Tuesday, May 29, 2012

How I love Latvia

We have four sets of friends who are in Latvia getting their children right now.  Amazing.  Beautiful.  Divine.  Holy.  Precious.  Selfless.  Redeeming.  Loving.  Giving.  Changing.  Exciting.  Hopeful.  Christ-like.

I am so blown away at what God does through the hosting program.  I am so blown away to watch families walk journeys where no 2 are alike, they are full of twists and turns, laughter, tears, joy, pain, and watch a child be claimed at the end.  To GOD be all all all all ALL the glory.

They are on my mind.  And it made me go back through some photos from my last trip there.  I want to share them.  The beauty of the country.  The beauty of the hope.  The beauty of the journey.  And if you are interested in purchasing an 8 x 10 of any of the photos for $50 each, all the money will go to Project One Forty Three for future children's hosting fees.  :0)

I love Latvia.  I love hosting.  I love adoption.  I love God.

If you are interested in being a part of one of the most amazing things ever... hosting a child and changing their life forever through love and a few weeks of your life... then please visit http://www.projectonefortythree.com for more information.  You will never be the same.  It changes generations.

Much love,

QUESTION:  Do you like the new look of the blog?  I am not sure if it is cool or a little impersonal?  I miss my banner with pics of the family but kinda like the look.  Not sure... whatcha think?

POST EDIT!  Wow.  Over 125 people have viewed my post in the past 24 hours and not one comment.  Crazy.  I seriously think I should turn off comments and then I won't wonder why no one could speak up!  LOL Anyway, I went back to the previous design.  I thought the new one was cool and loved the magazine layout but didn't like that viewers could change the layout themselves (odd) and it was a bit cold.  If it had been magazine with the banner, I may have kept it a while.  But anyway, and I know it is oh so important, (ha ha) I changed it back!
Slowin Down... 

I was flipping though a magazine years ago and there was a picture of a couple sitting on a swing on the edge of their dock and  it facing out towards the water.  So they would swing out over the water.  I knew I wanted that one day.  So when we had this swing made, I knew exactly where I wanted it.  And you would not believe how many of our renters have a cow about it.  Really?  We actually have to turn it around a face it towards the end of the cove for renters.  And THEN they are happy.  LOL  Kills me.  People can so kill me how they just can't handle anything outside the box.

Anyway, when we are there, this little swing is a great spot to retreat to for moments of nothing.  Just sitting... swinging... and thinking.  Watching the boats go by, watching the sun set, watching the fish jump.  Just calm, peace, and slow.   THAT is what I need so much more of in my life.

School is out.  Summer has arrived.  And everyday seems to be packed with stuff to do and places to go.  I HATE IT.  I hate living life at this pace.  And yet, I can't seem to get out of the grip of it.  Children are asking... will you take me here, can we go there, can you do this, can we do that, what are we doing today, can we, can we, can we?  I find myself hanging on the wall with my fingernails like a cat on a tree.  In my mind anyway.  Can't we just wake up and BE?  Can't you just play?  Can't we just flow?  Can't we just rest?

Then, my precious husband, who is a goer, adds in his requests and I feel like the bad guy.  If there is a little stretch of days without something on the calendar, he is coming up with ideas of what we can do with it.  Want to go to the lake? (I know, big problem to have!)  Want to go to Stone Mountain?  Want to go?  Want to go?  And most of the time... I don't.  We have an 8 day trip coming up next week.  Taylor's sister is coming from Latvia after that, for five weeks, and then we are off to Virginia for my brother's wedding in July.  Then Don and I may have the opportunity to have a week together without the kids in August.  I am sure we will get to the lake once if not twice in there and THAT is enough for me.

On top of all of that is praise practice and teaching Sunday school and missions meetings and doctor appointments and therapy appointments and dentist appointments and massage appointments and advocating for children and tending a garden and maintaining a house and worship and Fourth of July events and the pool and play dates and youth events and and and and and and and...................................

What if there was time to actually paint a piece of furniture?  Or scrap book our trip to the beach or the surprise trip to Disney?  Or what if we got to sleep in and take lots of naps and enjoy the slowness?

How can I slow down our life when it overfloweth with this stuff?  I don't know.  But I am praying it will come to me.  Maybe we can make a challenge of 20 days of nothing!  LOL

Maybe I need to get away for a week by myself and do NOTHING and hopefully get recharged to jump back into all the madness.  Does anyone else find themselves just longing to sit all day in a swing facing the water?  Does anyone else feel every day is packed to the top with stuff to do?  Is that the way we were meant to live?  I do not think so.

I will ponder.  In the mean time, I need to find another 20 items to remove from our home.  I have given up on the idea that it needed to be 20 days in a row.  It will be 20 days of purging.  But it may take 40!  ha ha
So hopefully day 7 will arrive today and we will have less stuff.  And thank you for letting me vent.  I do feel a tab bit better!  And if you have ways you clear the calendar, protect time, enjoy some slow moments... please share!

Much love, Dawn

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Twenty 20 Challenge- Day 6 (and other random things!)

