Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The way I remember it

Ah 2014..... in a few hours you will be over and we will be flipping the calendar on a new year.  At the top...a fresh pages on which to leave an impression, new memories to make.

I know a lot of people think this way.  As if the stroke of midnight and the leaving behind of a year either good, bad or otherwise will then render them new and fresh.

I don't feel that way....I know, surprise surprise.  I like to see this as more of a realistic outlook rather than cynicism. Self-preservation.   My big-eyed, sunny outlook on the world dissipated long ago.

I had a good year.  A different year; unlike any I have had in my life.  I doubt like any I will have again.  I didn't work at all, instead went back to school full time.  That was a bit weird.  At first anyway.  Now I don't ever want to work again. (Just kidding) But seriously, it has been phenomenal being able to be at everything for my kids and not worry, and although I know it's coming to an end.
I have enjoyed it immensely.

So what have I done this year?  Let's see:

  • Completed 38 college credits by going to school full time year round (and made Dean's List)
  • Went to six concerts including my ultimate bucket list....Pearl Jam
  • Went to Charleston, SC twice! I love that city and got to take my boys the second time around
  • Ran in seven races...not as many as years past but still
  • Got two tattoos
  • Developed my faith even deeper than before
  • Lost more weight by working out and eating healthy and lots of inches as well
  • Took my boys to some really cool places in Michigan
  • Spent many long drunken evenings with friends, talking and making the world right
  • Became a Hospice Caregiver Respite volunteer
  • Volunteered at several events for homeless and hungry and needy
  • Put up a free library in my front yard (with the help of some awesome friends)
  • Grew my first garden successfully
  • Watched a few people who I love dearly get married and hopefully live long happy lives together
  • Wrote more this year than I have in my life thanks to an awesome class and gorgeous professor
  • Went on several first dates...only first because apparently I am not everyones cup of tea
  • Realized though the above may be true there is nothing wrong with me, I am awesome and fantastic
  • Kissed quite a few really cute men
  • Made some really poor decisions
  • Made some excellent ones
  • Learned that words are just words and not promises although I knew that already
I have had quite a year.  Good, bad and in-between.  I hold no illusions for next year except more of the same.  I know me, and I don't do resolutions, I just try and be better every year

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Bah humbug and all that

Me, getting ready for Christmas
It's the most wonderf------ no, it's not.  It's not even close.  I cannot wait for this to be over. 

I don't hate Christmas....really.  I just seemed to have lost my Christmas spirit somewhere.  Back in 2010 and have yet to get it back.  Honestly if it wasn't for kids I don't think there would even be decorations adorning this cheap, fake tree I dug out.

Here, let me just jump to the obvious reason you think it you some time.  Aw, it's because I'm single right?  No man in my life so this has to be difficult for me....blah blah blah, I have heard it all and just stop okay?!  Nothing to do with that.  Although there are days where it would be nice, I harbor no desperate desire for another person in my life and the lack thereof has no bearing on my holiday season.

It would make more sense if I'd had a terrible childhood or some horrible holiday experience like the girl in Gremlins whose dad gets stuck in the chimney and dies. Nope on both counts.

It's not one big thing, it's a bunch of little things.

It's not having my boys with me all day today; a by-product of divorce, I know,  My decision, I know.  It still sucks. 

It's having my family on the other side of the state and knowing that no matter how much I want it there will never be Christmas at my grandparents with my entire family again.

It's the sorrow and sadness for my friends who have lost their sons, and daughters, mothers and fathers, and knowing how hard it is for them. 

It's the decadence and the extreme consumerism. Watching people overindulge and get lost in spending and buying stuff because they are "supposed to"

It's the total takeover of this holiday complete with decorations out in October and music playing as of Thanksgiving.

But... I'm not a total Grinch. 

I love my boys getting excited about decorations and being able to pick out a new ornament at Bronners.

I love the fact that I still have one that believes in Santa and one who plays right along with his little brother.

I love the fact that my boys are just as focused on Jesus and the miracle of the season as they are Santa and presents.

I love that they have giving hearts and want to put money in every red bucket they see and buy presents for kids who have less than they do.

I love the Christmas Eve service at my church and that this year my boys made it back in time from their dad's to attend as well.

I hope some day it all falls together...that my skin stops thickening around the middle of November and I let myself get swept away in it all. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

How not to cry in church

I love my church. 

Most Sundays I am standing and singing, sitting and taking in the message, furiously scribbling my notes, underlining passages in my Bible, my heart open for God's word, leaving with a happy servant's heart.

Not yesterday.  I awoke feeling off.  I shuffled in and people were already singing and worshiping, and I just felt it.  That rock in my stomach.  The one that means I may not make it through in one piece.  Usually that means the message just moves me, speaks to me, reminds me of who I need to be instead of I am being. 

Yesterday it was different and I was just detached...disconnected.  I heard what was being said, I felt it, but my heart was so heavy from other things in my life.  I let that affect me more than God's word. 

I could feel that familiar feeling. the ache in my head, the burning in my eyes....nope, not today. 

Cue the music...oh great, we're singing "Lead me to the cross".  An upbeat song would have quashed this feeling but let's sing a song that is guaranteed to make me break down.

I cannot cry! In five minutes I have to check in numerous middle schoolers to their small, I cannot cry!!!!

Here are some tried and true ways to make yourself not cry during church:
  •   Hold your breathe and bite your tongue...I know, you would think biting your tongue would ensure the tears but it's a nice diversion
  • Close your eyes tight during worship.  Everyone else  is singing and swaying and raising hands, some already have their eyes closed so no one will think anything is amiss.  If you close your eyes tight enough no tears can escape
  • Stare hard at the backdrop on the stage.  At my church its a beautiful pallet wall with a cross cut in the center that is lit up different colors different weeks.  I hope they never take it down. Try and figure out what the different colors each week mean. Obviously white during Easter but some weeks blue, green and red.  I wonder if there is a theme?
  • Check out the worship teams outfits and shoes.  Did Kathy make that outfit?  She always looks so cute and check out those boots.  Too bad her feet are way smaller than mine
These usually work...they will work....every time,.....unless the worship team ever plays Amazing Grace or How Great thou Art....but that is just mean and they would never do that.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Bad for me

I have this tendency to want things that aren't good for me.  A weakness if you will.

