Wednesday, January 22, 2020

My Half-Brained Healthy Life Plan

I have a plan.  I'm calling it my half-brained healthy life plan and here it is:

1. Exercise 1/2 hour every day.
2. Drink 1/2 gallon water every day.
3. Half my food is fruit and veggies.
4. Get 8 1/2 hours sleep every night.
5. Run a half-marathon.
6. Baa haa haa...yea, right! Maybe a 5K, tho?

So, that's the plan.  Simple.

I've had this idea for years.  Up until now it's just been an idea, but now that I'm officially half a century old I figure it's about time to actually do it.  Commit.  Lay down my excuses, my doubts, my apathy.

It's time.

I've tried other things through the years to get healthier...books, pills, supplements, gym memberships, low-fat, low-carb, counting steps, counting calories.  Nothing has worked for me.  Not really.  Not because those strategies don't work, but because I didn't.  They were all either too complicated, too restrictive, or too something I wasn't willing to stick with.

I need something simple and practical, a plan I can live with for the rest of my life...and I think this one isn't half bad!

Ba-dum-bum!

That's all for now.  I plan on doing weekly updates on Wednesdays, starting today.

There, I said it.




Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Things I know...for now anyway

It's late and I can't sleep.

We still have our Christmas stuff up.

I'm ok with that.  I am still enjoying it all,

for now anyway.

We are getting a blizzard this weekend.

I'm ok with that too.  I like winter,

for now anyway.

Will & Grace is the funniest sitcom ever,

because...Sean Hayes.

The old show, I mean.

Not the new ones.  I haven't watched them.

Too political.

This Is Us completely wrecked me last night.

I mean, Randall...

standing in his living room staring at the guy who broke into his house

while his wife and girls are asleep upstairs...

I almost peed my pants and I can't believe I have to wait a week to find out what happens.

GAH!

Know what's better than coffee?

Espresso.

I'm tired, but still can't sleep.

Sometimes things from the past still haunt me

and cause me anxiety

and keep me awake,

for now anyway.

God will come through and this will not last forever.

I'll get through it

and let it go

again.

And I will get tired 

and fall asleep

soon.  

And stop writing like Shel Silverstein

for now anyway.


Monday, January 06, 2020

It's funny what turning 50 will do!

Half a century.  I remember teasing my dad when he turned 50 that he was "half a century old"!  I thought I was hilarious then....and now, here I am.  50.  Half a - well, you know.

I have sort of read the book "The Blue Zones" (sort of, meaning I have read alot of it and skimmed the rest).  It's about certain areas in the world where people live the longest, healthiest lives.  They have the highest concentrations of centenarians...people who live to be 100 or more.  Essentially, their secret is simple:  stay active, don't stress, don't eat too much, eat healthy (whole foods, mostly plants), slow down, know your purpose in life, have faith, spend time with your "tribe", love your family, and (my favorite) have a glass of wine!

Just kidding, that's not my favorite.

Ok, sometimes it is.


I love it.  It's so simple, isn't it?  It makes so much sense to me.  So, why then is it so hard to actually live that way?  

Now that I have crossed the bridge of being a "half century old", I am finding myself doing a life review of sorts.  That's nothing new for me, I do this every year around this time and during various changes in the seasons of my life...like empty nest, new job, new husband, new kids, new church, yoga pants.  But this turning 50 thing feels a bit more significant to me.  How have I lived my life so far...and how do I want to live the rest of it?  There is a temptation to think that I am in the "later" years of life now.  Yuck.  Society says I'm only 15 years from retirement.  That may or may not be true for me.  My mom died at 71...that's only 20 years away for me. (Swallows hard).  That's a little more unnerving.  My mom died far too young, and she got old way too early in life.  I loved her, but honestly, she lived like an elderly person for much of her life.  Even when I was a kid she was very sedentary, and limited herself more and more with each passing year.  "I'm too old for that" was a common thing to hear her say.  It was annoying and also sad to watch.

I don't want that to be my story.  I refuse to let it be.  

I heard a quote recently...aging is inevitable, but getting old is optional!  I LOVE that!  I am determined to live my best life.  I'm not there yet.  To be completely transparent, I weight twice what I should.  I have diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol.  They are controlled with medication for now, but I am determined to change that and hopefully get off this medication all together.  I know I can, I have the means and the ability, and now I have the motivation.  It's not too late...as long as I don't put it off any longer.  