I ALMOST feel guilty about this one... but it is what it is and it was EASY today.  I am not going to apologize for an easy 20!  Our office is my least favorite room in the house.  The furniture doesn't work right and the space is not laid out right and it is always a mess.  We have a computer armour and it is just a nightmare half the time.  My DREAM is to have the entire back wall turned into built in with built in file cabinets, shelves, and DRAWERS with two areas for work, including the computer, but... sigh... sadly it costs money and we just don't have a money tree out back.

So anyway, today, there was another "pile" sitting here and so I asked Don if it needed to be recycled or shredded.  It's pages from his flight manual that are out dated and so they needed to be shredded.  OUT-OF-HERE!  And there were more than 20 pages and so I am ahead!!!!  HA HA

On another note... I want to introduce you to a dear friend of mine whom I just ADORE for so many reasons.  The latest reason is because she has turned into a furniture painting DIVA!  I mean... look at this super adorable piece of furniture...

Can you stand it!?  Is that not almost the cutest thing ever!!!!  Yes.  Yes it is!

And this one... LOVE IT!  AND...

this one.  Amazing and love it.  Her pieces go fast as she prices them super affordable and so you need to join her site HERE and stay up with her blog!

Lastly, I wanted to thank you for the sweet support you have given me on facebook about our not so great news about Don's job.  I appreciate it and KNOW God will guide us and that things will be fine in Him.
That night, I read one of my devotions, Jesus Calling, and was SO blown away by God's words and timing.  He speaks to me SO SO often through my devotions.  His intimacy with me never ceases to amaze me.  I wanted to share that devotion with you here.

Jesus Calling  May 22

"When things don't go as you would like, accept the situation immediately.  If you indulge in feelings of regret, they can easily spill over the line into resentment.  Remember that I am sovereign over your circumstances, and humble yourself under My mighty hand.  Rejoice in what I am doing in your life, even though it is beyond your understanding.  I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  In Me you have everything you need, both for this life and for the life yet to come.  Don't let the impact of your world shatter your thinking or draw you away from focusing on Me.  The ultimate challenge is to keep fixing your eyes on Me, no matter what is going on around you.  When I am central in your thinking, you are able to view circumstances from My perspective. "  
1 Peter 5:6; John 14:6

 Needless to say, I was BLOWN away.  My post spoke about me being shattered.  And I am in the middle of this Twenty/20 Challenge.  BOTH of those were addressed as well as the whole things not going as I would like!  I LOVE LOVE LOVE when my LORD does that for me.  Not the day before, not the day after, but THE DAY I NEED TO HEAR THOSE words and He uses a devotion to hand deliver them to me.  Humbled.  And thankful.  I am sure I will be reading that entry often.

If you do not read a devotion and would like to begin, there are two I highly recommend.  They are the two I use and they speak to me this way OFTEN!!!!!!!  At His Feet, by Chris Tiegreen and Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young.  Both use scripture to encourage and challenge you on a daily basis! 

Much love,

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Twenty/20 Challenge- Day 5

In the midst of the chaos right now, I gathered another 20 today!  It is not pretty or organized... ha ha.  But it is here in a bag with the last purges to go to the thrift store on the way to gymnastics in 10 minutes!

A binder of printed recipes from HGTV I printed in 1999, 4 birds ornaments, a bag of ornaments, hoodies, an old photo album, a pony tail holder, gift card holder, scarf, necklace, wall stickers, books and shoe hanger closet thingies made the cut today!  As well as some t-ball shoes Don found at a thrift store, spent a few dollars on, and are now headed back after the end of the season!

I have found that getting 20 EVERY day has been unrealistic.  But I am still sticking with it and am excited to get my 20 going for tomorrow. 

If you have joined me, stick with it.  I am now at 100 items out of the house and they are on to better things.  As well as some peace left behind!

Hugs and love, Dawn

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Strength ONLY in Him

Today I am reminded of how fragile I really am... how everything can change in an instant.  And I am reminded that it is a choice to cling to God.  It is a choice to trust Him.  Feelings and fears and emotions flood you and start wrapping themselves around you.  Your soul starts wrestling with the flesh as the truth stands and beckons you to stay near and find rest.

My health has been attacked greatly this year.  Last night I stood and looked at x-rays of a very crooked  back, bone spurs, degenerating disks in the neck, and a neck curved the wrong way.  To attack this problem through chiropractics in a way that will help, (time & repetition) will take over $200 a month.  The massages I am getting (not yummy pampering kind but break up the calcium and painful kind) are currently $50 a week.  So that is a total of $400 a month just for an effort at trying to get my body back into a place of health.

Taylor took an assessment test today at a Christian school we are hoping she can attend next year and that will be $500 a month.  Those two things alone = $900 a month.

So normally, I am the one that takes the cut.  I stop going to the chiropractor and don't do what I need to do because I want to save the money for other things the family needs.  But yet... I-am-falling-apart.  So this can not continue.

