I wanted a cat that would be more on FireGirl's level. And I think I found just that. They are already interacting wonderfully. FireKitty (when she's not running around the house getting her friskies out) will follow FireGirl around. She rubs on FireGirl. She tries to give her kisses. FireGirl has even held her a few times (sitting down, with Mommy supervising closely). They play together. They chase each other down the hallway. And when FireKitty got tired and laid down on the floor for a cat nap, FireGirl laid down next to her. They just laid there, looking at each other. I wish I'd had my camera. It was adorable. Heart-warming.
This morning, before anything else, FireGirl wanted to go see FireKitty. Had to argue with her about changing her diaper first. Before her milk. Before her breakfast. And FireGirl, who is slow to wake up (like her mommy) and usually wants to be held for the first half an hour or so of every morning, was pushing to get out of my arms to find FireKitty.

FireCat is adjusting well. I think. I kept FireKitty in a separate room for all of Saturday, and Sunday up until 9pm or so. They smelled each other under the door. I'd move FireKitty into another room so FireCat could go into the spare room to smell all of her stuff. Things like that.
So when they mingled for the first time last night? Lots of hissing, a little growling, one swipe from FireCat. That's about it. His hissing is clearly more for show. I think he's more upset with me. Which makes me sad. But I also know that he gets bad separation anxiety when we're gone, and I'm hoping that at the very least FireKitty will become a welcome companion when he's otherwise alone.
I separated them again today, while we're all out of the house. FireCat is such a big, bruiser of a cat. And FireKitty is such a little tiny girl. I just didn't want to chance any "accidents" while we were gone. Not this soon.
Hopefully in the coming days FireCat will grow to accept, if not like, her. I'm hopeful. It's going better than I thought it would.

Oh, and I was gonna post pics, except that FireMan had the camera all weekend. So I went to the shelter's website, and couldn't find her anywhere, not even under "Success Stories". So... no pics yet.

Thanks for checking in!

Dear CoWorkers: (from last fall)

I apologize for coming to work sick today.

And yes, I would prefer to be at home, not only preventing from spreading my illness, but also so I can heal faster. However, please keep in mind the following before you judge me.

#1 - my employer does not provide me with any sick days
#2 - my employer has provided me with a less-than-competitive amount of vacation days (maxed out at seven days), that I choose to reserve for spending quality time with my family, and have already used all of them this year
#3 - for the past 18 months, I have been on zero overtime
#4 - for the past 12 months, I have been on reduced work hours
#5 - six months ago, my employer instituted a 10% reduction in our base pay

I understand that since I am a contractor, and most of you are permanent employees, with many more days of paid time off, and much better overall benefits, you may not understand my situation.

I hope that with the above information you now understand why I am at my desk. Financially speaking, I do not feel that I can afford to stay home.

I promise to limit my personal contact with you.

And if it's any comfort, I'm pretty sure that I have the same virus that my daughter had over the weekend. It's not pleasant, but appears to run its course in 1-2 days.

Thank you for your kind consideration in this matter,

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Dear FireMan (re: Valentine's Day)

Friday night, which we designated as our VDay date night, when you didn't have any gift for me, I was slightly disappointed.

Saturday, you were working, so no expectation.

Sunday, which was Valentine's Day, I was pretty disappointed that by the end of the night I still had not received anything.

Today is Monday. February 15th. Our alternate date night since the movie theatres were so crowded on Friday. I will be greatly disappointed if I do not receive anything by the end of tonight.

It does not have to be big. A card. A small stuffed animal. A small box of chocolates. A bouquet of flowers. I don't really care what it is or how much you spend on it. But I will be disappointed if I don't get some small acknowledgement of your love for me by the end of the day.

Oh, and you can't pull the I-didn't-know-we-were-doing-gifts thing, because
a) we've always done them, and
b) I gave you yours on Friday night.

Thank you for your kind attention to this matter.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Dear Toilet Squatter:

I respect your freedom to choose to squat over the toilet.

However, I choose not to squat. I choose to sit.

Why? Because I understand that unless I have an open sore on my butt (which I do not), then the chances of me catching any dread disease from a toilet seat is minimal. Which, to me, makes squatting just not worth it.

That being said, just because I'm not afraid of catching something from the toilet seat, does not mean that I don't deserve to be able to sit on a DRY toilet seat.

That's right. Your aim SUCKS.

Learn to aim, or at least have the courtesy to turn around & wipe your pee off the seat before you leave.

For someone who is so dainty, or whatever, that you can't sit on a toilet seat, you sure are disgusting, leaving your own bodily fluids sitting around like that.

Oh, and BTW, I will (and have in the past) call you out on it, if I happen to enter the stall right behind you. Whether I sit in it, or notice it & wipe down the seat myself, I have no problem calling you out on it in front of whomever else happens to be there.

Thank you. Have a nice day. And remember the Girl Scout code: leave this place better than you found it. Not pissier.

Big News a-Coming!

Well, I think it's big news anyway.

No, I'm not pregnant.

Yes, it's good.

No, I'm not telling you now.

Probably.... Monday or Tuesday.

So excited. Smiled most of the day because of it.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Dear Mother-in-Law: (from January)

For future reference, and to spare any embarrassment on your part, or on the part of the hosts of any future parties you volunteer to help with, it is customary to bring all of the items necessary to complete the dishes you volunteer to bring.

