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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year, New Me

Happy New Year Everyone!! In 2 hours and ten minutes we will be welcoming 2009!! Where did '08 go and how did it go so fast?! Here are some highlights from my 2008 in no particular chronological order.....

*Celebrated my 23rd Birthday
*Celebrated my 3rd Anniversary with Justin
*Began working at my current job--the vet's--the 1st job I've had that I've truly enjoyed!
*Celebrated my Grandma's retirement
*Celebrated Christmas once again with my extended family on Mom's side
*Joined the Blue Ridge Boxer Rescue as a volunteer and foster Mom
*Made some awesome friendships and rekindled a few old ones
*Discovered that I really enjoy a glass of wine! (Blackberry Merlot especially!!)
*Spent a wonderful, relaxing 5 days in the hills of NC with 80+ friends (including my family) as we camped out and learned new survival skills
*Re-instated my Mary Kay business with the hope that it will become self supporting one day
*Sold my baby grand piano!!!
*Paid off one loan and one credit card!!!
*Attended two weddings; both of good and long-time friends
*Held the 3 new babies (2 girls, 1 boys) of my 3 girlfriends
*Rearranged my furniture throughout the house
*Picked out the colors to paint my house
*Started a blog
*Lost 2 kitties and a dog

Here are some highlights I hope to have for 2009---again in no particular order....

*Pay off last credit card
*Pay off at least $3000 on my Xterra
*Lose at least 20lbs and get back in shape
*De-clutter my house: paper clutter/clothes/knick-knacks/etc
*Paint the interior of my house
*Dig deeper into my Bible
*Memorize verses like I did when I was a child
*Become a stronger woman
*Become a stronger wife
*Strive to understand my husband for who he is and his wants/dreams/needs
*Most importantly, become a stronger Christian
*Read all my unread books (Yes, believe it or not they do exist on my shelf!)
*Began writing again ( I really do miss it, but can't seem to make the time to do it)
*Scrapbook more photos in order to preserve them
*PRINT MY WEDDING PHOTOS!! (3 years later!)
*Shower my family with love
*Bless my friends with solid, trusting friendship
*Encourage my younger friends and family to be strong and discover themselves
*Plant a garden; even if its a container garden
*Stay financially focused and on top of things
*Organize my house to make me a more efficient person
*Quit putting things off for tomorrow...especially things like having lunch with friends, dinner with family, walks with my husband, fun with my sisters, relaxing with my grandparents
*Stay in contact with friends and family
*Send REAL MAIL birthday, anniversary, get well, and sympathy cards
*Save for the future but live for today

I believe that 2009 will be an even better year for us than 2008 was. 2008 was a better year than 2007, and it will keep getting better I hope and pray! May each of you also have a very prosperous new year and may the Spirit keep you filled and the love of God help you find your way! May His grace and mercy shower you and may you feel His blessings all year through!

God Bless!!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Holiday May-Hem

So the holiday rush is about over. Christmas has come and gone yet another time. Ours was a really great one this year! We had our extended family in town and despite a few small family "feuds", we all had a great time!!
Today, Sunday, everyone pretty much did their own thing for most of the day. Then this evening we all got together at Nana's (the "central hub") and talked, watched a slide-show, sang a song and tried to put off the goodbye's as long as possible!!! My cousin, Savannah and my sister, Lauren (both 16) and I wrote a Christmas song for our Nana and sang it to her again tonight. She loved it, as did everyone in the family!!
Yesterday we started out early and went to Folly Beach. Our goal was to see the Morris Island Lighthouse but even by the time we walked down the beach and around the point, it was still too foggy to see the lighthouse. So we just enjoyed a walk on the beach in the fog, some of us drawing in the sand, others picking up seashells, still others (well, ONE) standing knee deep in the water and then rolling, yes rolling, in the sand!! That last person would've been my cousin, Christopher, who is 9/10 and ALL BOY! LOL! Lots and lots of pictures and video were taken and overall a good time was had! We stopped for lunch afterwards and then after lunch, the girls (Lauren & Savannah--only 6 weeks apart) and I went shopping at Tanger Outlets and Northwoods Mall while the rest of the gang (Uncle Byron, Aunt Sandy, Aunty Heather, Mom, Lil' Heather, Chris, Sarah and Grandpa) went to the Krispy Kreme store and got doughnuts. Oh yea, after all that shopping we came home and everyone had pizza.
Friday was the day after Christmas. I went with my Mom and Dad and Grandpa to run a few errands and buy my new laptop!! Yes, I got a laptop for Christmas!! I was so excited and am still exploring it! For those of you high-tech peoples, its a Toshiba TL-60 with an AMD Turion x2 processor!! Lots of features that I cant' wait to discover! I can't remember what else we did Friday.....hmm...oh well maybe I'll remember later! (20 min later----) DUH!! The day after Christmas is NANA's birthday!!! DUH!! I was sitting here editing pics and realized that! We had party at Nana's Friday night. Our neighbors came down to help celebrate. Mom made a red velvet cheesecake that didn't last long after it was cut, and Aunty Heather served up some "sparkling cider". Another good time was had by all!
Thursday of course was Christmas! What a busy day! I actually had to go into work first thing and work in the kennel so by the time I got back, got a shower, and got ready to go to Nan's for presents and dinner it was close to 11a. There were so many presents to open! We all had a good time! After presents we started making final preparations for dinner and playing with our new toys! We pretty much all hung out at Nana's all day just enjoying the lazy day of family, friends, and food!
Wednesday was a good day too. It was a half day at work for me so I got off at 12, ran into town to get my nails redone and then came home and switched off b/t wrapping presents, cleaning house, and hanging out with family. I was up till 2:30 in the morning wrapping presents! I didn't realize I had gotten so much stuff for everyone! I really hope to get myself organized enough to where I am NOT staying up so late on Christmas Eve 2009!!
Tuesday was a normal work day for me and I admit it was pretty long! But the evening was to hold the biggest surprise. There we were, sitting around Nan's living room, all of us about to fall asleep but not wanting to leave. My dad and my Uncle Byron went out on the front porch. I was sitting closest to the door and my Nana was sitting two chairs away. The door opened and thinking it was just Dad and Byron, I turned quick like, and stopped!!! SURPRISE!! My aunt and two cousins had just arrived! At the last minute over the weekend they weren't supposed to be coming! I thought my Nana' was going to have a heart attack!! Tears were shed by all I do believe!!
Monday was filled with last minute shopping! Surprisingly the roads weren't too terribly bad!
Thats about as far back as my mind will allow me to go right now!HAH! I do remembre that my Grandpa got here the first part of December and we've had a lot of fun times with him!
Last Wednesday was the day that my uncle and his family made it in! It was really awesome! We hadn't seen them since last Christmas and I had never met his wife, my Aunt Sandy! She's an awesome lady! So sweet and just a great person all around! I'm so glad to have met her!

