Friday, August 1, 2014

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

I know. The phrase is over-used. But I have always wanted to say that. 

Good morning y'all!  I'm going to announce the winner of the Texas Cowgirl Prize Package Giveaway. 


Using a handy dandy random number generator to generate a completely and totally random number, the  generated number was....

9


The ninth comment was left by Anonymous who said: 

I love historical fiction. Rainy and sunny days

So, anonymous, please send me an e-mail using the side contact form way down on the right below all the pictures of the flowers. Please include your Name, e-mail address and physical mailing address and we will send you your Texas ornament, the buffalo hide Texas coaster, the Cowgirl turquoise necklace and a signed copy of 'Caught in the Middle'. 

If I do not hear back from anonymous by Sunday morning at 9:00 am I will move on to the next winner which has already been drawn and has contact info listed. 

Thank y'all for playing!

If you haven't already read Regina's book, Caught in the Middle, you can go here and buy my brilliant, beautiful and witty cousin's book or e-book. 


If you have read it and loved it, then please feel free to go to amazon and leave 5 stars and give a great review. Support your favorite local author! Those amazon reviews count. 

And if you have read it and didn't love it...  and you've watched Psych.... you know what you can do. And if you haven't watched Psych, I'm not for sure how we are even friends.  Just sayin'. 

You can also pre-order her next book, An Inconvenient Marriage, on Amazon! What is awesome about pre-order is that you are guaranteed to get the lowest price. If the price drops between the time you order and the time it ships, you get that price. Win - win!



Happy Friday and Congratulations to Anonymous who loves historical fiction not only on rainy days but also on sunny days. 

_____________________________________________________________________________

Update

Anonymous has not claimed their prize.  The next randomly drawn winner is


Congratulations!!

Rachel, Please contact me ASAP via the little contact info button down on the right side. I need your email address and your physical address and we will send you your prize!! 
If you have not contacted me in 2 days, by Tuesday morning by 9:00 I will draw another winner. 

Thanks!


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Truth Hurts

The truth?

I'm in pain.  All the time. My facial muscles are in spasm and are cramping and I have burning nerve type pain across my face, forehead, temporal region and beyond.  The last week it's constantly been around an 8 on my pain scale of 1 - 10 and nothing really seems to bring the pain down.  My whole head feels like it just might explode.

My hope is that the medical botox injections I am getting today will make it all better for a little while. But I honestly don't know what the whole purpose of all this is.

There may not be a purpose.

It may just be that we live in a sinful broken world and I'm over 40.

But if my purpose at all is to encourage anyone else out there living with chronic pain, then I want to get that checked off.  I do not want to be a poster child for chronic pain. But if misery loves company, that's about what I can offer you at this point.

And when my pain is at this point, and I see you out in public, and I don't make eye contact, and I sit in the back of the room, and I leave the absolute first second I can without sticking around to chat, please know that it is because I have absolutely nothing to give.

I am quite possibly counting the seconds until I can leave and go find someplace quiet to bawl and be alone with my pain. Because if you asked me how I was doing I probably told you, "Great!" and walked quietly away.

How I'm feeling would actually take about 10 minutes of your time, and social settings rarely have that built in. And I honestly don't want to be that candid with most people.

It makes a person vulnerable.

Because if you share and then you can tell they honestly don't care, it hurts.

And if they do care, they feel compelled to do something for you because you shared. And honestly, HONESTLY, it is not my intent to be a burden to anyone or compel anyone to do anything on my behalf.

Pretty much feel like I'm drowning at this point. And the hardest part is that I still have children and a husband that need me.

My baby girl has been asking me every day for a week to make cookies with her.  When she asked again Monday night I told her maybe we could make them the next day if I was feeling better. She said, "You always say tomorrow."

 I just about cried. It was true. So what did I do? I got out my Star Wars matching Mommy and Child aprons and we made snickerdoodles.




I was counting the seconds of pain just to get through but she was counting the minutes of fun Mommy and Anna time.  She told me so many times how much fun she was having.

My only goal most days is just to do the next thing. I am SO hoping and praying that this next set of medical botox shots goes into effect quickly and lasts more than 45 days.   But y'all, I'm actually dreading it like I was dreading childbirth. Just to be completely honest.

It's raining here in Texas today and I've been listening to Jars of Clay 'Flood' circa some years way long ago when I was in college. Seems appropriate.


Happy Tuesday!!!

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Mom Patch Club

I really don't think childhood actually prepares one for adulthood.

As a kid, you are in Brownies and Girlscouts where you can complete projects and get badges to show that you accomplished something. In AWANAs you can memorize verses and complete sections of books to get patches to show that you accomplished something. Even in high school, you can get a school jacket and fill it with patches to showcase your accomplishments.

And then you grow up.

And become a mom.

And guess what? No patches!