Using examples from the upcoming party I am hosting for your son:

1) if you volunteer to bring a meat tray for sandwiches, it is customary for you to also supply the bread & condiments
2) if you volunteer to bring a cheeseball, it is customary for you to also supply the crackers
3) if you volunteer to make punch to be served with the cake, it is customary for you to supply all the ingredients for the punch, not to expect another party-goer to bring Sprite for you.

I hope you find this information helpful in the future.

Thank you.

Your Daughter-in-Law


I am soooo glad I called her. FireMan's 30th bday party is tomorrow. I could maybe understand not bringing the bread & condiments, but who makes a cheeseball, but wasn't planning to bring crackers? or says she's making punch, but then was expecting you to bring the Sprite for the punch? Who does that?

And she'd better bring enough meat. I keep telling her I fully expect right at 50 guests, possibly a few more, and she keeps saying "well, there's a good chance only 30 or so will show up". And when we just now discussed the bread, and I told her no problem, I'm going to the store tonight anyway, she said "well, don't, you know, buy too much. No need to go overboard". I'm seriously thinking about buying a pre-made meat tray from Kroger & keeping it in my car just in case.

Grrr. As if trying to keep all this a surprise weren't stressing me out enough already.

Dear Project Manager:

Listen. I am darn good at my job. Well, the best here anyway. Which is why you came to me. However, you don't seem to understand that there are a few working conditions that will prevent me from turning out a good product, which are completely out of my control. They include (but are not limited to):

- you changing your mind 18 billion times about what you want
- you seeing the finished project, done exactly has you asked, then you realizing that that's not what you wanted after all
- bad data from the supplier
- made up data from the supplier
- you deciding to make up data to make the report look better
- you deciding you don't like the coding I'm using, so you give me code to use, even though I try to explain to you why it won't work

Seeing as how you are a manager, and I am a peon, I kinda have to do what you ask. But stop blaming me for things "not working out right", when you are the driving force behind said things that are not working out right.

I have done what you asked. I have completed the 18 billion requested changes. I am managing the data as reported from the supplier (that you approved). I have even, against my better judgement, included the crap that you pull out of thin air.

But even the best working level stiff cannot produce a good product when the input is bad, when the manager cannot manage his own information.

So please, stop your shenanigans and leave me to do my job as I see fit. I can all but guarantee you that we will end up with a much more accurate, timely, and visual product if you leave me to my own devices.

Thank you.

Data Management Peon

Dear Male CoWorker:

I understand you are on the phone with your doctor. Normally, I don't mind people discussing issues regarding their body (in a medical nature).

However, hearing you talk about your "ejaculates" in the workplace makes me uncomfortable, even if it is talking to your doctor's office about your recent prostate problems.

Please call them back from your cell phone & step outside to complete the call. Thank you.

Why a new blog ??

On the message boards I frequent, I often write letters. Letters to, say, a co-worker having an inappropriate conversation. Letters to an insensitive family member. Etc.

I've gotten several comments on those postings that people enjoy my "letters", so I thought, well then, why don't I start a blog. My first posting (and hopefully first few postings - if I can find older ones) will be pulled from the messageboards.

Hope you enjoy!

Ugh. Life. Isn't. Fair.

So, the bank called FireMan late yesterday.

They nearly doubled the down payment they would require from us. Money we don't have on hand.

Why, you ask? Because I have a bankruptcy in my past.

It was all I could do to keep from crying at work when he told me.

See, remember me telling you about the car accident I was in in 2002? The one where I hurt my back? And then the surgery I had in 2006? Well, long story short, after a three year legal battle with the car insurance company, I didn't even get enough money to pay my medical bills, let alone replace my totalled car, or pay me for lost wages. I was left with thousands of dollars of debt, mostly to different doctors.

By the way, I definitely do not recommend Nationwide Insurance. I guarantee they spent more in legal fees over the course of three years than we were even asking for in the settlement. I just wanted to get my bills paid.

So, in 2006, after the surgery bills were added on top of the other bills I'd been struggling to pay for the previous four years, I couldn't make it anymore. I spent about six months living off of Totinos Pizzas (they were only $1 at Remkes) and water. Sometimes KoolAid or some mac-n-cheese for a treat. A special treat would be the 79-cent cheeseburger from the McDonald's down the street. No cable. No shopping. No frills. At. All. I remember when I finally met with a bankruptcy attorney, and she sent me to a financial counselor (as required by the bankruptcy laws). He said he didn't know how I'd made it like that for so long. But I was determined to pay off my debts. I tried. I really, really tried. But the bills got to be too much. I couldn't make it any longer.

So... I'm in a car accident in 2002. A woman accelerates thru a red light, t-boning my car, totalling both my vehicle & my back in the process, giving me what doctors consider a "lifetime injury", and if that's not enough, we might now lose our dream house because of the financial repercussions. For something that was never my fault to begin with.

Live. Isn't. Fair.

