Saturday, June 14, 2014

I'm Moving!

Over to Wordpress...wish me luck, and please do come see me at



Thursday, June 12, 2014

Five Minute Friday-Messenger

A couple days ago, I was very excited to see that my boss read one of my blog posts, and so I in passing thanked her for reading. She was very complimentary, expressing how much she'd enjoyed the post. Then she asked me the following question:

"So, why does one blog anyway? Like, what's the point?"

I quickly responded, "I blog because I've been looking for my story online. No one else had it that I could find easily, and so I felt I needed to put it out there." I've struggled for awhile with the questions, "what's my calling/purpose","what's God's will for my life?". Not to say that blogging is His grand plan for me (also not to say that it isn't), but I do believe that when He's placed something in you, from birth or during your development, you should utilize and act upon it. I write.And now, I blog.

Now that I blog, I struggle with the worry that no one's listening. It's just occurred to me though- God's given me my story, and he's given me the ability to write and relate to others. So, whether I reach 10 or 10,000, I'm fulfilling my purpose (at the moment, anyway).
Five Minute Friday

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Ten Things I Want My Daughter To Hear Before She Stops Listening

Daughter, today on your last day of 6th grade, I feel a few different emotions: First, I feel relief, because we won’t have to worry about homework, tests, or projects for the next 2.5 months. Second, I feel excited, because you’re about to embark on the second half of your grade school years! It’ll be super exciting for you, but you may also turn the volume down on your listening ears to your parents during this time. So, before you do that, here are ten things I want you to hear:

1) Everything You Go Through, I Went Through It First
I know it’s hard to believe but, I’ve been 12 ½ years old. And 14. And 16, too. All of the things that are cool were cool back in nineteen ninety-(cough, cough). I know all the tricks that are invented year after year by kids to get over on their teachers and parents- they were actually invented before my generation invented it way back then. And yes, I do “know how it feels” when you experience all of your different feelings. You can talk to me. And I will do my best to listen. I’ll even try really hard not to give you dumb advice-unless you ask me for it.

2) You Are Fabulous!
Psalm 139:13-14 says For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.”
You are going to have a love-not love relationship with yourself. Your body will be going through all kinds of different changes-awesome, then not. You’ll have good hair days, but then your hair won’t act right. You’ll ace a test one week, then get a “C” the next. But even with all of this, know that YOU. ARE. AWESOME! There is no one on this Earth that has the same chromosomes, name, height, weight, voice, or smile as you do. You’re one of a kind. An original one-time model. The world is lucky to know and have you. When things are less than perfect in your mind, know that it’s exactly what your model is meant to do at that moment…but it can change the next. It’s fine. God made you to do and be exactly He wanted.

3) Boys Are Bad
OK, I’m just kidding. Boys are not bad, they’re good! And, they’re cute …and they think girls are cute too. You all will start to notice each other in a way you never did before. I understand this, and am (cough) OK with this. But remember these things: right now, your number one mission is to focus on your studies, learning everything you can while there are people teaching you in school. Your number two mission is to learn everything you need to learn in order to be an independent adult. Number three is to have fun! This is a fun time- you’ll be gaining more and more independence each year, and will be able to enjoy your life with (believe it or not) the least amount of responsibility ever (stay on top of school, your chores, and be respectful)! That being said, there’ll be lots of time in your life after this to be an adult. No one’s getting married at 16 anymore- crushes are OK. But know that you’ll likely have a few broken hearts and break some too during this time. See me- I know the best brands of tissue.

4) Money Doesn’t Grow On Trees

This was my favorite lesson when I was your age. As you’re already figuring out, your parents make a certain amount of money per month. That’s it. With the money we earn, we must pay for our cars, gas, housing, food, and other needs for the family. THEN, after that, we can look at what’s leftover and make choices about where that money can go. The older you get, there’ll be things that you’ll want to have and do that cost money. There will be two ways to achieve these- get it from your parents, or get it for yourself. The easiest way to do this is to get it from your parents by keeping up with school, your chores, and being respectful. It’s been scientifically proven that kids that don’t give their parents a hard time get more stuff! (OK, maybe not scientifically proven, but proven nonetheless). The harder way is to work for it yourself, by getting a job. You’re still a little young for that, but we can chat about that when the time comes…this will involve a larger discussion about balance. Which leads me to…

5) Your Parents Don’t Hate You
You’re going to think this at some point. You may have thought it already. Though it may not seem like it, EVERYthing that we do and say is for your good. The answer to your “whys” can all be categorized by one of the following statements: (1) because it is/isn’t immediately in your best interest (your health, your safety, your grades); (2) because it is/isn’t in your long term best interest (your character, your work ethic, your morals); (3) because we (your parents) can’t make it happen for you (this falls under the ‘money doesn’t grow on trees’ heading). If you’re ever in doubt about which of these something falls under, I am happy to discuss with you. In fact, I challenge you to present things to me with these in mind- it may help persuade me one way or the other if you do!

