Thursday, September 30, 2010


I came in to work today to an e-mail from my oldest's guidance counselor. They are switching him out of the math class they put him in and putting him in a different one, as he is not keeping up.

I came home from work today to an e-mail from Christopher's computer teacher. He is falling behind in his work.

We aren't repeating history are we?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


This post is designed for all of you who are NOT widows.

Check your life insurance. OK. Number 1. GET life insurance. I have shared before that I didn't have much in terms of life insurance that covered my husband getting sick and dying. But, even what I thought I had - I didn't get it all. So, that is today's message: CHECK your insurance.

Let me briefly explain. I was working full-time at the time of Chris' death. As one of the benefits at my work, I was entitled to a $10,000 insurance policy should my husband die. Well, he DID die... but then my HR department (which was in a state far far away)informed me that there was an error in my paperwork that I had filled out upon my hire at the company - and therefore, my husband was NOT insured.

How crazy... a little goof, that had I not goofed, I could have the money to put a new roof on my house.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I know kill sounds harsh. I am not sure where that phrase came from - but I can say it just fine. Writing it... now I feel like a bad person for even thinking I am going to kill my child (not that I actually thought that - just thought / said the phrase). Well, except for the time that my husband and I considered the advantages and disadvantages to killing our seven year old before he reached an age of accountability. We thought we could sacrifice our salvation for his... you know. It was not looking good when he was seven, what would the rest of his life bring?

In all seriousness, now having written that, I feel as if it could be used against me in some court of law. Like some freak accident will happen, and the words of my blog saying I thought about killing my child will be spread all over national TV. So, let me just clarify... there is not a piece of me that would hurt my child in any way... but sometimes... oh sometimes, I just don't know what to do with these kids.

My youngest is the culprit lately. Crabby, crabby, crabby. And I can not figure out why. Possible reasons:

1. His dad's birthday - makes us all a little on edge
2. He is tired because he is up listening to his ipod into the night instead of sleeping.
3. School has been in for a few weeks now, and he is still adjusting to the early mornings.
4. Football season is getting old and starting to wear on him.
5. He is right, I am the worst mother ever.
6. I am dating someone... (I will fill you all in one of these days) and for the first time in years, he is having to share me like never before
7. He is getting closer to those teenage years, and is turning ornery early
8. He is spoiled rotten

So, depending which of these reasons are correct, should determine my response. Does he need hugs and kisses and time with mom? Or, does he need some quiet time in his bedroom and doing extra chores?

Sometimes, I get sick of being the only parent and having to figure this out on my own.

Monday, September 27, 2010


Today would have been Chris' 45th birthday. Six years ago his birthday was celebrated with a Barium drink and lots of scans. We have continuted to celebrate his birthday every year. I feel like we need to. It is consistently a more emotional day for me. Years pass, but I still feel it inside. It does lessen, but it is still there.

This year, we are in the full swing of life. Kids have places to be and our evenings are pretty packed.

I called the pizza place and ordered the pizza from Chris' favoite place, with Chris' favorite wings. I can't remember the last time I ordered from there. Who knew so many memories could exist in a slice of pizza. I had hoped we would also make it to our favorite (and Chris' favorite) ice cream shop, but time just did not allow.

But, we (or perhaps it was just I) sang happy birthday and celebrated, in our rushed way, his life. We miss him. But life has continued. We are blessed. We will go on.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Can you believe I made that my title? It is harsh, isn't it? And, it probably isn't even true... But SOMEONE... SOMEONE is going to realize what they did someday and pay the price of the sorrow they caused.

Chris loved trees. I am not sure why he had such a proclivity for the green things, but he did. He used to buy baby trees every spring and plant them. When I was mowing the lawn, in my careless ways, I would occasionally run over one. Sometimes I would analyze the scene and consider if I should take out a couple more - and then perhaps Chris would not even realize there was one missing. He would maybe just forget that row was there all together.

Unfortunately for me, that was not the case. He knew every tree he had. You would have thought they were like his pets. He cared for each of them.