Last night, I was asking, myself on the way home from the x-ray reading, if we should wait for christian school for Taylor until I get my body back into a healthy place.  My heart didn't feel good about it and I was feeling selfish for thinking I should chose my needs over what we are feeling like we need to do for our daughter.  "Where am I in this?" is what I heard from the Lord.  Yep.  I slunk down in my seat.  I was giving Him no credit for doing what He does... provide.  "Are you not even going to give me the opportunity to provide?" is also what I heard.

I was feeling overwhelmed and irritable and Don kept wanting me to call a family back who are thinking about hosting.  I DIDN'T want to call them.  I wanted to talk to him about what was going on in my heart and I was starving and wanted to eat and I knew it would not be a quick conversation.  But he has a way of staying on something when he wants me to do it and maybe half the time I give in just to get him off my back.  LOL  So I called.

God was so generous and blew me away with how he ministered to me during that call.  I was floored.  I knew all the hesitation I had felt was straight from the enemy who had not wanted me to hear the words of affirmation and encouragement from a stranger... yet a sister in Christ.  She prayed with me over the phone and said several things that were straight confirmations from the LORD that He wanted me to stay on course with Taylor going to this school and that He will heal me as well.  I was very touched by the timing and how personal He is to do such things for us like that.

Then today, Abby had her last day of school.  The day was full of fun activities and a sweet time with the class and teachers.  Towards the end, Don came to tell me that the scholarship we get from the state towards Abby's tuition there had gone down for next year.  "Of course it did," was my response.  And yet, there was peace.  This was a bit strange to me, especially after last night, that I would have peace about more money we'd have to pay for schooling but I wasn't bothered one tiny bit.  Later, I was thinking about it and became bummed but there was still peace.  Don told me that it looked like we were going to owe another $1200 or more in tuition.  Long story short, I went in to sign the contract for next year and the balance we are going to owe is $2.  Two dollars.  I started crying.  I could not believe it.  And I felt Him there.  And I am so thankful for that blessing.

I came home after a friend and I took the girls to lunch to celebrate their year and Don was trying to get in touch with me.  "Southwest has announced they have sold the 717's to Delta."  There it was.  A rumor we have been dealing with for months had become truth.  My husband lost the plane he has been flying for AirTran.  Southwest bought AirTran and came at us with parties and romanced the employees with promises and dances and yee hawws and I KNEW it was a bunch of smoke.  I KNEW they just wanted our pilots to comply and come on board with the "It's a win/win" attitude and then they would kick us down.

A few months ago, they merged the pilots and he lost seniority and our pay decreased.  Now, we still had a job and we still made more than enough money and so we sucked it up and remained thankful.  But now... they have sold the plane he flies and so he has lost the plane.  And because of his seniority, or lack of seniority since the merge, he has lost the Captain seat as well since he has to move to the 737 now where all their pilots have the seniority.  And that means another cut in pay.  And even worse... it may mean he loses ATL as a base and we may have to move. 

So today, I saw our life here swept out from under us like a rug.  And I was overcome with disappointment and fear and sadness.  I am not really angry.  I was angry the first time they dorked him/us over.  I worked through all of that and was really feeling thankful for where we were.  But now, with all the uncertainty ahead, I am struggling to proclaim thankfulness.  And that is my flesh.  Because we still have boundless blessings to be thankful for.  And HE is worthy to be praised simply because of who He IS.

The thought of leaving Abby's school, our amazing friends, our spiritual support group, our home, the doctors who have walked this journey with Abby with us, and our town that we love so much... makes me deeply sad.

And that is how fragile I am.  Like a table covered in glass.  One good shake and I could shatter.  How sad is that?  I deal with shakes with Abby's health and now my health and I manage and now everything we hold dear in our physical life is shaking and I just want to shatter.  And we have no say.  No control.  We wait.  And the company will decide.  THAT is what torks me most.

"Where am I in all of this?" is what I hear... again.  And this is what I know... "You are in control of all of this.  You knew about this before you brought us here.  And you know where you want us tomorrow.  And your word, in which I trust, says you have plans for us... plans that are good.  And that you go before us AND you are our rear guard.  You tell me that ALL things work together FOR GOOD for those who love the LORD.  And you have shown me, more than once, that you are alive and living and so is your word.  And I know that trusting in you is what you want me to do.  And so I cling to that."

I have to make a choice.  And my choice is to untangle myself from the emotions and fears and disappointments that are trying to choke me right now.  And to fall into His arms.  I need help staying there.

Much love, Dawn

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Twenty/20 Challenge- Day 4

This has become a challenge, for sure, in stealing the time I need to not only gather/find/decide upon my 20 items as well as the time to photograph them and blog about them!  HA HA  But the whole blogging about it has totally added an accountability aspect and has been the driving force to make me hunt them down each day! 

Yesterday, I stole a few minutes and hit my t-shirt drawer!