Living my best life is not only about my physical health...but that is a big part of it.  I want to not only improve and hopefully eliminate the conditions I have, but I also want to have the energy and stamina to do things.  Like hiking in Hawaii and Colorado, climbing the trails to Garvin and Sugar Loaf.  I want to run a 5k, bike the trails around Lanesboro, and heck - walk around the big lake again.  I want to enjoy these things with my husband, our grandkids, and my girlfriends. I want my weight to no longer hinder me from living a vibrant, active life!

Will I live to be a centenarian?  Who knows...maybe I will!  But however long I have on this earth, whether that's 20, 30, 40 or even 50 more years, I want to live my best life, my healthiest life, without limits.  

Being a half century old isn't so bad after all, Dad :) 


Friday, October 04, 2019

40

I believe without a doubt that God works miracles.  He can and He does.  I know that is hard for some people to believe, but I believe it.  I think I always have.  Even so, when something happens where I actually see the undeniable evidence of what He's done in my life, it is nothing short of amazing to me!

On August 15th I posted this on Facebook:


It was the day that I started a book study with an amazing group of women that God brought together just for this study.  The book is called  "Made For This:  40 Days to Living Your Purpose".  It was the perfect time in my life for a study like this.  I had just lost my job the week before, and for many months prior to that I had been dealing with having an (almost) empty nest, changing churches (that process took a couple years actually) and turning the big 5-0 (seriously?).  Lots of transition going on and I was neck deep in my journey through the desert of redefining myself when the opportunity to study this book came along.  Man, was I ready.

My close friend Becky commented on my Facebook post, something like "wouldn't it be amazing if you got a job offer 40 days from now?"  I admit the thought had crossed my mind, but I deleted the comment because I hadn't shared with very many people that I had lost my job, and I didn't want it "out there".  

Well.

I wish now that I had left the comment there because last week, on September 24th,  I got a job offer!  I'm SOOOOOO excited!!  I can't stop thanking God for this answer to so many prayers. That evening I shared the news on our family chat in Messenger and our oldest daughter Brittany immediately asked me about the book.  She reminded me of the post I made on FB and then asked if I realized how many days there were between August 15th and that day...


Forty.  40 days.  Exactly 40 days.  

Chills.   

Undeniable evidence of God and confirmation of His promise that He has been working this out for good all along.  

I have to admit, this journey hasn't always felt good.  It was not easy for me to leave my previous job, and then when the one I left it for fell through, I was devastated.  But through it all, day after day I have been determined to believe this promise.  I have clung to it and that is SO not like me!  I mean, the "me" that I was before would have worried and stressed and asked God for help, but then doubted that things would actually work out for good.  But this time...I've learned to have hope, and faith - even before I saw any evidence of God working.  And then, not only did God come through with a great job for me, but as if He wanted to remove all doubt that might still be lurking in the corners of my brain, He tied a big fat bow on it!!

40 days.  Amazing.  

It's not just a coincidence.  40 has significant meaning in the bible, and it often symbolizes a trial period.  It rained on Noah's ark for 40 days while the earth flooded.  And Noah trusted God while the rain fell...before he ever saw dry land.  The Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years, doubting and failing and regretting until they finally surrendered, obeyed God and believed...then came the promised land.  Jesus was tested in the desert for 40 days, the King of Heaven was hungry and tired and tempted...then came the victory.    

We're still going through the book, it's going to take more than 40 days for us to digest it all, but I can honestly say that for these past 40 days I have been seeking God more than I have in a long while.  Daily surrendering to Him.  Reminding myself to believe that He was working all things out for my good, even if I saw no evidence of anything happening.  Learning to desire His will for my life more than my own.  Realizing that if God is not in it, I will never truly succeed or be happy and fulfilled.  If I'd had my way, I would've went back to my old job and most likely stayed there forever (I'm not big on change, and when change results in a big fat belly flop, then I am REALLY not a fan.)   But if I did, if God had answered that prayer, I wouldn't have this new career opportunity that I am heading into, and probably wouldn't have done this book study either.  And just think of the blessing I would have missed...

So.  

This 40 day thing got me thinking...have there been other "40 days in the desert" experiences in my past that I have missed?  My first thought went to my time of singleness before Vince came into my life.  Without a doubt that was the longest journey I've walked in the desert.  It held some of my most painful days and lonely nights, but it was also one of my richest times of growing close to the Lord and deepening my faith.  

