Insta Love...michelle_in_sc_2.0

Sunday, December 28, 2014

3 years later

I meant to blog about this yesterday, which was the anniversary of the day, 3 years ago, that my life and that of my family changed but the day got away from me.  But I can't let it go by with praising God. You see, I almost lost this little man on that day 3 years ago.  You can go back and read the story (in 3 posts) here: 2011 Ending in Prayer, (Part 1).  If you have ever seen life leaving the body of your child you will understand the deep and heart wrenching change it can have on you. You can never truly forget. You can never fully be the same.  That day, though...I saw a miracle that only God could perform.  Also, that day started a journey towards a word I knew very little about....Epilepsy.  But, as yesterday dawned I was awe struck by the blessing that I saw when my strong, healthy and seizure free young man wrapped his arms around me.

I should also mention something about our Christmas celebration.  It was fun, fully of family and friends and lots of laughter (laughter being the best medicine!) and way too much food.   I was so glad to have my sweet family gathered around me. I am very grateful for each and everyone of the them and what they bring to our family...even the fuzzy ones!.
Here's to a blessed and joyful New Year!

post signature


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Being Thankful 2014

I have to admit, this year I have had a hard time finding my groove in being thankful.  Most of that is my own selfishness.  I know I have more than I could ever count to be thankful for...but this has been a hard year.  I have lost a great deal...my life as I knew it, my children's lives as they knew it and love I thought was for a life time. I have had to come to terms with the ugly realities of betrayals and the shock of realizing you don't always know the people you are most vulnerable with.  I have had to begin wrapping my mind around a reality that the last 30 years of my life were not what they seemed and only a mirage.  So, I find myself stunned often by those realities and they make me overlook what I should be thankful for.

Each year on the blog I try to post about what I am thankful for, and this year it is taking more thought, more consideration than usual.  I haven't spent the month of November documenting the special blessings in my life as in the past; but there have been blessings.  I have 3 jobs (yes, 3 part time jobs!) that I like which have come just when they needed to, I have a warm, safe house, a car that is reliable and most importantly I have 3 amazing children to share my journey with.  I know if it had not been for their presence in my life I would not still be standing.  They each have unique strengths and talents and bring different joys into my life.  I am waiting expectantly to see just what God does in their lives in the coming seasons, because I know in my heart He has big plans for them.  He would not take them through what they have faced if He didn't have BIG plans for them.  I can't wait to stand on the side lines and cheer them through their lives.

I also have many dear, special friends to be thankful for, some old and some new.  I wish I could tell you what each one has brought into my world this year but it would take days to write each blessing down.  I am just thankful for their love, support and help.

I am also thankful for my parents and their support this year.  It was a painful year of loss for them as well but they did all they could to help me and the children.  I am blessed.

It is a different year...this 2014.  Holidays won't be the same and our family is learning to be a family...just a smaller one...but we are blessed.  Thank you, Lord.


post signature


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Birthday Week!

Birthday week….yes, I said week.  I probably should have said month because my baby girl has always had a way of spreading it out for the whole month.  This week my first born baby turned 23.  That is a real, grown up number…23.

I can’t begin to find the right words to express what she means to me and has since the very first day I found out she was on her way.  That day changed me and changed my life.  Then on the day she was born something amazing happened to my whole world.  It just seemed more beautiful and love more plentiful.  She made me want to be a better person and I wanted her to have a life filled with joy and love.  I knew that day that I would do anything to make that happen.

This last year she has had to take care of me though, more than I have taken care of her.  She has had to lead me through some dark days, even when she was dying inside.  She has fought for me like no one else ever has.  Little did I know 23 years ago how much I would need her one day.  I am so grateful for the blessing that God created and shared with me  in this beautiful, smart, talented and strong young woman.  

Happy Birthday Week, my sweet girl!

post signature
P.S. Please pop back a post and throw your suggestions in for my new blog name and enter my give-away!


Monday, October 13, 2014

Something Wonky This Way Comes...and a Give-Away


Photo Credit
Something has gone terribly wonky with my blog.  My photos seem to have gone the way of the wind and I am trying to figure out how/why.  Anyone with any GREAT ideas or has had this happen to their Blogger blog please let me know what is going on!!!

In other wonky life things, there really isn't much to report which I consider to be a delightful thing as I have had a couple of year of wonky and don't consider wonky a good thing.

