Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ethan J Tanner

Tomorrow evening and Saturday morning are going to be two very hard days of my life.

Tomorrow evening is Ethan's viewing and Saturday morning will be his funeral aka life celebration.

This week I've been able to hold myself together rather well. Early morning and right before bed are the hardest for me. That's when my mind has enough time for it to sort of be realistic as my head goes back to a ton of memories.

However, I'm handling this well because I'm simply not dealing with it. It isn't real. I'm going through the motions. But not the emotions.

Ethan was very special to me....and a huge part of my heart. In the past year-and-a-half Ethan slowly wove himself to become an extension of me, a special treasure that slowly started to fuse himself into the innermost parts of my heart.

My life has changed so dramatically since I first met Ethan and Ethan is a huge part of the reason that I am who I am while I sit here and write this. He has not only become a part of me but Ethan has taught me so much about who I am, who I'm not, and about life. He has given me so much more than I could ever give him and taught me so much more than I could have ever taught him.

Ethie was my little ray of sunshine. Quite literally. His smile always lit up the room...but Ethie never failed to light me up. It didn't matter what was going on in my life, what hardships I face, what mood I was in. As soon as I was Ethan, my heart was warmed, my life was brighter, I had hope, and I had joy. Ethan was the most joyful, happy person I have ever met....and he faced hardships daily that I couldn't even imagine facing. He lived his life with joy. In all the time I ever knew him I only heard him really cry twice. Well I heard him cry at night when I babysat for the first bit but I never heard him really CRY but twice. Twice. It didn't matter if he could or couldn't do it, he never gave up trying. It didn't matter if his body couldn't keep going, he never gave up. Even when he couldn't breathe, even when his body was exhausted and failing, he kept pushing it. And he smiled, all the time. I almost never saw him without a smile. There wasn't a time that I couldn't make him laugh or giggle. It was who he was.

And it was through his smiles and love that I found a love that I can't imagine never having felt. I don't have my own kids but I have known the pure, unconditional, wonderful love of a child. And it's so beautiful.

Ethan's love and his smiles and his friendship saved my heart in so many ways since I met him.

My life is richer because of his presence. And because of the presence of his parents.

Annie and Justin are two of the most humble, loving, dedicated and wonderful couples/parents I have ever met. Their example of parenthood and marriage and love towards each other has been so amazing. They welcomed me into their home and their lives, entrusting me with all of their children and entrusting me in the care of their special little boy. They allowed me to come into their home and lives and to receive the love of their children and bond with them in very special unique ways; and I can't thank them enough for that. It has meant the world for me. I don't think Annie and Justin realize how much of an impact their family has had on my life and the special place they will always have in my heart in so many ways. Words like appreciation and gratefulness are simply and never will be sufficient.

God knew I needed Ethan. And I would like to think that in some small way Ethan's life was made a bit more peaceful and happier because I was able to serve him and to serve our Heavenly Father by serving Ethie's needs.

Tomorrow is going to be hard for me. And quite sad. It is going to be all too real.

But I have a sense of peace. Ethan fulfilled his purpose here on earth. And while I am so heartbroken to see him go, I look at my heart and how rich it is, how full it is, because of his presence in my life...and then I look at how many other people he was able to impact in his short five years on earth. I only hope that I can impact a fraction of the lives that Ethie was able to impact and touch in his short five years. More than that, I know that our Heavenly Father has a greater purpose for Ethie in heaven than here on earth. God works everything for a purpose. And He needed Ethan. Ethan was called home. Ethan is now free from the restraints of his earthly body. Ethan is now FREE of the restraints of his earthly body that kept him from doing everything that he wanted to do.

I also am very thankful to the Lord that Ethan died peacefully. I think that the Lord knew on top of the rest of my overwhelmed life that taking Ethan would be a bit unbearable for me. And I thank God so much for allowing me to opportunity to have one last evening with Ethie on thursday before he passed.

