Saturday, May 29, 2010

A sweet surprise for Audrey!

At Audrey's SST meeting on Thursday Mrs D (her teacher) made a comment that Audrey preserver's through things, especially this year. It was then bantered about that "perseverance" was the word of the week at the school this week and was Audrey getting a Bear Hug for it? So Mrs D decided then and there that she would give Audrey a Bear Hug Friday morning. She looked at me and said "you will be able to make it, right?" I ALWAYS try my hardest to be there when my kids get awards or do something special, so ignoring all the time pressures I had for Friday (see HERE) I said sure.

And I am so glad that Mrs D decided to give her a award and that I could make it, because JUST LOOK at that smile on that little girl!!! It made her so happy.

At the same assembly some of the boys from Nathaniel's class decided to give Mr Dale, the class student teacher, a Bear Hug for being an awesome student teacher. It was very cool and so true too, because the man is AWESOME! We are really going to miss him, but some special class is going to be so blessed by him!

Just look how happy E is that Mr Dale is standing up there next to him. How many kids get that excited about standing next to a teacher??? Cute!

Ok, off of my rabbit trail and back to this cutie cutie!

This oh so happy smile and good attitude lasted ALL DAY. How cute!

I love Bear Hugs. The ones with arms and a good friend are great (and man do I not get enough of those these days!), but so are these awards that the school give to encourage and reward their students. They make such a difference to my kids!

The blessing of living according to His plan!

I know that I have been MIA recently. Life has been CRAZY, crazier even than usual for me. And that is a bit hard to do! But I have missed writing A LOT, and hope things settle down soon, so I can share more consistently!

Did you see THIS post?

Well, if not go read it so you understand what I am about to say.

After that day, meeting with the husband the next day and so serious prayers on all of our parts, I HAVE A NEW JOB!!!!!! I am so excited for this opportunity, and I did start this past week even though I am still working out my notice at my night job. It made for an exhausting week. Being the single mom I am, dealing with all of the doctors and therapist appointments that dictate the day of a special needs child, running my business, starting a new job and learning so much about the company AND pulling late nights at my old job. Wow. Talk about tired. But it was all good. I could do it, I can do all things with His strength!

Well, that was until the unexpected call on Wednesday morning....

I was deep into the pot of coffee to be functioning and racing about trying to get things done at Butterfly Boutique when the call came. I knew within seconds of answering that it would be one of those pivotal points in my day.

On the other end of the phone was a woman in tears. As she began to take deep breaths and talk the picture became clear. It seems that this woman was getting ready to get married. She had hired someone to make her wedding gown. She gave the other person the material and the dress to copy. It seems that she had gone for a fitting that morning and the other woman handed her back the bag of material, all cut up into pieces, and told her that she wouldn't be able to make the dress after all. Poor woman! Nothing like a shattered dream.

But the biggest kicker???

The wedding was taking place TODAY, just 3 short days latter!

My mind raced. I looked at my week and saw absolutely no way to find any time in the week to make this dress. I WANTED to help. I have the talents and experience to help. I even have the heart to help. But I just couldn't see the TIME to help.

Then she dropped the bomb shell. The "I have called so many places. No one can help. And the last three people said YOU are the only on for the job. PLEASE can you help me?"

Oh Lord! What is there to do???

I took a huge deep breath and said "Of course!"

I knew logically there was no way to do it, but I really felt that the Lord lead her to me. Somehow the Lord and I could do this together, just don't ask me how....

When she arrived I did see that it was a simple design, and that would help a lot. And she really was the sweetest little thing. As soon as she left from dropping the dress off I was able to sit right down and put the dress together. That was a huge blessing, because I had to send her to buy some stuff that wasn't with the dress and there was NO WAY I had time to go to the store. She happily went along to get the stuff, and when she returned I had the dress together for a fitting! She was so happy to SEE what she was dreaming of, and see that it was possible to finish it in time. After she left from the fitting I had to set the dress down and get on to my other work.

Wednesday night at my night job was interesting to say the least. Someday I will have to write a lessons from the gas station post, man have I learned a lot there! And this particular night wasn't so different.

We had our usual assortment of colorful characters assembled outside at the tables. When I went outside for a break I noticed that a couple that I met few weeks before was there that night too. I hadn't seen them since they first came into town from another state, and their trip here had not been so easy. I took a few minutes to chat with the wife and see how things were going for them. She is a sweet woman and there are four small children in their family. We chatted a bit and she admitted that she was depressed, lonely and frustrated. I looked around and saw that all of the people out there besides she and I were men. I told her I had to go back to work, but to come in a chat with me while I worked if she wanted.