                 Chocolate, Alcohol, Black cherry ice cream, men who do nothing but bring me heartache.

Let's tackle that last one:  Men who are not good for me.  The ones that I don't need in my life but are fun to have around.  The ones who drive me crazy.  The ones who I see as having potential even if they don't see it yet.  I have this thing with fixing things.  It's the Virgo in me.  I see people who need something and I want to be the one who gets it for them, or in this case I see a man who is possibly broken, in need of  a good woman and I want to be that for them.

 Want to know how many times that has worked??? I am currently 0-3.

Seeing something you think you want can  make you believe anything.  It's quite impossible to think clearly when right in front of you is this gorgeous man who you think could be everything you ever wanted.   But it's more than the physical intoxication.  Seeing the possibility
.....the possibility of what
it could be.  Making something that starts out like this turn into something tangible and concrete.

You know how they say it takes two to tango?  It also takes two to want to build a relationship and make something work, and usually something that is only worked on from one side is one thing: half-assed.

I can only blame myself for wanting to be with people who are no good for me...and just like bad food, I need to cut out the men who are not good for me either.

The problem can't always tell right away.

Friday, October 24, 2014

I hear convents are fun places

This dating thing sucks,  I am not even kidding around a little bit.  It's hard enough just meeting a guy, a decent guy who you are sure isn't some weird serial killer freak.  Then comes the figuring out when you can meet because you most likely both have kids.....young kids who you are not going to leave alone and hell no I am not paying for a sitter for a first date.

You chat, you text , you think...hmmmmm this guy seems cool.

Then you meet, have a few drinks, maybe dinner and chat. You laugh, vaguely flirt, tell horror stories of past bad dates, you think  OK, I can get on board with this. You either have a good time or feel like you are on an interview.  Let me just tell you if the date ends in an hour and a wasn't good.

I have been on some great dates.   I have been on some where I have considered sending an SOS where someone is dying and I have to run out. I don't want to date 100 guys to find the one for me, I hate sorting socks and matching them up, I don't have the patience for this nonsense.
You know what's hard? Meeting people.   OK I go to school, and that means most guys there could nearly qualify as my children or are as old as my dad.  Church...that is a good theory and you would think that the size of my church would mean finding a guy to date.....wrong.  They are all married....or too young or too old. Jesus obviously doesn't want me to meet a man there.

So you turn to being set up by well-meaning friends, running into old boyfriends and thinking....oh hell no, never mind not again, OR the wonderful world on internet dating where, as in the real world men think they are going to meet a supermodel who will do their laundry. You may as well set yourself up in a glass case in the middle of town and let people ogle you.

I don't want to date.....I just want to meet a decent, fun, fairly attractive guy. 

OK, what I WANT I can't or shouldn't have because I keep meeting and liking the guy who just isn't emotionally available.  The guy I want to save, the damaged guy.  OR the guy who gives me the "I don't really want a girlfriend right now" line.  That guy I want.  I need to be hit over the head with something heavy. I mean I know I want to save the world but I need to stick with orphans and children and stay away from grown men with their heads up their asses

Most days I don't want a boyfriend... I feel stupid saying it, I'm not 15.  What I want and need is  a Man who knows what he wants. Anyone know where I can find one of those????

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Proverbs 31 woman

I had an epiphany today.  I have actually had several lately but today was a good one.  I actually want to be that Proverbs 31 woman.  I have it tattooed on the back of my neck, but I have yet to be able to live it.

Today I realized that I  will not ever, settle for anything less than what I want in a relationship or a partner.

 Today a conversation with a friend made me realize I should not believe that looking for anything less was OK. 

I know that I am a good woman.  I know that I can make any man incredibly happy.  I also know that I have sacrificed quite a bit of myself and what I want in order to try and make a relationship work.  This might include overlooking things I swore I would never deal with or compromising what I believe in some way. 

I have also heard my pastor make the comment several times about being yolked to someone who does not believe and how tremendously difficult that can be.  A few times he has stood right in front of me when he has said...although I am sure it was just a coincidence.

No More.

My friend asked me if I had ever made a list of the attributes I wanted in a person.  I have.  I have also tried to imagine incorporating some of these people into my life and it seemed impossible. 

My list isn't long.  It doesn't have to be.  Other than being a kind, decent man, there is really only one thing left to talk about.  Jesus. 

See I have always overlooked that part hoping that in some way my life or influence would make that other person want to know more about Jesus and develop that relationship.  Now I am not saying that I wouldn't consider being with someone who isn't currently active or attending, but if I ask you about church and Jesus and there is any hesitation in your eyes, then I know it probably won't go far. 

In order to be that Proverbs 31 woman, I can't just live like her and have those attributes, I have to have that partner in my life who is willing to lift me to that position.

Today I attended a conference.  Today I was surrounded by at least 1000 people who were all there for one purpose.  To learn how to grow their church and their youth.  To "say yes" to the next generation.  People who are passionate, about God, about spreading his word and bringing the next generation forward as leaders.  I felt so connected to everyone, not just the people I came with.  This is the kind of life I want.  I want the person who would be right there with me, involved, and if not there waiting to hear all about it and help incorporate those things into our world and church.

I guess if I have to wait for it I will.  I don't want to settle and I am for certain God doesn't want me to either.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Boiled bunnies and Slashed tires

I'm not psycho....not even close to crazy.  I have my moments.  I will admit to throwing things.  Slamming things.  I have had the occasional hissy fit complete with screaming and yelling.  Those moments are few and far between.

 I'm more even-keeled. Understanding. Laid-back.  Chill.  Not a doormat yet  not a crazy psycho hose beast.  

Men say they can't stand crazy chicks. They would rather date cool chicks who don't act like serial killers.  I have had no less than five conversations with different men on this subject and they SWEAR up and down and sideways: that isn't what they want.

Freaking Liars!

At least two of those guys are dating chicks who make their lives hell.  They can't even think of talking, looking at  or breathing the air of another woman that isn't blood related.  One can't even be on Facebook.  They basically have lo-jacks on and if they are 30 seconds late somewhere the chick has full metal breakdown.

Here is your crazy psycho chick!
I had an in-depth conversation with one guy in Charleston.  He had been dating this chick for awhile and they had broken up.  He regaled me with tales of her craziness.  She just knew he was talking to other chicks when he wasn't with her.  She trashed his house.  She broke into his car.  She went through his phone.  She tried to have him arrested.  Guess what?  Two months after this conversation he proposed to her.  Fu-what?  I think they enjoy it.  I think they like being able to bitch about a crazy woman.