One year Chris planted a few fruit trees, including a peach tree, along the border of our property. The following year, was the year Chris was very ill. It was so surprising that there were FIVE peaches growing on that tree. Usually fruit trees take much longer to bear fruit... but there were FIVE peaches. Chris would sit in his blue recliner every day recovering from surgery. He wasn't able to eat much at that time, but he would admire those peaches and was bound and determined that when they were ripe, he would eat them.

Every day, he would check on them. His body was struggling with recovery, and eating was difficult, but he maintained his position that he would eat those peaches.

One day he looked out the window to check on them. They were gone. All five. Gone. Someone had picked them. They took his peaches. He was so sad. He had spent so long looking forward to them being ripe, they were just about there, and someone took them. I felt so badly for him. It was his opportunity to enjoy the literal fruits of his labor, and his last opportunity.

I was in my old neighborhood today. My neighbor was out walking his dog. I gave him a hug and petted the dogs. I smiled with the memories of my kids laying on the neighbor's back yard letting the dogs lick their face. They had so much fun with those dogs. The new owner to the house was out painting the trim. I said hello and complimented the work he has done in keeping the place looking nice. I asked about the peaches. Did they ever get any? Never. I think even the tree was heartbroken that day his peaches were stolen. I just envision this tree working so hard to provide FIVE peaches to his loving owner... only to have them stolen. Now, the tree produces none.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Yes, I committed that this blog would be a priority this year.

Yes, I have learned that I can write this blog on the 30th - but post it here as if I actually did it five days ago (such a handy thing I wish I could do to real life).

Yes, I am falling behind lately.

But, NO, I will no longer feel obligated to catch up when I fall behind.

I can't take the pressure.

Listen people, life is crazy busy. I am working full-time, am a single mom to three beautiful children, have a house that needs to be cleaned every now and then, and this really cute guy that I prefer to offer some attention to on occasion.

I have to let things drop sometimes... 'cause the reality of life is... I am so far from perfect! So, that's the truth. Can I stop the charades now?

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I jotted a few notes down in church today that I felt specifically applied to me.

"When we are running for our lives it is difficult to hear the spirit." A good reminder to me that I need to slow down, that I need to find moments of peace and calm so I can feel the spirit and allow the Lord to direct my path.

"If you are not happy with what you are doing, repent and do it better." We are responsible for our attitude, for how we face our trials. We choose wether to make life a triumph or a tragedy.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


My oldest has taken up MMA (mixed martial arts) since arriving back home in June. I have noticed he is more dedicated and committed to practice than I have ever seen him before.

I am proud of him. He is keeping a very busy schedule, in fact I sometimes don't feel I get to see him too much except to say goodnight... But, through it all he is effectively managing his time on his own. He gets himself to and from practices, has taken up being a teacher's assistant for the little kids and makes sure he is where he needs to be and also completing his homework.

His first kickboxing match was tonight. My boys are growing up. They are healing. We are finding joy in our journey once again.

Friday, September 17, 2010


A dozen of corn and a basket of grapes.

It doesn't take much to lift my spirits at the end of a long week.

I still stand in awe that my Father in Heaven continues to send others to nourish me both physically and spiritually.

And to turn the tables, I am grateful others think to ask me to serve. I need those opportunities in my life to lift the burden of another.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I have latchkey kids. Studies show that breeds behavioral problems, low self-esteem and depression. On the upside, it can also result in independence and self-reliance.

Today my daughter didn’t ride the bus home. I guess something about being a teenager, meant she needed to really start acting like one. Unfortunately, this was not information I was aware of when the bus came and left without depositing her, as I am not home to witness such things. I found out when she called and informed me that she was at a friend’s house. She and her girlfriend had decided to walk home from school and had stopped at another friend’s house to use the bathroom and phone home. At least they phoned home. My reaction to the situation was to tell her to go home. We talked about it later and I told her the answer will always be to go home. I don’t like them out and about when I am at work. I feel this complete lack of control, and an exaggerated sense of concern. My daughter felt that being away from her brothers was actually safer for her, as they are always close to burning the house down.

She didn’t take my petition for her to always come home well. I tried to explain my position to which she responded that it was not her fault her dad died, so why is she punished for it? To which I replied, it is not my fault he died, but I am punished in terms of having to be away at work rather than home with you. It is life. It is what happened.

