Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Thats how I felt this past week... Most of you know what I went through, and I don't need to elaborate on that. When you are in the hospital all privacy ,control and modesty seems to go out the window. I think about 50% of the hospital staff saw parts of my body that I am not too confident about sharing with the general public.
Because of that I started really thinking about the state of my health in a holistic way, not just physical ; mind ,body, and emotions.
I felt surrounded by love and compassion, and it caused me to reflect upon my self and ask if I offer that to others around me. Love , and care is very valuable to healing and trauma. Just having someone look me in the eyes when they ask how I am or having a Doctor sit in my room and go over things with me rather than having his hand on the door or looking at his watch the whole time. Also being surrounded with prayers and loving friends and family seemed to make me have a sense of calm that I don't think I would otherwise have.
I also feel a drive to make a pointed effort to eat more healthy and become more active. I guess I am the kind of person that needs to hit a brick wall before she changes some things in her life, I am not sure why, I know how I want to feel, yet the pace of my life and events in the last year have caused me to stay stagnant and not change anything. I felt venerable and exposed!
I asked Luke the other day if asked me any question he ever wanted to ask me, I would try to answer it as fully as I felt appropriate. He hardly hesitated, and asked" Why didn't you graduate from college?" OUCH! I don't know why but I wasn't expecting that. I explained why ( If you want to know read my blog from a few months ago) Exposed!
Will I change? Will I take a holistic approach to it? How about you? Are there areas in your life that you want to change but feel stalled or held back from doing so? If so why? Sometimes I feel that my hopes and dreams are selfish so I don't pursue them, because I am not just an individual I am part of a family unit. Sometimes we just can't hide how we are feeling anymore, whether it be physical or emotional.
Sometimes we feel exposed!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Speak no, see no, hear no??

Often times, especially recently I realize I do not contribute to a lot of the political conversations, debates, arguments, rapport...that seems to surround me. For the longest time I feel like I a little bit like the the picture I posted... and feel guilty...like if I don't even "hear" or "see" or "speak" what is going on around me (politically-economically) then I will not feel it.
I tend to fly under the radar when it comes to debating most topics, often times, I feel like if I am not 100% educated on the topic I am debating that it seems crazy to approach it, I will be in the center of a debate, and hear something I disagree with, yet I keep silent, because I am thinking... "if you can't really back this up, don't even jump in to this conversation, girl!"
So I guess just for the record, I do have an opinion, but I choose, and have the right not to publicly share it, if your are really interested, invite me for coffee, I will share whatever is in my head, as non-linked to the news media I have tried to stay lately.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Did ya see it????

As I drove to work this morning I saw the most amazing sunrise.
The magnificent sun loomed above the earth expelling colors like I have not seen for a long time. Shades of red, orange yellow surrounded this stately ball of fire. The sky was alive with colors from the sun on a canvas brushed with gentle strokes in shades of blue. I passed a lake and a misty blanket of fog was hovering over this body of water and the fog engulfed the colors of the sun as it rose above the lake; hues of amber lingered above the lake as the fog gently rose. I can understand how ancient civilizations chose to worship this amazing piece of Gods creation. I turned my face towards it, closed my eyes, and soaked in the rays ...and then I remembered I was driving...
Quoting Jack Johnson, I was reminded : "slow down everyone your moving too fast, frames can't catch you when your moving like that..."

I did not take the picture, I have not figured out how to drive, sun-worship, and reach in the back seat and grab my camera and take a photo at the same time! (probably a good thing!)

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Where do you see it? Is it in a piece of hand blown glass? Is it in the eyes of a hurting soul? A sunset? The ocean? A flower? Do you see it in a smile? A tear? The sky? A building? Do you like green eggs and ham? I had to throw that in there!!!
Comment and tell me where you have found beauty this summer... The pictures are of two pieces of beauty I photographed at the Phipps conservatory in Pittsburgh, one is a picture of amazing glass art by Dale Chihuly. The second is natural art, floral. The others are photographs I took of a little girl I met in Belize, a sunset in Belize,
and a church in Minneapolis ( I believe it is the Basilica St. Mary)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Baby you and me... we have a groovy kind of love...

