Thank you for the grace.

I so appreciate ya’ll (that’s for you, Joanne) allowing me the grace to take a blog break.

I can’t say I’ve actually got it all figured out yet…Natalee said some things that really helped me to look inward and attempt to discover my reasons for blogging. What? You don’t know Natalee? Here she is.

I had the incredible pleasure of “meeting” Natalee when I won a contest on Vicki & Jen’s site. Talk about God-ordained-timing. I’m sure Natalee is still reeling from our phone sessions together. She got me smack-dab in the middle of Sarah’s downward spiral. Natalee so helped me put and keep things in perspective.

Many, many things are on my mind these days.

Kathy reminded me that folks tend to say, “just suck it up and NOT be stressed”. Okay, by folks I mean my well-intentioned-husband. And folks (the same guy) follows that up with “if you got out and exercised every day and gave up the caffeine, blah blah blah…” As Kathy also so wisely stated…the treadmill is in the basement, I just don’t seem to make it down there to work out on it! (So we gave our treadmill away.)

Well, yeah. Of course IF I did that stuff it would HELP. Knowing and doing are two different things. I totally know what to do. Now I need to start doing.

I have to tell you that the night of Wednesday, August 20, was an entirely sleepless one for me. August 21 we took our oldest child to college. I wasn’t up worrying. I was up remembering. My heart was so full of thankfulness for this child. And yes…I also thought about life with him away. Around 4am, God brought a special reminder to me. It would be easier to leave our child behind at college if I tried to picture what it was like for our sweet friend, Cecilia, to drive away and leave her first born child behind that rainy and cool day in April. There were no warm, long hugs. There was only cold stone and newly turned earth. There were no whispers of encouragement. Only whispers of regret, pain, tears. When we left the Longwood campus that Thursday morning, I did shed tears. But they were tears of sadness and sorrow and pain, shed for Cecilia and Steve. God kept them on my heart the entire drive home and continues to do so.

I really don’t want to end this post on the sad reminder of losing Nick. So I’ll end with a word God gave me this morning.

In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:6 (KJV)

I couldn’t help but notice the last word was plural. More than one path. Every path. I needed to read that this morning and be reminded of it as I finished this post.

Hugs and blessings to every stinking one of ya’ll!

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I totally missed you guys and love you…

And, because I am one weepy-stressed-anxious mess…I even cried. Yes, CRIED when I read your sweet, sweet comments and even more evidence that change IS my life…I’m admitting it!

Seriously, thank you and yes…I so need walking buddies. Although, I usually walk with the Ultimate Walking Buddy. lol

It appears that I might be a little, ummmm, stressed.

Totally news to me. Okay, not so much.

Here’s the thing with stress and anxiety and worry. It makes you forget.

Or at least it makes me forget.

I forgot that I tend to stress and worry and get anxious. Which is a hidious, vicious cycle.

I forgot that sucking down coffee (Starbucks or not) fuels that stress and anxiousness and worry.

I forgot that if I just do the thing…get my not so dainty bottom up and out walking every morning I feel better.

I forgot that I’m 47 (gasp…okay, I totally forgot that for real) going on 48 (for some reason a nice, even number that doesn’t sound as scary) and that the less I use my muscles, the less muscle I have to use (or something like that).

I forgot that for the last year the consistent theme in my life has been change. I may not have mentioned this before but I don’t do change so well.

So, going to the doctor this morning (I love her…she is no-nonsense and not alarmed by anything but at the same time thorough) suddenly snapped back on my forgetfulness awareness light. Well, that and the lecture she proceeded to give me with just the slightest edge of sarcasm to it that I totally appreciated and deserved.

So there you have it. I’m stressed. I’m anxious. I’m ready to conquer the world. Or at least conquer my mornings.

And, oh yeah. I’m back.

Susan

Finally getting this shoulder thing checked out tomorrow.

I think it totally has to do with anxiety. And worry. And stress. Definitely the stress.

It all started cropping up shortly after I weaned myself (read without doctor supervision) my anti-anxiety drug. Okay, granted…I was only taking half of the normal dose, but still. I don’t believe in coincidence. But I’m not a doctor (I just play one on my blog).

Something really funny happened this afternoon. The Beast My Girl came home from practice tonight and slowly walked up the stairs. The epitome of a teenager…feet dragging…lots of sighing. Loud sighing.