I was SO hoping I could get a full 20 from there, but I didn't. :0(  I tried them on and several I haven't worn in a long time inspired me for new outfits and so I kept them.  I know.  Half the battle is getting rid of some things that still may be cute but I just don't wear.  So I am struggling with that.  There is one t-shirt that is my favorite and I wear it at least once a week!  Then there are others I haven't worn since Africa!  Yeah.  I kept one of those though, because it is navy blue and will come in handy for the 4th of July.  HA HA

But I did end up with 12 to purge out of there and so that was great... well... good.  And in the process... organization of the drawer was a bonus as well as a few new outfit ideas!

We'll see how long this lasts but for now, all my tanks are in the back... my shorts all in a neat stack, printed t-shirts in a stack, plain front shirts in another stack, and "great cause" shirts (Project One Forty Three and Africa and adoption shirts) are in another stack!  Yeah.  I like that! :0)

I hit Marc's closet to get the 8 more items I needed and got 8 books easily!  He has several of those little board books from the wee little days and so I nabbed those to give to a friend who has just had her second baby!  They are great for the diaper bag, car, and wee little hands.

I then went through my stack of 12 shirts and found 4 the consignment store will take and then tied a ribbon around 4 of the books to make them cute!  And now I have a stack going for the consignment store, a bag for the thrift store, and the books are going to be given to Brie tomorrow!

All in all, this is working.  I feel like I am accomplishing something without feeling overwhelmed.  It is working out better for me to blog the following day about the previous day and so I may just stick with that! :0)

Have a blessed weekend!
Much love,

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Twenty 20 Challenge- Day 3

Today was a crazy busy day.  It started with Abby having 2 seizures last night. Way bummer.  So my morning was very different from what I had planned and I kept Abby home from school to love on her and pour into her soul.  Her right leg was really tingling and weak too so I felt better having her with me.  We had a good day.

In addition to all that, it was Marc's last day of pre-school and so there was a little last day celebration.  From there we went to run some errands and had lunch and went grocery shopping and then it was time to pick up Taylor to dash home and then I was off for my massage.  And I must mention, my massages are not pamper massages... they are torture your body and eliminate calcium massages but they help me greatly!  :0)

So then I am back  home and making dinner and cleaning up and yada yada... SOOOOO here I was... at 10 p.m. trying to get my 20 items rounded up because of the accountability of this blog!  Ha.  :0) What a great motivation.  So it is almost 11 and I am way tired and I will take my pictures tomorrow but here is what I did today.

I raided my drawer of skivies!  I knew it would be an easy target with panties that are in the fabric of picnic blankets (not as big as them mind you!  LOL) and socks that I never wear and bras that drive me crazy!  So MOST of my 20 came from there and I added an old bathing suit and a night slip to get to my 20! 

It's funny.  The whole process tonight threw me a couple curve balls.  I went to my armour first, thinking I could toss some old calendars, journals, and books. But something very different happened.  As I was reading through some journals, I was SMACKED at how much I used to prayer journal and how I totally don't do that now. Hmmmm.  It was amazing reading back through some of those journals.  I mean, there are prayer journals from the 90's in there!  It was so cool to see who I was praying for and for what I was praying for and to read/remember that time and that part of my relationship with the Lord.  I asked myself why I had stopped.  My blog came to my mind!  It has ended up being where I share/vent/pray/explore spiritual thoughts/convictions and I really have stopped journaling.  Sad.

SOOOO, I picked up the last journal I had been using and it is out again... not O-U-T... but out on my table and I plan to start those conversations back up with my Father.  I am excited and really looking forward to that time with Him!  And the other journals went right back in.  They are going to stay.

I also has another funny experience in my underwear drawer with three scarves from the 90's.  Seriously.  Do you remember those little scarves we wore around our necks like we were trying to hide hickies or teeth marks!?  It was BEFORE Don and I married!  It was the 90's and yet, there in the bottom of my pantie box, were three little scarves.  I thought I had hit the jack pot with an easy 3.  But then I couldn't get rid of them!  I took them back out of the pile and tucked them away!  HA HA  Out of all the ones I had, probably about 10 or so... these three were the ones I kept.  And I KNOW that as soon as I toss the final three... they will come back in style 2 years from now and I will be kicking myself!  So we'll see if they end up back in the pile before my 20 days are up.  For now, they ended up being a "stay" as well.

In all the digging, I also ran across a book I was wanting to read that I bought, put aside while I finished another one, and then forgot about.  So that was a win too!

I am very excited that a couple more people have decided to join me in this.  How fun is that!  And it helps me feel accountable and made me get my 20 before bed tonight and so I thank you!!

I have my MRI tomorrow and it is another crazy day but I am hoping to get my pictures done and have my next 20 before 11 p.m.

Good Night!
Love and hugs...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Twenty/20 Challenge Day 2

Very cool.  Today has been a packed day and so I knew if I headed to the bathroom, I'd have 20 items in no time.  Actually, it was a tiny bit hard... as a feel guilty for throwing stuff away.  Even used makeup.  AND THAT is half the battle for me when it comes to bathroom toiletries cluttering up my drawers/cabinet and under the sink! The other half is thinking that "brilliant Brunette" shampoo is actually going to make my hair look lustrous and shiny and gorgeous!  LOL  And I have to say that I seriously owe you a product plug.  I have found amazing shampoo and conditioner that make my hair FABULOUS and it is VERY affordable.  I'll tell you about that later. 

