Category Archives: blogging

New Year Resolutions: Hype or Happiness?

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My Facebook feed is full of Resolutions, Vision Boards, Goal setting and so much more to welcome in the New Year.  I love a good goal setting party and I especially love having a plan, but reading these exhaust me each year and I have been trying to understand why.

Here are some ideas:

I am a quitter so I quit even before I start? (Enneagram 9 problems)

It exhausts me to plan for all that work.

Jealousy for that kind of vision.

I think for me it hypes up the I will, the I want, and the Someday leaving behind the right now. (This is also why I cannot do Pinterest.)  I know we all need vision and goals for many jobs, projects and ideas, but I want to live my life in the present.  I refuse to miss out on the many moments of now.  All of this writing will be frowned upon by many successful people including the great Rachel Hollis that has built her empire on goals, visions and more.  I cannot wrong them as they are sitting in private jets while I am behind this outdated computer, but I want contentment.  I want to be a visionary while appreciating the magic of today.  I choose to celebrate the new year with a new word and a new saying to live by.

Previous words and years:

Do it afraid.  Do not let your fear be greater than your faith.  Change is an opportunity to do something amazing. Wherever you are, be all there.

The words that went with these sayings were balance, faith, fearlessness, presence and selfless.

This year my big word is VULNERABLE with the saying “What you know matters, who you are MATTERS MORE.

I want my year, my experiences, my adventures to be full of connectedness, whole-heart and all-in kinda-live-in-the-moment opportunities. Vulnerable is hard for me since it can be seen as weakness, but I see it as courage to put myself out there and really feel.  No holding back. I always say that I do not choose the word-it chooses me.  God plants a seed and then I wait and listen until he speaks up to confirm.  I thought at one time it was journey, but then the V word just kept popping back up until I finally surrendered.

So good for you if you can handle the resolutions and goals of tomorrow.  Not knocking the idea, but just saying it does not work for me.  I do have all the supplies for a vision board that may someday come to life, but for now I am excited about what being vulnerable in my relationships and moments of now might bring.  For my first vulnerable step of 2020, I upgraded this blog to a premium site!  It may not bring me any more traffic, likes or comments, but I feel it validates (another v word) that I want this to be more than just for myself. So I am putting my words out there to see what might happen.

Happy 2020!

The Good, The Bad, and the Are you Serious? of being married to a police officer

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After reflecting on these nine years of my husband working as an officer, I can sincerely say this list pretty much sums it up for me:

The Good:

1.They look hot in uniform.  They just do. But that uniform also makes them very hot (literally) and sweaty.

2.They (or at least mine) stays in shape.

3. I always feel safe..like he can kick anyone’s butt at anytime.  It is sexy sleeping next to a trained shooter with combat skills.

4.The only other women he is around at work are female officers and prostitutes so not a whole lot of jealousy.

5.They actually get a lot of time off and paid for their overtime (this is a teacher talking).

 

The Bad:

  1. They work holidays, birthdays, game days and pretty much every other important day that matters to you.  Forget plans and calendars.
  2. They leave your house with a gun and bullet proof vest. (The gun goes everywhere including and especially to church.)
  3. Their work gear and uniform seems to be everywhere and takes forever to put on correctly-I have seen guns and socks on the same kitchen counter (before kids). Another wife mentioned how loud Velcro can be (ha!!) and I would like to add how tricky those button covers are as well…little pieces just everywhere and always needing to be washed or dry cleaned.
  4. Deep nights means black out curtains and never being rested. Speaking of sleeping…night terrors are real.  I have to be careful not to wake him suddenly because he could be dreaming of being attacked and someone is getting hit (I took night feedings).  I have heard some helpless cries in his sleep wondering what is going on in his head-I just held him tighter.
  5. The stuff they see, hear and live every day is beyond me.

The Are you Serious?