Honestly, there are days where I work and work and work and when my husband comes home it's difficult for him to discern what I did all day. Because even if I took the day to do all the laundry, there is ALWAYS more laundry. And if I cooked and prepared food, there are always hungry people to eat it all.  It doesn't matter how many rooms I get cleaned and organized, I can never get the entire house clean and organized at the same time.  And you can't see quality time spent with kids. Most weeks I have nothing to show for all the hours I've put in.

So I've decided that we should start a Mom's Club where we all earn patches!!!

Brilliant, I know.

So how it would work is that you can earn a patch for almost anything. These would actually be virtual patches that you give to each other. You just need to find another friend or two who wants to join you. Then you can text them and say, " I just barely made it through the day. It was crazy, I sent all my kids to their rooms and I'm sitting in my closet eating chocolate chips."  So your friend will say, "Great job! You just earned a 'Stressful Day but I didn't Kill any Kids Patch'".

Or if you see that your friend just ran a 5K and placed 2nd in her age group, you just text her and say, "Great Job! You just earned your '5K 2nd Place Patch'."

The other day I started making Green Monster Smoothies for the kids (kale, spinach, almond milk, vanilla, strawberries and blueberries) and was so proud of myself that I went ahead and just gave myself a 'Green Monster Smoothie Patch'.  Ha!

See, it's easy and encouraging and you feel like you are getting recognized for your accomplishments. Even if all you did was just survive the day.

If you need to go ahead and earn a couple patches, just post a comment with what you did and I'll give you a patch.

The truth, I've actually been doing this with a couple friends for several months, and it's pretty fun. Or I'm just easily amused.

And you just earned a 'Daisy Girl Blog Patch'. Good for you!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Regina Jennings Book Interview

(**Disclaimer: This is a biased book interview.  I am directly related to the author. Her Grandpa and my Grandpa are brothers and her Grandma and my Grandma are sisters. She may or may not have been my best friend growing up and college roommate.)

So, today I have a giveaway on my blog and an interview with my new favorite author. Honestly, just because she is my second double cousin and we go way back, whether I like the book or not I would tell you that I absolutely adore it. Just sayin.... But the truth is that I do.  Adore it. Regina has always been brilliant and witty and is one of the smartest people I know.  I was so excited when I found out she was writing historical romance novels.

I love historical romance.

When we were young my cousin and I would spend the night at each other's house and stay up past bedtime reading books under the covers with flashlights.

Really? You're shocked?

(Regina, do you think your Mom is going to read this???? Sara, if you are reading, just go ahead and skip over this next section)


In fact, we may or may not have used to sneak historical romance books out of my cousin's Mom's room and stay up all night reading so we could finish them and put them back before she noticed.

That, my friends, is true devotion to the Historical Romance genre. Don't ya think?

So, needless to say, when I found out Regina was writing historical romance I was thrilled. New books!! New author!! I always love finding a new favorite author.  I will read every single book they write.

And just as I had anticipated... I love every single one of Regina's books.

I especially loved reading her latest book, Caught in the Middle,  and I just absolutely couldn't put it down....

backyard swing

volleyball practice


basketball practice

horse camp



Updated Cover

Caught in the Middle
 She wants the freedom of the open plains
He wants the prestige of a successful business
And the baby just needs someone who can change a diaper.
The train to Garber, Texas, is supposed to bring life’s next victory for Nicholas Lovelace.
Instead, it gets held up robbers who are thwarted by the last person Nick ever
expected—Anne Tillerton from back home in Prairie Lea.
Anne’s been hiding away as a buffalo hunter.
She’s only in town to find their runaway cook, but the woman
flees—and leaves Anne with her infant son. With Nick the only person she knows in town,
the two form an unlikely team as they try to figure out what to do with the child.
But being in town means Anne’s forced to act and dress for polite
society—and it’s not going well. Meanwhile, Nick’s work is bringing new pressures,
and being seen with Anne isn’t helping his reputation. Caught between their
own dreams, a deepening relationship, and others’ expectations—can the
pair find their way to love?


Regina! Cousin! Welcome to my blog! 

Thanks! So, before we get started, you do have that list of topics, don't you? The ones you can't mention?    

Um.... sure. I promise I will behave and make all my questions appropriate for public consumption and applicable to the topic at hand.  hahaha 

So, Anne is a buffalo hunter..... do you hunt? 


Not regularly, but when I do it’s usually quail and pheasant hunting. Lately my family has been doing a lot of deer hunting and I prefer walking around, staying warm instead of sitting in the cold being quiet. And now I have this writing job that makes weekends home alone a precious commodity.
What was your favorite part in “Caught in the Middle”?


That’s tough, but I really liked when Nick and Anne took out across the wilderness. Throughout the book, Anne was the one who didn’t fit in and she had to rely on Nick to show her around town. It was great to finally see Anne in her element. After that Nick has a better appreciation of her strength.
 I love the humorous descriptions in your book, like “his intentions were as unhealthy as Tessa’s deep-dish cobblers, and for the cook, just as irresistible.” Where do you come up with those?

I don’t know. Mostly I try to get into the character’s thoughts, use their vocabulary, their experiences, the way they see the world, and put a funny twist on it. The challenge is to make it original and authentic to the times and the character.