I also felt a bit bad about throwing away a bottle of almost full "Pomegranate" perfume by Bath and Body Works BUT the truth is I have had that bottle for almost 4 years and well... it is not even half empty.  The bottle next to it IS empty (never fear I have another new one I will be breaking out tomorrow) as I have been wearing Juicy Couture for over a year and is my ALL TIME FAVORITE!!!!  So simplify.  Get rid of Pomegranate and keep JC!

The Mary Kay eye shadow made me feel badly too.  But this whole process is helping me learn some lessons.  I bought that from a friend who was trying to start out in the business because I wanted to be supportive.  I was also trying to "get out of my box".  BUT I am a sand/brown/peaches/very seldom gray/plum kinda eye shadow girl!  And so there MK has sat for years and not been used.  And I didn't want to pay the extra $$ for the holders and it was just rubbing me they make that stuff separate!

The diffuser has been used maybe twice and I really don't get that whole thing.  It does not do anything different for me hair so out it went with a really old and uncomfortable headband!

  I ended up throwing this in for good measure and ended up with 21 items for the day!  This was a freebie from somewhere and has been used maybe three times over 6 years!  I have plenty of shimmer on my own!  I don't need shimmer lotion!!! LOL  O-U-T!!!!!!

AND, as a bonus, I stumbled across this in a random drawer and Abby has two places on her that are very mad after being bitten (she has MAJOR high histomine) and so I was able to put it on her!   Yeah. 

So it was a good day.  I am HOPING to get into some clothes tomorrow.  Or actually I may try and come up with 20 items for the consignment store.  We'll see. 

So very excited some of you have been inspired and are joining me!  I'd love to hear about how it was going so please share your stories!

Have a blessed less-cluttered day!
Much love, Dawn

Twenty 20

I have been pondering.  This past week has been a really nasty week.  I have felt like I have been walking around half sleep walking just waiting to wake up and realize I had a really long bad dream.  Sleepwalking with a horrid constant dull burning headache and neck ache with occasional dizziness nausea and vomiting with waves running across my right eye vision... but sleep walking non the less.  HA

So I was pondering... a lot.  Pondering what was causing it.  Pondering how long it was going to last.  Pondering if it was going to get worse.  Pondering what I was going to do.  Pondering how I could continue walking through life in that state.  Pondering how really sick people must feel as they try and walk through their life.  Pondering.  Pondering why my stress level is and usually remains so high.  Pondering why prayer is not seeming to help.   Pondering why I feel so many of the emotions I feel.

Living with almost constant physical pain has been my "norm" for years now.  I smile through it, although I can be irritable way more often that I like.  I live through it and just deal with it.  I have my moments but I have just walked through it.  I pondered this past week how in the world I was going to keep smiling my way through THIS if THIS became my new norm.  I don't really think I could.  I was really figuring that something was seriously going to have to change because last week can NOT become my new norm.  It just can't.  I can't function on pain killers and anti-dizzy pills that make me want to stay in bed all day.  It just won't work.

And my mind wondered back to the weekend of bliss I had at the week just days before the bottom fell out for me.  What a treat that was.  So in my pondering and staring at the ceiling one day, in an effort to not get dizzy, I dissected that little trip trying to find every detail and reason why it was so amazing and why I felt more like myself, the real me, there than I have in... well... years.

Several things came to mind.  The beach air alone makes me happy.  The feel of it, the movement of it, the smell of it, the sound of it... just-makes-me-happy.  OK.  Next.  The house made me happy.  Why?  It was exactly the house I would build/buy/steal/do anything to have... the colors, the floor plan, the porches, the side yard, everything.  And then another thing hit me.  And I felt it is the kicker... the main reason... the underlying reason that took me just a few hours of pondering to really find.  Finally.  An unlocked door to future happiness...

THERE WERE NO PROJECTS.  There was no pile of clothes to give a friend, take to the thrift store, mend, or put away in the attic.  There was no piece of furniture waiting to be painted.  There was no room waiting to be finished.  There were NO things needing to be done, placed, taken somewhere, fixed, removed, waxed, sealed, stored.... I just walked into peace.  Everything was in place.  Each person unpacked one bag and that is ALL we had.  The kids had one drawer of clothes each.  I had a couple shelves in a magnificent closet and a couple pieces hanging up.  I had the one bag a makeup and the few items of toiletries.

De-cluttered.  Simplified.  Easy.  Peaceful.  Hmmmmmm.

The "things" in my life are taking over my mind space.  THAT is part of the reason I felt free.  THAT is why my mind could rest.  THAT is what I have to get a closer grip on here... in my every day life.  Really.  Really.  Really.

So before anything else is done... before the lazy susan is sanded and waxed, before the little wooden chair for Abby's desk is painted, before the walls of the kids "new" rooms are painted, before the bottom kitchen cabinets are painted, before much else happens... I am purging.

