Thursday, July 29, 2010

My favorite time of the year

People often ask me how I can spend so much time out at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair. It is true you have to wait in long lines to park just to walk a long way to get in the gates, and then tote around kids that tend to get grumpy when they get hot and tired. Then you have to fight long lines to ride rides and to get food. Even with all that, I love the fair. The fair for me, is not just about the food and riding rides. (Not that those aren't GREAT reasons to go!)

The biggest reason is probably because I was raised spending time at the fair. It's in my blood. I love to be there and walk around. It brings back so many memories. Almost all of those memories, are with my family. Mom, Dad, Kenny and Amanda are a good portion of those memories. Then, of course, there is Uncle John and Uncle Lee. It wasn't the fair without them being around too. Some of the people that I am closest to now, 11 years out of 4-H, are of my friends I made in 4-H. My best friend today, Sarah, was the first friend I made in 4-H. Who knew 22 Years after we first met at the age of 8, that she would become my dearest and closest friend?

The memories I cherish the most from 4-H though, are of my grandfather. He loved the 4-H fair. He could always be counted on to be there any time we were showing, no matter what we were showing. He could also be counted on to buy us donuts when mom and dad said we couldn't have any more money. (Or anything else we wanted, for that matter.) I cherish those memories of my grandfather more than any of the other memories I have of him. I think that's because, in his own quiet way, he loved the fair more than any of us. He may not of said it, but we all knew how proud of us he was when we did well.

So other than the fun and the food, there are so many more reasons that I love the fair. I love what 4-H stands for. I love the lifetime lessons that it teaches kids. I love going to the fair grounds and having a reunion every year. Mostly though, I just love the memories I have there.

My kids aren't old enough to be 4-Her's yet. However, I already know they will be. They both love the fair and animals, just as much as I do. I can only hope, that in 20 years, they can go back to visit and have just as many cherished memories of family and friends as I do.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

To Hope

To Hope
By John Keats

When by my solitary hearth I sit,
And hateful thoughts enwrap my soul in gloom;
When no fair dreams before my 'mind's eye' flit,
And the bare heath of life presents no bloom;
Sweet Hope, ethereal balm upon me shed,
And wave thy silver pinions o'er my head.

Where're I wander, at the fall of night,
Where woven boughs shut out the moon's bright ray.
Should sad Despondency my musings fright,
And frown, to drive fair Cheerfulness away,
Peep with the moon-beams through the leafy roof
And keep that fiend Despondence far aloof.

Should Disappointment, parent of Despair,
Strive for her son to seize my careless heart;
When, like a cloud, he sits upon the air,
Preparing on his spell-bound prey to dart:
Chace him away, sweet Hope, with visage bright,
And fright him as the morning frightens night!.

Whene'er the fate of those I hold most dear
Tells to my fearful breast a tale of sorrow,
O bright-eyes Hope, my morbid fancy cheer;
Let me awhile thy sweetest comforts borrow:
Thy heaven-born radiance around me shed,
And wave thy silver ponions o'er my head!

Should e'er unhappy love my bosom pain,
From cruel parents, or relentless fair;
O let me think it is not quite in vain
To sigh out sonnets to the midnight air!
Sweet Hope, ethereal balm upon me shed,
And wave thy silver pinions o'er my head!

In the long vista of the years roll,
Let me not see our country's honour fade:
O let me see our land retain her soul,
Her pride, her freedom; and not freedom's shade.
From thy bright eyes unusual brightness shed---
Beneath thy pinions canopy my head!

Let me not see the patriot's high bequest,
Great Liberty! how great in plain attire!
With the base purple of a court oppress'd,
Bowing her head, and ready to expire:
But let me see thee stoop from heaven on wings
That fill the skies with silver glitterings!

And as, in sparkling majesty, a star
Gilds the bright summit of some gloomy cloud;
Brightening the half veil'd face of heaven afar:
So, when dark thoughts my boding spirit shroud,
Sweet Hope, celestial influence round me shed,
Waving thy silver pinions o'er my head!

