Saturday, August 8, 2009

Good Times

We celebrated my sister's birthday last night...had a wonderful time. I have been trying to get them to eat with us at Fox Valley for years and we just never made it happen. This year, Alison mentioned going so I got us all together to go for her birthday. Mom and Alison, who aren't big seafood eaters, trusted my judgement on Fox Valley's famous crab cakes and ordered steak and cake. Dad loves crab cakes so I knew he would love them. Well, they all cleaned their plates. Alison was even trying to get to the sauce on my plate! If you haven't been to Fox Valley, I highly recommend it. A great date place since it's a tad pricey. Everything you put in your mouth makes your eyes roll back in your head. It is that good. I went with one of my best friends right before I had surgery as my "last meal" and I think I ate enough for three people. I have had just a crab cake since and did very well with it so that is what I ordered last night. Delish. Anyway, I will now get off my shameless plug soapbox.

We all came back to our house to open presents and play some Wii. Alison brought her controllers so we could easily play with four people. Dad wanted to watch so mom, Alison, Mark and I started a game of bowling. I have done well with bowling until last night and I stank! Mom was hysterical. She never really learned the technique but it didn't matter since SHE BEAT ALL OF US! I wish I had a video of her bowling. I came in 2nd, Mark 3rd (so he still has yet to beat me) and the birthday girl was last. Dad took Alison's place in the 2nd game and mom was determined to beat him! She is so competitive but won't admit it. I did better the 2nd game and actually won, mom came in 2nd and I don't remember who came in last. We had so much fun! Alison and I decided to play tennis and she smoked me. Twice. We had some good matches though. One lasted forever. We are pretty evenly matched. Wish we could play more often!

I am so blessed to have my family so close. Mark's family isn't too far away either and I wish we saw them more than we do. I don't know what I would do without our families. I hear so many sad stories of estranged families and I am so thankful we both have parents and siblings that are such a huge part of our lives.

I know I talked about moving in my last post...and I still want to! We are trying hard to get our house ready to put on the market. It still needs so much work but Mark and dad have worked hard to get it to where it is now. New floors, paint and light fixtures have already brought it into the 21st century! We just got vinyl siding and new windows and it has really added a lot of curb appeal. Still have tons to do, though. Hoping the housing market will pick back up. I want to live on some land which means moving north of town. We will be closer to both our families so I am hoping we can make that happen in the next couple of years. I really want a garden--I love fresh vegetables and I would love to spend summers canning veggies and fruit preserves to enjoy throughout the year. I inherited that from my grandmother. We canned many jars of tomatoes when I was growing up. I miss those days! I gave Alison my last jar of pear preserves I made last year and she proclaimed them as liquid gold. Made me feel like a million dollars! I made four jars of peach preserves earlier this week and it really got me in the mood to can some more stuff. The pears on our (neighbor's) pear tree are ready so I think I will tackle that soon!

But for now, time to relax and enjoy my Saturday...hope everyone has a great rest of the weekend!

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Hey folks...can't believe the last month has gone by so quickly. The summer is gone and school is about to start back. No, I don't have any kids going to school but it sure does make my commute MUCH longer. Not looking forward to having to get up earlier next week.

I have realized I have really been so friends, to family, to coworkers and the worst of all, to church. It all began last year when I sat back down in the pew after a song and it made this horrible cracking sound. I really thought I was about to end up on the floor. I was so mortified that I crawled into a very deep hole. I was there until this past summer. I would get up, go to work, go home, lay on the couch, go to bed and do it all again the next morning. On the weekends, I didn't leave the house. I just shut down. And I was indifferent, I didn't care. Didn't care to go anywhere, see anyone or even answer the phone. Many times, I didn't even want to pray. That meant I had to face reality.

After my surgery, I was hoping the low self-esteem I feel that fueled so much of this would start to fade away. I was praying I would feel more confident and realize where my true identity comes from. It's been slow, but it is finally getting better. The past six months, my prayer has been to move. I thought if I could start over somewhere else, start fresh and anew, that my life would be totally different. The disconnect I was feeling was mottled by discontent. I was ready to sell our house (which is in no condition to put on the market right now) and move! I kept praying for the Lord to ease my discontent, to be content in what He has provided for me; a wonderful husband, a family that loves me unconditionally, a job that I love and the best friends that I could have ever hoped for. So why did I have this unquenchable wanderlust?

The Lord was preparing me to move...just in His own way and in His own time.

I was approached by my supervisor about moving to work in another ministry area. I never saw it coming. As I sat in her office, it was like the door opened and I could see so far in the distance. Such a clear, beautiful path. A path the Lord had been preparing me for...a path He wanted me to take. So I did.

So on Monday, August 24th, I will be working in a new ministry area, two as a matter of fact. Missions and Ministries. I will be leaving the student ministry, a place where the last five years of my life I have lived and breathed this ministry. I still love the students, families and my coworkers. They are a part of my life that will never go away....but I am so excited about this new adventure the Lord has for me. I love the two ministers I will be working for. They are such men after God's own heart. I respect them both and I am thrilled to work with them. I would be lying if I didn't say I wasn't nervous though!

This was about being disconnected. I am happy-no, more like overjoyed-to say that I have spent the last month at every service the church has had. Last night, I was looking around and just feeling sorry for the ones that choose to stay home on Wednesdays--then I had to remind myself that I spent MANY Wednesdays at home. Moving back to the main building to a new ministry position is exactly what the Lord had planned for me all along. That disconnected feeling is fading more and more every day. I am so thankful.

I am going to be so plugged in, I am going to need a surge protector...

P.S. I have lost 109 pounds :)