At the time of my bankruptcy filing, over 75% of my debt was related to medical expenses. When you factor in my college education, over 97% of my debt was related to either medical or education.
I'm not saying I never made a frivolous purchase in my life, but I can honestly say that the vast majority of my debt was related to either medical or education expenses.
And yet these bankruptcies are treated the exact same way as people who just run up their credit cards and live it up on consumer debt.

Not. Fair.

They really need to come up with two separate categories for bankruptcies. One category for responsible people who just hit some hard times. And one for irresponsible people who just lived beyond their means and can't (or don't) manage their money well.

It's just so frustrating. I'm angry. I'm frustrated. I'm sad. I'm disappointed. And I feel a little guilty that because of my history, FireMan is upset about us possibly not getting the house. It sucks.

It's not over yet. Our realtor is working with us to see what options we have. Apparently we might qualify for a rural home development program, which would cover our entire downpayment (why didn't he tell us about this before?!?), and there are some other loan options we might qualify for. But for right now our lending is stalled until we figure something out.

On a sort-of positive note, the inspection was this morning, and the house passed. The inspector didn't find anything that we didn't already know about. Yay! So that's good.

Now we just have to see if this lending thing will work out.

Thanks for checking in.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

General Update

We went to Home Depot Tuesday night and looked at our options for flooring, windows, doors, etc. for the new house. That's something that I really enjoy doing. Anyway, my point is that... the flooring, windows, and the french doors are all about half of what we were budgeting! Woo hoo! We're not going to adjust our budget, that way we're prepared for the unexpected, but it's nice to know that we should end up with some more flexibility in our renovation budget.
In case you're wondering - we had to submit a budget to the bank, since we're getting a renovation loan. Our original budget was based on the numbers given to us by one of FireMan's coworkers, whose second job is as a contractor. Even though we went with his low estimates, we're still coming out way ahead. Woo hoo!

Yesterday after work we had our trainer session at the gym. I love our trainer. She's so sweet, and nice, and soft-spoken, and then out of nowhere she totally kicks our butts! I love it! I still haven't dropped any weight. None. At all. Blah. But I think I'm gonna check my measurements next week, because I swear my pants are a tad looser. I hope I've lost some inches anyway, because the no-weight-loss-thing really frustrates me. I know I haven't been following the plan exactly, but I am eating better, and getting tons more exercise than before, so shouldn't I see some results? Something? We'll see.

And then, after our trainer session, we came home, scarfed down some chicken tacos, and finished just in time for our realtor to come over and check out our house. The house goes on the market June 1st, and we have a ton of work to do before then. But I tell ya, I will be so glad to be out of this house. Soooooo glad.

I think that's about it for now. Thanks for checking in!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


So, Friday morning on vacation I woke up at 6:30am and couldn't fall back asleep. Wouldn't you know it.
So I took my shower, and snuck downstairs to watch some TV until everyone else woke up. Well, they had satellite, but it only got a few channels. The best thing I could find was Joyce Meyer. I'm not gonna lie, I'm not usually a big fan. But there wasn't much else on, so I watched.

She was talking about temptation, and had some excellent points. So excellent, in fact, that I thought I'd share. So this is my summary / spin-off of what she said.

#1 - we needn't be afraid of facing temptation
or ask to not face temptation. Facing temptation is one of the ways God tests us to strengthen us and increase our faith.

"Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him."  -- James 1:12

#2 - we tend to rely too much on our own strength to face temptation
Oftentimes a temptation is too strong for us to face on our own. We need to rely on God and ask Him to help us thru the temptation. It is thru Christ that we have strength to win our challenges.

"Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall"  -- 1 Corinthians 10:12
"(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)"  -- 2 Corinthians 10:4

#3 - nobody "falls" into temptation
The example she gave was classic. Nobody falls out of bed in the morning, into someone's pants. It begins small. It begins by giving in a little here & there, by letting our guard down gradually, by allowing cracks in the foundation. During this part of the show, she was speaking specifically about sexual temptation, but it can be applied anywhere.
Very rarely to affairs happen suddenly. They develop slowly over time. They start with a smile, a compliment, a conversation, a lunch, a friendship.
It's easy to say: "we're just friends" or "can't I be nice to someone else?" Well, yes, you can be nice to others. And you can be "just friends" with a member of the opposite sex. But you cannot let your guard down. You should be on guard, protecting your marriage, all. the. time. Constantly watching for the Enemy's efforts to tear it down.
I will admit it. I've been there myself. An innocent compliment from a co-worker, followed by glances over our desks. It all left me feeling a little too good about the attention I was getting from another man. I recognized that. And as flattered as I was, and as good as I was feeling about getting this attention, I stopped what I was doing, and called my husband. Because after all, he deserves my attention.
I loved the example Joyce Meyer gave. She had a male staffer that started bringing coffee & donuts to one of the female staffers. He was married. It started out as an innocent gesture. Then he started doing it every morning. Then it lead to long conversations at their desks. Then it led to some flirtation. I believe it was at this point that Ms. Meyer approached the male staffer and told him to knock it off, and no more coffee & donuts. She told him that if he wanted to bring coffee & donuts to a woman, why doesn't he go get it & bring it home to his wife before he comes to work.
Love it!
But it does bring up an excellent point: if we are doing something nice for someone else, have we made sure we have made that same (or similar) gesture to our spouse? After all, of all the people in the world, shouldn't we be giving our spouses the primary fruits of our kindness? Just something for all of us to keep in the back of our minds.