 Can you give us a sneak peak overview of what your next series is about?

 You bet! My next series starts this December with the release of A Most Inconvenient Marriage. This series is set near the end of the Civil War in the Ozark Mountains. The first book stars a nurse named Abigail Stuart who feels like her only friend in the world is the sweet but gravely wounded patient Jeremiah Calhoun. Fearing he won't survive, the Confederate soldier's last wish is that Abigail look after his sickly sister at home. Marry him, return to his horse farm, and it'll be hers.

Abigail takes him up on his offer and moves to Missouri after his death, but just as the family learns to accept her, the real Jeremiah Calhoun appears—puzzled to find a confounding woman posing as his wife. Jeremiah is determined to have his life back to how it was before the war, but his own wounds limit what he can do on his own. Still not fully convinced Abigail isn't duping him, he's left with no choice but to let the woman stay and help—providing that she give up her claim that she’s his wife and doesn’t ruin his chances with his childhood sweetheart.


“Inconvenient” barely scratches the surface of what the two feel about each other, but maybe they’ll find some common ground.



I’ve had several friends express interest in writing books. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
To create good stories and keep your sanity you need two groups of people. First you should have people who love you and support you in your dream, no matter what discouragements you face. Second, you need people who know writing, know stories and who are willing to tell you the truth, even if it might hurt your feelings. These heartless people can usually be found in writing or critique groups. They are essential to your growth as a writer and will celebrate with you when you find success. (But also know that you can get bad advice too…Oy! It’s so complicated.)


Pray. That’s what I meant to say.


Also connect with other writers who write in your genre. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and comment on their blogs. You'll learn a lot as well as make friends.

So far this has been really easy. No personal questions.

Just getting started here cuz.  ;) ......  I loved your dedication at the beginning of the book.

 I was wondering if you have a running list of things Coy has bought without permission and been charming enough to get away with?


Well, I could name any number of hunting rifles, shotguns or a high-powered pellet gun you might recall from our 4th of July outing. I didn’t know about that one until he revealed it in front of guests.  Niiiiiice   Then there was the Great Dane puppy that magically appeared in our backyard and has never magically disappeared, and the karate equipment that now fills our spare room. Awesome!  But even though I complain, he is the primary breadwinner. As long as he takes care of all the other expenses, I try not to mind too much.  That's the spirit! Take the high road. hahaha.....  Thanks for sharing. They say people really like self-disclosure.


 Who would you cast to play Nick and who would you cast to play Anne if there was a movie made from your book?


I’ve learned to decide this on the first draft so my descriptions match through out the book. In my imagination Nick looks something like Chris Hemsworth and Anne could be played by the tough yet vulnerable Jennifer Lawrence. Now, the only real problem I have with this casting is that Ms. Lawrence plays opposite Chris’s brother Liam in the Hunger Games movies, so this might be a little weird for them. If so, we’ll double their salary and they’ll get over it.

Wait, what? You're casting Chris? 


This Chris? 




Bwahahahaha......  yes, that Chris.... from our old Wild West Saloon Girl Days in Texas. Hahahahahaha.    Our cousin will be crushed that you replaced him with Chris Hemsworth. 

Yes, Yes he will. 


At one point in the book, Nicholas expresses his concern over Anne wearing the same ratty clothes day after day…… have you ever had something that you wore day after day that you were known for? Something purple? Not saying ratty…..  just maybe worn…..?


Who, me? You’re just determined to air all my dirty…. oh, nevermind. At one time I was fond of a pair of purple Nike tennis shoes. I don’t know why everyone makes such a big deal about it. It was back in the fifth grade, for crying aloud. Once they got too old to wear anymore, I threw them away. End of story.

HAHAHAHA!!!  Because I didn't see you wear those purple nike shoes almost every week in middle school and  high school and you didn't wear  those same purple nike tennis shoes  in your wedding pic? Whatever.  I'm not going to use words like 'busted' or anything but you are SO Anne. Aren't ya?  I have no words except those purple Nikes were awesome.




Thanks  for the interview! I hope I'm still your favorite cousin/college roommate. 


You were my only cousin/college roommate. 


Well there you go. I retain my title as favorite.  And you have to admit, that picture with Chris was pretty awesome. 


Sooo..  we had a nice appropriate interview, I stuck to the list of things I could and couldn't ask,  and now on to the super fun giveaway! 


Best interview ever!  And I absolutely love your prize package! I can't wait to see who wins.


I'm calling my giveaway my 'Texas Cowgirl Prize Package' and you really have to say it with a long drawl and add in a couple extra syllables to get the correct feel for it.

The prize package includes (drumroll please):

*a brand new signed copy of 'Caught in the Middle' by Regina Jennings (the well read copy in the pic is actually mine.. promise you will get a new one shipped straight from the author herself)

 *a genuine buffalo hide made-in-Texas lone star coaster (because really all Texas cowgirls need somewhere to set their long tall drink of sweet tea)

*a super fun rustic Texas ornament that says "The Stars at  Night are Big and Bright" (bought one for myself, I loved it so much)

* and a gorgeous turquoise and silver plated necklace (nothing says cowgirl quite like turquoise).