As Lyndsay nears her 20th birthday, it has been evoking a lot of memories from the time I found out I was pregnant with her... I could write an essay about how I felt , but rather than that today I feel like just posting a list of words that reflected that time period in my life...Someday, maybe I will elaborate...
  • FEAR
  • TORN
  • SAD
  • FAT
  • WEAK
This list could go on and on, as a single 18 turning 19 year old, this time of my life was overwhelming. So many things changed from one choice I made, and then I was forced to make a lot of other life altering choices. I am so blessed that I made the choice I did to keep this child...and yet I have so much compassion and heartbreak for any one in this position, and it has taught me to be loving and compassionate to any young person who has to suddenly start making very adult decisions, I can confidently say that I will not judge any young woman for her regrets, poor choices, decisions made during a time like this. A lot of times she is alone, and has kept the weight of these choices 100% on her own shoulders. I wonder if, and how we can equip our young women to be good decision makers? To my friends, and anyone else that happens to read this, and has been in this situation, I Love you, I understand...
A note on the picture... this is the ONLY newborn picture I have of Lyndsay and myself...it got triple exposed, and in a bittersweet way, it reflects my mindset that day, a nurse came in about a half hour before this and asked me when my husband was coming to visit...I was confused, I was in a lot of pain, I was scared, and I was clueless on how to care for this child. I sang her a song that day... Phil Collins Groovy Kind of love.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Hold on tight the night has come...

John is gone this week. He is in Detroit , MI learning how not to get fatally shocked by hybrid vehicles. I haven't thought about it, but I really haven't been in my bed at night too many nights by myself for a long time... I couldn't sleep! I usually blame John on that (he snores)...because he broke his nose sledding off the roof of his barn when he was a child... ( Only John)
I kept hearing things. I swear I head someone walking through the hallway, Oh yeah that was Leah coming in past curfew! The I am sure I heard growling...And I have to admit that was my wimpy dog Samson , and then I thought maybe the intruder was scaring the dog. Then Leah called me from her room, at 3 am and said "did you hear that???" ... And then I about had a heart attack when I heard a huge explosion ( thunder). I thought I saw someone standing over my bed staring at me... Leah again!
So, I am starting to realize how comforting it is having John home, not only for me , but for the kids too. I think Luke would have been awake, but football practice makes him sleep like a baby!

It is funny how little we realize things like this until they are not there. It is interesting how we can have so much safety tied up in a person.The irony in the whole thing is normally, John falls asleep watching ESPN2, sound asleep, Luke and I even painted his toenails while he was sleeping the other night, he didn't even twitch!(see photo) Sometimes, I admit that I am glad he fell asleep downstairs because I won't hear him snoring. I think If he was here: it would take a huge event to wake him, so the comfort obviously is emotional, and not based on the realistic fact that I would probably be the one calling 911, and trying to wake up John!

Every time I woke up , I kept singing the lyrics to an Indigo girls song "Secure yourself to heaven, hold on tight the night has come, fasten up your earthly burdens, you have just begun"...

Heaven... now that is a whole new blog topic, that I plan to write about soon that was sparked by a conversation with my dear friend Vic and I had the other day!

So, tonight, I hope I sleep better, but at least I realize how much I am blessed to have such an awesome husband, that makes me feel safe, no matter what the safety feeling is based on!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Swimming Lesson

I have become a pen pal with a person I met when we went to volunteer at Kingdom meal ministries at the Salvation Army, with Jon and Ang about a month or so ago. His name is Stephen and he kept saying, "boy I wish someone would write to me"-and I thought, I love to write letters. I always tell my friends how much I love paper, special pens and how I see "snail mail" correspondence as a dying art. So, I thought, what better thing to offer than to be someones pen pal? Over the last several weeks Stephen and I have written about 8 letters between the two of us. His handwriting and verbiage is that of a young child, he seems to be mentally at that level, according to the style and content of his letters. It is endearing, and very innocent. He always tells me that he loves getting my letters. I am very clear when I write to him that I am happily married, and have three children. In the last letter he told me that I was his best friend, his special friend, forever and always. As I read that over I thought "Oh boy, have I got in over my head?" . I wonder what imposes such a fear within us? All the sudden I came to the realization that I cannot stop writing to him because he has put me in a role of being very important to him. I also had a bit of fear , because he wants to know where I work, and where the kids go to school and where John works, and i keep thinking what if he stalks me?
Last night, as I went to bed and tried to saturate a very long emotional weekend, I kept thinking about people that depend on me. I had quite a tough "mom of a teenager" weekend, and having her tell me that she is almost 18, and I shouldn't worry, and I should just let her make her own curfew, and then having her very ill the next day with a high fever, painful ears and throat, and asking if she could sleep in my bed, and wanted me to hold her head against my shoulder to ease the pain, and also to comfort her, I am sure. She also apologized for the night before, and I think she realizes she depends on me. She committed to trying to show John and I more respect than she had this weekend, hopefully it wasn't the fever talking.
Putting the two together I am starting to realize that the way I can be a support to others is just to be "ME". I love to write, so put all my fears aside and keep on writing, joyfully to Stephen(using common sense, and not giving him all my personal info) yet offering what I have, and that is my love to write, and read letters.
I can show love to Leah, by continuing to pray for her , and offering her my shoulder, and my love, even when I am angry at her, even when she makes me think, "boy I'm in over my head!"

