Thursday, November 30, 2006

We Have Arrived!

Don't you want to just announce your arrival sometimes? Like walk in to a gathering and cup your hands around your mouth and go "Da, da, da, daaaaaaaa..... Ladies and Gentlemen.... I, have arrived!"
I feel like doing that now. I'm here in Ft. Polk, Louisiana and I should have people running up to meet me. I'm nice gosh darn it! Come say Hi, give a smile, I promise I'll return it! There's no need to be on guard here, just let go and say Hello! Well, we'll give it time. But I hope it happens soon. I can't unpack and help the kids adjust foreve. At some point I have to make my own friends and get involved in stuff again like I was in my old town. There was such a fanfare of good-byes and hugs and tears when we left, I guess I feel a little jilted that the same type of fanfare isn't waiting for me to arrive here.
Instead of fanfare, I have a house full of boxes. Husband was astonished by the number of boxes that belonged to us in the never ending trailer of the semi today. Or well, yesterday, I guess. I think "today" cause I haven't really gone to bed yet! But husband gets up in less than an hour to go to work, so I guess I should get some kind of sleep before I start an exciting new day of unpacking boxes and unwrapping countless forgotten treasures! It's amazing all the things you thought you've lost until you move and POP! there they are magically wrapped in a box marked "misc". Of which I have hundreds, by the way. Ok, well, not hundreds per say... but many, many, many boxes lazily marked "misc".

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

What a beautiful day it is here in Wisconsin today. It's 60 degrees, sunny and I'm with my children and family. My husband may not be here with us, but he's here in the states and I don't have to worry about him. He's having dinner with some friends and I'll see him tomorrow.
Monday and Tuesday three packing ladies came. It was the strangest feeling watching these ladies pack all of my stuff. I felt like I should be doing it. I also felt like they were judging me. Looking at me thinking, Why can't this lady pack her own crap. So I did little things here and there making it look like I was working hard and keeping busy as well!
On Wednesday 6 moving men came. The big semi that they needed to load it all in was too big to fit back where my apartment was, so a smaller "shuttle truck" had to come back, load up, then go and put everything in the semi, then come back and load up again. I think they took three trips out to the semi parked out front of our apartment complex. Not to mention the fact that I live in an upstairs apartment, so they had their work cut out for them.
Now my place is almost empty. I kept back probably more stuff than I should have. When my husband flies in tomorrow afternoon we'll have to figure out how to transport all this stuff I have leftover, plus the cats and all their stuff.
For today, I get to relax and have dinner at my sisters.
A small thankful list:
I'm thankful my husband came home from Afghanistan safe and sound
I'm thankful we finally get to be with him again after such a long time
I'm thankful for my 3 happy healthy kids
I'm thankful that God gives me so many blessings every day

Hope everyone has a wonderful day and I'll be back when I'm all set up in my new house in Louisisana!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Signing off....

....for a short time.
I'm moving later this week from Wisconsin to Louisiana.

The good part:
~I get to be with my husband again... it's been WAY too long.
~My kids get their daddy back.
~I get to see a new part of the country and have a new adventure.
~I get to meet new friends.
~The boys won't have to share a room as we have a BIG 4 bedroom house waiting for us!

The bad part:
~Most of my family is in Wisconsin
~Taking the kids out of a school that we love to death
~Leaving my church that has become like a second home to me
~Leaving my cute little town

Ok, I could probably come up with tons more on both sides, but that's the jist of it. I'm happy, I'm sad, I'm worried, I'm excied.
And, I won't be blogging for at least a week.
See you all when I'm all settled in... same Bat time, same Bat channel!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

About Me

one. I am ..... totally insane
two. person who knows me best.... my husband
three. I feel .... happy, excited, jealous, angry, hurt, disappointed, relieved... all at this very moment!
four. the most important thing in my life is ..... my family
five. I always carry .... my heart on my sleeve
six. I think .... that I need to get a life!
seven. I’m at my happiest when .... I'm home with hubby and kids
eight. on a Monday morning, you can find me .... yelling at the kids to hurry up so they aren't late for school
nine. my favorite food ingredient is .... anything sweet
ten. my eyes .... are hazel
eleven. my favorite material possession is ...... my books
twelve. to relax, I like to ..... read or sit on the computer
thirteen. the town I live in is .... big enough for me
fourteen. my worst habit is ..... biting my fingernails
fifteen. my guilty pleasure is ..... chocolate, and lots of it
sixteen. when I look at someone, the first thing I see is .... how honest or not they are
seventeen. I think ....way too often about way too much
eighteen. I can live without ..... criticism
nineteen. I wish I had .... more patience
twenty. my life is .... Chaotic

