30 March 2009

While I'm Waiting...

This seems like the theme song to my life lately...thanks, John Waller, for hitting the nail on the head.  :)  You might recognize this from Fireproof--it's a beautiful song!  

I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait

I will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
While I'm waiting
I will serve You
While I'm waiting
I will worship
While I'm waiting
I will not faint
I'll be running the race
Even while I wait

I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it's not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait

I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve you while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting on You, Lord

Today I did something while I'm waiting...won't tell you what just yet, but I took the first step toward a dream James and I have had for years.  :)  

22 March 2009

A third blog? Really??

We moved to Brenham almost 3 years ago, and I intended to be published by now.  I guess I've written several things since then, but none of them exactly what I had in mind.  Lately I've had the itch to write, and I'm working on a big curriculum project, so I thought, why not combine the two?  Why not blog--even if just the PPCD team reads it--about things I enjoy doing?  Maybe some of my Mommy friends will read it, too, and try some of the activities with their kiddos.  We'll see.  Maybe I'll let it fall by the wayside, maybe I won't.  We'll never know if we don't try, will we?

So here's where we are today:  we're going to have sandwiches for lunch, then go on a drive to find a field of buttercups.  Then we'll go get some ice cream and come home for naps...sounds like a plan, doesn't it?  :)  Hope you're enjoying your Sunday, as well!


Several years ago, when I was still a 24/7 teacher (and just learning to be married to my husband, not my job), I fell off a desk and tore up my ankle.  The injury isn't really the point of the story, but it's where the story starts.  Anyway, we lived in the Heights but I taught in GPISD, and I couldn't drive for almost 2 months.  James was working freelance at the time and we figured he'd have to take me, so we were going to suck it up.  But a couple of girls at school also lived in the Heights, and I can't remember if I asked or they offered, but before I knew it I was included in their carpool.  And that's how Lauren and I became such good friends (Lauren is Kayci's godmother, for those of you that don't know the family tree).  Anyway...I digress, as always.  The point of the story is, and I seem to have left the point out--I needed to learn, at that point in my life, how to depend on others and ask for help.  Apparently I wasn't learning fast enough, so God gave me a little push (literally, I guess) and there it was.  At the time I was very aware of the silver lining, and grateful for the life lesson.  I still struggle with this one at times, but I'm about a thousand times better than I was 10 years ago.  So that's good.  

I'm human, I know, more human than most a lot of days, and I know I still have a lot of things to work on.  I'm a work in progress, as I think we all are.  Our new life (well, not so new anymore, but ever-changing) life here in Brenham has really been good for our family, for me, and for my marriage.  One thing it hasn't been so good for?  My OCD tendencies.  Until I had Noble, I was worse than ever about keeping a freakishly clean & neat & organized house.  I've mellowed a bit since then (a 20-lb. wrecking ball will do that), but I still struggle with wanting things to be EXACTLY RIGHT so I can function comfortably.  And I struggle, and I struggle...