Ethan was so excited to see me come over that night! I only got to play with him for a mere 20 minutes before I put them to bed but I got to shoot guns with him and tickle him and play high-five with him. I walked him down the hall with him giggling as I was making him "leap" down the hall. Kaden had picked out three books to read (I always read three books Kaden picked out and then a fourth that we always had to read). I then let Ethan brush his teeth...and of course he giggled because when I said "ok we're all done dude" he found it amusing to pick up his tooth brush again and clamp his teeth down on it and laugh. I then picked him up and carried him into bed.

Kaden had found three books but we couldn't find the fourth book, the book we always had to read...I Love You Through and Through. I looked up high and low, in the bedroom and the office for the book. And I couldn't find it. I didn't like that, because I loved that book. I read it the first time I ever tucked the boys in and it was perfect. I loved those boys and I got to tell them that in this book. Not to mention it was interactive as I always had them point to the body part or make the expression. At the end of the book it says "I love you through and through, yesterday, today and tomorrow, too." I loved that I got to tell them that when I read the book!! However I couldn't find the book...but my thought was "well there's always next time".

So I got to read them the books, and tell them I loved them through and through. Ethan got to point to the pictures in the book and he smiled each time he did. Then I tucked them in. Kaden first, like always, because he's on the top bunk. Snug as a bug in a rug. I'd tuck the covers in tight at their sides. I asked Kaden where he wanted his kisses, the forehead or cheek, to which he hid under the blanket as normal so I tickled him out and gave him a big ol smooch on the cheek and told him I loved him. And then I went down to Ethan. Snug as a bug in a rug. And he smiled at me. I asked him where he wanted his kisses, his forehead or his cheek, to which he pointed straight at his forehead. So I gave him four forehead and kisses and then he pointed again (like normal) so I giggled and gave another and did this a couple times. I finally said "last one!". I then told the boys I loved them and I would see them later and to sleep tight. I then turned off the lights, said "I love you" again and walked out.

About 45 minutes later I went in to check that he was still on his back and breathing, I put my hand on his chest to feel it rise and put my head down next to his to hear him breath and then I walked back out, feeling good knowing that Ethie was doing ok.

And that's the last time I saw him. But I am so thankful, because I got to love up on him one last time, and play with him one last time. I think the Lord knew I needed that and wouldn't have been able to be ok without that.

I regret that I couldn't read Ethan our special book...but in the grand scheme of things it's ok because I got to tell him I loved him one last time and got to tell him goodnight. I needed that. And I think in the long run, I will be able to handle this better because of it.

I will miss Ethan....more than I can express. This world is a little less brighter. But I hope that through Ethan's lessons I can live my life with a lot more joy and a lot more love and I can impact the world in those same ways.

I love you through and through, Ethan J Tanner.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I Love You Through and Through

I love you through and through.
I love your top side
I love your bottom side
I love your inside
and outside.
I love your happy side
your sad side
your silly side
your mad side.
I love your fingers
and toes
your ears
and nose.
I love your hair
and eyes
your giggles
and cries.
I love you running
and walking
and talking.
I love you through and through,
and tomorrow too.

Now he is running with the angels. And I hope he is enjoying EVERY minute of it! I love you through and through Ethan J Tanner

Friday, January 21, 2011

Gallery, eh?

It would be an understatement to say that I keep our household current and keep it organized. And by that I mean I'm constantly the one making sure the house stays clean and organized and neat and I put things where they belong. And on top of that I sorta decorate and keep all the picture frames current and keep everything updated. Not like a show home but if we have stuff then why not use it and rotate it and keep it looking good?!?!

Anywho, I found a ton of photo frames a few years ago and upon my mom's go-ahead I put up these frames with a theme down the hallway. And then I found all of our huge senior photo prints in the storage closet so I helped my mom find matting frames and we found a place to display them on the wall in the dining room. I just updated another hallway's pictures that were over a decade old as far as the pictures of us kid so I updated them and added new family photo frames up, including pictures of my brother's wedding.