  1. A good day at work involves a shooting or gruesome accident..a bad day is no calls and nothing happened…really????
  2. Due to today’s climate, I can’t post pics of him in uniform on FB, his social media name is concealed and changed and he pretty much does not want to be identified as an officer.  He gets legit death threats on his life and the life of his family all because he does his job. Also, the current divorce rate of an officer is around 72% last I checked…does not surprise me–their job is not easy.
  3. When someone special comes into town like the president, that means a 12-16 hour workday without notice.  This is also true of any major sporting event in our city. I know some may say 20 hour workdays are the norm for my husband..but in all that gear and hot uniform?
  4. His shift, station and duties can change at any time with or without notice and you just go with the flow.  He literally comes home some days and says “for the next two months… I will be working at this this time etc.”  You just get used to rearranging your schedule and going with the flow.
  5. He has to constantly live in fear of getting in trouble.  If he is at the wrong place at the wrong time, it will be plastered all over the Internet.  We always have a DD (that is smart anyway) and we choose our friends wisely.  If you make a mistake, get ready to read about it because the consequences are on you and everyone will know.

I am sure this list will grow and change as the years go on, but any officer wife or husband to be fair can relate to this!  We love our officers, but life with them ain’t easy–but so worth it!

 

The good news is: Officer wives are not weenies!2013-03-06 18.45.30

You Take the Good with the Bad

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We are on Facebook Fast Day 10 and I think I am slowly getting used to life without it.  I don’t find myself missing it as much since I have not been on it for ten days.  I do catch myself wondering about certain people’s posts about various topics or feelings about world events that I know would have something to say, but I enjoy being separated from the drama.  A coworker will ask me if I saw so and so’s post etc., but I can honestly say no and I have no idea what is going on.  I do feel isolated from current events or from social happenings around the community; the main reason I joined is because a friend was moving to Australia and a different one got engaged and I had no idea because they thought I knew through Facebook.  People don’t call each other to share news or even email…they just post it on Facebook, so I feel I am missing out on that, but you have to take the good with the bad.

I went for my semi-annual Lupus check up today.  It is only on these days that I remember I have a chronic disease that is in constant need of monitoring.  Only on days like today where I see how bad my disease could be that I appreciate the mildness of it all even if it is inconvenient.  For the first time ever, I got a bone density scan to measure if my bones were deteriorating due to the steroids I take daily.  I did surprise the machine guy with my scoliosis.  He thought I was sitting straight at first, but then realized it was my back and calmed down.  Thankfully the test had positive results.  We took my usually two vials of blood to monitor that the levels stayed the same and then did my normal check up.  This time I had a concern because my scalp has developed these lesions that are causing my hair to thin in areas and I am not having that hair loss!  He recommended a visit to the Dermatologist but assured me it was an effect of the disease and the hair will likely grow back.  I can tell that I am in a flare or about to be because of my extreme weight loss.  I am down five pounds, but eating more or as normal.  I like the natural weight loss, but will not tolerate hair loss…I guess you got to take the good with the bad!

Finally, my son is in the Terrible Twos in full swing.  The amount of “mine” “no” “I don’t want to” and pure break downs when things do not go his way are intense.  We call him bipolar Callen because one minute he is on top of the world and the next he is sprawled out on the floor.  We are trying to balance the thought that he is learning these bad behaviors to get our attention with this is just the age and we must push through it.  We are constantly reinforcing him to use his words and express his feelings while punishing using time out when necessary.  The good thing is our caretakers report he does well for them and the meltdowns are non-existent or minimal, but not sure why we get all the good stuff.  Hoping we are not encouraging the bad behaviors without knowing it, but we have no idea are just trying to do our best.  As I am fussing at him for taking out the chicken hammer, spilling the bubbles, putting his sock in the water and carrying the laundry basket into the shower…I thought I was about to reach my breaking point.  In my mind, I was thinking “we are not going to make it out of the twos” and then my mind went back to the mother that lost her 17 month old girl on Thursday and I know she would give anything to have the terrible twos.  I know she would sell all she owned to have one more day of spills, tears, messes and meltdowns.  I appreciate that I am blessed to have these moments with him…the good ones and the bad.

The good news is: Facebook Fast, Lupus and infamous two year old behaviors–I am blessed with the good and the bad.  Humbled tonight in so many ways especially knowing that the sweet parent tonight endured her child’s viewing.  I know God is good and He loves us.  I know God is faithful and His promises are true, but this one has rocked me.  Why give that good and perfect gift to later take it away?  I know she is in a better place, but my heart hurts at the thought.  Her story has rocked me today.  I know she will get up and breathe and take it day by day and hour by hour…I know she will find the strength, but I wish she did not have to.

