Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Perfect Man for Me

My husband, KC, is the exact opposite of me. He is quiet, I am certainly not. He is a brainiac that loves math and puzzles. Me, yea right. Once he wanted to teach me algebra for fun, really?? He is the most content person I know. I, on the other hand, have a wish list a mile long. We have always been different and sometimes I wonder how we ended up together.

We have been married for 12 years. I don't remember life without him. We have built our family together and we are very happy. Not to say our lives are perfect. We had a rough patch a few years back that almost ended in divorce. But, by the grace of God, KC stuck by my side and we weathered the storm. I love my life with him.

In the hustle and bustle of life it seems as though we drift at times. He going his way and me mine. He is at the computer downstairs while I watch TV upstairs. He goes to bed at a sensible hour while I stay up way too late. It happens without even realizing it's happening. I realized yesterday that it has been happening lately. I start feeling disconnected because we are each engrossed in our own interests and activities and the "us" part gets pushed into the background.

So, it was time for a new plan, a time out, to reconnect and talk again. I said that much to him last night and we ended up in the most wonderful conversation that we have had in months. I saw the tenderness in him that I love and the concern for his wife. The sweet things that he doesn't always say, he said to me. It was a precious moment that I am so thankful for. The feeling of disconnect vanished and I instantly felt joined together again. I love this man so much.

I am so grateful to God that He knew exactly which man I needed. I wouldn't have seen it in earlier years. It took a while to really see all that is wrapped up in KC's mind and heart. But, he is perfect for me. He has taught me so much and added such joy to my life. He has become a wonderful father that I adore seeing with the kids. It sounds corny, but he does complete me. He makes me a better person and for that I love him even more.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Blessed to be a Mother

I am feeling good these past two days. For those of you who have been praying for me, I just say Thank You!! I have felt them and I appreciate them so much. I feel so blessed to have so many in my life that care about me. Even people I only know online are so willing to pray for me and be there for comfort. You guys are amazing!

Today I feel so blessed. My kids are doing great in school and both are earning multiple awards. They are great examples to others and are recognized for their hard work and good attitudes. I praise God that He has entrusted me with these three children. He chose ME to mother them and what a privilege that is. I am by no means a perfect mother, but I hope that somewhere along the line I am able to teach them the life's lessons that are so important.

I am proud, for sure, but it isn't the awards or the recognition. It is their little hearts. It is the brokenness they feel when they know they have done wrong and their willingness to make things right. It is their eagerness to show empathy and love to someone they don't know. It is their love for Jesus that I hope is anchored deep inside their hearts that will lead them to their salvation. Each of my kids are so different and it has been hard to learn to parent each one in a different way. They all have such different dispositions and needs. They all need different things from me and it is a challenge to learn what those things are.

As I stood on the stage next to my daughter this morning, she received the Student of the Month award. The teacher was explaining how she displays the character of trustworthiness. My eyes were teary as I heard someone else tell others how special my little girl is. I know this myself, but to hear others say it just touched my heart deeply. I pray she will be a light in this world of darkness. I pray that for all of them.

So, today, I give thanks to my Lord and Savior for the privilege of being a mom. It is hard, for sure. I'm not the best at it, but He says I am the best for them. So, I will try harder and pray harder for wisdom, for strength, for patience and for His help in raising these precious ones.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Darkest Before the Dawn

We all have good days and bad, it's just part of life. But, lately I find myself with some very bad days. I am trying to cling to Christ to get me through this, but I am so weak and I feel so tired. I know God will never give us more than we can handle, but wow, I just don't think I can handle much more. My instinct is to retreat, to hide, to sleep. It is a lonely feeling, but it is not my instinct to reach out for help. My friends are all so great and loving. I know they are there for me no matter what I need. But, on days like today, I want the darkness of my room, shades drawn, and my pillow.

I know my God will deliver me, I KNOW it. His timing is not my timing. So, I am praying that He will rescue me from this darkness and fill me again with His light His beautiful, awesome light. I have been in this place before and the only thing that got me through was Jesus. He will again, I trust that, I trust Him. I put my faith and my hope in Him for everything, all the things that seem so overwhelming right now. He can fix them all, deliver a miracle, make it all fade away. He CAN, I have witnessed it before. And I believe He will rescue me again.

