Today I Want To Cry

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAEver have one of those days when all you want to do is have a good cry, sit under a blanket, and shut out the problems of the world?  I am having one of those today.  But, there is not time to sit under the blanket.  Instead I have to keep moving forward since this is a busy week.  But, my mind still wanders and my heart is heavy.

I normally love watching the news in the morning and evenings.  That has been my thing for years.  Each morning, I have listened, learned, and laughed with the people on our local news channel and then “Good Morning America.”

But now it’s just too hard to listen and watch.  There are so many stories that I don’t want Ian to hear about without the chance to discuss them with him.  Deaths, bombs, shootings, kidnappings, terrorists, and the list goes on.  Since we don’t want Ian seeing too much of all of that, my routine has changed drastically.  Kirk and I want to be the ones who decide how much he sees and hears.  And, to listen to his questions and concerns and be honest with our responses.

Also, the hatefulness and continued inaction between Congress and the current President is getting tedious.  Why can’t they find a way to work together as happened back when Tip O’Neal was Speaker of the House and Ronald Reagan was President?  These two men were on opposite sides of most issues, but still managed to find a way to work together.  It seems that those who supposedly care about America would be doing more to make things better.  And actually do the work that it takes.

Also, the shenanigans of the presidential candidates has been hard to watch. They are mean to one another both within their own party and the other party.  They are also mean to the American people. I know they are opponents but could we show some decency?  What ever happened to agreeing to disagree?  Or to listening to and learning from someone else?  Or having a healthy debate but remaining respectful of your opponents?  It’s going to be a long year.

And, then this morning I found out that a dear friend of ours who is 7 years old will soon be starting chemotherapy and radiation for his brain tumor.  We knew this was coming and it is good, yet hard to deal with.  He recently had two surgeries to remove the brain tumor.  He is the sweetest boy and a friend of Ian’s.  My heart goes out for him and his family as he begins this journey.

For now, we wait and hope and pray.  It will be a tough battle but this boy is strong and has an amazing support system.  For that I am very thankful.  And, knowing this helps.  We also have other friends and family who are sick, or dealing with the deaths of loved ones.  With the holidays coming up, all of these things can sometimes be harder to deal with.  May we be a support to one another by being there, loving each other, and showing some kindness.  And may we pray for one another.

With so much darkness in the world, I don’t want Ian growing up thinking that it’s okay to be cruel and mean to someone who doesn’t agree with him.  I don’t want him thinking that giving up and not trying are okay.  Instead I want him to know there is still decency in the world, as well as kindness and love.  And, I want him to know that it is important to always do his best and to work hard.

And although there are obstacles in life and sickness, hope still exists and so does the power of prayer and faith.  Ian is learning about that from our church and the Bible.  He is more aware of many things than I like to sometimes admit.  He is an amazing little boy who teaches me things every day.

A few silver linings are my son’s innocence and joy of life, my faith, my friends, my family, my routine, and laughter with friends and family.  And, funny shows, people, and movies also help.  As Truvy said in Steel Magnolias, “laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.”  I hope to find that laughter, whether there are tears or not.

Now that I have written all of this, I feel the weight lifting and my heart feels less heavy. Sometimes it helps to just get it out, as with a good cry.  May you have a blessed day.  If you too are feeling sad, remember there are those there to help you and faith is an amazing comfort.  God bless!

H Is For… Hats, Hugs, and Happiness

POD_Sept.25_H.is.for.HatsHi and Happy Hump Day.  Today’s photo challenge is H Is For…  I decided to use this photo of Ian and me sitting together looking at something on the ground.  Aren’t our hats fun?

I love hats and wear them regularly.  At my previous job, I was called the hat lady, something I had mentioned in a previous blog.

I just wish they would come back in style.  Back in the 1940s, nearly everyone wore them.  Then again, maybe part of the fun is being different and unique.

H is also for Hugs, which my family loves to give.  We usually greet one another with a hug and then give then when we leave and go our separate ways.

Hugs are a nice and easy way to let someone know you love them.

H is also for Happiness.  You can’t really see our mouths in this picture, but I think you can tell we were having fun and are happy.

I usually am a happy person and so are my spouse and son.  We love to laugh, smile, and spend time together.