Well on top of that, my mom has started adding my personal photography around the house. First she added a rose collage series on her bedroom wall (she LOVES roses and they happened to be our rose bushes in the backyard). And now she is requesting some of the photos I took at the wedding along with some of the sunflower fields that I took awhile ago.

On top of that I have TONS of photo frames upstairs that I take care of and update. Most of it is my own photography with the exception of a whole bunch of family photos that I will edit from any camera and take. I also have paintings and drawings that I've done along with paintings that friends have done.

Basically I have no portfolio, other than some of what I shoot that makes it on my wall. I don't consider it really great work but I do get compliments on it and my mom says I have an "eye", whatever that means. I'm not quite sure about that but I've heard several people comment on some of my photos. I take pride in what I do display has very little to no editing but I don't have high-tech stuff to take "great" shots. I just shoot from my heart and I LOVE shooting my little kiddos.

Anywho, my mom keeps sending me links of people who are looking for wedding photographers. I am SO not good enough for that. However, I have been wrestling with the idea (especially at my mom's encouragement) of selecting a number of photos and finding a small shop or coffee shop or such that will display some of my photos for sale. I think it would be awesome if I could somehow make a little bit of money off of my work if others like it. It might be a random and hopeful dream but I have been tossing it around a little bit....

First off I would need to choose a selection of my photos that I would like others to know me by. And then after that I'd have to somehow come up with a watermark logo and then I'd have to find a shop that would be willing to display my photos (assuming they liked them). But before that, I have to get the courage to do it!!!

Maybe soon ;-)

However, here's what I would like to ask anyone who actually reads you think more people are inclined to buy color or black-and-white or does it really just depend on the photo?!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Good Reads

So I thought I would make a little list of my recent reads that I would recommend to others to read.

I love reading and I love a great story...however, I don't spend as much time reading anymore but when I DO read a book and I like it, I totally will share it with everyone else.

Right now I'm on this Jodi Picoult kick...her books are really good. She has a unique way of writing where she bumps back and forth from the perspective of all the important characters so you get to really get in the head and get to know each character that is important to the novel. As well, her novels offer moral dilemmas that make you think. In each of her books, the ending always astounds you and sometimes the ending isn't even really a full ending - sometimes you are left with lots of questions. But in her stories before you read it, if someone were to ask you the question "What would you do if (insert moral dilemma situation)?" you think you can answer with a cut and dry response. Her books then hit you with the morality and humanness of the said situation and they make you think. You become part of the story and you can't answer so easy. As the story goes on you start to relate to each character and see all sides of the dilemma.

Anywho here are a couple of those stories I LOVED and would recommend:

*My Sister's Keeper - I don't care if you have seen the movie, but ESPECIALLY if you've seen the movie you HAVE to read the book!! The reason: the book is SOOO much different than the movie. This is one of those movies I REALLY wanted to slap Hollywood for making a movie. Seriously Hollywood completely changed the story and kept the title...and they didn't tell the story the way it happened AND they left out a crucial character and storyline. Ugh. Please read it. The book is great!!

*House Rules - If you have ever known someone with autism, or more specifically someone with Asperger's, this book is hilarious. The plot of the story isn't funny but getting to watch this author so wonderously and accurately get in the head of an autistic kid was amazing but she did it SO well that I was envisioning my kiddos. It made me laugh as it reminded me so much of a couple of my kiddos and their own little autistic tendencies!

There is another story by an author named Kristin Hannah called Firefly Lane that encompassed a lifelong friendship between two girls who became best friends in middle school and never looked back. It goes from their childhood to their dreams and how their friendship falls apart but the sister-like bond that these two women have. I literally cried the whole last part of the book (yes I'm a chick....which funny enough I wrote a post about this book making me realize how much of a chick I am because it made me cry) and it was an amazing read. I totally recommend it!!

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini is an amazing "cultural" read that I would recommend to anyone. I don't even want to try to explain it...just pick it up and read it!!

