Thursday, December 31, 2009

Reserved tables, arent you pretty, stink eye, and high heels (of course)

Today was a really good day. Volunteered with the Gator Bowl, it was the Hall of Fame Coach's Luncheon at the Hyatt. Usually we do the welcome dinner. At Dave and Busters. Or Sneakers. And usually we are supposed to wear ugly sweatshirts. Today we were supposed to wear khakis but as I have none I wore all black with my grey knee high boots. My plan was to find a man, specifically Bobby Bowden. Jokingly. It worked. Really...

Standing in a ballroom set for 1000 people, welcoming people, fans, coach's, players....getting hugs from the president of the Gator Bowl's mom and aunt, winks from some coach's, a few yes mams from players who were cute until I realized probably weren't legal just made me feel like me. I was totally in my element!

There was a "Green Coat" lady giving me the stink eye. We were both doing the same job and she kept cutting me off helping the attractive ones. I let her have them. I knew the Coachs were coming in. She wasn't smiling. Probably because her coat felt important at home but looked like a green men's blazer next to my pashmina...hehe!

My Dad tells my Mom and I to come to the front after we were done and they were asking people to have a seat at their table. The table right in front of the stage, CSX, was for us. We didn't know that, we thought we'd be relegated to the back. Behind us was the Governor of WV, Coaches, old Players. It was just a really nice event that I was expecting to volunteer at, not be part of.

I went to the restroom while lunch was being served and walked out right with Bobby Bowden. I asked him if he needed help finding something and he said the restroom so I walked him to where they were. And from the cutest old man, aside from Papaw and Popsy, Coach Bowden gave me a hug and an "well aren't you pretty." I was kind of giddy...

Here is a man that is 80 years old, who is loved, respected, known by so many, giving me a hug. Not in a line of people asking for pictures or autographs. Going to the restroom.

So when the presentation and speeches started it was really neat to hear the stories of Coach's, players, Verne Lundquist who I listen to all the time on CBS sports, front and center.

Coach Bowden got up to speak and maybe because we had a moment (yes, it was a moment) I was extra touched by what he was saying. He's charming, funny, witty, Southern. But he was also very wise. Said that when he coached for WV, who they are playing against tomorrow, he was new and made a lot of mistakes and lost a lot of games because of those mistakes but without making them and losing those games and seeing what changes to make he wouldn't have been able to go to learn, grow, and have such success at FSU. Nothing we haven't heard before, but hearing it from such an iconic man, 10 feet in front of you...

Mom leaned over and said, "2009 wasn't a great year and had a lot of pain but God sure is ushering us into 2010 with a bang." It wasn't that I didn't have to wear a sweatshirt but heels. It wasn't that it wasn't at Dave and Busters but the Hyatt. It wasn't that I was eating a piping hot steak dinner instead of running tables to get players drinks and ketchup (yes, I've done that.) It wasn't that I had a great time doing what I thought I was there to do and was ok with sitting in the back. It was that I got to do something I really enjoyed doing then we got to sit at a reserved table, one we didn't even know was reserved for us....

How much more does God have for us?!

Dream bigger this year. I know I am. I hope you feel as blessed, favored and loved as I do right now.

Happy New Year! xoxo

Saturday, December 26, 2009

High heels, yoga toes and being thankful...

Christmas was nice. I realized Christmas Eve that nothing that was on my "Christmas List" was tangible. And most things I wanted weren't even for me. I was feeling very noble and quite proud of myself.

Then Christmas morning got here and I got books and makeup and purses and earrings and shoes...And I was so excited prancing around in those new shoes, taking time to wear them all. So maybe my list wasn't tangible but clearly I have a love of things. Maybe not quite as noble as I thought, I'm just a girl after all.

However, the things that have been on my heart for other people have only been magnified over the last week. My parents and I went to see a special friend of our family, someone who was probably the first person we met in FL, on Christmas Eve. She's living in a retirement place of sorts and she's figuring out who she is I think without her total independence and her house and all of her things....But she is still the same spry lady with the sparkle in her eye and smile quick to shine. Her light hasn't dimmed because her circumstances have. She's 96, I think it's probably wise to emulate her.

