Sunday, July 31, 2011

Day 27 of 30

Day 27- Your favorite quote about friendship:

A loyal friend laughs at your jokes when they're not so good, and sympathizes with your problems when they're not so bad. ~Arnold H. Glasgow

A friend knows the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails. ~Donna Roberts

A friend is the one who comes in when the whole world has gone out. ~Grace Pulpit

Cherish the friend who tells you a harsh truth, wanting ten times more to tell you a loving lie. ~Robert Brault

Our most difficult task as a friend is to offer understanding when we don't understand. ~Robert Brault

When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares. ~Henri Nouwen

Men kick friendship around like a football, but it doesn't seem to crack. Women treat it like glass and it goes to pieces. ~Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Day 26 of 30

Day 26- Top 10 favorite movies of all time:

I am going to list these in no particular order as well. Sorry for my lack of enthusiasm today, but I've been dealing with an on and off again headache for days. Here we go:

  • Goodfellas

  • Away We Go

  • Pretty Woman

  • Dirty Dancing

  • Ghost

  • She's Having a Baby

  • Father of the Bride (Both Parts - It's my blog and I can list them as one entry if I want!)

  • High Fidelity

  • Little Miss Sunshine

  • Mothman Prophecies

I'm not 100% on my last couple choices based on my headache, but they are what come to mind right now. Only 4 more days left of the blog challenge! Hope you've enjoyed it thus far.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Day 25 of 30

Day 25- What I would find in your bag:

I'm so glad it's a nice easy one today. Although I slept nearly 11 hours last night my brain is in no way ready for a tough challenge. I will provide this info as a list (in no particular order) for you all. And without further delay:

  • Mail - Yes, this may seem weird but when I stop in at the mailbox I shove it into my purse to ensure it makes it into the house.

  • Multiple cars - No, my bag isn't big enough to fit an actual automobile in it (although I'm sure my husband would beg to differ with me). I do, however, have a toddler that insists on me entertaining him at a moment's notice.

  • Pads - Because my cycles are irregular at best and I've been caught without them too many times.

  • Wipes - Because I have a toddler who is very often sticky.

  • Rubber Gloves - These I swiped from the doctor's office. I'm sure some of you would call it stealing. Sorry. But I can't stand to put Vick's Vapor Rub on myself or my son without using a glove. I hate the way my hands feel afterward otherwise.

  • Band aids - Just in case my boy gets a boo-boo while we're out.

  • Coupons - I've tried using a coupon organizer but that just gets left at home or some where else and then I never have it when I'm at the store. So now I carry my coupons in a baggy that way I always have them.

  • Phone

  • Keys

  • Church Key

  • Fruit Snacks - Again, because of the boy.

  • Wallet

  • Camera - I always carry this with me because you never know when the above mentioned toddler may do something cute or funny.

  • Pens - I like to have these for marking off my shopping lists, Joseph likes them for drawing when he's bored.

  • Scrap paper - For the boy to draw on.

  • Lotion

  • Hand Sanitizer

  • Lip Gloss

  • Perfume

  • Toddler Sized Baseball Hat

  • Toddler Sized Sunglasses

  • Sunblock Stick

  • Checkbook

  • Kleenex

  • Nail File

  • Toddler Sized Shorts & Underwear - This is because we've finished potty training over the last month and I like to have it just in case.

  • Mirror

  • Multiple Plastic Bugs

I think that's about it. Don't judge me. :)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Day 24 of 30

Day 24- The last dream you remember having:

Well, with being our 7th cycle (and nearly a year) of trying to conceive a baby most of my dreams this month have had one thing or another to do with babies, pregnancy, giving birth or breastfeeding.

I don't remember all the details from my dream last night, but the thing I do remember is that I was very, very pregnant. My belly was large and based on the way I looked I would assume I was close to giving birth. The thing that stuck out in my mind about this dream was that Joseph came up to me and put one hand on each side of my belly and then kissed my belly button. He then whispered, "I love you baby sister."

It was a sweet moment even if it was just a dream.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Day 23 of 30

Day 23- Something you crave for a lot

Okay, so I'm sure most of you thought I'd put a picture of a Coke or a cheeseburger and fries, but today I'm craving steak. Which happens to be something I crave for often. So, had this been a post yesterday the pic would be a burger, but since it's today I choose steak.
There's nothing like a big, juicy, bloody steak! Sorry if I offend any of you whose steak has to be black and gray inside before you eat it. But this is the only way I can truly enjoy a steak!

So, if we're going to take this challenge a little further today.. Something I crave for on a non-food level would be affirmation and appreciation. I have a tendency to doubt myself, a lot, and it's nice to hear that I'm not doing as bad of a job as I think I am.

As we near the end of this blogging challenge, I have come up with an idea for a new one, but I won't share that with you until this one is complete.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Day 22 of 30

Day 22- What makes you different from everyone else:

Wow, this one is kind of tough. I mean, if I write this wrong some of you are going to think I have that "Holier than though" attitude, and that's not true. And I know I'm not better than anyone else. So, I'm going to write this answering the question, "What makes you, you?"

