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I’ve been struggling the last few weeks.  I guess the reality of the move has settled in finally!  I do this.  I go through the emotions of saying goodbye to friends I had and having to start over again.  I feel lonely, I whine and complain, and cry.  I struggle to keep a good attitude, even though I am blessed beyond comprehension.

So the last week or so it has hit hard.  I told my husband that I feel drained dry.  I feel like I have to put so much effort and energy into developing relationships and then once I finally start to get them established, I have to say goodbye.  I often feel like I am the one who has to reach out over and over again, and I’m just tired of it.  “For once,” I told him, “I just want someone to reach out to me.”

And I think part of that feeling has hit me so hard because my husband has so many connections and he does have people reaching out to him.  I have another friend who moved here recently and I’m seeing her thriving and going out with the girls…and when you are in a situation like mine, you can’t help but wonder so many things, like why the invites aren’t coming your way.

So I finally just let it out during some prayer time this last week.  I let God know how I feel – lonely, rejected, sad, tired, weak, neglected.  I whined about the sacrifices I’ve made.  I complained about following my husband around with every move and not feeling like I’m getting much out of it.  “I give and give and give,” I whined.  “And I get nothing in return!”  (Not exactly true, I know!)

And I’m certain God was listening patiently.  He let me have my rant.  And then when I was done, this stupid, stupid, STUUUUUUUUUPID song started playing in my head:

Come on, get your, get your head in the game
We gotta get our, get our, get our, get our head in the game
You gotta get your, get your head in the game
We gotta get our, get our, get our, get our head in the game

Stupid High School Musical. I’ve watched that movie once…ONE TIME. How in the world is it that this song started up in my head?

Then I felt God speak to my heart.  He told me that I need to remember what this is all about. While I am looking at all these moves as supporting my husband, following him around so he can get promoted, etc., I’ve forgotten that God’s hand is entirely in every single move and promotion and relationship I develop.  I’m not following my husband around, I’m going where God has told us to go, each and every time.  Every time He opens the door for us to move, He has a purpose to it, and His purpose has an eternal result in mind.

The sacrifices I’m making should not be for my husband, children, or even myself, but for God.  The promotions and blessings we receive through all these moves and actions we take are blessings from God, not the reason why we move.  Where much is given, much is required.  And the truth is, God has called me to live a life that I would never have picked for myself.  I lived the first 20 years of my life in one small military town.  I always assumed I’d grow up, get married, and live in one place forever.   My personality is not one geared for this kind of lifestyle, but how often does God call those who are prepared and strong to walk in the things He calls us to walk in?  He often chooses the weak, the inadequate, sometimes even the unwilling to go and do His work, so that His glory can be shown through it.

The things I miss, the loneliness I feel, is temporary.  I have an eternity of fellowship waiting for me at the end of this road.

So, once again convicted and thankful for God’s love and patience, I’m back in the game.  It’s not to say I still won’t hurt or be sad as I face the loneliness – I am after all, human!  But God is in control and if I rely on Him and wait patiently, I know He will bring the kind of friends my heart desires.  Women who will reach out to me in return.  Those I can rely on in a time of need.

In fact, it’s already starting to happen.  It was kind of funny.  Just after having that conversation with my husband, and God, I texted a newly met friend to let her know I wasn’t going to make the women’s Bible study we both joined because Madison was sick.  She texted me back, “I’m sorry to hear that.  Missed ya, do you need anything that I could pick up for you?”

I was touched.  Her thoughtfulness and willingness to do that for me meant more than she will know.  And I’m sure God was smiling on me as I read her message.  Sometimes I forget He really hears my prayers, and then I’m amazed at how quickly He responds, especially when I get my head in the game!

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Still pregnant, but getting closer.  Some really cool things have been happening this last week. 

First, I have a friend who tried calling me several times Tuesday.  I never got around to answer the phone or calling her back, but when she called me back on Wednesday, I picked up.  She asked me if things were going okay and told me both she and her husband were up the last two nights praying for me. 

Which was exactly what I needed.  It was just one of those moments where I was thankful for all the friends I have praying for me, and for a God who wanted me to know that He sees where I am and has people praying for me.  She told me that she and her husband were praying specifically regarding the spirit of fear and anxiety.

And as soon as she said that, I remembered my dream from the night before.  It didn’t help that I was up the last two nights with contractions (up until 2 a.m. Wednesday morning!) and crazy stressful, hectic dreams.  I’ve been stressing, or should I say, I’ve been afraid of this whole childbirth thing.  Can I really do it?  Am I strong enough?  Can I handle the pain?  Do I have the endurance, the strength, the will to make it? 