S0, new year right around the corner and in the past few weeks since I've decided I'm loving who I am and working on the things that need improved or changed or removed, my confidence has gone up. Not because of who I'm dating. Not because of what I'm wearing. Not because of who may or may not think I'm good enough.

My circumstances haven't changed, aside from new shoes and yoga toes to keep me from being crippled, but my attitude has.

In the wise words of Jewel:

"I'm gonna love myself more than anyone else, believe in me even if someone can't see a stronger woman in me. Be my own best friend stick with me to the end, won't lose myself again, never, no, cause there's a stronger woman in me!"

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Where are you Christmas?

Christmas is in a few days.

A lot of people I know are celebrating this year new births, prosperity, health...I'm celebrating their good fortune with them.

A lot of people I know are wondering how to get through this Christmas. One of my very best friends is going through her first Christmas without her baby. It's not at all what her and her family ever imagined would be something they would have to endure. I pray that God gives the Murphy family an extra dose of peace this season. A friend of my mom's is spending this Christmas with the news that her cancer isn't what they thought and she's planning her life with PET scans, chemo and dr's appts. I pray that this Christmas God gives her and her sister a very special year of memories and laughter and healing. A dear, dear friend of mine got the news today that his soon to be 9 year old grandson Bryce has bone cancer. He and his family are facing decisions of chemo, radiation, prayer for the Williams family is that God touches Bryce and heals this little boys body and brings comfort and rest to his family. Friends who are facing the first Christmas without a spouse, child, mother, son are getting my prayers of peace and assurance and comfort. That God hasn't forgotten them and as lonely as they feel that somehow they feel loved even stronger.

So many more I could list but I wont, God knows the needs and He's hearing the prayers of so many hurting people. My intention isn't meant to be a downer, it's just meant to be a reminder of what this season can be about. Be extra kind to people, smile at the frowning man, say Merry Christmas to the stranger who looks like they are carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders. Truth is, they probably are. And a kind word and smile may give them just what they need this Christmas to feel loved and cared for.

The New traditions, old traditions, laughter, tears, sadness, excitement, thankfulness, healing....

Christmas is here. Everywhere. If there is love in your heart and your mind, you will feel like Christmas all the time. I feel you Christmas I know I found you, you never fade away. The joy of Christmas stays here inside us, feels each and every heart with love.

Merry Christmas to you and your family. May God's blessings touch you all ina very special way!

Monday, December 21, 2009

UK2K Woot!

My Cats are back! Tonight was the 2000th win. Most in NCAA history. It feels so good to have the excitement and energy and pride back that I grew up appreciating. I actually kind of teared up when we won. And we won by something like 50+ points. Regardless. And got tickets to watch them play against the Gators. So happy I'm going to see them in person. Even if it is at stupid Florida.

Emotional wreck I am. But it's ok. Funny timing because I feel like I have a ball of nerves inside me, like a kid waiting on Christmas to get here to see whats under the tree. I know whats under the tree (can't wait to wear those knee high grey leather slouched boots.) I digress...

A good friend I haven't heard from in years emailed me today (love facebook) and reminded me that God's timing is perfect. I'm thankful for that reminder! And for the incredibly caring people that feel it's important enough to remind me of.

I'm not sure what I'm waiting for but I know it's going to something bigger than I was expecting. And I'll get to wear my new fab boots to celebrate!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Tis the season

Went to dinner with a friend who I havent seen in much too long tonight. We were in a busy restaurant and people were laughing and Christmas music was playing and I was wearing my fabulous charcoal grey peacoat. Felt like a movie. I love Christmas.

Spending time with D tonight brought back all kinds of emotions. She was friends with me when I was mom to J, when I was building my house, she helped unpack my house, Christmas parties, bbq's, spa trips, all kinds of good memories. I'm thankful she's in my life once again. Nothing like good friends to remind you where you've been and be excited for where you're going.