"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."  -- James 4:7

#4 - specifically regarding food-related temptation
Because she acknowledged that food-related temptations are different than any others (ie. you can't quit cold turkey, you need food to survive), she spent a few minutes addressing this issue separately. What she recommended, that I think is a good idea, but just realized I have yet to implement (duh!) is that every morning, as you are starting your day, you pray that God will help you throughout the day to only eat what is necessary to sustain your body, no more, no less. Lean on Him. Rely on Him to resist your temptation. She also recommended that you pray this again each time you sit down to a meal.

"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."  -- 1 Corinthians 10:31

 So there it is. Temptation. Sometimes difficult to resist. Never impossible to overcome

"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."  -- 1 Corinthians 10:13

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Vacation ReCap

We left Thursday morning for the Smoky Mountains. Woo hoo! It was FireGirl's first time going, and we took both sets of in-laws, so I was a bit nervous about how everything would go.

We rented a cabin (the Creekside thru Auntie Belham's Realty), and after settling into our digs, we went for dinner at Mama's Farmhouse.  We'd never been there before, but I have to say the food & service were both excellent. It's Southern cooking served family-style, and it is yummy!

The next day FireMan, his dad, and I went horseback riding, while the rest waited for us at the free petting zoo they had there. Horseback riding was a must for me. After my car accident in 2002 I was told by my doctors that I would never ride a horse again. After my surgery in January of 2006, I first got on a horse in October 2006, also in the Smokies. Just a simple trail ride. No experience necessary. But the fact that I'm doing it means so much.
I had really hoped to take FireGirl on her first horseback ride that day, and we picked this stable because they allowed children to double with adults. But once we got there FireMan was concerned that she wouldn't handle it well, so it was a no-go for her. Boooooo! LOL. We had a great time anyway. The "cowboys", as they call them, were sweet as could be, and kept bringing horses over to the fence for FireGirl to pet. I was riding directly behind our trail guide, and had the chance to talk with him throughout the ride, and it was obvious he had great affection for "his" horses. All the horses appeared to be healthy & well-cared for, and they had ample pasture space for the horses when they aren't working. Can you tell I check my places out, LOL? When it comes to animal welfare anyway, LOL.

Anyway, back to the trip.

Friday night we had dinner at the Dixie Stampede. It was FireMan's idea, thinking FireGirl would really enjoy the horses & singing, and that the adults could all enjoy it too. He was right. It's a bit pricey (around $40 per adult ticket), but you do get a pre-show of live music / comedy, plus the live show with meal. In my opinion, it was worth every penny. FireGirl was mesmerized. I could have spent the entire night just watching her reactions. Oh, who am I kidding? I spent at least half the night doing just that. She absolutely loved it. When the horses would leave the arena, between "scenes", she would start fussing & signing "more". So cute! And when they were out there, she was just mesmerized. Eyes wide, mouth agape, just staring, taking it all in. The occasional squeal of delight or clap of the hands belying her happiness. Just wonderful. I think as a mother, to see your child so entranced with joy... {sigh}. Is there anything better?

Saturday most of the day was spent at Cades Cove, a favorite of mine. It's a nature preserve in the heart of the Smokies. Love it! Final count of the day: one bear, seven deer, countless turkey. FireGirl saw her first real, live deer. The first one was up close. She waved, and blew it kisses, and got made when we started pulling away. So cute! After that, every time she saw one she would wave & blow kisses. So cute!

Somehow we all got split up, and since cell phones don't get reception... we were on our own. So FireMan, FireGirl & I went to a local bluegrass festival that was going on, and got some local barbecue for dinner. Would have been nicer if it weren't for the rain. Booooo!

One night FireMan & I even got out of the cabin by ourselves, and went on a drive. Found ourselves at Taste of Tennessee, sharing a deliciously giant hot fudge cake.

And Sunday morning, we headed home. We had a very nice time. Always do in the Smoky Mountains. Always do.

I'll try to get some pictures up in the next day or two. We downloaded them all to FireMan's laptop, which is with him at the firehouse right now.

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, May 17, 2010

I'm back!

Hello to my few but faithful readers! LOL!

Sorry for the brief hiatus. We took a long weekend to go out of town, and ended up with no internet access! I had fully intended to keep you updatd on our trip, with pictures, but alas, that was not in the works.

Ah well. We had some much-needed family time.

A great trip actually. Better than anticipated. You see, we travelled with us, FireGirl, and both sets of in-laws. Really wasn't sure how that was gonna work, but it went alright after all.

I have so many new things to write about, that I've been trying to jot down my thoughts so I can get around to them before they are forgotten.

A brief update on the house situation - the bank accepted our counter-offer! We got the news while we were on the road. Really didn't think they would go that low. In fact, their realtor had initially told us they wouldn't, but we decided to put in the offer last Wednesday evening anyway. That night I just prayed that if God wanted us to have this house, then He would swing the doors wide open for us, and if He didn't, then He would close them. I prayed that He would just make it as obvious as possible.
And I have to tell you, doors have been swinging WIDE!
First, we heard that the bank accepted our offer.
Then, since we were out of town & discovered we had no email or printer or fax, our realtor talked to the bank's realtor, who convinced the bank to accept everything verbally instead of in writing, and give us seven days to get it in writing! Even marked it as "pending" and stopped taking offers!
And then, when we met with our realtor yesterday to sign papers, he informed us that after reviewing comps in the area, he thinks he can sell our current house at a profit of $10k-$15k, instead of the inital zero dollar profit he had told us earlier. In fact, he has a new client who is looking for pretty much exactly our house description, and he thinks if we can get it on the market by June 1st, he can have it pending in 3-4 weeks!

