Sunday, November 30, 2008

I Hate Goodbyes

I just got back from taking my son to the airport. It is time to send him back to his college. It was so hard - I cried all of the way back home. Where did the week go? It flew by so fast. It seems that when you are waiting for a special event to arrive the time just drags, yet when you finally get there the time speeds by. This has been such a hard new path for me. I never envisioned being this far from my babies. This holiday season will be the most difficult time I have ever faced. My children (I have three children and my husband has four - we raised them all together) will be home with their father this year - a place that they will always call home - Washington. We will not be able to travel back there this year because the move was such a huge expense for us, that we are still trying to get our heads above water. No matter how many times we bring our kids here to visit - their home will always be in Washington. I can't help but feel that Washington is my home too. It is where I wish I could run to so often. I long to feel roots being planted deep in the soil here so that I can finally feel at home. I probably will never truly have that feeling when my family is so far from me. I don't know how people cope living far away from their loved ones. I guess I will have to find out the hard way.

I was able to do some shopping for him while he was here. He got his presents early due to the fact that he is so hard to buy clothes for. I will be sending him his usual cookies though. I am going to start my Christmas baking this week so that I can send Christmas cookies out to all of our kids. They have put in their favorite orders to me so that I can send all of my love through my baking. At least this will give me something to focus on. I also will need to learn the right times to send packages through the mail so that everything gets to them on time. With all of our children so spread out, that is definitely going to be a challenge.

This phase of my life happened before I could blink. I can't believe that I am an empty nester! I miss the sound of laughter in my house and spend alot of time thinking about their childhood years. Cherish the limited time you have with your kids -you young mothers out there who are reading this. It flies by so fast!

One of the gifts that I will be giving our two married daughters this year are memory boxes to hold all of their treasures from their growing up years. I heard about this on Oprah. (I am trying to link to the site - hopefully it worked because I have never done this before - It is supposed to take you to the treasure box section. It is on the third page of the article if it doesn't take you to the right spot) I have faithfully saved every item that my kids have ever made or things that were memorable in their life. Believe me - with seven children - that was alot! As the children become settled in their lives and have their own homes I will be putting together these boxes for them. It is probably going to cause more tears for me because I will walk down memory lane - but I think it will be a good thing to do for the kids as they are missing me as much as I am missing them.

I know that this is a heavy post today. I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve - especially when it comes to my children who I consider my greatest achievements in life. This blog will be very therapeutic to me. You are reading my heart everytime I post - the good, the bad and hopefully not too often - the ugly.
If your children are still home with you, really take the time today to look at them. They are God's most precious gifts to us in this life. Curl up on the couch together and read to them (if they are little) and breathe in their wonderful scent. This is what I miss - the evening snuggles on the couch before bedtime.

My precious boy that I just put on the plane was such a special little boy when he was young. He used to say to me most every night - "Mommy - I Love you!"

I would reply, "I love you more!"

He would say, "I love you with the biggest love!"

I would end by saying "Yes, but I love you with a mommy's love and that love is the "biggest" love of all!"
He would smile up at me with his big brown eyes and snuggle into his blankets with a contented sigh....Those are the days that I miss the most!

Blessings to you,

Saturday, November 29, 2008

God Has a Sense of Humor

There are many things that I am beginning to appreciate about living here in the South. I love the warm weather, the beautiful trees in the Fall as they change colors, the people - who are so friendly and polite, the wonderful variety of stores that I encounter - I could go on and on. The one thing that I definitely don't like though, is the bugs!!

We have an unfinished basement. It is kept very clean because I really don't like happening across any of the numerous critters we have here in the South. I am not used to having to deal with such a large variety because living in the Pacific Northwest for all of my life - we just didn't have any. (except maybe the wolf spiders that would come out in the Fall - ick!)

I have a treadmill in the basement - eventually we hope to finish an exercise room in the basement, but for the time being it sits alone in a room that has exposed insulation all around. As I am running on the treadmill I am constantly looking over my head because I am terrified that one day I will feel a spider fall on me - thus resulting in a broken neck as I catapult off of the machine. My husband is fairly understanding about this - he does get annoyed with me from time to time, but he has been a great spider killer for me in the past when I've needed him. He will go down in the basement and vacuum up all of the spiderwebs and dead things for me so that I don't have to see them and so that I can continue to live in my fairytale land that has no bugs in it.

The first day that we arrived here at our new house, we walked in and found a big dead bug on the floor. We hadn't even been in the house for five minutes and I was on the phone - calling the exterminator. Now I am happily receiving treatments to the house every three months and so far the only bugs I have seen have been dead ones. The exterminator said that they will come in between visits to spray if we were to see any live bugs and my wonderful husband told the man that he better clarify what constitutes as a need to come out because I would call him if I saw one fly in the house.......what a dear man my hubby is - and SUCH a sense of humor - wouldn't you say?
Anyway, the other day I happened to be down in the basement spray painting one of my thrift store finds when out of the corner of my eye I spotted a big dead water bug. These things are the epitome of UGLY. They look like a cockroach on steroids. I have become used to seeing them now - so I thought to myself; "Wow - I don't jump anymore when I see them. They don't seem to scare me as much as they used to. I must be getting used to them." You know how your mind will just happen on something and you will be off to do something else.

Fast forward a few hours. I was upstairs doing some laundry. I opened up my dryer to throw my wet clothes in and this is what I saw:

EWWWWW!!! I can't believe that it was IN MY DRYER. I am still not sure how that was possible. It was laying on it's back and my hubby thought that it must have gotten in there by crawling on some clothes that I tossed in the washer. I don't think so though because if it went through the wash cycle AND the dry cycle it would have been in pieces yet it was all in tact- just laying there all by itself for me to happen across.