IF Community Unite

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So, in the midst of this Facebook Fast where I am unable to check social media, I get an email about a prayer request for a family that lost their little girl.  The email stated the mother was a local teacher and the father a local fire fighter.  Both of these roles I immediately connected to because she works in my school district, lives in my city..we have several mutual friendships-though we do not know each other directly.  DPD and DFD have a connected bond through the work they do for the city.  I am also a mother of a toddler.  I could not find any information on the situation on Thursday night without jumping on Facebook, so I just committed to pray.

Yesterday, a fundraising site began circulating around and long story short now more people are talking, sharing and mostly fundraising to help this couple with funeral costs and paid leave as they grieve.  My child choking is my worst nightmare and my child experiencing pain while in the care of a daycare or sitter is a close second.  Every working mom has guilt and the number one guilt is that you cannot be there for your child and will someone else care for them to the depth that you will.  I mean I have to work (infertility is expensive), but I hate it because it took me so long to be a mom.  In the end, you just have to let go and let God and trust that you are making the best decision possible.  All of this rocked me to my core as a parent.  It hit too close to home.  And then I learned a detail that brought me to my knees.  This couple suffered from infertility and their child was conceived through IVF.

We in the infertility community know this pain too well.  “For this child I have prayed…”  The loss, the waiting, the patience, the emptiness and then to finally parent (whether through treatments or adoption) is your greatest joy because it did not come easy and it was not natural and you thought time and time again “What if it never happens?”  We know the brokenness our bodies feel and the shame and the regret and the pain when everyone around us has two then three then four or just starts selecting dates on a calendar to try for another like it is so simple; for them it is.  We know something entirely different. Our story is not the same.  The love is the same, the parenting is the same but, the struggle can only be felt if you have been there and felt like that 1 in 8 that cannot conceive.  My friends might cringe at my numerous kid posts, but this was a kid I never thought would exist and this kid may be my only one due to the work it took to get him…so I am embracing each day because I know it will not likely come again.  I don’t get the luxury to plan for baby number two….I have no control.

In light of all this my Facebook fast seems pretty unimportant and small.  In fact, it allows me more time to hug my son and embrace his laughter.  It allows me more time to pray for this family and listen for God to tell me how He will use me to help.  This blog is it.

http://www.youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/emma-turner-memorial-fund/299958

IF community I urge you to join me in donating to this family.  They have already reached their fundraising goal, but we know it is not about the money.  It is about the community of us that struggle to conceive and cling to those miracle babies only to thing their birth signifies the struggle is over only to lose a child while you are at work.  God be with your donation, God be with this couple and their families and God be with all of our community.  Let’s UNITE and show them we see them, we care and they are not alone.

THe good news is: I am not saying infertility babies are more loved or more special.  Any loss of a child is tragic,  I am just saying that nine months to meet a child and 36 months changes things.  THe baby becomes like a prize and a reminder every day of a blessing you thought would never come.  Every dirty sock, every poopy diaper, every temper tantrum is a gift that I do not deserve and adoption allows me to be a parent.  My heart aches tonight.  God, be with them and all of us that do not get it.  Remind us that death is part of your promise and without it we would not see you.  We must die for our life to begin.

Facebook Fast Day 4

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Sadly, I have noticed I am switching my time to other things that do not involve Facebook, but are also not any better.  For instance, I posted my first tweet today.  Why?  I don’t know-I just wanted to express a thought and it was there…it was favorited by the way, but that should not matter.  Weirdly, another reason is it is another opportunity to be known..even if it is for your one liners or short thoughts…it is like you are heard.  The reality is who cares what I think or do…Twitter seems so much better for famous people.  Anyway, in all of this the hubs and I got into an argument as he pointed out that it is not about what I am using the phone for it is about the phone is keeping me from spending time with him and the family.