Where to start, where to start? Well, first of all I am a Christian. I was raised by an Atheist and an Agnostic so for me to be a Christian now is probably some sort of oddity. At least I'm sure my parents view it as such. But anyways, I'm a Christian and we attend an Anglican church. For those of you wondering what Anglican is, I guess the best way to describe it is 'Diet Catholic.' I'm not a theologian and I think that's probably the best way to describe it.

I was saved while attending the Nazarene church and this is quite different from that church. I really enjoy it though. I feel like I am participating much more in the church service than I ever was as a Nazarene. It's kind of like why I like to drive a stick, I feel you get to have a more fulfilling and more participation in your driving expedition when the car is waiting for you to shift. So I guess I feel like the Anglican church is more like the manual transmissions of church. There's so much more participation expected from me than there was in our previous churches.

I also really like that it's a family church. Our child is expected in service, the whole time. We don't put him in another room for someone else to care for him. He's part of the service. He's in there to learn what our beliefs are and participate with us. My son was able to start partaking of communion at our Anglican church before I was (because he was baptized before me). Joseph is in there to learn the traditions and protocol and I love that he is not excluded in any way from church.

So, I'm a believer, but what else can I tell you?

I'm a wife. I've been a wife for over 7 years now. I met my husband and began dating him when I was 16 years old. And although I thought I loved him then, I had no real understanding about what love was. I was an immature 16 year old. But, we've been together since then. Eleven years and counting.

It's not easy being a wife some days. Especially since I am an Army wife. This requires me to run a household with my partner's absence and not skip a beat. So, if you think being a wife is hard - try being married to someone in the service.

But although it isn't easy, and there are days that I want to run for the hills I know that my job is important. I know that my husband counts on me, and I know that I am an integral part of keeping our family running smoothly.

So, I'm a believer and an Army wife.. What else?

I'm a Mom. I am a Mom to the most beautiful little boy God ever put on this earth. This is probably the most important job I've ever been given. Being a wife is important, but my husband is already full of ideals, morals, and beliefs. It's my job as a Mommy to help form all of those in my precious little mound of clay named Joseph. That is a daunting task. It's hard not to be worried that you're doing your job right. My goal is to raise him to be a strong believer, a sensitive and brave man, and a loving, generous human. There's no instruction manual. And since he is our first I often wonder if God makes firstborns more resilient while parents are learning their niches and how to do this job properly. I wouldn't go as far as to say that Joseph's my practice model, but he definitely will have been part of more trials and errors (from a parenting perspective) than the next one(s) will be.

I am a believer, an Army wife, and a Mommy.

I'm a sister, a daughter, a cousin, a niece, and a friend. This requires me to be loving, understanding and kind. This requires me to be honest (even when the truth sucks) and trustworthy. Those jobs require me to be sensitive, kind, and loving. Being a big sister in particular requires a lot of love and patience because sometimes I'm asked to wear more of a Mom hat than a sister hat.

There's some days that I feel pulled in a million different directions, and that everyone wants a piece of me.. And that's probably actually true on most days. But I know that I am a generous, loving, kind, compassionate, empathetic, truthful, understanding woman and I know that can be an anomaly for this world we live in today.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Day 21 of 30

Day 21- A picture of something that makes you happy:

This boy has changed my life.

He is precious, beautiful and perfect.

He is an extension of our marriage and our commitment to one another.

He is funny, charming, and beautiful (did I mention that?).

He's curious, strong, and inquisitive.

He's vibrant, passionate, and colorful.

He's adventurous, brave, and daring.

Joseph is cool, entertaining, and loveable.

He is handsome like his Daddy.

He is loving, affectionate, and kind.

And he's silly, amusing, and wild.

He's unique, perfect (did I say that?) and playful.

He has no qualms about where he sleeps.

Or how outrageous his sleeping choice may seem to us.

He's mine, and his Daddy's.

He's my love, my life, my calling.

He is my happiness.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Day 20 of 30

Day 20- How would you like your life to look in 10 years:

So with this one I guess we're pretending that I am in control and not God? Because God tends to laugh at us mere mortals as we are designing our future, but alas.. I can't put this one off any longer or I will break my blogging streak..

So ten years, eh? Well first and foremost I would want my husband to have a dependable, stable, enjoyable career. A career that provides him with holiday pay, vacation time, and sick pay. Don't forget about a retirement package and really great health benefits. And I'd like us to have financial stability that allows us to do the little extras in life (like a vacationing on a regular basis).

I'd definitely like for us to be debt free. I guess I'm okay with us having mortgage debt, but no other debts. No credit cards, car loans, or school loan debts. I'd obviously love for us to be homeowners. My dream home would have at least 4 bedrooms to allow our family room to grow. It would have a big yard. And it would be in a good neighborhood.

I'd like for us to definitely have one more child if not two. If our next one is a girl we will probably be done with kids, but if we have 2 boys we may go for 3. I think I'd really like to stop at two, so I hope our next pregnancy is a girl. But we'd just be happy to be pregnant, so we'll be happy either way.

I'd like to be in good health. I'd also like to be at the weight that I'm working towards now. I'm down 50 lbs and have another 62 lbs I'd like to lose.

I'd like for Joseph to be a more brilliant little boy. I'd like for our marriage to be stronger and better. And I'd like to have a stronger, deeper relationship with God.

I'm sure that's not everything, but those are definitely the big ones. I hope God's not laughing too much..

