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Friday, December 31, 2010

auld lang syne

sayonara, 2010. it's been a crazy year.
well… not crazy-crazy. but challenging.
about this time last year, our family business was in a bit of a jam. with the economy on its ear, i'd say alot of businesses were in a similar pickle. we were fortunate to find someone who was willing to partner with us and we have not only stayed afloat, but are thriving. not necessarily flourishing, but we have seen a bit of growth. not an easy thing to do considering banks have become so tight {understatement of the century} with their lending and those who have been able to purchase a franchise have found it next to impossible to open because of an inability to secure funding.
with this new partnership has come many challenges. all of which i will not go into here… {i'd love to be able to salvage the few regular readers i have left. my blogging skills have been in a steady decline over the past few months. the press of the holidays and my work responsibilities coupled with college children home have made it super challenging to take the time for my blogstalking habit. excuses, excuses!!} suffice it to say that we have been doing a dance for 25 years. we know our partners almost as well as we know ourselves, we chose the music and have the dance moves down pat. enter a new partner in early 2010. they changed the music to a beat we've struggled to get and regularly switch up the dance moves. there have been some toes stepped on, some have been left on the sidelines wondering why the dance doesn't include them, and some of us have even wanted to rip the needle off the turntable and stop the dance all together. for me, i've found the dance frustrating, overly directed and just the wrong music and moves. mostly because i was hanging on to my dance. my music. my choreography.
have you ever listened to two different songs at the same time?? this is the things of migraines, friends.
i'd be lying if i said i'm having fun at the dance. but i'm not hating it anymore. i think maybe we'd all have fun if we spiked the punch a bit… you know… change up the music to the chicken dance or something. something light-hearted that everyone knows… just for a minute or two. a little levity and laughter could certainly lighten the mood.
i've also found the work challenges sapping my zest for life outside the workplace, which is my home, btw. the hours and workload have been demanding and i find that my creative/hobby juices are so depleted that it just makes my brain hurt to be creative. i see so many awesome ideas and projects from so many talented people that inspire me… yet i'm so drained that the thought of even beginning a project overwhelms me and it makes my brain hurt.
before i spin into a whaaaa whaaaa whaaaa pity party… let me remind myself that this has been a year with many things to be thankful for and to celebrate.
we're not dealing with a catastrophic disease. {thank you, sweet Jesus!}
we still have our home.
we were able to purchase reliable used cars for the kids to get back and forth to college. likewise, we  replaced both of our almost antique status vehicles. we have mucho car paymento, but we're managing. it's a blessing, really.
i've been blessed by some of the funniest, sweetest, most caring e-friends i could ever ask for. i love sharing life with you… even if it is {for the most part} all electronic. i've even had the opportunity to meet some of my e-friends and now i can call them IRL friends!
i was able to travel back to the motherland {wisconsin} to see my sibs and extended family. celebrated a high school graduation and visited with my elderly {gah… that sounds so weird to say because she's always been the life of any gathering and impervious to age, but alas, auntie jan has alzheimers and i'm afraid at 83 she qualifies as elderly… but she's still a stitch!} aunt. while it's hard for me to go back, i know it's something in which i must invest. family = everything.
best of all… just in time for christmas… boy wonder got his front teeth.
{click on the pix to get the full effect}
after twelve loooooonnnnnng years of waiting, surgeries, 
bone graft from wisdom teeth sites. never misses an opportunity to mug for the camera.
disappointments, braces, grafts, more surgeries…
he'd whip out his retainer in a second just for a laugh!
he never stopped smiling… even when his teeth were at their worst because of healing from surgery.
he finally was able to get rid of any kind of retainer or appliance and had his temporary front teeth screwed into his implant sites.
the last time he'll be able to go toothless on demand.
a real smile with almost-real teeth. he was ecstatic, and so were we. his permanent teeth will be ready in a few weeks. he'll still require some more cosmetic surgery, but the big stuff is behind him.
looking fantastic, boywonder! {and how bout that white christmas for the first time in 25 years!!?}
the dental bills make our car payments look like tooth fairy money… but it's okay. the price to see boywonder smile is well worth it.
2010, it's been challenging and i'm glad to say i'm better for it. God is continuing to teach me in the everyday trials. as i look to 2011, i have much anticipation that He'll be up to big stuff again. i'm so glad He's invited me in to His story. it's a good one!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

savoring His story

Christmas isn't over… it's just beginning. savor the story. his story…

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

christmas dreams

not dreaming of a white christmas. we had our first snow last week and the 1.5 inches closed school for two days. no joke.
a day later and the schools were closed again for an ice storm.
did i move to minnesota and someone forget to tell me??