So after all the fretting and worrying I had this dream Tuesday night about this spirit in my bedroom.  It was made of fire and started throwing fire all over my room as if threatening to burn it down.  And then I saw each of my children, and he was threatening to throw the fire at them.  I felt like I was half awake, half asleep, but next thing I knew, I was mustering up all the courage I could by saying, “Jesus, Jesus…” because it was the only thing I could think of to say that made me feel better.  And then I prayed for His help, and then commanded that spirit of fear out of my house and away from my children too. 

But the crazy thing is, I could not remember that dream until my friend called me the next morning.  All I could remember was that I’d had another crazy, bad dream.  So it really meant a lot to me that one, she and her hubby were praying over me regarding that area of my life and two, I felt like I was starting to deal with it.  I can’t live in fear and succeed!  So after that phone call, I was able to move on in peace, and gradually, over the next 24 hours, I am feeling okay about this whole labor thing.

Good thing, cuz I am soooooooooooooo close!  (I just typed this post with about 4 contractions in between!)

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Meshing with friends

Scott told me I needed to get off Suzy’s site and blog more.  I suppose I have been distracted lately…

But anyway, let me get caught up here. 

Saturday night Scott treated me to a special night out.  (Extra points for Scott for continuing to spoil his wife!)  We called our babysitter, got dressed up (pretty quickly, mind you – Joshua had a baseball game that lasted 45 minutes longer than we thought!), and joined our friends at Mesh for a rather unique dining experience.  We had reservations for 8:45, the earliest we could get in when we tried to make reservations online that morning.  So if you are in the Cincinnati area and want to try this place out, then make your reservations early! 

We went ahead and showed up about an hour early.  We figured we could order appetizers and hang out at the bar until our table was ready, but it wasn’t 60 seconds after we all ordered drinks (a diet coke for the pregnant lady!) when they went ahead and called us back to our table. 

The restaurant itself had a rather contemporary feel to it, and the people were doing just what the restaurant called us to do, interact, or mesh together (at least with the people we knew). 

Here I am, tired but having fun!

The staff was very professional and friendly, and the food was a unique experience.  Here are some pics of the food Scott and I enjoyed:

Compliments of the chef…it was a very delicious bite.  I could have eaten 10 more.

 

Oysters the only way my husband will eat them…COOKED!

 

I ordered the Iceburg wedge salad simply because it was the easiest one to omit the things I can not eat while pregnant.  (Like Bleu cheese!)

 

Scott’s steak and tuna.  (Can’t remember what it was called on the menu).  He ordered his medium, he got it rare.  So if you eat there, keep that in mind!  As you can see, the tuna is also not cooked all the way, so I didn’t take a bite of either!

 

My dish – Tilapia with couscous? in a saffron sauce.  Naturally, it just happened to be one of Saturday night’s special.  I ordered it thinking it sounded good AND really, how expensive can fish be?  Ha!  Should have asked!  Mine was one of the more expensive dishes.  Take one more look at my $44 cut of fish.  All in all, the dish was not bad, PLUS it was cooked all the way!  😉  But I probably would have gone for the pasta dish had I asked how much the special cost!

 

The best part (of course)!  This is their “famous” Chocolate Bailey’s cheesecake cake, bragged to be “Best Restaurant Dessert” in America by USA Today.  It was good, but I liked the chocolate on both sides of the cake better.  😉

It was a fun night as we sat at the table and chatted with our friends (without kids interrupting!)  In fact, I don’t remember seeing a kid in sight, which was probably a good thing considering the table behind us, seating a large group of people, laughed and joked about one lady’s birthday presents she just happened to be opening up right then and there.  (Yes, she really did say it was a blow job kit).  Not a G-rated environment! 

And just to make things funny for us, (and not in an x-rated way!) we got the bill and our friend asked the server to split the bill 50/50 between our cards, only we had 2 gift cards, leaving us with a balance of about $15 and our friends with a bigger balance on their one card. 

As the server walked away, I joked with Scott that our friend secretly switched out the gift cards, adding it to his credit card.  When the server came back, she’d actually charged our credit card for half the cost of the total bill and our friend’s card had the remaining $15 balance!  It was actually pretty funny after I made such a fuss about our “cheating friend” switching out the cards. 

Seriously though, this restaurant is not a cheap dining experience, so unless you are really intending to splurge…hey, I don’t need to remind you, you saw my plate!  😉 

But if you do want to save some money, go run by Costco and see if they still have the Mesh gift cards available.  You pay $80 and get $100 worth in gift cards, gaining $20.  So if you are going to Mesh, stop by Costco first! 