Maybe it's time to change up my game.

I am trying to imagine how I would behave. Text him 100 times a day?  Show up unannounced at his house...his job?  Just happen to show up wherever he is because you are basically stalking him? Throw fits, make demands, cry? 

Yeah I don't have time for that shit...

Now let me play Devil's advocate for a moment and just pretend that maybe guys like these chicks because they are more fun. more interesting, keep them on their toes.  Well, the toes part is spot on because with a crazy chick like that you are more likely to have to make a fast break in the middle of the night and possibly naked.

I call bullshit on this.  I am fun and interesting.  I can guarantee this.  I can give a list of several guys who can tell you how fun and awesome I am.  OK that didn't sound right.  But you get it.  I am fun, I have fun, I like spontaneous and cool and goofy and I sure as hell don't have to make your life a living hell to be with.

The next time a guy tells me he is looking for a cool chick who isn't crazy I think that will be my cue to smack the crap out of him, if he likes it....I run.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Me Bravely

Want to cry today?  On my agenda most days is just NOT to cry. It really doesn't take much, depending on how my morning with my kids went, or if my hormones are marching through my bloodstream in the wrong direction  A song on the radio.  A thought.  A facebook post. My overactive imagination creating images and scenarios that will probably never ever happen, but there they are anyway.  Boom, right over the edge into sobville. 

Most of the time I just ignore these urges.  I might let a solitary tear slip down my cheek then take a big sniff, suck it all back in and go on with my day.

I don't have enough time in the day.  I don't spend enough time in devotion. My prayers are not long enough, consistent enough. I am failing my kids somehow, not doing enough. I am not going to make it through this. So often I feel like just giving up, saying "Nope, this isn't for me, I cannot take one more thing."

But I can....and I will.  I am going to do this.  I say that I am doing this myself. Technically I am.  I do it all. School, housework, kids, Dr appointments, errands, activities, keeping them clothed and fed and healthy.  Being responsible for their spiritual development when I feel like I am not giving enough time to mine.  Showing them the world and how to be good and kind and gentle and strong and respectful young men.  I will do it all.  I will not be alone.  I have God. 

So if you feel like crying please go ahead and watch this fabulously beautiful video my friend Pam posted on my FB earlier.  I have watched it at least 30 times and remembered where my strength comes from.  Go ahead and click right here

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Under the Wire

I just happened to look at the clock and realize, crap! I haven't started writing yet. and I have no particular thing to write about, no particular feeling so guess what you get tonight?  A verbal assault of my day and how I am feeling.  Ready????

I have got to get this procrastination thing under control.  I have two papers due this week I have barely started.  Both at least 500 words with references, in different formats and one that I have no clue how I am going to finish.  Alas I will because after all I am me and I always get it done one way or the other.

My baby has a fever.  He didn't go to school today and when I picked him up he was so sad and pathetic I wanted to cry.  I did a whole regiment of essential oils on his eschewing the usual Motrin/Tylenol and he is now soundly sleeping (in my bed of course)  There is nothing worse in the world than your children being sick.  You are helpless and hopeful and just praying it's short-lived because after all you have projects due oh and a math test on Wednesday that you have also been slacking about.  (I still blame Netflix for putting on Gilmore Girls)

Pearl Jam is 10 days away and I still don't know who is going.  I have asked two guys to go with me and one never answered me back after initially saying he would go and the other is thinking about it.  Thinking about it??? How do you think about it?  It's  PEARL JAM.  Nothing but nothing makes you feel more pathetic than not being able to find a date to f(*king Pearl Jam.  I joked back in June when I bought these tickets that I probably wouldn't have a boyfriend to go with...well I was right.  Too bad I cant pick the winning lottery numbers. I can't even scrape up a date.  I suck, I am a big ,fat, ugly loser.  

I haven't been able to spend any quality time with either of my best friends in weeks.  It sucks and I need girl time.  I have tentative plans with one of them for Friday night so fingers crossed.  Not being able to talk or see them is making me bat shit crazy and I have started pouring my heart out to the animals in the house.. for real, I am losing it.

I ran a race yesterday and didn't stretch properly afterwards so not my hamstrings are pissed at me and making me pay for it today.  I hobbled all day, my back that was hurt last week feels fantastic but my legs are killing me and I have a running date Thursday (oh don't get excited, it's with my friend Sarah) and I am probably going to slow her down.

Seriously.......PEARL JAM

Monday, October 6, 2014

Oh Fitzwilliam where are you?

Jane Austen has ruined men for me forever.  In creating Fitzwilliam Darcy she has forever jaded women for the last 200 years.  If you are female and have read Pride and Prejudice and have not fallen in love with him..... there is something reprehensibly wrong with you.

"In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you" 

I could not even imagine.  These days all you get if you are lucky a guy might tell you that you are hot, or they have been wanting to hook up with you OR send you a text at 2:30 in the morning... the booty call text.  How romantic.  I know men don't know how to communicate anymore but with the advent of technology it's gotten worse.  Communication has been dwindled down to three word texts and if you are super lucky they don't say something like "I want 2 C U"., because you know, nothing gets a Woman's juices flowing more than an abbreviated sext.  Let's face it.  The majority of men don't know how to talk to women.  Forget a letter, hell I'd settle for a sticky note.  Phone calls? Why? Why would you call someone to have a conversation when you can just text them.  Because no one can really tell what you mean when you text.. There is no inflection button.  Are you being serious, sarcastic, or just trying to hold me at bay? Who knows???  I refuse to have another relationship where the main form of communication is texting. It's lazy and just plain chickenshit.  If you can't tell me what you really feel either on the phone or in person then I guess I don't want to hear it.

And let's talk about the in person thing.  Every woman, YES every woman has dreamt of a day where a man she likes or is dating would storm over to her house, knock on her door and declare his feelings.  Believe me when I say this Men... you will get a hell of a better reaction saying it face to face than over a smartphone.  Besides, face to face is authentic.  It's really easy to text someone something that may not be 100% true but only true sadomasochists can tell a woman something like that face to face and be lying about it.

