Archive | June, 2012

I Lost My Big Girl Panties

25 Jun

Friday should have been a happy day.

Hayden walked out of the hospital for the last time.

He finished his three year fellowship. Ten years of training under his belt. We only have one more year to go until  all of his training is complete.

I should have been excited. For him. For us.

But I wasn’t.

I was filled with anger, bitterness, and resentment.

I was sad.

The reality that he would be leaving July 1st to work three hours away, finally hit. Hard.

In years past, when I faced challenging situations, rotations, or circumstances regarding his career, I brushed my fears aside, put on my big girl panties, convinced myself I could do it, and plowed through. And it worked…

…until last year.

After crashing and burning, I seem to have lost my big girl panties.

Some people will tell me I have every right to feel angry and bitter and will validate my feelings. Maybe that’s true. Maybe it’s OK to acknowledge those emotions.

But I don’t want to live there.

I don’t want to stay angry, resentful, bitter.

I have seen other wives go through this process and live in those places. I always told myself I never wanted to do that. But here I was last Friday ready to take up residence in that very lonely place.

Blaming him was a way to justify my angst. But that was a lie. He didn’t do this to me. It’s a decision we made together. It was the best one for our family. I do still believe that. For better or for worse, right? Right.

The funny thing is, after talking crying to my friend about it, I don’t think I really want my big girl panties anymore. I don’t know if I need them.  As long as I have an ear to listen, some arms to hug me, and a few understanding and encouraging words, I think I’m good to go.

Well, for now at least.

***

{After Thought}  

Please check back with me in a few weeks. I may need you to buy me a new pair by then! You can get them here. Ooh, or this would work too. Size Medium. Thanks!

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On Being Lonely

20 Jun

If you look up the word lonely, you will find many definitions, all which imply the absence of people.

I know that kind of lonely. For an extrovert, it’s hard when I don’t have  friends who I get to see and connect with regularly. As much as I love email, Facebook (not currently), texting and even talking on the phone, there is nothing quite like have a face to face conversation ending with a squeeze around the neck.

A few months ago, a friend who used to live here traveled back into town for a visit. She is a beautiful soul and has the kindest heart. An excellent listener, she genuinely wants to hear what you have to say when she asks you a question. She was asked me how I was doing.

{Side note: So, you know when you don’t realize you’re kinda on the emotional edge but then someone asks just the right question or says just the right thing and you can feel the dam in your eyes that have been holding back the tears slowly lowering, ready to gush. And then you are trying your hardest not to start speaking because once the tears come there will be no stopping? Well, that is exactly what happened.}

So as I was cry-talking, or cralking, I realized how lonely I was…as in the absence of people…friends. And I said just that to her.

“I am lonely.”

I’m sure she hugged me and said something really sweet and encouraging, but I don’t remember. What I do remember was what she said next.

I don’t know what is more lonely…not having any friends or having lots of them but feeling like none of them really know you… understand you… “get you.” I lived here for many years and knew lots of people, but often times felt so alone. 

Maybe you know someone who is experiencing this kind of lonely. One where even though surrounded by family and friends, they may feel as if no one really knows them or knows how they feel or knows what they are going through.

Maybe you know someone who is lonely from the absence of others. Someone new to town, someone who lost a loved one, or maybe you have just sensed loneliness in a person.

Or maybe you know someone who is going through a season in life that can be very lonely and you have been through that season too.

Take a few moments today and write a note & send a little love in the mail {a Wednesday Letter!}. Nothing long. Just a little something to let them know that they are known.  Or to let them know that you have been there too...or both!

Well heck, if you don’t have time to find a stamp or address, shoot them a text or an email, or maybe call to say “Hi, I was just thinking of you.”

Just do something.

And if you are reading this and thinking…I know someone like that… myself…I want you to know

you are loved.

XOXO

Amber

***

P.S. Thank you Lisa for the love that showed up in my mailbox. Just knowing that you know, is so very encouraging.

A Funny For You

15 Jun

I am not a morning person.

It most likely will be a rough day for mama, compliments of a 5:30 wake up call from my 5 year old and his little sleepover buddy (I’m so sorry Sally!). It will take all my self control (which we know is alreadyweak) to restrain from snapping and biting off heads today.