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Honestly, It’s been a rough few days.  And I’m going to vent, knowing my husband reads my blog, knowing this post will probably tick him off.  Honestly, if he comes out of this ticked off, but knowing me better, it’s worth it.  And it’s not that he’s not a wonderful husband.  I’m a very lucky girl.  I know that.  I just wish he got me some times.

Madison came down with Croup over the weekend.  By Saturday, she was just a monster.   A MONSTER.  Late Saturday morning, Kelly came downstairs with a fever.  I ended up calling off my outing with a friend.  Probably turned out for the best because I ended up feeling sick by late afternoon.  So did Scott.  That made four of us  – sick.

Ugh.  So the fun began.  Madison, between her screaming and yelling and demanding her mommy, and then the other kids…who also happened to start feeling bad (Dwight is the only one who has remained healthy so far), it has just been wearing me down.  And Scott.  He’s had to deal with crazy work stuff.  Really stressful stuff.  And this week, he’s sick too, but he has to go in.  There’s not a whole lot of choice.

So we’ve all been toughing it out.  He’s dealing with work, I’m dealing with trying to keep up with household duties and sick kids, and healthy active kids…

But tonight it just all got to me.  I really haven’t had a break and I’m trying so damn hard to be supportive of my husband’s crazy schedule.  Shoot, I even insisted he go to his boss’ stupid STUPID Superbowl party when I really wanted him to stay home and take care of me.  I broke dishes, cleaned up, cooked dinner, and took care of the sick kids while he was eating the SuperBowl food I was looking forward to (because food is one of the few things during pregnancy to look forward to since you are deprived of so many other pleasures in life – like sleep!)

Today was draining.  Even when I tried to take a nap, I ended up dealing with Kelly who refused to take a nap, (but apparently decided to try to knock down walls or reconstruct furniture or something crazy like that in her room), then the phone rang, then Patrick, who kept leaving his room when he was supposed to be in there reading (he stayed home sick).  I guess they thought when mom was laying down, it was their opportunity to see what they could get away with.  I eventually gave up on nap time but I was more upset about the fact that I never did get the energy to do the dishes, or the laundry.  I was planning on getting at least half-way caught up with the laundry today.

Tonight when it was time to head up for bed, it just all became overwhelming.  Bedtime checklist.  I need to check the locks, turn off the tv, turn on porch lights, turn off indoor lights, ignore the dishes, put Dwight’s meds in his bottle, fill up the vaporizor and humidifier, check on crying kelly, take my vitamins, try to brush my teeth, all while Madison is screaming for whatever the heck she’s screaming about, heck, forget about brushing my teeth, and I’ll just wear what I’m wearing now, I can’t take anymore of this!  Why the heck did she have to wake up anyway? Argh!  I feel like there is so much to remember and do each night just to “get ready for bed.”  I should have started getting ready an hour ago.

And then Scott sees I’m frustrated and I guess it pissed him off.  I don’t even remember what he asked me now, but it was just how he said it, like, “What is your problem?  Why are you so pissy?” 

My response? “Don’t talk to me.”  Because I did not need that.  I DID NOT NEED THAT.  And I did not want to say anything stupid.  I have 5 kids demanding something from me all day long, and half the night, please just understand I’m frustrated because I can’t even get the damn humidifier tank to open up so I can fill it up!  See, the goal was in sight.  Bed time.  I was ready to get in bed, but I still had this to do list in front of me.  All those little details that go unnoticed or undone if I don’t do it.  And then, I get to go to bed with a coughing baby who will no doubt wake me up every hour of the night.  But I’ll check on her and give her the drink she needs for her dry throat or return her pacifier when she’s lost it, whatever she needs, because she just doesn’t feel good.  And I’m her mom.  That’s what moms do.  They nurture and take care of others, even when they are exhausted. 

So I got more frustrated because when I tried to explain to him that I’m in a bad mood because I’m just tired and worn out and I’ve had the kids all day and it’s been rough, he made it about him.  He made a comment about how he’s just had it so easy.  When did I ever say that?  (Although, in all fairness, at least he can take DayQuil/NyQuil!)  Seriously though.  I just wanted him to hear what I was saying and understand.  I wanted a hug and some reassurance that it will get better soon.  Talk to any woman, and she’d get it.  I really REALLY needed a woman to talk to right then. 

Newsflash.  Scott is not a woman.  Not that it’s an excuse.  He could have remembered the overwhelming feeling he’s had before when I left him with all the kids and they wore him out.  Yes, I know this happens, because I come home all happy from my time off and he’s the one who’s pissy.  See?  I know this happens!  

