prayteachlove

A little faith and a lot of love go a long way…

Beach life

I’ve spent the better part of this past week at the beach. Distance from home and everyday routines has given me some much needed space to breathe and begin to really sort some things out in my mind.  

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I needed to have a conversation with God. Finally, I did it. Just two nights ago I spoke to God for the first time in nearly a year. I’ve prayed each night since.

Healing isn’t instantaneous and I didn’t expect it to be. There’s still a long road ahead, but finally, finally, I can see some light at the end of the tunnel. 💡🔦

———————-

A lot has happened during this brief summer respite. Our trip to Florida kicked off the summer and I didn’t expect to do much more traveling. Then, my dad’s only brother passed away suddenly. It was off to Nebraska for a few days then with my mom to say good-bye to my uncle and spend some time with my cousins and family. 

That was a tough trip. The last time we were all together was when my dad passed. He and my uncle were very close. There were many photos of my dad at my uncle’s funeral and I certainly had some difficult moments there. Reminiscing was welcomed but also poked a bit at wounds that still seem a bit too fresh for my liking. 

Now, I find myself at the beach. The future is uncertain, that I know with great certainty. I can’t change the past. But right now, I am here.

By the way, I promise the next few posts will be much lighter. I have lots I want to write about that will certainly be more entertaining, but my heart has been heavy and on this night that I just can’t seem to fall asleep though I’m quite tired, I knew it was time to write and unload a few of the infinite thoughts swirling in my mind.

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Some thoughts on life

What a year. I’ve been thinking a lot about what my life was like at this time last year and what it’s like now. 

I had a conversation with someone last night about God that’s been weighing heavily on my heart. I’ve tried everything to get my act together, to no avail. Basically, the most I’ve accomplished is making myself angry and miserable while doing my best to self-destruct and hurt everyone else in the process. What’s that saying? “Hurt people hurt people.” Something like that.  

I admitted last night that I’m incredibly angry with God. So angry that I’ve refused to speak to Him for awhile now. I blurted out that maybe I just needed to have an angry conversation with Him and the person I was talking to encouraged me to do it. He reminded me that God is bigger than my anger, my grief, my mistakes and my imperfections. He can handle me being mad.

It sucks admitting this. I’m a perfectionist and it is humbling, and quite honestly humiliating,  to confess this. I prefer handling things on my own, in my own way. Clearly, that is not working. 

Difficult conversations are a painful yet necessary part of life. I think it’s time I had one with God.

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Pinterest project update!

“You stand in the line just to hit a new low

You’re faking a smile with the coffee to go

You tell me your life’s been way off line

You’re falling to pieces every time

And I don’t need no carryin’ on


Cause you had a bad day

You’re taking one down

You sing a sad song just to turn it around

You say you don’t know

You tell me don’t lie

You work at a smile and you go for a ride

You had a bad day

The camera don’t lie

You’re coming back down and you really don’t mind

You had a bad day

You had a bad day”

Daniel Powter, Bad Day

Well, I’ve had a couple of bad days for sure. Today included. I even tried to drown my sorrows in some tasty pasta salad. 
Note: I didn’t drown. Neither did my sorrows. However, I have a pretty bad stomachache to accompany my raging headache and bad attitude.  

In the grand scheme of things, my problems aren’t that serious. I know that. So rather than lament on and on about my #firstworldproblems, (yes, I did just use a hashtag in my blog post), let’s talk PINTEREST!!

Basically, I’m a pretty crappy mom about 360 days of the year. There’s about 5 days or so when I seem to nail it and typically those days occurs on birthdays and during the summer. It’s during these warm weather months that I’m blessed to be home with my babies that I try to plan exciting and new things for my offspring. I’d like to think I’m building their background knowledge and keeping them from ever becoming bored and making memories. Then, my little jerks, I mean angels, bring me back to reality by having the following conversations with their father:

Gorilla: Why does mama keep planning things for us to do?

Big Daddy B: She wants you to have fun!

