Turning mourning into Gladness.

It’s snowing again. Shhhh…don’t tell anyone but…I love it. I don’t care that it is almost April. It’s not that I don’t love Spring. I do. A lot. But fast upon the heels of Spring comes Summer and all her in-your-face heat, humidity and ‘hey, good luck with that hair gel’ nonsense. Don’t even talk to me about swimsuits. I suppose I’m even less looking forward to Summer this year *as if that’s possible* because we are not going to the beach for the first time in, like, forever. Even the year we did the Disney cruise and two weeks in Germany, we still went to the beach that Summer. I did get two brand spankin’ new bathrooms out of this 2014 deal, but will miss our annual beach week.

The white and gray bleakness of this Winter has fit right in with my mood this season. I can’t ever remember struggling with the darkness like I have the last six months. Impossible to see while living it, looking back I can see so clearly. I’ve focused on the lost; the regret; the pain. I’ve seen the joy; the light; and happiness but as if through fwog *The Wild Boy’s baby terminology for ‘fog’ and I just love it so much I can’t go back to the correct pronunciation.*

On the drive home from Roanoke last Sunday, I had a good out loud discussion with God. Sure, I was the only one speaking out loud, but you know what I mean. I told Him I just can’t go on like this anymore. Something has got to give. Someone has to do something. I turned my crying to crying out; my internal raging to external raging to the only One who can really get things started. 

I’ve really struggled with guilt. The times I feel happy, feel Joy, I also feel guilt. How dare I be happy when we have had so much loss! As I shouted out those thoughts, Jeremiah 31:13 covered me:

I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.

It doesn’t say not to mourn, not to have sorrow. But in our mourning there will be gladness; our sorrow will give way to comfort and joy. Not of our own doing, but by His.

Will I still mourn the preciousness we have lost? Always. Will I continue to feel times of sorrow? Until the day I die. But today, I am turning to the Comforter for my promised gladness, comfort and joy.


If the workmen are here, it must be Saturday and a chocolate pudding recipe.

Y’all. We have had workmen in our house non-stop since the second week in February…TWO-THOUSAND TEN. Okay, that is a slight exaggeration but honestly, I am so tired of it. And there is still another week’s worth of work left to do in the master bath. Never mind that since we signed the contract we have added $2600 worth of extra work. *ahem*

Back when the kids were younger, I was way more OCD. I heard you snort out loud, Mrs. D. but, it is true. I would get so spun up about the house and stuff and all about me and I would yell and pout and storm out and I made everyone around me miserable. Also, I was miserable. So one day, I had a good long chat with God about it all and I let it go. I had way more important things to be stressed about, little did I know. And now…now I am picking back up the OCD mantle and wearing it proudly. My kids are older. They are capable of 1) doing what they are supposed to do like pick up after themselves, clean up as they go along, etc., and 2) deal with my OCDness. I do not plan on picking up the yelling, stressing, pouting, storming out mantles, however. Okay, realistically, some of that may happen now and then, but not if these people would just do what I tell them to do. *tongue in cheek, by the way. Sort of.*

So I don’t even get a break from the workmen on Saturday. They are here today putting up drywall. It’s not that I want to run around in my skivvies or anything but still. Which leads to this question…what are skivvies and how did that word come about? Someone google that for me, please?

I am in full-blown organizing/purging/haul-the-dumpster-to-the-door mode. I’m also not eating sugar, wheat and very little caffeine *read…very little coffee*. Surely this is an Apocalypse ready to happen? Thankfully, *I think* my fibromyalgia is also in full-blown mode so I have to take frequent breaks. It’s actually a blessing to all of us right now. Especially when bff, Mrs. D sends down homemade chocolate pudding. What? You don’t think it’s healthy? Really. Look:

Into Vitamix add:
1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup good-quality cocoa powder (ghirdelli, etc)
1 t vanilla
Blend til smooth. Can also add a bit of cinn and/or espresso powder.

To. Die. For. You don’t like avocado? You won’t even know there is avocado in this. It is yummy and chocolaty and HEALTHY. And delicious. I promise.

I just sent Shawn to the grocery. He and I were brain-storming a meal for dinner tonight. My Man requested an “awesome and delicious feast.” Shawn is making steak au poivre, green beans and roasted veggies. I know, right? How spoiled are we?