So tonight, I just shut down.  Because I feel like when he doesn’t get me, or understand what is going on with me, he gets angry.  I wonder if it’s because he’s so good at fixing things.  If he sees a problem, he’s naturally good at figuring out a solution to the problem, and fast.  But not with me.  No, he’s got one complicated wife.  So when it comes to me, I guess I feel like he responds to me with impatience.  Maybe like his mom responded to him when he needed special attention or understanding.  No patience, no understanding.  She wasn’t a very loving mother towards him. 

So tonight, I was just too tired.  Too tired to explain anything.  Too emotionally drained to get into it with him.  Too exhausted to say, “I just need you to understand I’m tired and don’t feel good.  I’ve had the life sucked out of me today.  I am frustrated with life right now.  There is nothing left.”  No, I just did not have it in me to try to get him to understand.   

And honestly?  The truth is, when you add on the pregnancy and emotions that go with the pregnancy, and yeah, maybe he’s really got it hard.  I’ve been more emotional during this pregnancy, but I’m starting to feel this whole getting angry everytime I cry or am upset is a cop out.  (Honestly).  I’m starting to get bitter about it.  (Honestly). 

And even more Honestly, I feel very alone right now. 

In this pregnancy.

I feel alone. 

I can’t even type those words without crying.  I realized today that I don’t have any pregnant friends here.  In SC I got to go through my pregnancy with Suzy.  I had a friend who just had a baby a few months before me too.  I had a couple of women who were experiencing what I was, and another good friend who remembered very well what it was like for her, and celebrated my pregnancy with me.  Here, I have 2 girlfriends.  One who works the same hours as Scott and then goes home to get her kids to bed, and the other stays very busy during the day too.  We probably get together twice a month with these friends.  They are awesome people, but life and kids make it hard.  That, and we are just in different stages in our families.  I mean, we’re working on number 6, and they both are done at 2. 

Honestly, I’m also a bit jealous.  People around here have family close by too.  Family they get together with over weekends and holidays.  Neighbors who have parents nearby and brothers and sisters who fight over who gets to have Thanksgiving or Christmas at who’s house.  I don’t think I’ll ever know what that’s like. 

So feeling alone in this pregnancy, I kind of feel like, since this is the third time going through this, eh, just deal with it.  All these emotions and fears and everything else I’m dealing with?  I really should just get over it because I’ve been through it two other times, right?  I should know better and be better than that.  Screw hormones and what they do to a woman’s body.  Screw a mother’s love so deep that she fears for her child’s well-being before the child is even born.  Screw feeling out of control and not having one understanding ear open to those feelings.  Being pregnant is probably one of the most vulnerable periods I’ve ever been in.  I am so out of control. 

Yeah, I’m feeling sorry for myself, I know.  I should be thrilled that I get to have another baby.  I just hate going through this like this.  Somewhat scared and alone.  Not having someone who can relate to what I’m going through, to talk about cravings and disappointments about having to avoid certain foods or drinks.  I guess I just thought that since this was my last pregnancy, it was going to seem even more special.  I want it to be more special.  I will never get to do this again and that is kind of hard for me to come to terms with.  It would just be nice to have somebody go through this with me.   Really, why should the mom have to go through it alone?  Wouldn’t it be nice if the dad had to (or even willingly) gave up the same food and drinks the mom had to go through?  And hormones…Oh how I wish they could just experience the hormonal surges and emotions for 1 day.  And the physical changes.  You know, I’d definitely have to grab my camera for that one.  Honestly, That would just be awesome.

Honestly, my husband is a wonderful man and he does many things to spoil me.  Like Sunday night when he rubbed my feet.  I felt a little pampered then.  It’s just that I’m feeling very alone in this.  I feel like I need to be nurtured and cared for too, even on an emotional level, and I don’t have that here.  It takes a while to build relationships and friendships at a level where you can really open up to the other person.  My husband is the only person here (in Ohio) I feel like I can talk to about my most deep, intimate thoughts and concerns.  I guess I feel that the most important relationship here, the one between my husband and I, could use a little more nurturing and understanding.  I need to be nurtured and understood too.  I need to be able to feel safe enough to open up my heart and share my fears and concerns and disappointments, without feeling judged.  I’ve given up that need every time we’ve moved.  Every time I’ve had to say goodbye to friends and work on building new ones, just to leave again.  Honestly, that is a hard thing to do for someone like me.  I don’t make friends quickly.  I tend to choose my friends cautiously.  So for me, it takes time to build up that level of trust and intimacy. 

Honestly, I’m not there with anyone here.  Not yet.