Throughout the evening she would come in and chat with me, then go back outside. I noticed some regulars come and go. At one point I noticed one semi regular fellow come up to the group. ow this fellow really bothers me and he seems to bring trouble wherever he goes. I debated on mentioning to this woman that he was rouble, but then he left so soon afterwards that I didn't say anything. Next thing I know the woman is inside talking to me when the trouble maker comes back. Within minutes the whole place is swarming with police officers.

I won't go into the whole of what was going on, but I will say that it seems that where this couple came from the police were NOT friendly, nor were they helpful. Basically if the police showed up, your life as you knew it, was over. I was blessed to be able to talk with the wife and pray with her while everything was going on outside. I felt like God placed me and my soft heart for people right where it needed to be on this night, and it felt so good to speak His love and His grace to her in a time when she was freaking out. I know that the words were not mine, that they were the words that the Father wanted THIS daughter of his to hear on that night. And I love being a mouthpiece for him! His words always sound so much better than mine :)

The other thing that this did for me was to affirm that I need to work out my two weeks notice there. I am so frustrated with that job that it was VERY TEMPTING to just walk away. And with the time demands on my week I even felt kind of justified in thinking about it, but the bottom line is that I need the last two weeks pay checks, so I am sucking it up and working those last two weeks. But IF I had walked away, I wouldn't have been there on this night and I would have missed this opportunity that the Lord provided for me!

Thursday was a whirl wind of my new job, homework with the kids, a SST meeting for Audrey at her school, finding out that I had to carve out time to go to Friday's Bear Hug, and then dashing off to my night job. I didn't have a second to touch the wedding dress. Thursday came and went without anything getting done on the dress, so I hit my knees that night and gave it up to Him.

"Lord, I know that you made this path for this bride to end up here with me. I know that YOU have a plan for how this gown is going to get done. And I know that YOU will make it all work together. Please show me the path YOU have chosen for me to walk." And then I collapsed in bed, sound asleep. (These hours are KILLING ME!!)

Friday morning bright and early, way before the kids had to be at school Faline showed up at my house. She was there to get the kids ready for school so I could go work on the dress. The Bear Hug assembly was at 8:45, so I had 2 hours or so to work. I went into BB and worked away on the dress. I judged my time and decided that I could add one last row of lace before dashing off to the kids school. Not a good choice. Not at all! The lining on the gown crept while I was sewing and by the time I finished I had a mess. I had to lay the gown down and dash off to school so I could catch the assembly. You will have to see THIS post about the assembly, because silly blogger didn't load my pictures right :)

But since we are talking about how God provided the way for this dress to get done I do have to mention a bit about the assembly. First, I was out of coffee Friday morning. No grounds, no beans, no money to buy any. So I was sleep walking through the first part of the morning trying to figure out how to get my hands on some much needed caffeine. Also, I had an appointment with the behavior specialist that I am working with for Nathaniel's behaviors and I realized that I had not finished my data sheets... again. Sigh.

So I grabbed my data sheets and a pen and headed into the Bear Hug. I figured I could use every second of down time I had that morning and would work on data sheets while I waited for things to get started. I was hard at work trying to remember everything when Faline walked in.... with something BETTER than coffee (at least in my books!). She had dashed off to to get us Chai Tea Lattes in the 15 minutes she had between dropping my kids off at school for me and the Bear Hug, which she was coming to to support Audrey. Thank you Lord (and Faline) for providing again! And then the next surprise was that the choir was singing at the assembly. So I was able to finish up my data sheets for my 10 am appointment while listening to the choir sing, then pay close attention while Audrey was surprised with an award. Sweet!

I did mention to Faline the mistake I had made on the wedding gown while we were chatting, and that I would have to pick that apart BEFORE the bride showed up at 11:30. It was going to be close. I had a 10 appointment in SLO that usually took an hour, plus 20 minutes drive time back to the shop, so I had about 10 minutes to pick out my mistake before the bride showed up for her fitting. Nice.

Next I dashed into SLO for my appointment, and somehow managed to get there 10 minutes early. I don't know how. God must have stopped the clock for me because that drive ALWAYS takes me 20 minutes from the kids school to that office complex. Always. But on Friday I made it in 10 minutes somehow. And no, I didn't get a ticket, nor do I think I was driving any faster than usual. But what it did mean is that I could straighten my car up and look for my missing sunglasses, lighter and smokes. Yes, I had lost all three of those VERY IMPORTANT items. And I found all of them in those 10 minutes too!!! Thank you Lord for taking care of the small things too!