So, I thought I'd figure out how long was it from the time my first marriage ended until my friend Kari introduced me to Vince's blog, which (if you are familiar with our story, you know) eventually led me to him...

40 months.  Not even kidding.

I think I just heard a mic drop in Heaven.   


Tuesday, August 20, 2019

It always comes back to coffee, friends, and Jesus

One of the things I have missed about working in Winona was having coffee with friends after work.  Caribou and Blooming Grounds are my go-to places when I want to get comfy and talk with a good friend, or blog, or watch a bible study video (hello, Beth Moore!)  Today I got to do all three :)  


My day was going just kind of "eh", until I got a message from my friend Becky and 20 minutes later I was in my car on my way to Caribou for a couple hours.  It was nice!  Girlfriend time, bible study, and I wasn't mad about my iced caramel latte either.

It continues to be a challenge for me each day to not feel guilty about not having a job.  I have to remind myself, sometimes multiple times a day (or an hour) that God has ordained this time for me for a purpose.  He has me home right now, and my job is to seek Him.  To let go of my own feelings and self-imposed expectations, and seek His will for my life right now, each day.

Instead of focusing on his "big" will for my life (should I work or stay home?) I am asking Him to show me what He wants me to accomplish in this day.  The little, everyday opportunities that He places before me - I ask Him to help me see them and guide me through them.  How can I be a blessing today to my husband and kids, our family and friends, and even those I don't know personally?  Whenever I ask God to show me opportunities to be a blessing to others, I find my day is sprinkled with them. It's so fun!

I am learning to embrace the reality that I don't have to know what the future looks like right now.  And it's so freeing!  I know that I will know eventually, when God reveals it to me in His own way and time.  One thing I do know for sure right now...it will be good!


Monday, August 19, 2019

a new season

It's going on 3 weeks now that I have been home full time.  It feels better to say "being home" rather than "unemployed".  That sounds like something is missing but quite honestly, God has changed my thoughts on that.  I believe He is giving me this time to be home.  Where my heart has always been.


It feels so incredible to say that.  Be home.  It's something I have been praying for since I was pregnant with Nicolas...22 years ago.  I always wanted to be home with my kids but God waited until now to answer that prayer.  I don't know why it took this long, but I trust God that He knew what was best for us all along.  Maybe I wasn't ready until now?

Whatever the reason and for however long, I am learning to give myself permission to enjoy this time.  There are so many ways for me to be productive while I am home, and I'm SUPER excited about each one of them!
  • First and most importantly...spend time with God.  Grow closer to him everyday through reading, studying and meditating on His Word, prayer and worship.
  • Keep our finances in order and give our budget a reboot!
  • Clean and organize our home, aka:  purge!  purge!  purge!  I've been posting some things for sale online to help bring in a little money, and will donate the rest (or toss it!)  I want to make our home a haven, especially for my husband.  He works hard and is on board with me staying home if I want to...which I am PRAISING GOD for!!!  He is amazing and I want him to be able to come home after working long days and relax and recharge without a stressed out, frazzled wife.  I want our home to be the place where our kids and grandkids come to relax, feel loved and a little pampered :)  I want us to have people over, have our home be warm and inviting to family and friends, and be able to focus on THEM and not stress about the condition of our house. 
  • Cook!  I have time and motivation to prepare healthy, homemade meals and make eating out a special thing rather than a fall back because I'm exhausted.
  • Spend time with our kids - even though they are grown, they still need me.  I love being available to go out to lunch or drop something off or meet them somewhere during the days.  They are busy and all have different schedules so being available to them is important to me. 
  • Connect with other women, not only for myself but to encourage others which I believe is one of my gifts.  
  • Get healthy!  I have the time to exercise now in our beautiful new exercise room, take a walk with our dog or with a friend. 
  • Enjoy my life!  Get back to some of the things that bring me joy...playing piano, photography, nature. 
I'm so excited to see what God does in my life, OUR lives during this new season!  I'm not going to feel guilty about it.  I trust Him, in His leading and timing, and in all that He is going to do!

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."  John 10:10

"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us..."  Ephesians 3:20



Wednesday, August 14, 2019

So this is what peace feels like

I really shouldn't be feeling peaceful right now.  A week ago I lost my job.  No warning, no explanation, just boom.

It was shocking, it was confusing, it was scary, and I was sad.  I felt betrayed and defeated.  I wanted them to be sorry and realize how badly they had treated me.  I wanted validation.  

