Saturday, March 29, 2014

Monday, March 26, 2012

run forrest run...

We just watched Forrest Gump, so they actually know the reference now :)

Here is Emma Shea!

She is giving us a run for our money...
Don't let the cheesy smile fool you... there is an inner Ethel that comes and visits. She isn't welcome here, but she makes herself at home often.

...but that is another post.

Speaking of running....

Last Tuesday, Emma had to run the mile for State PE credit.

So... Mac made a huge sacrifice (ha) and allowed me to sign her out of school for an hour and came to run with her little sister :)

The weather was perfect...

and they finished the mile in 11:16!

Go girls!!!

And Alan....You said I couldn't put your picture on never said anything about the blog:)

$4000 $1,000,000,000 dollar smile

The day has finally come... 23 months after the transformation began....
the braces have come off...

and someone could not be happier!!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

clawing my way out...


It has been awhile since I have sat in front of this screen.

A very long while.

But it is difficult to sit and see the words LIVING GRACIOUSLY staring at you from your blog page when for the past year or so you have been living any way but.

It has been a rough season in my life. And I have not handled the trials graciously. I have allowed anger and hurt to consume my heart. I have been suffocating under the weight of the animosity I have allowed to build. I have allowed my outlook to become tainted by the disappointment in those that should have been a source of strength failing to acknowledge my need for comfort. I have viewed life with ugliness and my mistrust of those around me has grown immense. I have pushed all those around me farther and farther away. And I feel alone.

My spiritual life has suffered. My anger has been so great that it has blocked my ability to see that God has never left my side. I have warmed the pew each Lord's day; checking the box to say my worship has been done. But I have not been edified; and I certainly have not edified others by my hardened heart. My worship has been unacceptable to my God.

But I have not been able to crawl out of the pit of despair I jumped into.

And then I read a blog post by Angie Smith about Galatians 6:2 which says, Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. And the words pricked my heart. Granted, I have read that passage many times. I KNOW that I am supposed to give my trials to God and that I am to allow others to help me bear the burdens I am confronted with. But it is not something I do easily. Because I do not feel most people are sincere in their concern and I do not trust most to keep my concerns and struggles private, very few are allowed to know what it is in my heart. But as I read the post, I HEARD those words that day. And I thought on them.

And then I acted upon them.

It was not planned. I really did not have time to think about the words that were coming from my heart. It was a chance meeting one Sunday evening. The words were sparked by a simple question, "Are you thinking of changing congregations?" And I answered, "Possibly." And then I said the words I never thought I would say out loud., "I am not doing well. I am filled with hurt and animosity and I am having difficult time finding my way out."And she said she had been in that dark place also. And she comforted me with her words of understanding. And my heart was pricked. God continued to show himself when another woman came up to me 3 days later and asked a simple question and I said the words again. And she cried with me. And I felt comforted. The load I have been carrying for so long had been lifted just a tiny bit...just by saying a few words to another.

And while I am still in the pit, the clawing to the top has begun.

Monday, June 13, 2011

it's not much, but it's a start....

Dance has ended for the year for Michaela
(except for the summer workshop she will be attending :)

She had a great year at the new studio..and she LOVES Pointe!
She is looking forward to next year's classes!

Dance has ended for Emma forever!

Emma decided halfway through the year that she no longer wants to take dance. Which is fine. It is her decision. Her sister does not understand the decision, but 'different strokes'. We all have to find our own niche in life.
She finished out the year and did a great job at recital.
But she has moved on.....

To horses of course!
Today was her first riding lesson!
She learned three 'seating' techniques
She trotted...She even did some tricks:)
I think that face says it all!!!!

Friday, January 07, 2011

i have not fallen off the face of the planet...

but when you spend between 50 and 60 hours a week toggling between computer screens at a job you DESPISE, the last thing you want to do when you get home is look at a computer screen.

I think I understand why the mechanic's cars are never fixed and the carpenter's personal projects are never get done!

So just know that I am back.

And that I would like your prayers---please pray that the job I have applied for works out!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

catch a falling....

or maybe just sticking her tongue out at me!!!

Monday, December 06, 2010

how many more years of this???...

This is what Math homework looks like in our house!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

family tradition....

Today was the day I planned to head out with Steve and the girls to look for the perfect Christmas tree. The weather had other ideas for the day...a nice covering of fluffy wet snow! But we were not daunted. Freezing temperatures and a little snow were not going to mess with our family tradition.

So we bundled up~~~some of us matching better than others~~~ and headed out to Sleepy Hollow Tree Farm.
There were snowball fights....fatherly ambushes...
and lots of laughter!
After the snowballs stopped flying, the tree hunting began!

Emma found her 'perfect' tree...
but we decided to leave it and let it grow a little bit more before we took it home...

and we chose this one instead!
and as tradition has it, Steve grabbed a handsaw and began cutting into the tree trunk. After a few minutes, the tree was still standing and Steve was worn out. So, rather than spend the next 30 minutes trying to saw through the trunk, he wimped out and called Troy over~~within seconds the chainsaw cut through the trunk and the tree came down.