Amazingly the Lord wasn't done creating time in my day yet. The appointment that ALWAYS takes at least an hour, and sometimes even goes over was only 30 minutes long this day. I was back on the road to BB a half an hour early! I was breathing deep sighs of relief that I could finish taking the lace off before the bride got there, but was I in for a surprise. As I walked into BB Faline was taking the last stitch out of the part that I messed up before she had to head out to her job! We chatted for a few minutes, I thanked her and she commented that I looked like I needed food. I told her it would take a miracle for me to eat today because I hadn't had time or energy to fix anything for lunch or dinner and I didn't have a dime to spare on buying anything to eat. Man do I miss the days when I could just call J and he would so kindly bring me yummy. healthy food for lunch! Faline headed off to her job and I went up to work on the dress. I was able to reapply the lace properly AND hem the dress before the bride showed up! All I had left to do was put it on her to mark where the zipper went and put the zipper in!
I snapped these pictures of her during this last fitting to show Bri and Josie, but I will show you too! This is SERIOUSLY the first time I saw this woman smile in the three days I dealt with her. I am so glad that God gave her her hearts desire and it made such a difference to her!

The dress is very sweet, and super simple, but it fit her personality completely. And by the smile on her face I think it was just what she wanted. And yes, this is the unfinished back, it looked much better with the zipper in there!

By the grace of God I was able to finish this dress by noon on Friday for the Saturday wedding. Just 48 short hours after it was placed in my hands! But God wasn't done with his grace for the day yet!

I still had 20 Ergo orders to get sorted out and shipped out. A store to clean and a ton of other work to do. I put my head down and started to plow through the rest.

But do you remember what Faline told me before she left? That I needed food? Food that I hadn't prepared and couldn't buy? Well God must have thought I needed food too! Just minutes latter I got a text from two angels telling me that they were on their way to come help me process the Ergo orders, but that they were bringing me lunch too!

So not only did I get to hang out and share a meal with two wonderful friends, but they also were hands to the Lord and provided what I needed to make it through the rest of my day. AND they helped sort out the Ergo mess. AND they took all of the packages to the post office for me. AND I got a back adjustment and massage out of the deal. AND Faline and I were able to focus on some of the other things that we needed to when she got back because of all of the help these two angels provided!

So I really an NOT kidding when someone asks me how I do what I do and I answer
"By the grace and strength of God!"

Monday, May 24, 2010

This girl

I have to tell you today.....
This girl is the sweetest little thing EVER!
And she delights this mommy's heart!

Even when she is so silly and so full of attitude!

Thank you Lord for the blessing of Audrey!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Fun & Friends!

Just a few pics from a fun get together a while ago that I never got to post...
I love entertaining, and our new house and new living arrangements seem to lend themselves to this so much better. No grumpy, unpredictable man who doesn't like people over, a bigger house, and a GREAT backyard! And I was in the mood for steaks, so we had friends over and a impromptu BBQ!
Audrey and Kaia being silly!

You would think she has never seen corn on the cob before.....

Is that kid ever done posing??

It must be a miracle....

They are happy AND playing together without fighting!!!

And I have the proof!!! I caught it on film....
Well not really on film, I guess that saying doesn't work in this digital age! But you know what I mean!!

Can't wait to share our new home with more friends!! And since I am almost done unpacking and putting it together COME ON OVER!!! Seriously, we would love to have you :)

We have a little problem....

As much as I LOVE LOVE LOVE our new house, we have one little problem....

Can you see it????
How about now???
This little guy seems to think that it's A Ok for him to take up residence here rent free. Now I am a generous person and all... but he HAS TO GO!!!!!

Not only do I HATE HATE HATE critters of most any kind, but he (or she or it or whatever the heck it is!) is destroying the back yard and making it so unsafe!!! There are so many tunnels burrowed out there that it seems wherever you walk the ground collapses under you. I am beginning to get really worried that one of the kids is going to hurt themselves, but they love playing in the yard too.

So I am trying to decide, is this little free loader a gopher or a mole?
And whatever it is, how the heck do I get rid of it????
Now don't tell me to get a cat, because I am SOOOO allergic to them.
And my silly dog doesn't even seem to notice the critter when it's only a few feet away from him! I have tried water in the holes flooding him out.
I have tried Juicy Fruit.
I am worried about poisons because of the dog and kids.
What else is there?
What about a trap so I (not really me, the handy man of course because I DO NOT DO CRITTERS!) can take it FAR FAR FAR away from here???
Help please!!!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Great sale coming up at my store!!

Seriously GREAT sale coming up this week at Butterfly Boutique!!!
Check out THIS link to see what it's all about!
And we will honor ALL sale prices on phone orders too :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

slamming doors and windows I didn't know existed...