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Day 19 of 30

Day 19- Favorite quote from a book:

Again, I love quotes. So, I am going to put some of the ones I really enjoy. This by no means encompasses all of the books I enjoy or the quotes I enjoy. To do that would take days and endless hours, and I think my husband might kill me. So here are a few:

"Some things in life are out of your control. You can make it a party or a tragedy."
— Nora Roberts (Vision in White)

"People and relationships never stop being a work in progress"
— Nora Roberts (Vision in White)

"I finally understood what true love meant that you care for another person's happiness more than your own, no matter how painful the choices you face might be."
— Nicholas Sparks (Dear John)

"So it's not gonna be easy. It's going to be really hard; we're gonna have to work at this everyday, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, everyday. You and me... everyday."
— Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook)

"I love you. I am who I am because of you. You are every reason, every hope, and every dream I've ever had, and no matter what happens to us in the future, everyday we are together is the greatest day of my life. I will always be yours. "
— Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook)

"You are my best friend as well as my lover, and I do not know which side of you I enjoy the most. I treasure each side, just as I have treasured our life together."
— Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook)

"You are the answer to every prayer I've offered. You are a song, a dream, a whisper, and I don't know how I could have lived without you for as long as I have."
— Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook)

"And when her lips met mine, I knew that I could live to be a hundred and visit every country in the world, but nothing would ever compare to that single moment when I first kissed the girl of my dreams and knew that my love would last forever."
— Nicholas Sparks (Dear John)

"They didn’t agree on much. In fact, they didn’t agree on anything. They fought all the time and challenged each other ever day. But despite their differences, they had one important thing in common. They were crazy about each other."
— Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook)

"Good luck tended to avoid me."
- Stephanie Meyer (Twilight)

"Our relationship couldn’t continue to balance, as it did, on the point of a knife. We would fall off one edge or the other, depending entirely upon his decision, or his instincts. My decision was made, made before I’d ever consciously chosen, and I was committed to seeing it through. Because there was nothing more terrifying to me, more excruciating, than the thought of turning away from him. It was an impossibility."
- Stephanie Meyer (Twilight)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Day 18 of 30

Day 18- If you were in a fire and could only save one material possession what would it be?:

This one is a toughie too! There's so many things I'd want to save. First and foremost we are imagining that all my loved ones have made it out safe (including our cats), because they are all the most important. Without my loved ones my material possessions are meaningless.

So, hmmm.. What would I grab? I thought maybe my stuffed dog Anthony would be first on the list. My husband gave him to me about 9 years ago and I still sleep with him every night. Or I thought about my wedding photo album being up there on the priority list, but then I remembered how terrible our photographer was and how there really wasn't any 'good' pictures to save from there (BTW, if you ever have to hire a wedding photographer - go big, go expensive! We learned the hard way how hiring someone of median cost can really screw things up for you). I thought maybe I'd grab the DVD of our wedding, but luckily we have extra copies of that at my folk's house so that wouldn't be a necessity either.

I'm really torn between two items. First is Joseph's baby books. Yes, I said books. One is his actual milestone book and the other is a pregnancy book. The pregnancy book has most of his sonogram photos and all the photos throughout my pregnancy. The other item would be the video of his birth. Yes, there is actual footage of him being born. My sister was in charge of the camcorder and even though I told her I didn't want any explicit shots, I'm glad that I have it. Not only can I see (in full glory) the emergence of my little guy into this world, but we have also on film his resuscitation. As many of you know Joseph was pretty sick when he was born and he had to be 'worked' on for quite a bit of time. And even though it wasn't supposed to be filmed, Aunt Kimmy tried her hardest to get as much as possible on film.

So, I guess I would really choose his birth video. The baby book can be re-done (for the most part). There is no way to recreate his birth though. It's a heart-wrenching thing to watch if you don't know how it ends. And the fact is, I do know how it ends. I know that my little boy is a fighter, and I know that although I hated all the medical interventions I had leading up to his delivery I am forever grateful for the medical interventions that saved his life that hot, Thursday afternoon. The video signifies hope, persistence, and endurance. It's probably my greatest treasure.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Day 17 of 30

Day 17- Someone you would want to switch lives with for one day and why:

Now, this one is tougher than the last few I've had to do. Hmm..

*I've left this up for a quite a while trying to come up with a 1/2 way decent answer. I'm at a loss, so I'm going to choose the first thing that came into my mind when I started working on this one..*

I will choose my husband. I think switching lives with each other for one day would give us both a deeper understanding of all the things we each do for each other and our family. I think in understanding, seeing, and experiencing those things we would have an even deeper appreciation for each other and the roles we play throughout a normal day.

Now don't get me wrong. Jeremiah and I have a very deep appreciation for the different roles we have in this family. But, I really think 'walking in each other's shoes' for one day could deepen that appreciation of what each of us deal with or encounter in a regular day.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Day 16 of 30

Day 16- Another picture of yourself:

I'm not really feeling the best today so I'm not even going to try to write something witty or thoughtful. This is me. The picture was taken in June of this year I believe. Hope everyone is having a great week!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Day 15 of 30

Day 15- Put your iPod on shuffle: First 10 songs that play:

I like this, a nice easy one that doesn't involve much thought on my part! Here we go..