My friend calls the little blessings He sends, cups of grace. He gave me a cup of grace today. A friend that called out of the blue to check on me. She had no idea what I'm struggling with, but she reached out to ask. She was my cup of grace today. For her, for that call, I am grateful.

For my friends that are there no matter rain or shine, thank you and I love you. If someone you love is on your heart today, please call them. You may just be the cup of grace that they needed.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Dreaming of October

I know that technically fall starts tomorrow, but get real, I live in Arizona. We don't start feeling the change of season until October, lots of times, LATE October. I have noticed that the evenings aren't quite as hot and the early morning is even tolerable. This is at least pointing us in the right direction for some heat relief.

Don't get me wrong, I love living in Arizona. I am a native so I think I'm used to the heat at this point. It gets hard in the middle of summer when the kids are home and they have to come in by 10am because of a heat advisory. That part stinks, but I hate the snow even more. Yuck, yuck, yuck, no snow for me. Nothing stinks more than being cold, at least for me.

October gets me excited about the crisp air, the evenings when you can leave your bedroom windows open, the onset of holiday planning. Long pants and jackets have just been waiting in the closet for nine months out of the year to make their appearance. They won't be out for long, but I do love wearing my thick, comfy robe on the weekends. I love baking and burning my scented candles. Who wants the oven on when you feel as if you are already IN the oven? The kids are excited to choose what they will be for Halloween. It's just a fun time of year and one I look forward to once the novelty of summer has worn off.

So, just a few more weeks to go. Then, of course, the snowbirds will be back too. I guess you can't have everything.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Friends Forever

Girlfriends are such a big part of my life. I don't have a lot of close friends, but the ones I have are more than friends, they are my family. We are as close as people can be, we know all of each other's secrets, know our moods. We have shared victories and defeats together. We have laughed and cried together. I have friendships now that I never knew were possible. I didn't know people could be this close, love this much.

My first real experience with this kind of friendship was back in '97 when my dad passed away. I had a couple of girlfriends that I hung out, we were close. But, this event made us closer. They came with me to his service, they stood by my side. They cried with me and tried to comfort me, not with just words but with their presence. They didn't know what to say, but they stood by me. I have a picture of us that day. We all had big hair left over from the 80's. We look so young. But, I love that picture. I knew that day that I would have these friends forever.

Over the years we have been through so much. We have all had children, lost lost loved ones, had fights but then made up. Every one of these events has been a building block of our friendship. These blocks just keep making it stronger, harder to break down. Through these girls I have learned that you can screw up, and screw up big, but they will still love you. They won't toss you aside over some petty argument or disagreement. It forces us to be honest, even when it's hard to be or when it hurts. But, it makes us that much stronger in the end.

So, I am thankful for these friends. God has blessed me with women that will be there with me for the rest of my life. I'm sure we will all be at Target with our walkers when we are 80, still laughing and being silly. We will still be bargain shopping and crafting and going to the movies together. We will always be there for each other and that makes me happy.

So, today I am excited to spend the afternoon with these ladies. We even get to have dinner with one of their moms and her best friends from years and years. It's our own version of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. I am so blessed to have to have them in my life. I love you girls!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hello Grace, Nice to Meet You

I'm sure I'm not the only one that feels this way, but I REALLY hate cleaning. If I could have just one luxury in life, it would be a cleaning person. My husband completely disagrees and says we should take care of our own stuff, our own responsibilities, blah, blah, blah. I don't see him picking up the brush and get down and dirty with Mr. Clean! In his defense, he is very good about helping me out on the weekends and straightening things up. But, for the icky, sticky stuff, he's hard to find.

So, me being the perfectionist freak show that I am, everything has to be just right. Well, of course that stresses me out and makes the job twice as hard because I'm in there with a toothbrush and knife scraping and picking out the dirt in the cracks. Yes, they are the cracks that no one sees but me, but still...