Right now I'm working on getting started reading The Shack and then I'm going to read Memoirs of a Geisha. As a slow guilty pleasure read I'm also reading The Tattoo Chronicles by Kat Von D (which is basically her journal turned into a book) and I read an entry from that from time-to-time.

Man on man, too many good reads, so little time....

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Today I got to thinking about the value of culture, what it plays in our lives, and the emphasis we put on it.

Romero, my brother from Brazil (foreign exchange student) is visiting for a couple of weeks. And today we went to his other host family's place for a Brazilian dinner. Nancy and Terri love Brazil and have hosted a number of foreign exchange students from Brazil and visit Brazil about every two years for missionary trips.

So a few of those former host students live in the surrounding area and with Romero back in the US for these past couple weeks, they decided to have a Brazilian dinner.

The food was delicious and it was awesome to learn a little bit about the culture.

But it's so amazing to watch two cultures come together.

Here's what I've noticed from interacting with lots of people from all over the world:

Everyone loves to share about their culture. For the most part, humans are self-centered. And we love to share what is familiar to us and our lives. Not only is Romero really quick to talk about his culture but we are quick to tell him about ours. And this is how people are. We WANT to share our way of life with others.

Culture is important. Believe it or not, we identify by our culture. It molds and shapes it and we have to justify it and make it something that is semi-appealing. But culture makes up all of who we are. And parts of it mold us to become parts of our culture that we don't want to be.

We LOVE to experience other cultures!! We love to be exposed to new things.

Ok well that last one might just be me ;-) But I love getting to experience new foods and languages and ways of life. I mean I'm not always comfortable with it but it's SO FASCINATING to see how differently other people live, yet how at the same time just HOW similar we are. I love culture.

I want to go travel and experience many many more cultures. I'll always love my culture, where I come from, what has shaped me. It will always be home. But I would love to go see the cultures of the rest of the world :-)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Don't Leave Yogurt Unattended

I got the chance to substitute teach in the SPED room at Pennock Elementary today.

I had a blast! I needed the chance to work with these kiddos.

I got to work with this one little girl S who totally cracked me up! She is so energetic and just goes a million miles an hour all the time. She talks and talks and sometimes gets really bossy, especially when she's getting tired or hungry.

Anyway, she didn't really eat lunch while we were at lunch but this is normal so she always has ramen noodles afterwards. I made her noodles and was sitting with her while encouraging her to eat. Well I found myself getting rather hungry as it was 12:45 and I wasn't scheduled for my lunch break until 1:15 so I decided to pop open my yogurt I had brought with me for the day.

I had brought an old regular Yoplait peach yogurt as someone had bought it and it's been sitting in there for a little bit. I personally prefer Stonyfield Organic yogurt or greek yogurts (especially vanilla or strawberry flavors) so it was just something I threw in as a filler for a break time.

Seizing this opportunity I opened it and sat down next to S. She decided she was going to try and trade her noodles for my yogurt. When that didn't succeed she asked if she could try it to which I said yes (as she isn't on food restrictions) and seriously about 30 seconds later my whole yogurt was gone! I had one bite and she downed the rest.

Apparently S likes peach yoplait yogurt!!

Oh and speaking of food...the MOST adorable thing happened to me last week while babysitting.

For the first time in months I got to babysit for one my fav families, the Tanners. Ethie was getting surgery so I was babysitting Kaden and Lizzy. TOTALLY a piece of cake as Kaden is so self-sufficient and self-entertaining while Lizzy is now one and is little ms. independent. She's a year and two months old, is and always has been such a tiny little girl with a HUGE personality, and has always been really smart. Well I haven't seen her in several months which means she went from being on the cusp of being able to walk to walking/running/going up and down stairs on her own. She's a teeny bit bigger with more hair and a couple more teeth. Her facial expressions are still just as loud and strong and independent...she has a little temper and will of her own and can amuse herself all day long. She's very vocal but so loving and sweet. Honestly, THE cutest little girl I have ever seen in my life.