"You have bewitched me body and soul, and I love, I love, I love you.  And wish from this day forth never to be parted from you."

That my friend is a marriage proposal.  Straightforward. Honest. 

Don't get me wrong.  I don't expect any man to speak these actual words in Old English vernacular, it would just be refreshing to hear something better than some of the drivel I have received in the past.

With Mr. Darcy she created this character, this man whom you were alternately annoyed with and enamored with. He said what was on his mind.  He stood by his convictions.  Strong men who can articulate their feelings are a thing of the past.  I for one am not about to sit around and guess what a text really means or obsess about it. Been there, done that... t-shirt and all of the above.  I refuse to waste time or energy guessing if you really like me or not.  Just freaking say it.  Like a big boy.

Oh and quite a few of my friends want me to start reading Outlander but gaging on how frantic and crazy this Jaime character has made them I think I will stick with Fitzwilliam

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Run Heather RUN

I have to run tomorrow.  I have to get up at 7:30 which is actually sleeping in compared to my summer races and get layered up and freeze my patootie off until I actually start running.  I paid money to do this.  My payoff? Beer and pancakes at the end.  Oh and running with my awesome cousin Amy who is also running the Chicago Marathon next weekend.  Seriously.. a whole marathon so what am I bitching about? 

I have sucked rocks at running this year.  I've done a handful of races and slacked with my weekly training.  My zeal for running is fading with no explanation.  I literally cannot make myself go out and do it most days.  I work out.  elliptical, cross-training, weights, biking,  but not running.  I got on the treadmill the other night at the gym and stood there for a full two minutes, hand hovering over the ON button before I jumped off.  What the? 

I think part of the problem is I no longer have anyone holding me accountable.  A few years ago we had this cool little group of us running weekly, doing race after race and now we have lost track, gotten busy and no one is pushing anyone. At this point I need a hot guy to show up at my door and pull me down the road to get me out of this house and run.

So tonight, for inspiration I did what any self-respecting woman would do, I  bought some new running clothes...revamped my playlist... looked at pictures of myself when I first started running and realized how I will never let myself be that fat again...danced around the house trying to get myself mentally geeked for freezing my ass of in the cold.  Beer and and and pancakes.   And this picture of Ryan Gosling....I will just pretend he is there waiting for me!

The only mistake I made was drinking a grande non-fat caramel macchiato at 7:30 tonight.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Hear me

Over the summer I  took a communications class. It's one of those required class, but I was excited to take it.  Yes I know, can you believe I was eagerly anticipating a class where I get to speak and am required to do so????  I pretty much volunteered to go first every time.  The people who put no effort into their speeches annoyed me.  I started to think.... maybe I could get paid to speak for a living!!!

Can you imagine?  I mean, yes technically my last job required me to speak to people all day and then I received a paycheck for doing so but I couldn't just say what I wanted!!!

I would love to just talk all day.... give a speech, tell people stories, dole out advice or help. 

The possibilities are endless...... so I came up with a short list:

Radio DJ(Double bonus, I can play my favorite music)
Therapist (Can you say Physician Heal thyself)
Motivational Speaker (Subjects would change based on crowd but I can light a fire under anyone's Ass)

The possibilities are endless. 

The funny part of this whole scenario?? I hate the sound of my own voice!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Through the Looking Glass

I don't belong anywhere.  I don't feel rooted anywhere.  I have lived in this town for almost 20 years and I still call Battle Creek home. 

The problem with that is I don't belong there either. My family is there, I have lots of friends there, but again, I have been gone 20 years and as much as I would like to think otherwise, no one was devastated, no one couldn't bear life without me, and  no one died when I crossed the line out of Calhoun county and headed east.  I am sure I am missed but life went on.

It's an odd feeling and one I cannot really explain.  I just don't feel like anywhere is home.  I don't belong. 

I have a home.  I love my little home.  I just get this overwhelming feeling that this isn't where I am supposed to be.   

The best I can explain it is it's like I am on the periphery.  I have great friends up here, but the majority of them have lived here their whole lives and have known each other at least that long.  They know each other intimately, know the histories, the connections and as much as I am included and made to feel welcome, there is part of me that knows I will never truly blend in or belong.

No matter where I go; friends houses, school events, church, the same feeling comes over me.  It's like I missed a big party that everyone else went to and even though we are all friends or friendly, there is something that sets me apart.  They have all had an experience that I haven't had and I can never catch up.

I have this idea in my head.  I am going to drive into some town, some city one of these days and just know.  I am going to walk into a house, and I will be home.  I will feel it in bones, smell it, let it wash over me and then I can feel as though I can relax and belong.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Every day

It's October 1st.  How is it October 1st already?  I swear it was last week that the kids were out of school and now we are one month into the newest school year.  This time of year puts me into full on panic.  I love fall but that nasty season is right around the corner. The days are getting shorter and soon it will be dark at 5:00. Just thinking about it makes me want to hibernate until April. 

 Thanks to Jon Acuff, I now realize I have 25% of my year left. His article yesterday made me feel slightly better about the fact that I have done nothing this year.   Plenty of time to do things that I thought I would do.  Plenty of time to make things happen. Of course Jon didn't' take into consideration that Gilmore Girls just came out on Netflix today.

Let's see, I had plans this year..... nothing major just you know, lose more weight, run more races, read 50 books.  Yeah none of that has happened.  Ok, my weight isn't bad... except when I feel like a gigantic cow and I hate myself.   Races; yeah I did about oh 5, I have one this Sunday and I haven't run much in two weeks.  It's going to be ugly but there are pancakes and beer at the end so this race is going to happen.  So far I have only read 18 books.... unless I throw in the ones that I have read with Owen I may never make this goal. 

So I set one more goal... writing.  Spurred along by the creative writing class I am taking(taught by the most perfect gorgeous man ever) I decided to try and write every day.  

So that is what I am doing.  Writing, pontificating, pouring my heart out in words.  You may think it's boring, possibly pithy, but I think I have lots to say and I am nearly sure it will clear my head.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


This past Sunday in church we had a verse in our outline that has stuck with me all of this week.  It is a verse I have heard many times.  A verse that I understand and know but often fail to live fully, because after all, I am just a human. 

Matthew 6:31-33
So do not worry, saying "What shall we eat?" or "What shall we drink?" or "What shall we wear?" For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

I know that God will provide.  I know that God knows what I need. I have learned not to seek things I do not need(well, most things) be greedy or worry about having what others have, but that does not stop me from worrying and wanting.