6) Trust Your Gut
Also known as discernment. One definition is of discernment is “The ability to make a good judgment about something”. You’ll find yourself in a situation where there is more than one way to go-if your inner-girl is saying “don’t do this”, trust it. God placed that within you to help you make the best decisions about where you should go, what you should do, and who you should be around. When you pray, pray for clear discernment in your life. Everyone can have it, but some think women have a particular sharpness-women’s intuition. (Your Dad would probably call this “Spidey-Sense”). Google it.

7) You’re Not Like Everyone Else, And That’s OK
This will be a time where all of the kids your age will be trying to form their own identity. But, funny enough, everyone will do things “because other kids are doing it”. This will be a time where you’ll get some opportunities to try different things, and make choices on your own. Remember that for every action, there is a reaction; and for every choice, there is a consequence (good and bad). Please stay smart and stay safe- if you could hurt yourself or anyone else in the short or long run, it shouldn’t be done.

8) What You Do Now Really Will Matter Later
So, there’s this thing that grown-ups like to say: “If only I knew then what I know now”. What that means is that, if only we knew that our choices when we were 13-18 (for example) would make a difference in our lives when we turned 20-25….we may have made better choices. Not to stress you out but, spending a little extra time studying for that science test might make the difference between going away to your #1 university choice or staying in Mom or Dad’s house after high school. Just sayin’.

9) No One Will “Have Your Back” Like Your Family
You have and will make friends- probably really good friends who will be there for you. They’ll be there to vent to when we get on your nerves, when you have your first crush, and may be a “total lifesaver” when you need a copy of the History study guide you leave in your locker. But know this: when times get really tough, and your back is against the wall, NO ONE will “have your back” like your family. You’ve got a whole team of family who’s “specially trained” to be there for you, no matter what. There is no jam too deep that you can get yourself into that we will not do everything in our power to help you out of. Do not be mistaken- there may be jams that you get yourself into that you’ll need to figure your way out of, but we will support you while you do so. Also, there may be consequences for your jam that you need to face, but it’ll be better than letting your medium jam turn into a giant one. Just remember, your friends won’t know the way out any better than you do. They’re busy trying to figure their own lives out!

10) I Love You
Pretty soon, it may not be cool to say it back, or be seen hugging or kissing me. But, I want you to know that I love you. I’ve always loved you…since before you took your first breath. I’ll try not to raspberry your cheek, or embarrass you on your Facebook account (when you’re allowed to have one).

Now, you can put your earphones in or pump your stereo up and tune me out for the next 6 years (don’t really do this). But, as you enter this next stage of your life, I wish you luck, fun, success, and blessings. I love you to the moon and back, and can’t wait to see and get to know the woman you’re about to become.



Saturday, May 31, 2014

Temporary disappointments, permanent division

Earlier this week, a girlfriend of mine was sharing with me that she had not spoken to her husband in a couple days, as he had bailed at the last minute on a day of choosing bathroom upgrades for their home. She was extremely disappointed, as this was to be a big purchase, a day of togetherness, not to mention she didn’t want to make all of the decisions on her own. But, that Sunday morning as she was getting ready to head out, he asked her if she could “do him a favor, and go this one solo”. In her hurt, she said to me, “I can’t ever depend on him for ANYTHING ever again!”.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. I was thinking it, too. But we’ve all been there.

It seems to be a part of the human condition. Unless you’re a saint, the benchmark of a successful relationship is that we agree with one another and want for nothing- you don’t disagree, you don’t argue, you like the same foods, same music, can have excitement when you want it, or calm when you want it. Sounds absurd, right? So then, the reality is that there is a hard, straight line of our expectations of our mate, and the reality of them reaches above or below that line.

Here’s the rub: we tend to notice it much more when our mate dips below that line than when they meet or leap above that line.

My feedback to my friend (ONLY because she asked for it) is this: The disappointment, frustration, even anger that we feel in these moments is real. SO real. The unfortunate thing is that, as humans, we are ME-centered. There’s so much that WE do for others…so much that WE put up with. So, when someone makes a choice that is not helpful to ME or makes ME not feel good, they’ve fallen short of MY expectations. It’s important, once you’ve splashed around a bit in your feelings (because, I am convinced, it somehow feels good to us to be upset for a spell), we must pull back to look at the big picture. If you pull back and you find that these disappointments share a recurring theme (i.e. More often than not, when we are supposed to partake in large projects for our family, you pull out), then that is a larger issue that you must address with your mate. But, if you pull back, and you find that they’re more on the line and above it than they are below it, cut them some slack. Acknowledge their consistency on the line and the times they exceed it. By all means, let them know that they’ve disappointed you, then MOVE ON! I’ve found that so many of us, especially women, create permanent division with our temporary disappointments. LET. IT. GO.




