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Friday, November 29, 2013

Baby Love

I just got back from getting me some major BABY Love!!!! I've never really had the chance to be an aunt and for the record I would have made an awesome aunt. When my kids got older, I was the one who borrowed other peoples wee ones to take to the movies or go to the park. I've just been biding my time until my time comes to be the Lolli to my husband's Pops. No news on that front, so I'm still in borrowing mode. Nothing (NOTHING) makes my day like some baby love. The way they curl up in your arms and make those sweet
little grunts and groans..... I got a text this evening that the arrival of the latest baby to be born into The Girlfriends circle was in town and ready to meet the extended fam. Lickity split I was there in a New York second trying to wait patiently as the legitimate Uncle took his time holding the baby. Finally, when I could control myself no more,
he passed little Ephraim off like a football in a winning play. I sat there holding this sweet little bundle of potential (Mr. Advanced Pants is my official title for him). Tears spilling down my cheeks at the miracle, and yes the circle of life. As God prepares to take people home, new life arrives bringing joy and healing in the tiniest packages. No, I'm not a blood relative, but tell that to my heart and soul. This family has been my life support in the darkest of times and the laughter to some of the most remarkable memories I've ever
made. So, in every way that counts I love this child as my very own. I have anticipated his arrival and I celebrate his birth like Smith blood runs through my veins. He slept like a bear hibernating for winter in my arms, which is the best feeling a woman can have. What is it with women and babies? I love the baby stage. I loved all the night feeding, diaper changing, the spit up and the poop; every single thing about the baby phase of parenting was magical and cherished. The last couple of weeks have been riddled with anxiety and sadness about what the next few months brings, but with one little yawn, he took all that away and replaced it with hope that only baby love can bring. God gives and God takes away and somehow in the miracle of birth, he heals the hurts and gives hope that tomorrow will be a better day. That's the benefits of baby love. My official title is Aunt JacJac given to me by yet another borrowed niece. I'm not complaining, just soaking it all in.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Sojourn Companion


A week ago tomorrow, they found a large mass on my Mother's pancreas. As I sit here today, I know nothing more than that, except what I read between the lines and glean from the internet. What my gut tells me, and the doctor inferred is.... "I don't believe there will be a positive outcome to this". So, we sit and we wait. My hearts desire, is to be stoic, steadfast and strong. In my heart, I want to be a spiritual pillar for my parents to lean on; a bedrock of stability and dependability. The truth is, and if you know me very well you'll agree, I wear every emotion on my sleeve like a general wears his stars. I don't keep a lot hidden. If I feel it you know it. Actually, I don't think I really need any words, because my eyes are more animated than they should be. This trait has its good points and its bad points. The good point is, you always know where you stand with me. The bad point is, you always know where you stand with me. I've actually tried very hard over the years to suppress my expressions, but then I just come across mad, when what I'm really doing is just suppressing my feelings... It's the look women get when we practice our Kegel exercises. My goal is to not be a whimpering, whiny mess, but in order to do that, I would have to remove myself from civilization. A co-worker asked me yesterday how I was doing and at that very moment I was fine.... 10 minutes later in the quiet of my office, I wasn't so fine. I am trying very hard to keep the hysterics tamped down, but I'm not guaranteeing how much luck I'll have with it... Consider yourself warned. Also, (another warning) I tend to blog a lot during a crisis. Blogging is therapy for me. If I had one ounce of creativity in painting or drawing, I wouldn't need to blog. Words are my paint, life is my canvas and you are my sojourn companion. Things can get a bumpy if you're riding with me, but this is who I am.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