That was a shocker.  I took this whole thing to be about use your time more wisely.  Get up and clean something, read a book, cook a dish, fix an appliance…never thought it was “hang out with me more”.  Seems to me I am on my phone the most when he is not here, so why does he care except he comes home to a dirty house…but tonight he confessed that it was more about it is a distraction from him and our son and he wants it to be more about spending more time together.  Blew my mind…all this time I thought it was more about him disliking a bad habit and wanting to get rid of it because it would make me better.  It changes everything that it is more about spending more time with him.  I am a quality time Love Language girl so more time with my husband is always a good thing…I just always thought that his idea of more time meant I was being put to work because I was in trouble. It never occurred to me that my midday nap was being selfish.  I also never thought it was a bad thing for him to do his thing and me to do mine as long as we come back at night and snuggle.  Never knew that he felt disconnect in all that while I was feeling our marriage is great that we are building up each other’s personal interests.  I see it now…did not see it then. I always thought we spend a lot of time together anyway.  Not sure how this will all work out, but I have 26 more days to figure it out.

The good news is: Keep praying for healing in the marriage.  FB might have been the catalyst for the disagreement, but it addresses several issues that need to be addressed.  Praying to use these days to really search my soul and connect with God’s will for my life and how I can use my gifts to serve Him better and serve my marriage better.

Facebook Fast Day 3

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Good news is the person that created this mandatory fast and I are on speaking terms again.  This is a huge milestone as the fast is still on, but at least I have someone else to talk to when I get home besides this toddler seen above.  He got a haircut today and looks so cute, but I cannot connect to Facebook to share so that the Lord for Instagram!!  In pic one above, he is saying “cheese”, pic two he is saying, “um, let’s see” then puts his finger on his chin…adorable!! and pic three he is attempting to read.  This would be SO Facebook worthy, but no can do…so this blog and Instagram will have to do!

Day three was easier like I predicted, but I have three new aha moments.  1. I found myself feeling left out because a friend is going a gender reveal (not a close friend to send me a special text, but a good enough friend that I care what she is having).  It reminded me that so many people post it to Facebook and figure they told all their friends…so you know.  I remember that is why I got on the site four years ago after refusing to for a couple of years…a friend was moving to Australia and another one was getting married and I had no idea.  Joined FB that day.  2. My husband says he does not get on it except to wish people Happy Birthday…which is so true!  I have no ideas whose birthday it is because FB reminds me.  3. I find myself messaging, texting and Instagraming way more than usual due to needing to fulfill those contacts.  I question if I am replacing one addiction with another…but still find myself on it way less and the relationships are more personal since it is one on one versus one with the world since all can see the comments.  Overall, pleased with the progress and do find myself more in the moment, but still way busier than I want to be getting things done.

The good news is: Texas weather is 75 today…a perfect day to sit on a patio, browse the apps on my phone and just chill.  Not so for me, but I raced outside with my son since my phone was useless and that was much better.  Dreading the weekend a little bit and always curious if I have posts and tagged comments waiting to be seen…think I dread more what if I don’t?  What if my month of being disconnected turns into “Oh, I had no idea you were not on it?”  It would prove my husband wrong that I am not an addict like he claims and always on it, but it would mean no one missed me which would make me feel foolish since I feel kidnapped.  We shall see in 27 days!

Big praise today that the doctor visit was a positive one for a friend and I did not find out from a post, but rather a text!!  A personal text!  I did wonder what she posted though and how everyone responded…hmmm…I do think about social media too much!

Facebook Fast Day 2-Back to Work

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Today, was my first day back to work while refusing to look at Facebook.  The first problem I had to address was telling the boss that I could no longer be a person responsible for managing our school Facebook page.  Ha!  How can you manage something that you are not suppose to look at?  In the argument with my husband, I tried to use this for my benefit.  I told him, “Do you realize you are only hurting the children?  Are you okay with that?”  He did not seem to mind too much.  The thing that irks me about this whole experiment is that I can only assume he is getting on it every day which kind of makes me mad.  I know he claims he is not the one with the problem, but while I am refraining, he could be over indulging…who knows!  The other thing that sits uneasy with me is I am a noticeable Facebook user…I comment, like, post on walls etc.  Many people look on it as much as I do or more, but just lurk.  They do not want to be seen, so they just view it without attracting attention; I don’t care who knows I am on it…until now.