Those of you that know us, and those of you who don’t but have been reading This Girl for awhile, probably know that Shawn and I have a love/hate relationship with each other. Oh, don’t get me wrong, there is ALWAYS love between us, but and sometimes we flat out do NOT get along. In some ways, he and I are very similar. In some ways, he and his father are very similar. I think that explains it all. We argue. A lot. He was the “mumbles a lot under his breath” kid. He would rarely be in-your-face obstinate, but always had to get the last word in as he was walking away mumbling. *must have gotten that from his father* I think he and I would make an awesome cook show combination, don’t you? There would be awesome cooking (Shawn) and baking (my specialty) and probably some *good natured* bickering and arguing. And lots of love. Of course.

Anyone out there starting up, or wanting to start up a new business creating websites/blogs…I’m your girl. I need an update and am willing to pay very little for it but will certainly promote you to the ends of the earth and back. Email me if you are interested. Really…sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?

Y’all are the best.

Oh! And remember this picture from my facebook page?

This is what it looks like in my living room as I write:

I know, right? My mother will be texting me as soon as she sees this picture.

More to come soon!

Wednesday’s Ramblings.

Several significant things occurred this week. The hallway, forever-to-be-known-as-the-yellow-bathroom was completed. A post will be coming on that soon. The only thing missing is the mirror over the sink. Which I’ve already decided is going to be too small now. But, for the sanity of my husband and the sanctity of my marriage, I am going to Let. Ride. *for now* I am obsessed with the new bathroom. The tub is a soaking tub. Twice as deep as the old cast iron tub *which had to be broken up with a sledge hammer to get out of the house because it weighed hundreds of pounds*

For the first time ever, Ducky called Timothy McGee, “McGee” instead of Timothy. I had to rewind a number of times because I was so taken aback. Thankfully, I was still reeling from an earlier scene where Gibbs was running through a parking garage. I KNOW. Again. I am obsessed. I was never a huge fan of Jenny Shepherd, by the way.

I almost cut my thumb off tonight. I mean, it was This. Close. Like my heart pounded and I felt nauseous when I realized how bad it would have been if I had actually had my thumb a couple millimeter’s closer to where the knife embedded itself in the counter. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

As I predicted, The Wild Boy spends a whole lot of time soaking in the new tub. He has always been my tub boy. When he would finally agree to get out of the tub, his fingers and toes would be shriveled up prunes and he would literally be shivering because the water had gotten so cold. But he always had a big grin on his face. This is the child who also shoved 10 Hot Wheels cars down the tub drain.*tub obsession*

It’s official, The Wild Boy is committed to Radford. I just ordered the Radford Highlanders flag for the front of the house so he has to go. *$29.95*

I am officially organizing as part of Lent. I know that Lent is about giving up things. I’m giving up disorganization and stuff. Unfortunately, I am at that point in organizing where I have made a bigger mess than there was before I began organizing. Why does it happen that way? I still think it would be easier to just roll the dumpster up to the front door and heave-ho it all out. My mother won’t let me do that, however. But I haven’t seen her up here helping go through all of this crap yet, either.

I’m back at the acupuncturist. Well, I’ve been been once. I’ve had to reschedule three times this week due to snow and the bath remodel dudes having to reschedule. Speaking of which, our bath remodel has also resulted in a new microwave over the new range because our 20 year old microwave finally gave out. And when the plumber was hooking up the new dishwasher, he discovered a leak. He fixed said leak. And another leak showed up. After taking everything apart and reconnecting, he determined the sink is rusting away and the faucet is deteriorating. I suppose that’s fair…it’s been 15 years, after all. So we went to the Home Depot (hate that place, by the way) and picked up a new sink and faucet tonight. I’m not sure where My Man is pulling all this money from, but I can tell you ALL the trees in our back yard are completely bare.

Tonight The Wild Boy used the term “foo manchu” whilst describing his (rather sparse) facial hair. I love him. I just don’t know what I’m going to do when he heads to Radford in August. August 22 to be exact. One hundred seventy days. My gut hurts just thinking about it. So I’m busying my mind with decorating and painting and reorganizing…beginning with My Girl’s room *we have paint picked out already…a robin egg blue*

A bathroom teaser


They are my current love language. *Don’t tell Thomas the Acupuncturist. Or Susan D.*

I Let Go.

I love country music. My first memory of hearing country music is of my dad playing Johnny Cash-Live at San Quentin State Prison. In my memory, Johnny Cash played all of the time at our house. I’m sure that’s not true. My mom was known to crank some Diana Ross and also The 5th Dimension…hello, Age of Aquarius/Let the Sunshine in. Bad Company and the Eagles were the first two albums I ever had of my very own. Totally fit right in with my rock n’ roll/rebellion era. But country music and I go way back and, while I still love rock and most music including classical, if you ride with me in Fancy Pants *The Wild Boy’s nickname for my new car,* you’ll probably hear country music.