Man was yesterday a crazy roller coaster of a day! Of course I have come to expect roller coasters in my life, but yesterday was extreme even for me! I think that God must have been having some fun slamming doors shut REALLY LOUD and REALLY HARD, only so He could say in an ever so innocent voice "What? You never noticed that window before?? The one up over there in that corner hidden behind the picture?? Or the one along the edge of the floor with the boxes pushed up against it?? Oh! I thought for sure you knew they were there!"

What??? You don't hear God speaking to you with that much sarcasm at times??? Geesh... must just be me that gets his sarcastic side!

Anyways.... I thought I would try to take you through this roller coaster so you could get an idea of what I am talking about...

Some background for the roller coaster. As you know (if you read here often), the kids and I have just moved. What you might not know is that we moved to escape a domestic violence situation, and to be in a home where HE does not know how to get to us. It was REALLY HARD for so many reasons. I can't even list them all, they overwhelm me! But one of the ways it was hard was financially. There are so many things going on all at once in our lives and our finances have taken a nose dive. But I knew that moving is what God wanted us to do, so I followed his directions. We were blessed beyond words with a wonderful home owned by a wonderful woman who has made this so much less stressful for me. She has been great about working with us and for that I am eternally grateful! But the truth is that I still have moving expenses hanging over my head and it stresses me out! I know that I have a great landlord, and a Father who provides, but bills hanging over my head eat me alive!

So yesterday I had a number of appointments and things to do in town. After dropping the kids off at school I headed into town. On the way there I was mentally reviewing my day and realized that I might have a few extra minutes that I could squeeze in a cup of coffee with a friend. I have been trying for MONTHS to get together with this friend and catch up, but life has been insane! So I texted her (no, NOT while driving! Of course..) and asked if she had time too (she is probably more busy than I am!).

Next stop was an appointment with an agency that I have been hooked into for some resources and help. In a meeting there two weeks ago I was told that my family qualified for a TBRA housing certificate and that would help with the remaining security deposit and some monthly rental assistance. This TBRA program is one of the new stimulus programs. The meeting yesterday morning, from what I understood, was to finish the paperwork and get the certificate. I was hopeful that this would help our impacted monthly budget.

So I head into the meeting hopeful, after all I had already been told that we qualified, only to find out that person A had no idea what she was talking about. This stimulus program, as with so many others out there, is not interested in helping people who help themselves! Because we are not homeless TODAY they can't help us. It doesn't matter that we were in danger of being homeless when the referral was made, nor does it matter that I actually was able to prevent that, what matters is that we are not homeless today. Frustrating on so many levels. First, I am so tired of a society that only helps those who refuse to do anything for them selves! Second, I am so tired of agencies that are filled with people who don't really pay attention to the details, therefore they give out false information to their clients. And third, I am so tired of being told that we are not poor ENOUGH (guess what?? My family falls in the bottom 15% of median income! That is pretty darned low!) or desperate ENOUGH for help. It was the same when I was looking for help in escaping domestic violence, I was never beaten ENOUGH. Ugh. Needless to say I left that meeting pretty deflated.

As I was leaving that meeting two things happened. First the lady that I was meeting with said "I can tell that you are working so hard to do the best thing for your family. There is another program, and while I think it is a REALLY SLIM chance that they will actually take you, I am going to present your case to them tomorrow in case review." A slight glimmer of hope, but honestly I can say that I am NOT expecting good news from this one. The second thing was that my friend texted me back and she COULD meet for coffee!!! I was totally excited about that!

Next on my list of stops was the Child Support office. I have been having issues with my child support and I was hoping that a stop in their office with the proper paperwork would fix it. So I go on in with all of the court papers in hand. I plea my case to the receptionist only to be told "We have to get the papers directly from the court, we can't take them from you." But these are the SAME as the court papers, signed by the judge at the SAME TIME and certified from the court house.... why can't you take them? So basically I get the run around.

No papers from the family, only from the court.
Court papers take 4 to 6 weeks to process.
No child support for at least 6 more weeks.
But don't worry, it will go into arrears.
He will still owe you what he owes you.
You will get it EVENTUALLY.

Go ahead and add that the HUGE arrears he already has.
In the mean time HOW am I supposed to support these kids?
The ones HE helped create?
Got to love government agencies.
Strike two for them GAs yesterday!