Anyway, back to today.  It was sort of lonely and lost today.  I felt like I had lost friends or moved.  My husband and I are not exactly on good terms, so I felt kind of like I was in hiding.  The times throughout the day that I did run into adults I threw my whole self into the conversation…it felt so good to talk to people and laugh and hear stories.  Since this is my first day with the real world, I felt like I had to tell everybody so they knew I did not abandon them.  I also caught myself throughout the day wondering about different events and have they posted the outcome on Facebook.  I caught myself feeling distant from reality.  I also found myself lost.  When I would have normally flipped through the app like at recess, the store line, or when I got home and the house was napping, I found that I just sat there.  I checked Instagram (not much new), the US weekly app and WFAA news and then I was back to the stillness.  It did strike me how much I turn to Facebook to just fill up time.  I just check it to see what is new or the comments added etc.  I really spent time praying and evaluating why I feel the personal FB interaction as strong as I do despite the relationships being completely over the Internet.  Weird how I have become dependent on it in a number of ways.

Finally, I feel out of the loop, but also out of the drama.  Not much irritated me today, or made me question or made me skeptical.  Some posts just get under my skin or people that like to stir up mystery and I experienced none of that today.  That part felt good.  I also felt like I got more done.  At times that I would have just rested and scrolled for a connection, I kept myself busy with dishes, clothes, groceries etc.  I worked too much today!  I think adjusting to this new normal will be hardest today and this weekend when I am really guilty of just browsing.  I feel missed and I feel like I have been kidnapped from my social community.  I want to tell them what is happening, but that would mean I start over.  I also will not budge even if Nathan says that I can get back on it.  This is my opportunity to explore this and I won’t give up.

The Good news is: It is allowing God to speak to me in a new way.  I am learning about myself and my insecurities and where I get my approval from.  This might prove to be interesting.

Facebook Fast Day One

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My husband approached me yesterday about my excessive use of Facebook.  To be fair, this has been an ongoing argument for a couple of years now that I am preoccupied with my phone (at one time it was Candy Crush), but now it was checking Facebook.  To be even more fair, I waited a really long time to set up an account for this exact purpose; I even was reluctant to get an iPhone because I was afraid the instant access of all things digital would be a distraction.  Slower and older phones might deter me from being preoccupied, but when my old screen broke then this phone was free hence the addiction.  I know my weaknesses and this had everything: I get my news, gossip, articles, self help…FB for my guilty pleasure.

I digress.  So in the heat of the argument he accused me of making my Facebook a god and a top priority above all else and even went on to say that my over obsession has hurt the family.  Although, his words were a bit dramatic…I know some of his observations are accurate.  I am alone with a toddler in the evenings while he works and I teach, so I am with kids all day…Facebook is kind of my adult time.  I see it as a ministry at times; offering prayers to the hurting or likes to the pictures or commenting on people’s pictures of their kids.  It is also my way of sharing my family and my  child with his biological parents.  There can be some very good uses of the social media including a women’s devotional group that I am a part of.  I also feel it has a platform for sharing you are pregnant or the loss of a relative.  My friends list really are my friends and I find it a way to share your life through words in writing.  But, it can be addictive very addictive.

My problem came when I posted something.  I became glued to commenting responses as people wrote.  I would often check the post to see what someone said so that I could reply.  I was also addicted at times waiting for a gender reveal or a baby to be born etc.  Mostly innocent things, but can steal your time and I say steal because there were some nights I did not get done what needed to be done although I was very “busy”  It really suffered when I neglected my prayer or devotional time because I was too tired.  I caught my own self becoming vain and felt empty when the interactions were limited.  My number one prayer lately has been to break my cycle of idleness.  The challenge is I am a writer, a reader and love relationships so Facebook can become a crutch to all three.  I admit I needed help, but I am frustrated that my husband felt it was his job to fix it.  He compared my excuses and my lack of accountability to an alcoholic…we are still not talking.  Not over that one.

But, here I am on day one of no Facebook for a month.  It has not been easy.  I caught myself wanting to surf the feed when I am bored.  I find myself with way more time.  I feel a little lonely now and then even though people are with me. I am committed for my marriage, my Lord and myself.  I have needed to do this.  I am using this 30 days to ask God to speak to me in the trial and to explore my soul of why I felt like I needed it.  I have no idea how this will go but I refuse to break for thirty days.  I have deleted the app, but not the account because I love my pictures.  Stay tuned to see how this month will go and what revelations God reveals.