3 Little Words and a Life Poured Out


Saturday I was sitting in the ER with my Mom and Dad. . . Waiting as usual whenever you go to the ER. Mom hasn't felt well for months, and we've taken her to doctors with no definite reason for the symptoms she was experiencing. I worked in a doctors office for 9 years, and although it's not like staying in a Holiday Inn Express, which makes you an expert on everything, I did come away with the awareness that as people get older and their health concerns increase, so does the amount of time they have to obsess about those concerns. Needless to say, I've tempered my anxiety so I don't become overly concerned until I am certain there is a need to be overly concerned. Friday evening, I had finally come to that point. Honestly as I sat there I expected this to be a dead end just like most of the other visits. When the doctor walked in and begin to speak I could tell by his demeanor, we were not going to get good news. There was sadness in his eyes as he said the four words you never want to hear "You have a mass". I tried to hold myself together as Mom got dressed. Mom and Dad didn't seemed fazed, although I'm not sure they realize the implications of a 9cm mass on the pancreas. On the way home I thought about the changes that were coming and how I could best prepare myself and my parents for those changes. My first thought was I needed make sure Mom knew how much I loved her. The four little words from the doctor, tore our world apart, but nothing puts things back in order like the three words "I LOVE YOU". Regardless of the outcome, I know she's going to be okay. She has the blessed assurance of having lived a life poured out.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Reasons I Know I'm Not OCD

I've always wished to be a little OCD, but I'm not. Two of my children have OCD traits, but sadly they did not come from me. Here's why:

  • I rarely wear matching socks. Last night I went to a girlfriend gathering with two completely different fuzzy socks with designs on them. I only have one sock for each pair of socks I own.
  • Autumn leaves are proof positive I'm not OCD. I think it's a shame to rake them or suck them up with your mower while they still have that incredible fun crunchy sound. Yesterday while taking the long way around the office via the sidewalk, I zigged and zagged, not to avoid the cluster of crunchy leaves, but to kick through them like a kid in a water puddle. When I got to work this morning, the maintenance man was blowing them off the sidewalk!!!! In my opinion (which I know you care so much about) blowing, raking or otherwise disposing of wonderful crunchy leaves, is in the same category as clubbing baby seals. What a shame! The leaves should remain on sidewalks and lawns until they are no longer crunchy and fun. Once they hit the putrid stage, game on. 
  • My rules about snow is similar to my rules on leaves. The only reason one should shovel the sidewalk or drive way is A) Because you love being out in the snow so much and you use it as way of playing in the snow without your neighbors thinking you're nuts. Me? I just let them think I'm nuts. I have been known on occasion, to steal snow from my next door neighbor so I could complete my snowman creation. Don't judge me... My neighbors didn't live in the house, plus you can't own snow so I guess it wasn't really stolen unless it's taken from my yard, then heck yeah, I'll call the police.
Yes, this post is for those enquiring minds who want to know.

Ephraim James Smith


This little guy gets his own folder under "My Pictures
Just when I think I'll make it through the day with no tears. . . I sit down at my desk and the tears well up. We had another sweet one join our extended family last night. I am so happy for the immediate family, my eyes are leaking. I stayed up last night, refusing to sleep until I got word (and yes a picture) that everyone was alright. Momma's good, Daddy's good, 10 fingers, 10 toes. . . And blessings upon blessings. I'm going to maintain today, because that's what I'm suppose to do, but what I want to do is bundle each and every one of them, Grandma, Pops, Auntie, Uncle, Mom, Dad and the little bundle of God's goodness, into my arms and sing songs of thanksgiving. Today we thank God for his protection and blessings. God is good, he is so very, very good.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

In the Still of the Night

As I begin my walk on an autumn eve, I am struck with awe of the scenery painted with a stroke of His hand. Rainbows of colors surround the waning day; golds, reds, muted greens and the most symbolic color of fall. . . Gray. With a backdrop of color, the barren trees and twisted vines that no longer thrive, give hope to new birth. The things thought dead, will later spring to life, until then they wait. In the dust of the day, between daylight and dark the path becomes a dizzy haze. Shadows fall across the path, slowing my footsteps as I hesitate between the shadows. I'm never enough. When the sun finally settles leaving the horizon with nothing but darkness, the stars take their place in the sky, and beckon the moon to take its full and rightful reign. Moon beams dance off the hardened clay, illuminating the path with a glow. It lights the way between the prairie grass, wild elm trees and thorny brush that border the way, Just-Like-Life. In the stillness of night, with the moon as my guide, the worries of the world slip away. I offer to Him, all the good and the bad, all my failure and pain, my fear and my dread and the sin that I hide deep within. He takes them all leaving me naked beneath the stars. With one hand He tosses them far from where I am, into waters the depth of the sea. With the other hand he covers my nakedness with a cloak of his own, making me a sight to see. It's not the beauty of me, or a talent he sees, for on my own I'm as insignificant as one could possibly be. Though I may be unworthy, and no good thing found in me with this cloak of his, I am a jewel in his hand . . . That's me!?! In the dark of the night, when the shadows are high, he looks down and the beauty he finds is not my righteousness, as there is none, but instead His blood that covers me. . . And I walk on.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Retail Therapy Hell