Twenty items a day for 20 days are being removed.  I started today.

Day #1:   Today was an easy one.  Twenty magazines... O-U-T and into the recycle bin.  My heart said... "Ask if Abby's teacher wants them for crafts at school," and then my mind yelled, "NOOOOOO... that is how you pile/save things up in the first place... RUNNNNNN to the recycle bin NOWWWWW!" and so I did.  And actually, I think it was 22 that got chucked!  I looked through a couple... just in case there was some amazing article in it that I would be heartbroken to lose and then I said, "really? Stop." And I did.  I only tore out 2 pages!  The rest was/is out of here!

I love magazines.  How could one ever just be content with online magazines?  I love turning the pages and I love saving the pages.  HA

So here is my new plan.  I have a notebook with clear sleeves in it.  Every time I get a magazine and look at it/read it, I will pull the pages of recipes and inspiration and put them in my "idea book" and then recycle the magazine.  I totally want a black room one day.  I have seen it twice.  Here, above, and another shot of a bathroom.  I don't know... I love it for some reason.  And so I save it.  So one day when I feel really up for it... I will have my inspiration for a black powder room... something.  But until then, I can look at this and think... "yeah, that totally rocks!"

That is the plan.  Nineteen more days to go and 380 more items!  Oh how I hope there is more clarity at the end of this challenge adventure!

And then I took a few pictures of things that make me happy.

Like these gorgeous roses my precious and amazing husband gave me for Mother's Day.  How yummy and white and elegant and clean and summery and fun all at the same time!  I LOVE white roses! :0)

Couldn't you just dive into them!?  Yeah.  I would if I could!

 And this.  This just makes me happy.  Hopeful!  And happy.

It is part of one of my favorite walls in the house.  This tiny little section of wall just makes me happy. :0)

 As does this super GIANT card my sweet children gave me for Mother's Day.  It is on the mantle and it cracks me up at the GIANTNESS of it every time I walk in the room.  It makes me smile. :0)

My bowl of starfish make me very happy.  Crazy... how a bowl filled with dead animals can make ME happy as I am crazy animal lover girl.  But they do.  The silver bowl was a graduation gift from my dearest college professor at the University of North Carolina... Professor Bittner.  He was not liked by many students.  He was hard.  He could be harsh/direct/short.  But for whatever reason, we clicked.  He loved me and I loved him. (in a totally respectful professor pushing/cheering you on kind of way of course!)  He believed in me and the gift was that it allowed me to believe in myself.  He challenged me and yet he beamed with approval.  He helped me get my assistant producer position at FOX my senior year.  Several years later, I received a letter in the mail from his wife with the shocking news that he had lost a battle to cancer and had died.  There were so many thing I should have told him.  He was such a source of strength and yet the fragility of life folded in around him.  I was heart broken and am still today when I think about it.  But when I see this bowl, I remember him and who he is in my puzzle of life... and it makes me happy. 

 My living room makes me happy.  :0)  I still need to post about my freshen session but for now... here is half the room and it makes me smile!

And then there is this little furry bundle of love and yumminess that I just adore.  This little baby follows me around all day just to be near me.  He wags his little nub of a tail with pure delight when I speak to him.

All he has to do is look at me and I just want to squish him for hours!  He is a little teddy bear and he makes me very happy! :0)

Tomorrow I have nerve testing.  The brochure says it will feel like I am getting a lot of shots as the needles are pressed into my muscles along my arms, neck, shoulders, back.  Oh joy.  Can't wait for that!  :0(

Tomorrow's purge may be under the bathroom sink... in hopes of keeping it easy again!

Much, much, much love...

Monday, May 14, 2012

Some Truth About Motherhood

Mother's Day was yesterday and I didn't get a post done in time.  I am finding it harder and harder to get time for posting.  So sad.  I didn't want Mother's Day to get too far in the past without this post.

This is an older picture of my mom and me.  But it is one I like... a lot.  My mom and dad had come to surprise me for my birthday.  And I see her love for me in this picture... in her eyes.  When I see this picture, I can feel her love for me through it.  I can hear her laughing.

My mom is one of the most amazing people I know.  She gives of herself to so many people and she does it with ease and grace and joy.  She does more in one day than I can do in one week... never appearing to be in a hurry or flustered.  Sadly, I did not get that from her!  LOL

She is creative, multi-talented, forgiving, loving, thoughtful, and simply precious.  Now that I am older, I see my mom in several ways.  It is really cool.  When I was young, she was just my mom.  But now I see her as a mother, a friend, a wife, and a daughter.  I see her walk through all those roles... I see her as a whole.  The older I get, I see the little girl inside her more and more.  And I want to love that little girl.  That little girl who has told me on several occasions, "I wish you could be my mom."  It is one of the sweetest things my mom has ever said to me.  And it breaks my heart.  It breaks my heart that this precious woman, whom I love so very much, did not have a mom who loved her well.