I didn't get those things, and I'm glad I didn't because it would have only led to bitterness and anxiety.  Instead, I have turned to the Lord.  I am letting Him teach me how to trust Him.  Even when I don't understand, when it's not fair or right, and when I can't see the path in front of me.  I am learning that He is in control.  I have no doubt that God led me to that job, and that he brought me out of it at just the right time.  I don't know what His purpose was, or what everyone there truly thinks of me, but what I do know is that God had a purpose for my time there and what everyone thinks is not my concern.  He will deal with them and I can let it go and leave it in God's hands to do as He wishes.

That brings peace. 

I have been trusting Him to open doors and close others, so when that happens who am I to question it?  I'll admit, the first couple of hours I was questioning what God was doing.  Did He bring me there just to fail?  Was I mistaken to have left my previous job and take this one?  If it was His will, why did it end so soon, and so badly?  Was it my fault?  

Then as I turned to Him in prayer, He reassured me that He has had a plan all along.  His purposes are for my good, and He will reveal His plan for me in His own timing. 

And that brings peace. 

I am learning to rely on God's manna each day.  I only need to be concerned with each day as I live it.  I can't look too far into the future and wonder or worry, and I can't keep ruminating on the past.  Neither does any good at all.

While I don't know all the why's, I do know that it was 6 weeks of mental and physical exhaustion and I'm glad to be free of it.  I haven't felt this much peace in a while...and I have a feeling this is only the beginning.


Saturday, August 03, 2019

It's been awhile

It's been a while since I had a purse that was worthy of a "most perfect purse awesomeness" blog post.

That day has now come, people.

I've had a couple other purses since the last one that I blogged about, but for one reason or another they just didn't measure up to my well-established criteria and therefore I had to break up with them.  As we girls know, having the right purse (much like the right man) is essential to daily happiness and sanity...it just makes life go better.  We carry them around everywhere so it has to be functional and comfortable and when it's not, it can be frustrating and make us kinda crabby.

No one wants that.

Especially husbands.

So finding the just right purse is something for all to celebrate.

Here is my current winner.  I love it so much...it might even be worthy of being the "most perfectest"  of them all so far,  but we'll have to see.  That's a high honor and I haven't used it long enough yet to be absolutely sure, but it's definitely looking promising.

Let's review the criteria again and see how this one measures up:

1)  It has to be real leather.  Or a fake material that I happen to think is real leather.  This purse definitely meets this criteria.  It's not leather, but according to Amazon it's "synthetic vegan leather".  What the heck is that?  Vegan leather?  Is it made out of soybeans?  Who knows, but it looks and feels like real leather and that's good enough for me.  It's soft and I love the muted brown color.

2)  It has to have a short handle.  Check.  This one is perfect.  The handle is thick and sturdy which I like since that tends to be the first thing that wears out on my purses.  


3)  It has to have separate pockets for my cell phone and lip stuff on the outside of the purse.  Check twice!  This one has TWO pockets on the outside!  One that is big enough for my new phone (I have now joined the iPhone fan club) and the other one works for storing my lip stuff.  Both zip shut...yesssss.


4)  It absolutely cannot have any sequins or tassels or unnecessary gaudy embellishments.  Check.  I like the bronze buckles and buttons.  Cute, a little rustic, not overdone at all.

5)  It has to be able to zip shut.  This has become really important to me.  I've had a couple purses that don't zip shut and whenever I'm shopping I'm always paranoid that someone might reach in and grab my wallet or my phone.  Or (God forbid)...MY PLANNER!!!  NOOOOO!!!!!



6) It has to have at least two big separate sections - one for my wallet, note pad and planner, and the other for all my crap important stuff that I don't leave home without. This I am crossing off my list.  I don't need two separate sections, in fact I have found that I like to just be able to throw everything in without worrying about where it goes.  But this next one is absolutely critical...

7) It has to be big enough to hold all of said crap important stuff, but not look like a suitcase.  This purse definitely meets that criteria - probably better than all my previous ones.  It is really wide, but doesn't look big or bulky.

And for the first time, I am adding a new criteria to my list:

8)  It has to have buckles on the handle that I can clip my keys to.  I have been clipping my keys on the outside of my purse since the boys were little.  It's so convenient not to have to dig through my purse to find them, especially when my hands are full.  And clipping them on the outside keeps them visible, which has helped me countless times to not lock myself out of the house because I assumed my keys were in my purse.  Could I clip them on the handle without requiring a buckle?  Of course, but then they slide up and down the handle, they bang into things when I'm chucking my purse around, and I just can't deal with that kind of chaos.