In order to enter, you just have to leave a comment telling me what kind of book you prefer to read on a rainy day. You also get an entry if you share on facebook, twitter or your own blog. Just come back and leave another comment for each place you posted and tell me where.  If you shared on your own blog we would love a link back to that also.

So, you have a chance for 4 comments and 4 entries!!! U.S. entries/winners only please. If you live outside the U.S. and you win, your prize will automatically go to Regina.  Ha! (can I just make up rules like that?)

I will randomly draw a name and post it at 9am on August 1st, 2014. So come back and check so I can send you your prize if you win. If the prize is not claimed in 2 days, I will move on to the next randomly generated winner.

And y'all, only one alias per person please. You can't just keep making up new names and entering again and again.  If you have to make up one, please make it brilliant and witty and amusing.

Yee Haw!

Be sure to check out Regina's blog at www.reginajennings.com or visit her on facebook.



****I've had several people ask if it counts if you share on instagram or pinterest instead. Yes, yes it does.  You can comment once for one entry and then comment up to 3 more times for 3 more entries for each place you share a link to this giveaway.  Does that make sense? But please comment once for each entry, don't write in one entry that you shared in 3 different places.  Thanks y'all!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Botox - The Gift that Keeps on Giving

So if you read my last post you will know that I strongly feel that Chronic Pain sucks.

And facial neurological chronic pain Super Sucks.
 (ha. I feel like such a bad girl for saying that word)
 (I'm sure it really bothers my mom) (Mom, if you see a 5 letter S word coming, just close your eyes)

I've been looking into my options and one that my neurologist and I both came up with was Medical Botox injections for migraine headaches.

So we tried it.

One of my friends suggested maybe they could get my elevens while they were at it.

Elevens? Oh, those are the 2 wrinkles that run straight up from my eyebrows.

I didn't know either.

You're welcome.


So I asked the Neurologist who was doing my injections and she assured me that she would not be able to do my elevens. She was doing medical injections only.


Bummer.


I don't know if you have had botox injections before but it honestly just feels like wasp stings to me. Everything I've read about it says,  "A single injection feels like somebody is pinching your skin with a pair of tweezers for 1 second"

What-Ev-Er

Maybe it was because I was already in intense pain and my facial muscles were in spasm. I don't know. But it sure didn't feel like a pinch to me. It felt more like the prick of the needle and then the sting of the killer wasp as the botox poison swelled into a little knot under my skin. (I have no idea where my daughters get their flair for drama) The first 20 or so I toughed out and was fine.

But by the 30th on up I had just had it.

I was bawling.  Took me 10 whole minutes to regain my compose.

I felt like such a wimp. And I've marked 'getting a tatoo' off my bucket list.

The next couple days the pain was much worse. My Mom even came down to hang out. Made sure the kids got fed. You know, important stuff...

And then my eyebrows quit working.

Y'all, my eyebrows would neither move up nor down. My shocked face and my sad faced and my happy face all looked exactly the same.


Not. Even. Kidding.


In fact my eyebrows were actually a little on the droopy side for a couple weeks. Not really my best look I've decided. Apparently I have some fat under my eyebrows I didn't know about and when they drooped it bunched all the fat up and my eyes looked squished.

Not really my best look.

And my elevens. They were still there.

Joy.  (all the pain of botox, but none of the glory)

But the pain eventually went away almost. One day a couple weeks out from the shots, I just noticed that everything was okay. I had been busy all day long. Didn't need a break. Hadn't taken any pain meds. Wooohoooo!!!!!

Now I do have to go back for injections every 90 days. And I realize that this really only addresses my symptoms and not my actual problem, but I'm okay with that for now. Because I spent 9 months in pain trying to address the problem and I tried every type of therapy and modality and medicine and holistic approach and no one had any solid answers and nothing really worked in a way that was an option.

As of today, I have 16 more days to go until my next fix set of shots and the pain, she's a coming back. And I have to say, it's a wee bit depressing.  I've had about 45 good/decent days where I have been able to get a ton of stuff done.  I'm really hoping the next round of shots goes easier and the results are faster and last longer (my husband says I'm ever the optimist).

Not knowing when this will end, or if it will ever end, or if it is only going to end on the other side of glory makes for a looooong life.  I know God will heal me. I know He knows the plan, but the truth is that I may not be fully healed until I see Him face to face.


And that is where the trust part comes in. I have to trust in Him. One of my very favorite verses is Proverbs 3:5 and 6.  I even know a song with hand motions to it.  Ha! (of course I do)



Proverbs 3:5,6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart
         And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
         And He will make your paths straight.

It's the lean not on my own understandings part that I really need to hear sometimes.  A dear friend of my parents just shared this verse with me last night and I will be committing it to memory.