Christmas has always been my favorite holiday. I get that passed down from Nana and my Mom. This Christmas is going to be a lot different for a few reasons and I'm trying to remind myself why we celebrate the season. Nothing like removing the "stuff" whether by choice or not to get down to the real reason for the incredible season.

Bears on the mantle, homemade pj's, made from scratch cinnamon rolls, Christmas Eve church, movies, dinner, stockings, gifts, laughter, music....there won't be as many players in our festivities this year and it's hard not to be sad and miss those that won't be celebrating with us this year but it just serves as another reminder what we need to pray for, be thankful for and look forward to.

This year my "bear" may be standing alone but my mom is thrifty. I know somewhere there is a boxful of another bear and baby bears waiting for their spot on the mantle.

I'm thankful today for family, friends and traditions. I hope everyone reading this is filled with the Christmas spirit and whether it's a year of family traditions, new or old, that you're surrounded by people you love!


Friday, December 18, 2009

I'm just not that into you!

I hate planning things. Something always happens. If I fly by the seat of my pants then there's no expectations, just go. Supposed to hang with my Aunt and Uncle last night but they are sick (feel better.) Job interview turned out to be same stupid company under a different name that I "interviewed" with 5 months ago. They'll help me find a job. For $5000. Uh huh.

I made an internal pact with myself when I was in KY that I wouldnt fall back into the trap of entertaining "seat fillers" in my life out of boredom. I have enough friends, family, things to do to keep me busy without adding guys I'm not all that interested into because I'm bored. Sorry fellas, I'm not trying to be rude, just trying to get real.

Does it affect me that they are successful? Not one bit. Does it affect me that they are attractive? No, because most think they are more attractive than they actually are which is hugely annoying. Does it affect me that sometimes they are nice to me and others times they aren't? Used to. Quite a bit. Not anymore. Because I had a moment of clarity the other day that I'm not a confident poser. I'm not faking it til I make it. I'm actually quite happy with who I am. Yea, I know. That's the truth too. Everyone who asks me what I'm doing since I've been back gets the truth...looking for a job. Where do I live? With my parents right now. Do I have kids? Yes, thanks for asking I do. If we're friends for more than a hot minute I'll tell you about it. My emotional energy is spent on people I care about. If you become one of those people I'll be happy to share J with you.

I'm not being a snob. I'm not being rude or self righteous. I've just come to understand that what I am selling right now is myself to everyone I meet but first I had to sell myself to me. The current model. Not the one of 3 years ago that was fancy and flashy. The toned down version.

But this one comes with real friends, real family, faith in herself, the ability to laugh at herself and cry when the need is there. I no longer need seat fillers. It's nothing personal, it's just that I'm just really not that into you! I have shortchanged myself too long with pretty disasters wrapped up with a bow and a fancy dinner. No more. I'll order take out and work on my ego instead of stroking yours which is kind of already a little too big!

Wow. That felt good!

Monday, December 14, 2009

So long, farewell...

I'm bidding Ado to 2009. It wasn't my year. Bad choices, bad people, bad circumstances, blah blah blah. I'm making a list of goals for 2010. NOT resolutions. Goals. I'm not resolving to do anything. I'm planning, working and believing I will achieve the following:

Peace. No matter what my circumstances I am going to live in the peace that God promises for His believers. As a believer, that's a perk I haven't taken full advantage of.

Praising God. No matter the situation, Joy comes from loving and believing in a living God. I may not be able to change the circumstances but I can change how I react to them. "When you're up against a wall, and your mountain seems so tall, and you realize life's not always can run away and hide or you can change your circumstances with a prayer. When everything falls apart, praise His name. When you have a broken heart, just raise your hands and say, Lord you're all I need, you're everything to me. And He'll take the pain away. And when it seems you're all alone, praise your name. When you feel you cant go on, just raise your hands and say, Greater is He that is within me, you can praise the hurt away, if you just praise his name." WOW.

I will make better decisions. In every area of my life. Period.

I will find something to do every day to thank someone special in my life. Because there is nothing that feels better than getting an I love you, I appreciate you, or I thank you from someone you care about. For no other reason than they deserve to hear it.