So by now I am totally frustrated. I am also in need of a pick me up! So I head over to my old work, the one that I am currently on leave of absence from due to chaos at my store and their inability to pay me. I have asked for my job there back, but they are still not able to support my salary, so I keep withing. But I miss some of the girls and I know that they are always good for a hug or two, so I dropped in to see them. I got my hugs. I got some friendly smiles. And I walked out with some totally unexpected contract work! Right now, when every penny counts twice it was a great blessing!

Next it was off to find out about some summer camp options for Nathaniel. Let me just say BAHH HUM BUG!!!! That was NOT a good conversation in any way, shape or form! Time to head back to the drawing board for fun and entertainment for him this summer! End of subject.

And finally it was time for coffee with that friend I wanted to reconnect with. First let me just say, that while I don't see this person often, the time we steal together is so wonderful, so deep and I NEVER feel like I have to be fake with her. And that in itself is so refreshing. She doesn't exist in the same place as me, she doesn't "get" so much of what I go through, but she is so real about it I have to love her anyways! And likewise, I can be real with her on her issues, I can be a great listener and an empathetic friend without "getting" what she goes through living on the other side of the fence from me. So anyways, our time together was awesome, and deep from the get go, and it felt so good. Then the most interesting thing happened.

I was catching her up on my life, telling her about the night job that is sending me to the crazy bin.

She was telling me about starting to work at her husband's business and seeing the needs that are there.

I was talking about working for a manager who is clueless about managing and feeling so silly working as hard as I do there.

She was talking about trying to fill an open position at their company and being so sick of the college kids that are applying for the position.

She was talking about wanting an employee that would be part of the family for a while, and I was talking about feeling like another rat in the race.

Then she looks at me and has one of her "ah ha" moments. She started asking her leading questions, which I answered candidly. Then she says, "You. I want to hire YOU!" I laughed. I seriously laughed. I told her that their company was SCIENTIFIC and my brain doesn't do science! I adore her husband, but he can loose me in a two minute conversation, he is an absolute genius! It was so funny to me until she said, "No! We are looking for someone to do our website, social media stuff, promotions and just help out." Now wait a second... those are the types of things that I do DAILY both personally for myself, and business wise for my business and some other folks that I do volunteer work for. So super long story shorter (I know, I know... I don't do short!) I started out thinking that I was meeting a friend for some selfish catch up time and God had bigger plans all along! I am (when not playing on my blog :) ) getting my resume together to meet with her husband tomorrow and see where this idea of hers is going. But on the super positive side, she did text me last night after talking to him and said that he is "really positive" about the idea, so I am hopeful that God is showing me a new window that I hadn't seen before!

My day was only half over by this point, but I have a WRAP meeting to pray about now so I won't torture you with the remainder of my day. Just believe me when I say the roller coaster kept going.... and so did the door slamming temper tantrums! :) God keeps me on my toes!

And before you head off, can I ask that you keep my family in your prayers? We are still struggling trying to make ends meet and figure out what our new normal looks like! We can use all of the help we can get!

Blessings to you!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

In the name of motherhood!

I have had this post rambling around in my brain for weeks.. but no time to get it out! It really isn't a Mother's Day post, even if it falls around there. It's just something that I have been thinking about a lot recently.

I absolutely LOVE being a mother. I love my children more than ANYTHING, with the exception of the Lord. I would NEVER trade a day of being a mom for anything in the world. Yet there are times that I look at the things that I do daily in the name of motherhood and I am astonished! I have been thinking of all these things that I do in the name of motherhood. All of the things that I NEVER IN A MILLION years dreamed I would be doing. All of you mother's out there have these too right? I am not alone in my bafflement, right?

For instance, to birth 3 children I have spent 42 weeks of my life in bed on bed rest! 42 weeks out of 102 weeks of pregnancy in bed for medical reasons. That is 294 days...... Crazy!

Or how about birthing a child who goes straight to the arms of Jesus while I, her mommy, had to hang out here on earth? I don't think anyone imagines that pain or loss when they dream of pregnancy. I know it took the strength and encouragement of a community of believer to keep me here on earth too; I would have far rathered given up all on earth and followed her home to heaven. My being here today was not my strength, that was the strength of Christ poured through fellow believers in my life. The mommy in me longs for Taylor EVERY SINGLE DAY. Even now, 12 years latter.

Or how about the girl who passes out at a needle coming at her going through an experimental, high risk surgery to better the life of her child? Yep, I can't tell you how many times the doctors looked at me and asked "Are you SURE about this?" Yes, I was sure. But did they REALLY have to go through EVERY DETAIL of a 9 hour surgery with me???? And how about the every other day blood draws? Or the twice a week ultrasounds? Or the IV port I wore for three weeks? Or the IV drugs to stay off full blown labor for another day or two that lasted for 12 weeks? Or how about 12 weeks of being in labor? All in the name of motherhood.