  1. Barely Breathing - Duncan Sheik

  2. There is No Arizona - Jamie O'Neal

  3. Open Arms - Journey

  4. Some Say - Rascal Flatts

  5. Vision of Love - Mariah Carey

  6. Unchained Melody - The Righteous Brothers

  7. Bittersweet Symphony - The Verve

  8. Two Beds and a Coffee Machine - Savage Garden

  9. Sound of Silence - Simon & Garfunkel

  10. Who's Loving You - The Jackson 5

Monday, July 18, 2011

Day 14 of 30

Day 14- A picture of you and your family:

This picture was taken in April of this year. We were on a train to Peter Cottontail's Meadow. This was taken while we were in Alabama. The train ride was through the Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum. For those of you who don't know, my son is a huge train fanatic. He had the time of his life!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Day 13 of 30

Day 13- Name 5 things from your 'wishlist':

I'm assuming we are talking about material possessions for this blogging challenge. I won't mention the big ticket items that just about everyone wants like a house and brand new car (in my case in would be a Camaro). I won't talk about the non-material things like another child, good health, or financial security. I'm strictly going to take a materialistic viewpoint of this challenge. So please don't think me shallow or materialistic because nothing could be further from the truth.

  1. A 20 inch yellow gold box chain to hold my heart pendant. I had one of these that Jeremiah gave me for the last dating anniversary before we were married. Unfortunately mine broke right after Joseph was born. Money has been tight since our move back to Michigan and I've not felt justified in such an unneccessary, purely extravagant purchase.

  2. A stationary bike or ellipitical machine. We're pretending now that I don't live in an apartment and actually had a place where it could be stored when not in use. I really think I could get some good exercise in if I could just hop on one of those and watch TV while working out.

  3. 'Are You Being Served?" Complete series on DVD. Now, when I first starting wanting this it was over $200. That was several years ago and it's come down in price, but it's still pretty expensive.

  4. A Mother's ring. Now I definitely don't want this until I'm sure I'm done having babies. My Mother has a Mother's ring that was purchased before she was done having children and she had it altered to fit another stone to represent my sister's birth and it's not as pretty of a ring now.

  5. A tattoo. I never really thought I'd be a person that wanted a tattoo. I've thought about what I would have if I had one, but it was never something that I really absolutely had to have. After becoming a Mother that changed. I was looking through Celtic symbols and I found the Motherhood knot and I really feel like it would be the perfect symbol for my life as a Mother. I know this one isn't materialistic in the same sense that the other ones are, but humor me. Anyways, I think this one will happen before the other ones. I'm pretty sure I am going to get this tattoo once I reach my weight loss goal (just another 62 pounds to go).

Friday, July 15, 2011

Day 12 of 30

Day 12- A quote you live by:

This is hard, because there are so many quotes I enjoy. Allow me to share a few with you:

  • God does not call the equipped, He equips the called.

  • To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.
    A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to reap that which is planted. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to to mourn, and a time to dance. A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing. A time to get and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away. A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence and a time to speak. A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. - Ecclesiastes 3:1

  • Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can. ~Danny Kaye

  • To live remains an art which everyone must learn, and which no one can teach. ~Havelock Ellis

  • You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life. ~Albert Camus

  • He who has nothing to die for has nothing to live for. ~Moroccan Proverb

  • In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life. It goes on. ~Robert Frost

  • Stubbornly persist, and you will find that the limits of your stubbornness go well beyond the stubbornness of your limits. ~Robert Brault

  • Never think that God's delays are God's denials. Hold on; hold fast; hold out. Patience is genius. ~Georges-Louis Leclerc

  • Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. ~Theodore Roosevelt

  • Have a heart that never hardens, a temper that never tires, a touch that never hurts. ~Charles Dickens

  • Whatever you are be a good one. ~Abraham Lincoln

  • Watch the little things; a small leak will sink a great ship. ~Benjamin Franklin

  • Fear less, hope more; eat less, chew more; whine less, breathe more; talk less, say more; hate less, love more; and all good things are yours. ~Swedish Proverb

Day 11 of 30

Day 11- One of your favorite memories:

This one is hard! It's not hard to think of favorite memories, but it's hard to narrow it down to one. So, I hope no one minds, but I'm going to share a few. And they are no particular order. .

  • My Gigi (Pronounced G-G. She was my Great Grandmother) fills my very early memory banks. Most of my memories of her are from about age 3. One of my favorite in particular is from during a time when my parents and siblings lived with her. If ever I woke up in the middle of the night I would come down stairs and wake GG up. She would take me in the kitchen and get me some ginger ale and then we'd sit in the dark and watch tv for a while. She'd hold me on her lap and she'd tell me how much she loved me and how there was nothing to be afraid of. As I started getting sleepy again she'd take me into her room and let me climb in her bed and sleep the rest of the night with her. She was such an amazing part of my very early childhood and I truly with I would have had more time with her.