If you've read my posts lately, you know that things are pretty much up in the air here...both in life and in our home.  The home front is a bit more settled (now the kids' room is pretty much the only area of the house that's not "right"...and the shed, and the yard, and the garden I want to plant...) but life is about the same.  Last weekend we all went to Pottsboro and had a great time; Noble got sick on Monday and has been sick since.  Because he was running a fever/had a virus, we couldn't be around Dad at all this week, which put a crimp in our plans to be there this weekend to help them with some things, just spend time with them.  It's important that we spend time with Dad now, because as the pain increases and they up his meds he'll withdraw even more...but that's another story.  The point is, life is up in the air.  The more out of control things feel in my life, the more I crave order and routine...probably a false sense of security, prideful need to feel in control--I know my faults, people.  But here's the thing:  I've quit making plans.  It sucks always having to cancel, either because something's going on with Dad or because Noble's sick (again), and it's easier to just take it one day at a time.  (Bah bah da bah bah...one day at a bah bah da bah...)  There's a big, obvious life lesson in there, I know--Kristi is not in control.  Seriously, God, I get it.  But here's the blessing in this season of my life:  it's not uncomfortable anymore.  I'm sitting here in my bedroom, next to ugly plastic tubs with clothing hanging out of them, next to an unmade bed (because I'm washing sheets after we take a nap, yea to both!!)...and it's okay.  Kayci's been on Spring Break for nine days, Noble missed four days of school, I've gotten NOTHING accomplished in nine days...and it's okay.  The house is exactly as it was when Spring Break started...and it's okay.  2 baskets of clean laundry are waiting to be put away...and it's okay.  Hopefully I'll get to some of this stuff tomorrow, or later this week.  But if not, it's okay.  If you don't know me and you're still reading this, you probably think I'm crazy and you're probably right.  Like I don't have bigger things in my life right now to worry about than laundry, right?  Well, I do, but getting the laundry done is one more way I can keep putting one foot in front of the other and feel like I'm doing something other than waiting, feel like I'm still LIVING my life, one day at a time.  (No theme song here--not as funny the 2nd time, I suspect.)  But the difference now, as opposed to before, is that I understand that I can still LIVE when things are not exactly "my way," or when things aren't comfortable for me.  I can live, not just survive, in the meantime, in the waiting.  Life doesn't stop just because a life is coming to an end, and I guess that's the heart of the matter, isn't it?

So there's the silver lining.  In this season where death is constantly with us, I'm learning how to truly live.  A couple of years ago, before they figured out it was my gall bladder and James and I were a little scared, we made a pact to quit waiting for tomorrow...to say what we need to say when it needs to be said, to love fully, give generously, laugh as much as we want to, and just say screw it when something's not important.  We agreed to keep the first things first:  faith, family, and friends.  And I think we've done pretty well.  Maybe our yard has suffered a bit, and at times my baseboards are a little dusty, but my life is pretty awesome.  It's funny how life happens the way it does, and at times, like now, you can look back at the journey and just see all of the pieces fall together.  I wouldn't be the person I am today without the lessons I've learned in the past--and each lesson builds on the last.  It's pretty cool how God ties it all together, and even more cool at times when I can step back and see His work in my life and how He uses the people around me to be my teachers, and mirrors when I need them.  

I'm grateful for those of you still reading who are my friends, who are always there when we need something, big or small.  I woke up this morning with lots of things on my mind.  I know that some of you are hurting as well, and I know you wonder how I keep smiling every day.  This is how. It's not just for show--I'm happy, and I'm okay with what's coming next for my family.   Dad's cancer has absolutely nothing to do with me, I know that...but it has changed everything, and lots of that needed to be changed.  It is what it is--life.  Hope it helps, if it's what you needed.  And if not, we'll keep looking--I'm here for you, too.  :)  

20 March 2009

Time for Spring!

This won't really matter to many of you, but a few of you will be (almost!) as excited as I am...

James got our spring/summer clothes out of storage this week.  This has kind of been the benchmark for me--these are the clothes that I bought after I lost weight, had my gall bladder out, and wore up until I got pregnant with Noble.  These are the clothes I wore after I lost weight several years ago after my brief Quick Weight Loss experience...these are the little size 12 toile dresses that I'm dying to wear again.  I know that I've lost weight over the past few months, but I was cautiously hopeful that it was enough to put me back in my cute dresses and skirts.  And--with the exception of the toile dresses--everything fits.  WELL.  Not like, I can squeeze it closed and sausage myself in there, but the clothes fit comfortably.  Hooray!!!  So, my wardrobe just grew considerably...time for some shoe shopping now!  (And for those of you that know the toiles--I can wear them, zip them, etc--but they're so tight you can see where my belly button goes in, so we'll hold off on them for a few months!  I haven't worn the one dress since Kristen's wedding in Galveston...geez, how many years ago was that??)