We still have to get the official loan approval, scrounge up the $$ for the down payment, and make it thru the inspection & appraisal, and are trusting God's will will be done in those regards, but... we have both been shocked by how smoothly and how quickly things have been moving so far, and are fairly confident that this is the way we are supposed to be going.

I promise to have more updates posted in the near future.

Happy Monday to Everyone!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wishlist Wednesday

I wish... we get this house, and with money to spare!

I wish... I find a new job where I'm more appreciated.

I wish... that I had more time with FireGirl.

I wish... that once I get back on the wagon with my working out & such, that I start to see results really quickly.

I wish... that I had more time alone with FireMan.

I wish... someone would clean my house regularly. Someone who's not me.

I wish... for a new kitten.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Random Note to Catch Up

It's been busy around here.

Mother's Day was wonderful. I had a really nice day. The best part was when I picked FireGirl up from the nursery at church - they had made flowers (pipe cleaners + tissue paper) for the moms. She came out handing it to me so proudly! I loved it! So, so precious! The best flower I've ever received! Other than that there wasn't anything spectacular. We shuttled from home to church, to my grandma's house, to WalMart (LOL), to dinner with my mother-in-law, and finally to home. A lot of driving and moving around, but other than that it was just a really nice, relaxing day. Just perfect.

Yesterday I had the best day at work I've had in a while, so that was good. Followed by my therapy consultation. It went really well. Mostly they just kinda scratch at the surface to figure out what's going on and which counsellor would be best for me / my issues. I go back next week. And then... we met with the realtor and put an offer on the house! Woo hoo! So now we just have to wait and see if they accept the offer, or counter. So exciting!

Haven't been back to the gym yet. Was planning to go yesterday after my therapy appt, but then we ended up meeting with the realtor. By the time all was said & done, we didn't get home until after 9:30pm, and then getting FireGirl ready for bed, etc. It was a late night. Then I thought I'd go tonight, but we have a vacation coming up, and I need to get the house ready, and get us packed, since I won't be able to tomorrow night, because we have an appointment with the trainer. Whew. It has been crazy busy around here lately.

Oh, and to address Nota's comment / concern about me cancelling the trainer when FireMan can't go (which I was actually wondering if anyone would comment on, LOL): we paid for so many sessions with the trainer. But if we go together, it still only counts as one session. So when we signed up we agreed that we would only go together, that way we both get our money's worth out of it. I do go to the gym without FireMan. In fact, I would say I've probably been twice as often as he has. Just got out of the routine with mine & FireGirl's illness, and gotta get back into the swing of things.

And we're still having an issue with the childcare at the gym, so we're trying to give FireGirl a break by having a relative watch her when we go for a few weeks. We're hoping that when we take her back maybe things will be better, and she'll be settled down. I know she's about that age for separation anxiety, but I'm still convinced that something happened there, to make her so hysterical. She does not react like that anywhere else we take her. Not saying the workers did anything, but maybe another kid pushed her, or she fell off of something, or something that has her absolutely refusing to go in there. She doesn't act afraid of not wanting to be around any particular worker or anything, it's just the place itself. It's just a nightmare. For her and us. And the workers. And the other kids. So... we'll see.

Well, I guess that's about it for now. Trying to figure out what FireGirl & I will have for dinner. Mentally making a checklist of everything I need to do tonight to get ready for vacation. Trying not to get my hopes up about the house, but still trying to think about it some, because we need to move pretty quickly after closing so we can get our current home rented out. Working on marketing FireMan's business. Need more business. So behind on the pet rescue website that I'm supposed to be working on. Lots going on, and not enough time in the day. LOL.

So that's me as of late. Thanks for checking in!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all of the mothers out there, all of the future mothers, and... every woman in general. For me this day has always been not only a celebration of those who can be called  mothers, but to all of us women, who thru our innate instincts take care of, show love to, and bless the lives of others.


My grandmother holding FireGirl the night she was born

My mom holding FireGirl the night she was born

My sister holding FireGirl in the hospital - one day old

Mine & FireGirl's first real bonding in the hospital

My mom, grandma, and FireGirl in the hospital - two days old (I think)

FireGirl on her first birthday

FireGirl and my sister, Christmas Eve 2009

My grandma, Christmas 2009

My mom with FireGirl

FireGirl on a slide, March 2010

Friday, May 7, 2010

House & Being a Rescue Wife


Realtor came by last night. Basically, our houses aren't worth near what we thought they were. Too many foreclosures in our neighborhood. Great.

I've decided this is what stinks about real estate. So, right now, because the market is down in our area, we can get some really good deals on what we want. But that also means that we won't get crap for our house.