  • Jamie, my first baby sister is also cemented into my early childhood memories. For those of you who don't know Jamie was born with a variation of Trisomy 21. And for those of you who don't know what Trisomy 21 is, it's a genetic mutation sort of similar to Downs Syndrome but she didn't look like a Downs patient. She basically had an extra piece of genetic material on a chromosome. Something that sounds pretty insignificant but unfortunately the body cannot handle this mistake and cannot survive very long. She was a fighter though and although the doctors thought she'd only live a few months she made it to nearly 2 1/2 years old. When she passed away she only had the development level of a 6 month old. She was and is to this day the most beautiful baby girl I've ever seen in my life. She was two years younger than me and as my first sister and first sibling I could not have loved her more. She had my Dad's dark Native American complexion and huge amounts of unruly gorgeous black curly hair. She was perfect in my eyes (even if genetically she was imperfect). But my favorite memories of her are of singing to her. Whenever she would cry or be unhappy all I need to do was to sing to her. She would stop crying or fussing and begin to listen and smile. I too wish I had more time with her. Jamie and GG went to heaven within a few months of each other. Jamie would be 25 years old this September and I often think about the person she would have been and wished that I still had her here.

  • I was 4 years old when my brother was born. I'm not sure why but I don't have any recollection of him being born. He just sort of shows up in my memories. But I couldn't leave him out. Although he spent so much of my childhood annoying me and being as bothersome as a little brother could be, I still love him. One memory of him that particularly sticks out is when I was probably about 7 and he about 3. My Mom was taking night classes at the time so it was just my Dad home with us. I remember us dragging his huge firetruck (that was a pedal car) out into the living room. We propped it up with the fire ladder it came with and both laid on our backs and proceeded to climb underneath and 'work' on the firetruck. We brought his tools out and we very efficient mechanics.

  • Now I can't talk about my other two siblings and not talk about my last baby sister. I began begging my Mother for a baby sister not long after Jamie's death. I know my parents were hesitant to add to their family. So I was filled with great anticipation when I found out that my baby sister was indeed on her way. When she finally was born I was 8 years old. I remember my Dad waking us up in the middle of the night and me falling out of the top of my bunk bed because I was so excited she was finally coming. I could not have loved her more. I was so grateful to have a sister again, and although we have such a large age difference to this day she is one of the closest people to me.

  • July 5, 2000 is also one of my favorite memories. That is the day that I met the boy I would marry. That is the day that I met and began falling in love with the boy who one day become the man who would father my children. We both worked at Target in the Food Avenue. I had recently just started working there and he was training me. We began officially dating later that month and we've been together since.

  • January 10, 2008 will forever be emblazoned upon my mind as well. This is the day that after nearly a year of trying we finally found out that our family would be growing. Joseph would arrive later that year. I took so many pregnancy tests because I doubted their validity after trying for so long with no success. And obviously the day of his birth (a mere 7 months and four days later) was one of my most precious memories. Although his birth didn't go as planned, I will never forget the first time I saw his gorgeous face.

I have so many favorite memories so don't be sad if you weren't included in one. I have a feisty toddler that is going to start climbing the walls if I spend any more time blogging. Thank you for taking the time to read about some of the favorite moments in my life.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Day 10 of 30

Day 10- Something you can't seem to get over:

Okay so this one is on the tougher side. I don't want to write about something petty or immature. Because with all honesty, anything petty and immature in nature that you just 'can't seem to get over' just further proves your own pettiness and immaturity.

I want to write about something that has impacted me whether it be in a negative or positive way. That's hard too, I mean how many times do we as humans take time to truly learn from our life's events?

Part of the reason I'm writing this blog challenge entry so late in the day is because I've been debating the topic all day long. I have a couple of ideas, but I'm hesitant to write about any of them. It's hard sometimes to open yourself up to things that aren't necessarily resolved or healed.

That being said, I've chosen to write about my biological father.

Now there are some people on my facebook friend list that may be offended by this. I truly hope you aren't. I never knew my biological father the way some of you did and therefore my perspective of him may be jaded.

So, one thing that I just can't seem to get over is the fact that my biological father did not want to be any part of my life.

I know he was very young and in fact still a teenager when I was conceived. But, I will never understand, never be able to justify why he didn't want to be a part of my life. The part that makes it even more frustrating is I will never be able to have these questions answered or resolve these feelings of abandonment because he has been dead since I was a toddler. It's an all around very complicated, very frustrating, and very sad situation.

As a parent I will never understand his lack of love, devotion or compassion for me, his flesh and blood. I could never imagine not wanting to be a part of my child's life, so I cannot begin to understand why he never wanted to be a part of my life.

It was easy to think of topics that have impacted me negatively. It was hard, but I was able to think of situations that have impacted me positively. But in the end I believe this situation has impacted me both in a positive and negative way.

Obviously I still harbor some abandonment issues over this situation. I am an insecure person and I know most of that stems from my fear that people will leave me. I'm a people pleaser and I know that too is based on my fear of people abandoning me. These are definitely negative traits to have. But luckily I have good traits that, I think, outweigh the bad.

His abandonment affected me positively because of the Dad and family I have now. I wouldn't have this family if he had wanted to be my father. I'm blessed and fortunate to have a Dad that chose to be the father that this other man didn't want to be. I was blessed to have him share his last name as mine and to raise me no differently than his flesh and blood. I have extended relatives from my Dad's side too that I am fortunate to call family. I know none of this would be possible if my biological father hadn't taken the easy way out.