My mom is strong.  She has been through many trying seasons and yet she continues to walk forward and with grace.  Yes, she has made mistakes in her life, as we all have.  And she will continue to make mistakes, as we all will.  Because my mom, in all her greatness, in all the ways she loves her children well and in the ways they need it, in all her giving to others, and in all thoughtfulness... is not perfect.  As no one is perfect.  And I think becoming a mother helped me realize, accept, and even embrace the fact that mothers are not perfect.  No me as a mother, not my mother, not her mother.  We are all little girls, walking around in grown up bodies, trying to make the best decisions we can and make the best of what we have to work with.  Giving my mother freedom to not be perfect is one of the greatest gifts I have ever given... myself.  I love her with deep reckless abandon... I love her and every thing about her... even her occasional flaw.

My mom loves me like no other person can.  She loves me in a raw and real way.  She loves me... despite my flaws.  She loves me in the moments where I border on unlovable.  She loves me when I laugh and she loves me when I cry.  She loves me when I am walking in the spirit and she loves me when I am wrestling with my flesh.  She loves me when I am praising the LORD and she loves me when I am crying out to Him.  She loves me when I am proud of my children and she loves me when I want to highly annoyed with them.  She loves me like only a mom can love her child and it makes me feel grounded.  It makes me feel like everything might be ok.  She is love... real, tried, true, and deep love.  And I adore her and am so thankful for her.

Being a mother has filled me with overflowing grace for my own mother.  And as I reflect on my mother, I also reflect on my own motherhood.

I think about the kind of mother I am.  All the things I like about it and all the things I hate about it.  All the things I am thankful for and all the things I would change.  I read a certain blog sometimes and the mother is sold out that being a mother is bliss all the time.  I used to be inspired by her but now I just don't see much truth in it.  Being a mother is the hardest thing I have ever done.  Especially with three.  And it is NOT bliss all the time.  I am sorry.  That is the raw truth of it.

Having three children with three sets of needs (that vary greatly) and three sets of personalities and three hearts that receive things/words/discipline/love differently and learn differently is exhausting.  I feel, very often, that I am not enough for them.  That I can not meet each of their needs enough.  That if I am getting it right with one I am missing it with the other two.  Or if I am getting it right with two then one is not getting enough.  These feelings alone can exhaust me.

Then there is the reality of life.  One behaves great, the other one is too needy, and the third is too whinny.  One wants to please (to a fault), one wants to rebel (to a fault) and one goes with the flow (to a fault).  So as you are trying to teach one not to be too caught up in trying to please people and to make choices based on truth and what is best for her, you are draining yourself trying to teach another that the world does not revolve around her and that she has to respect boundaries and authority and then you are trying to teach the third to stand up for himself in a godly manner and not be taken advantage of and how to respond and communicate properly.  All the while you are trying to prepare meals, clean up, do laundry (that NEVER EVER ENDS), attend school functions, serve at church, make quality time with your husband, spend some time with a girl friend or two, have alone time with the LORD, and exercise and have SOME moment to yourself.  And trust me, I left a lot out!

Bliss?  No.  Sorry.  Truth.  Hard?  Yes.  Draining?  Yes.  Rewarding?  Yes.  Full of great moments and memories?  Yes.  Covered with uncertainty?  Yes.

I am not enough for my children.  But Christ is enough.  If I can only stay at His feet, surrendered to Him, letting Him flow His love, patience, and wisdom through me onto them... then we will all get through this... with grace, laughter, tears, frowns, tantrums, time outs, rewards, smiles, growth, and fruit... fruit of the Spirit.  And if I can find grace to give myself along the way, then I will have given myself a gift that will keep on giving!  When my children look back, I want them to see, know, and say that I loved them well.  No matter what we are walking through, I want them to feel loved. 

I am blessed to have been chosen and trusted to have these children and to be a mom.  Bliss?  No.  Blessed?  YES.

Happy Mother's Day... to my precious mother... to my precious friends... and to myself.

Much, much love.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Well what a Monday that was...

I had high hopes for a productive Monday and a week full of, well, good stuff.  Then came Monday.  And did she ever arrive with a bang spin.

I awoke at around 5:15 a.m. and felt like, well, I had to pee.  So I lied there and tried to decide if I could go back to sleep, since I really didn't want to get up, or if I really needed to go.  After several seconds of debate, I decided to go and stood up.  I literally flung around back onto the mattress as everything started spinning.  I stood again, cautiously, and yep... still spinning.  So I started trying to walk to the bathroom, thinking it was just a head rush from getting up quickly or something.  I made it to the bathroom by literally bouncing off the walls.  At this point, several things are going through my head... all at once.

This is not good.  This is not a head rush.  This is not stopping.  I am about to explode.  What should I do?  What is happening?  Am I about to have a seizure?  Am I having an aneurysm?  Oh Jesus.  Jesus.  Jesus come!  Don is not here.  The kids, what about the kids?  OK.  This is happening and I have to handle it!