I finally said, “okay, I give…what’s up?”

{Sigh} Nothing.

“No, really, something. What’s up? Bad practice?”

No.

“Trouble in paradise?”

No.

“What then?”

I dunno. I have really just felt like crying all day today.

“Well, then, CRY! Just because your momma would never cry and still to this very minute of this very day hates to let anyone even KNOW she cries let alone lets them SEE her cry why girlfriend that shouldn’t stop YOU from crying because the Good Lord KNOWS that I do NOT want you to be like ME!”

Okay, that totally long run-on sentence that could have been two paragraphs…I did not say that. Out loud. But inside…oh yeah baby…I was saying it.

She came into my room. Stood there. Wringing her hands. Lip all a quiverin’. And it dawned on me.

She had it, too.

PMS

After a lengthy, non-scientific discussion on how it seemed to us that God created PMS in order to preserve the human race (you don’t even want to know how we got THERE), we both felt better.

A short while later, she and I got into the mini-van (I’m ready for a sporty upgrade, fyi) and waited on Trey (the older boyfriend) to get in.

Her eyes met mine in the rear view mirror (just call me Chauffeur Mom) and we both started laughing.

Poor Trey…he won’t even know what hit him.

It’s been five years since we’ve been to middle school but

The surliness of the front office and guidance office people haven’t changed a bit.

What is it about middle school? It really seems to bring out the worst in people. Including me.

Brett and I arrived about 15 minutes before the scheduled opening of Open House. We wandered around a bit, not going into the area where they were still setting up, just looking around. Some woman from the guidance office came barreling over hollering at us that they aren’t ready for us because it’s still 15 minutes before the scheduled time to begin and we need to get back over into the lobby area (you know, one foot away from where we were standing). The other parents grabbed their children and ran. I have to admit, I stood my ground. I’m stubborn like that.

Seriously, it wasn’t so much what she said as how she said it. And I have to admit, it immediately got my back up and I responded in kind…it wasn’t what I said, it was how I said it (yes, I am ashamed I let some unhappy old grouch bring me down to her level).

For the next hour, I had a number of opportunities to see her interact with other people. Same attitude; same tone. None of the women working the front office or the guidance office were smiling or seemed happy.

Ahhhh…just as I remembered it from the Shawn and Sarah era. Both of our kids had miserable experiences at this school. I had hoped that with a change in principal (p-r-i-n-c-i-p-a-l…the princiPAL is our pal) that things might be different. Shawn calls his two years there as, and I quote, the most miserable two years of my life, end quote. He does NOT want to teach middle school and will tell you it is because of his own 7-8th grade experience.

Having said that, we did run into some nice and helpful people. All four of whom told us it was their first year teaching there. Wonder how long it will be before they succumb to the unhappy disease?

I know that not all middle schools are like this, but why can’t we attend one of them???

Okay, ‘nuf griping.

Repeat after me…Brett is going to have a great seventh grade year! I told him that like, 20 times over lunch after open house. Sigh. I need to step up my prayer on it.

Susan

This really IS turning out to be a season of change…

Oldest child is off to college. My exact sobswords to My Man yesterday morning were, “I can’t believe he’s really gone!” Thankfully, he was patient and understanding and didn’t mind the tears and snot that wound up on the shoulder of his shirt as he headed off to Worship. Or at least he wouldn’t have minded if he had known.

Suddenly the volleyball Beast is never home. Ever. She has her license. She has a car to drive. She has a boyfriend. She has a job. She has volleyball. And next Tuesday she begins her senior year of high school. How did that happen? Where did the time go? Where’s my sweet baby?

Oh, wait. This all sounds oddly familiar. Didn’t I just do this? I DID just do this. And guess what? I can do it again! Woo-hoo. This time around, not so scary. Of course by this time last year, Shawn had already been accepted to Longwood University so there was no pressure. Except the pressure to make good grades to get into CNU. Like I said, he chose no pressure. And is now at Longwood. The girl…no plans farther down the road than oh, say, tomorrow afternoon. She did receive a recruitment letter from a college volleyball coach and instantly began to freak out, melt down, become hysterically stressed out.

I’m thinking no college volleyball for us and that is okay.