Two....I mean Three sides to every story

After I learned my husband and I were splitting, someone told me, in a not so nice way, that there are two sides to every story. This is semi-true. There are definitely two, sometimes completely different sides, to every story. However, there is a third side that is often forgotten....what actually happened.

I admit that I may not remember things the same way as my husband does. Even after only 7 months, I know there are things that I remember happening one way, and he remembers another. I am more than willing to admit that there are some things that we may even have seen differently when it happened. I may have reacted in a way that led him to believe that it happened one way when it actually happened another. AND I am sure the same thing goes for him.

For some reason, when we are telling out prospective sides of the story, what actually happened is bound to get mixed up and lost. So much to the point that looking back in a year or two, some things even now looking back, we may not even remember how we actually got to where we are. I believe that this is how we get two sides to every story. It may not be purposefully, at least I hope not, but it does happen.

So, we now have three sides to this "story": his side, my side, and what actually happened. I can only hope that what actually happened doesn't get too lost as the years go by.

Now, that being said, there is a point to my ramblings. (At least this time, cause we all know I like to ramble a lot.) The point is that telling blatant lies that we both know are not true, just so you can save face, is not cool.

When I hear a lie about myself, and I know that we both know it isn't true, well, it kinda makes me extremely irritated. So.......lie all you want to save face in front of your friends......we both know the truth.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Inspiration from Shel Silverstein (I just love this one!!!)


There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.
Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.
Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we''ll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know,
The place where the sidewalk ends.

Random Thoughts from a Pensive Soul

The house is quiet. My roommate is in bed. The kids are fast asleep. I am in a very thoughtful mood tonight. I have my favorite music playing in the background and the smell of my fresh baked cookies in the air. Usually, the thought of being alone with my thoughts frightens me. Lately though, I have learned to cherish this time with my thoughts. It almost nurtures me, gives me sustenance.

Why would actually allowing myself to sit and think be like feeding my soul though? I have spent a good majority of this year running from my thoughts. If I don't think about it, it can't upset me. It can not cause me any apprehension, doubtfulness or uncertainty. I can just go about my days faking that I am happy, pretending life hasn't knocked me down.

That's just it though. If I didn't allow myself to meditate over life, then I have no way to get back up on my feet. Therefore, this process of gathering one's thought really does feed the soul and nurtures you.

I think that is why I am finally, after six months, okay with thinking about what has happened. To say that I haven't thought about it is a bit of an exaggeration. I have thought and talked about it a lot. I have gone through the motions of getting through life.

Once I learned to actually allow myself to truly contemplate all this, I started feeling better. Yes, I had to make decisions. I had to figure out what was best for the kids. That's where I stopped though. I didn't truly allow myself to think about how all this had effected me as a person, only how it would effect the kids. However, about a month or two ago, I actually thought about everything without pushing any unpleasant thoughts from my head. I went to bed, feeling down. The amazing thing was the next day, I woke up feeling refreshed. It's like my body truly needed that. It was like....meditation.

And the more I allowed myself to do that, the happier I became. Not the fake happy that I had been pretending to be, but honest to goodness happy.

Where am I going with all this? I have no clue. I mentioned I was in a thoughtful mood right? Well, there is one thing I do know. I am gonna just sit here, with my glass of milk and fresh baked cookies, and think about life: past, present, and future. And I am just gonna smile. I am gonna smile because even though my life hast had its bumps in the road, I still win. I win because I can think about the bumps in the road, and come out in the end, still smiling.

Monday, July 19, 2010


When someone goes through a difficult time in there life, it seems natural for people to give advice. I guess that it is assumed that you need to hear it. You need direction and encouragement. You need someone who is gonna understand and be able to help you out.

I am not going to sit here and say that it isn't true. Yes, I have needed to hear some advice from others. There have been times in the last six months when I have needed some encouragement and direction from others. I have certainly surrounded myself with people that understand what I am going through and can help me through this difficult time.

BUT COME ON PEOPLE! I am on advice overload. It is not that I don't appreciate it. I just think that I am getting to the point where I don't need advice on how to deal with this divorce, or my husband, or my kids. I pretty much have that figured out. If I need any advice, I will ask. I have never been one that can't admit when I need help.