Here's the hard part, though:  these clothes also represent my weight-loss plateau.  I lost weight right before Kayci's 2nd birthday and got down to my pre-pregnancy weight.  I lost weight for Mandy's wedding...and got BACK down to my pre-pregnancy weight.  I don't know what the scales say right now, but that's the size I am right now.  Here's the thing, though:  this time, I expect to go the distance.  Both times before, some major life things sent me off the rails (the whole year-long renovation/eating out/James on the road 3 hours a day thing for one, and getting pregnant with Noble 2 summers ago--which I'm forever grateful for that weight gain!).  Anyway, I was so miserable being FAT after I had Kayci, and I was determined not to be that way again after I had Noble.  I got off track for a while this past summer and fall dealing with Dad's stuff, but I'm back on track now...and ready to be healthy, and stay healthy.  I know in my head what it takes, and for the most part I've been doing it for these past few months.  I'm excited to see that plain ol' self control has paid off, and I'm excited to see what will happen when I start EXERCISING again.  So that's next on my list of "things to do for me."  As of Monday, I'm going back on the gall bladder diet--no meat, no fried.  Wish me luck--it's time to step it up a notch!  

12 March 2009

Breaking Up is Hard to Do...

I started this post Monday morning and then, as is usually the case, got busy and didn't finish it. It's been a long 4 days and I can't seem to catch this train of thought, so I'll post what I've got and I'll know, inside, that this could have been very touching. :)

Approximately an hour and a half ago, I bit the bullet. I did it. It was hard, it was a bit embarrassing, with all of the begging and pleading and offers of all kinds of crazy stuff if we could just keep the relationship going.

I thought I'd feel more than this. Sad, maybe. Relieved, maybe, at not having to hide anymore. I'm not sure what you'd call it--if men have mistresses, what do women have? Hmm. I'd say a Sugar Daddy, but I definitely paid in this relationship. And paid and paid and paid...

For years, I turned to you when I was bored, sad, happy, excited, devastated, embarrassed, proud...I could rationalize our time together a million different ways. Sometimes James sanctioned our relationship, but too many times we had to hide, you and I. I remember coming home and hiding where I'd been, hoping he wouldn't check the credit card statements too closely that month. And when he did catch me, not in a lie, because I never lied, but in an omission...ah, not my best moments. I remember how my stomach would hurt from nerves, anxiety that this time he might just catch us and end our relationship forever. But somehow, he always managed to forgive me my indiscretions, just as I looked the other way and pretended not to see his.

You've been my constant companion, and our relationship has endured even longer than my relationship with James. You've always been there for me, since that time in college when you helped me out with Sami...remember how I thought she needed only the best of everything, from dog shampoo to Science Diet? What an expensive mutt she turned out to be. And then there were all of the "extras" you helped me with...from Biolage shampoo to shoes to clothes and eventually even some furniture. You were there when the car broke down, or when there was too much month left at the end of the money. How many times did we go shopping for gifts, intending to be good but then saying what the heck? and splurging anyway? You've been there through the good times and the not so good times. You've been on vacation with us more times than I can count. Remember that time we went to the Grand Canyon and we ran out of money 2 days before we came home? That was pretty crazy, but we made it through somehow. How silly (and young and dumb?) were we? There's the computer you bought--we intended to pay you back when the next Dick Cricket check came in, but you know... Or the computer equipment you bought and we thought, oh, we'll pay you back when we get our tax refund...hmm.  How'd that work out?

For years, you and I have had an unhealthy relationship.  I'd use you, you'd pay me back and then some.  You cost me so much more than you were worth, and I couldn't see it because after living the lie for so long, being with you just seemed "normal."  After all, everyone does it, right?  Wrong.  I'm not doing it anymore--in fact, even before we broke up officially today, I haven't seen you in MONTHS.  You've still been there, though, just waiting for me to backslide, but this time I didn't.  And I won't.  

I have to say, though, that this morning was just embarrassing.  The begging, the pleading, the offers...too little, too late.  Years too late, actually.  I know there will be other suckers out there who fall for your smooth talk and promises, but I'll do my part to let people know what a liar and a cheat you are.  

Goodbye, Discover card.  So long, old friend. I won't say that I'll miss you, because when I think of all that you ultimately cost me over the years, I get very angry--not at you, but at myself. I'm glad to see you go, and all the wrong in my life that you represent.

02 March 2009

Upload Complete!