One of my current faves is Dierks Bentley’s I Hold On. I’m a huge fan of Dierks and this song does not disappoint. Being a bonafide control freak, I Hold On is right down my ally and could be my theme song in life. Has been, thus far. I hold on to stuff. I want to hold on to my children. I hold on to the pain. I hold on to the bad stuff that has happened, been said or I have done. I hold on…to everything. It’s all about control, baby.

That’s not God’s plan for me. For us. I shared with y’all my book ban fail last week. Turns out I was wise to fail that day. Whispers of Hope is just what I need. Today’s devotion, Day Three, was a huge ah-ha smack in the gut. It’s not about me. Yes, I knew that already. But really, it’s not about me. It’s not about what I want everyone else to be doing. It’s not about what I want to focus on. It’s not about what I want to write about. I guess it all boils down to this: why are we here? Right now. Today. In this place. To focus on ourselves? To do whatever the heck we want; when we want to? And when I’m saying we…I’m really meaning me.

I don’t believe…finally…that it is all about me. Or ever about me, except for how me relates to we. I have to be honest with y’all…being totally focused on me is exhausting and frustrating. So I’m letting go of me. I mean, it hasn’t been working for me for 53 years now so maybe it’s time to try something new? I’m thinking that focusing on God and what He wants me to be doing is going to take the pressure off. Focusing on giving and serving and just plain old loving those around me. Oh, and that doesn’t mean I get to slack *continue to slack* when it comes to loving me and taking care of me. Just the opposite, I think. I can’t do anything without taking care of me. I don’t think that is selfish. I think it is obedience.

A random list and "You are What you Eat"

I’ve missed my lists. Here is a random one commemorating March 1.

1. I love Winter. Snow. Cold. Layers of warm clothes to cover layers of fat and cellulite *maybe that one is just me*. Fireplace. Snuggle-kitties. But what I love most about Winter is Spring. Very often, at least here in the incredibly beautiful Commonwealth of Virginia, Winter moves directly from cold, wind, snow and ice to sunshine, warm temps and green. I’m hoping that is the case this year. Give us one more big snow, Old Man Winter, than move on out and let Spring have her day.

2. I haven’t forgotten my commitment to get on with it…this whole eating better, moving more thing. I’m on it. Slightly side-tracked by some stuff, but on it. More on that soon.

3. My house is a disaster. No, really, this time it is the truth. The forever-known-as-yellow-bath *which is now white and slate tones* is almost complete. I cancelled the back ordered hurky Pottery Barn medicine cabinet…here she is and she is lovely…because I decided it really was just too big and bulky for this bathroom. I ordered a lovely oval, beveled mirror in it’s stead and can’t wait for it to arrive.

4. In other news, I’ve already begun lecturing the darlings about new bathroom etiquette. Mostly, I’m pretty sure I will end up locking the door to the new bathroom and making everyone shower, shave, etc., outside. *come on Spring!* I anticipate a renewal of mom-yelling in this department.

5. Did I mention my house is trashed right now? Sure, I have a new bathroom and a new commode in the kitchen powder room but the dust and muck and displacement of everything is driving me crazy. I have totally not forgotten THE NEW APPLIANCES. Oh. My. Word. It scares me a tiny bit at how over-the-top-bubbly-excited I am about them. But wait! There’s more! We picked up the new over-the-stove microwave from Lowe’s the other night and she is a beauty. Bucky, our favorite site-manager picked up a lovely piece of wood and is making a shelf for the microwave including staining it to match our current oak cabinets. Next up for the kitchen will be knobs and pulls for the cabinets, and painting.

6. Clearly, the Smith motto with home upgrades is go big or go home. There are other things in the works but I will bore you with those details later. Pics of the before and after forever-known-as-the-yellow-bathroom will be up next week after the mirror arrives and is in place.

7. Ordered The Wild Boy’s dorm room set last night…I’m sure most schools do this now. Radford has an agreement with Bed, Bath and Beyond and you can order a package deal of sheets, towels, etc., for a reduced price. So we did. And I was totally cool about it. Mostly because he and I barely speak to each other these days. It’s God’s way of making the break easier. Right? Right? I do remember it with The Big Boy. We actually like each now…mostly…and I’m sure The Wild Boy, aka My Baby, and I will work it all out. Some day.

I’ll leave you with this: You are What you Eat. It’s my new food bible. Check it out here:

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