i received a chocolate nativity.

hmmm. i wonder whose idea that was?

i was afraid to eat baby jesus… i mean. really.
came out to the kitchen and the baby was half gone. apparently one child ate one half, and the other ate the leftovers. joseph was delicious. dark chocolate. the stable was milk chocolate and equally delicious. baby jesus was white chocolate, of course.
would have taken a picture, but seriously, after being in our possession for less than ten minutes… a lamb was consumed and a chunk of the stable was missing. hardly a photo op at that point!

the wrapping is coming along and everything is boxed at least and ready to go.

the christmas cards are just a dream at this point. we'll get the photo taken at some point… but the actual cards… i don't know. i enjoy getting them but really… can't i just email them with a quick note? who hasn't already seen my life splayed out on my blog and facebook {except for the not-so-cool people! ha!}

big news to share with you, but it's missing a photo and it's not a real story without the visual.

i'm working entirely too much and i'm looking forward to a few days off after the new year. my job is trying its hardest to suck the creative joy out of my life, but i'm not going to allow it to.

bamagirl and i are going to a debutante luncheon tomorrow. my little girl is "coming out" in april. don't know how she got invited to that… we're not the most "connected" people. but it is exciting. we're going gown shopping in atlanta while the hubs and boy wonder take a trip on a church bus out to colorado with our college pastor and a bunch of guys. it'll be a good week for all of us.

well that's just a few of our christmas dreams. stay tuned for some fun news!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

hee heee heeeee…

don't know what it is today.
i'm crabby.
not diggin the job.
got my second crown put in today, but had to brave an ice storm to do it.
the boy is struggling with the ex… drama over whether to reconnect or let go… gah.
it's fuh-reeeeezing outside. this week, not the week of Christmas vacation, the kids have been out 3 of the 4 days {so far}. they get 5 days for the year. yikes. and it's not even officially winter yet. {sure coulda fooled me}.
my birthday was yesterday.
expectations were totally met… but i still worked the whole day, and it sorta gets swallowed up by the holiday hub-bub. not to whine. it is what it is. i had about a million birthday wishes on facebook and it's crazy how loved that makes a body feel. the boy made it back from college in time to wish me a happy birthday in person and the fam is back in the same house again. so who am i to complain!!? seriously!
i'm feeling that holiday stress creep in, and yet here i sit blogging.
there is a giveaway, though, and i'll do anything to get another entry to win… so this is me blogging about it. feel free to not link in. i seriously don't want you to enter and reduce my already poor chances of winning (one in almost 3,000). but hey. i'm shouting out… go check it out {if you must.}
writing and creating are things i enjoy so much but i feel like something has just sucked the ever-lovin' soul of creativity out of me and it absolutely makes my brain hurt to even think about it.
what is up with that??
so i'm going to go get some attitude adjustment.
or maybe start doing my holiday lamaze breathing. heeee heee heeee whoooooooo. {or is it just ho, ho, ho??}
or maybe i'll just go back to work. i have so. dang. much. stuff. to. do.

so that's pretty much it.

and if one more person mentions how they've sent out their holiday cards or finished their wrapping or baking their cookies and the figgy pudding is in the oven… i'm not going to be responsible for my actions. but it involves not-so-holiday placed candy cane. i'm just sayin'
hee hee hee whoooooooo…

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

PINT: better late than never!

the bus they slid into, then a semi hit them.
front of their car 
looking in the driver's door 
the back  
i get sick just looking at this and can't believe they're alive.

so go link on up to that one mom. there's life happening out there… all on a post it, of course!