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A Time for Everything

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

I remember when I first heard The Byrds sing "Turn, Turn, Turn", I thought it was such a genius song. Then my mom pointed out a passage in the bible and I couldn't believe they were singing this passage! It's something I really try to remind myself of from time to time. There's a time for one thing, and then there are times for other things.
I have so many things changing in my life right now, and some I'm excited about and some I'm not. But today, this passage came back to me to remind me that there is a time and a place for everything.
Right now, my place is in Louisiana by my husband. I've only got one more week to go before I get to be there. In my rightful place. I'm anxious, and antsy, and I feel my time here has come to a close. I have family here, and they will be missed, but I'm something of a rolling stone. I need to go do something else now. I've been in one place for almost 4 years now. For many people that is a very short time, for me it's way too long. I need adventures, I need to be moving, I need to see new things and meet new people. I need to be with my husband after an agonizing 9 months apart. My children need their father who they cry for every night. "A time to plant, and a time to uproot."
I had a confrontation with a woman who is a virtual stranger to me on my beloved Club Mom message boards last night. I never stand up for myself, I never stick up for myself... I'm very weak when it comes to confronting people. People I know, people I don't know, it doesn't matter. But this one particular woman has pushed my buttons one too many times for months now and nothing is ever done about it. I have several loyal friends who stand up for me time and time again. But nothing is ever done by me. I sit idle and let this woman bully me. I am idle no more. The tamest animal in the world will lash out when cornered. I was cornered. I lashed out. I don't believe in telling people every little thing that you think is wrong with them. I don't believe in confronting them with every problem. Again, I'm weak. I'd rather take the brunt of their criticism and be wounded on the inside than let them know what I'm really thinking and hurt them in return. Like this message board woman. So last night, I finally told her what I really thought of her. Like, REALLY REALLY thought of her. I held nothing back. Did I feel better afterward? You bettcha!.... kinda..... well, after the high died down, I realized that I probably just really hurt someone's feelings. Then I felt like crap. That's when this verse came to me: "a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate" And this one: "a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them" , and I realized, it was time. It was time to tell her that she can't always get away with her surliness. Of course, then she had the nerve to tell me that she was disappointed a Christian woman would talk like that and that she'll pray for my tortured soul or something like that. I should have quoted this passage to her!
There should always have a balance. You can't have on thing without the other. No matter what it is. You can't have the good without the bad, you can't have the bad without the good. I'll have to see how many more things on that list I can check off. How many more things will change, how many more things will flip around and how many more surprises I'll get.

Friday, November 10, 2006

I am Dumbledore

Take this Harry Potter personality test, and let me know who you're like!

Home Sick

Yesterday morning when we got up to go to school, Louisa was too sick to eat her breakfast. She couldn't swallow, her throat was too sore, and she had a bad headache. I sent her back to bed and took Drew to school.
Last night, I had a fever and now this morning my head hurts and my throat is sore. I told Louisa thank you, for which she gave me a very peppy, You're Welcome!
Incidentally, she's home sick again today. I'm not sure how "sick" she still is, but if she passed this on to me, I'm betting money she'll pass it on to others. And she still can't swallow solid food, which may make lunch time a little difficult.
At 11:00 this morning I got a call from school. The secretary says, "Hi, I have another one for your sick crew this morning." Drew had thrown up in class, which caused another friend to have sympathy vomit. Fun fun fun morning for that teacher!
Needless to say, Drew's class was having a pizza party at 11:15 this morning. So I picked up a sad, sad, sad Drew. My poor baby. He missed his pizza party..... and recess.... and rest time where they get to watch a movie.... and..... and.....
What happened to kids actually trying to make themselves sick to stay home? I can't tell you how many moch headaches and tummy aches I had when I was in school. And my kids cry because they have to stay home sick? Seriously? These are so not my kids!
I pick Drew up from school and we get into the car and he says, "Do I get to sit around and watch TV like Louisa did yesterday?" Yes, honey, of course you do. Silly boy!
When I brought Drew home I gave him some "medicine" AKA Pedialyte, and after drinking the whole bottle he's magically all better! Wow, that medicine works good! **wink, wink** Don't ya just love those little tricks we get to pull.
So now they are finally watching Cars, and if you haven't seen it yet, GET IT NOW!!! It's incredible!
I wouldn't feel too sorry for these kids. After all, they're living the life right now. They have a maid/servant, endless supply of drinks, and any movie they want to watch at their disposal.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Halloween? Umm, that was, like, almost a week ago!