I will continue to be fabulous. I will wear my high heels, I will wear my sassy accessories, I will take care of myself and be someone other people want to be around. I'm not saying this in a cocky way, I'm saying it in a confident way. I have spent too much time in 2009 worrying what other people think of me, how they perceive me. Not important. I have one person I have to answer to and if I live a life that pleases Him then I will live a life full of good people who will love me, care about me, allow me to help them, be a shoulder to cry on, someone to offer a laugh or a voice of encouragement and just be a really good friend.

I will pray everyday thanking God for the dreams HE has placed in my heart and the journey I am on as they are placed and revealed in my life.

I have learned one very important thing in 2009. You can't always change the hurt, painful or sad circumstances that happen to you and those you love. But the thing you can control is how you react and make yourself and others feel as they are going through the hard times. And celebrate the loudest when dreams come alive.

I'm choosing in 2010 to be the one cheering loudest. Starting now.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Closer than I think....

It's been a long time since I've had good dreams. Seems that I either didn't dream or had really bad nightmares. And my dreams are vivid, I remember every detail. Which isn't great when they aren't good. I've woken up more times than I care to remember crying.

BUT, however, hold up...

A few nights ago I woke up from a dream about a man that loved me more than I have ever experienced, I was more comfortable with him than anyone I've ever known and I just really knew we were meant to be together. We were on a vacation in San Fran, a place I've never been but feel like after my dream I could navigate my way around pretty well. My dream was that real. It wasn't just that I was with him, it was that I was on an amazing vacation, with him. I had just had a conversation with my mom that aside from my honeymoon over 3 years ago I haven't been on a vacation since probably childhood. And my dream was of Mr Heavensent who took me away.

Then the next night I had a dream and I got an amazing sales job. As I later desribed it to my mom, it was the NASA of sales job. Whatever that meant, in my dream is was a VERY big deal. And I was more successful than I have ever been.

Both my dreams were things that my heart is desiring more than I'd probably like to admit even to myself. But I woke up not with longing for something I want but more with a peace of things I will soon have.

I read something in a book today that was probably the single best thing that I've read in a long time. "I've found that sometimes God closes a door because I've been believing too small." Read it again. I've been beyond sad, frustrated and hurt because so many jobs, guys, opportunities that I knew weren't right for me but still hurt because I was wanting and ready for something passed me up...

A job, a mate, children, vacations....I've been wanting just anything. God has closed the doors on me accepting mediocrity. He is working in me and through me, to bring me to things so much bigger than I have allowed myself to believe I deserve or will have. But no longer.

And I'm also believing that I'm much closer to His favor than I have allowed myself to believe. He put the dreams in my heart and I'm closer than I think to the realization of that. I just needed to believe a little bit bigger. Because God is up to something. Bigger than me!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Whatever my lot, it has taught me to say....

It is well with my soul.

It's the holidays and I have more heartache than smiles but God's got it under control.

I can't see a kid without crying but God planted the desire in my heart for children and He's not a God who dangles carrots without a full dinner on the other end of the string.

I need something to fill my days and keep my mind busy, God is the author of love not confusion.

I have dreams that are bigger than me but God's up to something. Bigger than me.

Whether it's been a reciept of J's daycare, 2 years old I run across, a school bearing the same name he went to, a picture of an old friend in love, a dream that wakes me up with tears streaming down my face, sending my resume to a job that excites me or or hearing a song that makes me hyper aware that I'm not forgotten and my circumstances arent a surprise to God, He is the author of my story and He doesn't have hopes for my life, he has Plans for my life....good, bad or indifferent I've reached the emotional week of the month. Which has kind of melded into an emotional month with a sane week. But anyhow...

The tears aren't keeping me from enjoying my life, they are just reminders that I'm not exactly where I want to be. Yet. I'm not in a position where I will allow myself to become hard, or settle or wallow. SO that leaves me seeking, crying and living.

Whatever my lot, it has taught me to say, it is well, IT IS WELL, with my soul. If you see me crying in the wrapping paper aisle at Target feel free to take a roll and hit me in the head with that reminder. He never said it'd be easy, He just promised we'd never go alone. So thank you for being on this journey with me.