How do I keep the negative latchkey effects from affecting my children? Am I wrong to make them sit home in a house with no parents for hours after school, rather than let them be with their friends? I don’t know the answer…

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I woke up this morning and everything in my world was different. I was facing the daunting reality that two of my three kids are now teenagers. How did that happen?

I know time goes quickly, too quickly sometimes. It was just strange to realize I am facing the most difficult and critical years without Chris. It just seemed a little unfair. Don't get me wrong, I don't question God. I know He is much wiser than I, and that He will compensate in these kid's lives for what they are missing... but some days I think of what they are missing and I feel a little sad for them. I still have the ability to call my dad and talk, and get wise advice when I need it.

When I finally crawled out of bed this morning, I walked into the kitchen. Chris' leather jacket was on the back of the kitchen chair. I looked at it at least five times, picking it up and looking closer. Yes, it was Chris' jacket.

I hadn't seen it in years. It was an odd sight on an odd day. Our daughter is thirteen... he should be here to wish her happiness and joy in her teenage years. Although, I know he will watch over her still and strive to help her be on a path that will bring her happiness and joy.

I was crossing the street from my office to the parking lot and someone drove by that made me do a double take. Weird.

After work, I ran downstairs to get some garlic bread out of the freezer. Chris' nose spray was sitting on top of the freezer. He had terrible allergies and that nose spray was a standard... in jean pockets, jackets, the car, everywhere he went, there was the spray. It made me take a look around.

My oldest must be missing his dad. I think he starts to dig his few remaining things out when he is missing him.

But, for it to happen today.... on our little girl's birthday, just made me smile even more.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


On March 10, I posted with a reference to a book I was reading.

I was on my way to the doctor office last week with my son and I grabbed the book to bring with me, figuring there would be some spare time while I was waiting.

My son looked at my book and inquired why I was bringing it. I explained I was hoping to get a chance to read a little. With a very puzzled face, my eleven year old questioned the fact that I was STILL reading that book. I informed him, that yes, in fact I was still in the process of reading it - I don't get much time to read for enjoyment. He responded by grabbing the book, flipping to the last page, looking at me in complete disbelief and informed me it was only 133 pages. He could read that in an hour!

I grabbed the book back from him, and made no comment. Yes, it is pathetic... Six months later and I am not done with the book.

Monday, September 13, 2010


Sometimes it just hits me. I go and go and go and feel like I am a human energizer bunny sometimes. Well, I suppose I don't really feel that way - but I act that way. Usually because, what choice do I have? There is much to do! But after going and going and going... sometimes out of nowhere, my body betrays me... and will go no more.

That happened to me yesterday. I hate the betrayal. My body should know I would give it rest if I could! I was enveloped in exhaustion and it spilled over to this morning. I was up and getting ready for work this morning looking at the house that was a wreck. It made me feel more exhausted. I headed out for work, promising myself that I would take lunch at the house and clean today.

I got about a mile down the road, when my friend KR called. She was confirming she would be able to get in the house - she was on her way to clean it. She had also made me dinner and would be leaving that in the fridge.

I was overcome with emotion. My whole body felt exhausted. I started to cry. Tears of gratitude mixed with tears of frustration that I wasn't keeping up.

I came home from work to a clean house. I heated some dinner up for myself and the kids, then went about the chores and running of the evening.

Words can not express the gratitude I felt. The blessing it was to me today.

I was then surprised by another visitor later in the evening. A friend that lives an hour away was the least likely person I would expect to show up with dinner for tomorrow. SG is a kind and generous person - but doesn't exactly live in my neighborhood.

As I lay in bed this evening, reflecting on the day... I see the hand of God in my life today. I see the angels He sent on an errand for me. And I am amazed, again, at how He loves and cares for me.

Lesson Manual: How to be a Widow
10. Angels don't show up at your door step everyday. They don't always come and clean your house and make you dinner, but take the time to see they are there. Sometimes they are a phone call at just the right time, or a smile at the grocery store... and sometimes we need to remember that we too need to be angels to others - and that can be just the boost we need.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


I attended another football game this weekend for my youngest.

I have found it peculiar over the past five year how few sports my kids have participated in. Up to and including while Chris was sick, we had the kids playing little league and whatever other sports were available to their age group. I was athletic growing up, as was my husband... so to have the kids involved in sports seemed like the natural thing.