The realtor said our best bet is to buy, and to rent out both of our houses until the market picks up. If the bank tells us we need to sell one in order to buy, then we need to sell what is currently our rental property, as it has more equity in it.

So the next step is to meet with a lender and see what they say.

Being a Rescue Wife

Sometimes means that your husband tells you at 8 o'clock at night that he needs to leave at 9 o'clock that same night to go out of town for a recovery operation.

FireMan is now down in flood-affected central Kentucky working to recover the body of a drowning victim. If they recover the body, the team will head home right after. If they don't they will return late Saturday night.

I talked to both FireMan & the Captain a little bit ago. They've located the victim via sonar & camera, but the water conditions (due to the flooding) are hampering recovery efforts. Captain said they put a diver in already once, but had to pull him out for safety reasons. I don't know if said diver was FireMan or another.

So at 8pm last night he gets the news, then I get the news. We keep FireGirl up a little late so she can say good night to her daddy. FireGirl's bedtime prayers include a special request for God to keep her daddy safe & bring him back to us. FireMan was supposed to be home with FireGirl today, so daycare had to be arranged. Our plans for the next few days, days when FireMan would normally be home, are gone. Trainer session at the gym for tonight had to be cancelled. I can't just go to get a workout in because now I have to drive 45 minutes out of my way after work to pick up FireGirl. Hoping to actually spend some family time together, gone. I stayed up late, hoping to hear from him. Talked to him just after midnight, then not again till I called the Captain's phone a little bit ago. FireMan's phone isn't getting reception down there. Worry in the back of my mind. All. Night. Long. All. Day. Long. And if he isn't home tonight, then All. Night. Long. again. Rinse. Repeat.

I'm very proud of him. He's great at what he does, and he loves it. The job is difficult & dangerous. But he's great at it. He really is. I've been fortunate enough to see him at work. What others struggle to do seems to come naturally to my husband. It's a tough job, but one that he loves.

And sometimes I wonder: is it harder being the hero? or being the hero's wife?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Well, ain't that a kick in the head

So... check the local news online this morning to start my work day. Read a story about how anti-depressants can cause patients to gain up to 10% of their body weight. Do a little more digging (I should note that weight gain is not listed on the pharmacy insert received with my anti-depressant).

Um, yeah. The anti-depressant I've been on for 17 months now is considered one of the worst ones for causing unexplained weight gain. Great. After reading thru some message boards & forums, it seems that besides the unexplained weight gain, it is also known for increasing food cravings, particularly for carbs, and for creating a sense of apathy towards the weight gain, which then hinders the weight loss process. Yeah, and apparently this side effect is known to last for around six months after you go off of the medication.

And while the drug manufacturer still claims that it is "weight gain neutral", meaning that it does not cause neither weight gain nor weight loss, stories abound of the weight gain, even noted by Psychology Today back in 2005.

It seems that current theories speculate that the same chemical / hormonal changes that it kicks in to fight the depression, can have a negative effect on the metabolism, essentially slowing it down to the point that patients gain significant amounts of weight with no change to their diet / exercise, and have extreme difficulty losing weight even with major attempts thru both diet & exercise. For unknown reasons this effect seems to occur more greatly in women than men, and affect the already overweight greater than those with a healthy weight.
Although I have found stories of patients who were underweight when starting the medication, and thru the course of treatment ended up at a weight considered obese.

Great. You know, I initially lost most of my baby weight with FireGirl. And then it gradually started coming back on. And on. And on. And I didn't really know why. Because even though at that point I wasn't trying to lose the weight, I really didn't think I was eating that badly, and I certainly hadn't changed my eating habits. I had at one point gotten down to being within five pounds of my pre-baby weight. And then the numbers on the scale started going up. And up. I am now at 36 lbs above my pre-baby weight. I wish I had paid more attention to when the weight gain started in association to when I started my meds. But since it's not listed as a side effect, it never occurred to me.
Yes, I know that I still need to eat better. And yes, I still have food issues that need to be addressed.
But I guess this just makes me feel a little bit better. That maybe I'm not crazy in thinking that I wasn't eating so much as to gain 30 lbs in such a short period of time. That maybe I'm not crazy in thinking that something else had to be going on. That maybe I'm not crazy in being a little surprised when the needle on the scale hasn't moved a bit since I started going to the gym regularly.

I'm not going off the Lexapro. Not yet. I tried weaning off of it a few months ago (with my doctor's okay), and that did not go well. And with all the issues that have come up recently, I just really don't think it's a good idea until I'm more stable.

On a semi-related note, I did go to the gym Tuesday night. It didn't go well. I mean, nothing bad happened. I just think I'm not really 100% yet from the illness. I got out of breath sooner, my muscles seemed to tire much more easily, I just wasn't feeling it. At all. I did 22 minutes on the bike, then 25 reps of an exercise on one of the weight machine thingies. And then I sat in a chair & waited for FireMan to be done. I'm glad I did it, but it just made it obvious to me that I'm still not all the way better yet. I was, however, glad to weight in and see that my weight had maintained. After being sick & not being at the gym, and not really caring what I ate, I kind of expected it to go up. But it didn't, it stayed even. So that was good.