How about the girl who already had one child in the arms of Jesus giving birth to a little boy 8 weeks premature? Living with the constant fear for months while he was so small, until I could FINALLY believe that the Lord was going to give me a chance to raise this child. I learned so much about complete trust and absolute surrender during that time. Trust and surrender that I fall on EVERY DAY of being a mother.

And while we are talking about medical things, how about the girl who gets queasy with blood and bodily fluids that has a child who needs catheterized every 2 to 3 hours? Or regular enemas? Or constant meds? How about being the mommy to a child who at the tender age of 9 has already endured 10 surgeries? And for all of them I have been right there by his side. And this is the same girl who gets ill when someone else vomits, that has a son who had sever reflux and vomiting for over four years of his life. Four years of vomit AT LEAST 5 times per day. Yes, the Lord is sure expanding my knowledge, comfort zone and idea of normal in the medical arena, all in the name of motherhood.

How about the young woman who was climbing the ladder in her chosen field stopping in mid stream and being a stay at home mommy to not only her own children, but also to high risk foster children? Then when that season was over, the Lord lead me into opening a business to serve families in my community, a business that was family friendly where my children could join me daily? All in the name of being the mother God called me to be.

How about taking a real look at my marriage and realizing that the only way for myself and my children to be safe and healthy was to walk away from my marriage? Realizing that no matter how much I crave to be treasured and loved unconditionally, the man I married was unable or unwilling to love that way. Realizing that he placed his addiction about the safety, security and health of his wife and children. And listening to the Lord when He REPEATEDLY (because I didn't listen so well at first) told me that I had to let all of the dreams go and walk away? In the name of making life as healthy and safe as I can for my children and I.

How about letting go of the dream of financial security, owning a home and the lifestyle I imagined, depending COMPLETELY on the Lord for our EVERY need. Daily wondering how those obligations are going to be met, but knowing without a doubt that the Lord will take care of it, even when I am scared. Trusting that he loves and cares for my children even more than I do, as only a mother can.

Then there is humbling one's self to do what is necessary, such as taking a job doing things you HATE doing, because that is what the Lord gives you! For years I hired a housekeeper for the sole purpose of cleaning my bathroom! I HATE cleaning bathrooms, yet I find myself daily scrubbing all of the restrooms at a local gas station because that is the job the Lord provided for me. Ironic hu? All in the name of motherhood and meeting the needs of my children in the way that the Lord has provided for me.

Or on a completely vain note, how about driving a mommy car that carries a wheelchair instead of the fun, sexy, power cars that I love?

And the one I NEVER EVER EVER imagined. How about being a single mom to two wonderful children, one with extreme medical and emotional needs? Terrifying. Simply terrifying every single day, but it is the road I walk in the name of motherhood.

There are so many things that I do everyday that I never dreamed I would be doing, but that I do with a glad and thankful heart now, because doing those things is what makes me the best mommy I can be! And being the the mommy God created me to be is the one things that matters above all else in my life. Someday I know that God will work all things together and I will see the fruit of his master plan, so for now I focus on the important task at hand of being mommy. Someday I will feel the love, drive the car, hand over the toilet brush, find a life partner and all of those other things, but for today I have the best job in the world. I am mom, and I embrace all that that entails!

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Ok, I admit it....

I have been in a serious FUNK lately.

I am tired of feeling Blah...
Feeling used....
Feeling like yesterdays trash.
I am tired of being told I am old, and fat, and just no fun anymore!

But the truth is... I LOOK old ... and fat.... and probably a bit boring!
Just look at all of that grey hair!

I have an entire streak of it that is pure white.... somehow I don't think that screams young and fun to anyone!

Vain? Maybe.

Small minded? Sure.

But personally.... I am done with it :)

I am dropping weight like crazy, and sure hope to hit my 5 to 7 pounds a month goal by the end of 2010 (and I am doing great on that goal), but that is a long ways off. I want instant gratification NOW! So I decided to dye my hair last night. I usually don't color my hair because it ALWAYS comes out orange, no matter WHAT I do! But I decided, why not? Orange can't be any worse than grey :)

So here it is.....

My new color...

In my "made up" do....

But to be honest I hardly ever wear my hair down. It's too long and gets in my way too much.

This is more my everyday look:

Now I will admit this isn't what used to be my everyday look. This used to be my at home look. But that all changed with Jonathan. He liked it this way, so I would wear it like this more often. But I can't blame it on him anymore. The crazy thing? EVERY TIME I wear it this way someone comments on it in a positive way. It has gotten to be quiet funny to me actually. But hey, a girl can get used to positive comments! And especially this girl, who is feeling a bit Blah and Funkish recently! I can use all the feel good comments I can get :)

So what do you think?
Is it orange?
But it's better than the grey, right?