I am working 2 jobs that I like and trying to balance being a single Mom, house cleaning (sort of), cooking (doing much better here!), laundry (sucks) and trying to develop a grown up girl life of my own.  I have been spending a lot of time studying budgets and financial things as I feel I really let myself be really stupid in that area for way too many years...but I am working on it...even if it makes me sleepy reading most of it!    I have moments when I want to cry but those are fewer and fewer between and usually just when I am really, really tired.  I am meeting new people and spending time with them and that has helped a lot as it is always good to find others to laugh with and experience new things with.

I am even considering stopping Southern Somedays and starting a new blog to reflect my new life but can't come up with a good title.  If you have any ideas please leave them in the comment section because I think a new blog, just like new bedding, or a new purse can sometimes just give you the creative burst you need!  If I pick your name I will send you a prize (not sure what but it will be something wonderful I can promise!!!

I have missed you blog friends!

Edited to add....I fixed it all by myself and my photos are back!  Whoot!





Sunday, July 20, 2014

Two steps forward, Three steps back...


I have been doing really well lately, or at least I thought I had been..  I haven’t cried in a while.  But today, when I was getting my youngest ready for camp I opened a drawer and saw all sorts of memories.  They were clothes he had out grown, clothes from happier times when we had a whole family.  The tears started and I couldn’t stop them.  I just wanted to lay down in those clothes and cry myself to sleep.  I am crying again now as I think about it.  I miss my family and what family meant so very much.  We are now full of fractures filled with anger, hate and mistrust.  One thing I wanted my entire life is for my children to have close loving relationships with each other and I am seeing that dissolve before my very eyes. I hate this. I miss having back up when a child rearing issue comes up.. I miss knowing that there is someone who can step in when I can't handle it.  I am so tired of doing this alone.  I miss having someone to share the day with…I am lonely.  

I am tired of being strong when I really feel like “where are you God?” Why did this happen to us?

When will it ever, ever, ever get easier?

post signature


Monday, July 7, 2014

Banana Bread, Frugalista Style

I am committed to becoming a better steward of what I have been given and one big area that I think I can save is in the kitchen/pantry.  Years ago I was a good couponer and did most of our cooking/baking at home but over the last few years that just went away.  The last couple of years, in particular, saw me almost completely stop cooking/baking.  I used to really enjoy it, though, and I think if I could get back in the swing of things I would enjoy it again and it would be better financially and health wise.  Not to mention, with 2 boys and their friends, it is important to always have some snacky stuff on hand.

So today I decided rather than throwing out the 3 bananas that had seen better days I would make banana bread!  I found this recipe which called for just a few ingredients (all of which I had on hand!)


Banana Bread

  • 3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-1/2 self rising flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a fork mix the butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl.  Mix in the sugar, egg and vanilla. Add the flour last and mix well. Spray a 4x8 inch loaf pan with no stick spray. Pour mixture into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour.  Cool on rack before removing from pan Iif you can wait that long!) Slice and enjoy!


post signature


Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th of July, 2014

I can't believe I am actually sitting here on the 4th blogging about the day already, but my kiddos are both napping from the fun we have had already.  I am not even sure we will make it out to see the fireworks because they are so pooped!
 Me and my baby girl!
 There were races (that is my sweet baby boy on the very right!)
 And, of course, diving for dollars saps one's energy!
 And most of all aggressive water volley ball will really take it out of you!

So, I am hoping for a second wind so we can catch the fireworks later and finish up this really wonderful celebration!  I hope you had a wonderful day filled with friends, family and fun.
post signature


Thursday, July 3, 2014

No Point


Why is it when someone develops a habit of "making points", no matter how subtle or whether in word or deed, they begin to see "points being made in everything and by  everyone else?   I know I am guilty of that.  But, I am tired of points being made and pains being inflicted just to make a point.  I want to lay down my weapons and just trust other people.  I want to think the best of others and not be afraid.  I just want to trust..and be trusted.

Signed, tired....

post signature


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Food for Thought....

Happy Sunday, sweet friends.



post signature


Monday, June 23, 2014

My heart tonight....

As today reminded me..

"The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good." ~ 1 Peter 5:10 Msg.

Praying tonight.


post signature


Monday, June 16, 2014

Running Low on Fun

I determined somewhere, in the everyday drum of life....fun kind of slipped away.  Yes, the last few months have given me enough of a jolt to scare fun completely out of my life but I have decided I want to have fun.  I NEED to have fun.  I used to be fun, I think???  I am ready for some fun and this summer we are going to have some cotton pickin' fun! 

There is going to be laughter and joking and silliness and lots of water and sunshine!  We are going learn new things, try new things and stretch ourselves to smile more.  No more missing minutes which grow into hours which stretch into days....no more.  Life is literally too short and I am terrified of letting it be too late.