And on a related note, I got my therapy consultation appointment for next Monday. I'm pretty excited actually. I know there will be times of going thru the bad, and dredging up things that I don't want to think about, but I also know that sometimes you have to get thru the bad to get to the good. I really think this is going to be a positive experience for me. And (bonus!) thru the recommendation of "Dawn", I found a Christian-based counselling practice, that is covered by my insurance! Woo hoo!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Example of My Food Thoughts

I just got an email advertisement for Domino's Pizza. Here's the conversation in my mind:

Yum! Pizza! Maybe I could order that for dinner tonight. No, that's right, I'm having dinner with "Dawn" tonight. Maybe I could order it after I get home.

Aaaagh! Who actually thinks that?!? Who thinks: no, I already have plans for dinner, so maybe I'll just have a 2nd dinner after I get home?!? Who does that?!?

Well, apparently I do.

I decided to hurry up and get on here & write that out, so you can have an example of my issues. Thoughts like that run thru my head on a pretty regular basis. Like I said in my previous post, it is a constant internal battle.

Honestly, I can say that I win more battles than I lose. Way more, really. Because it is a battle all. the. time. And if I lost more battles, well, I can't even imagine how much I might weigh.

I think that's why emotional eating occurs, at least for me. Because you have fought the battle all. day. long. So then when something happens, and you're discouraged, or frustrated, or hurt, or struggling, or whatever, it's like you just don't have the strength to fight anymore. So you give in where you can. And a lot of times, that's food.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

FireGirl's First Day Home (sparked by a question posted on a message board)

I don't remember much. I remember nursing on our bed. I remember having to poop and screaming from the pain, I remember FireMan sending his parents to the pharmacy to get my Vicodin prescription filled, I remember FireMan in the bathroom with me trying to help me, I remember a lot of pain. I remember some screaming. I remember sitting on the couch, watching the neighbors coming across the yard on their way to visit, I remember FireMan intercepting them to tell them it's not a good time. I remember a lot of pain. Unfortunately, other than vague memories of the nursing, I don't remember FireGirl at all.

I hated my birth experience. And my recovery. See, FireGirls' first day home she was four days old, five days after I entered the hospital. And yes, it was still that bad.

Most of all, I hate that I don't remember most of my daughter's first days. And what I do remember is mostly shrouded in pain & drug-induced haze. And pain. Lots & lots of pain.

I hate that I can't say that the day FireGirl was born was one of the best days of my life. It wasn't. It sucked. It was definitely one of the worst days of my life. Don't get me wrong, the blessing of FireGirl is immense, but the day itself?

Let's see... contined labor from the day before, so starting with 12:01am on Tuesday (the day FireGirl was born), I had another 18 hours of hard labor. I remember pain. Lots of pain. I remember puking from the pain. I remember puking so much I started puking bile. Eighteen more hours of hard labor (30 total hrs). Followed by a difficult forceps delivery. I remember them laying her on my chest, I remember them pushing on my belly and me trying to hold in the cries, I remember my tear being stitched up, and I remember FireMan sending the nurse to get my & his mom, and him telling his mom to sit down & giving her FireGirl, and I remember my mom standing in front of me, while nurses and doctors whirred around in the background, and then I remember nothing. Apparently, I was in so much pain they gave me something to knock me unconscious, and I woke up at 6am the next morning.

That is my memory of the day FireGirl was born.

But you know what? It was worth every second.

I'm having a good day today

And that's been few & far between lately.

Great meeting this morning, great lunch with FireMan & FireGirl, no pressing deadlines at work, so the afternoon will be spent cleaning my so-messy-it's-getting-out-of-hand desk, then off to the gym after work. Will be the first time back to the gym in just under two weeks, when all the illness started. Blah. Glad to be going back, but feels like I'm starting all over again.

BTW - we were supposed to go to they gym last night, but at the last minute were able to get into a house we've been looking at. Ended up spending a lot more time than we intended in the house & walking the property (it has acreage!). It's so exciting though. We're just now starting the process of looking for our live-in-forever-and-die-in house and it's just so stinkin' exciting! To me anyway. Can you tell I've never bought a house before? LOL. Wish us luck!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Culturally Insensitive ?? or Innocent Comment ??

So... is a statement culturally insensitive if it's true regarding a specific person and not intended to be insulting in any way?

My example from a few minutes ago. We're talking about college professors that we had from other countries. Everyone has these stories, right? So I said something about how the worst one I had was "right off the boat". Everyone got quiet. An uncomfortable quiet. So I explained. This particular instructor had told us in his broken English that he had arrived by boat to the United States one week before he started teaching. He was, literally, right off the boat. I honestly did not realize there was anything wrong with that phrase (is there?) until the uncomfortable quietness settled over the group. If I had said he was "right off the plane" would that have been okay? If I simply said he had "arrived recently" would that have been better?

Another example, involving FireMan. In fact, he almost got fired for it. The city got sued over FireMan's comment.
He was almost done with the probationary period as a firefighter. The recruits were discussing what to get for dinner that day. FireMan asked the black recruit (yes, there was only one), let's call him "Matt",  if he wanted them to order fried chicken. Now, what you need to understand, is that the day before, they had had a conversation about everyone's favorite foods. Matt had stated that fried chicken was his favorite food. He had also complained that he never got to pick the restaurant when they ate.
So when the discussion of what to eat came up, my husband innocently asked if Matt wanted them to order fried chicken, because Matt had made it known that that was his favorite food. Matt's response? He left in a hurry, obviously angry, and went straight to the Chief's office and reported that FireMan had made a racist comment. He also later sued the city for racism.
Over a year of litigation (and a lot of stress) later, Matt lost the lawsuit, and FireMan was found to be innocent in his statement.