Thursday, May 29, 2014

Nobody's Perfect

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV)

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

There’s a song I like called “We fight, We love”. And isn’t that the truth? It’s the cycle of all relationships- even healthy ones.

Hubby is an Aries. I’m a Taurus. We have horns. We lock them. Hard sometimes. Our disagreements usually go something like this:

Ursula thinks, Ursula shares, Hubby responds, Ursula responds (harder), Hubby responds (harder than Ursula)…how ever many rounds of this…Hubby apologizes, Ursula cries, Ursula administers some doses of the silent treatment, Ursula apologizes too, all is well.

Earlier this week, I woke up with the following thought on my heart:

Relationships are hard! After you and your spouse have gotten into it, and you’re enviously scrolling your Facebook timeline, viewing all the “perfect” relationships, photoshoots, happy times, #lovehim, #loveher, “I’m so blessed”…know that we’re all in this. We all get into it at times, and though it may appear so, no relationship/marriage is perfect.

It’s very easy to try to measure your own relationship based on the snapshots that we continually subject ourselves to in social networking. Keep perspective, and embrace the depth and richness of YOUR relationship (all the good, the bad, the sparkle, and the grime). Keep track of how YOUR relationship is getting better. Not how your relationship seems to be worse (or better) than Patti Perfect’s relationship. Relationships are not perfect because we are not perfect.





Sunday, May 25, 2014

"Oh, I thought you were my dad"

Something funny happened today...

This afternoon, I went downstairs to grab a snack out of the kitchen, passing Sson in the living room, who was FULLY engrossed in the episode of "The Magic Schoolbus" that he was watching. Moments later, Sson comes running toward the kitchen, and says "so what's for dinner?". Rounding the corner into the kitchen, he stops and says "Oh. I thought it was my dad".

I sorta cocked my head, confused, and asked him, "do you think you can't ask me questions too?". He shrugged. I said, "does your dad cook dinner?". He shrugs again, then shakes his head no. I then say, "It's OK for you to ask me things too, I can usually help". He says, "OK", and runs off.

Now, I must say, I've sorta taken advantage of the fact that Sson does this, because at 7 Saturday morning, it's not my name being called through the door. But, it hit me today: I've not really proven myself a reliable source of caregiving. Not in Sson's eyes, anyway.

So, I'm thinking the following exercise is necessary: One week, (probably when Sson is with us during the week, once school is out), I'll become his primary source of help. Hubby is to relinquish any summons to me (this'll be a little irritating, but...), I will respond to any and every need that Sson has. This is with the hopes that Sson will come to the conclusion that both Hubby and I are capable of opening a water bottle, reaching something on a high shelf, tying a shoe.

Have you encountered something like this? What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Where Have I Been?!?!?!

It’s been well over a week since my last post, and I just…fell off the grid! I’ve some ‘splaining to do!
I began a diet, and working out- I started closely watching what I was putting in my mouth (no carbs, no sugars), and working out 3-4 times a week. I’m on a path of trying to get my (health) life together- I’ve gained far too many “happy marriage” pounds, and had reached my rock bottom. So far, so good. But it’s been a time-suck- being at the gym and concentrating on NOT stuffing my face. The sugar withdrawals have been a ton of fun!
I’ve been reading like crazy- I am a TOTAL bibliophile! When I started my blog, I was reading "Heaven is For Real" by Todd Burpos; I then moved right into "The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green; I’m now concurrently reading “Not a Fan”, by Kyle Idleman and “Hungry”, by Allen Zadoff. I love moving from book to book, but this too, is a time-suck.
Work has been crazy!! My work has come to a point where I have never experienced. Immense pressure has left me with little energy to do much more than, well, go to the gym, go home and eat my meager portion, and read while sipping chamomile until I slip into a deep slumber. As lovely as this sounds, this has taught me something else as well- I need to adapt better coping skills. Removing snacking and stress eating right before entering into a stressful time has totally shocked my system, and has left me empty, with nothing left for my hubby and children. L We’ve fought (hard) due to my zombielike affect, and had some productive conversations as a result to help him recognize when I’m going into a stress-meltdown (which appears more like a lobotomy than an actual “meltdown”, but…)… I’m a work in progress!
I Celebrated a Birthday (Yay me!) I have now officially entered INTO my 35th year of life (I’ve just turned 34). I feel really great, overall. Didn’t suffer any of the self-imposed “what am I doing with my life” thoughts that have plagued me from time to time. I have an adoring husband who loves me, and whom I love. I think I look pretty good for a 34 yr old mom of an insane pre-teen . Life is good.
And so, with all of this said, I am back. While I now realize that daily posting may be a tall order, I will definitely focus my discipline on staying connected at least 3 or 4 times a week. I owe it to you. I owe it to me. It feels good.