Worrying about how I am going to make it through the next six months to get through with school when I thought I got more unemployment than I do.  I will figure it out, pray about it and I know that it will all come together because I know that in my heart this is exactly what I am supposed to be doing.  Let's just say it's easy to know God is there when things are going great in your life but when things aren't you sometimes wonder if you are doing something wrong.

Wanting is a funny thing.  I have plenty of everything.  Plenty of clothes, plenty of books, plenty of music, plenty of friends.  Wanting for me is not so much the physical or tangible things but more of a spiritual or emotional thing.  I want to know that God knows what I need or hears my prayers, or is guiding me in the right direction.  

Confession:  I have never felt what some people feel when it comes to God.  Don't get me wrong, I am moved by God, sometimes daily by the circumstances of my life.  I can be found in tears most weeks at church, not because it's a bad service (really Phil) but because it resonates with something inside of me.  But, I have never been doing something, asking for something, praying for something and had that God calling where I knew exactly that he was telling me Yes or No.  It doesn't make my faith in Him waver, it just makes me wonder if it's me.  Am I not listening or doing something right? 

It's this tiny thought that makes me wonder that if I am not doing these things right, is that why other areas of my life aren't falling into place.  Like I am not seeing what is right in front of me to make things work.  It's not like it's punishment, like a parent withholding what a child wants until they behave in a certain way, but if I keep seeking the things I KNOW FOR A FACT God doesn't want me seeking then.......

Sometimes I think I would rather be hit by a bolt of lightning or hear God's booming voice down from the heavens then to wonder.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

One last thing

Right now I am sitting in a noisy crowded cafĂ© at college waiting for my next class to start.  Right now my family is 140 miles away laying my cousin to rest.  I couldn't be there and it breaks my heart.  My heart is breaking for many people right now.  My aunt and uncle... my cousins, especially Emily who was his twin.  But most of all my heart breaks for the sweet little boy he left behind... Bryan.

Adam took his own life.  Suicide,  killed himself, call it what you will but the outcome is still the same.  He isn't here anymore.  His parents can't hug him anymore.  His brothers can't roughhouse him and his sister can't hug him and look to him as her protector.  His little boy will never know the sweet nature he had. 

I was there the day he was born.  I was 19 and went to the hospital with my mom and grandma and various relatives. We stood there waiting for these two babies to be born.

It's surreal to me, the idea of suicide.  I know other people who have chosen this way to go.  I know people who have attempted it, and I don't care who you are but we have all had the idea or dark thought cross our minds in desperate times when we think life cannot get any worse....." Would this world be better off without me?". The answer is a clear and resounding NO! 

Everyone has their opinions about it... It's selfish, they weren't thinking right... they didn't mean it.  Some consider you damned to Hell no matter what. In some cultures it was a noble way to go.  Why wait for old age to consume you?   People are angry, confused, was it their fault? Could they have done something?  Sometimes there is just nothing you can do.   I know my aunt tried to help him but all the medical field did was throw drugs at the problem.  There was no outreach, no offer of treatment, and this makes me very angry.  

 I just saw him two weeks ago... hugged him, sat right next to him and talked about work and the possibility of him going to school.  We watched Bryan run around, fascinated by a puppy that was there. 

Now all that we have is his memory.  His sweet smile, his bear hugs, his quiet voice.  You can wish and want and beg and plead but nothing is going to bring him back, fill the gap, or make it better. His parents and siblings have to pick up the pieces, they have to explain to  his boy someday what happened. 

Now I ask of you..... reach out to people.  If you think for a minute someone you have come across is down so deep they can't see out, reach for them.  It's uncomfortable, you may think well someone will help them but sometimes they don't get help.  Don't stop until they do.  Make sure they get a way out.  If you read this and think, this is me.... please I beg you, ask for help, get help, do not be ashamed and do not think for one minute no one will care or miss you.

And finally, if you wish to donate to Adam's memory and Bryan's future please click the link below.  His family will need help burying him, and caring for Bryan.

Little Bryan in his suit

Sunday, August 10, 2014


I am, quite simply, a logophile.  Now before you go to Google to find out what that is, let me tell you. It is Greek for "lover of words".  That I am.  I fervently adore words.  Those that make up books, lyrics, quotes, phrases and verses. When they are spoken so eloquently, I am awestruck.   It never ceases to amaze me how 26 simple letter can be assimilated into so much joy, sorrow, comfort, and humor.  I have a dictionary and a thesaurus.  I once read a book about a man who read the English Oxford Dictionary.  Yes, I am a great big nerd. 

The thing about words is they are easy to say. Hard to take back.  Easy to believe.  I can get swept away in words.  Put them together in the right order and they sound like promises. Whispered late at night in the cover of darkness between two people, they sound like forever.  Standing next to someone in a crowded bar, he leans in so close that you swear your bodies are touching, but only the tip of his mouth touches your ear, so you can only feel hot breath that comes with those words.  Those should be the truest words uttered, instead they are temporary.  Texts, Facebook posts that make your heart leap from your chest.  Words  are exquisite but in the wrong hands they become malignant.

I don't take much stock in what some people say anymore. I try to look beyond what their mouths are saying and into their eyes and hearts.   It's going to take me seeing the truth in someones soul to believe them.

 There is a quote from The Beautiful and the Damned. I would loved to have met F. Scott Fitzgerald.  That man could take those 26 letters and spin them into magic.  He wrote: "I don't want just words. If that's all you have for me you'd better go." 

Truer words were never spoken.  I don't need to hear how beautiful, amazing, wonderful or special I am. Don't just tell me that you want to be with me. Show me and make me believe because words are cheap my friend.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Good things

This isn't what I sat down to write.  I have another topic altogether  but it's not quite set in my head so I will tuck it away.  Instead I am making a list of good things.  I am by myself this week as the boys are spending a summer week with their dad so there is LOTS OF TIME for me to think and think and think and that is never a good thing.