Update: 9:15 a.m.  Scott sent me an email from work this morning, telling me he loved me and apologizing.  He’s always been good at apologizing.  Not me.  I think yesterday was just a rough day for both of us.  I’m glad yesterday is over.

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Thanksgiving ’08

9 adults, 9 children, and 1 teenager.  That’s 19 people in my house for Thanksgiving dinner!  Let me just say it was wonderful.  Our friends drove up all the way from Oklahoma (some of you may know Katrina as “Transplanted & Growing” – although her blog no longer exists!), with their 3 children.  Thankfully, Katrina helped me cook up the food and even made most of the desserts (I can say I made the pecan pies, but she did the rest of the sugary treats!)

Our other friends who live in the area showed up with their two kids, and the wife’s two younger brothers and mom.  They are such a neat family and I really enjoyed getting to spend a holiday with them too.  They brought food too.  They made Lumpia Shanghai, a tri-tip roast, and brought a deep fryer and deep fried a turkey and another breast. 

Needless to say, we had plenty of food! 

Thanksgiving 08 Food

We had so much food I couldn’t fit it all on my plate! 

My Plate

By the way, the Sweet Potato Casserole recipe I posted on my recipe blog was a hit!

The kids sat at their own table. I covered it with wrapping paper, only reversed, and placed a box of crayons on it so they could color during dinner.  I figured this would keep them occupied while we ate our food too!

Kids' Table

And since we had so many adults, we had to put two tables together in our formal dining room in order to fit everyone! 

Formal Dining Room

Afterwards, almost everyone went on to dessert.  But not me.  I was way too full.  I didn’t eat any dessert until the next day!

Dessert

I forgot to take the picture with the Apple Pie included!

This by far was the best Thanksgiving meal EVER.  Everything just came out perfectly.  And I’m not just saying that because I’m pregnant.  Everyone thought so!  That very rarely happens, but obviously this Thanksgiving was meant to be filled with lots of delicious food.  That’s just one more thing I have to be thankful for!

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Okay, I’ll make this short. My friend is 20 weeks pregnant and trying to decide if she should find out the sex of her baby on November 6th. This is her 4th and she has all the baby gear, the only thing she may be lacking in is clothes if the baby is a girl. She is taking a poll on her blog and she’s going to go with the highest vote! She only asks that whoever votes leaves a short comment too (probably so she knows people aren’t voting more than once).

If you want to help her decide if she should find out the sex of her baby, go to her blog now!  🙂   She has to tally up the votes before November 6th!  I figured this would be fun and the more votes, the merrier! It also has me thinking about what I’m going to do.  I really want to be surprised, but Scott wants to know.  He’s such a party pooper! 

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A while back a friend of mine started a blog and then accidentally deleted it.  She recently started up again, and I wanted to introduce her to you.  Please visit her at Winfields Farewell, and offer her some encouragement and support.  She is currently pregnant with her fourth baby! 

As for my little world…I decided not to take Kelly to preschool this morning because that meant I’d have to drag Joshua, who’s been hacking and coughing all over the place, out of the house and around all the little kids in Kelly’s school.  So…I called in and explained why she wouldn’t be going in.  Not five minutes later, Kelly came to me and I felt her head.  Hot.  Sure enough, she had a fever 100.5.  So this thing is super contagious.  Joshua’s fever popped back up again late this morning too…he might just be missing two days of school!

And me?  Today is definitely a Monday.  I somehow managed to hurt my lower back and am suffering from dizzy spells again.  I had plans to take Madison in for her 1 year pictures this week, and see the eye doctor because my eyes have been bothering me (again).  So all that has been weighing on me today and I had plans to make appointments and get things done.  Scott’s 10 year West Point reunion is coming up in two weeks, so I feel very limited on time to get some of these issues taken care of. 

But now I have to figure out what’s more important?  Dizzy spells or eye site?  Pictures or being able to stand up straight without moaning in pain?  You know why this happened, right?  This all happened because I decided to start going to the gym.  A couple of my neighbors even invited me to start working out with them, so I have NO EXCUSE.  Well, I HAD no excuse.  Now I have plenty.  I even told Scott that I was going to work out in the basement today…I was…until I hurt my back.  I know…poor me. 

Don’t worry.  When I stop to look at how things are going.  I almost have to laugh.  Do you know how ridiculous it is that things happened this way?  Or how about the fact that I can’t remember the last time I went to church because every Sunday, something seems to happen that keeps us from going (like getting sick!).  It feels like an attack.  It feel like “someone” doesn’t want to see me, or my family, succeed at anything lately…but this can’t last forever.  So with that in mind, I’ve already claimed my victory. 

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