My Man is getting ready to start a new job! Back with the government. Here’s the deal. He was wooed away by a big company who could indeed make him an offer he couldn’t refuse. But he really wants to get his last 6 years in as a civil servant. Not sure what his start date will be with all of that…the salary negotiations are still underway.

I’ve got this wicked shoulder problem happening right now. And I have…for several months. So I’ve finally decided (after several months, did I mention that?) that it is NOT going away and I need to have it checked out. That and my joint pain. All of my joints. So I guess my big prayer request here is that it is something “doable”…”chronic” is actually okay, too. I just am ready for one more big change…to get back to working out daily and eating healthy and dropping some of this poundage that has (mysteriously) come back on over the last three years shortly after I stopped working out and eating healthy.

My bff, Jill has really moved away. I can’t believe she did it. I think I was still in denial until yesterday when I had the Sobbing Session That Would Not End. All. Day. Long. Thankfully, I am still surrounded by the most amazing women.
In a week or three we begin a new bible study at church. BFF, Jill has led the last two years. Our Women’s Ministry leader, Joanne, will lead our Fall session, I believe. We’re going to do A Woman After God’s Own Heart by Elizabeth George.

For the Winter session, we’re going to do Bethie’s new study on Queen Esther. Yours truly will be leading that, I think. I can’t wait!

Youngest boy-child slides into seventh grade this year. My baby. At 12.5 years old, he is 5’11”. He’s currently playing football (tight end, wide receiver, kicker) but his true love is basketball.

So, there you have just a few of the many changes happening. I’m spending a lot of time on the back porch these days. If you’re looking for me..I’m the one on her knees saying, “Change is good. CHANGE is good. Change IS good. Change is GOOD!”

Susan

To blog or not to blog…

That is the question….**UPDATED** (I’m enabling the comments…but that is NOT why I’m posting right now.I’m only doing it cuz I get yelled at by some of you…thank you for caring enuf to holler at me…love u 2)

I’m really struggling with the entire blogging thing. Who am I kidding…I’m struggling with life these days. But that isn’t such a bad thing.

In an odd way, I have not missed blogging. I still keep up with my regular bff’s in blogland. I am getting my computer fix with my facebook page.

In other ways, though…I miss blogging.

I really felt like I only had about 4 regulars commenting on my blog. Which is depressing. When you blog to write. And you write for other’s to read. And in blogging…comments mean people are reading.

So, while I’m struggling with all of this, I’ll share some pics.

Oh, and we are down one child. The One Who Has Gone to College. I guess since I’ve been crying on and off since April, I didn’t feel the need to cry on Thursday (two days ago) when we dropped him off. I admit I got a bit choked up when I saw the “Farmville 18 miles” sign. But after that…it was actually, dare I say…fun? And exciting. Definitely exciting.

The Man had blurry vision for quite awhile on the ride back. Not surprising. He’s a sensitive kind of guy and totally adores his kids. The Golden Child, especially had a special place being the first born and a son at that.

So here is a trip down memory lane for the month of June and then D-Day, August 21.


Senior Recognition Sunday

Prom with Amanda. She is going to take her core classes at our local community college and then has plans to attend Longwood.
The Three Goobers…ready to go to their Graduation Ceremony. Yes, they were required to wear ties. Shawn is wearing his Spongebob tie. On the way to the ceremony, they made a stop at the cemetery to visit their friend and classmate, Nick. Just when I wonder about them, they do something like that…all on their own. The Goobers…I love them.

Graduation Ceremony – that’s Pastor Wayne in the tie and bff Lori and her family around him.
Happy Siblings

The Proud Grandparents…my parents are in the middle


Graduation…(rope is Quill & Scroll Honor and medallion is a Journalism award)


He is soaking wet…no pictures could be taken outside…major storm.

Graduation Party (the girl with the glasses is Meghan…more on her in a bit)


Graduation Party


The Seniors…gonna miss them!

The Mother Load dumped in front of his Longwood Dorm
It was worse than we remembered.
I won’t even show you the pics I took of the bathroom!

Getting settled in. He’s taken more photos since they’ve finished unpacking, but his brand new laptop has crashed and the techies (onsite and Dell trained) are working it.


Time to leave. He’s ready.


Remember this sweet girl, Meghan? His senior Homecoming date. Her dorm room is right above his at Longwood. Hmmmmmm……

That’s it for now. Love you guys.