Anywho, I made Kaden some chicken nuggets for dinner and she came wandering in the kitchen with wide eyes rubbing her belly and I asked if she wanted some and she shook her head yes and went and tried to climb up into her chair. So I popped in some chicken nuggets to warm and strapped her in the high chair. I gave her the chicken nuggets, some crackers and some apple slices for dinner. Then I sat down and ate mine. After I was done, I went and grabbed two oreos (I had seen the package sitting in the pantry when I was looking for ideas for dinner). I came back with one in my hand and munching on the other. Her eyes got BIG and BRIGHT...she apparently knows what they are!! She held out her hand and I told her that she couldn't have them, they were mine and that she needed to eat her food. Then I hid them behind my cup, of which she kept trying to peek around to see if it was there or if I had eaten it. I sat there for awhile and she kept trying to reach for my cookie with me always telling her no.

Well after a little while she got SMART!! She picked up a cracker and offered it to me, obviously in exchange for the oreo!!! As cute and intelligent as it was, I had to fight back giggles and laughter to tell her that she needed to eat her chicken nuggets and crackers and the cookie was for after dinner. Well she kept offering the cracker and after about five minutes gave up.

Well she must have been deep in thought because a few seconds later she looks up, screamed at me to get my attention, offered me the cracker and then with her big deep blue sweet innocent eyes and cheeks, she gave me those "pretty please" eyes and then took her little fist and signed please on her chest!!!

OH MY GOODNESS!!! I HAD to give her an oreo!! How can you possibly resist that?!?! Not only is she a year and two months old but she's negotiating food and signing please. I'd have to say she deserved the oreo!! (which was a whole other moment of laughter for me watching her methodically break it open, lick ALL the middle out and then eat the cookie part getting it ALL OVER her face and hair and hands!!

I love kids...such great memories!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Man on the Balcony

My junior year of high school we hosted a foreign exchange student from Brazil named Romero. It was his senior year and he lived in the room right across from mine, here in the second floor of our house. That was almost seven years ago. Crazy how time flies!!

Romero is back in the United State visiting. He spent two weeks in Florida with his parents and is spending two weeks here in Colorado with us. He has been here for a week-and-a-half now and it's amazing to me how much he remembers. His english picked right back up to what it was before, despite not having spoke it hardly at all for six years. He understands humor and slang, although some newer stuff we have to explain to him. He's not afraid to ask questions, like before. But basically, his mind remembers everything!

But I tell you all this because of something else that is pretty prevalent in my life, living here back at home.

I call him The Dark Man.

I believe in spirits, in angels, and demons....and have always been fascinated by the paranormal. It's not something I'm extra sensitive to, just something that I believe is there.

Well we built this house we live in. My parents designed it, we built it, we moved in. There are no previous owners, no deaths or whatever, just us. But about two years after we moved in, I started getting the sense of being watched. I shook it off for the most part, just blaming it on my fear of the dark coupled with my habit when I was younger of watching horror movies. I sorta freak out and get paranoid in the night time. That is...until I started seeing shadows occasionally out of the corner of my eye. I still just rationalized that what I was seeing was me wanting to see/sense something. Until I started seeing a dark cloaked man in the room across the balcony.

I told my mom and she just excused it, saying my overactive mind was getting the best of me. She said that I wasn't seeing anything and there's nothing that could possibly be there. We built this house remember?

So I never told anyone about this dark man with the trench coat and hat that I started to see on a semi-regular basis.

That is until one night when my best friend Gwen was staying the night. She went into the bathroom to brush her teeth and take off her make-up and she came running into my room a little freaked out saying she thought she saw a man in the room across the balcony. I calmly asked her what she was talking about and to describe him to me. When she did, I told her that she wasn't crazy and what she had just seen was my ghost.

Same exact thing happened with my best friend Britt about six months later. Without me telling her. She saw him as well. Each describing the same man to me.