God is keeping me on my toes - perhaps He needed a good laugh. Maybe He wanted to see how high I could jump. Needless to say I now am very cautious when I open the dryer door. Hmmm.... Where's that exterminators number anyway? Oh that's right - I have him on speed dial.
Edited to add: I guess the picture I tried to upload was too big for my post - but you get the idea - these bugs are ugly. It showed up on my draft though. Oh well, please have patience with me. I am new at this.

Friday, November 28, 2008

In Transition

This is very blurry, but I am so proud of myself! This is the first time I have ever added a picture to anything on the computer. Bear with me please - as I will be doing alot of experimenting until I get it right - please ignore the creases in my tablecloth - I really SHOULD have ironed, but I was too excited to put the table together, and once done, I didn't want to take it apart again.

I am slowly trying to take down my Fall decorations and begin decorating for Christmas. Since I am new to blogging, I haven't had a chance to show you all some of my feeble attempts at decorating. Actually, I am quite happy with how my house looked for the Fall. I did most of my decorating on a budget. I am having so much fun trying to find ways to decorate using thrift store finds. This centerpiece was created using candlestick holders that I have been collecting. I have been buying them from thrift stores when I find them. I wasn't sure if I should spray paint them all the same color or keep them the way they are. I decided to leave them for the time being but I may change them if I continue to use them for Christmas.

I like the fact that they are all different and vary in height. It created the exact presentation that I wanted it to. I wanted it to be eclectic and different. My husband looked at the table and said, "Uh...honey, don't you think the candles are too big to fit the candle holders? Aren't they supposed to be for smaller candles?"

Don't you just love our men? They just don't get it do they!
That's okay though - he will learn eventually that I am saving us so much money! Each candlestick cost me no more than $3.00. Can't beat that - a great look at a low price.

This is a small corner of my kitchen counter. I don't know why, but I really love the look of the pumpkin gourds under glass. They have stayed fresh looking since September and I hate to throw them away. I have learned all of these neat ideas from reading so many very creative blogs. I love learning new ways of making my house a home. It is a fun challenge to create beauty on a budget.
So now it is time to take down the old and put up the new. Even though I am coming up on a very difficult holiday without my children being home with me, I can try with this fun new outlet, to bring some warmth and comfort inside these new walls. I can create a spirit of joy for me and my husband despite the obstacles before us. I look forward now to the challenge!
I wanted to thank you all - who took the time to comment on my first blogpost. I wish you could have seen how excited I was! I called my son in - shrieking and jumping up and down. He is used to my goofiness - yet I don't think he understands the fun I am having with all of this. I look forward to getting to know you all as my new friends. I would love to comment to you personally, but am unsure as to how I can do this in response to your individual comments. How do you all do this - I would love some suggestions as to how you do this on your blogs.
Blessings to you all,

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

With the help of my son, I have finally entered Blogland! I have been quite addicted to reading blogs for awhile now. I have learned so much from the many talented women I read about. What a privilege it is to be able to get a glimpse into the lives of others without even leaving ones home. I feel like I know so many of you and we have never had a single conversation!

I hope over time to improve the look of my blog, but I am very new at this and not very computer savvy. My son has graciously offered to step behind the scenes and help me to pretty things up a bit. Over time as you see my blog change, the credit will have to go to him.

This past year has been quite a journey for me. Life has taken some twists and turns. It has been a wild ride, but I have finally found a small amount of peace with it. It all began as my last child flew the nest in June after his high school graduation. My husband's boss wanted us to relocate to Georgia from Washington State and we decided the time was right for us to move. It was a hard decision, but all of our children are scattered - living in different states and our last child at home would be heading off to college now too.

We made our move in June - leaving MOST of our furniture behind. The furniture that we owned had made it through the raising of seven kids (but barely!) and now it was time to finally let it go. There was no way I was bringing it into my brand new home! Slowly but surely we are filling our home with new things. We still have a long way to go before we will be through - this house has a lot of rooms to fill! I was totally at a loss as to how to begin the huge project of starting over from scratch. We have had to do it all on a budget and a lot of our "new" things are actually gently used furniture items from a wonderful antique store/flea market that we have in the area. I will tell you a little bit more about the store in future posts. I learned of this store from a wonderful blogger that many of you probably know.

I have learned so much from the many talented women out there. My eyes have been opened to the amazing world of "repurposing" - taking used furniture and household items and changing them into items that will fit your home decor. I have so much yet to learn and haven't yet tackled a few big projects around my house. I bought a hutch and table and chairs that need to be refinished. It looks daunting and I have been procrastinating. With my new friends in Blogland, I hope to get the courage to finish them up to show you all.

My home is a blank palette - as a matter of fact, I was going to name my blog that - "The Blank Palette". I have yet to hang a picture on the wall and I have been here for 5 months - as you can see, I need help!

This holiday is going to be a hard one. I have only one of my seven children at home with me today. He is here from college so we will have to let him go this weekend, but I am trying to enjoy what little time I have with him. My children have always been my life and holidays were such a wonderful time in our home. This will be the first time that I will not be having a big Thanksgiving dinner. We will be going to one of our church member's home today instead. My girls have been calling me for recipes that I have used over the years so that THEY can do the meal this year for their families. It is hard to get used to - this new stage of my life. I am leaning on God to help me through it and hopefully in the future we will be able to find ways to see our family as often as we can.

I am hoping to make new friends here in Blogland - as well as use this as a way to reach out to my loved ones to keep them abreast of what life is like for me here in the South. Please leave me a message if you read my blog - I look forward to getting to know you and hope to be able to share a part of my heart with you.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving - kiss your loved ones and hold them close.
Thanks for reading!