Gorilla: Well, it needs to stop. Now.

Too bad, I’m not stopping. You WILL have fun this summer you ungrateful…well, you will. I demand fun in the summer. And what else is more fun than a PINTEREST INSPIRED PIE PARTY!!

So, awhile ago I found this pin for a mini-pie bar. 

I decided to up the ante a bit and throw a pie party for my kiddos and some of their friends.

There were lots of fun toppings. 



And the end results were pretty tasty.    

The kids seemed to have fun, so I consider it a success!

Besides pie parties, we’ve kept busy in other ways as well.

We’ve spent time at the neighborhood park. 

We went to a local carnival. I should note that I hate heights and Ferris wheels. I especially loathe carnival grade Ferris wheels. I have no trust in the rusty screws that allegedly hold them together. However, my son begged to ride the Ferris wheel, and so I sucked it up, held on to him for dear life, and we rode. Of course, he loved it.   

 
Sparklers with Daddy on a rainy 4th of July.  

A visit to the Choo Choo Barn in Lancaster. 

 

A tour of the Utz potato chip factory in Hanover.   

 
  
  

And while I’m not dragging my family around making them enjoy the all that our local area has to offer, I completed yet another Pinterest project which I’m rather proud of. 

I pinned instructions to make a floating vanity. 
Then I  got to work. My mom, Binxy, and I went to Lowe’s to get my materials. I started with a large shelf. 
I painted it. Big Daddy B kindly hung it. I would have done that myself but he was itching to use the drill. Men and their tools.

And now I have a floating vanity. 

I don’t have my stuff organized the way I want yet, and I still want to add a few girly touches. But overall, I’m very happy with the result!

And if all that doesn’t erase my “woe is me” attitude, my new weather app, (Authentic Weather), certainly will.  

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I can’t

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Today is is a day full of “I can’ts.” After an eye-opening week, a week in which I’ve finally started to care again, here we are with an “I can’t Friday.”

The day started positively with a trip to the gym. I felt good, alive, being there and focusing on my health.

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Then, I got home and a short argument with Big Daddy B was had, so I took the kids to the neighborhood park to get some fresh air. All was resolved by the time we got home and he had left work. The next hour or so consisted of me being frustrated and angry about our different parenting styles, finding out we were out of milk in the middle of preparing lunch when I needed it, dealing with the Gorilla’s attitude in public and worrying about him, then spilling boiling water all over my foot.

Why? Why do I bother blogging about this, sharing it with the world? No doubt, I may piss people off with it, but I’m doing it anyway for the following reasons:

1.) I’m getting exhausted trying to keep it all in, all of the time. I’m getting tired feeling like I should always be happy. Because I’m not happy 24/7. (By the way, if you are…could you pass along your secret to me?) The one thing I hear over and over from people who get to know me, (besides my lovely skin, which if you must know, is mostly due to genetics and an expensive skincare regimen, HAHAHAHA!) is that I’m real. I don’t often sugar coat things and I typically say what’s on my mind, most of which is ridiculous and inappropriate but for whatever reason, others seem to find it refreshing. Or they just feel sorry for me. Either way, it’s who I am.

2.) Social media offers us a way to filter our lives so we all only see the beautiful, funny, heartwarming moments. Am I the only person who gets tired of filtering my life? Could I really be the only person in the world who occasionally wants to throw myself a pity party and shout, “FUCK! This is a bad day! I’m having a bad day and I just want to cry and no my life isn’t just some string of beautiful, funny, heartwarming moments! Sometimes it’s ugly and it hurts! And tomorrow I will be back to sharing all the good, but for today, just give me today, I. Just. Can’t.” If I am the only person out there who feels this way, well, then, congratulations to all of you for finding perfection. And by the way, you’re a bunch of jerks for leaving me in the dark. Or maybe there’s someone else out there also having an “I can’t” kind of day.

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So, choose to see what you want in me. I am who I am, whoever that may be these days.