We are very blessed and I thank the Lord each day for these blessings.  I hope that you too are happy.

A few quotes about happiness:

  • “The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness.  You have to catch it yourself.”  ~Author unknown, commonly attributed to Benjamin Franklin
  • “If you want to be happy, be.”  ~Leo Tolstoy
  • “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”  ~Abraham Lincoln
  • “Happiness is a form of courage.”  ~Holbrook Jackson

I wonder if my day will be filled with happiness and hugs?  I sure hope so.  And, I don’t want to forget my hat since I am wearing one today.   Hope your day is wonderful.

Photo-A-Day — Happiness Is…

Hello and Happy July!  I don’t know about you but I am looking forward to this holiday week and weekend!

This month I am going to try to do Fat Mum Slim’s Photo-A-Day Challenge.  Each day a prompt is given by Chantelle and then we are asked to post our photos.  I may not make it every day but look forward to trying.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAToday’s prompt is Happiness Is

Happiness to me is my house.  Here is a picture of my kitchen and dining room.

Over the past year, we have been gone from home quite a bit.  So true and real happiness is having the three of us in our own house.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to visit people and travel, and have a lot of fun doing so!  However, as the great quote states from The Wizard of Oz, “There’s no place like home.”

My house is truly a home and we have a great time there.  The three of us have our favorite things to do as I know all families do.   Ian loves to help in the kitchen and that is a lot of fun.  Ian also helps us with yard work when that needs to be done.

What makes you happy?  What would you choose for your photo?

For me, I have many things that I am happy for and am so grateful for the gifts in my life.  So it was a tough decision to choose a photo to represent happiness.   Today, I just wanted to appreciate my house.

For more information on Chantelle’s Photo-A-Day Challenge, please go to http://fatmumslim.com.au/july-photo-a-day-challenge-lets-get-this-photo-taking-party-started/

In Between – Five Minute Friday Word

Today’s word for Five Minute Friday is In Between.5minutefriday

Here are the rules:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community…

Now GO …

Normally when I do these writings, I first think of song lyrics.  But, today I am at a loss for a song about In Between.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAInstead I am thinking that this summer is an in between time for me.  You see in August, my son will start kindergarten.  His early childhood at home with mommy is coming to a rapid close.  (Here I am with him a few summers ago at the beach.)

I am so blessed beyond words to have had all of this time with him.  My husband and I planned so that I could be a stay-at-home mom and that is the best thing I think I have ever done!

Prior to my son being born, I’d had a nice, long career related to my college major.  I worked as a reporter and then several different offices as a technical writer.  This was very fulfilling and meant a lot.

Then Ian was born, I had my maternity leave, and then went back to work for about a month and a half.  You know what, I decided then that I didn’t want to just see my son at the end of the day.  It was an easy decision and one that I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to do!

Now, he is about to start the adventure of school.  He is so excited and ready to be there all day.  I have to admit that I am less so.

I am in between total happiness in this next phase of his life and his growing up, and sadness that my baby is no longer a baby.

I don’t want him to see that I am sad since it will upset him.  Instead I quietly think about it and look forward to a fun-filled summer with him and my husband.

To all of you with kids starting kindergarten, I know that we’ll make it and our kids will be fine.  It’s just the next phase of life.

Scripture says there is a time to every purpose under Heaven.  The time is now for a sweet young boy to start his school adventure.

To all of you who have been through this, I’d love some words of advice!!

STOP!!!

I wonder how much fun we can cram into the summer before school starts?!  I sure plan to do a lot of fun things with my son.  I want to make memories with him during this last summer before school.

It is the end of an era and the start of the new one.  He is ready and beyond excited and that is awesome!!!

To read other postings on In Between, please see http://lisajobaker.com/2013/06/five-minute-friday-in-between/

On Happiness and Sadness

In the movie Steel Magnolias, Truvy says, “Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.”

That is a bit how the weekend was.  We had the celebration of my grandmother’s life and the following day found out we lost one of our dear sweet family members.

How does one’s mind get around such extremes — of happiness and then sadness?  I don’t know the exact answer and so wish that I did!!