After the birth of my last baby, I have come to the sad conclusion that I am not the SuperMom that I always hoped to be. I can't do it all and do it all perfectly. Believe me, I've tried. How did my mom do it? Or did she? Maybe what I saw and what I think I saw were two very different things. Anyway, there are too many balls to juggle all at once and darn it, I am done trying. Not done trying to keep things clean and chores done, etc. But, done breaking my neck trying to do everything, all the time, perfectly, better than anyone else, faster and more efficiently. Done, I say!! Little secret, no one cares that much. I might, but it is time to give myself a little grace.

So, I am going to introduce you to the woman that says, even if it isn't perfect, it is still a blessing to your family. My new motto! She is the Flylady at www.flylady.net. You have to go visit her website. There is a lot of information, so take it slow. But, I will say, that since starting this I feel so much better. It's easy and it just helps me control my freakiness.

So, my bathrooms counters are clean today and my sink is shiny! So, I am off to enjoy some playtime with the baby and the rest can wait.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Missing Him

It doesn't take much to trigger a memory. It could be a smell, a sound, a joke. It seems like those triggers come when you least expect them. Sometimes I handle them well, and then there are days like today.

My son was playing with a toy that played a little tune, "Dinah blow your horn". I heard it, not even knowing the toy played that song, and there he is, Daddy. My dad used to sing that song to me. He was always so silly and he'd sing little things to me when he was trying to wake me up, something I don't like to do. He would say silly things that I still remember, that I now say to my kids, hoping to keep him alive. He never got to meet my kids so the only way they will know him is through me and the stories I tell, the pictures I show them. They all know who Papa Gene is. They know he liked grape jelly and going fishing. They know that he was my hero. How I wish they knew him, while he was here.

I love the change from summer to fall, but along with the cool weather and the coming of holidays comes the memories. My dad died of cancer in 1997. He and my mom came with us to Hawaii to see us get married in June. We knew he was dying and he had never seen Hawaii. I wanted him to be there, to see me marry my best friend, to see the beauty of the islands. He and my mom sat on the beach every evening to watch the sun set, every night. Once we got home he said he was done, done fighting. He had done all he wanted to do. He wanted to enjoy what he could, what was left.

He declined quickly and I moved back home in October knowing there wasn't much time left. I didn't want to miss a minute with him. We talked a lot. That wasn't the normal thing, Dad was a man of few words. But, we knew we had to say whatever we needed to say. I didn't want to regret anything, miss the chance to say anything I wanted him to know. How was I going to live without him?

My dad died on November 15, 1997 at 9pm. He was surrounded by friends and family, comfortable in his own home. He and I had shared his last meal together, lemon merengue pie, the night before. Then he slipped into a coma. I would never look into his eyes again. He died with a smile on his face, literally. We couldn't help but laugh as if he was taking the best secret ever with him, without telling us the punchline. My dad was gone, forever.

You would think after almost 12 years that the pain would be less, the tears would be less, but they aren't. I miss him as if he had gone yesterday. I miss him with a physical pain that makes my chest hurt and makes my head pound. I miss him more than I could have ever known I would.

I pray for friends that I know are on the same road I am. I so wish they didn't have to walk this path. I know what's in front of them and it is heartbreaking. One of my best friends recently lost her dad, one friend lost a mom and another is losing her mom right now to cancer. It's as if my dad dies all over again every time I watch someone else go through this hell, this horrible agony that makes me so angry I want to scream, IT'S NOT FAIR!!

Then, I hear my daddy whisper, "This too shall pass", this moment of intense pain and grief. Then I am left with the sweet memories, the stories I tell over and over to anyone who will listen. The overwhelming pride I have to be called Gene's little girl. The memory of his chuckle, his bald head, his blue eyes. He'll never leave me. He's always here, in my heart, forever.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Where Did My Day Go??

I swear, my day seems over before it has begun sometimes. I take the kids to school around 8am and they are home by about 3pm. That is seven hours, SEVEN! I should be able to move mountains in seven hours, right? So, where the heck does the time go? There is a cosmic vacuum that sucks the minutes away from me whenever I'm not looking. I have the best intentions, I do. I have my mental list, oops, maybe that's my first problem, haha! I have my list of things to accomplish and I'm ready to go. And then it starts...