So tell me what do you have planned for fun this summer?  Walking in the rain?  Dancing to some ridiculously fun music? Holding hands with a special someone? Eating cake for dinner because you can?  Floating down a lazy river or goofing off and just letting life happen? Blowing bubbles just to see where they land? 

 
Tell me what your fun is going to be?


post signature


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day 2014

Another first, my sweet children and I on Father's Day...without Father.  The children made their own choice to spend what was going to be a really hard day together and with me.  We actually made a weekend of it, and this morning...we went to church without a Daddy. We did it.  We are growing our little family and learning new ways and new days and talking about what we want the future to look like.  We are facing  a new, unforeseen challenge but are determined to love each other through it.   I am facing an unforeseen opportunity that my kids have encouraged me wholeheartedly to pursue, though I am not sure I am up for the task and I have a hard decision to make.

It isn't a path we chose, or ever would have chosen...but we are walking.

If you are a Dad or plan to be a Dad,  I hope you feel the words in this video and love your wife and children just a little more...
.



post signature


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Fight!


"Both men and women reflect the image of God, but in distinct ways.
 

I’m convinced that one of the most profound ways has to do with how we use our manhood. God created men to have the heart of a warrior, placing a desire within us to stand up and fight for what’s pure, for what’s true. A man has a warrior’s heart.

You have a warrior’s heart. You itch for a fight. That’s God’s design, not ours. That doesn’t mean that men should be aggressive, alpha-bully punks. (Nor does it mean that women can’t fight for what’s right as well.) It simply means that within every man, God has planted a divine desire to fight for righteousness....

A man with nothing to fight for quickly becomes a frustrated man, often without a clue as to why.

Fighting for what’s right stirs something inside a man. It makes him want to be not just a man but the man. The best man he can be. A man knows deep inside himself what God wants him to be: a hero with a warrior’s heart.Devotional by Craig Groeschel from his book Fight,

I know this is an important message, because I want my boys to have the heart of warriors and I am trying to figure out each day how to create that within them without a Dad around.  I want to feel confident that they are going to lead the next generation to a better place....a place of righteousness.  I want them to feel that confidence within their own hearts!  I want them to grow into men after God's own heart and that of their families. 




Wednesday, June 4, 2014

An Open Letter to Husbands & Dads....

 
Photo from Chad Stutzman: A Word to Husbands


An Open Letter to Husbands and Dads,

I am a single Mom whose husband chose a different life than that of husband and father so I feel uniquely qualified to write to men (do any even read this blog?) as we near Father’s Dad.  Also, many of you read my “An Open Letter toWives” so I think I should balance the scales a bit.  I believe in the joy and gift of marriage and family so I hope somehow, somewhere these words will help build, repair or just brighten a relationship that might need a little attention.

Our culture isn’t very pro-family, pro-marriage or pro-commitment.  It screams at every chance “grab what you want” “you deserve this or that” “make yourself happy!” Please, men…if you are on that fence, jump down.   If you have already walked to the greener grass, have the courage to walk back and build a foundation that will support your children and family for generations to come. If you are just going through the motions and not feeling the contentment that you should feel,  open your hearts to the family you have been gifted and let God give you a love for them that is beyond anything you could have ever created yourself.  Don’t let the miracle slip through your fingers.  Let yourself fall in love with your wife and your children…let yourself fall inexplicably, undeniably in love with the gift God has created. Just for you.
 
As cliché as it, loving your wife is the greatest gift you can give your children. It sets them up for a lifetime of how to love.  Look at that woman who God created for you and remember what that first kiss felt like, and why you fell in love with her in the first place. Each day tell her something lovely about herself, remind her that you chose HER.  Take down the walls we all build up and walk to her side (even if she isn’t willing) and let God pour into your marriage.  Let yourself fall in love like never before and love with abandon like there is no tomorrow. 

You are a man, created by God, and He created you to love and lead your family and your rewards will far outweigh whatever short term pleasure you see in life on the other side of the fence.

Signed,
Used to be a Wife

"Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,"
 Ephesians 5:25
post signature


Monday, June 2, 2014

An Open Letter to Wives....



An Open Letter to Wives,
 
I am now, after 25+ years, without a husband.  He walked away.  I was not a perfect wife and I have so many regrets.  One of those regrets is not embracing, loving and celebrating the seasons and the man God created for me.  There are so many things I miss and so many things I wish I had said and done differently.  I see couples now and I want to whisper into the wife’s ear…love him; the season can be gone in a flash.  Don’t put it on the back burner.  Don’t let life get in the way…love him. Hug him, hold him, breathe him in.