A few times I have awoke to him standing near the foot of the bed, with it freaking me out.

Mainly he just observes. He's not bad but he's not too friendly. He's very curious about me and just watches, sometimes from a distance, sometimes up close.

When my Grams lived here, she saw him and experienced him on a regular basis.

When Britton lived here, I once asked him if he had felt like he was being watched. I asked him this one night while we were downstairs getting food late one night in the kitchen. When I moved back home last January, he came back watching me very casually and becoming even more curious-er and observant. When Britton moved in, I could feel that curiousity coming from him alter into another feeling. He became protective, and jealous almost, as I am the main person he has attached to. He started off being territorial from a distance but had started coming "closer" and "closer" the longer that Britton stayed here. I had noticed but didn't know if B had noticed anything. He said he occasionally felt like being watched and said he had seen stuff out of the corner of his eye but he never thought much about it.

Well funny enough, with Britton no longer living here, the feelings of jealousy have resided. He initially started coming closer, blatantly walking into my room one night and scaring the shit out of me. I rolled over and asked him to leave. And since then he has sorta backed off a bit.

Well I tell all this because the other day, as I was sitting downstairs on the couch with my laptop, Romero asked me casually "do you still see the guy upstairs, the ghost?" Bewildered I looked at him and said "All the time! Why, have you seen him?!" And he said yes, he was here when he lived here six years ago and he has seen him every day since he's been back!! Romero even commented on how at first it had freaked him out but he doesn't get a bad vibe from our in-house spirit. He just gets a really curious vibe and Romero gets the vibe that the man is most curious about me. Romero said he almost always sees him upstairs and the man is almost always in the guest bedroom across the hallway.

Sometimes The Dark Man freaks me out. I don't know what to make of him. In fact, right now he's sitting somewhere near my door watching me, very intently trying to figure out what I'm doing. This sounds weird but I can just feel him. But at the same time, it's kind of comforting to know that it's someone who sorta watches out for me but isn't afraid to make it known to others that believe in spirits that he is present.

At least I know I'm not crazy!!

I don't know why, but I just wanted to share about the man on the balcony. Sometimes I wonder why he's still here, why he just resides here watching....I want to help him and figure out who he is. But how do I do that when he's just a spirit who has somehow attached himself to this house and to me?!

Friday, January 07, 2011

Why Hello There

It has been quite awhile since I have sat down to write...mainly because there's too many intimate details on my mind about situations that I'm not comfortable sharing with anyone, life is SO complicated, and it's hard for me to keep sitting still long enough to finish writing something. I pick up my journal and write sporadic thoughts ALL the time but I can't sit still long enough and be ok to pour out any thoughts on my heart. I find myself at a loss for words a good majority of the time though there is NO loss for intense emotions. There's so much on my heart and mind that I have to pour somewhere. In the past two months I have filled up half a journal with entries. That journals accompanies me in my purse almost everywhere.

It's hard for me to adequately write down my thoughts in a way that makes sense. In the translation of switching feelings into verbal words, I find myself writing one or two descriptive words. And then that just makes me seem crazy.

But I have a need to write, ALL the time. I'm finally becoming emotionally semi-stable enough again to sit down and share some of my heart with the world.

But what do I share?! I'm an open book....but how open do I want to be?!

Well here is what I know as of right now.

I am working my damndest....and by that I mean keeping myself busy as much as humanly possible. I'm not in a ful-filling job nor one that is even remotely close to being one I want to do for too long. But I'm working for the money. To pay off my credit card (I put quite a bit on there thanks to this little thing called retail therapy) and I just need to keep busy. I'm looking for other jobs but know I'm also not stable enough right now to know if that's exactly what I need to be doing right now. I need to be making better money, be in a job that will fulfill me, and one that is more along the lines of what I want to do...but right now I'm not sure when I'll let myself get there. For now I work as a substitute teacher and keep myself occupied working extra hard at my parents apparel shop.

