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Its the most wonderful time of the year!

August 26. 1 week of summer left! Where did it go?!

Its actually felt like a long summer to me. With 2 of our boys so far away, missing them is always harder on the long summer nights. Combine that with a family loss thats been … difficult to process, and there are times I wondered if we’d ever get back into routine.

Let me preface this by saying I LOVE my boys. I would lay down my life for them, search and destroy anyone who hurt them. That being said, I cannot wait for school to start!

I love having the house filled with kids laughter. I LOVE te creativity that comes with bright ideas at 3am, be it “mod-ing” a nerf gun or writing a script for a movie. I love being able to say ” sure you can sleep in the basement” or “sure you can stay up all night reading”. Late night drive in movies, drives to the coast. Summers are amazing.

But it’s time. For all of us.

H needs the structure of learning. He needs to be with his friends. All of them. At once. He needs the challenge school presents to keep his brain active. He needs the voice of new adults in his life teaching him how to engage those around him. He needs a break from mom’s “H, stop”. “H, don’t do that”… he needs the freedom away from mom’s (sometimes overprotective) watch.

I need the break too. The freedom to focus on the task at hand at work without worrying about what he’s up to. The one morning a week where I stay home and catch up on chores while binge listening to tv shows or movies.

And although my anniversary years may still be single digits, and I’d never claim to be an expert on the subject, my marriage needs it! Hubs and I take each other out for lunch on pay days, as well as a lunch time date on Wednesdays where we step back from work and just enjoy each other’s company. Meeting days, we may grab breakfast before going to work, or leave an hour early to walk aroun the farm. Us time, where we dont have to worry H is bored at home, or rush to pick him up at a friends.

Its not that I don’t love spending time with my kids, or don’t want to be around them. Its that I love my kids enough to know that we need time apart to all grow, which will help us grow as a family.

How do I know it’s time? Because things like this keep happening…

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year for OUR family

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Posted by on August 27, 2014 in Babies, McHubby, Munchkin, Relationship

 

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#Empowered

A few lifetimes ago, I gave away my power.  Not intentionally, not all in one swift blow, but slowly, bits of me broke away like an iceberg, trying to find out who everyone wanted me to be.  Too Loud?  Ok… I’ll be quiet.  Too quirky?  Ok… Boring is easy.  Too Smart? I can play dumb REAL good.  Relationships, Friends, even family in their own unaware way.  Instead of struggling to find our who I was, I was struggling to be who “they” wanted me to be.  It became very easy to transform, to easier to tuck away the real me and become who I thought I was supposed to be. Before I knew it, there was very little of the real me left.  Instead, I was a chameleon.  One way for one set of friends, for coworkers.

I come from a strong line of women (and men for that matter).  Chipping away at the real me like that, it ate at me. And as it ate at me, I ate at everything in sight. I grew up with hopes, dreams, plans for an incredible future.  At 21 I had a job I loved, an apartment of my own, living in my favorite city and suddenly…. I was moving back into my parents’ house, pregnant, alone, battered and bruised.  I felt powerless.  I had lost control, if I had ever had it in the first place.

I was scared.  I ate.  I was lonely.  I ate.  I was ashamed. I ate.  And for brief moments, I felt in control. I could control what I ate.  (You know the pattern, right?)  I was suddenly responsible for this little life, and I couldn’t even tell you who I was, let alone who I wanted to be for this baby.  I felt powerless.

Fast forward 6 years.  Not a lot had changed.  I was in a relationship with someone I knew wasn’t faithful to me, who took every opportunity to make himself seem smarter at my expense, but my friends seemed to like him and most of all he enabled me.  Want to eat junk food and lay around on the couch doing nothing? He was your guy.  Want to stay inside and hide from the world? No problem.  I knew how this game of “Who Am I” went, and I was going nowhere fast.  The numbers on my scale however were flying through the roof.  One night, talking to my best friend oceans away, he heard something in what I said that I hadn’t even heard myself say.  He said to me “If you’re happy, tell me and I’ll drop it” and for the first time in a long time, someone was asking me… the real me… how I felt.  He saved my life that night.

It’s been 5 years and I’m still trying to figure out who I am exactly.  That same best friend who saved my life that night 5 years ago is now lovingly known as “The Hubs” and unfortunately for him, he’s left trying to help me put the “Sharon Puzzle” together.  The good news is he’ll call me on my crap, pardon my French.  When he hears “I don’t know, what do YOU want to do” or “I don’t care, whatever you want” he doesn’t take it as an answer. But as great as he is, as supportive as he is, this problem, it’s all mine.