So, although I'll never understand this situation clearly I am blessed none the less. And I know for a fact the positive out weighs the negative here. I, however, will never be able to forget about the bastard he made me.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Day 9 of 30

Day 09- Something you’re proud of in the past few days:

Well this one is super easy! Over the past few days I've been extremely proud of Joseph completing his potty training!

Potty training was definitely the most difficult and frustrating part of parenthood thus far. It was a battle of wills. Joseph didn't feel there was any reason for him to use the toilet instead of the diaper. With the diaper he never had to stop playing to use the bathroom or stop watching his cartoons. He could just pee and poop where ever he stood. He felt this whole toilet business was just a major inconvenience for him.

We've been trying for months to get him on board with the potty training. You name it, we've tried it. We tried a sticker chart. We tried candy after every time he used the toilet. We tried putting cheerios in the toilet to give him something to pee on. We've tried scolding him. We've tried laying on the praise real thick. Nothing was working.

Recently Joseph has become very fascinated with money. So I got a roll of pennies. I told him every time he went potty in the toilet he would get one penny. I told him pooping in the toilet would get him two pennies. The drawback? If he peed in his underwear he had to pay me one penny and if he pooped in his pants then he owed me two. This worked really well and after a few days he had the entire roll of pennies in his possession.

Although it worked well he was still having accidents because he just didn't want to take the time to use the toilet.

Every time I go to Target he's been bugging me to buy him the Cars 2 race track. It's a very expensive toy that will no doubt be too old for him and break really quickly. But, I figured this may just do the potty training trick. I told him that if he really wanted the race track he had to use the toilet all the time. No more accidents. I told him he could get the race track on his birthday as long as he was potty trained. He was definitely on board with this idea. He began using the toilet flawlessly and after each time he asked for his race track.

Now we are entering the third week of no daytime accidents and just about to finish the first week of sleeping in underwear at night with no accidents.

I'm relieved that this part of his childhood is complete. I'm proud that I have a big boy now that can tell me when he needs to use the bathroom even if we're out running errands or on a 3 hour car trip to Grand Rapids.

He's an awesome kid!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Day 8 of 30

Day 08- Short term goals for this month and why:

  • First of all I'd like to continue with my healthy lifestyle changes and continue to lose some weight. I'd like to reach 50 lbs down. I'm only a couple pounds away from that so I think it's a real possibility.

  • We are planning on homeschooling for the first few years and I'd like to get everything in place to start really homeschooling in August. I'm not completely certain that this will be the best choice for Joseph so I'm a little apprehensive to spend a small fortune on curriculum. I'm doing my best to reach out for resources and scour the internet for different ideas that are free or very low cost. So by the end of this month I'd like to have at least a few days of plans in place.

  • Anyone who follows my other blog or is at all close to me knows we've been trying to add to our family since August of 2010. So I'd say that getting pregnant would be not only a short term goal for this month but an overall long term goal. We'd love to grow our family. This will continue to be a monthly goal until we're finally expecting!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Day 7 of 30

Day 07- A picture of someone/something that has the biggest impact on you:

This should be a no brainer to you all. Joseph, my dear son, has had the greatest impact on my life. This picture was taken just a couple hours after his birth while he was still in the NICU.

From a very young age I had a overwhelming desire to be a Mommy. I'm sure most girls do. As I began to get older I knew that a Mommy is what I wanted to be most in my life. When someone would ask what I wanted to be when I grew up I always answered teacher, but I knew in the back of my mind that Mommy was the one true answer.

For a lot of people being a Mommy is not considered a profession. Therefore it's not socially acceptable to say your goal in life is to become a Mommy. Society wants you to choose a profession that is lucrative and will provide financial security. That's part of the reason that I will never be considered a feminist. Forty plus years ago there would be nothing wrong with a girl aspiring to be a wife and mother. But nowadays it's frowned upon to make that your 'career'.

Unfortunately our society has moved away from homemaker being a dominant profession and has thrust us into a world that in most situations you must have a dual income home to financially support your family. I truly believe that more women given the choice (and the means to do so) would choose to be homemakers. I know it's not for everyone, and I respect that. I can understand not everyone is cut out for this and may have other aspirations for careers. I think women who don't want to or can't be homemakers should not look down upon those who choose to work outside of the home and vice versa.

A lot of people will look down on you if you choose to be a homemaker. I spent 5 years working for JPMorgan Chase and really enjoyed my job. The banking industry is usually a well respected area to work out of. When I chose to quit my job (I was not laid off or fired), it was a family decision that my husband and I made together for our family. But when someone asks what you do for a living and you tell them homemaker most of the time they will look down at you. They automatically assume you cannot hold a job or were fired for some reason or another. If you have to fill out paperwork for doctors or other appointments they will automatically list you as 'unemployed'. Unemployed? Ha! I work harder, longer hours than I ever did when I worked for the bank. I don't get vacation time, I don't get sick time (that is unless I am hospitalized), and I don't get personal days.

I am blessed to be married to a man that understands, respects, agrees with, and encourages my innate need to nurture, stay home and care for our family. He works his butt off trying to find a way to support our family financially so that I can continue to be home for our family. We make less money than we did when I was working and it still all works out. In fact I think we are better off financially than we were when I still working outside the home. God provides for us and continues to bless this path we've chosen to take.