Well, I can swim, pretty well, and I love to swim.

I need to remind myself that when I think that I am "in over my head", that I don't need to be afraid.

I know how to "swim", I won't drown.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


I hope you all read my profile and realize that the "supermom" title is tongue in cheek. I am very ready to say that I fall short of that stereotype, and am very glad of it. I often am amused when a friend asks me for advice....I often feel very incompetent when it comes to dishing out parenting advice. I think the best I have given was to simply Love them. How do we love as a parent ? I know there are books, written, sermons preached ,arguments had, marriages destroyed over this question. My answer is a question, how don't we love? I can think of times that I have to step back and just look at what I am doing as a parent. For example, the other day John, Luke and I were headed back from the airport from dropping off Lynds, and I am sure I was a little sad, and into my own emotions, and really not focused on anything but ME! Luke kept saying Mom, give me your camera, I want to take a picture of that cloud b/c it looks like a bull... and I wouldn't let him have it...WHY??? I have no clue... very bummed he slumped down in his seat and asked me, "Why do you have to be like that???" Well, I got defensive at first, and it took me about eight hours to realize that I was very unreasonable, and as I was journaling at bedtime, I realized that I don't want to be "like that"... Luke was in bed, but just went to bed, and I went to talk to him to tell him I was sorry, and I want him to be able to take joy in seeing things in nature, and I want him to get excited about things like clouds! I love taking photographs, and why wouldn't I want him to share that love!? He was still kinda sad about it, and I am very glad that I didn't ignore the nudging I was getting to say something and talk about it. Too many times we just act "like that" and move on, without addressing it. I am sure that I can come up with may other examples of situations with Lyndsay and Leah also. All I can say is I try to love them the best I know how.
So, supermom? NOT.....
Imperfect mom, yes, and thats OK!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Flowers, they look like us

I went to Fellows Riverside Gardens this past Sunday with some friends, our intention was to pray and enjoy the beauty of the surroundings. We broke off by ourselves or in couples for a while.I felt drawn to start photographing the flowers. Normally I don't spend a lot of time looking closely at flowers, but as I zoomed in on them, through my lens, I saw the uniqueness of each one...some were seemingly perfect, some were ate up with disease, some were wilted, and some were brand new, some were broken, and some were small and some were large.
As we gathered back together the discussion began. The gardens sit right on the edge of Y-town, polluted, one of the largest murder rates in the nation, the edge of this beautiful garden is right by the bustling highway. I have been reading the Beautiful Mess by Rick McKinley, and the title of that book seemed like a good way to describe where we were sitting , right in a beautiful mess. When we closed out eyes to pray, the sounds became more intense. I could hear the highway sounds, on one side, then I could hear birds chirping, and children laughing on the other side.
Beauty combined with mess. Isn't that what life is?
We like the flowers ,are a combination of perfection (patterned after Jesus) and disease,brokenness, we are wilted, small, large, new, young and old, and yet with all those factors, we create a beautiful image.
I took the picture below, along with others, and as you look at it, the first impression is beauty, color. As you look closer, (click on it to enlarge)you can see a disease ridden leaf, small flowers, large ones, dying ones, beautiful ones.
Look a little closer the next time you see a group of flowers, think about how we are like them. They were created to be beautiful, and yet need nurturing.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Hair on the floor...