In other news, the bright side is that it’s almost nap time and I absolutely shall be partaking today. Amen for that.

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For the love of big thighs…

 This could be a pretty serious post. I could begin telling you all about how I’m trying to save myself from me and pick up the pieces. But it’s not time for that just yet. 
I had also planned on writing about my adorable yet mischievous children and their escapades in throwing tantrums on dirty floors in grocery stores and honest tales of what they really think of the extra flab on my stomach. However, that too, is on hold for now.

Instead, I’d prefer to entertain you with my thighs.

Wait…

Have you climbed out of the gutter yet? I’ll continue on now…because I’m slightly (and by slightly I mean very) annoyed after a quick shopping trip this morning.

So, I’m no 36-24-36 a la Sir Mix-a-Lot, but I’m thicker through my hips and thighs and trying to find decent, respectable shorts in the summer is a freaking nightmare. 

As I gazed at myself in the Target dressing room this morning, pondering a 4 inch inseam on a pair of size 16 shorts I had tried on (OMG SHE JUST TOLD US HER SIZE!!! – you) (Yes, I did. Because I’m too old to care what you think of my size. – Me) I couldn’t help but think of a few choice words for the person who thought a 4 inch inseam on a pair of  size 16 shorts would even be remotely attractive. Perhaps, though, it’s my height. If only I were 6’9, I could rock that 4 inch inseam. Currently, however, it’s not a look I’ll be pulling off anytime soon since I’d like to keep some shred of my lingering dignity intact. 😉

So I continue to live in summer dresses and skirts, where my large and in charge thighs can be free to chafe (yes, I had to look up that spelling) as they please. I may not rock that inseam, but I’ll sure as hell rock chub rub season!!

Rant over. 😋

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Summer fun

Busy, busy, busy!!  

We have been busy since our return to PA. A lot has been on my mind, that I’m not ready to write about publicly just yet, and I’ve been distracting myself with staying busy.

I’ve been hitting the gym and making healthier choices when eating. 


The kids and I made a trip to the community pool in our development and spent an afternoon there. We spent another day with friends, swimming, eating and playing. We also went to see Inside Out which was adorable. It was also Binxy’s first time to the movie theater!

 
Last night I joined some friends from highschool and we caught up, some of us not having seen each other in 15 years! 

Today has been a lazy, rainy day at home, however it’s nice to have a boring-do-nothing kind of day after the past several days of being on the go constantly.

I’ve also spent some time trying new Pinterest recipes. Surprisingly, I didn’t mess them up! They were both ok. Not my favorite recipes, but tasty enough.

The first was a shrimp, asparagus, zucchini and orzo salad. Big Daddy Byron taught me how to pull the tails off of shrimp. Yup, 32 years old and I had no idea!  

    
I also made a one pot tomato, onion and basil pasta dish.  
I have lots of projects I want to do around the house this summer too. Painting, fixing, building. Many more Pinterest recipes and projects to conquer as well!

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The ultimate road trip: Part 5

It should have been a 2 day trip home. However, apparently I enjoy torturing myself because my mom and I decided we could make the trip in 1 day.

Oh yes…I spent 15 hours straight in a van with my mother and children. I’ll give you a moment to digest that.

We left Florida at nearly 10 am after giving up on making the portable DVD player work as it decided to die right before our drive home. This made me quite anxious as I wasn’t sure how the Gorilla and Binxy would fare on such a long drive without some sort of distraction.

It turns out, they did quite well. Only a handful of 5 minute or so stops and one 45 minute stop for dinner, yet they traveled like champs! They entertained each other, slept and just chilled out. I’m so proud of them!!!

My mother, however, is another story. She is a very nervous passenger even though I am a spectacular driver. (I am!!) I spent more time yelling at her and trying to calm her down than the children. There is no reason to get all bent out of shape when the van hits 90 mph or when MapQuest takes us on a scenic tour of hospitals in Maryland! I had it all under control. 😏

We arrived home at 1am. I was exhausted from a lack of restful sleep while in Florida and the long journey home. I snapped at Big Daddy Byron who was kind enough to wait up for us and unload the van. In the midst of it all, I just gave up and went to bed. Occasionally, I can be quite the quitter. Ha!