Once Chris passed, the kids had no more interest in playing little league. When their grades started basketball teams, they didn't want to play. I didn't push any of this too much, because the reality of it is, as a single working parent - the challenge of getting them everywhere they need to be is huge.

I discovered swimming a few years ago, and I did push for the kids to get involved. The team ran from September to March and was a great way to exercise all winter. PLUS, they practiced every night, but the practices were not mandatory. A perfect combination for someone like me! I could get them there on the nights that is was possible. But, that only last about a season and the kids had enough and didn't want to do it any longer.

I found it peculiar though that the kids consistently showed no desire to get involved with school sports. So, when my youngest told me this summer that he intended to play football in the fall, I was surprised, but happy.

He was the new kid on the block, with most the other kids at least in their second year of play - some in their fourth. Enter, my son. Not only has he never played before, his exposure to watching games has been very limited (let's face it - not my favorite way to spend a Saturday). I don't believe he even knew the position names or anything. He was green.

I was not surprised when their first game came and he was put in (almost as a courtesy) at the end of the game.

I was not surprised when he came home from practice this week and told me how he was running drills against the best kid on the team (I am sure they rotate who you go up against).

He is a humble little kid. Doesn't make a big deal out of anything he does.

Friday night, I arrive home from work and start to prep some dinner. He needed to be at the field by 6pm, which is the start of the "JV" game. With my limited time, I was (no surprise) running a little late. As I drove him to the game... he sighed in frustration, "why do we always have to be late... I am starting defense tonight, I need to be on time".

"You are starting tonight?"


He just said it so casually. I vowed to be on-time for his game.

I was... and he started on defense, just like he said. The game began with the kid, known as the best kid on the team, scoring a touchdown in the first play. The entire rest of the first quarter was spent with us on defense... and my baby playing. He continued to hit the field on defense the rest of the first half and into the second, except during substitutions to the line.

I was so happy for him. So happy to see his hard work paying off for him. So happy that he was self-driven to be involved and to work hard. He only complained about practice when he felt they didn't work hard enough. He endured the heat and the bruises with never a comment. As I stood on the sidelines contemplating the man this boy was beginning to grow up to be, I was proud of him. And I knew his dad was there that night standing by him when they went back to offense and he was back on the line. I could almost envision his father's hand on his shoulder, telling him he was proud of him.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Sometimes as a single mom... you just are busy. And tired. And things you may have thought to do under your 'old' circumstances (I can't say normal... cause life as is has become normal), no longer cross your mind.

My sister advised me a year ago that I needed to get my 'dating body' back. I think that was her way of saying it was time to work on those extra pounds. I will. Someday.

I got my hair cut a couple days ago, because I try to do that at least once a year. My friend who was cutting my hair informed me that our mutual friend had instructed her to tell me to get my eyebrows done. I couldn't believe that. If my friend feels that way, why wouldn't she tell me to my face? Not tell someone to tell me.

I made an appointment to get my eyebrows done... the results of that appointment are above.

Then I called my friend and told her (on voicemail) I thought we were close enough friends that she would say that to my face.

She left me a voicemail in reply telling me she has no problem telling me to my face, but she forgets (that made me feel better - because if my eyebrows were REALLY bad, how could you forget?). Then she continued on in her message telling me I need some highlights, and not blonde ones.

I made that appointment today.

It is part of getting my life together. I need to balance everything... including beauty.

So... now I just need to calendar "Lose 10 pounds".

Friday, September 10, 2010


I have a friend whose young son is fighting cancer. That is a trial, I cannot imagine. She wrote these words the other day, that I felt I could relate to. They took me back to those days.

“I think about all the people going about their lives down on the street. Is it really possible that there are people doing normal things like going to soccer practice and homework, etc? Once in a while I have a brief fleeting moment of being envious of the normalcy of other's lives. Then I come back to my own reality and be thankful of my blessings: I get to spend quality time with my little man, there is always someone with a worse story than ours, I have a husband and partner to help me through this instead of having to make the decision of leaving my child here alone, we have this wonderful facility right in our backyard. Yes, this is bad. Yes, it will get worse. Yes, I am blessed anyway.”