I am applying to nursing school at Regis. I'm done with CU-Denver. I'm bucking it up and applying to Regis and praying I just finally get in so I can move forward with my life in at least one sense. The application for the traditional bachelor's is due Feb 15th. I will find out whether I'm accepted or rejected before the application for the accelerated program is due June 15th...either one I get into, will finish within eight weeks of the other. So I don't care which one I get into. I'm ready to take the punch of the rigor and the long as it means getting to do what I love finally!!

I live at home with the parents still. It's not the most ideal in terms of where I want to be in life but I am SO thankful. My parents have provided such a wonderful support and it's free. I can't afford to pay rent or utilities right now, though how I afforded to spend several hundred dollars on my credit card in two months is beyond any responsible reasoning. Actually it's called stupidity. But I still live at home in the sanctuary of my parents roof....and I'm not sure when I'll make enough money to say otherwise. Right now I'm concentrating on paying off the credit card and paying back student loans.

B is still in my life. Not a boyfriend. But I love him and care about him. I never thought I'd be in the situation I am but I do know God has a reason and a purpose. Couldn't tell you what that it is but there is one. He needs help, I love him, we have too many connecting ties, and....yeah. I am looking into attending classes to start dealing with the effects of having someone so close in your life that deals with an addiction(s). I think it will be good for me. If you would have told me that I'd be in this spot, I would have not believed you. And I'm not sure how I make it day-to-day sometimes but that is all because of the Lord.

I rely so much on God to be my strength and my rock. I don't know how people who don't have faith survive any day, let alone any significant trial! I'd feel so overwhelmed, so burdened, so alone, and so lost. I still feel that way a lot of the time but I know I'm taken care of and it's just a temporary feeling. "This too shall pass."

Romantic relationships....what do I say about this area of my life....other than it is not a focus or priority AT ALL!!! As a matter of fact, I don't think I can trust a man with my heart for a long time, trust myself or anyone else in a relationship, and healing is a long process that is underway. It doesn't mean I will discredit how important they are but I recognize that a romantic relationship would not be healthy for me in any sense right now....even if the most amazing and Godly man came into my life. So while I don't push away the thoughts of one day having a husband and children....romantic relationships, as well as the future they will bring, are not the focus of my life. In fact, my focus is the opposite. Work on myself, get myself on stable ground emotionally and mentally, find what fulfills me in all ways other than that, and then maybe that is something I will entertain.

I miss companionship. I miss being hugged, loved, caressed, kissed, and that comfort/protection.

I would love to be treated right by a perfect gentleman and maybe it would do me wonders to let myself date and have the change to experience that for the first time in a long time. But I find comfort in the love of my friends, the love of my family, the peace in the word of God, and letting the pure love of those who don't have to love me on a romantic level take care of my heart and mind.

I need to first find peace and strength alone, and love myself alone, before anything else.

I'm working on getting my confidence and resolve back. I'm working on getting the mess that is my life first semi straightened out. This will take awhile....but God is in control.

I'm so very thankful for that.

Right now I am babysitting for some of my favorite kiddos. Lizzy is sleeping, Kaden is working on his workbook, and Ethan is with Annie at the hospital as Ethan had to have surgery. I find pleasure and peace in the company of my kiddos. I find pleasure and peace in scrapbooking once again and working on various little projects.

I hope to finish a scrapbook I started for my brother Kevan. I am working on getting my photo albums updated and in the right timeline. I am working on finishing decorating my bathroom.

On my to-do list are these little "keep me busy" projects:

-make a picture frame from scratch
-repaint my bathroom
-maybe make a quilt (i have to learn how to do this first)
-learn a new song on the piano
-write a letter to Alyssa

Well, hello there, I am back...and while my mind is all over the place, hopefully I can start writing on here again...and get back to my old self again. The happy healthy woman I used to be....maybe I still am, I just need to start feeling that way again...

You simply have to be yourself - at any age - as God made you, available to Him so that He can work in and through you to bring about His kingdom and His glory. [Luci Swindoll]