1:55 PM, Monday

So, it took more than the hour or two I'd planned today, and now my friends will probably not have a homecooked meal in a Kristi-clean house, but a warmed up meal in a clean enough house...but I'm DONE with the project that has been my constant worry and companion since December.

Praise the Lord and pass the biscuits!

Mind Chatter

Whenever we go to an Amanda workshop (I've mentioned Amanda Letsos before--she's an amazing person, great friend and just an inspiration, period!), she always begins with Mind Chatter.  For just a minute, we write down everything that's on our mind (picking up the kids, what happened at school that day, the grocery list...you get the idea) and then we put that paper, and in so doing, the mind chatter, away.  It's actually a pretty cool technique and works wonders for me.  So I thought I'd start my workday off with some mind chatter, then get cracking.

First of all, technically I worked from 4:30-6:30 AM so this is just part 2 of my workday.  But since it's now after 8, we'll call it the beginning of the workday.  Man, 8:39 already??  I took Kayci to school this morning then went and switched cars with James at Germania...we're working with one Noble carseat right now which hasn't been an issue until he started daycare.  We want to have the same routine with him that we had with Kayci, where Daddy takes him and Mommy picks him up...but we're going to have to buy a 2nd carseat pretty quick.  :)  We'll get there.  Everyone had a great morning...we talked last night about what we were all wearing today and everything was ready to go last night, so that made a big difference.  For all of us to shower, dress, eat and do various chores and still hit the door at 7:40...big deal around here.  Tomorrow we'll shoot for 7:35.  :)  It's kind of nice to take Kayci to school when it's just the two of us...something that hasn't happened for the past year.  Driving away from her school this morning, I was struck by how WEIRD it was to be in the car alone.  I didn't hear Noble breathing or talking right behind me like I always do...I was completely, utterly alone.  I guess I am right now, too.  Hmm.  It feels different, that's for sure--I can really relax and just BE in this moment, focus on the job before me and not worry about being called away, and having to worry about finding time later to finish...seriously, I could get spoiled by this whole daycare thing!  Not really, but it's nice to have some dedicated work time for the first time in yes, I'll say it again, a year.  

I'm sitting at the table in the corner of my room, and it's practically perfect.  We didn't get a chance to move Noble's crib this weekend, so that's still here, and the mirror's still sitting beside the dresser instead of on top of it...but the room is clean, the sun's bright, the music's mine and I'm ready to work.  

Usually when I come in from taking Kayci to school, I put Noble down for a morning nap and then run around like a madwoman doing as much housework and work as I can before he wakes up.  But today when I came in, I walked through the mess to my room.  I did indulge my neat freak a bit and made the bed and picked up a few stray things in my room before I sat down to work--I can't have distractions, and undone work distracts me.  :)  So I'm going to sit here and finish the last piece of the course I'm writing, then load it into what feels like 50 classes.  It's not really that much, but it's kind of penance for turning it in late...instead of uploading it once, I've got to upload 2 pieces into about 15 classes and make the same changes in every course, which will be time consuming.  But like I said, it's penance...I don't mind doing the extra work that I created for myself by missing the deadline.  But that's neither here nor there...what's important is that I'm maybe an hour or two away from a huge, huge weight off my shoulders.  I got up early this morning and finished another huge project (well, this part of it that was due last week...ah, there's a theme here) and it feels great to not have that hanging over me, either.  I am caught up on my Coordinator job, at least until the reports roll in tomorrow, and I think a few good days of GPISD work this week will do me a world of good.  Once I wrap these 2 large Region 4 jobs, I'll focus on the curriculum/program work for PPCD/GPISD.  It'll feel good after all these years to finish what I started almost 5 years ago...and this time, I'm working with a great team who I really enjoy learning from/with.

But I digress.  To work then, and when I'm done I'll probably do a Kristi dance and then indulge my neat freak some more and clean up the house for Bunko tonight.  And go to the store, and put away laundry, and maybe enter some receipts...and do my best to not worry about my little Bubby at daycare.  :)  

Ooh, and totally off the subject...I cannot WAIT to watch the Bachelor in the morning.  Although I know I'll cry when he breaks the girl's heart. :(...  don't tell me how it ends!!