It evoked memories of similar feelings. There is something very precious and sacred about the quality time and relationship that can be developed while 'locked' in a small room.

I have come out the other side and find myself feeling very normal some days... and on those days I remember fondly, the 'abnormal' life that brought a different kind of pace and focus. I am grateful for these tender mercies from God. When He reminds us to see the good.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


The flurry of life has sucked me in.

As much as I felt that I would make sure this blog was a priority for one year... alas I have dropped the ball. I suppose that is ok, as I had to drop one of my many balls I was juggling - and my children appreciate SOME attention... even when it is limited (for instance last night at 9:30 when I was putting my children to bed, it was revealed to me that I had fogotten to feed them dinner!)

The kids are back to school, they have some of the items on their long list of school supplies (the disadvantage of last minute shopping... things are sold out), my youngest is in full swing of football season, my oldest is anxiously engaged with MMA practice and working with the "little dragons" as a teacher's assistant, and my middle daughter is back in the swing of voice and piano lessons... while hoping I will add horseback riding lessons.

I have a new position at church that I am trying to get a handle on, while also finishing up projects from my last position. A very busy time of year for me there.

In the rest of life I am trying to catch up... and shall I say... just enjoying where life is these days. I am blessed. So blessed. I have had a wonderful summer and have often in these past few months had moments of feeling emotional when I look at how my Father in Heaven has blessed me. How He has heard my internal desires and blessed me.

This will be my focus, or so that is my hope, for the next little while as I 'blog'. The hand of God in my life these days. As He is there every day. I hope to be able to capture some of the simple ways He blesses me everyday.

There will still be moments of reflection, but I have captured much of the major events that have happened. I am certain in the craziness to keep up that my mind has not kept up with remembering it all, and perhaps as life is simpler I will continue to remember feelings, and events.

Thanks for joining me on this journey of reflection, of gratitude, of learning.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Monday, September 6, 2010


A man was sleeping at night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light and the Savior appeared. The Lord told the man he had work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin. The Lord explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might.

This the man did, day after day. For many years he toiled from sun up to sun down, his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing it with all his might. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore, and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain.

Noticing that the man was showing signs of discouragement, the adversary decided to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the man’s weary mind. “You have been pushing against this rock for a long time, and it hasn’t budged. Why kill yourself over this? You are never going to move it.” Thus giving the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure. These troubling thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man. “Why kill myself over this?” I’ll just put in my time, giving just the minimum effort and that will be good enough.

And that is what he planned to do until one day he decided to make it a matter of prayer and take his thoughts to the Lord. “Lord” he said, “I have labored long and hard in your service, putting all my strength to do that which you have asked. Yet, after all this time, I have not even been able to budge that rock. What is wrong? Why am I failing?”

The Lord responded compassionately, “My friend, When I asked you to serve me and you accepted, I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all your strength, which you have done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push. And now you come to me with your strength spent, thinking that you have failed. But, is that really so?”

“Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled, your back sinewy and brown, your hands are callused from constant pressure, and your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you have grown much and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have. Yet you haven’t moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in my wisdom. This you have done. I, my friend, will now move the rock.”

At times, when we hear a word from God, we tend to use our own intellect to decipher what He wants, when actually what God wants is simple obedience and Faith in Him…

Sunday, September 5, 2010


For you young widows with ever-increasing family responsibilities, know that God is aware of your needs and that He will provide. Continue to exercise faith and good works. Faithful family and Church members will assist. Be willing to receive assistance from others as necessary. Your children will know that you provide them with a double measure of love. It is my testimony that our Heavenly Father will abundantly compensate your family with eternal blessings because of the goodness of your hearts.
Earl C. Tingey

Saturday, September 4, 2010


The term widows is used 34 times in the scriptures. In 23 of these passages, the term refers to widows and the fatherless. I believe the Lord has a tender feeling toward widows and the fatherless, or orphans. He knows that they may have to rely more completely on Him than on others. Their prayers will be more personal and lasting, service to fellowmen more genuine, and faith greater.

Earl C. Tingey

Friday, September 3, 2010


Honour widows that are widows indeed.

As a widow... I also need to open my eyes to the other widows around me. I need to find opportunities to serve them.