Stay tuned for more summer adventures. Last night I even conquered a Pinterest recipe!

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The ultimate road trip: Part 4

(See part 1, part 2, and part 3 if you need to catch up!)

It’s been a busy but FUN couple of days in sunny Florida! Here is what we have been up to:

Saturday we began by searching for manatees. 
It’s not manatee season though, so we were unsuccessful. Thankfully, there is a wildlife park super close to my brother’s house and they have some manatees that live there year round! 
We started by taking a boat to the park and saw lots of wildlife along the way.      
Up next, we saw lots of animals as we walked around the park in 104 degree heat. I was slightly jealous of the animals who were able to float around in the water while sweat poured off of me. Yeah, I was jealous of a manatee. That is what my life has come to.  

 

Later that day, my brother graciously watched my munchkins for a bit while my sister-in-law and mom and I visited a local winery & brewery, Copp’s. It didn’t look like much from outside but it was so nice inside!   


These days I’m more of a beer fan than a wino and I enjoyed sampling some of the local craft brews. 

  I bought a few growlers to take home to share with Big Daddy Byron as well. What a lucky guy! 😉

Father’s Day, a difficult day since losing my dad, was spent with family out in the sun. We started with a trip to Clearwater Beach and had a blast swimming and building sandcastles. 
We stopped and had lunch at a Steak n Shake at my brother’s request as it was one of our dad’s favorite restaurants.  

On the way back to Crystal River, we stopped for some shopping and wine tasting at Tarpon Springs! 


That evening we enjoyed a delicious home cooked meal by my sister-in-law for Father’s Day!  

(Side note: I still haven’t slept well at this point. Maybe it’s the combination of not being in my own King sized bed or being kicked by my kids all night, but I am in serious need of a good night’s sleep by this point!)

Sunday we slept in then headed out on my sister-in-law’s family boat for a bit. Even though we had a little engine trouble, this was AWESOME! Being surrounded by sun, water and wind does something good for the soul.   

 

After our boat ride we headed to the “Monkey Bar” which is right next to an island where a small group of monkeys live!   

The kids really enjoyed seeing them and I indulged in some girly drinks.  

Next we headed to a restaurant called Cracker’s for dinner, which was really nice! Great atmosphere and tasty food!   

  

  

 

We ended our stay in Florida by relaxing and swimming together at the hotel pool. We could not have asked for a better trip!

 
Now, will we survive the 2 day drive home? Only time will tell…😏

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The ultimate road trip: Part 3

(Catch up on Part 1 and Part 2.)

As we enter the hotel, the atmosphere is lighthearted and joyful. We have finally reached Florida! It takes about 10-15 minutes to check in as we chat with the desk attendant about places to visit during our stay. I ask about local breweries and he informs us that the one I had previously googled and now mentioned was the best around and gave us directions. As we walk away, he offers to take me there himself after his shift. Silly southern men! 😉

After unloading our luggage we head to my brother’s house for a taco and beer dinner. YESSSSS!!   

We end the day by swimming together in the hotel pool. 

I hope to sleep well this evening as the Gorilla slumbers beside me and we are all clearly exhausted. This is not meant to be.

My poor Gorilla awakes in the night with a nosebleed, which unfortunately is not an uncommon occurance for him. After taking care of that, he spends the rest of the night sleeping peacefully as long as his hand is spread openly across my face. ✋🏻 I now know that I am unable to sleep soundly with someone’s hand splayed across my face.

Thursday morning arrives and at breakfast Logan suffers another nosebleed. Blood can’t stop us though so we continue on our Florida adventure. First stop…Weeki Wachee Springs State Park!

We need to get some photos and find a spot for our belongings first.  