Lyndsays home and I am loving it... I really did miss her, and this seems like the last trip that she will make that will last this long. Once she starts her career, she will be committed to a full time work schedule, and will assume the responsibility and pressure of carrying her own health insurance (she is dropped off of ours since she graduated), bills, rent, groceries,etc. She actually has been responsible of everything on the list beyond the health insurance since she moved away. She is a very responsible independent person, and I admire that. I mention it because I feel like once she starts working in her career, she will be limited to that one or two weeks a year vacation that most Americans are limited to , and sometimes can not even enjoy.Well, that's a long lead in to this blog...
Since she has been home, our dining room has been transformed into a salon. As some of you know we recently remodeled our dining room, and our old home doesn't have many rooms that are 100% remodeled. Being a tiny bit anal, the first day I saw the hair dye come out in that room, I panicked inside. I thought "Great! now this room will have dye staining the floor, and it will be a mess!" I wanted her to express her creativity and talent, yet I was so worried about the room, that I kept following her around with a spray bottle of bleach, and a broom, then something amazing happened. I sat down for a minute and observed the community feeling that was beginning to develop. People were pulling in and out of the driveway and gathering around my table for more than food. Conversations were developing and strangers were being introduced to each other, people were gathering that were not even getting a hair service done. Many emotions are evoked when one allows someone to cut or dye their hair; venerability, bravery, freedom, fear, anger, hope for a change, separation anxiety (from the lost hair!) ,change, confusion, indecisiveness, regret, amusement, excitment, happieness, the list could go on. Being in an enviroment where those emotions are flying around the room, and seeing transformation happen in a matter of an hour or two is very symbolic , and interesting. I keep wondering how I can create an environment that can continue to have the same type of gathering and conversation continue...
So , all the hair and dye on the floor seems to be worth the small , and more than likely temporary community that was formed this last month. It will be a bit sad to see it end.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Coming soon to a blog near you!

Ok, inspired by my dear friend, Ang... I have decided to publish a post that will be very authentic. I t may take me a few hours, but it will be coming soon! I bet you will all be lining up to your computer screens, as is reflected my my huge long list of comments from the past! HAHA!


Now what shall I do???????

This week I keep telling myself, if you keep doing the same thing, you will get the same result. Of course I have always known that; but I decide to push it way back, and keep on doing some things the same way, continuing to get the undesired results that seem to keep those areas of my life stagnant.

I took a huge step yesterday from something that I have ignored, for about seven plus years. I guess I need to give a bit of the background behind yesterday... I am very nervous about this, I feel very vulnerable , but here goes it...

About 12 years ago, I was feeling "trapped" I was mainly a stay at home mom, I did do some occasional catering, but it was not full swing yet. I loved the Lord, and was very involved in
"doing" church, I was in dramas, worship team, VBS helper, short term mission trips,made costumes for the kids plays, youth group leader, and the list goes on.... All those things were fine and well, but now that I reflect back, how much of that I was doing to serve the Lord, and how much I was doing to "do church". I still felt like, I wanted to do "more", I had a lot of friends that were registered nurses. I would look at them from the perspective of being financially successful, and also being able to help people why doing so. I felt like (being a pastoral , nurturing type of a person) that that would be a great career for me, all the while ignoring the fact that I actually hate coming in contact with body fluids, and I do not have a grasp for many things that involve measurements, and calculations. I hoped I would overcome that during my training. I decided to take a student loan out and pursue a bachelors degree in nursing. I became involved in catering to bring in an income during my schooling. The catering business became pretty successful , and enjoyable. It was a lot of hard work, and tiring. I did well in school until I was required to take organic chemistry courses and math, up until then I was an excellent nurse on paper. Thats when the reality of math not being a gift of mine started to become deafening. I also became quite worried about having to calculate measurements, etc. At this time, I was entering into senior level courses, and all the coursework required for my degree. I could not pass organic chemistry , I took it three times and could not get higher than a "D", a C or higher was required . At this time the Dutch Village in was being built (2001), and they needed a banquet manager, I was offered the job, and because of all the stress in school. I just finished out the semester, and never went back to school, and I just tried to forget about it.
I felt the job at the Inn would be my career, after several years I was promoted, and I felt like this would just be my lifetime job. I love hospitality. The nurturing, pastoral traits I have fit right into the industry. I love problem solving,organizing communication and all the one on one interaction I have with different people, and hearing the stories about why they are traveling. I just had a guest "cry on my shoulder" for a hour the other day about her son that she was visiting that has mental health issues. I have been sailing along, and settling into this job. As some of you may know, the Inn ownership, reorganized some of our jobs, this included a schedule change, and a huge pay cut. It also knocked my ego down a few notches (which I am sure it needed). Over the last several months I have dealt with living on the edge of what would probably be diagnosed as severe depression (although I have not sought medical advice). I am still trying to sort out exactly what areas are causing the main feelings of being so depressed. Obviously the job change is one, also realizing what a poor money manager I have been had been very stressful.
One of the things that really started getting to me was when I started looking back at the last 10 years or so. I started thinking about how I "threw away" all my schooling. I started thinking about how if I would have stayed at Kent State, I would be done now and well into a career. One step that I bravely took last week was to go to Kent State, and see exactly where I was at. I really had no clue how many credits I have, or anything. When I went to meet with the adviser, I realized that I am only two classes away from an associates degree in liberal arts (doesn't really do anything except say I completed that) and that I am only about three semesters away from a Bachelors degree. There is a new bachelors degree at Kent Eliv. that is communications studies. It is right up my alley, and would actually open doors in many areas, including working in administration, and non profit venues. This degree would take ll the things that I liked about nursing, and hospitality, and funnel them into something that I could actually do.
I have so many questions right now, that mainly center around where and what does God want me to go/do. I ignored him one too many times, and now I want to serve him in a capacity that takes all the things that people tell me I am good at, and use those skills to serve him. Right now I have to decide if going back to school would benefit that direction in my life. People always say, Oh you are so good at... and I want that to not be about me anymore, and I do realize that I must be good at those things for a reason. The challenge is finding out what that is.
Whoa! I wrote a lot! Sorry! I guess I needed to get that out!
So questions I am posing:
How do we know when to make a life changing move like this.
How do we discern if this is "us" wanting to do something for ourselves, or if we are being led by him?
How do we know???
Comments? Anyone???