Only Parent Chronicles

Thursday, December 9, 2010


i've been crowned. not just once, but twice.
it all began two weeks ago when two of my teeth were ground down to prepare for their new crowns.
mmmm. temporaries the day before thanksgiving. aching jaw. whhhhaaaa.
i went in today for the real crowns. the fake ones were kind of getting on my nerves.
only one fit.
i guess at over $2000 each, they better fit perfectly. you know, fit for a princess. sigh.
so it's another set of impressions {gag horrible} and now i've got oddly hitting teeth and another week to wait.
someone should give me an ipad for my troubles, right? {not that the hubs reads this either, thank gawd}
hope boywonder isn't reading this. {not that he usually does} after all he's been through, he should get something way better than an ipad.
so thankful we live here in the states where we can get do-overs for our crap teeth. i'm just ready for this little expensive escapade to be over. my jaws ache.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

northpoint's gift to you

i was all ready to post some holiday musings when i came across this little gem. had to share. seriously incredible. yet another reason why i want an ipad, santa. i mean for real…

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

PINT. booooo.

you know the drill:
Only Parent Chronicles

Friday, December 3, 2010

in the spirit

the weather's turned cold here in east tennessee, and after a literal monsoon came through and dumped enough rain here that i invited folks over to kayak down our driveway and course down our street that resembled something akin to the ocoee river {where they had the atlanta olympics white-water events}… but no takers. let's just say it was wet.
followed by a pretty snappy cold front. nothing gets east tennesseers more pumped up than a few flakes in the sky. snow flurries in these parts are novel enough to get faces… young and old alike… pressed up to the glass to watch. and these weren't even flakes. they were microscopic snow balls.
there's nothing like cold weather to get me in the christmas spirit.
but even if it was 90° outside… i'd still be in the Spirit.
i love this time of year as i really stop—even in the midst of all that needs to be done—to listen and wait.
to be in tune with what the Holy Spirit is up to this year.
i had a nice dose of that yesterday as i traveled to atlanta to meet with our partners. it was a difficult place for me to go to because it's been a challenging time for me lately and i've had to really visit what it looks like to die to myself and put my own desires aside.
as a designer, spending eight hours driving for a 4.5 hour meeting seemed like completely wasted time. i can't work. i can't be productive. i can't accomplish my tasks. all i can do is drive. and i was irritated. what a waste, i grumbled to myself for the four hour drive there.
upon my arrival, i had to wait for my boss to get off her conference call. i sat in my coworker's office and we chatted… for over an hour. grrrrr. not accomplishing anything, i grumbled. then i started grumbling via text to my friend mama4real.
can u rlax and just enjoy not doing? she texted.
BOOYAH… right between the eyes.
waiting. i'm horrible at it.
and right there, God showed me how waiting is a good thing. how being is a good thing. how much He values community.
sometimes work isn't about doing. it's about being. and building community. and that is a valuable thing.
i was pretty glad God grabbed me by the eyelids and pulled my face close to His. He showed me how much He values people. and relationship. and just in the nick of time, too. beacuse my boss asked me, as we were wrapping up for the day, what i thought about making the trip down.
in all honesty i would have harrumphed it off and glossed over the question with a half-lie of oh, it was alright!
but i was able to honestly share about how valuable it is for us to build community, face-to-face. God probably isn't too happy about email, i said. and probably even more unexcited about texting. {my co-workers and i have struggled with hiding behind our computer screens.}

so what does this have to do with advent?

waiting and watching. being still to see what God is up to.
oh, how i do not enjoy waiting. or being still. or listening {being completely honest here}.
my friend ellen is captivated by advent wreaths and how people observe advent. i'll be linking to her to show her mine… but my wreath doesn't really show the whole story… unless you look closely and see the activity of spending time watching and waiting. the first candle… hope. oh, Lord, i'm so thankful for the Hope you've given us.
i'll share how we use devotions through advent when i get back to my blog. i'm pretty captivated by activities this weekend, and want to make sure to take my time to watch and wait too. can't let a blog getting in the way of what God is up to… hope to share more of what the Holy Spirit is showing me soon.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

PINT: the leftovers…

 now go head on over to that one mom who is the lovely hostess of my favorite weekly meme.

Only Parent Chronicles