2 Corinthians 1:3-7
Praise be to the God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. 

Sweet friends. I don't have this figured out. I don't know the perfect answer on the proper way to respond or the perfect thing to say.  There are honestly days where I don't even know if I know how to completely trust God and rest in Him.

All that I know is that I have accepted Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior. When I gave Him Lordship over my life, I also gave Him my trust. He has to be my All in All.  I have to praise Him in this storm.  I am not through this yet. I so dearly wish I was sitting here saying, 'I've been made it through the fire and God has refined me and I felt His presence the whole time'.   But I haven't made it through. Yet.  And I know He is refining me. But not in the way I had hoped.

Also, I feel so humbled and blessed by the huge response and encouragement I got from yesterday's post, 'Chronic Pain Sucks'.I had so many facebook comments and stories both on and off my page from others who have chronic issues or know someone who does. I've decided that maybe we need to have meetings where someone stands up front and tells everyone all the things that are going on with them, and then the rest of us all stand up and say together, "That Really Sucks!!!" and then we can all have a group hug.

We should have our first meeting here

main gallery image 1

and I'll bring Harry and David milk chocolate truffles for everyone who comes.
(the least I can do)

Speaking of....   a couple hours after I posted on my blog yesterday these arrived from my parents.

Hand Made Milk Chocolates.  As close to the Harry and David  as they could find.   Bless them and their thoughtfulness!

The box wasn't opened more than a minute before several of my children had counted and mentally divided up the whole box amongst the family.


I even had this 4 year old cutie follow me outside to help me water flowers and she petitioned her undying love for chocolate.
video



Despite the cuteness I had to say.... sorry kids.

Mama is saving this box for days that are so rough that she is looking online for one way tickets to the islands.  But I am considering running out and buying some cheap chocolate to share with them on such days.

I'm going to end this post with one of my comforting songs I meditate on during the days that I seem to almost be swallowed up by the pain. It's by Casting Crowns. This is my heart's cry and expresses exactly where I am.

Endeavoring to praise Him in the Storm.


I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining. 

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
and takes away

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to you
and you raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find You

But as the thunder rolls
I barely hear you whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

And I'll praise you in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm






Monday, July 14, 2014

Chronic Pain Sucks

(**disclaimer... this post is in no way meant to make anyone feel bad or solicit a response. I have plenty of great friends and family who have been very supportive of me during this chronic pain journey... and it also reflects feelings that seem to be a general consensus of several other people I have gotten to know during the last year who also have chronic pain...)


I know. 

Strong words.....  but I honestly can say I've never had chronic pain in my life up until this point. And this is one of the reasons I have been on hiatus from blogging.

And it sucks.


So if you are looking for rainbows and unicorns today, you may just want to pass on this post.

Just sayin.....

 I've had many surgeries or pain causing incidents in the past, but the pain that just never goes away is a completely different existence.

So, I've had this pain since August 2013.  More than 9 months now. I've been to every kind of doctor, I've tried every kind of medicine and I've had every kind of test run on me.  Basically, I am having a burning nerve type pain constantly in my ears and along my cheekbones. And the muscles on my face, forehead and above my ears are cramping all the time. On a pain scale, my pain is always between a 3 and 7. And that is with taking all the pain meds I can in a day.  My neurologist is going with, 'facial neuropathy that is similar to Atypical Trigeminal Neuralgia'. 

Joy.

After the first several doctors ruled out what they thought it wasn't, I started trying to partner with Google to diagnose and fix what was wrong with me. I really honestly wasn't even praying at that point, just wanted to fix it. 

I then hit a point where I just started feeling depressed, part of it was the meds, part of it was the fact that I could see no foreseeable end to the pain.

At some point I started really praying for myself and asking others to pray. And at that point, God didn't heal me.  But he did start building my patience muscle.

Patience that I'm not going to get everything done during the day that I think I should. Patience with my kids. Patience with my situation. Patience with life in general.

And honestly at that point I was like, 'Okay God, got that down... can we move on now?'

But we didn't.

What has been very interesting along my journey is that I have the unique position to be able to empathize with others in chronic pain. And I've realized there are quite a few in my realm of knowing people who are in chronic pain.

And so at this point, I would like to present to you the top 6 things not to say to someone who is in Chronic Pain.  These seem to be pretty consistent with others I have talked to.


6 . Let go and Let God.   
catchy Christian sayings are just so not helpful

5 .Sorry you are in pain... but you look just fine.
thankyouverymuch.   did you know that I can actually put on a fake smile and a pretend happy attitude for short bursts of time? I can. Just because I'm standing here smiling and talking to you doesn't mean I'm not in constant pain or that I'm not on the brink of just completely losing it.

4.  You really just need to put some margins in your life and slow down.  bwahahahahahahahahahaa.....  but seriously, I did. For 3 months last fall we stopped all extra activities and I tried to rest as much as I could. Nothing. Not better one bit. The truth is that there are days my pain is so great that I just have to lie down for several hours at a time.  But I have 4 kids and stopping all their activities isn't really all that helpful. And people still want to eat three times a day and have clean clothes to wear.