Grams’ party was a lot of fun and she loved my blog that I’d written.  My cousin read a really nice poem and then a funny one, gifts were opened, and great food and cake were enjoyed as well.  It was a great evening.

Then the news of the loss.  Losing a loved one is always difficult.  Crying and prayers and hugs and love are about all I know of to do in times like this.

I saw a picture this morning on Facebook that resulted in some tears — “I wish there were visiting hours in Heaven.”  How I wish that were true!  And, how I wish I could visit our loved one.

There is an expression, “time heals all wounds.”  How much time?  With some losses it feels like that will take a very long time to be true, if ever.  Another is “take it a day at a time.”  On some days, that could be changed to “take it a minute at a time.”

I found some quotes about sadness, loss, and happiness:

  • Tears are God’s gift to us. Our holy water. They heal us as they flow.” ~Rita Schiano”
  • “I don’t know why they call it heartbreak.  It feels like every other part of my body is broken too.”  ~Missy Altijd
  • “If I had a single flower for every time I think about you, I could walk forever in my garden.”  ~Claudia Ghandi
  • “I dropped a tear in the ocean.  The day you find it is the day I will stop missing you.”  ~Author Unknown
  • “Happiness is never stopping to think if you are.”  ~Palmer Sondreal
  • The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.”  ~Mark Twain

Lord, please hold my family close and watch over us.  Hugs and love to my family.

Some Random Thoughts

Hi to you!  Hope you are having a great first official day of summer!

Looks like it will be hot in a large part of the country today!  Try and stay and cool.

Our first day is so far so good.  This morning we watched a show about the Duggar family (which had 16 kids at the time of this special) as they went on a road trip to Disneyland.

It was amazing to see the stuff they took with them — just food and clothing overfilled their motor home.  They had to move some items to a separate trailer just so the motor home could go up the hill.

Ian was fascinated watching their adventures and trying to understand that many people in a family.  We’ll be enjoying a family reunion this summer with nearly that number in a small house.  So, we’ll see what it’s like.  Should be fun!!

—————-

As you know I have been working on losing weight.  This week my sister-in-law gave me a great suggestion for an exercise video.  I am going to see if I can find it.  I like being able to exercise at home or in my neighborhood so this will fit in nicely!

Over the last few weeks, I haven’t been losing very much weight, but I have noticed that my body’s shape is changing.  And for that I am happy.  Some of my clothes are fitting better and are more comfortable.

I have to remember that the changes aren’t only on the scale.  In addition, the exercise is getting easier and I can do things for a longer period of time.  My baby steps seem to be working!

———————-

This week, my husband has made Ian a house out of a cardboard box.  They added a mailbox, doorknob, hook for a jacket inside, and a lock.  And, Ian has keys.

He is having a great time with his house.  And, learning the responsibility of keeping up with his keys is really important.  He has drawn a few pictures on the walls — one of a big truck and the other of clouds in the sky — including frames.

The guy time has been great for them and also for me.

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Hope you have a great rest of the week!  Please share some of what you are doing this summer!  I would love to hear from you!

Here is a fun quote for you: “A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken.”  ~James Dent

Graduation Day

Congratulations Graduates!!

On Saturday afternoon, my husband’s family celebrated the high school graduation of one of our own.  My nephew (Kirk’s brother’s son) Jonathan graduated and it was a real celebration.

When I first met Jonathan, he was 5 years old — nearly the age that Ian is now.  He was into similar activities that Ian is — loving cars, and playing and just being a little boy.  He was the ring bearer at our wedding and looked adorable in his tuxedo.

As we were driving to the graduation, Kirk and I were talking about our wedding and that he was just starting school at that point.  Fast-forward 14 years and Jonathan is a fine young man with an exciting life ahead of him.

It is truly amazing how quickly time flies by.  We have a lot of memories with Jonathan and his parents and have so enjoyed spending time with them all of these years.

One year we were at the beach together and had a wonderful time.  Playing in the sand, making sand castles and sand animals, going to a parade, and eating cheese steak sandwiches are some of the highlights.

Despite the difference in their ages, Jonathan and Ian are buddies and get along very well.  They trade toy cars and when Ian was younger, they loved playing together.  They still do enjoy talking about trucks and cars.