The spinning continued and continued and I could feel my eyes flickering back and forth like when you get off a merry go round.  If I closed my eyes, it made me sicker.  If I left my eyes open, I was about to puke.  So I got sick.  And the spinning continued forever, for years for a long time.  While holding onto to the bathroom walls, I started yelling for my 12 year old.  Once she got there, I asked her to get the phone for me.  I tried a close friend first.  Her cell phone was off. (They have no home phone.)  I tried my husband second, his phone was off.  He was on a trip in another state.  So then I tried my parents and of course, got them.  I continued to get sick.  I continued to spin and spin and spin.  It was wretched.  I wanted so badly to climb out of the madness and yet, all I could do was sit in it.

Longer story short, my parents begged me to call 911 and so I did so.  I hated the fact they felt so helpless so far away in another state and so I did as they asked even though I didn't want to go to the hospital.  I asked my daughter to bring me more appropriate clothing for the EMT's and a bra of course!  LOL  I was at least thinking that clearly!  They came and my vitals were fine.  Seriously?  Fine?  Sweat was popping out of my face and rolling down like tears and yet my vitals looked "great".  The world was spinning in rapid fast forward for 20 minutes, at least, and my vitals looked "great".  They said they thought I was getting a migraine.  So we decided I would not go to the hospital but get to the doctor that day and so I did.  And after some tests, I was told I had vertigo.

Yuck.  I NEVER want to step into that carnival moment again.  It was hell.  Without fire.  But hell.
Thanks to my precious, precious friends, R & J, I spent the second half of the day in bed.  They took the two littles and kept them for an overnight so I could rest.  Don came home from his trip early and I felt/feel like everything will be ok.

I am feeling better today, yet not 100%.  I am still waiting for some results of some blood work and I have an upcoming MRI.  I have been having serious neck/back issues all year and I do think this is somehow related to that.

And that is where the reason for this post comes into play.  Please pray I get some answers.   I am seriously so tired of things like this happening.  This is about the third episode like this I have had ever as well as throwing my neck out three or four times in the past couple months.  It is a bit ragged on the nerves and I really don't have time for such nonsense in my life!  LOL  Momma can't be down in my life!  It doesn't work well for me/us.   

You have always been so sweet, generous, faithful to pray for my family and so I am thanking you in advance for your prayers.  I do not take them lightly and appreciate them so very much.  I believe prayers are like the power cords that God's power travels back and forth through!   THANK YOU.

Much, much love... Dawn (aka... Dizzy)


Sunday, May 06, 2012

Around The Corner...

Monday is around the corner!  Or in a few hours!  A brand new week of possibility and fun!  Yeah.

Every Monday I see people post about their Monday blues.  But you know what?  I like Mondays.  They are fresh and new and bring the hope of another week.  This is the last month of school for the kids.  So each Monday is a day to be celebrated for sure!  

(all images from Pinterest)

And... I had a freshen session last week... I'll share soon!
Happy Monday tomorrow.  Sike yourself up for it!

Love, Dawn

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Beach Bummer

We went to the beach.  That is not the bummer.  The bummer is... we had to come home.  I am seriously in a funk today.  I had more fun at the beach than I have ever had in the past.  I think that may be part of it.  I don't really get to have "fun" that often.  Like really play.  When we had a ski boat and we would ski at the lake... that was fun.  Tooling around in the minivan pontoon boat is not really FUN... I mean, it's nice... it is enjoyable... it is relaxing... but it is not FUN.

I boogie boarded and body surfed my little booty off.  Well... not really off but sore and that is cool... workin your buns while totally PLAYING in the ocean all day!  The waves were PERFECT and we would ride them for hours!  I think the little girl inside of me bloomed.  Normally, I am all under the beach tent with my book, intent on relaxing and soaking it in but this time... I PLAYED and I PLAYED HARD!  It was the best time I have had in a gazillion years.  And that has left me in a FUNK as I return to the daily routine of here.  Isn't that just pathetic.  I mean, my bagel did not even taste as good this morning as it did at the beach yesterday!  And my coffee wasn't as good either... I mean it!  Much less the house we stayed in.... here is a glimpse of that bad boy...

I mean really... look at this.  The downstairs was one giant open room with the kitchen/living room/dinning room area all together and it was just seriously perfect.  The drawers even closed themselves!  There were 4 stools for 4 little booties to eat there each day.  There was a screened porch off the back and a huge full front porch off the front.  And the breeze... the ocean breeze... and the smell... that fabulous smell of salt in the air that just MAKES ME HAPPY!  This house was my dream house... down to the light fixtures and mattress on our bed!  Ughh... speaking of bed... I should just go back and crawl into mine and have a crying fit.  Actually, I need to go in the back yard and kick and scream and pitch a fit and then go upstairs into my closet and beg for forgiveness!  I am missing the WHOLE experience so badly today that I am just being a pill... an ungrateful pill.  Yuck.  :0(

Here are some more pics from the greatest beach trip we have ever had to date.  We went with some dear friends and it just added to the whole wonderfulness of the whole thing.  Ok.  I am going to shut up for today. :0)

I am going to unpack and clean now...