3.  Have you tried _____________________ (insert anything)? Because if you haven't tried that, then THAT might be the thing to heal you.
Seriously so tired of this. I understand people are just trying to be helpful. But when you just get barraged with suggestions, it's not as helpful as one might think. (and I've discovered that anytime someone has a problem, people come out of the woodwork to give you advice)  And then I feel like since you said it, I need to go spend more money and try it out just to make sure that I'm not missing the one key to a painfree future.  If you have actually had the particular pain and you have actually used a particular doctor or therapy for it, your suggestions are more than welcome. But if you are just throwing things out, please throw with caution.

2. 'I've prayed for you this week. Are you better yet?'
 No, I'm not better. Maybe there is unconfessed sin in YOUR life. (ha.... totally kidding....) But seriously, all this does is make me feel bad that you have been praying for me and God hasn't made me better.  And when you ask day after day and week after week, it honestly makes me want to start avoiding all social situations (like church) just so I won't have to feel like I need to smile and pretend everything is just fine.

And the number one comment that is so very not helpful......
(drumroll please)

1.  'At least you don't have _________________'  (insert any number of death causing diseases)       
Do you even know how many times I've been told this in the last 9 months? I agree, I totally am grateful I don't have cancer, or lupus or ebola.   I am currently praying for several people who have life threatening issues. My heart breaks for these people.  Almost everyone has someone in their lives with something really bad. I can't imagine.  But the truth is that sitting here in pain that never goes away and is driving me to brink of insanity and affecting my activities of daily living and I currently cannot see the end to the pain......... knowing that I don't have a life threatening condition is honestly no help at all.  And just because my problems are not as life threatening as someone else's, it in no way diminishes the difficulty of what I am going through. (stepping off my platform)

Helpful things to say to someone with Chronic Pain:

1. What's your pain level today on a scale of 1 to 10?   (empathy)

2.  Can I watch your kids at your next doctors appointment? (because there is always a next doctors appt)

3. Tell me what kind of pain you are having? Is it burning or cramping? (listening to what kind of pain I am in and commiserating with me)

4. Chronic Pain sucks.  (yes, this actually makes me feel better when someone articulates this)

5. I'm going on an all expense paid trip to the French Polynesian Islands and can bring a friend. Wanna come?  (dear heavens yes)

6. I've prayed for you this week. (sans the areyoubetteryet) (really, I covet your prayers, and I am grateful for them.  thank you so much for praying for me)

7. I'm sending chocolate. (chocolate is the universal offering to show you care. chocolate knows no language barriers or boundaries.... chocolate just knows love, especially Harry and David milk chocolate truffles.... just sayin)

All that to say that Chronic Pain Sucks.  And the chronic part is quite possibly the worst part.  Not knowing when or if this will all end and life will go back to normal again.  I have recently tried something that seems to be working. More on that later. But part of the pain is still there. And God continues to work on me and refine me and finds way to still encourage me and give me hope.


Tomorrow join me for:

Botox - The Gift that Keeps on Giving



For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.   Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Totes Cray Cray

Well ... in case you didn't know, Totes Cray Cray is the teenage girl code for Totally Crazy. 

I think.

Anyways, that pretty much sums up things for the last year or so.

Last April my husband and I went on a trip to Ireland, came home and I had a major surgery, then I spent the summer recovering, went to Disneyworld on a family vacay, came back started school and I seem to have been trying to just maintain since then.

The truth?   I actually completely forgot about my blog.  It started out that I would come back and blog once I got all the laundry caught up.

Guess what.

Never happened.

I've come to the conclusion that it's not going to anytime soon.

And then the other day I was reading Mrs. Troop's blog and I realized that everyone was leaving her comments on facebook, but none on her actual blog. 

So I decided to log in and leave a comment. I'm considerate like that.

But guess what.

I forgot my password. 

And the truth is that I honestly wasn't for sure about anything at that point. You have to log in with an email address, and the correct password and then you have to correctly input the little code at the bottom. I couldn't remember for sure which email account my blog was on, I couldn't remember for sure exactly how my password went (which letters were capitalized, what order the numbers were in, etc), and then I honestly wasn't for sure if the reason that my email and password didn't work was because I got them wrong, or I just couldn't figure out what the code was at the bottom of the page to input correctly.

So last night, the dog threw up.

I know.

It's one thing to be up in the middle of the night for throwing up kids. For the dog, a COMPLETLY different thing.   Bright side? I'm at least not concerned that we have the throw up virus.

So after getting everything cleaned up, I couldn't go to sleep. 

But I remembered my password!!!!

Woohoo!

So here I am, writing a post just so that another year won't go by.

And I apologize because that was 5 minutes of your life that you won't be able to get back.

I promise the next one will have some sort of content. Or pictures. Or a recipe.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, July 15, 2013

My Kids Learned A New Word

From me.

That's right.