With change comes adjustment. One of the BIG adjustments that I saw when we moved into this new house was that there was no dishwasher. Now I HATE doing dishes, especially by hand. It's long been one of those tasks that I skirted around doing. But I knew that it was a small price to pay for this awesome house for my children and I, so I sucked it up and convinced myself that I could deal with doing dishes by hand.

The other night I brought home a HUGE tote of dishes from the shop that needed washed. I was super bummed about it, but filled the sink while I was cooking dinner and set my mind to powering them out. In bee bops Little Miss Audrey. She gets a big smile on her face, pulls out her stool, rolls up her sleeves and gets to work....

She powered out that WHOLE TOTE, 3 sinks full of dirty dishes, and the smile never left her face! I guess I didn't loose a dishwasher.... it just changed what it looks like! And this new dishwasher is a whole lot cuter than the old one!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Babies (and mommies!) with Something More

I was sent this piece, and it was awesome. I hope you enjoy reading it, and if you are one of THOSE moms (and you know who you are) this is SO TRUE of you, so in honor of Mother' Day, enjoy!!!

Some Mothers Get Babies With Something More
Author: Lori Borgman

My friend is expecting her first child. People keep asking what she wants. She smiles demurely, shakes her head and gives the answer mothers have given throughout the ages of time. She says it doesn't matter whether it's a boy or a girl. She just wants it to have ten fingers and ten toes. Of course, that's what she says. That's what mothers have always said. Mothers lie.

Truth be told, every mother wants a whole lot more. Every mother wants a perfectly healthy baby with a round head, rosebud lips, button nose, beautiful eyes and satin skin.

Every mother wants a baby so gorgeous that people will pity the Gerber baby for being flat-out ugly.

Every mother wants a baby that will roll over, sit up and take those first steps right on schedule (according to the baby development chart on page 57, column two).

Every mother wants a baby that can see, hear, run, jump and fire neurons by the billions. She wants a kid that can smack the ball out of the park and do toe points that are the envy of the entire ballet class.

Call it greed if you want, but we mothers want what we want. Some mothers get babies with something more.Some mothers get babies with conditions they can't pronounce, a spine that didn't fuse, a missing chromosome or a palette that didn't close.

Most of those mothers can remember the time, the place, the shoes they were wearing and the color of the walls in the small, suffocating room where the doctor uttered the words that took their breath away. It felt like recess in the fourth grade when you didn't see the kick ball coming and it knocked the wind clean out of you.

Some mothers leave the hospital with a healthy bundle, then, months, even years later, take him in for a routine visit, or schedule her for a well check, and crash head first into a brick wall as they bear the brunt of devastating news. It can't be possible! That doesn't run in our family. Can this really be happening in our lifetime?

I am a woman who watches the Olympics for the sheer thrill of seeing finely sculpted bodies. It's not a lust thing; it's a wondrous thing. The athletes appear as specimens without flaw - rippling muscles with nary an ounce of flab or fat, virtual powerhouses of strength with lungs and limbs working in perfect harmony. Then the athlete walks over to a tote bag, rustles through the contents and pulls out an inhaler.

As I've told my own kids, be it on the way to physical therapy after a third knee surgery, or on a trip home from an echo cardiogram, there's no such thing as a perfect body.

Everybody will bear something at some time or another. Maybe the affliction will be apparent to curious eyes, or maybe it will be unseen, quietly treated with trips to the doctor, medication or surgery. The health problems our children have experienced have been minimal and manageable, so I watch with keen interest and great admiration the mothers of children with serious disabilities, and wonder how they do it. Frankly, sometimes you mothers scare me. How you lift that child in and out of a wheelchair 20 times a day.

How you monitor tests, track medications, regulate diet and serve as the gatekeeper to a hundred specialists hammering in your ear.

I wonder how you endure the clich├ęs and the platitudes, well-intentioned souls explaining how God is at work when you've occasionally questioned if God is on strike.

I even wonder how you endure schmaltzy pieces like this one -- saluting you, painting you as hero and saint, when you know you're ordinary. You snap, you bark, you bite. You didn't volunteer for this. You didn't jump up and down in the motherhood line yelling, "Choose me, God! Choose me! I've got what it takes." You're a woman who doesn't have time to step back and put things in perspective, so, please, let me do it for you.