1.  Lots of Hot Sunshine
2.  the first sip of an Iced Cappucino
3.  Breakfast with a good friend
4.  The windows down and the radio up
5. A rainy breeze blowing in my window
6. The smell of books, old and new
7.  Kisses after midnight
8. Long phone calls with an old friend
9.  Music all through the house
10. Time to browse in stores
11. Sitting on my deck and staring at the heavens
12. Crisp Veggies and Juicy Fruit (not the gum)
13. Ice cold beer
14. All the concerts I still have this year
15. Gym time
16. Early morning bike rides
17. Running at dusk
18. being missed and being told so
19. Long drives to nowhere in particular
20. Smiling at people and saying hello

"The are of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things" Henry Ward Beecher

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

This Mama does

Last week when I had to take Child A to the dentist, I had time to kill in the waiting room so I picked up a Parenting magazine.  I stopped reading those years ago because they just made me feel bad about myself and were full of annoying ads, and I realized I was not going to be one of those mothers who counted until their children behaved.  This particular one was full of things NOT to do in order to be a good and perfect parent and I realized that still some 10 years later....I am still a bad parent according to this magazine.  Want to know why?

I let my kids sleep with me....The big one not so much anymore, he is too old but the six year much as he wants.  I still make him sleep in his own bed during the week but most mornings I wake up with a kid pasted to me.  On weekends, or if his brother is gone it's game on and he just gets in my bed.  No big deal to me.  He is won't last forever....he is comforted by the fact that his mother is there for him and doesn't yell at him to go back to bed...and it's just me so who cares???

I scream, yell and occasionally smack.....I am a very passionate person and when I have had to ask someone to do something for the 10th time, my voice tends to go up about five octaves.  When they fight with each other I am just trying to get in the middle so no one gets hurt.  When they get mouthy I jump in their shit,  and I will in no way, shape or form deal with disrespect or nastiness.  I know my neighbors think I am a screaming crazy woman but I just cannot be that parent who just pats them on the head and wants to hug it out.  They get swatted and my oldest has gotten his mouth smacked more than once. Also he is bigger than me now so I occasionally kick his legs out from under him to let him know who is boss.  I usually apologize after I have screamed and stomped and gestured to get my point across.....then we hug it out.

I let my kids listen to inappropriate music.... Let me clarify, we aren't cruising down the road listening to 2 Live Crew, but my six year old knows the words to most Beastie Boys songs. Music is very big in our household and I do think they should listen to what they like,  I personally don't like or listen to anything with gratuitous profanity or content but something that has it with artistic merit is fine with me. I still filter what the 6 year old can hear and  I had a problem at first with my 13 year old listening to Eminem but then took off my hypocrite hat because I was listening to 2 Live crew in middle school and honestly the kid has great taste in music. 

I taught them the fine art of sarcasm... My kids are smart, intelligent and entertaining.  They can carry on conversations with adults and they have opinions. ( Don't ask Owen what he thinks about Obama) They are as respectful as they can be for 13 and 6 and I figured learning how to carry on a witty, pithy conversation would only benefit them in the long run.  Occasionally it backfires on me and they get sassy with me but then I remind them who gave them their sarcastic superpowers and that I can take them away!

I don't reward them for breathing...Nothing annoys me more than kids being treated all the same because "we don't want little Tommy feeling bad"  Well we know what that creates.  The current generation of twenty-somethings who basically think life should be given to them on a silver platter because that is what is "fair"  They don't get an allowance or money for good grades.  They get praise where praise is due and when they say it's not fair, I say life isn't fair and to suck it up. they have chores and earn a commission for certain chores but not all of them.  Sometimes one of them gets more than the other, sometimes one of them gets special treats and the other doesn't.  They learn to live with it.....I think they used to call it building character.

So there you have it, on paper I am a terrible mother.  I know I'm not, but far from perfect and that is fine with me.  We are real in our household and if I screw up I tell them because it makes it that much easier when they screw up.

I doubt I will be on the cover of a parenting magazine anytime soon

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Love More

I found this shirt at Old Navy one weekend and thought it was perfect for me.  It reminds of a Seed shirt I have.  It makes a statement though they may have not intended for it to.

I do love people.  I love life, and experiences and music and just everything around me in general, I love what is safe.  Safe is my family and most of my friends and my kids and animals and things that I don't have to worry about not loving me back.

I spent today by myself.  Other than taking Kid A to the Dr this morning and picking up a funky cool little table from a thrift shop I was home (and the gym but I don't talk to anyone there) by myself.,and oh yeah Daisy but she doesn't really count because I can talk to her about anything and she doesn't have anything to say about it.

Cool new table
I am extremely social so being by myself all day and not talking to anyone makes for an endless day,  I start to get twitchy.  I am better with people around me. I get more done.  When I am by myself I tend to curl up and do nothing.  I was determined today however to do something different.  I got my sunroom cleaned up and reorganized and my sewing area set up and my thirtyone area organized.  And listened to music...of course always music.  (Sidenote: If you don't like loud music playing don't come to my house) And of course I thought......and thought some more. more...its an easy concept but hard to put into practice if it's easier to just not to love anyone other than those people listed above.  I have days where I am certain I could go the rest of my life and just not deal with the unpleasant task of someone under my feet, dealing with them, trying to make them happy so they stay.  That is how I feel about love at the moment,  It's a task, something to check off my to do list and I keep moving it to the bottom and then to the following day's list.

Again, being the social Virgo that I am, I crave love, I give love. When I love someone there isn't anything I can't do for them.  My friends and family know this very well.  The thing is, the affection part can be had without dealing  with the mess of love, and hoping that someone decides that it's worth it.  It's easy for me to wrap my head around that and just shut myself off and not get hurt.

So what's a girl to do???  How do you Love More when all you do is love people???  This is my conundrum to conquer........

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Treading water

Once upon a time I had this parenting thing down.  I had children who listened.  I had children who took orders and fell in line.  I had children who looked at me with adoring eyes. Children who believed everything I said.  I still have one child like that.  The other one became a teenager.