Your husband might not walk away like mine did, but you never know what today holds and how quickly he could be gone.  I have watched so many sweet souls mourn the lose of their husbands to death.  No matter how long you have been married, adore him, let him know how much your respect him and his judgment, build him up.  Be his soft place to land when life attacks.  Don’t let a day, or even a moment go by, that he doesn’t feel wanted and loved.  Let God show you how to love him beyond your ability and to pour into your heart a super natural love, full of mercy and grace.  Forgive; continually remember why you fell in love with him and show him your heart and learn his.   

Our culture doesn't reward that kind of devotion but I can assure you it will pay rewards far beyond anything today's world can bring.

Trust me when I say, the season can go too quickly.

Signed,
Used to be a Wife

 "And so train the young women to love their husbands and children,"
 Titus 2:4



post signature


Sunday, June 1, 2014

School's Out For Summer!


And I, for one,  have wasted no time sticking my toes in the sand!  I pray that we never have another school year marred by the hurt, disappointments and multiple school transfers that this year saw.  It was literally horrible.  My children have been through way too much that was not of their choosing or control and we are so ready for summer.  Summer on, friends....summer on!


Saturday, May 31, 2014

Peace is what I want more than anything...


Peace by Sarah Young on FaithGateway
I was talking with a friend yesterday and we were discussing plans for last night and I mentioned that more than anything I needed a distraction.  During this season I am not living in the place of peace that allows me to just enjoy the silence.  The silence in my life is deafening, so I fill it with distractions.  The needs from other people are paralyzing so I find a distraction. I can't wait to arrive in that season of peace where silence is golden and feeling settled and calm is the norm.  So this morning, this was my devotional, and it couldn't have been more timely because I know my mind is constantly churning trying to figure out answers to things that don't make sense (that never will,) and through my agitation I give peace no where to land.

Peace
by Sarah Young, from Jesus Calling

The Peace that I give you transcends your intellect.
When most of your mental energy goes into efforts to figure things out, you are unable to receive this glorious gift. I look into your mind and see thoughts spinning round and round: going nowhere, accomplishing nothing. All the while, My Peace hovers over you, searching for a place to land.
Be still in My Presence, inviting Me to control your thoughts.
Let My Light soak into your mind and heart, until you are aglow with My very Being. This is the most effective way to receive My Peace.
2 Thessalonians 3:16; Job 22:21
post signature


Friday, May 30, 2014

Single Girl Can Cook: Rustic Fresh Peach Tart...

Last night was one of those "single girl" firsts...I had friends over for the first time to my new home. I opened my doors as just me...single.  It was strange because as a couple my husband and I loved to entertain and have a house full of people. We actually bought our last house because we knew it would be perfect for having parties! Doing it alone was just....I don't know.....just....

Needless to say, with the turmoil that has surrounded my life over the last year, I haven't done much entertaining or baking.  I used to love it. I especially loved trying new recipes, particularly when friends were coming over! I am not sure they ever knew how much they were my guinea pigs for new recipes. So....for last night I was determined to try at least one new thing and it turned out great if I do say so myself.  It was also easy, which put my nervous self at ease.  After DS2 and I went to the Farmer's Market and picked up some fresh peaches (they are just coming into season!) I made a Rustic Fresh Peach Tart which was topped liberally with whipped cream before serving.  It is definitely a keeper and I will be making it again! I actually made 2 of these to make sure we had enough.

Rustic Peach Tart

For each tart you will need:

1 Ready to use refrigerated pie crust
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 large fresh peaches, peeled & sliced (about 2 cups)
Whipped Cream

  • Preheat oven to 400.
  • Unroll pie crust on foil covered baking pan that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Combine sugar & cinnamon.
  • Mix 1 Tablespoon sugar mixture into softened cream cheese.
  • Spread cream cheese to within 2 inches of edge of crust.
  • Reserve 1 Tablespoon of sugar mixture.
  • Toss peaches with remaining sugar mixture and spoon over cream cheese mixture.
  • Fold over edge of crust, overlapping peaches just a little.  
  • Sprinkle remaining sugar mixture over tart.
  • Bake 25 minutes or until crust is golden and fruit juices are bubbling.   
  • Cool slightly before removing from baking sheet.
  • Top with whip cream before serving!  Enjoy!!!!
Rustic Fresh Peach Tart
post signature