From where I sit, you're way ahead of the pack. You've developed the strength of a draft horse while holding onto the delicacy of a daffodil. You have a heart that melts like chocolate in a glove box in July, carefully counter-balanced against the stubbornness of an Ozark mule.

You can be warm and tender one minute, and when circumstances require intense and aggressive the next. You are the mother, advocate and protector of a child with a disability.

You're a neighbor, a friend, a stranger I pass at the mall. You're the woman I sit next to at church, my cousin and my sister-in-law.You're a woman who wanted ten fingers and ten toes, and got something more. You're a wonder.

Author: Lori Borgman

carving out some personal time!

Things have been CRAZY busy around here.

You might have noticed a complete lack of blog posts from me recently... no time.

And if you are one of my dear friends that I usually read and comment on your blogs too, you have probably noticed that I am either MIA or just now reading OLD posts from you... crazy schedule!

And if you were in MY body, you would feel seriously tired and plain OLD! I am finally beginning to feel my age I think....

But in the last few days I have made a conscious effort to make time for ME, for things that refresh my spirit and soul. It's hard, I am a task oriented person and usually feel like me time comes when I finish everything that needs done, but I am trying to shift that outlook!

I am currently working 18 hour days five days a week, which is one of the reasons I am so tired! I know what I need to do to make ends meet for the kids and I, but my body isn't so much up for the challenge!

And it's more than that too. I KNOW that God has told me that it is time to sell Butterfly Boutique, my business, and I have peace with that. I love my business, but I can always start another one somewhere down the road, I won't be able to raise my children any time but NOW! As much as I at peace with this, I am having trouble getting time to get everything together to make that sale happen. I feel very pressured about that. But in the mean time, I still have to RUN the shop everyday, so I have to work a paying job at other times.
Right now that "other times" is from 5 to midnight Monday through Friday. Killer hours, but I am making it work.

The down side of that is that I need child care for my children during non traditional hours. That has been challenging. I have been blessed with some grants to meet the expense of childcare, but have yet to find the someone to do the childcare, which makes for inconsistent care. That is really hard for Nathaniel, which in turn makes it hard on all of us. I receive multiple calls a night to deal with the areas that he is struggling in and it makes my heart sad that I can't meet all of the needs. He needs consistent care that follows his prescribed plans, while I need to make money to pay the bills that our family has. I am also getting a lot of pressure from certain individuals and agencies that don't want me working at night, but I don't know how else to pay the bills! What a juggling act!

I say all of this because I have two prayer points here.

First, please pray about the job situation itself. If THIS job is God's will, I know that he will create a way for it to all work out. If He wants me home with my children, then I need to have my eyes opened to other solutions to paying the bills (like the TBRA certificate I was given or other funding or programs that are out there that I don't know about).

Second, I ask for prayer for the RIGHT child care provider to come along. No matter what the job situation is or becomes I NEED a child care provider that is trained to handle Nathaniel and his special needs. After all I am a single mom, I can not do it all alone, that burn me out way too fast and be bad for all of us! I am praying for that special someone who is looking for the direction in their life, the flexibility to blend with our family, who has the willingness to be trained for Nathaniel's special needs, and the character that I want around my children. I see the TYPE of person God has put in my mind, but not the person their selves... it's frustrating to me! This is even invading my dreams these days! And if you know much about me, you know I don't dream while I am asleep much, or at least not that I can remember. But I have had this recurrent dream about this one individual that is on the perimeter of our lives suddenly becoming very involved in our lives. It is an interesting thought, knowing the little I do about this person (she has had lots of experience with children, is a warm loving individual and may be a t a crossroads herself), but not totally out there, I just don't know what to do with this dream, or if I should do anything with it! Please pray for us, and if you are someone or know someone who might fit this need please let me know!
This morning I did make time to do a special outing with Audrey, and the smiles I got from her??? Made the loss of sleep TOTALLY WORTH IT!!!

Her class at school had a Muffins for Mom morning. It was so sweet. They made invitations for the moms and sent them home. Then they had muffins and juice for us, and the kids served their special person. More sweet!

(Audrey took this picture of the muffins, I love seeing the things she takes pictures of!)

At the end they sang a special Mother's Day song to us.

I am so glad that I made the time to go with her, even though my body wanted to say in bed!!!

And speaking of making the time... I felt in my heart a calling to bless some other mother's with something special. I have had this feeling in my heart for a few weeks, but haven't found the time to do anything about it.

Yesterday I finally just made it happen. I just stopped everything else and sat down to make 75 handmade Mother's Day cards.

And honestly... it was so relaxing for me! I felt so good afterwards :)

Can you guess where these 75 Mother's Day cards are headed???