So here I go....blissfully navigating about my days with "most perfect purse awesomeness" on my arm, on the chair at home, and the seat beside me in my car.  And it occurs to me.  What will I do when this one wears out in a year or two?  What if they don't sell it anymore and I can't find anything this awesome?  What will I do?  WHAT????

So I'm doing something I have considered but have never actually done before...I'm buying another one just like it.  It's in my Amazon cart right now.  Exactly the same but in a darker brown.  It will feel like a whole new purse (oh the joy) and will be exactly what I want and need.  My worries have now been laid to rest, all is right in the universe and all my dreams have come true.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Praise workouts and the way it's (not) supposed to be

So I started working out.  Every morning for the past week (not including the weekend because that's just crazy talk) I have set my alarm for 5:45am, which is 1/2 hour earlier than I used to, and I have been actually getting out of bed and starting my workout by 6am.

Not to be all braggy, but this is a big deal for me!  I have not stuck to a workout plan for, oh I don't know, several decades so I'm kinda happy with myself for sticking to this one for a whole week.  And I am enjoying it so much that I don't see me stopping anytime soon...hopefully never.  

Before you are too impressed, I'm not talking about a high energy, aerobic sweatfest.  I'm doing a very low impact stretching and toning routine that I like to call "not-yoga".  It's similar to yoga I suppose, but without the spiritual stuff because this girl don't do that.  (Except for goat yoga.  That is actually an actual thing!  I might have to try that sometime because, baby goats!).  

I've been doing a variation of my not-yoga routine since high school, and I literally noticed the benefits on the very first day.  I have more energy and feel more relaxed all day long.  And it's more than just a workout...I made a playlist of worship songs that lasts for almost exactly 30 minutes (so I don't have to keep checking the clock) and I am using that time for praise or prayer, or both.  What I, for years didn't think I could do (make time to work out OR get up earlier than I had to) has now become the best part of my day.  I look forward to getting up and don't keep hitting the snooze (also, putting my alarm clock a little farther away helps with that little habit).  

And...I feel closer to God, and that is the absolute best.

So after my praise workout - yes!  I'm going to call it my praise workout now!!  So much better than not-yoga :)  After my praise workout I resist the urge to flop on my bed and waste time on facebook, and I put on a podcast instead.  I had been listening to Joyce Meyer's podcast for the past several months while getting ready for work, but a couple weeks ago I started listening to the Proverbs 31 podcast.  It is nothing short of life changing for me.  I'm in the middle of the "Therapy and Theology" series, which is a great follow up to the bible study I just finished on Lysa Terkeurst's book "It's Not Supposed To Be This Way".  

Also life changing.

I seriously needed that book, and this podcast, at this exact time of my life.  Both have helped me on so many levels and I know I am going to be camping on them for some time to come.  And by camping, I mean re-reading the book and things I've hi-lighted in it, going over my study notes, and listening to the podcasts over and possibly over again.  I need repetition to truly learn something.  Some people can hear things once and get it.  I tend to need to go over things two or ten times before I truly retain it and am able to apply the concepts to my life.  

And if I'm going to be totally transparent, there are multiple areas of my life right now that I could say, and some days scream...IT'S NOT SUPPOSED TO BE THIS WAY!!!

1)  I'm SUPPOSED to have a house full of kids, and as I've already talked about here and here, I'm having some adjustment issues with our two babies graduating this year and the idea of an empty nest looming in our not-so-distant future.  Not only that (which is enough) but my male cherub is giving me an aneurysm with his lackadaisical attitude toward school...in this, the home stretch of his senior year.  

"I've got this, Mom", he says.  "Everything's fiiiine, Mother", he says.  

Meanwhile, I'm thinking he should be rounding third and running full bore for home plate, when in reality he is farting around somewhere near 2nd base...kicking the dirt and staring at his glove like he did in t-ball which was adorable back then.  Now, not so much.  

2)  Mr. Wonderful and I are SUPPOSED to have all the kinks worked out in our marriage, particularly in our parenting styles, but to be honest we have walked through some stuff.  Especially over the last five years. Hello counselor, my old friend....I've come to talk with you again...