If you'll excuse me now, I have run out of kleenex!

My cup runneth over, but my plate is full....

Being home the past week has opened my eyes to many things. Some things I might have preferred to keep blinders on for but I guess that knowledge is power so it's better to go ahead and face up to how things really are. Even if it hurts.

I'm blessed beyond measure. I know that. I have my health, a family who is more precious than I deserve and friends who I adore.

I'm gaining a better appreciation for those who live in a real state of life with the heartaches, joys and frustrations that come with it. Life is hard but I'm blessed. Sometimes when you ask me how I'm doing I may tell you more than you wanted to hear. But I'm living my life on the assumption that people that choose to be in my life want to be there because they care about me as much as I care about them. If I'm having a bad day and missing Jonas and just cant stop crying, which as been the case more often than not lately, my answer to you probably won't be a bible verse about rainbows, butterflies and pollyanna. That doesn't mean I'm not a Christian. Doesn't mean that I'm looking negatively at my situation. Doesn't even mean that I'm a depressed person. It means that I value YOU enough to be honest with you when you inquire as to how I'm doing right now. Which is what I expect out of my friendships. 2 way honesty. Not pollyanna canned answers on how you should be feeling. A life made up of should' has never been a life I've been envious of.

My plate is full. Emotionally I'm tapped out. Some of you know why because we've talked about real life things. Others have no idea but an assumption that I can quite certainly tell you is way off. It's not a secret, what my lfe is comprised of right now, and it's a much different set of circumstances from even a few months ago. I'm just waiting for you to ask. And to answer my questions of "How are you doing right now" as well. That isn't an invitation into a rose colored glasses reality. It's an invitation to be my friend and let me know how you're feeling. I was married to a man that was only willing to be active in the good areas of life. I'm not willing to fill my life with those people any longer. I love to make people laugh. But I know as well as anyone how much it is appreciated when you let someone cry with you as well..

Whether your cup is running over with blessings, or your plate is full with life, or a mix of the two and you have things I can be praying about for you....I ask because I care enough to know. And my cup runneth over with enough real people who ask the same of me.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Home is where the memories are...

I have some really special friends. I appreciate each and every one of them. We're all at very pivotal points in our lives and I feel blessed to be part of so many amazing people's journeys.

I spent the day and evening with Whit yesterday. I'm missed that girl. What a difference a year makes. This time last year she was awaiting the arrival of baby number one. Now she's awaiting the arrival of baby number two (who was supposed to come last night while I was there but she appears to be stubborn) while she's being super mom to baby number one.

She and I have been through so much together and for that I am blessed and happy and emotional. Seeing her in this role as Mom is something that just makes me really appreciate her even more. She's been a great friend to me. That she's sharing this new part of her life with me makes me love her all the more. It's not that she's a Mom now and I'm not. I know that one day we'll be Moms together. It's more that she's willing to open herself up to me and be honest with this new role that she is of wife and mother. She tells me her stories and allows me to share my memories of when I was a Mom too.

Of everyone she probably saw me at my absolute best and absolute worst as far as emotional rollercoaster of the past 5 years. She knew me before I was a mom. She was friends with me while I was a mom. And now she's sharing herself and her experiences of being a mom with me. I love her for that.

For so long after I lost J I looked for him wherever I went. At times I'd have moments of panic because I thought I saw him or saw a little boy his age and just couldnt hardly stand it. Then he moved away and I went to KY.

He's living somewhere in Daytona with his new family now. Today as I was leaving Whit's I drove through a huge crowd of runners doing a 5k. There were adults, kids, families, all running. I saw some little boys and realized J could be in that group and I had that panic grasp me again. I forgot what it was like to worry about running into him, and would he remember me, would he run up to me and give me a hug, would he forgive me for not being in his life. Would he understand...

I don't know the answers to those questions. But I believe with all of my heart that one day I will see him again and he will run up to me and give me a hug, he will forgive me and I'll help him understand.