It wasn't one of those words that I really preferred that they hear. It was more of one of those words that you would use in high school or college, but once you have little ones, you decide that it's not something your really want to hear coming out of a toddler's sweet little mouth. And so you make a conscious effort to guard your tongue.

And yet, I said it.

Right in front of all of them.

The kids were sitting at the table and I was helping them with some math. My sweet baby girl walks into the room, puts her head on my lap, and proceeds to throw up all over me. And my clothes. And the floor.

Was my word justified? Maybe. Maybe more appropriate had it come from the other end.

Oh well.

(If it makes you feel better, Mom, it was the C word not the other one)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Thankful for the Plates

So someone was asking me the other day how things were going. I explained that I really feel like life is kind of chaotic right now.

I compared it to feeling like each area in my life is a plate that I'm keeping spinning. When everything is going just right, I can do just fine. But when things start getting rough or someone gets sick or things are not going like I planned, I feel like I could just drop all the plates at once.

I won't bore you with an unabridged list of all my plates but it would start out with laundry, homeschool, cleaning the house, kids, being a good wife, .... you get the picture.

I've decided since it really isn't an option for me to drop the plates, that I really need to focus on how thankful I am for each one. Because even though everything seems crazy and chaotic and I feel like I can never fully get my jobs done, I am so grateful for the children who make it crazy and chaotic and keep me from every fully getting anything done.

In the midst of everything it's hard to picture that one day it will just be me and my man again. And I'll probably be spinning a whole different set of plates.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Surrounded by Imbeciles

Okay, so I never use that phrase out loud. My kids have never heard me say the "I"word. But I have thought it. Like the other day when I called to find out how one qualifies to buy the discounted Teacher/Student edition of Adobe's Lightroom Photo editing program.

The website says that some homeschoolers qualify. Reviews on Amazon said that some people have had to return their Teacher/Student edition because they could not prove sufficiently that they were a Teacher or a Student. So I wanted to find out how I qualified before I spent a lot of time trying to qualify and then end up taking it back.

The regular program is$249. The Teacher/Student edition is $79. 

It was worth the call to find out.

So I talked to 4 different people who had to refer me to other people who they thought would know more about how a homeschooler would qualify. I really just wanted to talk to the person who made the decision when I sent my stuff in as to whether I qualified or not.

I ended up with lots of people speculating on whether I would or would not.

Which wasn't helpful.

Finally I talked to someone who told me that all I had to do was to send them a copy of my paystub.

Paystub?

Yes, the paystub you get from whomever pays you to homeschool your children.

So I very carefully explained.... I homeschool my children which means that they are not enrolled in a program but that I teach them at home.

He then carefully explained to me that I just needed to send them the paystub from the government or whoever else it was that paid for the books and paid me so that I could homeschool my children.

Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha (that was me laughing hysterically) No one pays me. I buy my own books. I buy my own supplies.

He then explained that if I didn't have a paystub, he had no idea how I would qualify.

But it says on your website that some homeschoolers qualify? WHO? HOW?

He couldn't tell me. The conversation went in circles at that point. No one could tell me how to qualify. Then he told me maybe I had a teacher friend with a paystub who could buy it for me.

Niiiiiice.

But the winner of my award goes to the cable guy who came out to re-run a cable line from our attic to the office. He spent about 30 minutes going around the whole house and looking inside the attic.

He then took me out to the garage and explained to me how he was going to drill a hole through the roof of the garage, run the cable up to the top of the roof and then drape the cable on top of the roof (of my 2 story house) all the way over to the other side of the house, run it all the way down the 2 story brick wall and then he was going to drill into the brick right outside the office.

I politely told him NO and then proceeded to help him figure out how he could run the cable through the house.

And at that point, I almost said my little phrase out loud. Ya know, he probably needed to hear it. Him and the government who doesn't pay me to homeschool my kids.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Ever had one of those days where you feel like the world is against you and you really just want to go back to bed with some brownies and a bowl of ice cream and watch re-runs of Alias?

Yep, I'm having one of those kinda days.


But since the aforementioned is actually not an option for me, I figured I needed to get back into writing my Thankful Thursday lists.
My kids are journaling this year and every Thursday in their journals I have them write out a list of things they are thankful for. It really kind of puts things back into perspective.

So here is my list.
1. Thankful for friends who love and accept me for who I am. The good, the bad and the ugly.
2. Thankful for the rain (because we are in water restrictions and our day to water is another 7 days away).
3. Thankful a hardworking husband.
4. Thankful for kids who have a love of learning and get along well (most of the time).
5. Thankful that the 2 year old has been sleeping all the night through.
6. Thankful that we seem to finally have everyone well from strep.
7. Thankful for family, wish we could see them more.
8. Thankful for my flowers. My daffodils are blooming right now and they always put a smile on my face and a song in my heart. God didn't have to make beautiful flower and yet He did and he made them in an abundace of varieties and I love it that He cared enough to do that.
9. Thankful for the new trick I learned to get more volume out of your ipod or iphone when you are playing music on it. Put it in a bowl. I'm serious. Go try it now. Sometimes it's just the little things. :)
10. Thankful for the Pandora app. Love it. Listening to 'Chris Tomlin' radio really brightens the day with praise music to Him.

