Small Successes

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1. I survived the weekend. It included a trip to see my mother-in-law at the rehab center, hosting my parents for a short visit, going to the beach and going to eat out with my in-laws about 40 minutes from our home. That was all Saturday and Sunday.

2. I hooked up the WiFi by myself.

3. I managed to convince my kids all three days this week not to watch tv during the day.

4. I vacuumed those spaces between cabinets where dust goes to flourish.

5. I’ve been keeping up with fitness…not always easy, but I’m doing it.

Join Sherry for more Small Successes.

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A Thankful Woman’s Book of Blessings

1. For the beautiful, not at all spring-like (apparently we are going to have a mild fall and then summer) weather.

2. For the blankets on my bed. They are so soft and warm.

3. For the beautiful dogwood trees, azalea bushes, and cherry trees blooming in our yard.

4. For mindless games that take my mind off things like long waits…Angry Birds anyone?

5. For my beautiful son Joseph. He makes me laugh and feel like tearing my hair out at the same time. He makes me a better parent and better person.

Join Judy for more Blessings!

Ten On Tuesday

1. Ikea: over-hyped and confusing or genius furniture company?
Over-hyped and confusing. We don’t own any of their furniture because we’ve helped many friends assemble it (I have this weird knack for assembling furniture) and it was way too complex for what it was. On top of that, I’ve been in Ikea stores three times. I hate them. I’ve been assaulted by people who can’t drive those stupid carts they give you and people there are just rude. So thanks, but no thanks.

2. Your favorite interior-decorator-type person wants to makeover one room in your house. Which room do you choose and why?
My bedroom. I just have no style in there. Then my kids’ rooms.

3. Describe the furniture in your childhood bedroom. Did you like it? Where is that furniture now?
I had a bed, a dresser, maybe a chair? Nothing overly spectacular.

4. When you’re done with furniture, what do you do with it? Donate it to Goodwill OR Sell it on Craigslist OR Put it by the curb and hope the trash guys take it?
Donate it.

5. My Pinterest furniture style could best be described as
funky/eclectic
antique/shabby chic
modern/minimalist
so random and varied it’s undefinable

So random and varied it’s undefinable

6. Name the most important furniture/toy in a toddler’s playroom. And why?
Storage. My kids also love having a table and chairs.

7. Your parents (or grandparents or other relative) are giving away all their furniture. Which piece do you really want?
When Jeff’s parents moved they gave us their bedroom set because we didn’t have one. We also had our choice of furniture pieces that belonged to Jeff’s grandmother. We chose a secretary desk. His brother ended up rejecting the dresser they were giving him, so we took it rather than have it be sold because it was family.

8. Your biggest furniture buying or home decorating regret?
This isn’t really home decorating, but even with a one car garage, we should have gotten a two car driveway.

9. $1000 gift card! Do you want it to Ethan Allen, Ikea, Pottery Barn Kids?
Pottery Barn Kids

10. Bunk beds, loft beds, trundle beds, or canopy beds?
For our kids. One has a full, one has a queen (that would be Shelby who doesn’t share a room) and one has a trundle. If we have a fourth child and if we have a boy, we’ll add a loft over the trundle.

Link up to Chelsea…PLEASE!

Lovin’ My Husband

Joining Judy this morning for a celebration of love and our husbands

1) He goes for bike rides with our sons even when he has just gotten home from work and has lots to do around the house.

2) He plans fun outings for our family. This Sunday we took advantage of nice weather and went to the beach and enjoyed lunch on the pier.

3) He tracked down the new Eastern European bakery/deli in our area and ordered Polish Easter Bread because it was important to me!

The Olympics of Worldy Suffering

The truth is our suffering matters to no one. No one but ourselves and God. And no matter how bad I have it (or think I do) someone is always worse off than me.

It irks me the degree that some people (and I’ll be honest, most of them are women) go to “prove” or “argue” their suffering. Let me give you some examples.

Two military wives I know are also friends with each other. One is an Army Wife, one is a Marine Wife. While they’ve always enjoyed the friendly “Army/Marines” rivalry, during the last few  years, they have taken it to unprecedented (and wrong) proportions. It all has to do with deployment. Marines are typically deployed seven months, Army one year. Typically, there are always some exceptions. When Marine Wife (who I’ll call MW) would be upset about something that normally wouldn’t have been a big deal except it happened during deployment when she really could use her husband, Army Wife (AW) would make a retort back about how well, MW’s husband would be back in seven months while AW had to go a whole year without hers. Then MW would, with hurt feelings, respond how her husband was in active combat while AW’s husband was in the heavily fortified Green Zone when he was in Afghanistan (he was often deployed other, less volatile places…Qatar, Kuwait…). And so it would go on and on. (For full disclosure, my brother serves in the US Marine Corps. His wife is not MW nor does she know this person and to my knowledge, my brother does not know her and husband either…it’s a big base.)

And here’s one from the autism world. Two moms I know have sons with autism. One has two sons the other one. All three boys have autism. Mom of Two (MOT) constantly lords her successes and struggles over MOO  because she has two with autism not just one. MOO’s son however, is much lower functioning than either of MOT’s boys. So, the retorts are often hurt tirades of, “well, at least your boys can tell you what’s wrong…” I’ll leave it there.

Finally, a story from the fertility/infertility wing that illustrates my larger point. Mom of Many and Mom of None (MOM and MON) are mutual friends of mine and each other. MON has been on her infertility journey for seven years. She has good days and bad, like most,  but when she lashes out, it is invariably because MOM has said something about how hard something is because she has multiple kids. To her credit, when MON lashes out at MOM, MOM is charitable instead of striking back. She always apologizes for her complaint and realizes not everyone is blessed to have her struggles and lets MON know she cannot imagine the pain she is enduring but understands it must be great.

Our suffering means nothing to others, unless we let them know their suffering matters to us. What if, instead of making their suffering a competition, when MW or AW was enduring hard times, the other person listened or empathized or asked how one could help the other? Why couldn’t the autism mommies share resources? Our human and sinful nature sometimes leads us to demand that we use the crosses we are carrying pridefully and it shouldn’t be so.  Our crosses we bear in this world should lead us to look to Christ crucified and remember only He can lift our load.  They also should remind us that our crosses were designed specifically for us to bear and other’s crosses should never be compared to our own. There is only one winner of the Olympics of Worldly Suffering. He died over 2000 years ago to save us from our sins. And He rose after three days to remind us the crosses of this world will help us, if borne correctly, to die into eternal life.

Small Successes

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1. We got internet back. Not a true “success” but I finally cleaned out my inbox after two weeks!

2. Over one week of working out. Only one pound lost but 2 1/2 inches lost on measurements.

3. Keeping to drinking my water daily!

4. Made stuffed fish for the first time.

5. Hooked up the internet on my own. 🙂

Join Sherry for more successes!

A Thankful Woman’s Book of Blessings

1. So thankful to have our internet back…two weeks was a long time to be dark!

2. Thankful for the new family member that will be joining us in July! My brother and his wife are expecting a baby boy!!!

3. For the fact that even though I haven’t lost a single pound or inch in the last week, I’ve been working out more and harder than ever before.

4. That my children are healthy and active. We lost a child in our community this week. She was precious and beautiful and my prayers go to her family during this difficult time.

5. That friends call out of the blue to check on us (I’m telling you, don’t have the internet temporarily, people will worry!).

Join Judy for more blessings.