I crave food.  It gives me comfort.  When I’m lost, not sure which Sharon is supposed to be “On”, food never tells me I’ve made the wrong choice.  When my heart is aching for a dream long gone, food soothes the hurt.  When I’m nervous, food offers me a distraction.  When I’m bored, food offers something to focus on.  One of the women in our small group personified her craving as a lover.  Seductive.  Calling to me.  Offering me the world.  I get it.

But this week… something was different.  I couldn’t tell you if it was the knowledge that 40,000+ women were walking this walk with me, if it was the sudden realization that I was turning to food instead of God when I was at my weakest, if it was a recent reminder of how food affects our health, or if it was a combination of all of the above.  Whatever it is, this week I feel #Empowered.  I can do this. or to be more exact, through God, I can do this…

 

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2014 in Babies, Blogging, McHubby, Prayer, Relationship

 

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2014

It’s the time of year where I say “I don’t make resolutions” and then proceed to come up with some other way to phrase my “hopes and dreams list” or some other silliness. I don’t know why I have such an aversion to the idea of resolutions. Maybe it’s because I know so many people end up breaking theirs that it seems like a recipe for disaster. Maybe it’s my deep rooted fear of not succeeding. You’d think, with my OCD being what it is, I’d embrace the chance to plan out my year 365 days in advance.

This year, I’m looking at it as my to do list. I work well with lists. In fact so well, that I may try on at least a weekly basis to convert The Hubs into a list person. I’d say it’s a work in progress.

So… In no particular order, and for the accountability of the 4 of you out there that read this, is my to do list for 2014;

– Take better care of the body God has blessed me with. How’s that for an outlook change? I’m not in the shape I want to be, very far away from it, in fact. But 2013 reminded me over and over to be thankful, and I cannot start anywhere else but being thankful for being alive, for having the full function of my body. What I’ve done to it… That’s all on me. I own it, I know it, I can change it. And I plan to.

– Not be afraid to ask for what I need. Have you seen the commercial of the woman who can’t sleep? She’s flopping all over the bed and at one point (In her mind) yells at her husband “How can you be sleeping?” That’s me. That was me a lot of 2013. And 2012. I get so caught up in a certain way I expect things to go that I will be stubborn enough to wallow in the way it “Should be”. An example of this? I have caught myself sitting next to To Hubs thinking ” I wish he’d reach out and hold my hand” or ” I could use a hug. I wish The Hubs could sense that and hug me” and then the me who spent too many years in bad relationships will sit there, wondering if I sigh long enough, or look doe eyed at him, he’ll read my mind and know what I need, and if he doesn’t, that poor little girl with baggage that I carry around, she will go without rather then ask. You see there are some days, the poor guy can’t win, and he doesn’t even know there’s anything going on. I know expecting him to psychically know what I need is irrational, but you’d be surprised the number of arguments that have broken out because I needed something and didn’t ask. So this year, if I need something I will ask. Or better yet, I will give. If I need a comforting hug, why not go and give him one? I know I will get one in return. (I know you just read that and uttered an eloquent “Duh, Sharon!” But this honestly is a new revelation for me.

– Speak More. When The Hubs and I were dating, and found ourselves in uncomfortable situations, we’d often remind the other to be “Loud and Proud”. I am a woman who’s faced adversity. A woman who’s stood between a pimp and “his girl”. A woman who’s sat at the bedside of women who’ve lost family, friends, everything they’ve owned, and vowed to protect them. I’ve literally jumped in the middle of fights to break them up. Stood strong while staring down the barrel of a gun. Attended too many funerals for people when it’s been just a few of us shelter workers and the funeral director. I’ve designed programs that change lives. I’ve helped negotiate a union contract (Some of you will know the fortitude THAT takes). I am a strong, smart woman, and it is time to start remembering who I really am. 2014 will see me … Or rather hear me Loud and Proud.

-Talk less. Yes, there is a difference. The hubs and I were in bed not 30 min after watching the ball drop in Time Square. While settling down, and for no reason I can think of, I made a biting comment about someone we both know. Not 30 min into a new year! As soon as the words left my mouth, I looked at him and said “wow!” I knew it wasn’t nice. I knew if they had heard it, it would halve been hurtful to them. I could tell you that this person and I don’t see eye to eye. That I’d been on the stinging end of some of her remarks. But does that matter? Does that excuse my behavior? I cannot say that it will not happen again, but I can say that right now I am making a commitment to stop talking just for the sake of talking. To take seriously gravity of the words I use.

There are other things. Re-focus my daily Devotional time. Read the Bible cover to cover. Unplug more. Drink more water. Laugh more. Be spontaneous. Love harder. Skype more. Be a better friend. Trust. Focus. Change.