I’m trying to focus on happy things. Silly things. Things that will make me smile so I don’t lose it.

It Friday for goodness sake!

So, just in case you need a little giggle or a good laugh, I give you this:

Now that I am looking at it, I don’t know if this is funny or just plain scary. Either way…

Happy Friday!

Hoping yours is better than mine.

Topless {Nobody Wants To Be First}

15 Jun

To be completely honest, I don’t like it when people tell me they read my blog. I cringe…it freaks me out. For reals. I like to pretend that I am just sitting all alone, late at night, writing my woes and random thoughts all to myself . I don’t want to acknowledge the fact that Susie Q now knows I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety, that I am insecure and quit Facebook because I was jealous of other people (gasp!), that I hide in closets or bathrooms when my kids are driving me crazy (whatever…you do that too).

So why do I do it?

I don’t think I had a real purpose in mind when I started… other than to be myself…and not just the put together parts of me…all of me, the flawed stuff too (at the time, I had no idea how difficult that would really be!).  All I knew was there was enough nonsense in my head to fill a few pages, so I got brave and signed up.

Well, it’s becoming a little more clear why I will continue to write in this little space….

We are all walking around in our daily routines, most likely putting on a smile and going about our business. We say “Hi, how ya doin?” We respond, “Good, and you?”

But is that really how we feel? For some, it truly might be the honest answer. But for many that is just the front we put on.

Nobody wants to be the first to say:

Life is really hard right now…My marriage is not in a good place…I’m really lonely…I’m struggling with an eating disorder…I’m struggling with an addiction…I think I’m depressed…I’m consumed with guilt…I feel like a failure…I’m questioning my faith…I’m barely surviving….

There are several people close to me going through some of this junk. And it stinks. Royally.

But with a few of them, I wouldn’t have known about it had they not read some of the stuff on here, and emailed or called to share with me.

I want people to know they are not alone.

You are not alone in your struggles, in your pain.

I may not have some magic advice to make all the yuck go away, but what I can say is

I know.

I know struggles…I know what failure feels like…I know loneliness…

I know…I’ve been there too and you are not alone in this…

It’s so cliche to say “everything happens for a reason,” but it is so very true. I would not be able to say those things if the last 18 months hadn’t happened, or really, the last 10 years. I have a story to tell…my story. I will write, even if it’s for an audience of one…I know there is someone who needed to read this…and this is for you.

I will be the first to take off the happy mask and share my hardships, my weakness, my joys, and my laughter. I will open up and share my soul with you, fully honest, fully surrendered.

And don’t worry, it won’t always be so serious on here. If you know me, you know I can’t do serious too long.

In one of the emails I recently received, from a friend who opened up and shared her heart, she wrote this:

“…you and I have never really done “naked” before together, but after reading your latest blog I really wanted to connect to the person that wrote that post!”

Oh honey, that wasn’t me naked, that was just me topless…I’ll get naked real soon!

…just you stay tuned…

Winter in Summer

13 Jun

Today, I took the kids to see Dolphin Tale … part of Regal’s summer $1 movie series

Source: fandango.com via Amber on Pinterest

**

 Oh my love.

Seriously, I love this movie. For so many reasons. I will spare you the list, but if you haven’t seen it, rent it today.

I think it is now one of my top five favs, right up there with Spirit, Stallion of the Cimarron. Yes, you read that right.

***

And be sure to check out Winter {the dolphin} on her live webcam. So cool!

Oh, and they have summer camps! Do you think they would let a 30 something sign up for one? Would that be weird?