But this little boy, in the picture above is what it's mostly about. Yes, my husband is part of my decision to stay home. I want to be able to provide him with a tidy, well kept home, home cooked meals, and take care of the million other domestic chores he shouldn't have to deal with while he is out in the world making a living for our family.

But that little boy up there is my life. Being this little boy's Mommy is what I was born to be. There is no greater job with better benefits than what I receive in being his Mother. He is a miracle to me. Joseph is perfect in his own way, and I am blessed.

Joseph makes me work harder to be a better person and parent for him. He pushes me to be more understanding and patient. He gives me a different view of this world around me. He gives me reason to slow down and smell the roses, literally and metophorically. Even if it's just long enough to point out those roses and let him get a whiff of them.

He's forced me to learn more about the world around me so that I can teach him and protect him. He amazes me on a daily basis. He is a brilliant little boy. He is the most loving and affectionate child I've ever met. He's inquistive and artistic and imaginative. I am so blessed and lucky to be able to push him further, teach him, love him, and help him grow.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Day 6 of 30

Day 06- 5 things you need to say to 5 different people:

A. It still pains me that you abandoned me and never made an effort to be part of my life. Without being a part of my life, your rejection helped form the insecure person I am today. I wish with everything in me that you could have been a positive influence on my life and not a negative one. I will always wonder in vain why you didn't want me and love me the way you should have. It makes me more angry that you aren't here anymore and so I can't even confront you with this. The only reason I am happy that you didn't want me is because of the person I have in my life that took your place, and did want me. I hate that I was so disposable to you. I hope everyday wherever you are you regret the decision to not love me and be part of my life. I never even knew what you looked like until I was 16. I have nothing of you but a death certificate and two very old, worn photos. In my eyes you will always be the epitome of selfishness.

B. You are a liar and a thief. And I hope everyday you compare me to whoever you're dating and realize that I am better, and made you happier than anyone else ever will again.

C. You were never the victim in that situation. I think it's ludicrous that you have painted yourself to be that though. You chose to end things in the most selfish way you could imagine. Not me. You tossed aside our relationship in my time of need. You have no one else to blame for your inability to 'trust others' than yourself. Yes, I vented about things publicly but we both know that nothing I ever said was untrue. And we both know I could have vented much more grotesque truths about you and things you said than what I did. Just grow up.

D. You broke apart your family with your adultery. I know you enjoy your much easier and care free life, but we both know you'll have a lot of explaining to do when you reach the end of your days.

E. Choose a path and follow it. You are not the only person being affected by your indecision.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Day 5 of 30

Day 05- A picture of somewhere you’ve been to:

Colorado. Not only have I been to this place on vacation but I also lived here from July 2004 - July 2007. I moved there right after my husband and I were married. I have to admit I hated it though. I'd never lived away from home. I had no friends and no family (other than my dear new husband).

I never truly appreciated the beauty while I lived there. It was a lonely sad place for me and I resented it and it's purple mountain majesties the entire time we lived there. We traveled back for a family vacation in the spring of 2010 and I was able to take in the spectacular beauty I obviously missed while we lived there. This picture in particular is taken in the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.

Colorado if full of absolute and shocking formations and beauty. I'm glad I had a chance to go back and recognize that Colorado was not as bad as I thought it was. Perspective is everything isn't it?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Day 4 of 30

Day 04- A habit that you wish you didn’t have:

Now this one is a little bit harder..

I used to be an incessant nail biter, but I no longer am. Don't get me wrong, if I break a nail I still use my teeth to 'finish the job'. But my nails grow long and strong now. I can't even say what really changed that made me stop. I just decided one day I didn't want to bite them anymore and then stopped. It's only been about 2 years or so since I stopped after doing it most of my life.

I guess something that still plagues me is my emotional eating and I really wish I didn't have that problem. For so many years I've filled myself literally and figuratively with food when mad, sad, or lonely. It really aided it taking me from just a little overweight to severely and morbidly obese. I've been working hard to break this connection and drop the weight that my emotions helped me put on. I'm down 47 lbs in about 12 1/2 months of trying. That's not to say that I still don't participate in emotional eating occasionally.

I guess I think maybe I'm better at it. If I do emotionally eat, most (not all) of the time I eat far less than I would have before. It's still not the solution, but it's not as big of a problem as it was before. Most of the time I just remind myself that if I have an emotional eating binge chances are I am going to have to re-take off one of those pounds I worked so hard to lose.

I will definitely say my emotional eating is getting farther and fewer between episodes. I'd like to say I've found a better outlet for it, but I don't know if I buy that. There's been a few times that I've exercised instead of eating and that seems to help burn off some of the overwhelming emotions.

All I can do is to constantly be vigilant about what makes me eat emotionally and try to stave off these situations, and if one does slip through my radar do my best to find something constructive to do instead of eating. I know one day I'll kick this habit and that day can't come soon enough.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Day 3 of 30

Day 03- Look up your horoscope for today and explain how accurate it is:

Well I found a website that does daily 'Mom' horoscopes. Here is mine for today:

Whether your little one likes it or not, most of your attention will be on your career today. You have important meetings or projects that just can’t wait. This is a good day to make progress while your child learns some patience.

I have to say it's probably going to be pretty darn accurate. Thursdays are hard days for me and Joseph. I first head to the church to print the bulletin for Sunday and then directly after that head to my parents to do laundry. Today I have 5 loads of laundry to complete. Joseph doesn't like when all attention isn't directly upon him so he will definitely be practicing some patience today.