Hold on… It’s going to be a bumpy ride!

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Inspired by Obedience (a day early even!)

I’ve always been a bit of a different character.  I think that’s the polite way to say it.  As far back as I can remember, I’ve balked at authority, pushed the limits with rules, and generally made my own “Normal”.  Rules make me roll my eyes, and I’ve been known to say “Well, that’s just too bad, it needs to be done my way!” WAY more than is healthy for someone who’s spent their life in ministry. Don’t get me wrong, The Hubs can be just as head strong as me, but he manages it better. M-U-C-H better (Most of the time)!

So, what do you get when you mix 2 very head strong people with some serious baggage and “Church Hurts”?  What we got was 6-8 months where the thought of entering a church door caused anguish.  It was NOT a good time for us, for our relationship, for our souls.  Thankfully a friend invited us to her church (pastors kids…. we’re always looking out for each other), and not really knowing why, we said yes.  We went… we had a plan… in, be seen, out.  EASY.  Or so we thought.

We walked into that church and it literally changed our lives.  In all honesty, it probably saved our relationship with our families and with each other.  A church full of hurting people awaited us in those pews, and told us it was ok to be hurt, it was ok to be mad, but it wasn’t ok to turn our backs on the only source of True Peace.  The Hubs, having spent 9 years previous as a pastor, was “home”.  Where he needed to be at that time.  Me, I was better… not great, but better. Life went on.  We had bumps, hiccups, even a couple road blocks, but life… as far as I knew… didn’t get much better than this.

Then we hit that fateful night.  The conversation that brought us here.  You’ve read how it went for me, (If not, click here to check it out… I’ll wait… go ahead… 🙂 how the Hubs telling me he wanted to go back to ministry as a pastor ripped my world apart.

Up until now I never looked at it from HIS side.  Imagine struggling with “putting off” God’s calling. (Not hard to imagine for those of us who are doing it right now).  Hubs knew, by telling me, that he was opening a door he couldn’t close.

The courage it must have taken, knowing how long and how hard we had tried to grow our family.  The struggles of fertility issues, of miscarriages. The nights he spent trying to console me as my heart cried out for a baby that seemed like it was never coming. And even though he knew it would mean that our adoption plans went on hold, he knew what he HAD to do.

He knew that a 75% pay cut would be hard to swallow.  He knew that I had sworn long ago that my kids wouldn’t grow up as I had, moving from city to city, never having a “childhood friend” for more then a couple years before it was time to go on to the next place.  He knew that asking me to go and be a pastors wife would stretch me beyond my wildest dreams.  He knew that with my history of “running” that he could tell me and I’d say “Nope, this isn’t what I signed up for” and leave.

He knew all those things, but more than that…. he knew he had no choice.  He knew that his obedience to Gods calling outweighed all those things, and he knew he had to take the chance.  I can’t imagine the stress, the anxiety he would have felt in those days leading up to his breaking point.

His willingness, his NEED to put himself out there, and say “This is what I have to do” inspires, challenges and confronts me every day.  I may not always remember to tell him, or to act like it, but not a moment goes by without me knowing how Blessed I am to have him as my husband and best friend.

As I work through the struggle of my own life in ministry, however that may look, it is because of The Hubs support that I have the courage to look at MY options in all of this.

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Posted by on September 4, 2013 in Adoption, Babies, Bible Study, McHubby, Mess, Move, Prayer

 

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Valentines Day weekend is here!!

Well, its officially Valentines Day weekend! McHubby and I suck at keeping surprises from each other.  We get something we know the other will love, and we think we’re going to burst if we don’t get to see the look on the other one’s face!!

So last night I gave McHubby the first of his Valentines Day gifts.  A sea turtle!!  (Don’t worry, I’m not a nut ar who went out trolling off the coast of Florida or anything) Sea Turtles are McHubbies favorite ocean creature. So much so that I spent about an hour flirting with one at the Atlanta Aquarium trying to take the perfect picture of it! 

I went to the Caribbean Conservation Corporation last night and adopted a Sea-Turtle. 

Squirt!!

This is McHubbies turtle! She’s an adult female loggerhead sea turtle encountered nesting on May 21, 2009, in the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, Florida. She was named by her sponsor, Academy at Ocean Reef, and participated in the 2009 Tour de Turtles. She measures 107.5 cm in curved carapace (shell) length.  We can even Follow her marathon migration. I think she’s beautiful!!  McHubby cried when I “gave her” to him.  I think part of me felt, if I can’t, right now, give you the baby we so badly want, I can give you THIS incredible life.