The phone rings, there's someone at the door. Answer email, make appointments. The baby is up, time to eat. Make lunch, clean up lunch, play with the baby. Try to do a load of laundry in there somewhere and maybe get my coupons cut. Someone sends a text, I text back, blah, blah. Lay the baby down and look at the clock. WHAT??? It's almost 2:00! What sick, twisted time sucking fairy came and stole my day away? Now I have ONE hour, just one to do all those things I haven't finished.

Another load of laundry, finish the coupons, clean something, anything. Oh, I haven't even though about dinner yet. What is thawed, what is easy? Phone rings again, switch the laundry, fold the laundry. It's now 3:00 and the door opens to two smiling, sweet kiddos, ready to tell me about their day (my favorite part of the day).

The rest of the day is a blur, with homework and chores and dinner and cleanup and baths and bedtime...

Didn't I have seven hours at some point today? If I find that stinkin' fairy I'm gonna pluck her little wings right off!

Oh well, maybe tomorrow.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


For a while now, my kids and I have been praying for a little girl named Kate. She has brain cancer. I can't explain why, but I feel so drawn to her and her story. Maybe because I have a son that's her age, just five years old. When I read about her battle with this evil disease I feel so sad for them. Sad for this little one who can't enjoy being a kid right now because she is battling for her life. I'm sad that her family is helpless as they sit and watch her cry out in pain, not understanding how or why this is happening to her. I'm sad that their life is now hospitals and chemo and tests all the time. Her parents are such a testimony to the Lord. They cry out to Him constantly to heal their daughter and to help them through this nightmare. In the midst of the most horrific pain imaginable, they run TO our Lord, not away from Him. They pray for His glory to come through this and the salvation of many. I wonder if I would react the same way were it my son in Kate's place.

So, on the flip side of this sadness comes the overwhelming feeling of thankfulness. I am thankful that all three of my kids are healthy, happy and able to run and play. I am thankful for all the little things; the pictures they draw, the funny things they say, the love they show for others. I am thankful that we have a home and all the necessities of life. I'm not naive enough to think that nothing bad can ever happen to them, but I am so thankful that God is in control. That He either causes or allows all things to happen. I'm thankful that if He is concerned with a lowly sparrow, how much more so is He concerned for us, His children. Above all, I am thankful for His Son and the sacrifice He made so that we may know God and be saved.

So, will you join me in praying for Kate? Pray for her complete healing. Pray that her body would fully recover from the effects of the cancer and the meds that it takes to fight it. Pray that she would have her childhood restored to her. And pray that God would hold this entire family in the palm of His hand. For more info on Kate, go to:http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/mcraekate/journal.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

More and More Like Mama

It was after I had my first two kids. I can't even remember the specific situation, but I remember calling my mom and just saying, "I'm sorry". It had finally occurred to me how much she had sacrificed over the years as the matriarch of our family. She had not complained or drawn attention to it which is probably why it took so long for me to notice.

As I get older and more experienced in the mom department, I see the selflessness it takes to be a good mom. The times when you go without so your kids can have what they need. The way we think of the things that they would enjoy instead of the things we would. The way we struggle with their disciplining and training so that they will grow up to be the kind, loving, responsible people we want them to be. The kind of people this world needs them to be.

I have gray hair just like my mom had at my age. I have her skin, which is a blessing. She has amazing skin even in her 60's. I hear myself repeating things from my childhood; did I REALLY just say that? I find myself understanding now what and why she did things that I didn't understand then.

I get it now, Mom. You said one day, when I had kids, I would see; now I do. So, to my Mom, I want to say thanks. You did your best and it was good, very good.

Ugh, Morning...

I am most definitely NOT a morning person. I know some morning people and sure, they get lots accomplished before the house starts to buzz with activity, but frankly, I would rather stay in my bed, under my covers and continue to snooze. All that other stuff will get done eventually. Maybe that makes me less than the perfect mom, but I can live with that. A few more minutes of sleep will help my morning mood and that's really what will determine how good of a mom I will be this morning. If I'm crabby, ain't nobody gonna be happy. That's not the way I want to start my day.