Shopping isn't bad for everyone, shopping is bad for me. I've used shopping as a recreational drug for years. If I'm happy, I celebrate with shopping. If I'm sad, I comfort myself with shopping. If I'm depressed, I self-medicate with shopping. If I'm hurt, angry or bored, shopping is what the doctor orders to cure my ills. It is 100% an addiction that releases happy endorphins in my tinnie tiny minuscule brain. My husband's new year resolution was to rehabilitate my spending habits, so once again he drags out the ole' Dave Ramsey envelopes and instructed me to use them. He's tried this before and I failed the test miserably. It's not that I can't do the Dave Ramsey thingie.... It's that I don't want to do the Dave Ramsey envelope thingie because it makes it even more apparent that I spend too much which is a fact I'm already well aware of so why the need for a reminder of something I already know?!! In order to see to it that this attempt wasn't a total failure. . .  He took away all my credit cards, including my super secret credit card that I didn't think he knew about. I told you it was an addiction!!! When you start hiding your credit cards like a drunk hides their whiskey, Sister you may have a problem. His confiscation left me with no choice but to stop shopping cold turkey. I am now the shopping equivalent of a tee-totaller and it's starting to take a toll. I have been very proud of myself, especially over the summer. The mailman and I have an understanding. . . . Since he also delivers to where my husband works, we have an agreement that he doesn't mention the deliveries he makes (or used to make) to me. Every day when he drops off the mail,   I take the stack (STACK) of catalogs I receive and without even looking through them, I put them in the shred box. It's been June since I've been shopping, and that includes online. The season is changing, the new fall catalogs are arriving and if I had a sponsor like they do in AA, mine would be a busy little bee keeping up with my urge to splurge calls. I've assembled a nice little stack of catalogs showing the new fall fashions. Try as I may, I can't bring myself to shred them yet. It's like an itch that I can't scratch or a twitch that could quickly turn into a twerk. Epiphany!!
Maybe that's what is wrong with Miley Cyrus. Maybe she's in Retail Therapy Rehab too. That would totally explain her public twerking!!!!! Anywhoo, the other day I just couldn't stand it any more. On my lunch hour I did something I haven't done in months. I went on the hunt for something to scratch the twitching itch. After going into a couple of stores, I went into the drug store and made a score, a splurge of grand proportions. Immediately I got the "I just bought something pretty on a whim" high. You know you are officially in Retail Therapy Hell, when a $2.00 bottle of nail polish sends you to your happy place.I

Monday, November 4, 2013

One of Those Days

Perhaps my first clue should have been when the cable went off as I was getting ready for work this morning, or that I had to leave my beloved Kindle at home because it no longer worked. Maybe I should have paid closer attention when I flipped the switch to my office light only to have it strobe like a disco ball, or just the fact that it was the first Monday of November. I'm not sure which of these things were the main indicator, but I'm sure one of them was a heads up that it was going to be a crappy day. That is exactly how clueless I am... I didn't realize it actually was a crappy day until it was break time and I felt like I wanted to break something in two. I told a co-worker.... "The longer the day hangs on, the pissy-er I get." By that time I had realized it was easier to work in the dark than to fight the raging headache caused by the disco light and I was in severe need of a Candy Crush fix, but had no Kindle to play on. I muddled my way through until 5 without beating the copier with a sledge hammer or without wreaking havoc on anyone or anything else and I thought I had made it through unscathed, but wait.... During a "How was your day?" conversation with my husband, the.... "It's almost the holidays!!!" panic set in. I know, I know, men just don't understand. He sat there in dismay as a normal conversation with a normal person (well, relatively) turned into a sobbing, how will I get everything done, hysterical mess.  I understand that he doesn't understand where any of this comes from and I would love to help him understand the un-understandable, but there really is no explanation. Maybe you have to be a woman to understand that some days are just made for tears and irrational fears that have no foundation and apparently (although I didn't get the memo) today was one of those days.