Nearer my heart…

unnamedFor quite awhile, my youngest was obsessed with Paris. When she turned twelve we naturally had a Parisian themed birthday party complete with French movies, a fashion show and crepes for breakfast. While I think visiting Paris would be lovely, someday, I never shared her obsession or wonder over the fantasy of what she believed Paris was. Her Parisian focus certainly did not come from me, but we homeschooled at the time and I think our lives (as such) blurred the lines between where Gen ended and I began in areas. Many of my friends assumed I loved Paris, and Gen simply mimicked me.

For one of my birthdays, amidst of France phase, my friend gave me a french coin inscribed with a phrase, (in French), a turned into a pendant and put on a chain. The inscription read “The joy of life.” It was very unique and I loved it simply because I love my friend, though honestly the French aspect meant nothing to me. Then, last year when we moved to Michigan, I lost it. I hadn’t realized consciously that I wore the necklace every day until I was forced to go a day without wearing it. I felt vulnerable and unprepared. One day, some months later, it mysteriously appeared in my night stand drawer. While that’s a whole other set of stories for another time, I can honestly say I’d never been so happy to see a piece of jewelry in all my life.

I deeply missed my friend.

It felt like home…

I took the necklace off, in Chicago, to put on something a little more fancy for a small date with my husband. Since that day, those weeks ago, I’ve made the knowing decision every morning NOT to put it back on. It felt to big, somehow. Like choosing to wear The joy of Life around my neck was simply more than I could take on in that moment.

Last night Chw and I had dinner with dear friends whom we hadn’t seen in years and years. They have walked the parenting road we walk now, and it hasn’t gone lovely for them. While they understand how hopeless and insurmountable life, right now, truly seems/feels, just talking with someone else who gets it was reassuring. I can honestly say, in all my life, I have never felt more alone. There are several ugly, regret filled conversations that have filled our lips these past weeks/months, but there is no room to dwell on such things. Instead we must stand up, brush ourselves off and move forward. The Joy of Life. I don’t know how to have it today, but I do know I’m in charge of choosing it.

This morning my husband flew across the country for work and I got up, got dressed, washed my face, walked my dogs and then came inside and put on my necklace.

The Joy of Life.

I will have to remind myself with every tear fall, with ever ice pick twinge to the head, with every second that reality crashes around me… but even in the seconds when I forget that I do have some choices and that joy is one of them, the reminded will be there whispering its French inscription to my heart. Not only tying me to such a truth, but to my beautiful friend and a time when motherhood wasn’t so overwhelmingly dark.

Touching base…

Wednesday morning I met a new friend and we chatted and cried. I sipped tea and felt the heavy water-weight of this life that I’m very much drowning in. I don’t have any answers and I’m living a life right now that needs about seven hundred of them, yesterday. Post our tea and tear session, I had to drive through some back country roads. Tears turned to sobs and vision blurred as curves were hugged. Music quiet on the radio became background nonsense as I was lost in the wave of complete brokenness. I wondered how I would (or could) even live beyond that day.

And then a song came on from several years ago. The song itself didn’t signify anything but in the back of my mind a voice said “I really love his voice, I’ve always loved his voice.” He would be Gavin DeGraw. Did that make the world all better? No. But that tiny second of something else was enough for me to grab tight and hold on.

I’m really excited to be promoting Dolphin Tale 2 because the first film was such a special, special story. I was asked to share this video with you and well, when I first previewed it and saw it was by Gavin DeGraw, I couldn’t help but feel a boost. And naturally, the words are amazingly fitting for life right now and the video is exceptional! It makes me even more excited for this movie! So go check it out, and then tell me what you think… tell me how you get through the hardest/darkest times or just say hi (really, I need the “hi!” right now…) and I’ll choose a winner Sunday to receive a download of this song!

Have an amazing weekend, you guys!

Something to talk about… {a giveaway!}

I’m working from home today, feeling a little bit better. I decided, with all of the crumminess going on here, I wanted to do something nice for my readers… How about a giveaway? A1yP8WCS8BL._AA1500_

 

Now, I know… This movie was so heavy in the controversy and people found themselves so divided. I know so many Christians who found it amazing, and so many who found it offensive. I know so many non-believers who also fell on both sides of the spectrum. What we learn from that is simply that we have to see things for ourselves, sometimes, and come to our own conclusions…

Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE a movie/tv show that will provide fodder for good, healthy dialogue. I mean, otherwise, what’s the point, right? Noah does just that!