Soon, the snow will be melted and the branches dry, and we can transform this huge evergreen into our family Christmas tree.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

on the eve of thanksgiving eve ....

Today was a extremely long day for me. I woke up at 4:30am and left the house at 5:10. I made it to work with a few minutes to spare. 12 hours later I walked out of the Humana building, exhausted and worn out! The 4 block walk to the parking lot was endless and the drive home felt like it would never end. Walking through the front door, sitting in the big comfy couch, and talking to the girls (and Steve) was all I wanted to do.

But my family had other plans for me!!! As I opened the door, I was welcomed by the smells of dinner cooking. Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole had all been prepared by Steve and the girls this afternoon. What a great 'Welcome Home.'

Now Steve is on his way to work, Mac is cleaning the kitchen, Emma is taking a shower, and I am sitting with my feet propped up...counting my blessings!
we just replaced an ugly brass and glass fixture,
the new one definitely needs to be raised

I am so thankful for my family!

Monday, November 22, 2010


I cannot believe I forgot to post about Emma's award from school! I always remember to write about the embarrassing things, and yet forgot to take the time to brag on my little girl when I had the chance! Bad, bad Mommy!

Each month at Locust Grove, children are honored during announcements and presented a certificate at an assembly for accomplishments in various categories. Two weeks ago Emma Shea was honored for her poem about moving. She was declared the 'winner' for the 2nd grade writing category. YAY EMMA!!!!

**Below is the poem she wrote completely by herself. Ms.
V told me that Emma would pull it out every day for several weeks and add to it; trying to incorporate the literary devices they had worked on in class. She began the assignment the week after we moved away from Northern Kentucky. For weeks, she begged and begged to move back to our old house. This poem reflects the heart break she was feeling being separated from 'what she knew' and the acceptance of her new situation.


Shattering in my tears

When we went to the new house.

The new house was cold and dark

Like the woods

Thinking on the floor
that we could never be sadder.

Why did we have to go

My backyard is big

I'm missing my old school

I'm missing my friends.

Liking my new house now

Liking my new school now
Liking my new backyard now

Liking my new room now.

Friday, November 19, 2010

friday frivolity....

Having not worked a full~time job in over 7 years..

I had forgotten how important week~ends were.

It didn't take long to remember the relief...

that a clock striking 4:30 on a Friday can bring.

And the dread surrounding setting the alarm on Sunday night!

Retirement...Sweet Retirement.
Well from what they keep saying at H....., this is my last week end of freedom.

Annual enrollment for Medicare started on the 15th...

and therefore, mandatory overtime has begun....

and over the next 2 months, I will be seeing more of my co-workers than my family!

I have already said my good byes and asked them to please not forget me...

or replace me with a better model.
Last week I asked Steve if he wanted to hire someone to paint Mac's room...

of course, since he loves painting so much, it took him a half of a millisecond to say yes!

Steve, the painter, came and primed the lovely paneling tonight...

and he has just left.

he will be back tomorrow to paint the Teal Zeal onto the walls...

but Steve doesn't know what time! is my last Saturday of not working for weeks...

I do not want to see the morning hours.

I sure hope that doorbell doesn't ring at 8:00.

Because I would hate to have to wake up...

errr....well roll over...

to nudge Steve out of bed.
Not too much has happened this week...

work for Steve and I...

school for the girls.

Next week looks like more of the same.

with a trip to Alabama to break up the monotony...

and of course the IRON BOWL on Friday!

I wonder if we will cheer for the Tide with 5/6th of the Hunters

or with the blue and orange with the rebellious 1/6th of the family:)

Shhh...we will be cheering for the Crimson Tide ...

because we need a place to stay while we are there!
I am off to bed...

sleep has been calling me for a while...

and I think I am going to answer him now!

Sweet Dreams!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

girls stripping...

wallpaper... girls stripping WALLPAPER!

you didn't think I would actually have a post about strippers did you???!!!

The house we are 'trying out' to see if we want to buy in the future was built in the late 80s. It is a good house, but it is really stuck in a time warp. There are things that MUST be changed if I am going to live here~~~even if we decide not to buy it.

Exposure to U.G.L.Y. has to be limited.

Exhibit #1:

This hideous mauve and green wallpaper covers the walls of the master bathroom...and even the walk-in closet! A decorator's failure I do believe.

What made the concept even more of an eyesore ... the mauve blinds in the bathroom bay window and the matching curtains left in the master bedroom.


Thankfully, these beautiful girls spent their Sunday afternoon stripping the U.G.L.Y off of the walls.
And they had a great time...

except for the 'smelling like vinegar' part!!

I am just tickled pink mauve that my bathroom has taken a step closer to this century!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Last week we surprised Emma with a trampoline.

Late afternoon on Saturday, we hooked up the trailer and headed out to pick it up from Ms. Robin's yard.

A few hours later we arrived home (because we had to stop and eat at OG before picking it up). Although it was pitch black outside, the girls wanted to set it up. So we found the perfect spot and while the girls came in to bundle up (because it was almost 50 and 'freezing'), Steve began unloading the pieces.