  
Oh yes, there are peacocks running free everywhere. This was a bit horrific for me as I am terrified of birds, but I survived it. 😏
First up, a wildlife show. Though it was hoooooooootttt outside, the show was short, sweet and educational.   

      I’m soooooo sweaty. 
The kids even got to touch the snake and alligator after the show!    

   Next up, the mermaid show! This was seriously AWESOME! Binxy was beyond impressed to watch the “real” mermaids perform the story of The Little Mermaid.   
              The girls even got to meet an actual mermaid! 😉
Then we moved on to swimming which was so refreshing! I would HIGHLY recommend this tourist attraction for anyone visiting. The kids AND adults had a blast.

Finally, it was time to head back to the hotel for showers, snacks and some rest before dinner.

Dinner was a fun family time at Cody’s in Crystal River.   

  We ended our first official day in Florida by swimming together at the hotel pool which was relaxing and fun. 

I hope to get some restful sleep tonight, so I plan to sleep with Binxy. She instead requests a selfie photo shoot while everyone else sleeps. She is so cute that I can’t help but oblige.   



 Nosebleeds, peacocks and heat can’t keep us from enjoying our time in Florida!

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The ultimate road trip: Part 2

Captain’s Log

Day 2

Stardate: June 18, 2015

After a long day and a fitful night of sleep, the children and I awoke at 8:00 am. We are scheduled to leave at 9:00 am so I quickly shower and make sure everything is packed so we can head to breakfast in the hotel lobby at 8:30 am. I have not yet heard from my mother, though I’ve already texted her, so we stop at her room. 

It appears she has overslept. 😠 I am unmedicated and have not yet had coffee so I know it is best that I remove myself from what could potentially be a dangerous situation. 

So I take my children as well as my niece and nephew to breakfast by myself. Exactly how I wanted to start my second day, especially when my nephew side eyes me and demands to know if I am SURE I know how to make him a waffle using the available waffle maker. Of course I am…with the help of the kind attendant. He does not need to know this detail.

My mom finally arrives to the chaos and tries to tame a feisty Binxy with yogurt.

  
  
(Oh yes, Binxy now wears glasses…)

By 10 am we are on the road when I realize we need gas. After filling up, we are traveling again when the children announce that they need to pee so we stop yet again. Truly, we begin our trek at around 10:30 am. 

We choose to forgo the movies today and stick to the radio and everyone seems content and calm with that. At 1 pm we stop for lunch at McDonald’s so we can pee but grab food to eat in the car as we continue on. It is clear here that everyone believes me to be a single mom of these 4 children and one kind man befriends me and informs me that one day I really will miss these days. He is a silly man.

Finally, we have reached Florida… 

By 3:51 pm, the world has gone mad. My 9 year old niece has lost control of her bowels and the gas she passes is suffocating us all. My son and nephew are demanding to know, “WHY ARE WE STILL DRIVING?!?” And Lucy will only answer questions and address everyone as Figaro. Constantly. Over and over. Figaro, Figaro, Fiiiigggaaarrrooooo!!

The good news is, the Gorilla can now read and identify numbers 70 – 102 due to the temperature on the dash of the van. Score 1 for the math teacher!

With 1 hour and 2 minutes left before we reach our hotel, the children begin mortal combat over a comb. Right before blood is shed, the comb is safely in my possession. 

At that point, my mother begins giving an educational lecture on Spanish moss TO NO ONE while my nephew makes the world’s loudest fart noises using his hand and underarm. A guttural scream erupts from tiny Binxy who then explodes with, “I’M SO ANGRY!!” I continue begging my mom to just gun it and break all laws to get us to the hotel. She declines.

With 20 minutes left, Binxy has had enough. She begins giggling hysterically and removing her clothes. I am at my wit’s end and cannot take much more. Finally, I spy a liquor store and my heart soars as I realize it is within walking distance to our hotel.

We arrive to my brother and sister-in-law waiting for us in the parking lot and it is as if the van explodes as we tumble out into the Florida heat.

Freedom. Sweet, sweet, FREEDOM…

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