You can enter here, with a comment about what sort of things you love to have good discussions about… Deadline is Saturday August 2nd, at midnight EST.

A tale of woe, for these two souls…

Once upon a time, after an unnaturally stress filled year, a couple had the opportunity to spend 5 kid (iow-teen) free weeks at home. They made plans which included picnics, bike rides and adventures. There was a sparkle in their eyes at the thought of how fun this adventuring could be.

To kick off the festive five-week empty nest preview, she accompanied him on a business trip to Chicago. Before hand they planned out local, unique restaurants and things to do, complete with a weekend trip into the city and a fancy hotel booked for a steal where they would take in a jazz club, good food, Taste of Chicago and finally visit Millenium Park.

The first day they stumbled upon the most incredible movie theater ever, and for movie lovers such as themselves, this was a true find…

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The second full day of the business trip, he (who never gets sick) did in fact do just that. They managed an amazing dinner (perhaps one of their best) but this was to be the last good moment, and for him it was only partly good…  IMG_1472IMG_1473IMG_1478IMG_1479IMG_1480

With each passing day he grew more and more miserable. By the time the weekend came, she offered they just go home but he refused to let their non-refundable city hotel go to waste. While it was beautiful, it wasn’t worth the stress driving into Chicago to sit in a hotel and then leave the next morning…IMG_1568IMG_1571IMG_1572IMG_1576IMG_1589IMG_1596IMG_1604IMG_1624IMG_1633IMG_1627IMG_1636IMG_1638

No Taste, no Park, no club. Just one short walk, a local italian dinner and then their stunning view until room service breakfast…  And a foggy, rainy Sears tower view from our room… Loved this view.

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With the first week behind them, he started to feel better and they realized that they still had four weeks of adventures (though, a significantly smaller budget.) Then, at a routine allergy medication appointment, she mentioned to her doctor that she’d had an increase in headaches. A few tests conclude a raging sinus infection. A prescription of a strong antibiotic is handed out and all should be fine, but it isn’t…

Within two days, she is experiencing a misery she has never experienced before. She’s always gotten fairly sick on this particular antibiotic, but this sensation is new and fiery. She returns to learn she has a raging infection (non-sinus) and is prescribed a little pink pill that should take care of it. (The doctor says sometimes the antibiotic can cause these awful girl-infections… she is mortified.)

The pink pill (which fights the infection, which was caused by the antibiotic which makes her very sick to her stomach, which is fighting the sinus infection she didn’t even know she had) causes debilitating headaches. Three days after beginning the pink pill (and 8 days after beginning the antibiotic) she wakes up with no voice. (this is the middle of week 3 of their 5, of which they have had one good evening) As thursday progresses into Friday, then into Saturday and eventually Sunday, she grows significantly worse. Monday morning she has a meeting she’s been waiting months for, which she refuses to miss, so she attends. Apologies for her voice and now awful sounding cough are plenty. Nearly everyone she encounters tells her she should see a doctor. Thankfully, she has an appointment at 3. (two weeks after the allergy appointment that ruined everything.)

Pneumonia. It is now Pneumonia. And the other infection hasn’t gone away, and apparently they’ve determined she might be, allergic to this antibiotic and it stripped me of all of my good bacteria causing me her to develop, oh, everything…

(One and a half weeks left, and it has been nothing like they, (ok, let’s face it… WE had hoped/planned/thought… BUT it hasn’t been awful either. Sick or not, I adore my husband and love anytime I get to spend with him. I don’t like the guilt for how long I’ve been miserable.)

all the, small things…

grateful31.} nostalgic music, which shaped me, (and is just often good quality music.)

32.} my husband allows me to know when I need to rest, and when I can do more/be more.

33.} plans, goals, strategies and being a team. That’s so close to everything.

34.} that, after a killer sinus infection and strong prescriptions which played out hard on my body, I’m starting to feel human again.

35.} for little, daily mysteries.

36.} open windows, cool breezes, bird serenades…

37.} the perfect penned letter from one of my oldest and dearest friends.

38.} hilarious texts from Gen, with the WORST typos ever, and the embarrassment that she goes through because she meant DUCK… (So, so, so funny!)

39.} a bad date, with a bad movie and a bad frozen yogurt place, but getting to joke about them and hate them with the man I love more than anyone in the world. Absolutely nothing compares…

40.} an errand run, after a week homebound, complete with my favorite chai.

What stood out in your week?