Ya ya ya.... I'm way behind on this. But I can't have three adorable trick or treaters and not share their pictures with everyone.
As with most years, because we live in Wisconsin, it was darn cold out. Husband said it was 34 degrees when we were trick or treating! I held Hunter most of the time just to keep myself warm! Louisa realized the importance of wearing gloves even if they don't match her costume. Isn't it great when we can teach them a lesson and then in our minds we can say "See, I told ya so!" and have that smug satisfaction of BEING RIGHT!?
Back in my day, it snowed most years on Halloween and we'd have to smush our snowpants and boots under our costumes! Ok, that only happened one year that I can remember, but I like to tell the story over and over again so it seems like it happened every year.
We got loaded up on candy, and candy, and um... popcorn. Not really sure what was up with this, but an old lady had popped popcorn, put it in a styrofoam cup, in a zip lock baggie. Ok.... in this day and age we just don't do that anymore. She asked the kids if they wanted candy or popcorn. Louisa said candy, but 9 times out of 10 Drew would choose the popcorn. We let him take it, but decided to throw it out when we got home. Too late. He got to it before we could check it out. He's still alive, though. I assume it's just a sweet old lady who's done that for years. I mean, when I was little we got pennies, apples and oranges, home made popcorn balls, home made cookies... all sorts of things you'd never get now.
So, without further ado, here are my little frozen trick or treat-sicles!
Is this not the cutest darn Yoda you've ever seen in your life?!!!!

Harry Potter and the Rennaisance Princess.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

In Remembrance

A lot has happened in the past two years. I've had a baby, husband has been to war, mother-in-law had a nervous breakdown, my niece went to live with my in-laws for awhile, I could probably go on and on with things that have happened over the last two years. But most notably, my niece has grown up without a mother, my mother and father-in-law have struggled to make sense of why their daughter was taken and hold on to their granddaughter which is that last little bit of their daughter that remains on this earth, my sister-in-law has struggled with why her sister was taken.
My husband, well, he thinks about his sister every day. He thinks about the relationship they used to have, laughing, telling jokes, playing cards or monopoly, watching tv, listening to music.... having a sister only one year older than him was fun for him. He always had someone to hang out with, they bugged eachother but most of the time it was all in good fun. Then I came along and that relationship was dashed to pieces.
So many things went wrong the last few years before she died. So many questions that will forever remain unanswered.
I once had a best friend. We hung out all the time. We liked the same music, both played tenor sax in concert band (she was a little better than I was! she was always 1st chair and I was always 2nd!), we got our drivers licenses on the same day, we were both quirky and loved nothing more than to laugh and have fun. We were a perfect match. She was quiet and I was loud, I smoked cigarattes and was a little too promiscuous and she wasn't either. We were also perfectly mismatched.
Then my husband, her brother came along and things went terribly wrong.

So, what went wrong???
After I had Louisa, Tabitha, my best friend, was there for me every second. She watched Louisa when I needed a babysitter, she supported me in everything I did, and she helped me to realize that Louisa's bio-father wasn't ever going to form a family with us, he was just leading us on and breaking our hearts.
I knew her younger brother from high school, and I knew he was in the army, and sometimes he would come visit her and she'd joke that I should stop by and "hook up" with him when he was in town. The day he and I met was totally by coincidence, but sparks flew and the rest is history. Part of what went wrong started with this meeting. Tabitha was happy for me that I'd started dating her brother, but she knew my history of dating men and then tossing them when I was finished. She was afraid I would do that to her brother. I, of course, had no intentions on doing that, but I needed to convince her.
The weekend that I knew that husband was driving from Georgia to Wisconsin to propose to me, I, naturally, called my best friend with the absolutely terrific news that we were going to be sister-in-laws! What I was met with was not excitement, but resentment. Tabitha had just gotten engaged to her longtime boyfriend, the loser of which I've spoke about before. So when I called my best friend and future sis-in-law to tell the great news and was met with such a disappointed tone, my heart was broken. "I know," she said, " my mom told me already. My brother is too young to get married, he has plans and goals. What's this going to do to them? And where is he getting money to buy you a ring? He doesn't have very much money, you know!"
The months to follow should have been happy, passing by in a dreamy-eyed daze. My best friend and I planning our weddings together as we had always hoped we would. Shopping for dresses and flowers and cakes and addressing invitations together. We had been talking about this moment for years! What really happened was her fighting me tooth and nail the whole way. For some reason she was not happy for me. Somewhere in the mix of all of this she got pregnant with Eve. So I could chalk it all up to hormones, but I don't think that's what it was.
For years we had always planned to be eachother's maids of honor. We would get so excited talking about it. Then one day, I got a phone call from Tabitha. "Hi.... um..... I kinda have something to tell you..... (long silence)..... I kinda have to ask my sister to be my maid of honor....."
So I think for me, that was the last straw. She had been pushing me away for months for no reason. Then she tells me I'm not even her maid of honor anymore! I end up 3rd in a line of 4 in her bridal party. That showed me where I was in her life.
So I asked my sister to be my maid of honor, after all, I was my sister's and I was honored when she had asked me.
The years passed and Tabitha and I got to a point where, at family functions, her and I were no longer speaking. The last time I saw her was three months before she died at her sister's house for our nephew's birthday party. She passed by me with a cold shoulder.... and that is the last memory I have of my best friend and sister-in-law.