3)  I'm SUPPOSED to be turning 40, not 50.  I'm not feeling 50.  It sounds old...at least older than I feel.  Maybe that's a good thing?  That I don't feel as old as I actually am?  I guess I don't mind it THAT much, I'm not hung up on age.  But it does feel weird.

4)  As we are approaching the end of our season of "raising children", I am doing a life review of sorts and there are some things that I wish we would have done.  And others I wish we would have done differently.  But one that I'm hung up on right now is that we were SUPPOSED to have taken more vacations as a family.  We wanted to, but as life moved along we never seemed to have the money or the time.  It was easier to pack up and go when the kids were pre-teens, before they had jobs and extra curriculars to keep us tied to home.  

Our kids haven't been deprived, and neither have Vince and I.  I know that.  We have all been on vacations, in various combinations of kids and parents, but we never took a real family vacation ALL together during their growing up years.  Which are now coming to an end.

Sigh.

We are however planning a real deal family vacation for this summer!  We are going to Okoboji, staying by a lake and doing lots of water fun and mini-golfing and game playing and relaxing.  And just being together.  

As I sit here typing that out, I realize that I need to just slap myself - and remember that it's not too late.  It will never be too late.  We will ALWAYS be a family and there will be countless opportunities in the years to come to make even more memories together.  I need to let go of the memories that we didn't make, remember the ones that we did, and look forward to the ones we have yet to make in the future.

And THAT's the way it's SUPPOSED to be :)


Thursday, March 14, 2019

Hiding and going home

I don't want to go home.

I mean, I really like our home.  Love it, actually.  And the people in it.  I love them too.  And the dog.  Most of the time, the dog.  

But right now I'm hiding here...


Coffee shop hiding is one of my favorite things to do when I don't want to go home.  It's not that I don't want to be there per se, or be around my people.  I just sometimes need to be somewhere where I can relax without distractions.  Where I don't feel pulled toward the dishes or the vacuum or the laundry or the people.  Or the dog.  I can just be, and think my thoughts.  And drink my coffee.

Things are changing.  And I'm not always a big fan of change.

I've been trying to deny it, or avoid it, but the truth is in the next six months we might very well have an empty nest.  Our season of raising children and being a family all in the same house is coming to an end.  

There.  I said it.  

And I'm having kind of a hard time dealing with it. 

For almost half my life I have been a wife and mother.  It has defined who I am, probably too much so at times but I couldn't help it.  Being a mom has been the greatest joy of my life.  Our house has always been full of kids and toys and noise and stuff and love and messes and stresses and tears and fun.  And sarcasm.  We can't forget the sarcasm.   I'll admit, there have been times, many times, when it has been too much.  That thing about "God won't give you more than you can handle" - yea, that ain't true.  He does.  He did with me.  Six kids - six loud and opinionated and stubborn and challenging and wonderfully amazing kids, in between the joy and the hugs and the laughter have sometimes been more than I could handle. I used to yearn for quiet and would sometimes lock myself in the bathroom or flop myself on my bed just to get a moment of it.  Slowly, as each of our kids have launched, the house has gotten a little bit quieter.  Now it's the quietest it's ever been and it feels...strange.  

Vince and I have done things backwards from most couples.  We've been together almost 12 years and we've never been alone.  We started out with kids...lots of them...ranging in age from 5-17.  We've been just a tad bit busy and it's never been just us.  It's our turn now, and I'm really happy about that part of all this!  Vince and I have a lot to look forward to together and are working on our bucket list :)  But the other part of me, the mom part, is a little bit sad.  Sometimes a lot sad and I'm not sure how to feel about that.  Or what to do with those feelings that I can't really even define yet.  

Kyle and Hope, our babies, are graduating soon and making plans for their futures.  They are getting ready to launch, but truth be told I'm not ready to let them go.  I'm excited for them, I am!  But also terrified.  The past couple years have been hard, for them and for us.  Probably the hardest of all our parenting years and we have been so consumed with getting them through, that I haven't been able to really process and accept that they are actually moving on into adulthood soon.  I think that's why it is taking me by surprise.  

And taking my breath away.  

And causing me to hide in coffee shops.

But then this guy shows up...



...and makes it all better.  He reminds me that we are in this together.  And we will get through the hard days and the hard feelings and the hard things just like we have always done.  With faith and hope and love.  He makes me not want to sit here alone anymore.  

He makes me want to go home.