So all in all it was another great Christmas with the "Danels & Co Family Reunion". More tales to come I'm sure! I can't wait for next year although what I would really like to be able to do is take a visit up to Barrow AK! The tippy top of the US!~! That is where Byron, Sandy, & Savannah live right now!

Love to all and Happy New Year!!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

All Mixed Up & Nowhere to Turn

Yes, I know I haven't blogged in a long time. I just haven't felt up to it. But I'm blogging's all mix & match though so try not to get lost. I would love to write something spiritual and uplifting tonight but its all I can do to keep the tears at bay once again. I do not write this for pity, but I do appreciate your prayers. I'm sorry if it sounds like this is nothing but complaining...perhaps at a later date I will print it out, put it in my journal, and delete it from here. But for now....this is where I have been the last few weeks...this is the journey I've been on...these are the battles I face-day in and day out...this is my storm, my roller-coaster ride; this is who I am behind closed doors; behind the smile that might greet you; behind the laughter that may be shared. This is me right now....
I long for my house to be a house of peace & rest; to truly be "as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord". There is so much turmoil in my house, in my life, and in my marriage. I feel like I can't win; like I can't surface; like every time things begin to look up, the roller coaster takes a swift turn and goes down again. Nothing new, its the same story, same cycle time and again. I married a man of not perfect but wanting to do everything he could to serve. Now I've lost that man. I don't know where he went or why he left. I do wish he'd come back. I pray every day that whatever drove him away will be demolished by our Heavenly Father and that man of God that I married will come home. Wise friends keep telling me to be a woman of quiet spirit...I must stop and quote this verse here: " Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 4Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight." (That's 1 Peter 3:1-4.) I try, but I get lost and distracted so easily. I have little patience and cannot hold my tongue for long. I try to pray and my mind wanders. I try to read the Bible and find hope and I get distracted. I long to be a true woman of two of my good friends are (ironically both their names start with 'A'). If I could be just 1/4 the woman of God that they are, I would be so much better off! They have gentle, quiet, and sweet spirits; full of encouragement & always have the right things to say. They always have godly instructions; they're both my guardian angels. Their marriages-though not perfect-are on the right foot. They are in tune with the path God has called them on; they aren't afraid to speak the truth, no matter where they are or who they are with. They respect their husbands and their husbands respect them. They always have an ear to lend and a hug to give. No matter what, they've always been there for me. You know who you are and I thank you!
I feel like I stay stressed out every day. It seems that no matter how hard I try, I cannot find the will power, or the desire to keep up with simple things every day. Anything from household chores, to cooking dinner, to eating right and staying in shape. I do admit I am jealous of all my friends who somehow manage to stay small. And that's another personal battle that rages within me. Four years ago I was fairly thin. Probably from running the halls at SHS. :-) Now, I cannot stand to look at myself in the mirror; I cannot wear my favorite dresses or jeans. And if one more person asks if I'm pregnant I'm going to scream!! And yet I cannot get off my lazy duff on a consistent basis to do something about it.
I am sick of myself. I am sick of the woman I am becoming--physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Yet I do not know what to do or how to change it. I cannot figure out the steps I need to take. I was raised in church so I know all the "right things to say/do"; but I want the REAL stuff. Not churchy stuff...I want the real-life stuff; the "in-your-face" stuff. Most of the time I feel like I am alone in this world. A married woman living a single life. I go to church alone (thank goodness for the sisters mentioned above); I run errands alone; I clean the house and cook alone; I feed and walk the dog alone. Some nights I watch TV or read a book alone. I pay bills alone and balance the checkbook alone. I talk to myself alone because there is no one here to listen. I argue with myself because there is no one here to talk through things with and even when there is, it usually starts an arguement so then I feel that it wasn't even worth trying to talk out. I AM SO CONFUSED!!! On the other hand, I'm not the only one who lives here; who swipes the debit card every day; who works crazy hours every day; who locks up and goes to bed here every day.
I guess it boils down to wanting to change but not knowing how; to missing the person who is supposed to be my best friend; to wanting a richer life (not money) and not knowing how to achieve that; to wanting to be on the same path together, with like-minded goals & dreams. As a Chris Rice song says, "I miss the easy days of childhood....where dipping yesterdays french fries in last week's ketchup was all I could mess up..." (paraphrased...not exact!). Although I wouldn't trade parts of my life that I have now, some days I wish I could go back to the high school days where the most pressing thing on my plate was getting good grades and making it to class on time. I'm really just a simple girl trying to figure out her path in life....and getting lost and sidetracked with every step I take. ~~~