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Friday nights on the porch...

Monday at work.......Tuesday at thelake, a night at a baseball game, an e-mail, a phone call, Wednesday at work, Thursday at the grocery store, a hug at the church, Friday night on the porch, Saturday making fries, Sunday ... I was really very stressed out this week, It is a huge combination of a lot of things, that I won't weigh this down with. I really thougth "how am I going to get through next week?" I keep remembering that HE will uphold me and strengthen me...I have faith in that... So what I decided to do was to recognize how he did that for me this week. Every time i felt like I just couldnt take it, he brought someone into my day;someone that was either a comic relief, a distraction, and ear to listen, someone I could listen to, someone to hug, someone to smile at, someone to cry with, soemone to have a drink with, someone to help, someone to pray for, someone to pray for me... I could go on and on... Only a few of the times were intentional meetings, and were great, but more of them were not. My point is wether or not it is an intentional event, like Friday night on the porch, or a chance meeting at Giant Eagle, every moment you connect with someone is a chance, a chance to do something , a chance to recieve something, a chance to give something.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I did come back

I am back! I am cold! I will write more soon!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Leaving on a jet plane...........

Don't know when I'll be back again! Well, I do...but one can only dream. We are headed to Belize in exactly one week. I was talking to Luke the other day, and I think he felt like we wanted to get away from him! Boy, did I clarify that one! No way would I ever want to get away from my kids...I may want to feel an escape from situations they have been in, but if I could afford it , they would be coming along. It is really nice for John and I to go off by ourselves, I think it helps remind us who we are as a couple. I also want to escape the bleakness and gray of Ohio winter. The lack of color in nature this time of the year is very hard for me to tolerate. I also need to escape the attachment to my ear called my cell phone. On Caye Caulker, it will be useless. I am a bit worried about my kids not being able to contact me, but it is a very small island and they can e-mail, and leave messages with the office to our rental. I almost panic when I leave my cell phone behind, and I really need to get over being so easily accessible. I also need to relax, and be detached from driving everywhere, I plan on doing an experiment, and logging how many miles I drive in one week, I think it would be shocking! On Caye Caulker, there are no cars, only bikes, and golf carts. The air must be really clean, the island does not have high rise buildings, or factories, so I can imagine the pollution must be very minimal. Maybe we will move there! No heating bills, no car insurance, no gas, no shoes , no cell phone!!!! Read the sign!!! ( it is actually on the island as you arrive!)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Ok, here it goes!!!!!!!!!!

I will start by saying that I am a very cautious blogger... I write things then I delete them about an hour later. If you really want to find out about the real me, you have to be really on top of my blog before I delete it!! I feel a little exposed writing down my feelings for all to see. I really enjoy the blogging community, and want to be a part of it, so I am going to try to be "real", and not delete any posts from here on out. SO .........if you don't like it, well too bad!!! :)
OK, so here it goes. I am not really going to write anything today .. this is my Test blog to make sure I don't delete it, and if I do... you will never know anyway will you???? When I die, someone should really read my journals that I keep under my bed, they are really good!!!!