This is us at my wedding:

She had a whole photo album full of pics of her and I from high school, but after she died and I asked her husband for it, he said he hadn't seen it in years. He said he was looking for it to post pics of her and I on the picture boards at the funeral, and he couldn't find it. He told me that she talked fondly of me, after all was said and done. That she always wanted to call up me and her brother and invite us over, but there were certain things standing in her way. He also lies a lot. So I don't know where the truth is in all of this.
Our 10 year high school reunion was this September. I didn't go, but I sent along a tribute that I wrote for Tabitha, along with this picture, for our classmates to remember her by:

In Memory of Tabitha
Tabitha H. passed away on November 2, 2004 at the age of 27. She is survived by her husband, Chris H., 5 year old daughter Eve, stepson Jacob, parents Dave & Alice, sister Annette (Tim), nephew Corey, brother David (Kelley), niece and nephews Michael, Mackenzie & Colton, and brother Andrew (Peggie) niece and nephews Louisa, Andrew Jr. and Hunter.

On November 1, 2004, Tabitha arrived at work at Jewel Osco in Milwaukee where she was a managing supervisor. She collapsed at work and was rushed to the hospital where it was discovered that she had a brain aneurysm and would not regain consciousness again. We said our good-byes and on November 2, 2004, let God take her home.
She was a special woman who made everyone around her happy. We have not found one picture of her that she isn’t smiling in. She was shy and quiet and usually didn’t have a lot to say. But once you got to know her, you couldn’t shut her up!
Tabitha attended West High School and graduated in 1996. She played JV soccer during her 10th and 11th grade years, and Spring City for several years. She played the tenor saxophone in concert band. She was in honors classes and graduated with honors. After high school Tabitha went on to college at UW Milwaukee where she graduated in 2001 with a business degree specializing in human resource. She worked at Jewel Osco in Waukesha for many years before being promoted to one of the Milwaukee area stores. Before she passed away she was offered the promotion she had been hoping for at the corporate office.
In June 2000, Tabitha married her long time boyfriend Chris H. In December 2000 she gave birth to her beautiful baby girl who was the apple of her eye. Tabitha’s daughter, Eve, was 3 when her mommy passed. She carries her mommy close to her heart. Eve is starting kindergarten this fall and it is difficult to watch such a beautiful little girl grow up without her mom. Tabitha would be so proud of her daughter. Eve has many of Tabitha’s mannerisms and it’s wonderful to see that Tabitha’s spirit is very much alive!
Our family has a huge hole in it since Tabitha is gone. We all feel we made the best of our time with her while she was here and we thank God for giving her to us if only for a short while.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Life is Good, and I'm Singing From the Mountain Tops!

On Monday we got the good word. The very good word. The word that made me cry and scream and dance and get dizzy all at the same exact time.
Seven months apart. We spent seven months apart from eachother. Some days went by in a blurr, some days it seemed as if husband wasn't a real person but someone I had made up in one of my crazy fantasies that sometimes become a little too real for comfort, some days I felt as if he never was going to come home.
It's all over. I don't have to worry, I can eat again, I can sleep again, I can laugh without feeling guilty, I can cry tears of relief and joy instead of pain and heartache.
Life is good. Right now, in this moment, life is good!
On Monday, we got the word that husband's unit has completed their mission in Afghanistan and they are no longer needed. The few guys that got to come home on leave like husband did get to stay here and report back to their army base. The guys who were left in Afghanistan will return home within 30 days.
I don't have to say good-bye again. I get to love him and hug him and keep him all for myself for awhile longer. And eventhough he'll leave on Saturday to go back to his army base, and the kids and I will remain here in Wisconsin until an on-base house becomes available, he will still be mine. Mine to call whenever I want to. Mine to know where he is, what he's doing, and that he's safe. Mine who's so close to me now that I can reach out and touch him whenever I need him.
Life is good!