And until that day happens I'll thank God for my friends and family that help me get through those times, allow me to talk and cry and laugh and tell stories about my little boy and allow me to be Aunt Miss to their babies.

I love each of my friends for very different reasons. But right now I want to say, I love you Whit! You're an amazing Mom and I'm proud to be your friend and thank you for always, always, always being there for me to reminisce with and make new memories together! xoxo

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Hip place, great wine and flirty old men....

Last night went to a VIP restaurant opening with some friends. The restaurant was really nice, the wine was great, the food was amazing and the men were hot. It was really nice to be dressed up with my friends having a good time out.

This weekend my calander is booked. Going to see my long lost BFF before she has baby number 2, meeting another long lost friend for her bday dinner, watching UK beat UNC, going to a bonfire bday, SEC football watching party, Jags much to do, so many outfits to plan!

It's good to be home. I would have preferred to come home to an amazing career, with my handsome husband and beautiful kids decorating our home for Christmas and parties and gatherings and dinners...but as all of that is in my head I will have to wait for next year to do all that. And that's ok.

Because with all the hip places serving great wine and flirty old men chatting me up I'm confident one of them will be a CEO with a handsome grandson. Earmarked just for mwah!

Jealous of my faux life? You should be. Because before you know it you'll be finding yourself at one of my dinner parties! And you know this gal knows how to throw one heck of a fun dinner party! Keep 2010 open for all my celebrations parties. I am!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Fa la la la blah...

I'm trying hard not to get in a funk. It's not easy. Read an article today on that loneliness is more contagious than the flu. That's kinda scary as I'm a certified card carrying member of lonely right now.

I have really good friends. Ones who have literally been through me with life and death. I am so undeserving. I have an amazing family...they have been through more than any one person deserves to go through because of me, and yet they have loved me, encouraged me and prayed me through it.

I have been trying to plant new roots for a few years now. The ones I had planted with Jeff and Jonas and my house and my jobs, they were yanked from the core and it's been years of rebuilding, relearning and remembering....

I'm not where I thought I'd be at this point in my life. Christmas has always been my very favorite holiday and I'm trying very hard to stay positive right now.

I'm reminded of a childhood song I learned in Sunday school...I'm not where I want to be, but thank God I'm not where I was.

I keep thinking this is the week, the month, the year that my life is going to click, going to make sense, going to start....

Loneliness is contagious. I don't want to be a carrier of that. I heard a long time ago that if you can't be happy with yourself than you can't be happy with anyone else. I'm trying my best to be ok where I am, as I wait for God to lead me where I'm going. I feel lonely at times but God has sent enough real, true, loving friends to keep me going to where I need to be. So in the joy of Christmas spirit I'll end this will "Fa la la la la la la."

Home is where the rest of my shoes are...

So I'm back....

Got the phone call I was expecting Fri but not really the outcome I was expecting. He said that per my personality test I was geared completely for sales and they didnt have anything available in sales. (truth be told I dont think I'd have been a match for that kind of sales anyway.) And he didnt want to put me into a job that I would be miserable in and not make a career out of. Which I have to respect, I wish more people were that honest. But it still stung, rejection always does. And I got to the point where I wasn't just ok with moving to another city, state, even. But I was looking forward to a new start. Back to the meantime.

Thanksgiving was weird for a few reasons but it was nice to have most of the family together.

I'm not sure what I was expecting, coming home after being away for 3 months. Not sure if it's because it's Christmas time, which is usually my favorite time of the year or what. The past few years Christmas has been very different and this year I'm afraid it will continue to be.

People grow up and make decisions and choices that greatly affect you, others, themselves...and you can't change them. It's much harder when the people making those decisions are people you never expected to be capable of the kind of hurt they are causing. So we just have to do what we have been doing...continue to pray.

Christmas is a time of reflection, of family, of the birth of something that forever changed us. I may not be decorating my own house or having a big Christmas party or have all my family together but I'm a Christian and Christmas is more than that. This year without all the noise I'm going to pray for another miracle...something that will again, forever change us. For the best!