Tomorrow is my oldest son's birthday and he will be 13.  Technically it's just a number because the past year has basically paved the way for my downfall as the mom who had it all down.  He started having opinions of his own, he started letting other people influence his opinions and we started butting heads.....hard.  Think of two rhinos, charging each other, battling, stabbing each other with their sharp horns.  That basically sums it up.  I can see it in his eyes. I am an idiot.   The boy who looked at me like I could do no wrong now gives me a look, the one that makes me sit on my hands because I want to knock it off his face. He refuses to cut his hair shorter.  He is nasty to his brother. He is mouthy to me, and in front of people. He has said some of the most purposefully hateful things he can think of to me.  I have knocked him on his butt more than once.  His latest act of defiance is church. He is refusing to go.  He knows this is the one thing that rips my heart out the most so he is standing firm, heels dug in.  I know that he will relent eventually so I am not getting as worked up as I first was.  His brother and I still ask him to pray every night but he won't join us.  I still write Bible verses all over the house.  We still talk about God freely and sometimes just to annoy him, loudly.  Last night I was reading John 17 and 18 to his brother and we were talking about Jesus being arrested and he was sitting outside the bedroom listening.  I know I can't push because if I do it will just create more tension but it's honestly killing me.

We don't agree on some of his friends.  I don't approve at all.  And because I don't let them come over or him associate with them, I am the control freak where his dad allows it so that makes me the evil one.  I am the mean one.  I am the ruler of this totalitarian society where what I say goes.
I am fine with this.  I told him more than once he can hate me until he is 18 but it will be over my dead body that he acts like or associates with creeps, delinquents, etc.

That is just one side  to this boy.  He is beautiful, and funny and sweet, and so smart.  He is kind and he loves babies and little ones.  He is helpful, he is wise beyond his years.  Tonight I have been looking at years of pictures, tears running down my cheeks because  I just want that baby boy back.  Some of you parents reading this, those who have danced this dance are just nodding your heads or even slightly chuckling at my torment.  I know....this too shall pass, but I assure this last year has been an eternity, and if I make it through without Xanax or having a stroke I will be amazed.

Yesterday we had a sort of breakthrough.  I stood firm on something, I explained why and we started talking about tons of things.  I told him some of the stupid things I did when I was his age and older.  How I got suspended not once but twice.  I told him I don't expect him to be perfect,  He is going to do stupid ridiculous things. Irresponsible things.  My deep fear is that he will somehow get swept up in something bad, or something that he can't work his way out of.  That he will pull away from me completely, want to live with his dad which to me is the worst possible thing. ( Overdramatic maybe)
We talked and laughed for over two hours.  It was incredible.  I felt like I had that boy back.

 I am doing everything in my power to keep that boy, and to grow him into a wonderful, responsible, respectful man.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Showing up

You know what I hate?  When I mean to write something and I get sidetracked and then a few days pass and I have lost the momentum of the feeling and am now trying to recreate it.... so that is this post.

Last week I was meeting my girlfriend Traci for coffee.  Excited to see her and try a different little coffee place I set out.  I had been having this feeling....the one I get where I know I have been praying and asking God to show up, not necesarrily for me but just to show up.  I prayed this all the way over to meet her, and then when I saw her and we hugged and started chatting I kind of forgot about it.  We got our coffee and muffins and sat down in the front window to bask in the sun.  It's been so cold I didn't mind that the sun felt like it was scorching me.

Traci and the dear woman deep in talk
We were getting caught up and I was giving her every tidbit of my ridiculously fun getaway to South Carolina.  Once we were done reliving my days and nights I asked her how she had really the kids were, and I told her how the night previous I had watched Parenthood and how the son in the show who was autistic had an episode while away at a school function.  Traci has a son with Aspergers and it's not an easy road.  Family isn't always helpful, and as much as I try and be there for her and listen and help, I don't really know what she is going through.  She was telling me about a class trip she chaperoned, how he felt alienated and we both agreed kids are worse than adults and that it's just not fair that people treat him like that.  Suddenly a lady came over to her and bent down, she asked does your son have Aspergers?  Traci said yes, and he's only nine.  The woman indicated her son had it as well, he was now 24 and a graduate student in technical school.  She had overheard our conversation about his treatment by other kids and even teachers, she just looked at Traci and said, "I promise you, it gets better"  She pulled up a chair and they started talking, her son, as luck would have it had the same name as Traci's son and she as well had a younger daughter who was fiercely protective of her brother.

They spent the better part of the next hour chatting, I just listened because this woman was EXACTLY what Traci needed.  She spoke of the academic struggles they went through with teachers who punished her son when what he needed was specialized therapies.  How their family moved at one point for her husbands job and they found a fantastic program for kids with Aspergers but what was the most tremendous gift to Traci was that here was a woman who knew how she felt, had lived her struggles and no matter how many times I tell her it's going to be ok, this woman, could assure her better than I ever could.  She was a wealth of knowledge and hope, and she even talked to me about going back to college to finish up my degree.  

She apologized for monopolizing our time, but it was no bother at all.  When God does show up He knows exactly when you need him and leaving my friend that day her heart was less heavy and she had hope for the rest of the day.  To me it was an enlightening experience to just sit and listen.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Micro can mean big...

Ministry.  That is a big word.  One I usually associate with a big group of people.  Or maybe to describe someone who leads a congregation.  Certainly not me.

What about Micro-ministry?  I first heard that word a few months ago. I was driving across the state by myself,  listening to a program that was talking about just that.  The woman was describing different people in her life who did things that may have not seemed like anything special..or even anything close to being considered a ministry however they touched many lives and in that instant the people were able to even just for a moment talk to them about God.  She talked about the cake lady who every day made at least one or two in the even that it was someones birthday, someone was in the hospital, someone was sick... or the gum lady who at church always has a purse full and the kids knew it and with the sticks she doled out she gave them snippets of love and Jesus.

I know people like this...

Mr. Barney...the man at church who drives bus and takes kids to our local roller rink for a Christian skate night, and tells them about Jesus.. That is his ministry

The woman I met at a craft show last fall....she had a beautiful hand painted purse and when I asked her about it she said she buys them at Goodwill and then paints them and when someone comments she gives it to them (presumably they are women) and she tells them that she loves them and so does God and prays with them.

The man at Mott (I assume he is a professor?) who twice now I have passed in the hall, sitting and talking to a student and have heard him say that God has plans for them, and do they attend church.

So what could my ministry be?  Do I have one?  Let's just say evangelism is not my strong suit.  I cannot imagine going up to someone and asking them if they know Jesus.  If someone asks me  What I can do?  There are people I know who know their calling, not just pastors but people who use their gifts in a way that exudes Jesus.  I really don't know if God has given me any signs or if he has I haven't heard him.  One thing I can do is invite people to my church.  I have done that for the past year, some have come once or twice, some are now regular attenders and some I am still working on.  I can find people in my life who I think need Jesus and encouragement and ask them to come with me.