So, here I am, waiting for the coffee to brew. I can smell it and even just the smell makes me happy. I will have a dose of caffeine and get on with the day. It's gonna be a good day. Maybe I'll even take a nap.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Eight Years Ago...

I can't let the day go by without acknowledging the eighth anniversary of 9/11. My heart and thoughts are with those who lost loved ones that day. I just wanted to share a prayer that my pastor offered this morning at a Patriot Day celebration. His words express so well my prayer as well.

Father God, on this day when we remember our fellow Americans who died in the tragedy of September 11th, we thank you that your word tells us that you are the “God of all comfort” and that you are close to the brokenhearted. We pray that the families and friends of those who were killed would experience your comfort today as they remember their loved ones.

We thank you for the courageous service of the firemen and police officers who sacrificed their lives attempting to rescue others, and we thank you for providing our town with brave men and women who protect and serve us.

We thank you for the men and women of the armed forces who have valiantly served us in fighting to protect our safety and freedom. We pray that you would grant them protection and success as they continue to fight and that they would be able to return home victoriously very soon.

Jesus taught that we should “love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us,” so we pray today for those around the world who hate America and our way of life. We pray that you would soften their hearts, as only you can, so that they would stop planning and doing destructive acts of violence.

Father, as we remember the courage of our firemen, police officers, military personnel, and even our fellow citizens from Flight 93 who willingly gave their lives to save and protect others, it reminds us of the sacrificial love of your Son, Jesus, who went to the cross and gave his life so that all who treasure him might have eternal freedom, joy, and peace. We look forward to the day when he will return to wipe away every tear from our eyes and put an end to suffering and death forever.

In His Name we pray, Amen.


Hello, my name is Rhonda and I'm addicted to the internet.

I am not a big computer geek. I know my way around the stuff I need and that's about it. Up until the past year or so, all I needed was email and an occasional Google now and then. No big deal, completely under control.

Then, I found Facebook. It was a complete accident, honest. I had a friend from elementary school find me. He had a huge crush on me in the sixth grade. When our class picture was taken he wasn't looking at the camera, yep, you guessed it, he was looking at ME! Well, you can imagine the load of crap I took for that for the rest of the year. I'm pretty sure he had a load to deal with too. Anyway, I accidentally (I promise) signed up for Facebook in order to respond to him. Then, as you all know, the friend requests started pouring in. I was hooked.

The addiction just got worse this past January when I joined Etsy. Oh, had I known what I was getting into! Oh, who am I kidding, I still would've joined! I love Etsy. I love selling my hats and mostly, I love all the girls that I have "met" in a chat thread called TeamCAC. They are my peeps and I love them. I chat in the morning, the afternoon, the evening, weekends... See my problem?

And since I possess little to no self control, it takes A LOT to get me off this darn laptop! My poor husband may not get dinner. The kids may be sent outside to play so I can "concentrate". The baby just might have to chatter in his crib for five more minutes. Just ONE MORE THING! Then, I'll be done. Yea, right.

I'm hopeless. I accept that. But, I did survive the night without my drug of choice, my Mac. I did get to create some new designs. I did enjoy some family time. I even got to bed at a decent hour.

Balance, that's what I need. I'll keep working on it.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What the Heck Am I Thinking??

Ok, here I go. I have been thinking about blogging for a while, but who has time?? There's a kid that wants something all the time, chores to be done, errands to run, phone calls to make, emails to answer. The list goes on and on. So, WHY on earth am I putting something else on my plate? Call it stupidity or just plain crazy, but I thought that maybe an outlet that lets me communicate with other ADULTS would be enjoyable and maybe even good for me.

So get set, because you are going to be the ones to hear me whine and gripe about the kids, hear me squeal with delight when something great happens, and listen to my own private thoughts, whenever I actually have a quiet moment to gather them.

So, get ready girls, the ride is about to start!