For graduation this year, Ian decided to give a book to Jonathan about Tonka trucks.  This book was given by my sister to my brother’s oldest son, who then passed it along to Ian a few years ago.  On his own, Ian decided that he wanted his cousin to have it!  What a sweet and caring thing for Ian to do.  He knows that Jonathan likes the trucks as much as he does.  It is very special to know that this book is still in the family.

Graduation is truly an amazing time in one’s life — both for the graduates and the parents.  During the ceremony, I was watching Jonathan’s parents who were beaming with pride as their son received his diploma.  They have been great parents to him and have taught him so much!

Since my son hasn’t started school yet, it is hard for me to imagine this feeling.  Yet, I know it will be here in no time.  Once he starts school, the time will fly.  Lord, please help us along that journey!!

The graduation speaker said these words, “No one will care how much you know until they know how much you care.”  I really like these words and know they are great advice.

Here are few other graduation quotes that I found online:

“There is a good reason they call these ceremonies “commencement exercises.”  Graduation is not the end; it’s the beginning.”  ~Orrin Hatch

“The tassel’s worth the hassle!”  ~Author Unknown

“The future lies before you
Like a field of driven snow,
Be careful how you tread it,
For every step will show.”
~Author Unknown

For those of you graduating this year, whether from high school or college, I hope and pray that you will enjoy the next phase of your life and can look back on your growing up years as a fun time.  God Bless!

From the Mouths of Children

Have you ever listened to a young child speak? Or listened to them give their ideas and point on view on life?  I do every day and love it.

Ian always has something interesting to say.  He is really quite insightful on a lot of things. That is quite amazing for a 4-year-old.

Yesterday morning, he said, “Mommy, I have a boo-boo in my throat.” He was speaking of a sore throat and I loved how he put that.

Since he is discovering reading more and more, he keeps asking us, “What does that say?” “Can you tell me?”  I love watching his mind at work.

This morning while pointing to his head, he said, “God made me and he putted my brain in there.”  Very sweet.

Although I as his mother am continually trying to teach him new concepts and ideas, he is the one often teaching us.

From Ian, I have learned to truly live in the moment. He savors and enjoys each experience and isn’t spending his time worrying about something in the future or the past.

I have also learned to be content with the little things.  He is happy with his toys, a pencil and paper, a book, and his hot chocolate. The simple things and the simple life is something that works for him.

I have learned to love unconditionally and give out hugs. He does this most of the time and his hugs and loves are very special.

I have enjoyed laughing with him as well.  I didn’t have to learn that as I have been laughing for years.  But, there is something very special in hearing your child laugh.

I do have to say I love to see when he thinks something is funny.  He grins from ear to ear with his precious dimples and his entire face and body are happy.

This morning I saw a great quote about children from Marianne Williamson, “Children are happy because they don’t have a file in their minds called ‘all the things that could go wrong.'” That really is true.

Please take the time to truly listen to the child or children in your life.  You will be glad that you did.

I wonder if we can enjoy life as much as a child does.  I am certainly going to try.

The Gift of Time

“If I could save time in a bottle the first thing that I’d like to do is save every day ’til eternity passes just to spend them with you,” the opening line to Time in a Bottle by Jim Croce

What if we could save time like that?  Wouldn’t that be great? Then we’d have a chance to do things over, build up time for when we really need it, or just take our time for granted.

But time doesn’t work that way.  Time is a precious gift that should be savored and appreciated.

At my first job after college I was a reporter for a small town paper.  My “beat” was the police and sheriff’s departments as well as the fire department and county ambulance service and the courthouse offices, county commission and other assignments as given.  An amazing beat where I learned a lot.  One of the best things I ever heard in my life was from a paramedic who was the supervisor of his particular crew – his name was Gordon and he is someone I will never forget.  He told me, “never be a grave hugger.” I asked, “what do you mean?”

He explained that you should always tell people you love them, never leave anything unsaid, and never regret having said something to someone without an apology because you just don’t know how long you have with them. Very profound words for me to hear as I was just starting my career and adult life. That has been something I have tried to live by ever since and am so thankful for his wisdom.