So that being said, I would like to thank everyone for their words of encouragement, and for being so understanding and sympathetic. However, my life is moving forward, in a good way. So, what I would like to is ask that instead of asking how I am handling the divorce, how the kids are adjusting, or if there is anything you can do to help, just ask me about me and what I am doing NOW. You know, how are you? What's keeping you busy these days? How is your new job?

I am not saying I won't need to talk about it. I KNOW I will need to talk about it. When I need to talk about it though, I will, but without the pressure I have been getting from some.

I am doing well and enjoying life. Please let me move forward and not have to constantly talk about what happened. I am looking forward to my wonderful future with my amazing kids. That is more than enough for me.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

She is

She is beautiful, inside and out.

She is caring and giving.

She has an amazing strength and courage. I only hope that some day I can have half of the strength she has.

She is a woman of amazing faith, and she is not afraid to share it.

She knows what I need to hear, even when I don't want to hear it.

She is not afraid to speak her mind.

She is intelligent and driven.

She loves me for who I am, unconditionally.

She is a Phenomenal Woman, and I hope she knows.

She is my inspiration and my friend.

She is my mother.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

6 months later

I has been exactly 6 months since my world turned upside down. When my husband broke the news to me, I remember feeling lost, broken, confused, frustrated, and alone. I didn't know what move to make next, let alone how I was going to make it through the day. I didn't know how I would ever recover from this brutal blow I had taken in my life. Suddenly, I was left feeling helpless, not knowing who I was.

Now looking back, I am not sure how in only six months I have become the person I have become. I definitely could not have done it without the help and support of God, my family, and my friends. However, I am still a little bit baffled at how I have made it so far in so little time. I have friends that are going through the same things, and for some reason, they look to me for support. It is weird because all I did was what I had to do.

I had to get by. I had to move on. I HAD TO BE STRONG. To be completely honest, none of it was for me. I had to do it for my kids. I had to make decisions that were forced on me that were best for them. And what was best for them was to have a physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually healthy mother. So when I am asked how I do it every day without having breakdowns, I simply say, because I had to.

Now, don't get me wrong. I have had my fair share of breakdowns. There have been days when I don't want to get up in the morning. There have been days that I hear a song on the radio and have to pull the car over because the lyrics evoke such strong emotions. There have been days that I wake up crying and don't know why, and often, find it hard to stop.

But I take a deep breath, think of something that brings me joy, and do something for myself that day. Whether it is a long walk, a cup of coffee, or a long conversation with a friend.....I do something that makes me happy. That is the only way I have figured out how to get through those days.

I had a long conversation with a friend the other day. He is also going through a divorce. He was talking about recovery, wondering when he would ever feel completely recovered from what his ex wife did to him. The word recovery really got me thinking. I had told him that night that I thought that some people never fully recover from such a life changing event. Some do, but some don't. I thought about it for a few days and I realize exactly what I meant by that statement.

The definition of recovery is "to return to an original state". By saying that we recover from such a life changing event, is saying that we become the person we were before. I do not really think that is possible.

Do we move on?

Do we make it through?

Do we survive?

Does our life completely change?

We cannot recover because there is no way to go back to the person we were before. The events and circumstances that have occurred in our life change us. So, to say that we can return to an original state is impossible because we are a changed being.

This is not necessarily a bad thing. I know that personally, I will never be the person I was six months ago, nor do I want to be that person.

That person was meek, afraid to show her feelings and afraid to stand up for herself.

Today, I am strong.

That person was ashamed of who she was and who she had become.

Today, I am confident.

That person felt like a failure in her marriage and in life.

Today, I feel successful.

That person felt ugly, both inside and out.

Today, I feel beautiful.

So, my point in all this rambling is this. Six months ago, my life changed. It was not of my doing or my will. My life changed and I did not have any choice but to accept it. So because of that, I am a changed person.

To put it in a cheesy, poetic form, I have gone through metamorphism. I am a butterfly. So I am gonna spread my wings and fly. (Sorry, I had to do it.)

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