The Good news: Please pray for my marriage.

MY Times

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I have seen these End of the Year Facebook movies and MY times pop up in my Facebook feed lately. They basically take your most popular posts of the year and make one huge compilation or collage. Although, I enjoy glancing at them as I scroll down I have no intention to create one of my own. Although I am curious, I know the posts that I created this year for Facebook do not accurately show my year for two reasons.

#1 I have learned that what my friends like to see most is cute pics of my son. I probably over post him to the point I am likely hid from some people which is fine with me. He will not be this cute forever, his birth parents soak it up and really he is the majority of my life right now. I am kinda afraid if I make one it will confirm that my social life is wrapped up in a two year old or at least that is what people see.

#2 the second and real reason I do not check mine out is it would not be accurate. Facebook to me has a specific audience intended for a specific purpose. It is about living the life you want people to see. I am not fake on it, but I refuse to post drama and to be honest my life has had it even though it never made my newsfeed. Not major drama (praise God), but the truth is my husband and I have fought this year…big arguments that I questioned our direction. We have made some financial decisions that have changed our spending. My kid was sick once.  I have had my fair share of Lupus flares.  In one right now…have this red, itchy, flaky scalp that will not go away ( a new symptom).  I struggled with my walk with God. I have abandoned some unhealthy friendships. I have grieved infertility as we learn contentment with one and have grown to be fine with God’s plan. I have questioned my career path and the reality of my parent’s mortality. I have had some crazy wild girls’ nights and racy husband wife vacations….none of this would be in MY times because I did not share it publicly. I could have, but chose not to, but these things define my year as much or more than the funny stories or nostalgic moments that I posted. My title of the Facebook creation would be “My Times as I chose for you to see it”.

Saying all that I love Facebook for so many reasons. I am almost addicted because I love writing and reading and it has both. I am a fan because it gives you a way to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. People that hate on it do not appreciate that if you are my friend then I should rejoice for your success or hurt for your loss. Otherwise, we are not friends. So as we head into 2015 I choose to look forward and not back even though 2014 has been very good to me…I know the best is yet to come and I pray it is for you, too!

10 Years, Y’all!!

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If you cannot tell, I am off for the week and finally get to catch up on some writing!  The more and more I read Jen Hatmaker, the more I realize being a writer would be my dream job even though teaching is pretty amazing, too!

I digress.  Nathan and I celebrated TEN years on November 6th!  TEN, people!  If you don’t know our story, scroll back into my files because I have shared the details there…but here is the short version.  We married as eager and God fearing whipper snappers (years 1-2), got lost along the way (I take most of the blame), were separated for TWO years–yes lived apart for a year and lived together angrily for a year (years 3-4)- had divorce papers printed and ready to go, God changed my heart then eventually changed his heart (years 4-5), miracles of all miracles we stayed together and years 6-10 have been 100 times better than the first five even though the first five had some great memories too.  I say all that to say the two years of TOUGH times are so worth the remaining (Lord willing) 20 plus that we get to share happily.

During those years 6-10 we endured a medical diagnosis of Lupus, infertility, eventually adopted and are now raising a toddler together.  We say over and over, we needed to have those rough years to make us stronger for our future and now we are in this thing together and rooted in the Lord.  Callen is a blessing from that and reaps the benefits.  God prepared us for the future generation that will carry on our legacy.  I do not regret those rebuilding years because it made our marriage stronger, but I also recognize our story is rare because most couples that endure all that we endured do not survive.  The forgiveness is tough, the waiting is tougher and a divorce would have been way easier (we stayed together because of the dogs) 🙂 .  Amazing though how God can change your heart and put a mercy beyond all understanding.  We now get to share our story with others and be a rock for couples that need to know it does not have to be perfect to be strong.

We celebrated with another half marathon in Vegas and have a few more plans up our sleeve to celebrate the BIG 1-0!!

 

The good news is: WE made it!!  We were so busy that neither one of us received an anniversary card or gift, but we have a toddler that is currently reprimanding the dog “Sit down, Izzy” to show for it.  He is the true benefactor and the reason God needed to knock us down to rebuild us anew.