Time also is a funny thing — sometimes it seems to fly by and other times it seems to drag. But we are still given the same 24 hours, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. Have you ever noticed that when you are on vacation or doing something you really enjoy, the time seems to pass very quickly? It certainly seems to for me.  Or if you are dragging at the end of the week or feeling ill or with a person who is difficult to deal with, the hours seem to last and last? Again, I can relate to this too.

This summer I celebrated a wonderful high school reunion – our 25th.  I just can’t believe so many years have gone by since high school!  I sometimes still feel like that girl in the drama club, show choir with a small circle of friends, but know that I am not. I have responsibilities, a family, and an amazing life as an adult with many family and friends whom I cherish. It is amazing to see my friends from high school now and how everyone gets along so well — I have a unique class in that most of us are still in touch with each other. And we truly care about each other — what a blessing.

I hope that we can make the most of each day and truly learn to cherish this gift. I know there are people who wish they’d had more time with a loved one who has a lingering and/or long illness, or an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, or a childhood that has passed too quickly. For these people, I pray for comfort and the understanding that again with time, wounds can be healed and life can get better again.

Also time is positive for the Olympic athlete who has trained most of his or her life for a sport and then has the chance to compete and win a medal.  Wow!! I graduated with a girl who played for the Olympic women’s basketball team – they won gold which was amazing. Or the time your child is born is one is one you will always remember, or seeing your favorite band in concert, or watching the blockbuster movie, or when something amazing and wonderful happens – you get the job you’ve worked for, you get a promotion, your team wins the World Series or the Super Bowl.

Some things I savor are the time to bake and decorate cookies with my son, the time to watch the sunset at Mission Beach, the time to visit with a friend who I haven’t seen in years, the time to do laundry and spend the day visiting with my grandfather, the time to read the Bible, the time to read a book or newspaper, the time to celebrate a dear one’s birthday, the time to go to church and worship the Lord and sing His praises, and the time to have a date with my husband.

I still wonder if we can appreciate our time and make the most of it and try to help someone else. Lord, please help us do just that.

The Joy of Christmas

Just a few more weeks until Christmas and there is still so much to do.  Tree and house decorated, check. Gifts purchased, not checked. Photos picked for Christmas card, check. Cards written, not checked.  You see my dilemma.

This is always a very busy time of year with finishing up projects for work, and figuring out which parties to attend, and planning the shopping or craft that you will make for people. I do know a few people who are already finished with all of their purchases for Christmas.  That is amazing and I hope to be able to do that one of these years, but it hasn’t happened yet.

I am trying not to get stressed out about all that is left to do and do a little each day.  And, I am looking forward to this Christmas — especially because my 4-year-old son is so into it this year.  He is excited about every aspect to the holiday season. We are counting the days until Christmas – just 20 now — and enjoy the Advent Calendar. He helped decorate trees at three houses and still can’t get enough of that. He asked for a Santa toy and we found him a singing Santa from a store.  He loves it!!!

As I write this, he is pouring over a toy catalog trying to find each gift that he would like. “I want this girl toy for you Mommy,” and “I want this truck for Daddy.” Very sweet and I have tried to explain I like different things now but he still has in mind his mommy and daddy should get a toy for Christmas. We are going to bake cookies and let him decorate them and he is excited about that as well. That will be messy but fun and a great memory.

My husband and I keep trying to tell him there is more to Christmas than just the presents and that some kids don’t have or get anything. He is interested in giving something to them, so that is really nice. And, we are trying as a family to create our own traditions. That is a precious part of the holiday to me as my family had great traditions as I was growing up and still have them, and my husband’s family has as well.

With all of the activities and craziness that this month often brings, it’s easy to forget the real meaning of Christmas is the gift of love, forgiveness, and sharing with those closest to you.  After all, Jesus is the Reason for the Season.

Between now and the end of the month, I am going to be writing about gifts — not those you place under a tree but those things in life that you can’t buy.  Like the gift of health, the gift of love, the gift of music, the gift of time, and the gift of faith.  These are just some of my ideas. Please share others with me. I would appreciate the input very much.

I wonder if we can cut through all of the commercialism and craziness and truly enjoy this gift of Jesus’ Birth and the gift that is Christmas?