I might have to add that to my Omega List…right up there with swimming with dolphins, or maybe just swimming with Winter. I’m sure these are the dreams of a ten year old, but what can I say?…I’m young at heart? It makes me giddy just thinking about it 🙂

Facebook Fasting {update}

12 Jun

So far it’s been 4 days since I posted about my Facebook free summer. I’ll be honest, it hasn’t been easy. And to be completely honest…I have cheated…a little. Because I’ve been tagged in pictures & comments, the notice appears in my email… so of course (duh!) I click to see what it was . And because I am so weak, I then peek a little more to see the news feed. But just a little. This is so ridiculous. Seriously. {Note to self: must work on self control.}

But, I have realized that it’s not just about Facebook. It’s about most everything online. Pinterest and blogs are just as distracting to me and can cause all those feelings I mentioned before. Thank goodness, I’m not on Twitter, that could be a disaster. My eyes capture images, stories, successes, opportunities, activities, vacations, creations…I feel like the world is moving on without me…to bigger and better things. Bigger and better than what? I’m not sure. But better than where I am, I’m guessing.

**

I’ve been journaling daily about how this process is going,  my weaknesses, my frustrations, what I am learning, my feelings, thoughts. Geez, you would think I’m an addict or something. Ha! Maybe I am…and this is my detox. An addict to an empty virtual life, or really addict to an online stalker life…peeking into other people’s lives, or at least what they let me see of it. Yeah, that does sound kinda creepy.

The first few days I was excited, determined to live in real life. Be present. I was on a mission to figure out what I am supposed to do with my life. I wanted to plan out what my future will look like. My mind was consumed with this thought. What am I supposed to do? I had ideas, but nothing was making sense in my head. None of them seemed right. I was getting anxious. I thought I needed to figure this out  asap. Not sure why it felt so urgent, but I was determined to find my answer.

On Sunday afternoon I tried to share this with my husband. I wanted to bounce ideas off of him, get his opinion. Maybe I just wanted him to tell me the answer. I’m not sure what I said, but it didn’t come out the way I wanted it to…it never does. I was on the verge of tears and I didn’t want to be a crying mess so I didn’t completely share my heart. I think that was OK. No, I know it was OK. We ended up talking about some other things that made me reflect on where I have been and where I am now. Even just a year ago, I was in such a different place. Eventually, the kids came in and needed daddy for something, so I crawled into my bed, pulled the sheets over my head, and tried to just cry it all out. I thought maybe I just was backed up with tears and they needed to get out. I tried. It didn’t work. Then…

Surrender.

The word popped up in my fuzzy head through the emotions and tears. Surrender…oh yeah. I forgot about that. My word this year. Let go…hands up…white flag waving…surrender.

I picked up my e-reader, and opened up my Jesus Calling book.  {Yeah, watch out, I may go all spiritual/religious-y on you 😉 }

I turned to the page titled June 10 and read:

Rest in me, my child. Give your mind a break from planning and trying to anticipate what will happen. Remember you are on a journey with me. When you try to peer into the future and plan for every possibility, you ignore your constant Companion who sustains you moment by moment. 

Ahhhh….

It’s crazy how that happens…it was exactly what I needed to hear.

Surrender…

Let go…so you can rest….

It ended with this verse:

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.”  Psalm 62:5

And I will leave you with that because I can hear my little guy waking up from his nap…crying (oh joy!). Oh, and on the way to his room, I might stop in the bathroom to throw up, because that is how I feel right before, during, and after I hit the “publish” button on a post like this…because doesn’t everyone just love being wholly and completely vulnerable? Yeah, me neither.

xoxo

Amber

Facebook Free Summer

8 Jun

Ok, people…here goes nothing.

I have decided that this summer…

I am going Facebook free.

I’m sure that sounds a bit dramatic or maybe a little cheesy…  but it’s for reals and it’s what I need to do.  If you’re wondering why, let me explain… (and if you’re not wondering you can skip down to the end or read along for fun. Oh, and let me just say that these are pretty embarrassing to admit and I really debated about explaining why,  but as I try to be transparent and true to myself I knew that I must)…

***

1) Time Killer: FB is one of my biggest distractions. Told ya, embarrassing to admit.  But whether it’s hopping on the laptop to check in with one of the groups I’m part of or see what friends are up to, 30 minutes to an hour can pass by in no time. Not to mention how frequently I have missed the amazing cannon balls and underwater flips my kids have asked to watch as I quickly peek at Facebook on my phone while we are at the pool. There are plenty of things calling for attention and FB and my phone are not ones that need my time.  I have my four littles at home with me this summer and those are the important things that really do need my time.