Emma could not find the winter hat she was looking for, but she found her scarf so I wrapped her up in it. About the same time I offered her a chef's hat to wear (because it is a little too big and would cover her ears), she found a sun hat and put it on her head. Real purty!!!

When she saw the chef's hat, she looked at me appalled!
"MOM!!! I can't wear that. That would look silly!"
Oh, and this doesn't??!!
For more Wordful Wednesday posts, go to
Parenting by Dummies

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

parenting--part 2...

A few months ago, Michaela was told by a young man that I "make all of her decisions for her" and that I "control her." Of course my first reaction was to laugh and to think that if I truly did control her and make her decisions I would certainly have a lot less to worry about. And if I was a "puppet master" for my children, parenting would definitely be so much easier! But the comment made me look at myself as a parent and consider my role in my children's lives.

My conclusion...parenting is hard...sometimes I hate it...and I question my decisions often.

But I also realized that raising happy, well balanced children requires being two concepts that are complete polar opposites of one another.

First, as parents, we make decisions for our children. We teach and we discipline so that we can instill family values, ground our children in faith, and create stability and security in their lives. We spend years creating a home that represents safety. Family is where we teach our children to seek comfort. We spend years making choices that will ground our children in an assurance of their worth and value. Our unconditional love is the basis for forming strong roots.

Then, as soon as the roots have taken hold, we take a step back and we begin preening their wings so that they can take flight and begin a life separate from us. And letting go is the hardest thing I have ever had to do.

Taking a step (or 20) back and allowing Michaela to make her own choices, her own mistakes 'hurts my heart'. Often I (choose to) forget that she is a young adult and that she has to make her own choices, whether I agree with them or not. I want to alleviate the hurt and heartache that are inevitable as she matures and makes more of her own life choices. I want to keep her in the safety of my heart so that she does not look back on her life and say, "If only I had/hadn't.....". I want to continue strengthening the roots because that is simpler---for me. But I know that controlling all of Mac's choices is not what is best for her. I realize that one day (all too soon), she will drive away and begin creating her own home. So, as her parent, I must continue to guide her and make choices for her~~that is my responsibility~~but I also must remember to step back and allow her to make more of her own decisions~~~and to be there to support her... in the joy or in the sorrow of her choices.

Boy!!! Letting go is heartwrenching.

Success as a parent comes when we recognize that the roots we have been nurturing are stable and that we realize when it is time to step back and do what is necessary to strengthen the wings. We must know that if we have done our best, although they have flown away, their roots are strong and well grounded within our hearts and homes.

Man, why didn't anyone tell us parenting was so hard!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010


I originally posted this in June, but due to 'life' I never finished the second part. So I am re-posting this and posting the 2nd part tomorrow.
Over the last several months, I have had various conversations with friends about parenting. We have talked about the joys our children have brought us and also about what our lives would be like if we had not taken on the role of parent (more time, more money, less stress, less love). These conversations, along with comments recently made to Michaela, have had me thinking about myself as a parent~~~ a lot. And after much self evaluation, I have come to a conclusion.

Sometimes....I hate being a parent!

And while I do not enjoy the bickering and arguing or the attitude and disdain, the dislike does not stem from these behaviors. My feelings of disdain comes from the magnitude of responsibility that raising children entails! We, as parents, have been entrusted with the nurturing, educating, disciplining, and spiritual and emotional well~being of these little souls. We, as mommy and daddy, are responsible for forming their knowledge base and value system from infancy! We, as mom and dad, create the foundation for what they will make of themselves as the grow and mature!

And...the responsibility is frightening!

Doubt, second guessing, and regret often follow decisions. Discipline often ends with "What ifs." and "I shouldn't haves." We continually question "Am I being too strict?", "Am I pushing too hard?", or "Do I expect too much?" as we make choices or give encouragement. Our task as parents is daunting. The ramifications of our choices, whether good or bad, will shape and mold the character of our children for the rest of their lives.

And overwhelming!

Several months ago, Michaela was told that I......

Monday, November 01, 2010

Sunday, October 31, 2010

upon the first day of the week...

1 How long, O LORD ? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?

2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?

3 Look on me and answer, O LORD my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;

4 my enemy will say, "I have overcome him,"
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.

6 I will sing to the LORD,
for he has been good to me.

Psalm 13

Saturday, October 30, 2010

fun filled family fridaysaturday

Today we all slept in until after 10AM...It was GLORIOUS! Then we rushed around and headed out the door to drive up to Florence. With the sun shining and clear blue skies, we enjoyed an afternoon at the Ferguson family farm. We explored the farm by hayride, we hid from one another in the 5 acre corn maze, and we looked for pumpkins in the pumpkin patch. After petting the animals and taking a pony ride (Emma) we hurried over to a presentation of Chicken Little, starring Emma's friend Madeline as Ducky Lucky. After many hugs and congratulations, we said our goodbyes and headed to Mall road for Michaela's favorite thing (and the thing Emma and I detest the most)~~~~shopping. After several trips to the dressing rooms, we paid for the final selections and then headed to dinner at Don Pablos on the river to stuff ourselves with salsa and fajitas. (YUMMY)!!!Truly a great Fun-Filled Family Friday Saturday!