But... do you see where I'm going with this?

I guess I'm still trying to figure this stuff out. It's an ongoing learning process. I mean, I do think we do need to have a certain level of sensitivity to others' feelings, and definitely should never say anything that is intentionally insulting (or could be construed that way). But then again, just about any statement could be construed as however the listener wants to construe it.

Maybe it's a case-by-case thing. Something said in one setting might be perfectly innocent, but in another might not be. I don't know. Just rambling thru my thoughts on the subject

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Putting it Out There

Because I think I need to to get better.

Sometimes, I really, truly, honestly think I might have a food addiction. Or an eating disorder. Or both.

Eating, and food, is a constant battle for me. Constant. I plan when I'm gonna "cheat". I sneak food when my husband is at work. And I feel powerless.

Well, not totally. I win battles sometimes. Sometimes I say 'no' to the food. But for every battle I win, it seems like I lose two or three.

I try not to have snack food or soda in the house. Why? Because if it's there, I will eat it. Period. I am weak, so removing the temptation is my only control.

I try to only buy what groceries are on the list, and make sure those are only what we need. I do not stray from the list. This means that we are often running low on food, because I don't purchase extras. Seriously, our cupboards & fridge are probably the most bare you've ever seen in a family of three. But that is my control. That is my way of limiting the temptation.

I cannot express to you how constant this battle is. How often my mind turns to food. How difficult it is to walk thru a grocery store.

I know, if you've never struggled with food issues, that you probably won't understand. But it is not as simple as "order the salad". It is not as simple as "eat more veggies". It is not as simple as "eat less". It's not. And let's face it, you can't quit cold turkey. Not with food. Food is essential to life. And I know full well there are people that don't understand the struggle. But I also know that there are plenty of people out there that do understand.

The only time I remember not having this issue, is when my previous family physician put me on Meridia. He had watched me struggle with my weight, and after several other efforts with no success, decided the medication was worth a shot. He was right. It was while I was on the drug that I first realized that I might have an addiction. Why? Because I noticed the release, the freedom. I didn't think about food. Meridia may not be indicated for anything more than an appetite suppressant, but I will tell you that for me, not only was I not has hungry, I didn't have cravings either. Like none. Well, maybe a little during that time of the month. But seriously, the difference was amazing. It's like not knowing that you're sick, until you're well, and you can feel how much better you are.

I don't want to sound like I'm promoting the medication in any way. I'm simply sharing my journey with you, and that was my initial realization that I might have bigger problems than just overeating.

So... for so many reasons: my continued fight with PPD, family issues, work issues, but mostly my own issues - issues I have been fighting for years, I have decided to seek therapy. I'm still figuring out where to go, what my insurance will & won't cover, how to figure out who's reputable, etc. Plus I would really like find a Christian therapist, who will counsel me with God's word in mind, but also is trained to deal with the issues that I have.
I also think I am going to meet with my current family physician, and ask if he will put me back on the Meridia. It helped me last time, I am hoping it will help me this time.

So, there it is. I've said before that blogging is my therapy. So... there. I put it out there. Because I think being open about my issues is the only way I'm gonna find healing.

As always, thanks for checking in.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Love and Grace

So... here's the deal.

FireMan & I have had some issues lately. No, I'm not discussing them here. Yes, we'll be fine.
Plus the betrayal that I've already posted about.
Plus issues at work.
Plus FireGirl has been sick.
Plus I've been sick.

So I've been under a lot of stress. A lot. The past two weeks have probably been two of the worst in my life.

And last night, as FireMan & I were having yet another discussion arguement, I lay in bed staring at the ceiling, and I prayed for God to give me love and grace. Love and grace. Love and grace. I asked that he take the bitter words out of my mouth and help me to respond to my husband with love and grace. Love and Grace. Even if his words were hurting me. Even if I wanted to respond defensively. Love and Grace. Eventually I ended up just repeating those words in my head, my repeated prayer for God to help me.

Love and Grace. Love and Grace. Love and Grace. Love and Grace. Love and Grace. Love and Grace.

And thru that, I realized something. You know, one of those things that we all know, but sometimes we have to be reminded of?

And, here it is:
I only have control over me.
I can't control what other people do, what other people say. I can't make people take responsibility for their actions. I can't make people be more compassionate. I can't fix relationships by myself.
All I can do, is what I can do.

So, I can do what I can to be a better wife. I can do what I can to be a better friend. I can do what I can to be a better employee. I can do what I can to be a better person. I can do what I can to live my life in Love and Grace.

I can pray for others. But that's really about it.

So, Love and Grace. Love and Grace. God give me Love and Grace. God help me to respond to people with Love and Grace, even when I feel hurt. Love and Grace. Love and Grace. God help me to portray Love and Grace to others. Love and Grace. Love and Grace.

"...where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:"    -- Romans 5:20b
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