We read something thought provoking the other day that said, "What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things that you thanked God for today". We are blessed with so much and in so many ways that we really should spend more time than we do just thanking Him for all His provisions.
Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tale of a Tail or maybe TMI

So last year for her birthday, our 7 year old dearly wanted a pet.

Dearly.

So we all discussed it and decided we would get our feet wet with some guppies. We set up the 10 gallon aquarium that my parents gave us and we were on our way to pet ownership.

I will be completely honest here and say that we set up the tank, just like all the instructions say and we even let it run a week before we bought fish. We went to Pets Mart, bought 6 guppies, and Birthday girl named them all. And they died two days later.

And it was just a wee bit traumatic.

The second batch of guppies did much better for some reason and within a month or two we had a pregnant guppy.

Birthday girl was over the moon in excitement because she was going to be a guppy mommy.

We did everything to the letter to ensure the smoothest delivery possible. We bought a breeder basket that has a mesh net in it and put it in the tank and put the mama in it. Birthday girl kept a 24 hour watch to make sure we knew the minute the babies were being born.

So the babies were born but we only ended up with 3 baby guppies from the first batch. We think she probably ate the others before we could net them out.

The real trouble came when the next guppy was pregnant. We could tell (because we had done this once so we were now experts) that her abdomen was squared off and that she should have the babies at any minute. But we had to go pick up older brother from b-ball practice and were gone a total of 45 minutes.

When we got back, the pregnant mama was dead. That's right, she was floating with her tail up and Birthday girl was crushed. The thing about guppies is that they are live bearers. Which means they don't lay eggs. They babies come out swimming. And Birthday girl just knew all those little baby guppies were inside their dead mama and that we needed to rescue them.

So I did what any compassionate mother who had taken every type of animal dissection college class available would have done. I decided we needed to try to save the babies.

Can I just say, that trying to save baby guppies is on a completely different scale than dissecting sharks, pigs, frogs, etc? We decided to get a sharp knife and try to cut her open from the abdomen. It was very difficult but we finally did it.

And we were so disappointed because we fully expected all these little babies to come out and that they would be saved and they would go on to live a full and happy guppy life in her little tank.

But alas, they were all dead.

I did some reading later and actually found a forum of people discussing the ethics of trying to save the baby guppies once the mother died.

Yes, there are some fanatic people out there who believe that if you try to save the babies, you are desecrating the mom.

And then there was one lady who said, 'who cares about the mom, she's dead, save those babies!' and she went on to explain that all you need to do is cut the tail off, make a small slit from the abdomen to the tail and then gently squeeze the babies out. But she says you need to do this the second the mom dies or the babies will die too.

Fortunately for me, since this time, all the mommy guppies we have had have either had their babies or have died while we were out. So I have not been called to attempt this feat again.

But I'm sure you are asking yourself, would she really do it again?

You bet'cha.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Blame it on Pintrest

Are you on Pintrest?

Because if you are, you will totally understand what I'm about to say. And if you're not, then nothing I can say will help you understand. I'm just sayin...

Okay, so I'm kind of addicted to pintrest. And what's funny to me is that all my friends on pintrest all "like" and "repin" the same stuff. So we are all going to have the same ideas for food, home ideas, photography poses.. you name it.... we'll all be doing it.

But I love it.

I have no idea when I am going to have time to try even a fourth of the ideas I've pinned, but I love it.

I saw this on there the other day and couldn't stop laughing so I've posted it for you.

Obviously I fall into the 1%. Although I'm never home 'alone'.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Every little thing I do

I heard this today on the radio and completely related to it.



I have no idea why.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ironic, isn't it?

My husband informed me when we were still dating that he would like a snake or a lizard. At that point I was planning on eventually marrying the guy and decided I needed to take some action in determining what type of creature would be habitating in our future home together.

After much research, I decided that a leopard gecko would be the best option.

1. It wasn't a snake

2. They get to be about 6 inches long

3. They are easy to take care of

4. I thought they were kinda cute

So I paid around$20 for one and also bought a tank, sand, warmer rocks, and several habitat things to go in the tank. I got it for his birthday and he named her Mortimer. After we were married, we added Bosco to the family.
Mortimer and Bosco lived happily in their tank. We bought them cricket and superworms every week and an occassional pinki whenever Mortimer got pregnant.

Several times she laid eggs and we desperately did every single thing we were supposed to do to hatch gecko eggs in captivity. But they never hatched. Nothing. No babies.

The irony you ask?

We now have baby Mediteranean House Geckos.

Wild baby Mediterranean House Geckos.

As of Tuesday, we've seen 4 in the house. And they seem very happy. And consequently our ant problem in the bathroom is gone and every single house spider that lived in a corner is gone.


1. We paid nothing for them.

2. We don't have to feed them.

3. We didn't have to buy a tank or special warmer rocks to regulate their temperature.




Irony. Gotta love it.