2) Creativity & Confidence Squasher: That sounds kinda weird, but let me explain. I am part of a few groups on Facebook from some art classes & workshops I have taken. They all have been amazing!  And through them I have met wonderful, creative, talented women. It has been an awesome community to be a part of. The problem is, I realize that I have spent more time on Facebook looking at what everyone is creating than creating anything myself.  I see what they make and what they are doing and then start to feel like a loser for not being “as good” or “as this” or “as that.” Also, I’ve had the situation where I will see something someone else created or did that I have actually thought about doing… but once I see theirs, I think to myself that I now shouldn’t make that or do that because it no longer seems like an original idea and/or i don’t want it to appear like I have copied someone else.  I am probably over thinking it, but it’s how it makes me feel. There are so many images shared online and I need to just step away and be inspired by the “real world” around me.  Does that make sense?

3) Emotion Feeder, Perspective Snatcher & Validation Deceiver:  This is tough to admit out loud. But it’s the truth. Looking on Facebook can stir emotions in me that I really do not care for. My insecure self  (which is also affected by the Creativity & Confidence Squasher) appears and starts feeling things like self-doubt, jealousy, and self-pity…which turns into sadness, frustration, irritation, and anger.  Feeling these things and comparing myself and my situation to others can cause me to lose perspective. I forget that I am living my story, not someone else’s.

And the last one and most embarrassing to confess … Facebook isn’t where I should be looking to receive acknowledgement and validation. My worth should not be wrapped up if x amount of people “like” my post or comment on my picture…whether so and so accepted my friend request or not. Sadly, and tough to admit, I know I have used it to feel known. Maybe it’s because most of my days are spent with four kids under 10 years old and I don’t get out much by myself or with other friends (or at all!). Maybe not. But, I know I’ve used it as a place to feel like I actually exist in this world.  And if I am not on FB, I have had the thoughts…will people forget about me? …will they miss me? I know it’s silly, and especially as I type it out, it seems so ridiculous. But there it is…it’s me.

***

This summer, I want to be

silent – no FB noise

still – slowed down,  to think & listen

surrendered – completely trusting

I want to spend more time

writing

creating

playing

taking adventures

making memories

***

I want to LIVE in REAL LIFE.

So, I’m signing off of the social network.

Part of me doesn’t want to, but the other part knows I need to.

I want my family to have the best of me this summer.

I want me to have the best of me, too.

***

{and if you miss me on FB, you can visit me here on this blog}

H.A.G.S.

xoxo

Amber

birthday pARTy!

2 Jun

I had the privilege of having five 7 year old little girls over this morning for a birthday pARTy!

A few months ago I donated this basket and along with a 2 hour art class for 5 little girls for the silent auction at my daughters’ school.

The lucky little girl who won the basket used the art class as her birthday pARTy with four of her friends.

I showed them how to create this canvas

and they were AMAZING little artists!

My pictures of their canvases didn’t turn out very well, but I was amazed how quickly they caught on and how creative they were. Each canvas had it’s own personal touch. I think the girls were pretty happy with their creations. I know I was! I had such a fun time with them and am thinking I want to celebrate more birthdays this way. Anyone else want to have their pARTy in my basement “studio” with me? Just tell me when and I’ll be there 🙂

Checking in…

1 Jun

Summer has begun and it’s been….

awesome, lazy, busy, HOT, rainy, cool, late nights, late mornings, happy, frustrating, bug bites, sunburns, and i am loving it so far!!!

I have been trying to be a little more “unplugged” if you will, so I can be with my kiddos. But I am also working on a few new things that I am really excited about….like opening up an etsy shop (a little scary!) where I am hoping to use it to create awareness and help others. I am hoping to offer some little give-aways as well!  I am also working on starting a new blog. Yup, that’s right…this one may be no more in a week or so. I still plan on blogging, but just not here. I’ll let you know when that happens…don’t worry, i won’t leave you behind 🙂

In the meantime, you should really think about signing up for this amazing art class. You won’t regret it one bit!!!! Even if you think you have no talent or creativity, this will prove you wrong. You’ll be so amazed by what YOU create!

Happy Summer my sweet friends!