The one other thing that I feel God has put in my heart is a missions trip.  At one time in my life the idea of traveling to another country to serve people who were not here in my own neighborhood, county or state seemed ludicrous to me,  Why would I need to help those in a foreign country when people here need help?  The more  I thought about it and the more exposure I had to people who had gone I realized that they are the ones who need our help more than people here.  More times than not their government gives them no assistance, no help.  What we do can make a huge impact on their lives.  So now I am feeling I need..,.I have to go somewhere.  Hopefully to Swaziland next year with my church.

So maybe I do have a version of a micro-ministry...a micro-micro ministry???

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The process

I decided to make homemade Alfredo sauce tonight.  Trying to get away from anything boxed, canned, etc, I thought, why not?  I had the ingredients and what I didn't have I could just wing, because I'm crazy like that.

So I fired up my laptop, got on Pinterest, got my ingredients and started. Butter, garlic, pepper, Parmesan, milk(instead of cream) and  off I go. 

I started along confident in my cooking abilities (I am an awesome cook Thank you) throwing ingredients in, checking the recipe and moving along.  When I added the milk and cooked it for awhile it wasn't thickening so I threw in some cream cheese because I was impatient that it wasn't turning out right.  I wasn't letting it cook and respecting the process.  As I stood there staring at this concoction gurgling in the pan before me I started to wonder how many other things in my life I do this with.

As confident and assured that I am in several areas of my life, I seem to be impatient and try and change things in others.  I just want things to work out and be good.  I know part of this stems from my marriage and trying to hurry up and make everyone happy, sacrificing my own happiness and health.  Part is just my personality.  I'm a pleasing person and if everyone around me is happy  then I am too.  I want to fix things and make it all better. 

Right now my relationship with my 12 year old is less than stellar.  He wants to be grown up now and doesn't want me interjecting in his life.  He doesn't want me riding him about school or the friends I don't like.  I want to fix it.  I know I can't just do that but I also know that I won't tolerate the amount of disrespect coming from him.  I hate this discord.  I want to skip a few steps and have everything be OK.  I know deep down I can't, I have to let it go and work it out and not rush it, but it stinks.

Another thing I don't want to take the time to let Right now it's easier to just ignore that part of my life.  Since my last 2 1/2 relationships ended sucktacularly, I'd just rather forget it all together.  But that's no fun.   See there is this guy I have noticed.  Cute, seems super nice, seems to have it together, athletic....but I don't really know him at all.  I'd like to, but there are a million reasons in my mind that I should just stop now and save myself dealing with the process at all.

Let's see:
                       I'm a few years older than him (why should this matter)
                       He doesn't have kids and I have two
                       Did I mention he's really cute?
                       I don't think I am good enough, thin enough, pretty enough, etc
                       He'd never be interested in dating an older, fat chick with two kids,

Yes I know I probably need therapy but I can't help the thoughts in my head from playing over and over and stopping me from even talking to him other than idle chitchat.  My two best friends are ready to kill me, or intervene on my behalf which has me envisioning notes being passed with a Do you like Heather? Yes or no? And look, I know the barrage of texts and comments I will probably get with What the Hell is wrong with you?  But this is what keeps me terrified of even trying.  The fact that even though he may say yes. We may become great friends.....or more.  The ingredients are all might turn out horribly so why did I try in the first place?

My Alfredo sauce?  How did that turn out?  Pretty good actually.  Once I stepped away and let it cook  and not fuss over it, it tasted fantastic.  Kind of runny, but delicious and that was good enough for me! I know what to do if I try it again and make it turn out even better....

Thursday, January 30, 2014


                                                                               So, I'm reading this book. 

   If there ever was a book I should read, this is it. I can't get through a chapter without crying.  I have heard her speak and read other books so I knew what I was getting into.  No one is perfect, no one has the perfect cookie cutter life, we all put up walls to keep people out.  No one is put together all the time, but some people are so good at faking it.  I wanted to be one of  those people.  If I can't be put together then I certainly want the illusion of being put together.  The problem with that? It's exhausting.  The "hustle" and jumping around you do take away from the life you are trying to live.  So what to do? Be real and authentic and let people "see" you... 

I let people see family and closest friends, but everyone?  Yeah, no thanks. But as I began to read this and read her stories and the stories she gathered from her research I could see that practically everyone she interviewed seemed to have the problem as me,

                                                              See these words in yellow??                           
Add caption
Wholehearted? I do this..  The problem with being wholehearted is when you are and other people aren't, you only get a piece of that heart back.  I get tired of giving everything I am to someone and only getting a piece back. 

I am enough........ enough of what?  This week I don't feel like I an enough of anything.  Not enough of  a mom....not enough to keep up with anything.......not enough to sustain the last two relationships I have had, which brings us to....

Worthy of Love ?  If I was enough I would be worthy of love....  I know people love me but it's not the same.  My family loves me and my friends love me,  but no one has really ever just loved me.  Not even when I was married.  And any of the love I thought  I have felt since wasn't authentic.  If it was then the people giving it couldn't be authentic themselves..   

The whole process has just been ugly and messy.  Vulnerability is pretty  much a four letter word for me.  If I let someone in, then that just means it's one more person who could potentially hurt me.  
I don't try to be perfect, but I am damn hard on myself.  If things are screwed up it's all on me and the pressure I put on myself to get everything right is ridiculous.  When things are bad, the self-deprecation begins and it makes sense, it's no ones fault but my own.  I think the only thing that helps is knowing that other people feel like this as well.

Instagram seems to be the place that people let it all out. You know that Imagine Dragons song Demons?  "Don't get too close, it's dark inside, it's where my demons hide"  For some reason people can throw up a picture and tell their deepest darkest secrets.  The horrible seeds of ugliness growing in their souls.  It's made me realize that I am not the only one who feels like a complete failure, a horrible mother, not good enough....the list can go on.  From this I have drawn strength, and friendships from people who have gone through bigger circles of Hell than I.

So here I am being real and authentic, and vulnerable.  Judge me,, roll your eyes, laugh at me, feel sorry for me, or just be my friend and love me for who I am.  Some day I hope to look back and know that I have made strides and can look at those yellow word  and say check, check, check.