But I did say McHubby and I were BOTH horrible at keeping surprises, right?

We got home from dinner and he told me to go out of the bedroom for a minute.  He called me back in, and there on the floor of the bedroom, was the most beautiful log cabin doll house I had ever seen!!

McHubby works at an Adult Rehabilitation Center. If you’ve ever seen a Salvation Army Family Store, My Hubby works at the center behind the scenes that benifits from the proceeds of the stores.  There are guys on the program who have incredible skills, and at this particular center, they have a great wood working department that re-finishes tables, builds stuff for in house programs, and a number of other things. (Right now they are re-finishing my dining room table after Munchkin decided to carve a picture into the top of it using his breakfast spoon!)

Last week we were in talking about the table, and seeing what they could do about it.  While McHubby was getting down to brass tacks, Munchkin and I were wandering around.  We came across this beautiful doll house, and I couldn’t take my eyes off it! It was incredible! I’ve ALWAYS wanted a doll house, and so they thrill me to begin with, but the craftmanship in this one was unbelieveable.  And now here was that doll house, on my bedroom floor! 

I love it! But I think what put me over the moon was when McHubby, with tears in his eyes said “Can Becky play with it?” I love this incredible gift that satisfied a longing I’ve had since childhood, and am uncontrollably thrilled to be able to share it with my daughter as she grows up!

Just when I think its impossible to love my husband, or our much awaited, yet to be created little girl any more then I already do…

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2010 in Babies, Doll House, Turtles, Valentines

 

Reality Check

Its that time… time for me to sit down with my ovaries and tell them to knock it off! have a chat.

All this baby ache is driving my crazy, and will start to drive everyone around me crazy, if it already hasn’t.

Being snowed in has caused my brain to turn a little fuzzy, and the result is my emotions are ALL over the place, in a one flew over the cookoo nest kind of way.  Yesterday, I told the man I love, the man who cries with me over the disapointment of the “Wait, no babies yet” message we keep getting, that I was scared these future bundles of joy weren’t a priority for him. I can’t believe that would ever come out of my mouth, that I would ever hurt him in that way.

We laugh over the different ways we’ve planned to tell our families about the babies, when they happen.  We cried one day in the car about our future daughters first break up. We argue about the clothes she’ll wear, the toys our furture son will play with, and the TV they’ll watch (NO purple and green bouncing idiots are allowed in my house!!) I know he loves these two as much as I do, I know his heart aches for them, to be able to hold them like mine does, but last night, snow swirling around me, I said I was scared he didn’t. And this wonderful amazing guy? He wrapped my up in his arms, kissed me, and told me he loved me, even though it may have been one of the most hurtful things I could have said to him.

I follow this great blog called “Adopted Momma of Two“. I started following her a couple months ago, when I thought adoption was going to be our only option. Reading her has really helped with questions I had, with knowing theres someone else out there who felt the way I do.  Her post from yesterday was one of three she did that really hit home for me. In Sometimes I forget she said what my heart was feeling, and reminded me that the ache I feel is one I share with other women (and men) out there. That I’m not the only one who did this  There was a time I longed for a misbehaving child. I begged God for a crying, teething toddler. I prayed for sleepless nights spent caring for my children. I have been given exactly what I asked for. God answered my prayers.”

In Why does it cost so much she got down to the nitty gritty of it that I needed to know, and needed to think about.  Her adoptions cost $26,000.  Thats a whole lot for a family just starting out together, just starting new jobs, and its something I need to think about.

When I read Not Being Pregnant I cried. I want to be past the stage where it hurts to be happy for my friends who are having babies. I want to be able to look at them in the eye and share in their joy, rather then half hearted congratulations while trying not to cry.  My sister in law just had a baby. An amazing little blue bundle that I am TERRIFIED of being around.  They are coming to town this weekend, and the thought of being with them, watching them as a family physically hurts. I want to be past that!! I want to smile, I want to say congratulations and mean it, but I don’t know if I can.

McHubby and I have been through so much in life.  SO much before we finally got to find our happiness. I know to expect everything from here on out to be easy is ridiculous, but we’ve done our time! We’ve done everything right, trying to please our families, our kids, our friends. Sacrificed. Delayed. Moved Mountains. Things are supposed to get easier now.

We have options.  Things to think about.  Adoption. Surgery. Sperm donors. Whats best for our family situation. What’s Gods plan?  Are we messing with it? Where do we go from here? 

Man I hope this snow gets lost soon.  I need fresh air and open spaces to clear my head… before I push everyone away.

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2010 in Adoption, Babies, Blog of Note