Here is the regular horoscope for me for today:

Take time out to change the things in your life that need restoring, Capricorn. Explore your emotional needs and find ways to satisfy them. You may need to adopt a radically different approach in order to get where you need to go. Even if things seem unstable at first, they're likely to smooth out and be much more dependable eventually. Be an individual.

Again, it's probably pretty close to accurate..

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Day 2 of 30

Day 02- The meaning behind your Blog name:

When I was very young I watched the Care Bears on tv. I had Care Bears stuffed animals, books, and movies. So, they are definitely something from my very early childhood.

Grumpy Bear in particular came about when I was in Hot Topic one day. I saw a journal with him (Grumpy Bear) on it and felt that I absolutely had to have it. My husband later gave it to me as a Christmas gift. When I began using the journal a few weeks after Christmas I had just found out I was pregnant with Joseph. So it naturally became a place to journal about my pregnancy. My plan had been to fill it before he was born but I was also making 2 other baby books for him at the time and it just didn't happen.

So, when I decided I wanted to have a blog I knew it would probably involve a lot of ranting, complaining and general grumpiness. I thought about the cover of my journal and I figured with a name like Grumpy Bear Lair people would automatically expect a little grumpiness and accept it.

I feel like I relate to Grumpy Bear sometimes so it all just kind of works out.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Day 1 of 30

Day 01- A recent picture of you and 15 interesting facts about yourself:

Well, this obviously isn't just a picture of myself. This is a picture of me and my guys. You can see Joseph wasn't happy that it was picture time. I can assure you he normally looks happier than this. This picture was taken on Father's Day this year.

Fifteen interesting facts about me if going to be a little bit harder than finding a recent picture.

  1. I love to play blackjack at the casino.

  2. I know how to play the saxophone (although I'm pretty rusty now).

  3. I can make my thumbs touch my wrists.

  4. I am a lefty.

  5. ER is my favorite TV show and as of next week I will own all 15 seasons on DVD.

  6. I sleep with a stuffed dog every night and his name is Anthony.

  7. I received my varsity letter in highschool for Academics.

  8. I've had 3 different last names in my lifetime.

  9. I am an extremely sensitive person.

  10. I've had several 'paranormal' type experiences and have no doubt that we are not as alone as some of us think.

  11. I am the eldest of 4 children.

  12. I am extremely meticulous, compulsive and organized about certain things.

  13. I am a pessimist.

  14. I am fulfilling the calling that God has placed on my life.

  15. I love to read.

Blogging Challenge

I've been having such a hard time staying in a routine with this blog lately. It's not for lack of trying, but after I get a few paragraphs down it just doesn't sound right.

That being said I follow quite a few blogs and I know some of them participate in 'blogging challenges' from time to time. I thought that participating in a 'challenge' could give me some reasons to blog daily and maybe help me get back into the swing of blogging more regularly.

I am going to start off with a 30 day challenge. If I enjoy doing it I may go to a longer blog challenge. I also expect to have some normal blog entries scattered in throughout as well. Here are the details on the challenge I will be doing..

Day 01- A recent picture of you and 15 interesting facts about yourself
Day 02- The meaning behind your Blog name
Day 03- Look up your horoscope for today and explain how accurate it is
Day 04- A habit that you wish you didn’t have
Day 05- A picture of somewhere you’ve been to
Day 06- 5 things you need to say to 5 different people
Day 07- A picture of someone/something that has the biggest impact on you
Day 08- Short term goals for this month and why
Day 09- Something you’re proud of in the past few days
Day 10- Something you can't seem to get over
Day 11- One of your favorite memories
Day 12- A quote you live by
Day 13- Name 5 things from your 'wishlist'
Day 14- A picture of you and your family
Day 15- Put your iPod on shuffle: First 10 songs that play
Day 16- Another picture of yourself
Day 17- Someone you would want to switch lives with for one day and why
Day 18- If you were in a fire and could only save one material possession what would it be?
Day 19- Favorite quote from a book
Day 20- How would you like your life to look in 10 years
Day 21- A picture of something that makes you happy
Day 22- What makes you different from everyone else
Day 23- Something you crave for a lot
Day 24- The last dream you remember having
Day 25- What I would find in your bag
Day 26- Top 10 favorite movies of all time
Day 27- Your favorite quote about friendship
Day 28- A picture of you last year and now, how have you changed since then?
Day 29- In this past month, what have you learned
Day 30- Your favorite song

So expect my first blog sometime this evening!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Weigh-In (7/3/11)

It's been a while since I did one of these comparison shots and stats so I thought I would do one today.

The stats will be in comparison to my last blog weigh-in entry on 5/16/11.

  • 4 lbs lost (for a total loss of 47 lbs)

Inches lost: 6 1/2 inches (since 5/16/11)

  • 1/2 inch from chest

  • 1/2 inch from hips

  • 3 1/2 inches from waist

  • 1/2 inch from each thigh (totalling 1 inch)

  • 1/2 inch from each upper arm (totalling 1 inch)

Onto the pics. The top pic is from 4/20/11. The middle pic is from 5/16/11. The bottom pic is from today 7/3/11.